River Artazia Geographic Location in Cathedris | World Anvil

Cathedris Themesong

River Artazia

From glacial peaks to emerald groves

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7 - trees river.webp

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These days we force the water to come to us through pipes and canals, but in our past, it is said that all of Artazia used to migrate to this river during periods of intense drought, just for a chance to sustain themselves. River Artazia is our ancestral life blood.
— Artazian Mountaineer
River Artazia is an exceptionally long glacier-fed river that meanders its way through most of Artazia; it begins in the tall ice-capped peaks in the center of the country, and its mouth is found in the deep green temperate rainforests of the western coast. The Artazian people have historically used the river for clean drinking water, travel and transport, and as a key location for settlement. All manner of different species can be found within the river as well; unique fish, mammals, amphibians and insects all call River Artazia home. Additionally, Rendlings are not a rare sight, as Avartarian can often be found rampaging among the towering mountains in which the river originates.

The Great River

River Artazia is not only the most famous river in the Artazia, but it's also the largest. Worldwide, it is the third largest river, ranked behind Mirran River in Kazcallen and Ezver River in Varzen.  
Naga Glacial Peaks
Veritan Rainforest

1,375 km
3,745 m³/s

Naga Glacial Peaks

Central Artazia is dominated by giants that dwarf even the God-husk Avartarian -- these rocky, near barren mountains are snow capped, ice-bound, and home to a huge number of glaciers. During the warm season these glaciers drift and produce run-off distributed all throughout the Naga mountain range.   The water produced within these mountain ranges is nearly crystal clear -- naturally filtered as it works its way through the hard stone, gravel, and sand of these rocky mountain slopes.


Cradle of Ice

Named for the fact that it acts as a nursery for the initial tributaries of River Artazia, this section of glaciers spans across nearly one third of the Naga mountains. There are 12 glaciers found within the Cradle, all of which directly feed into the countries largest river. Thanks to the increased industrial output across all of Cathedris, most, if not all, of these glaciers are in a state of permenant recedence.

Zone of War

With the threat of the ever raging Avartarian on the "doorstep" of the Cradle, the area surrounding Naga mountains, and most of the Cradle of Ice, have fallen under the protection of the Legion. Avartarian rampages and attacks essentially anything that moves, making the Legion's job of preventing newly formed Rendlings from escaping down-stream into River Artazia main all that much harder.

You can see how the river has etched eons of history into that cliff face, revealing a great number of secrets once hidden under the planet's skin, as the water wore its way down to the level it's at now.
— Geologist
Beyond the Cradle of Ice, exiting the Zone of War, these small winding tributaries slowly braid themselves together into the true beginnings of River Artazia. Here the flow of water begins to gather and cascade through more rocky terrain as it cuts through stone; rampaging down the slopes just as Avartarian rampages among the peaks.     This area of Artazia is home to a multitude of small caves and jagged cliffs, as the river takes entirely unpredictable paths down through the large changes in elevation. Various kinds of freshwater fish migrate up through these carved stone valleys to make their way to ancestral spawning grounds among the sharp rocks and tumultuous rapids.

Valley of Peace


Calm surface waters

Gradually the sheer cliffs and sudden elevation drops begin to lessen, and River Artazia begins to calm. The valley slopes on either side become more gentle, and the river itself widens out, producing a much less turbulent flow lined with countless evergreen trees previously unable to flourish further up the mountain.   So called the 'Valley of Peace', this section of the river creates homes for a much wider variety of life. Small remote villages and larger lakeside settlements can be found dotted along the river, with one lake in particular creating a home for one of Artazia's 5 main cities -- the city of Kagana, located along the shores of the world's deepest lake, the Deep Bend. The city is sustained by the abundance of fish and wildlife that reside within and around the lake, while they trade lumber and locally sourced metals from mountainside quarries with farther settlements downstream. The people of Kagana hold a great appreciation and fear of both River Artazia and the Deep Bend; the latter of which they believe to hold a great many secrets within its fathomless depths.


