Y'ha Teiho, commonly referred to as as the Bloodlands, is a region in Sothoryos. To the east, it is bordered by Basilisk Point; to the west, the Bloodlands are bordered by Wyvern Point; to the south, this region is bordered by the expansive Green Hell.
This region shows signs of being one of the last strongholds of the Deep Ones, though actual evidence of those creatures' existence remains dubious at best. Y'ha Teiho is a major location in the story, The Lost Dragon.
Several groups of people inhabit the Bloodlands. Of them, only the first two are native species (and neither are human):
- Brindled Men - There are several tribes of Brindled Men in this region of Sothoryos. Most of them can only speak the Trade Talk and their own native languages, making it difficult for them to communicate with most humans. Because of their slow wits, the pirate bands who rule this region of Sothoryos do not use the Brindled Men as slaves. As such, some of the tribes have been hunted to extinction, while others remain active due to the valuable items they can trade with the pirates. Many Brindled Men are skilled warriors, suspicious of outsiders, while some willingly give themselves up to the pirates to be sold to the fighting pits in various cities, including those in Slaver's Bay.
- Fisherfolk - The fisherfolk are a group of people who hail from the Isle of Toads. Some beings who look like those people also live in the Bloodlands, around the northern shores of that region. They worship a large toad-like statue made of black, oily stone - the same kind of stone found in the buildings of Yeen. There is a fishy-ness in their appearance that may hint at a relation to the mythical Squishers of Westeros, though that connection is merely speculation. These folk are seen as queer by the pirates, because of their odd appearances and the fact that they worship strange gods. Some who live on the shores of the Bloodlands are taken as slaves by the pirates, though often the pirates will not risk trekking through that continent to find them (taking slaves from Essos is much less dangerous). As such, the fisherfolk despise the pirates of the region. Only the fisherfolk, of the active peoples in this region, remember the Bloodlands' original name - Y'ha Teiho. It is likely that that name comes from their own language, or perhaps the language of the Deep Ones, whom the fisherfolk seem to worship.
- Pirates - These pirates rule much of Sothoryos, including the Bloodlands. Here, they lead operations with many slaves to mine the resources of the continent. Not all pirates who live on the Basilisk Isles are able to mine Sothoryos of its natural resources, however. Only the fiercest, richest, and most dedicated can. Only those who can gather hundreds of slaves have any hope of actually making money from this venture, for Sothoryos is a dangerous place, and slaves and pirates alike die by the dozens, if not hundreds, every year. While pirates bands are not uncommon in this region of Sothoryos, they are mostly found in the region's one populated city, Xhorra, and its biggest town, Mudtown. Elsewhere, the native predators of the region and the Brindled Men are more common to be found, and any pirate who wanders far from his city or town may soon find himself killed by one of those native threats. Pirates are far more common off of the coast of Sothoryos, in the Basilisk Isles; perhaps two percent of the population of the Basilisk Isles spends a significant amount of time in the Bloodlands per year. Captain Malligan and his crew are examples of pirates who do not spend much time on Sothoryos (though they are known to have taken part in the slaving operations there, on occasion), instead spending most of their time selling slaves to the pirates who do have slaving operations on the continent. Indeed, most pirates of the Basilisk Isles do this, for it is a far safer venture than dealing with the perils of Sothoryos directly.
- Slaves - The slaves of Sothoryos come from all walks of life, though they are usually from the continent of Essos, as that is the closest continent to the Basilisk Isles and Sothoryos. Many are lowborn or slaveborn and come from the slave cities in Essos, including those of the Nine Free Cities that allow slavery and from Slaver's Bay. A large percentage of the slaves also come from the Summer Isles and Naath. As well, some slaves are highborn or freeborn captives taken on the high seas, as is the case with Jaehaerys Targaryen, Rhaena Targaryen, and Daeron Targaryen. These captives, from Essos or Westeros, are much rarer than the regular slaves, though in general, they do not fetch higher prices in the flesh markets of the Basilisk Isles. These slaves are bought and sold at the flesh markets of the Basilisk Isles, and such transactions occur daily, for slaves often die in the slaving operations led by the pirates in Sothoryos. These slaves are required to mine resources - be they precious metals, animals, or woods - under harsh conditions. Due to the heat of Sothoryos and the harshness of the slaves' work (they are often forced to work 18 hours a day, if not more), death is a common occurrence amongst the slaves. Because of this, fresh slaves are often required to replace those who have died; and this has created a thriving business between the pirates of the Basilisk Isles.
