Vóreios

The Northern Continent

Written by Shiftrex

Vóreios is the northern continent of the world.   This land is considered the birthplace of the Elder Races and the one that has seen the most in terms of advancement in both social structure and magical ability due to a long history of activity. It saw the least amount of devastation from the Eldritch War and boasts a variety of climates, peoples, and wildlife. To the south is a long belt of islands called the Zóni, beyond the islands is the southern continent of Nótios and off the western coast are the Fire Islands. The very northern areas of Vóreios are covered in ice and rumors say that you can see the end of the world from that location with powerful magic on a clear day. Struggles between races are mostly limited to the conflict between civilized races and monstrous races. The Eldritch War where the balance of numbers shifted drastically to be a more even playing field between civilization and monster population, making the world a highly dangerous place for travelers regardless of their intent or purpose.  
Vóreios  

Geography

Elven Forest

One of four great forests on Vóreios. A vast forest that expands to the west of Lake Idryl, it covers thousands of miles and varies in elevation. This is the ancient homeland of the Elves, their birthplace by divine right and a land that they will never forsake. Here vast magic dwells in the land, the plants, and the animals that live here. It is said that races of few years can find their lives extended and their health improved by living on even the edges of the kingdom. This is the most hospitable of lands if you have a guide or if you have been born into it. Even when covered in snow there is a flower of the land that blooms and a bird that fills the air with song. Trees reach up into the sky and some provide a better view of the moon and stars than the most finely crafted telescope because of the intense magic flowing through their root systems. There are parts of the Elven Forest that predate all known history and have some of the most concentrated magic on Vóreios.   The climate here is warm and good for growing any kind of plant, the soil's fertility would suggest it is volcanic but no proof has ever been found that an eruption took place anywhere nearby. Summers are long, winters are mild and the weather seems to be at peace in this land. The elevation towards the northern part of the forest borders the Neither Tundra and supports mountain wildlife and plants but it tapers off to only a thousand feet above sea level in the southern and western portions of the forest. Travelers often find it hard to navigate the forest because of its great expanse but the residents of the area are friendly. The Elven Forest expands west to the edge of the continent and Teeth of the North in most areas though there are a few spots where calm waves fall upon tranquil shores. The southern border meets with that of the Fairy King's Wood, the distinguishing landmark being the river Feyline.   The greatest landmark of the Elven Forest is the tree that grows at the center, a vast giant like the world has never seen. It houses a great source of magic and knowledge known as the Unending Scroll. This titanic tree is thought to be singular in nature and provides a view from the western coast to the mountain range of the Great Furnaces. The exact height of it is not a well-known fact nor is the true age of the tree as it is thought to be the oldest plant on the continent.  

Fairy King's Wood

A vast forest that is known for wild magic and creatures that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The homeland of Fairies and a place blessed by the Ancient Fey that is found south of the Elven Forest, a border that is marked by the river Feyline and the other notable river that runs through this country is called the Wilderrun which cuts through the eastern portion of the woods according to current maps. These woods extend south to the coast, east towards the Great Plains and west towards what is now known as the Deadzone. These woods are the homeland of the Fairy race, closely related to Elves but with a different heritage tying them to the Ancient Fey.   More than any other place in the world, this one could be called a place that is removed from logic. You can quite easily stumble into what scholars call the Feywild just by walking under the wrong waterfall or moving through the gnarled opening of a hollowed-out tree trunk. While exciting this is also dangerous and is why travelers are advised to stick to paths, roads, and never just explore without the help of a guide. A mortal without fey blood that finds themselves in the Feywild may never find their way back, even if that was their goal it is a dangerous place that enacts erratic and unexplainable changes on the physiology of mortals.   This area is home to plants and animals that defy logic, some seem to follow the rules of emotions and untold magical power rather than the established rules of logic and spell that exist in the rest of the world. The forest can feel older than it is in a way that is suffocating to all but the Fairies themselves, to them it is home and few things in the woods actually feel threatened by them. Even Rangers are scarce in these woods, they are not a tame place in the slightest, to contrast to the Elven Forest the difference is between that of a Dryad and a Nymph. One is a danger to some but the other can suddenly kill any that are unfortunate.  

