- The Black Escarpment was the highest mountain range on Barrayar; it ran north-south. There was a military base on the Escarpment where cadets from the Imperial Service Academy got winter training.
- A very flat, Great-Plains-like terrain had settlers who farmed and lived in small rural towns. Ekaterin Vorkosigan grew up in Vandeville in this area.
Native plants of the South Continent
- Bloody puffwad grew on the western slopes of the Black Escarpment. It was dark red and fuzzy and sometimes used in floral arrangements.
- Strangle-vines grew on the flat plains.
- Ekaterin Vorsoisson's skellytum originated on the South Continent.
Details of how the South Continent was governed are scarce within the Vorkosigan Saga. Some deductions are possible, and some speculations seem reasonable. The following is a list of observations:
- The "Rural Vor" in the South were described as more rural than Vor.
- People appear to have begun populating the continent soon after the end of the First Cetagandan War.
- The 60 Counts as known from the Council of Counts all had their districts located in the North Continent.
- The Imperial Lands Distribution Committee gave parcels of South Continent land to people.
- Ekaterin Vorkosigan's father was named to be a "minor provincial bureaucrat".
- Southerners could get District government jobs and did have District liege lords.
- Perhaps Gregor Vorbarra was their count, and southerners lived in provinces within his district (this appears to be ruled out by authorial statement, see below).
- Or, the continent had provinces associated with any of various counts; these were obtained from the Committee.
- Or, the "Rural Vor" functioned effectively as counts, even if not officially.
- Or, something entirely different could be the case.
Behind the scenes
- In 059225.html, the author made the following statement regarding the government of the South Continent:
- Both South Continent and Sergyar are "crown lands", belonging to the Emperor (or the Imperium), not to the Counts Vorbarra. When Barrayarans are being technical and precise in their language, "the Empire" refers to the physical geography of the three planets, but "the Imperium" refers to the people living there, in their web of neo-feudal relationships.