Several extinct species are said to have once inhabited the Bloodlands. Since all of these species are mythical in nature, it is not likely they ever existed outside of the minds of creative storytellers:
- Deep Ones - The Deep Ones are a mysterious and ancient race said to be of the sea. In legend, they are described as fishy-looking beings with misshapen heads. They can apparently dwell deep underwater (which is their natural habitat) or above ground (if they want to). These beings are also believed to exist under the seas in Westeros (particularly around the Iron Islands - they may have been the origins of the "Squishers" myth and the crafters of the Seastone Chair). Claims about their power varies, but the natives of Sothoryos and the Basilisk Isles seem to hold the Deep Ones in high regard. The fisherfolk, for example, see the Deep Ones as gods, and they may be descended from them. As well, their tall toad stone may be partially based on the appearance of a Deep One, but this is not known for certain. It is speculated that the Deep Ones were the original inhabitants of Yeen, but left thousands of years ago for unknown reasons (perhaps because of the same cataclysmic event that seems to have reduced Deep One populations around the world, from the Thousand Islands to the Iron Islands many thousands of years ago). There are others who say that the Deep Ones still reside in Yeen, in the bowels of the oily black stone buildings. Pirates and most non-natives in Sothoryos discount such thoughts and generally do not believe that the Deep Ones ever existed.
- Lizard men - The lizard men were a supposed ancient race native to Sothoryos and the Bloodlands in particular. Barely any information about them is known, other than they once ived in great lost cities and were eventually rendered extinct in a series of wars with the Brindled Men. It is also speculated that at least some of them lived in Yeen, at one time or another, though what happened to the lizard men who lived there (such as if they were destroyed by the Brindled Men or some other, darker force, etc.), is unknown. It is speculated by some that these beings were merely humans with greyscale, ostracized from their communities and forced to live together in small exiled groups, like the Stone men in Essos. However, no such community of "lizard men" is known to have survived into modern times, despite greyscale still being relatively commonplace in the Bloodlands, thus casting doubt on that theory.
- Eyeless cave-dwellers - The eyeless cave-dwellers are a mythical race of Sothoryos and the Bloodlands in particular. Supposedly, they were once a species of semi-humanoid beings that lacked eyes and had extremely pale (almost translucent) flesh. Little is known about their history or behavior, though locals of the Bloodlands fear them, and tales about these creatures were spread in The Lost Dragon. There is a legend amongst the locals about the eyeless cave-dwellers appearing at night to steal away children from their beds and take them back to their caves, where they would suck the life's blood from their victims. There is no sign that this species ever existed to begin with.
Though sparsely-populated, the Bloodlands is home to a few settlements:
- Yeen - Yeen is a mysterious ruined city made of oily black stone. Located deep in the southern jungles of the Bloodlands, it is an ancient ruin. It has been abandoned for many thousands of years, with only a few short, disastrous attempts to repopulate the city (such as with Nymeria's Rhoynar, or perhaps the lizard men) in that time. The place is widely seen as an enigma, with the identity of its original inhabitants being lost to history. Unlike other ruins in the Bloodlands, this city has never had the forest creep back into it to retake it - it remains in pristine condition. The natives of the Bloodlands, and even the pirates of that region, avoid Yeen, and many of them think it's an evil place. Wild tribes of Brindled Men are thought to inhabit the surrounding forests and may attack anyone who enters Yeen. The ruin itself is completely abandoned, except for some dangerous animals, such as giant spiders, venomous snakes, and stinging flies. However, some natives also believe that the original inhabitants of Yeen still lurk deep in the bowels of the black stone buildings, waiting to capture and feed upon any unfortunate travelers who happen to stumble upon the ruins.
- Zamettar - Zamettar is a ruined Ghiscari city located on the mouth of the Zamayos River on the northern coast of the Bloodlands. It has been in ruins for at least a thousand years. It is currently abandoned, though deserted slaves and bandits frequent the ruins, making it a dangerous place even in its desolation.
- Xhorre - Xhorre is the only current city in the Bloodlands. It is a trade hub on the Zamayos River, and is frequented by pirates, traders, travelers, and natives alike. It is located quite a ways into the Bloodlands, being roughly halfway between the coastal ruins of Zamettar and the deep-forest ruins of Yeen. The city has a reputation for training and selling prostitutes, both girls and boys. It is also famous for its fighting pits and its exotic animal market. The city is currently run by two men - a merchant prince and a pirate lord - in a Diarchy.
- Mudtown - Mudtown is a small, hot, miserable town. It is a work town, where hundreds and thousands of slaves are forced to mine for precious metals, expensive wood, and hunt rare and highly-desired animals native to the region. The slaves are worked very hard here, resulting in many of them dying quite frequently. As such, the slaves in Mudtown have to be regularly replaced. This town is a big source of revenue for the flesh markets run by the pirates in the Basilisk Isles (particularly those on Talon's Barter Beach). This town is run by a large host of pirates, and their leader is a mysterious man called "The Boneman". "Lizard fights" - vicious fighting between captured tattooed lizards that are bet upon - are popular amongst both the pirates and slaves of this town.