Fire Islands

The Fire Islands denote a cluster of six prominent landmasses that rise out of the ocean arrayed like stones around a single volcanic peak that boasts constant activity. During the night, fire can be seen spitting from the central island without ceasing as a constant stream of black smoke rolls forth but a full eruption has not been witnessed for a hundred years. These are the ancestral lands of the Tieflings, once counted among the lineage of the Elder Races their bloodlines have been tainted by the influences of darker cosmic beings. The Tiefling race has often been feared by others, considered to be servants of demons if not the reincarnation of evil themselves which has led to the Islands falling into seclusion for large spans of history. These Islands are overgrown with rich jungles, crumbling shells of dormant volcanos, and would largely appear to be deserted if viewed from the spyglass of a passing ship or if explored by an inexperienced adventurer. This couldn't be farther from the truth, vast cities lie hidden within the natural geography, and intruders are warded off by the use of an enchanted mist that flows continually from the Jungle. This mist causes some to lose their way, others to lose their will and a few even lose their minds completely with an affliction that sailors have come to call the Drizzle.   The climate here is tropical, warm, and prone to heavy rainfall or storms that roll in quickly from the ocean. Weather changes quickly but a heavy mist hangs about the jungle itself, on cool days it will trail off nearly half a mile onto the water itself making navigation closer to the islands dangerous. When the sun is shining brightly the mist will retreat to hang about the trees and give the shadows of the jungle an ominous air, walking into the mist immediately drops the temperature by a noticeable margin. The elevation of the outer islands trends just above sea level, with the old husks of dormant volcanos reaching a thousand feet at their highest. The central Island is the exception with rocky terrain, cliffs, jagged rocks that jut up all around in the waters nearby. The active volcano on the central island can be considered a true mountain, reaching four thousand feet into the sky with a fiery crater that is never devoid of life.   From a distance the Fire Islands seem exotic, inviting, and lack the menacing traits that folklore associates with them. Those who have spent time providing passage or delivering trade to the Islands have a different opinion. They identify the Fire Islands as being a farce, inviting on the surface but full of ancient secrets and old magic that would be best left forgotten. It should be noted that scholars have difficulty providing facts to substantiate these claims because the Fire Islands are a very closed society, not often allowing visitors to their domain. Scrying magic has also proven ineffective, though not to any identified spell but for some sort of natural barrier that has yet to be identified.  

Giant Steps Three

Fin, Fang and Foom. Three large bodies of land that appear to be completely made of ice, off the northwestern coast of the continent. These islands are a mystery to most of the world as they are inhabited only by the race of Giants and outsiders from the civilized races are not welcome. Scholars from the continent have not set foot on the islands for several thousand years and they are protected from farsight and scrying magic which is believed to originate from the Kingdom of Giants that resides in the north as the rumors say that the capital for that kingdom lies on one of the islands. The most current information that scholars can provide about this area originate some ten thousand years ago and paint a picture of a barren and bleak environment that rebuffed the efforts of any plant life and most animals. Records state that giant whales and monstrosities would surface from the depths of the sea were once rumored to move about the icy waters that surround these islands.   In the past, these Islands were inhabited by a great kingdom of Dwarves that had roamed far and studied much of the world to include geography, magic, and the peoples that inhabited Isekai. Many folk tales associated with the area tell of great treasures of the now vanquished kingdom, texts and treasures and magical items the likes of which have not been seen for thousands of years. There are still songs among the Kingdom ruled by Maximus Thunderbeard III that tell of a day when the giants will be driven from the land and the Dwarves shall enter into their own ancestral Kingdom once more.  

