"Setting sail from Ashu to Elur, I couldn't help but think of Euria as the entire world. It's so big, it would take more than a lifetime to visit every city and every land. After taking on supplies in Elur we departed south, weaving deftly past the Tepi Islands and then onto the open ocean on a course that would take us around the Ujil Archipelago, the farthest eastern reach of the land I had always called home.
It wasn't until I looked back and saw the land fade into the horizon that it dawned on me how small Euria really is. A vast, frightening ocean lays ahead of us, and on the other side awaits and even vaster, unknown land." - From the journal of Äkwo, Assistant Eurian Consul, en route to the Imean continent.
Situated in the northwestern hemisphere of Cradle, Euria and the Eku subcontinent have a land area roughly the size of Europe - approximately 10.2 million square kilometers. For recorded history, aside from various southern island chains, Euria has been the center of human civilization.
In general the western part of Euria is hilly as it rises up to the Er Usuo Mountains, while the eastern portion to the south of the mountains descends into the large Itohore Plain along the southern and eastern coasts. The Er Usou Mountains are volcanically active, and geothermal heating plays a part in helping to keep the southern part of the continent a little warmer. The mountains also hold sizable Torchstone deposits. To the north of the Er Usuo Mountains lies an enormous highland occupying 13% of Euria's land area. This highland has been shaped dramatically by ice, rapid warming, and subsequent glacial melt, resulting in massive plateaus separated by deep valleys. To the east just north of the mountains the region is punctuated by a vast badland, carved by torrential rains and ice melt.
In the long distant past, the Ushu sea between the two landmasses was completely landlocked. Rising and falling sea levels case it to fluctuate in size. The same holds true for the land bridge between Euria and Eku; there are written records of when only a series of islands existed between the two.
The Eku subcontinent is dominated by plains and rolling hills, with a large central desert in the shadow of the Xunulusho Mountains. The desert steadily grows, in large part due to extensive deposits of Firestone - the largest known in the world.
Fauna & Flora
Most top predators and herbivores on Euria - at least those not driven to near extinction in the civilized regions - are megafauna, adapted for the succession or cooling and warming periods. These include analogs to dire wolves, sabretooth cats, Irish elk, wooly mammoth, bison, and others. Some notable species include long horses, a large creature somewhat like a cross between a horse and a giraffe that is used in south eastern Euria as a beast of burden; and bear apes, a large primate native to the northwestern temperate rainforest. The routine colder climes have also led to a number of aquatic megafauna, particularly marine mammals - some of which dwarf their Earth counterparts.
South of the Er Usou Mountains was once covered almost entirely by forest, but in the wake of human civilization has pushed much of that back to only a handful of sizable coniferous and broadleaf forests. The north has traditionally been a mix of taiga and tundra along the western plain, with steppes, scrub, mixed grasslands and tundra prevalent along the plateaus where it is not too cold.
The Eku subcontinent is a mix of grasslands and deciduous forest on the central plain, giving way to savannah and drier scrub toward the desert. The west coast is dominated by hilly grassland and scrub forest - it one of the few regions where grapes, several types of nuts and other crops flourish. The west coast is the breadbasket of Eku.
Euria is rich in a wide variety of resources, although a number of them are concentrated in very narrow geographical areas.
Called the Feuzos Dwa
(literally Bad Land) by the native Emyei, this stretch of broken terrain on the eastern end of the northern highland plateaus hosts salt deposits, as well as quartzsite, gypsum, potash, limestone, and sandstone. Copper deposits are scattered throughout the region, as well as smaller exposed Torchstone deposits closer to the mountains.
The vast plateaus of Nguiláng are home to vast potential natural resources, including alpine forests and other woodlands in its innumerable canyons and mineral resources such copper, gold, lead and zinc. Precious gemstones are likewise concentrated in regions nearest the mountains.
Er Usuo Mountains
The Er Usuo Mountains are volcanically active, and throughout have large deposits of gold, silver, copper, platinum,iron, and other metals, as well as mineral resources and gems. Additionally, there are substantial Torchstone deposits, although smaller than those found in Eku and not as easily accessible, requiring deeper mining.
Central Lowlands and Plains
The central lowlands and plains to the south and west of the Er Usuo Mountains are extremely fertile courtesy of the looming volcanic range, allowing for farming as well as grazing land for livestock and other animals. There are scattered deposits of tin, copper and light metals in the hills and highlands.
Omuu Authui Forest
The ancestral homeland of the Fayei, in the northwestern corner of Euria, is home to several valuable varieties of hardwood and other flora found nowhere else in Euria (or the known world). Lumber from the forest is used in all manner of shipbuilding and other construction, and pelts from a variety of fur-bearing animals are likewise prized. What little mineral wealth this region has is in the highlands in the northern reaches, adjacent to the plateaus and the western spur of the mountains.
The plains and grasslands of eastern Eku do not have plentiful natural resources, as they are drier than the Eurian plains to the east. However, the central Xunulusho desert has the largest, and most accessible, Torchstone deposits in the known world, as well as large salt deposits and other minerals. The Xunulusho Mountains do have deposits of iron, silver, copper, gold and other metals, as well as other mineral resources, but not nearly as rich as those of the Eurian mountain ranges.
The west coast of Eku is the empire's breadbasket, with extremely fertile soil and conditions for growing a wide variety of crops. These include fruit such as oranges, apples, grapes, and nuts; various vegetables not found in other areas such as tomatoes and corn; rice; and many others. It's forests, as well as the forests in the southern part of the subcontinent, provide much of the lumber used in Eku.