An Introduction to Etrea

A world primer

It is the 28th of Terminus in the year 5346 of the Enervant Age. Around the world, a new year is about to be welcomed as dawn breaks on the final day.   The Enervant Age began with a catastrophic event known as the Renewal. The memories of its sapient inhabitants were wiped, leaving them only with snatches and dreams of what came before. The world itself was stripped bare and create anew. Some remnants of before can still be found scattered across Etrea, with no clues as to how they survived the purge. No one knows what caused this event, or if it could one day happen again.   Etrea is a planet in the Celestial Spiral, a solar system of ten distinct planets. It is understood to be the fourth planet from the sun, and is the only known celestial body to contain and support life. Although travel to the stars is a long way off, people around Etrea look up at the night sky and wonder.

An Overview of Sapient Beings

  It is generally accepted by scholars that the sapient beings in Etrea descended from a single, ancient species. Thousands of years of evolution, however, have separated these beings into four distinct species. Whilst the following is a rather simplistic overview of each of these - in practice, each species is actually split into multiple species - these four categories are broadly utilised in scientific and academic circles.    


Humans are the most prolific and widespread of the sapient species in Etrea. They are a diverse people, with myriad cultures and values.   Some humans live in large cities made of stone, some in smaller towns or villages, whereas others travel as part of nomadic tribes or spend their whole lives at sea.   Humans have very little magic compared to their numbers. It is estimated that less than five percent of the population has some kind of magical talent.
Starlight Shrimp placeholder.png
Starlight Shrimp placeholder.png


Shapeshifters are humanoids that have the ability to transform into a second form. Whilst being able to shift into another mammal is the most common transformation, there are also a variety of avian shifters and some rare cases of reptilian ones.   Shifters tend to group together in tribes. These are most often comprised of those who shift into the same animal.   Some tribes, however, are formed of multiple animal types. There are also several mountain cities built by an alliance of avian shifters.


Like shapeshifters, dragons are humanoids that can transform their bodies into a second form. There are a variety of dragon species, each with their own unique features, but in general their second form is reptilian and about eight feet in length. They believe they are much diminished compared to the ancient dragons they believe once walked Etrea.   Dragons tend to stick to their own kind and, in some places, have completely cut themselves off from others. However, in other places, some dragon clans have integrated with humans, and are a visible presence in their society.   Dragons are the most magical of the sapient species of Etrea, with almost a hundred percent of their population displaying some kind of magical talent.
Starlight Shrimp placeholder.png
Starlight Shrimp placeholder.png


Merfolk are humanoids that spend all of - or the majority of - their lives in the water. This is a broad category, and many merfolk separate themselves further into different species.   Many merfolk have a mixture of humanoid and ichthyoid features. Commonly, what would be legs are replaced by a long, powerful tail. The diversity of merfolk speciess, however, makes it difficult to describe what a "typical" merfolk would look like. In the far north, for example, exists a species of polar merfolk the size of whales.   Merfolk generally keep to their own kind, though this is often due to the logistics of living in or under the water than any isolationist tendencies.

The Continents



The continent of Aenica is the largest on Etrea and, as such, it boasts a large diversity of inhabitants and biomes. In the mountains, avian shapeshifters have created proud cities and human hill-tribes dwell in large networks of caves. Whilst the dryest desert in Etrea holds untold secrets, the humid jungles hide a history soaked in blood, and the swamps dance with mysterious lights.  


Also known as the Fractured Continent, Caia is made up of several distinct landmasses. A large mountain range snakes across the continent. The climate varies wildly between the extreme north, where the land is frozen almost year round, and the extreme south, which is hot and dry where it crosses the equator. The waters in the north are littered with islands, giving rise to a large variety of both isolated and seafaring cultures.


South of the equator, Oyekos is a war-torn continent split into two by a large mountain range. Once made up of many countries, the land to the north is slowly becoming swallowed by the ceaseless maw of the Hutsai Empire. North of the mountains, the land is made up of sandy desert, endless plains, and lush jungle. South of the mountains, the country of Koye is characterised by rolling moors.  


