Snyre Geographic Location in Excilior | World Anvil


Gateway to the Ontorlands

nyre is the colloquial name given to the frequent sinkholes that develop on nearly all of Excilior's landmasses.

As the default entrances to the Ontorlands, snyres often acquire mystical significance. They are revered because they provide access to an underworld that many civilizations have come to see as magical.
Underworld Portals
Conversely, they have stricken terror in numerous casterway societies. That terror is both illogical and practical. The illogical stems from all the traditional fears that humans attach to "the dark" or "the underworld". The practical stems from the fact that creatures can-and-do use the snyres as a practical vantage point from which they can attack humans as prey.
Swallowing Villages
A practical fear comes from the simple fact that snyres have essentially "eaten" casterway developments. Snyres range from something as small as a pothole, to a gaping maw capable of swallowing a full-grown canopeia tree in its prime. Numerous legends speak of evil men, invading armies, and even entire villages that were completely consumed by the sudden appearance of a snyre.
Snyres also bring an overt association with the Noctern peoples. Nocterns are universally feared and reviled throughout all surface-dwelling casterway cultures. As simplistic thinking goes: The snyres provide transportation to-and-from the Ontorlands. The Nocterns reside in those Ontorlands. Therefore, if there were no snyres, there would never be any reason to deal with the Nocterns.


nyres can develop anywhere that features heavy rainfall and a predominance of limestone under the soil. These two, simple conditions can be found over most of Excilior. A myriad of underground streams constantly eat away at the soft limestone deposits and, ultimately, they compromise the ground's integrity. That fault leads to a cave-in that can be as narrow as half a meter, or as wide as 100+ meters.
Given that underground currents foster so many of the snyres, it's common for the resulting crater to provide at least some manner of access to the Ontorlands. Snyres that connect to the subterranean cavern system are commonly known as angry snyres. However, this is not a given. There are many scenarios where a newly-formed snyre provides no easy access to the greater cave system. They are simply craters. These standalone pits are often referred to as lonely snyres.

Fauna & Flora

nyres can foster a great deal of plant and animal life. If the crater is an angry snyre, the fauna ranging out of its maw can be both plentiful and frightening. Humans are frequently hunted by creatures that reside in the Ontorlands, but range out of the snyres at night to find new prey. This hunting process almost always entails the creature dragging its prey (human or otherwise) down below, where it will suffer a languishing death in the darkness before ultimately being consumed.
Epic flocks of subterranean birds use the angry snyres as a transit point. They fly from the Ontorlands below, out through the snyres, and across the broader landscape to hunt or gather food. These flocks have been known to take hours to transit the snyres and they can completely blacken the skies. Once they've had their fill, they return down through the snyres to their subterranean dens where they will feed their young and sleep.
Mosses & Fungi
Angry snyres provide a portal to the luminescent mosses and fungi that are so prevalent throughout the Ontorlands. For this reason, an angry snyre will often have a soft glow that is too faint to be seen in broad daylight, but can cast an eerie light through the forest at night. This is why some travelers prefer to traverse the forests at night - because they are less likely to fall into a dangerous snyre where they will surely break limbs and find themselves as prey.
Lonely snyres can also foster their own ecological systems. Certain mosses and ferns only thrive in the cooler, darker, damper, and quieter confines that are typically found within the walls of a lonely snyre. Although lonely snyres do not connect to any greater cave system, this should not be taken to mean that lonely snyres are diminutive. A lonely snyre can create a crater that is up to 30 meters deep. Those craters will often serve as water collection points, ultimately creating their own miniature lakes. These lakes are known as "snyre lochs".

Natural Resources

nyres can serve as great access points for natural resources. First, for those who actually want to access the Ontorlands, the snyres are an obvious portal. This includes those people aiming to hunt the underworld's fauna, mine its gems and ores, harvest its flora, or exploit its tunnels. Even if Ontorlands access is not desired, the mouth of snyre is a unique habitat that can sometimes yield resources that are not easily accessed in other environments.
Alternative Name(s)
Crater / Crater Lake / Caldera


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