Goliath's Cradle

The Goliath's Cradle is a piece of land with very high elevation. While the land is green, trees are sparse and hardy for the highland winters. This area has a southern border with the Great Plains and the Timbers of the Furnace, a western border against the inlet called the Broken Tooth, an eastern border that touches the shore of the continent and a long western border that reaches into the Neither Tundra. The land and water here are cold and clear, warm days are few except in the southernmost areas that sport miles of meadows and grass that you would expect from the highlands. Travel in this area is harsh during the fall and winter months because of the cold rains and frequent snow that intensifies as you move farther north. The main river that comes through this land brings icy water from the Neither Tundra and is called the Snowrun because it is cold enough to give the bare hands or feet of travelers frostbite as early as the end of Fall's Noon.   The hills of this area roll, the main inhabitants would call them gentle and small but travelers note that they are large enough to lose themselves in. This is the native land of Goliaths, a strong and large people that have vast lands dedicated to raising horses. There is little magic in these lands but where it is present it gushes from the earth in small pockets known as Arcane Geysers, places where magical energy will erupt from the ground and often manifest as light that reaches miles into the sky. Because of this they are sites of religious significance to to Druids and Shaman and places of intellectual significance to traveling scholars and Wizards. The sparks and other materials that spring forth from deep underground are said to be tied to ancient leylines within the land, without a plant or significant thing to fuel in this area they simply erupt when they build up enough pressure. The substances that erupt from this are said to create powerful potions and forging dust that is exported from the land along with horses and various metals.   Travelers have commented that the majority of this land appears to be hills of barren, tough grass and pastures that extend as far as the eye can see. You can travel for days without seeing another soul because Goliaths have dedicated large areas to ranch land, holy land around geysers, and in general, they prefer to take up residence in the higher, colder areas of the Cradle. Roads are extremely well kept in this land, being laid deep with large stones often bigger than the travelers that walk on them and sprinkled with magical dust from the geysers that illuminate them at night with a soft glow that intensifies with the phases of the moon.  

Great Furnaces

The Timbers of the Furnace rest on and almost completely dominate a mountain range called the Great Furnaces. The Great Furnaces are a highly populated and industrialized area underneath the surface of the ground, they are the native lands of the Dwarven Kingdom that extend below the surface of the earth. While the mountains hold the old, spooky woods on their surface they tuck away vast cities, precious metals and gems underneath and have numerous exits that the woodcutters have made in their efforts to tame the forest while harvesting the wood. The southern half of the mountain range is called the Anvil and is considered to be the best place in the world for harvesting metals, both enchanted and mundane while the northern half of the mountain range is called the Hammer and boasts the rarest metal in the world, Adamantite in addition to a number of precious gems.   These mountains are not the tallest on the continent but they are often heavy with snow during the winter with some peaks never fully losing their snow caps during the summer months. The highest points in this area reach into what is known as the "Frost Point," a point in elevation where water freezes on contact with the air instantly and travel becomes dangerous without the proper gear because the temperature mimics that of northern areas in the Goliath's Cradle. It is on these few peaks alone that you can find respite from the Timbers of the Furnace because even they cannot grow on these solitary spikes of stone that reach up to the sky. Nestled up between these peaks there are rumors of places that the forest does not wish you to see and may be why the trees hold so much magic and aggression towards those that walk on two legs.   Below the mountains you will find vast caverns, cities and mines. Both Dwarves and Drow can be found under these peaks and the entrances to deeper lands still that they keep locked away from the surface for fear of unspeakable horrors touching the world of the surface. The Great Furnaces serve as a gateway to a vast, underground network that is uncharted and the exact size of it is unknown. Even the great mines of the Dwarves and the hunting grounds of the Drow do not take up the entire expanse of the caverns, underground lakes and maze-like tunnels that wind ever deeper into the ground. This mountain range holds the eastern outlet for the Great Tunnel.  

Great Plains

The Great Plains are home to the Human Empire, Dinosaurs and a strange type of grass that can range in height from six feet tall to well over sixty feet. The plains have a northern border against the Goliath's Cradle, they extend west to Lake Idryl and the forests that belong to Elves and Fairies. They reach south to the Little Greenwood and east to the foot of the mountain range of the Great Furnaces. Here the climate is warm and dry, the growing months are long but there is little in the way of lakes or ponds because the two rivers that cut through the land have created vast canyons with their passage called the Sulphur and the Saltpeter. Water here generally wells up from the ground and in some areas you can find geysers that bring boiling water up from the depths of the continent. The land here is mostly flat and if viewed from above then there seems to be little deviance in elevation, few hills and even fewer dips but this is not the case. Hidden from view by a special strain of grass the land can dip far down and hide entire roads, towns and castles beneath the innocent front of the grasslands.   Dinosaurs roam free here, pushing out most other wildlife. Out on the flat lands where the grass is only six feet tall you can find a variety of creatures to include Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Velociraptors, even Allosaurus and Ankylosaurus. These animals are commonplace here both predator and prey are considered normal sights in the Human Empire. While they are dangerous to the common traveler they can be used as mounts and pack animals in this region to great effect and have been for several years. In the Depths, where the ground dives down but the grass grows so tall that you cannot tell, many more types of prehistoric monsters can be found alive and naturally thriving. Tyrannosaurus and Brontosaurus are among just a few of the giant types of dinosaur that live in these areas. Something about the climate has allowed these creatures to not just persist but to be the dominant type of animal that lives in the Great Plains though they seldom roam beyond the borders of this area. The edges of the grasslands act as a natural barrier that the animals seem content to respect, even domesticated Dinosaurs that are left to their own devices will naturally return to this area.   The climate is warm and dry on the flatlands but with a wind that brings heavy thunderstorms from the mountains on occasion. Because of these storms, the Depths can retain natural pools of water for the large creatures that live there and become quite humid throughout the winter months. The summer is long here and while ice and snow can be seen during the winter months it can only be found on the flatlands, if you venture into the Depths you will be met with a breath of undying and humid heat that scholars have not quite explained yet. For an unknown reason, the grass is so hardy in the Great Plains that it cannot become brittle, even frozen it continues to bend in the wind and grow as if it doesn't notice the cold. Fire is a great concern for this area though and the residents of it will take great care against a grassland fire ever starting, it can be devastating and nearly impossible to contain though the Depths appear to be much more resilient to prolonged fires than the flatlands.  