- Brindled Men settlements - The Brindled Men are known to have many small villages and tribal locations scattered across the Bloodlands. It is speculated that many of them exist around the surrounding forests of Yeen. However, the exact locations of many of these villages is unknown, though the pirates do occasionally trek through the jungle in search of them in order to bring their inhabitants back to Mudtown or Xhorre as slave laborers. These villages are often destroyed in inter-tribal warfare between the Brindled Men as well. Few of these locations exceed populations of 50.
- Additional ruins - there are ruins of other cities, towns, and villages scattered across the Bloodlands. Some are as old as time itself, while others have been around since the time of the Valyrian empire. A few are more recent attempts at civilization that failed. All are ruins, though some may be the haunts of bandits or Brindled Men.
"Y'ha Teiho" is a name of unknown origin. It is speculated to come from the language of the fisherfolk, and perhaps is a bastardization of a word originally from the language of the Deep Ones. No one aside from the fisherfolk refer to the Bloodlands as "Y'ha Teiho", even though this is apparently an ancient name for the place. "The Bloodlands" is a far more common name, and that name refers to the many dangers and perils that can befall humans, Brindled Men, and fisherfolk alike in this region of Sothoryos. With such high mortality rates due to diseases, parasites, and animal attacks, it should come as no surprise that Y'ha Teiho gained such a sinister name in more recent times.
Sothoryos, and the Bloodlands in particular, is home to many varieties of species, ranging from ferocious mythical creatures to everyday livestock. Some of the most commonly-found species in the Bloodlands are listed below:
- Wyverns -
- Dragons -
- Tattooed lizards -
- Poisonous snakes -
- Painted cats -
- Giant apes -
- Monkeys -
- Hogs -
- Colorful birds -
- Cannibal fish - Fierce flesh-eating schools of fish inhabit most of the freshwater rivers and lakes in northern Sothoryos. They can strip a body to the bone in a matter of minutes and are known to prey on anything that is living. For this reason, few creatures, including the human residents of the Bloodlands, venture into the waters.
- Basilisks - While found in greater numbers to the west of the Bloodlands, in and around Basilisk Point, these creatures inhabit all of Sothoryos. They are found in smaller numbers in the Bloodlands, though they are still hunted in that region for their poison and collected by pirates and merchants alike, to be sold alive or dead, in Essos.
- Wasps - Hyper-aggressive species of wasps are found in the Bloodlands, albeit uncommonly. They are territorial and will protect their nests aggressively. Unsuspecting travelers who stumble upon a wasp nest may be swarmed by the beasts, though it is not often that these wasps will actually be able to kill a human.
- Flesh-eating flies - Fat green-and-crimson flies infest all of Sothoryos, though they are most commonly encountered near stagnant pools, rotting flesh, and human settlements. This is notably seen in Mudtown, a miserable place with poor hygiene and piles of corpses. These flies will brazenly attack any human they come in contact with, biting at them savagely. The more aggressive species can bite hard enough to draw blood, while most can only cause red bumps to appear on the skin.
- Giant spiders - Venomous spiders are common in Sothoryos. The more lethal they are, the more colorful they appear. Some species can reach the size of cats, while others can be smaller than a fingernail. The most venomous varieties are the large cat-sized ones that inhabit the area near Yeen. They are known to be able to kill a man with a single bite. This is partially why few pirates or inhabitants of the Bloodlands visit Yeen.
- Leeches - Leeches are common in Sothoryos, particularly around rivers or other bodies of water. The species in Sothoryos is black-skinned and usually larger than those found in Westeros. Leeches may spread diseases or parasites as well as suck the blood from their hosts. For that reason, "leeching" is not as common in Sothoryos as it is in Westeros.
- Parasites - A variety of parasites infest Sothoryos. Many burrow under the flesh of men and beasts alike, while others will take up residence inside living creatures - such as around their hearts or in their intestines. Other parasites, such as the brain eater varieties, are almost immediately lethal; most, however, take a long time to kill their hosts, or do not kill them at all. It is expected that a human spending at least a week in Sothoryos will become infected with at least one non-lethal parasite, if not more. And those who stay on the continent for longer periods of time will likely become infected with several more varieties of parasites.
- Chickens - Chickens are not native to Sothoryos, but have been brought to the continent by human settlers. They are raised for food and for eggs.
- Pigs - Pigs are not native to Sothoryos, but have been brought to the continent by human settlers. They are raised for food.
Being a plague-ridden continent, Sothoryos is home to many diseases. Below, some of the most common ones found in the Bloodlands are listed:
- Blood Boils
- Bloody flux
- Bronze pate
- Dancing plague
- Green fever
- Red Death
- Sailor's bane