Sarsand is a rocky, wet continent, where it is more likely to be raining than not. Fifteen years ago, the power of steam was discovered in the country of Dryst. This country is currently in the middle of an industrial expansion which is slowly spreading out to the rest of Sarsand.  

The Jasperic Isles

A tropical archipelago, the Jasperic Isles is a region with diverse flora, fauna, and cultures. Whilst some islands have come together and formed alliances, others remain isolated from the rest of Etrea. There are also several underwater nations of merfolk who call the islands home.  


The majority of the continent of Viretia is warm and tropical, though towards the south the climate becomes temperate and colder. Beyond the southern mountains, the country of Fluvansii struggles with particularly harsh winters.  

The Frozen North

The majority of The Frozen North consists of a gigantic chunk of floating ice known as The Expanse. Thick columns of ice, some miles wide, reach down to the sea floor, rooting it in place. The columns and underside of The Expanse are coated with bioluminescent algae, giving off an eerie blue glow.   A volcanic island chain seethes under a layer of ice and snow.  

The Barren

The Barren is a cold land of rock and ice. Contrary to its name, there is life here if one knows where to look.
Under The Expanse.jpg

Cover image: by FelixMittermeier


Author's Notes

Welcome to Etrea!   Etrea has been part of my life in various forms since I was about twelve/thirteen years old, starting with half a trilogy that will never see the light of day. It means a lot to me that I finally am able to share this world with others instead of keeping it all inside my head! :)

Please Login in order to comment!
Grandmaster KajetanWrites
Kajetan Krakowiak-Świątnicki
1 Feb, 2021 23:14

Love the placeholder shrimp :)

Check out the world of Veneficia
Feel free to check out my Shipwright Challenge entry
1 Feb, 2021 23:38

Thank you! I love them too, haha. :)

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
6 Feb, 2021 18:29


Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
2 Feb, 2021 01:57

Yes please! I haven't read everything in Etrea so this is really appreciated.   I love the only recorded age being casually called "The Etrean Age." It just seems a bit silly to me for some reason, not that it's bad or anything.   Anyway. Such a cool article. Gotta love the shrimp and the image of dragons shifting between human and dragon form gives me Fablehave vibes and I love it.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
2 Feb, 2021 02:07

Hahaha, you're right. I keep thinking about changing it but I haven't come up with anything better yet. ^^;   Thanks so much! <3

2 Feb, 2021 04:18

I'm liking the style of this world. Well done!

2 Feb, 2021 13:01

Thank you! :D <3

2 Feb, 2021 04:27

I adore the layout and design of this article and it presents a very good overview of what to expect while reading the setting. It will be very exciting watching all the shrimps disappear, especially when it comes to the various different planes of existence.   I also really, really want to know more about the fact that there may be ORCA MERFOLK SIGN ME UP.

Author of Ravare.
2 Feb, 2021 13:43

Thank you! :D Lots of art to make!   And yes, orca merfolk are definitely a thing. ^^

2 Feb, 2021 08:58

See this is what I was trying to go for with mine, Clean, clear, well laid out, and highly entertaining. Wonderful.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
2 Feb, 2021 13:43

Thank you! I've been meaning to redo this for a while so I'm happy it worked. :D

2 Feb, 2021 13:00

I really love how you have formatted this article - it makes the entire thing so easy to read and it all flows so nicely. It sounds so interesting and I am fascinated by this renewal, as it was an aspect of your setting I had no idea about! Usually gods tend to go for a much more heavy handed reset (i.e murder), so the mind-wipe approach is so full of interesting possibility to me!   Awesome stuff as always, Emy :D

2 Feb, 2021 13:45

Thank you, Q! :D I'm looking forward to writing more about everything! :D

2 Feb, 2021 13:02

It's great to get an overview of your world! I also really enjoyed the theme song as I read the article.