Great Tunnel

Great Tunnel
Great Tunnel Entrance in the Spine of Kallex by Landscape via Artbreeder, created by RiverFang
The Great Tunnel is an enormous, subterranean structure that is considered by most to be the edge of the Underdark. It is a cavern that spans thousands of miles, meandering in a mostly straight line from East to West as it connects the Dwarven Kingdom and the Elven Kingdom by traveling under the Great Plains and the Spine of Kallex. Most of the entrances and pathways into this tunnel are known because of their usefulness to trade routes that can choose to move under the ground instead of skirting miles and miles of changing terrain. This structure is thought to be natural but some believe it to have been made by Earth Elementals that have since moved farther underground because of the traffic from the surface dwellers. The Great Tunnel is also the main connecting point for all three of the Underdark provinces that reside beneath the Northern Continent, some view this as a boon while others view it as a strategic area to defend against.   The climate of the Great Tunnel is stable, it is the only region that is considered part of the Underdark that is not subject to constant change and shifting. While the entirety of the Underdark is subject to opening, closing, and complete changing of caverns and passageways from sudden and natural shifts of Isekai, the Great Tunnel is completely unchanging from a natural perspective. The temperature is moderate, about 60 degrees which is considered normal for an underground area. It will often have natural drafts that indicate when you are nearing an opening that leads to the surface, this helps the air to circulate so that it doesn't become muggy. The ground is incredibly rocky, it had to be smoothed manually by hard labor and the passage of thousands of travelers over the years otherwise it would be as jagged and sharps as the ceiling and walls. The width of the tunnel is enough to allow the passage of ten wagons, side by side, and the height is enough that the jagged spikes of stone still fall fifty feet short of actually touching the ground.   Despite being close to the surface, the Great Tunnel is still considered an extension of the Underdark. Because of this, travel can still be dangerous if you are moving in a small enough group. While more of the fantastical horrors will not venture this close to the world of sunlight and the open sky, a number of mundane creatures will skulk near passages that lead deeper into the earth. They will take advantage of lone travelers or campsites of larger caravans that employ lax guards. There are areas of the Great Tunnel that support Stone Giant tribes, while reclusive they are not an uncommon sight for those that have traveled the tunnel for any amount of time.  

Lake Idryl

A lake that is roughly in the center of the landmass, sporting the purest water on the Northern Continent. It spans over a hundred miles in diameter and the shallow regions are considered a wonderful area to fish or visit. Despite the apparent beauty the shallow areas only extend a mile into the lake and then the bottom dips down into darkness. The farther towards the center of the lake that a person sails the deeper and darker the water gets, even those using scrying magic have found that it is impossible to see or confirm the depths. Many of the local people in the area have come to believe that there is no bottom to it at all and that the darker waters serve as a home to creatures that land-dwellers would rather leave to the edge of nightmares.   Few people are brave enough to sail across the expanse of the lake despite it being a major landmark that separates the Great Plains from the Elven Forest. Among even those none will dare to sail across the depths at night. There are many myths associated with what will happen and the number of stories with credibility is low. Aside from the general unease about the depths, the shallows are known to have some of the most plentiful fishing even when compared to coastal areas. The yields support nearby towns and act as a source of trade for the various peoples that make their home near the lake.   Water flows into this lake from the northern rivers and then flows out into the other Veins of the North, supplying the land with clean water year-round. Despite spring runoff or an increased flow to the rivers across the land, Lake Idryl itself never seems to rise more than a foot and in times of drought or hot summers, it never falls more than a foot. It is a constant within the land that sustains a lush, green area.    