Myths from Below

The bottom of the Deep Bend has never been reached by any Kagana locals -- nor by any tourists or visitors from afar. This mysterious abyss is the source of various rumours and myths; locals believe that within the depths live monsters from ancient times, or perhaps even entire cities swallowed whole and lost to the ages.   Occasionally the bottom of the lake will release great clouds of mostly inert gas, leaving some experts to ponder the geological processes that might have produced such an oddity of a lake; some point to the similar Teneran Deep as an explanation, while others dismiss this similarity as mere coincidence. These mysterious bubbles have ocassionally brought up strange organic substances, or even pieces of unexpectedly bouyant materials, that prompt yet more wild theories as to what is below.

Strange things come floatin' up from the deep 'round here. Bubbles rise to break a mirror-calm surface, bringing with them debris that likely hasn't seen the surface in thousands of years.
here for bonus info
— Deep Lake Local


The Deep Bend

The Deep Bend is essentially a widening and deepening of River Artazia -- constantly fed by the river upstream, and acting as a reservoir to stabilize the resulting flow downstream. The lake has very steep sides below the surface, and is thought to contain roughly 200 cubic kilometers of water, though this is an estimate, as the true depth of the lake has never been determined. Through limited exploration the lake "bottom" has been found to contain a wide bedrock shelf acting as an overhang, protecting the actual lake bottom from more vigorous exploration.

Should cargo be lost overboard, or ships themselves sink, the bedrock shelf combined with the steep lake sides results in any rescue or retrieval attempts becoming essentially impossible -- most items will tumble over the shelf and drop to the unreachable depths below. Few times throughout history have sunken items been retrieved from the lake, all of which had fortunately come to rest on the shelf, a mere 400m down.
A variety of fish live within the Deep Bend -- various bottom feeders, migratory fish, or predators that all make for great fishing. The lake is so populated that fish are a part of all main staple dish of Kagana and surrounding smaller settlements. However, an awful tasting invasive species from Kazcallen known as Mudstelle is beginning to out-compete local wildlife, causing local anglers to become concerned.


I've fished this lake for all m'life. It doesn't matter how many of 'em I pull up, I'm never eating a Mudstelle again.
— Deep Bend Angler

Deep Delights

The most common, and most popular fish to catch within the lake are the Mirrorhead Trout. They can grow to be up to 50cm in length, and have a clean, fresh taste, that pairs nicely with almost any spice applied to them. These fish are so popular that signs of overfishing are starting to become apparent.   Mirrorheads live most of their life in the Deep Bend, above the shelf, but venture upstream to various rocky gravel beds in order to spawn.

Foul from Below

Brought in from the overseas country of Kazcallen in an unfortunate experiment, Mudstelle are an invasive species that are starting to reach population levels that make aquatic life unsustainable for most other fish within the lake.   Mudstelle live and spawn only within the lake, with short life spans and the capacity to eat nearly anything. Their meat is slimy, turns to mush when cooked, and reportedly tastes of mud or rotten meat.


Ruins in the Abyss

Below the bedrock shelf, unknown to all above the surface, the lake stretches downwards by nearly another full kilometer. No light penetrates this deep, stopped by the geometry of the lake bottom and the depth of water -- allowing for all manner of things to be hidden within the darkness. Here, in one of the world's deepest locations, an ancient city lay forgotten -- coming from a time before the Seven Day War, possibly before the God-husks themselves.   This historic site is essentially lost to time; only passing mentions of it exist within rare texts, never containing information pertaining to the settlement's location, and most of which is dismissed as mythology. In actuality, during prehistoric times the settlement was a bustling metropolis -- however, geologic processes opened a great rift in this location, and swallowed it whole.
Over thousands of years, River Artazia gradually refilled this rift, preserving the remains of this city within time; an undiscovered mystery at the bottom of the Deep Bend.    
    Yet these very same geological processes that swallowed the city might in turn cause its rediscovery. Whatever caused the planet to open up before is beginning to act up once again -- great bubbles of gas from below the lake rising up, bringing with them bits of whatever lay at the bottom of the lake. Pieces of building materials the size of a fist have been floated to the surface, betraying the existence of something below.
This book tells of these incredible ancient cities, scattered across the globe. We've sadly never found any... but I want to believe that one of them exists here, at the bottom of the Deep Bend.
— Local Historian

