Civilization and wilderness across countless landmasses.
So many islands... and rivers... and fjords.... it's the land was shattered into as many pieces as possible. Doubtless this was the handiwork of the collapse.
OverviewThe continent of Quassus could be considered the largest archipelago in the world and you would be right. The continent is a collection of many islands and isles that vary in shape and size. Travel across water is a necessity if one wishes to visit all corners of this continent. Fjords, rivers, valleys, and mountains also define the continent's landscape. The number of islands present leaves the impression that the continent was shattered in the past. This is not an incorrect impression. The calamities of The Great Collapse have reshaped Awldor in many ways. Some changes are small while others are more drastic. Recovered ancient map fragments suggests that the continental islands of Quassus used to be a single connected landmass. Perhaps the land is a reflection of the state of the whole of Awldor. As for civilization, the Continental Island of Lluvia hosts the most most powerful sovereign states on the continent. Meanwhile, the Continental Island of Dammerung sees various tribes, isolated villages, city-states. The Continental Island of Valjeta hosts no sustained presence of civilization.
Those of us making fragile baubles in this land are not given enough credit. Even the smallest shocks can ruin days of work without careful preparation.
TremorsThe Great Collapse may lie in the past, but its legacy affects the present. Quassus experiences occasional tremors year round. Most of these tremors are slight shakes that may tip over a balancing plate or two, but some are major events that have leveled towns and villages. These tremors and quakes are not a uniform occurrence across the continent. For example, the continental island of Valjeta experiences more quakes than the islands of Lluvia or Dammerung. As for what causes these tremors, there are two popular theories:
- The first theory claims that the earth beneath the land continues to churn in the aftermath of the Great Collapse. The land beneath the surface of Quassus was so affected by the calamities of the collapse that it continues to churn on sheer momentum, and thus producing the tremors.
- The second theory makes a similar claim but differs on the source; it points to Magic Storms as the cause of the tremors. Specifically, the theory points to a kind of ever present "Earth Storm" exists underneath the surface of the continent.
Three continental islands and four major islands represent the majority of the landmass of Quassus. The continental islands are named Dammerung, Lluvia, and Valjeta. The major islands are named Snofall, Jaa, Skulptur and Garra. These seven major landmasses are described here in more detail:
Go to the continental islands if you want civilization...
The Continental Islands of Quassus
DämmerungThe Continental Island of Dammerung is the westernmost and largest of the continental islands. Dammerung hosts the largest mountain chains in Quassus as well as the continent's only desert: Dulkėtas Dykuma. From east to west, the most notable mountain ranges Dammerung hosts are: Assai, Snjor, Gladkiy, Forrevne, Almond, and Evening mountains. The island is dominated by a largely temperate climate in its southern half and a tundra climate in its northern half. Large forests are common on the slopes of the island's mountain ranges, with evergreens being a particularly common sight especially in the north. The The Seven Northern Tribes of Quassus are the most powerful political powers of Dammerung amid other tribes and city-states.
LluviaThe Continental Island of Lluvia is the southernmost and most verdant of the continental islands. The Continental Island of Lluvia features a grassy plain, dense forests, and several mountain ranges. The mountain ranges from west to east are: the Silver Mountains, the Valtava Mountains, and the Violetti Mountains. A tropical climate defines Lluvia's southern shores while the northern shores can be more diverse. This island is the most populated of the three continental islands as evidenced by the outsized power of its countries, especially the Queendom of Lunaria and the Kingdom of Helia.
ValjetaThe Continental Island of Valjeta is the easternmost and smallest of the continental islands. There is almost no flat piece of land on this landmass. Mountains, fjords, valleys, ravines, lakes, rapids, waterfalls, and canyons define the entirety of the landscape. Dense woodlands often occupy the small flat-ish spaces of the uneven landscape. Valjeta experiences the most amount of tremors and quakes, its landscape noticeably changes year after year. This changing landscape makes travel through the continental island difficult, and the establishment of permanent roads on the continental island is all but impossible without constant (expensive) maintenance. Perhaps it's no mystery that Valjeta is the least populated of the continental islands.
...and go to the major islands if you want peace and quiet.
The Major Islands of Quassus
SnöfalThe smallest and westernmost of the major islands. Conjecture based on pre-collapse map fragments that were recovered, this island used to be much larger and had formed the northern tip of Dammerung. Snofal is known for its massive snow drifts. There is so much snow on this island that an entire town, Weiss Town, was constructed by using snow blocks in addition to carved ice. Ancient artifacts are occasional discovered within the snow drifts, and it is believed much more is awaiting discovery.
JääThe northernmost and of the major islands with the exception of Garra. Jaa is largely covered by massive glaciers that cover the terrain. Knowledge about the existence of this ice-covered island comes from recovered ancient map fragments as well as educated guessing. What has been recovered of these ancient maps implies a world that was warmer than today's. Considering today's world, the collapse seems to have precipitated a global cooling. Some have wondered at what changes the ice have wrought over the years. Ancient Ruins undoubtedly exist beneath the thick sheets of ice, but there is little that can be done to reach them safely. Several reclusive tribes are said to have made their homes within the icy caverns of these glaciers along with various fiends, beasts, and monsters. Attempts by the southern countries of Lluvia to contact these tribes have been met with little success.
SkulpturThis island is considered the sundered southern half of Jää. Glaciers cover most of the land of this continent, for the most part. In several places geothermal activity has melted the ice creating a network of caves. Some of these ice caves lie so deep in the ice that sunlight does not reach the ground leaving the cave in total darkness. In some caves bio-luminescent flora and/or fauna are the only sources of light. The ice does not melt evenly in these caves which creates the impression that these places are furnished with several works of art. Some have added their own artistic mark creating carvings of rock, wood, or ice and placing it within these caves. Some offer bounties for those who would seek and deliver particularly impressive pieces of art should they learn about it. Most rarely talk of the works they add to the island.
GarraThe largest and easternmost of the major islands. Like Jaa, the outline of its ice covered coastline can only be known through a combination of recovered ancient map fragments and educated guessing. Unlike the island of Jaa, Garra hosts many tall mountains rising from the ice and several valleys carved into the ice through yet to be understood processes. The island is as uneven as Valjeta though more inhospitable due to its location within the freezing arctic region and the population of fiends, monsters, and other dangerous creatures that crawl every crevice of the island. As such, only the brave travel the lands of this island and often in search of fame and/or fortune. The most notable feature of this island is the set of valleys that appear like giant claw marks, the Klóra Valleys. Each valley features a frozen lake at their lowest points. Folktales say that these marks were left by some colossal beast during the Great Collapse. Some who have traveled across Garra and survived report the existence of giant monsters frozen within the ice of the lakes of the Klóra Valleys.
The Occulus SeaThe most recognizable feature of the Quassus Continent is its great inland sea, the Occulus Sea. It is easily recognizable by its eye-like shape punctuated by Visus Island which lies at the center of the sea. This sea sees most of the traffic traveling to and from the three continental islands. Visus island in particular finds itself as a useful nexus of trade due to the shelter and respite it represents to travelers. This is especially true with the rise of the Free City of Centrum.
All artwork is by starfarertheta unless otherwise stated.
The Colossal Archipelago
Common Fauna(list is not exhaustive)
Common Flora(list is not exhaustive)
Minerals and Metals(list is not exhaustive)
Note(s) from the Archivists:It was always my opinion that the advent of civilization on a land that was shattered by the collapse should be cause for celebration. Instead, it seems we've all taken our survival for granted. - Archivist Taenya Naïlo
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