Little Greenwood

A stretch of woods that is found just south of the Great Plains. It takes up an expanse that reaches westward towards the Fairy King's Wood and east to the shores, it touches the feet of the Great Furnaces and the eastern coast of the continent. The greatest feature of this area is the long expanse of the southern shore, there is no place with more gentle seawater nor more famous ports. This is Halfling land, they run the trade along the shore and take up residence in the Little Greenwood which gets the name from the height of everything in the area. While you would expect trees to be several stories tall that is not the case here, the highest a tree will ever grow is two stories but what they lack in height they make up for in stoutness.   Everything in this area appears to have stunted growth or rather it is the perfect height for smaller races. It is a happy, cheery wood with an abundance of plant and animal life. The soil is rich for growing and the winters are mild here, the climate encourages both crops and natural plant life to flourish without fear of winter's bite. Strangely enough, even plants that are brought to this region from a different area seem to exhibit the 'shortness' that everything here does. Instead of growing wider, a plant will just grow thicker and stouter, which creates some interesting variations of plant life. Crops to include fruits and vegetables are sought after from this region due to their abundance, heartiness, and high nutritional value.   The elevation is low, just above sea level in many places despite reaching to the foot of two mountain ranges. The lush, green forests and wide fields are well watered by two of the Veins of the North, the Fiddle, which ends on the southern coast, and the Bow ends on the eastern coast. The air is rich in this area, full of nutrients, and is said to have restorative properties for the elderly and the infirm. There are few natural predators in this land, for one reason or another they just cannot be found in abundance. This is a peaceful and plentiful region that has long been known as a safe haven for all races and peoples to visit. The only property the land has that can be acknowledged as outright magical and powerful in the eyes of scholars is that destructive magic is especially hard to manipulate and control in this area while healing magic is quite powerful.  

Moorlands

The Moorlands are vast expanses of swamp just off the southwestern shore of Lake Idryl, once they were part of the Great Plains but long ago they were twisted to the will of a powerful Black Dragon and remain changed forever. Nizlek was a cunning and arrogant Dragon that declared the lands at the foot of the Spine of Kallex to be his own and conducted a ritual that turned them to mire and bog. This territory became cursed due to his growing power as a sorcerer and he established a stronghold for himself, welcoming the Orcs when they were an impressionable and young race on the world of Isekai and teaching them to show reverence to his power. These lands are full of clay, sinking mud, standing water, bogs, gas geysers of both boiling water and deadly gases that cause the soil around to fall into a state of decay and rot. The land is inhospitable to most agriculture and trees have a hard time growing in parts of the environment but the ground itself is a wealth of natural building materials. The clay and mud are abundant and can easily be shaped and fired into crude bricks or blocks that make an effective foundation or sturdy walls that can stand against most conventional attacks.   The climate of this area is muggy, warm, and putrid with long summer months that only see a brief respite from short and bitter winters. During the winter the ground freezes and becomes brittle, geysers are the only source of natural warmth or protection from cold winds that come down from the mountains. The bogs and quicksand pits give off a treacherous sense of security, showing a solid and frozen layer on top that is easily shattered with the footsteps of all but the lightest of humanoid creatures. No matter what time of year it is, the Moorlands are a desolate and dangerous place to travel considering both the geography and the numerous Orc tribes that call it home. The Moorlands expand east towards Lake Idryl and the Wilderrun river which separates it from the Great Plains. They expand south and west towards the Spine of Kallex and their northern border is the Feyline river that separates them from the Elven Forest.   The greatest point of interest in the Moorlands and its most dangerous region is the abandoned nest of Nizlek the Black. His nest is found at the center of the region, it is said to be one of the few natural swamps that were in the area thousands of years ago. This place is piled high with blackened bones of creatures that are unrecognizable to most, some draconic, others from dinosaurs, and most of them twisted or melted indicating some heinous torture or demise. Few venture here, even the Orcs have strict laws that only allow their holy or chosen few to venture here despite the vast amount of wealth and magic that still haunts the area. Seldom do Dragon hordes pass into obscurity but the truly great wield fear after the death of their departed, some enough to prevent theft by even the most foolhardy of thieves.  