The serene waters of the Deep Bend flow calmly enough so as to not disturb whatever remains within the abyss. Should the geology of the area remain stable, what lies at the bottom may stay there for all eternity as the river passes through the crushing depths like a fleeting thought -- transitioning towards the next destination on River Artazia's long journey.
— Local Historian


Veritan Rainforest

In a relatively shallow section of the Deep Bend, with overgrown shores containing evergreen trees and various aquatic flora, River Artazia exits the lake and continues onward. As the elevation drops and the river progresses towards the ocean, Veritan Rainforest has grown in response to both a warmer and a wetter climate -- known as a temperate rainforest, it's the home of countless ancient trees and wildly diverse flora and fauna. Smaller rain-fed tributaries once again begin feeding into the main River Artazia -- bringing with them mud and silt washed out of the surrounding ground, muddying the once clear water.

The trees surrounding the river in this biome flourish in the warmth, and grow massive thanks to the abundant moisture. On all sides, thick evergreen forests grow freely -- giant trees reach to the sky, their bark and the forest floor below covered in thick moss. Many mammals, both large and small, call this forest home; however their natural habitat shrinks each year, as the old growth trees produce high quality lumber that make them lucrative to log in excess.   River Artazia cuts a wide path through the rainforest, making travel and industry up and down the river an easy task. Many logging companies have set up camps along the river side, where a multitude of logs are cut down, tied up, and floated down the river in groups to warehouses or lumber mills within Port City at the river's mouth.
Some of the most beautiful views in the world can be found within this forest. It's a shame how much of it is gettin cut down, though.
— Port City Local
The impact of the increased logging is likely felt most by the popular River Pilostra; a semi-aquatic mammal that lives within the river and surrounding trees, and also happens to be the "mascot animal" of Port City. Their paws feature webbed claws that enable both climbing and swimming, making them the tiny kings of the rainforest; they live and hunt within the flowing river, yet make their homes within the tallest and oldest trees they can find, as protection from predators.   Unfortunately, the tallest and oldest trees are seen as the most profitable, and are thus cut down first. Taken in combination with increased traffic up and down the river, which makes hunting for fish much harder for the Pilostra, this means their numbers have significantly dwindled in recent years.


The Meanders

The section of River Artazia most populated by River Pilostras is known as the 'Meanders' -- here the river takes wide, sweeping turns back and forth, nearly looping on itself. The ground is much less rocky in this area compared to farther up river, and thus the water is much more likely to wander over time, producing the titular meandering shape.   To this day the river banks still shift by a meter or so per year, and is something carefully watched by locals to warn of eventual possible damage to nearby structures.  

River Pilostras are found all over Artazia, and thus are of course our mascot. Now, who wants to buy a plushy Pilostra?
— Artazian Tour Guide

Gradually the massive evergreen trees and rich, moss covered soil that make up the river banks gives way to a flatter, silty landscape covered in tall grass. The water quality drops and becomes more murky, and trees become more sparse as River Artazia reaches the coast; here it forms a massive sprawling delta, upon which another of Artazia's 5 main cities has grown -- the massive metropolitan trade hub known as Port City.

This may just appear on the outside to be your standard trade hub of a city, but don't be fooled. Plenty of pirates and bounty hunters call this place home.
— Port City Local

Port City

The majority of Port City residents live away from River Artazia itself; choosing instead to have their homes closer to the ocean, near the city center built upon hardy outcroppings of rock and stable ground. Along the river banks are instead where the city places all of its factories, mills, and warehouses -- making great use of the ease of travel the river provides.   Additionally, while the practice is frowned upon, River Artazia makes a simple and efficient waste disposal system for all the factories along its banks; the river mouth outputs into the ocean far from Port City's harbour, and ocean currents take it from there, ensuring no waste interferes with the city's bustling trade industry.

