Turtledove
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The southern continent was located to the south of the Empire of Mussalmi, and inhabited by blond natives. At least one tribe of these were noted for being very short. The Empire saw the southern continent as being ripe for exploitation and colonization, and sent expeditions to that purpose.

On one occasion, the Mussalmian Baron Toivo headed a scientific mission tasked with documenting new examples of wildlife. The Baron obsessively sought the legendary southern dragons, which were such a controversial subject among savants. His men bagged a prize, but overlooked the bigger picture.

Literary comment[]

The southern continent is based on 19th-century European perceptions of "darkest Africa." The story does not reveal any specifics about the continent and its people, beyond the narrow slice that Toivo's men encountered.

The language of the blond pygmies is a mishmash of several Eastern European languages, including Greek, Hungarian, and Lithuanian.

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