2 Feb, 2021 13:44

Thank you! I'm so pleased with the theme song <3

3 Feb, 2021 06:03

Primers! ❤️   Nice and concise. It was relatively easy to read. Primers tend to be girthy and not that interesting. More of an info dump than anything else.   I'd say this is a valiant and good attempt at a primer. If I can get through it, it's fine. ;)   I really liked the bioluminescent ice continent. That's just awesome.   I admit my eyes glazed over a bit with the different planes. Not only is it a trigger for my inherent DnD dislike, but you stated that people don't actually know anything about the planes, so they feel like it was unnecessary to add them to the primer. But I am likely just missing how they are important to the world, in spite of not being known to its people.   Thumbs up from me, on the whole!

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
3 Feb, 2021 12:55

Thank you! :D   I wanted to include the planes in the primer so that people wouldn't be blindsided if I write articles about them, and also because they're connected to mythology. I get where you're coming from, though. :)

3 Feb, 2021 12:53

PLACEHOLDER SHRIMPS! I love this new format, and I'm so excited to discover about all these places!!

Author of Interarcanum.
3 Feb, 2021 12:55

YES, SHRIMPS. Thank you so much! <3

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
4 Feb, 2021 01:31

This is a fabulous overview. Paints such a clear picture of the world, and it does so with an economy of words that's admirable. That's a skill I'd love to master.   Oh, and I also love the placeholder shrimp.

Don’t miss The Antagonist, my entry for The Shipwright’s Challenge!
4 Feb, 2021 01:42

Thank you so much! <3

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
5 Feb, 2021 06:31

Your introduction article is so nice! It is easy to read and has a very clean layout.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
5 Feb, 2021 12:56

Thank you so much! <3

Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
5 Feb, 2021 12:10

This is a really beautiful article, excellent written and set-out. I'm always astonished by how multifaceted this world is. Every time I feel like I've learned so much about the world, I remember how vast, complex and almost unknowable it is. This article really portrays that.

Cait x
5 Feb, 2021 12:56

Thanks! It makes me excited to know just how much more I have to create. :D

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
6 Feb, 2021 18:39

I love this primer and I need so much to improve the one for Phaldorya! It generally very good but I especially was impressed with the theme, it's awesome!!! I agree on Jacob to change the Etrean age that feels a bit weak, but the rest is simply very well done!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
6 Feb, 2021 23:43

Thanks very much, Luca!! Yep, I agree with you both. ^_^

Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
7 Feb, 2021 10:32

I suppose it is a very little defect in such a cool world!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
15 May, 2021 01:44

The polished version is even better than the previous one! I sort of miss the part about planes, but I understand that it isn't gone only moved :-) I like the new name for the era, much better!

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
15 May, 2021 16:29

Thanks, Luca! <3

11 Feb, 2021 11:09

Ah I love this article! It's taken me a while to get round to reading it - apologies for that - but it's such a wonderfully written and concise article. It makes me want to dive deep into so many different parts of your world now! And all those planes! This definitely feels like such a well thought-out world and it's so inspiring to see. One day I hope I can have a world that feels equally as solid and real!

11 Feb, 2021 11:16

Awww, thank you so much, AP. <3

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 May, 2021 15:16

Loving th e new look. Oooo those buttons are awesome! It's an excellent introduction as well. I learned even more about Etrea, despite having read a bit. Awesome work.

13 May, 2021 17:13

Thank you, Dylon! :D <3

25 May, 2021 08:31

I've been meaning to give this a read since at least WorldEmber - finally got around to it and was well worth it. I've not been the best at actually reading the works of other Anvilites, but Etrea is definitely a world I'll be taking a deeper look into.   This is an absolutely brilliant article, by the way, extremely well put together, provides just enough info to tempt readers to look further - I had to resist the urge to click on links to things at least half a dozen times, and that's not counting the number of bold terms that still lack the article to switch to if I had the option. Lovely, evocative music to accompany it, as well.

25 May, 2021 15:01

Awww, thank you so much! Yes, lots of articles still to write but I'm very excited about them! <3

Sage Spectral42
Spectral 42
16 Jun, 2021 00:48

This article is put together really well!

Live long Dream big
16 Jun, 2021 15:22

Aw thank you! :D <3

Powered by World Anvil