Cover image: by Simon Fitall


Author's Notes

Plenty of photographs from Unsplash were used in the making of this article! Links below:   Header
Main Background
Underwater Ruins
Underwater Fish
Trees   Thank you so much for taking the time to read <3 What section of River Artazia is your favourite? What would you like to know more about?

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18 May, 2022 06:50

You've created yet another absolute masterpiece. I can really see the textbook vibe you're going for and I love how the background flows into these different themes as you explain them in text in such detail. Absolutely love it!   Keep up the amazing work! :D

18 May, 2022 16:21

Thank you so much Shadow!! I'm so glad that vibe came through, I had a lot of fun making this and designing the layout :D Thank you!

Sage RandoScorpio
18 May, 2022 07:57

I want a Pilostra. Not just a plushy, I would love a little otter-sloth! What a pretty river article. The impact of commercial activity on the natural environment also helps make this river feel very real!!   I love the mystery of the lake bottom, and all the very realistic speculation. I wonder if there are groups that are fanatic in their pursuit of figuring out what's at the bottom? Do people try to free dive? Do people go missing in the water? Do the gases create lights, like will-o-whisps, like in bogs or marshes? What about conspiracy theories? Are any fish caught with strange scars or bite marks on them? This deep section has left me with so many questions.   Some things I noticed: There were a few minor typos you may want to re-read through to fix, and the spacing of the 'Naga Glacial Peaks' header is a little off, making the introduction a little difficult to read.

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Marsin Morrow
Character | Sep 12, 2023
18 May, 2022 16:27

I'm so glad to hear that :D I love those little otter sloths too, time to figure out how to get them in real life!   Those are a lot of really excellent questions regarding the Deep Bend! I'm glad it provokes many questions, that's exactly what I want out of that section :D I so want to add more detail on it as it was one of my favourite bits to build for the article, but the word limit is at odds with me D: It's definitely too deep to free dive, but some people have tried full diving suits -- picture the oldschool iron bell diving suit! They've gotten to the shelf like that, but anyone who's attempted to go beyond it has never made it back up. This certainly fuels yet more conspiracy theories! That and all the weirdness that comes up -- like indeed fish with weird scars xD   Thanks for the note on typos! I think I got all the misspelled words, but the ones that always escape my sight are the properly spelled but improper words kind xD I'll have another look through. As for the header -- you must be on a wider screen! I totally forgot to add a CSS media query breakpoint for larger screens, but I think I've fixed that now :)   Thanks for reading and leaving a lovely comment!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
18 May, 2022 11:24

Great article! I love the idea of the mysterious depth of the lake, with that overhanging rock hiding what's at the bottom :D

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
18 May, 2022 16:34

Thank you Amélie! :D The lake is my favourite part too. It's inspired by a story I heard as a kid about a real world lake near to where I grew up!

18 May, 2022 11:27

Absolutely fantastic Stormbril! Your use of text, CSS and artwork to make wonderful articles is top notch really.   Love the fact that you made those animals to fill the river with life!

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
18 May, 2022 16:36

Aw, why thank you Soul :D This one was a really fun one to make. I had a semi-working version where the different backgrounds had various parallax scroll speeds, but the whole thing was so janky it exploded the instant it wasn't viewed in the exact same resolution in which I made it xD   I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the animals! It was fun making them fit to the biomes and make things feel lively :D   Thanks for your comment!

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
18 May, 2022 17:15

This is awe-inspiring. Not only is the presentation stunning, but I really feel like this article took me on a journey down River Artazia. It's a deep dive with so many fun facts and just... wow! I am completely stunned.

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18 May, 2022 17:56

Ah, I am so happy you liked it! I'm overjoyed to hear that, it's exactly what I wanted with this article :D Makes it all worth it!   Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

18 May, 2022 22:22

I would love to figure out technology/magic to be able to go and explore the deep... Anyway let me buy 50 plushies first.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
19 May, 2022 16:24

Saaaaaaaame, it'd be incredible to be the first person in thousands of years to visit and see those ancient ruins once more.   Thanks for the comment! :D

19 May, 2022 07:05

Incredible article. I wish I had more to say but it's such a good article I'm kind of lost for words xD (I am obsessed with those cute animals ^-^)

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19 May, 2022 16:25

Thank you so much <3 :D   (I'm so glad to hear that, I had a lot of fun drawing them and writing them xD)

Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
19 May, 2022 17:24

I was clicking on the skeleton and Pilostra to see if they did anything as I read, lol! The layers were great and then I realized I was scrolling down off the mountain into the river and then the depths and popped out in the meandering section of the river. Nice!

The path to New Pavlohra is open! Ride along by reading my Treasured Companion article.   Share your world, submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
20 May, 2022 18:21

That big skeleton is Avartarian! :D Your comment makes me want to add a hover/tooltip effect to the pictures to help people who are unfamiliar with the world, haha. Perhaps I might do so if I figure something out that works nicely!   Thank you for reading, I'm glad to enjoyed it :)

Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
21 May, 2022 05:09

Yeah, I only get snippets of worlds because I rarely get time to read a world fully. And that could help hook brand new readers too.

The path to New Pavlohra is open! Ride along by reading my Treasured Companion article.   Share your world, submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
21 May, 2022 05:12

I re-read the first paragraph and I still am not sure I would have put that together without you saying something. It seems obvious now but I didn't get the hint.

The path to New Pavlohra is open! Ride along by reading my Treasured Companion article.   Share your world, submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
Sage Tris
Tris (necromancertris)
22 May, 2022 22:52

I love the new cheer-babies. For such a terrifying world, you sure know how to make damn cute animals :D Not just the Pilostras! The derpy fishes deserve a plushy too, that's a missed opportunity there, Mr. Artazian Tour Guide!

24 May, 2022 20:14

Yay! So happy to hear that!   I think every world needs adorable and cute critters -- even dark scary ones! I love the contrast that gets created by them, and plus it gives the opportunity for adorable yet terrifying creatures >:D   Mr. Artazian Tour Guide has taken your suggestion to heart, and is currently in contact with Port City Manufacturing companies to secure a load of prototype fishy plushies!   Thank you for reading and commenting, Tris :D

25 May, 2022 23:56

I demand FISH PLUSHIES.   I actually think my favourite part of the article was that you mentioned a lot of ecological concerns, like the invasive mudstelle, and the chopping down of trees, and the waste being dumped in the river. Having watched a bunch of nature documentaries lately, this felt a lot like that.   And of course, the animals <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
26 May, 2022 19:36

I need to start up some sorta plushy business!   Yay! The ecological issues and concerns are of great importance to me, so I wanted to touch on them, even in small ways, throughout this article. Cathedris is absolutely in a place where all those concerns are beginning to turn to true dangers, and it's nice to use that as a way to talk about the things we see in real life.   Thank you so much :D

26 May, 2022 16:32

Such a lovely river. I love the name Cradle of ice and all the ecological bits and pieces throughout the article.   I did spot a couple of issues, so I'm posting them here in context so that you can find them:   In this section, I'm pretty sure the "the" in the link can go:

some point to the similar the Teneran Deep as an explanation
  In here, you are missing a space:
Through limited exploration thelake bottom
  As per if there is anything I'd like to know more about... I definitely want to know how the Mudstelle ended up in the lake. What sort of overseas experiment led to their escape?

26 May, 2022 19:44

Thank you so much!   And thank you even more for pointing those things out -- I am so bad for missing double words and things like that. I'm adding them to my list to 100% fix as I go for another editing pass through this :)   Expanding more upon the Mudstelle was something I absolutely wanted to do, but had to cut due to word limit... Essentially, the basic idea I had is that they were intentionally introduced to this environment without any consideration of the consequences. The misguided hope might have been that they'd make for entertaining sport fishing, and therefor reduce strain on the Mirrorhead Trout, but their population had such an explosive growth that it had the opposite effect.

27 May, 2022 22:07

It's amazing how every article of yours is a true piece of art. It literally flows so well as we read down the Artazia river, absolutely love it! I'm very curious about the ruins too. Something that may be older than even the gods? That's intriguing.

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29 May, 2022 19:02

Thank you so much! I had so much fun emulating the rivers flow in both words and visuals :D I'm glad the ruins are intriguing too -- I find the really really ancient history of Cathedris is super fun to play with, making vague mysteries and stuff

28 May, 2022 10:16

What is there left to say? Simply great work. You lead us through the entire river's life, its aspects and how it relates to the lands around, all in a single neat flow that makes it easy to read and fits the whole theme. The quotes add a nice bit of life to the article and I always find it great how you create a contrast between the terrifying vastness of Cathedris and smth as small and cute as the Pilsotras. Mentioning that your art and style are simple amazing, well, great is basically your standard :D

29 May, 2022 19:03

Thank you so much, Dark! You flatter me!   I love adding cute things to a terrifying world -- the contrast between the adorable and the terrible makes both of them either cuter or scarier, I hope xD   Thanks for reading and commenting :D

Starfarer Theta
28 May, 2022 19:58

The presentation alone makes this an outstanding article! There is so much information about this river too. I liked the mysterious ruins the most.

29 May, 2022 19:05

Why thank you! I wished I couldve packed in even more info, but alas, I ran out of word cap space, and I think by then it'd be TOO large for comfortable reading haha.   I'm glad you liked the ruins! Thanks for reading and commenting :D

Sage EmilyArmstrong
Emily Armstrong
29 May, 2022 03:44

Wow! Absolutely stunning article, as always! Just so inspiring. The ruins in the abyss are so intriguing, I want to know what's down there! As everyone else has said, the pilostras are the sweetest lil things and the need for a plush is strong! <3 Seriously, the biggest kudos on this article. Breathtaking!

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29 May, 2022 19:06

Ah! Thank you so much!! I love hearing how everyone enjoyed the Pilostras so much haha, I'm gonna need to learn how to sew and make a plushy version of one eventually xD   I'm glad you enjoyed this, thank you again!

30 May, 2022 16:14

Some fantastic work once again. You really seem to up your game each challenge in the way you do your layout! Loved the link between the text and the image in the background. That city on the bottom of the lake sounds so mysterious, would love to explore that (if safe) :p

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31 May, 2022 15:38

Why thank you, Kefke! I'm so glad to hear that -- I love trying to get wild with these challenge entries. Eventually I'll need to do a "reset" and not add any extra stuff xD   I'm so glad you liked it, though! I'd absolutely love to explore that underwater city too :o

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
1 Jun, 2022 10:57

I love the way you describe the flow of the river. There are word and sentence structure choices in there that really help paint a picture of the thing and make it feel like an active, mov presence in the story.   I was also totally in love with—and totally grossed out by—the Mudstelle. Their story of their infestation was great stuff.

1 Jun, 2022 21:55

Thanks so much, Chris! I love rivers and geography in general, it was a joy to try and make this place feel alive. Glad you liked the Mudstelle too :D Thanks for reading and commenting!

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
5 Jun, 2022 08:10

I like how you formatted this like a journey, taking us down the river as we read!

5 Jun, 2022 18:56

Thanks, Time! Rivers felt just perfect for this style of article, it was really fun to write

19 Jul, 2022 23:48

That's the thing about you, Stormbril...your writing is superb--and then you have epic theming to make it all slap readers in the face to take notice.   Always so much fun to visit your world.   Brilliant work. Just brilliant.

Storyteller, Cartoonist,..pretty awesome friend =)
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20 Jul, 2022 16:27

Ah shucks, thank you Jamie! Warms my heart and fills me with creative energy reading things like that :')

20 Jul, 2022 17:13

So deserved, buddy.

Storyteller, Cartoonist,..pretty awesome friend =)
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5 Mar, 2023 16:42

I have almost no words to describe how good this article was. The design, the information, the details, everything was amazing. You did such a great job. I love it.

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.
6 Mar, 2023 01:40

Oh wow, that is super high praise! Thank you so much Lilliana :D

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