Mystic Jungle (Deadzone)

Before the conclusion of the Eldritch War this area was known as the Mystic Jungle and is referred to by that name by many Elves and Fairies from older generations. It is a vast desert where no water, no plant, and no animal life can be found. The name Deadzone refers to one of any number of areas where an Eldritch Titan entered this world and caused irreparable damage to the land that rid it of magical energy and the ability to sustain life. This Deadzone expands thousands of miles and covers the southern peninsula of the continent, making it a vast desert of ashen sand that can support no life. The temperature in this area fluctuates heavily from arid to seemingly that of a volcano at times and is treated as cursed ground by all animal life. Nothing willingly enters this area from the animal kingdom and few things make their home around the northern edge of it.   The touchdown site for the Deadzone is said to be the southernmost tip of the continent and is a place that trade ships give a wide berth to as they pass for fear of being cursed by the area. Though a great stone shrine stands at this point, as evidence of the creature's sealing, there is little in the way of concrete information as to what the site contains.   Those that attempt to travel here are often met with hardship and things that reject the idea of life and death itself. At the height of its glory, the Mystic Jungle was home to a variety of creatures to include Sphinxes and naga. What is left of those creatures is the cursed and twisted forms of the undead that were created from the conflict or found themselves able to take root and hide in the aftermath.  

Neither Tundra

Thousands of miles along the northern edge of the continent are covered in deep snow and ice. The further north one travels the more inhospitable the climate will become and the less likely life is to be supported. Regardless of the time of year the ice caps will not melt or see any change in temperature unless a storm takes the land to force it into a colder plunge. Myths associated with the area say that the high altitude and northern position are only part of the problem and that the area has been forced into this state by ancient magic that predates the history of even the Elder Races.   Water in this area does not flow unless it is far beneath the ice and there is no natural plant life near the northern coast. Many assume that the coast does not extend as far as it is shown on the maps and it constantly gathering ice has made the Neither Tundra's landmass grow over the years. Only the southernmost portions of the Neither Tundra can host naturally occurring plant and animal life, the harsh environment dictates nearly impossible travel after the first hundred miles into the Neither Tundra for the unprepared adventurer.   Those wishing to see the vast sea on the northern coast are seldom heard from again, if the harsh environment does not cause them to succumb then the vast Kingdom of Giants that live hidden under the ice will seal their foolish travels into untold history.  

Spine of Kallex

The longest mountain range in the world that extends from the northeastern shores of the Neither Tundra, through the Elven Forest, the Fairy King's Wood and down to the southern shore where it passes through the Little Greenwood. This is a vast mountain range that sports the highest peaks in the world, some are snow-capped during the entire year and reach so high into the sky that they touch a point in elevation known as the "Frost Point" where water instantly freezes on contact with the air. These mountains are inhabited by a great variety of people both above and below the ground because of how many thousands of miles that they cover and the kingdoms that they cross. The most notable creatures that make their homes in these mountains is the Council of Metallic Dragons that reside in the northernmost portion of the mountains where the range splits to create a valley that is known worldwide as the "Metallic Council" with a concentration of ancient Dragons from the most powerful lineages of Adamantine, Brass, Bronze, Cobalt, Copper, Gold, Iron, Mercury, Mithril, Orium, Silver and Steel marking it as a dangerous area for any creature on earth to tread.   This mountain range is pierced by large valleys that make way for Veins of the North: Eye of Kallex, Shattered Ice, Feyline and the Wilderrun. The terrain, climate and life that is supported by this mountain range is incredibly diverse as it is a part of two major forests and touches both coastlines making it a physical divide and a challenge for those concerned with long range trade across the expanse, save for the Fairy Kingdom. It has three main temperate zones that are Arctic, Forest and Coastal.   Below the mountains you will find vast caverns, cities and mines. Both Dwarves and Drow can be found under these peaks and the entrances to deeper lands still that they keep locked away from the surface for fear of unspeakable horrors touching the world of the surface. The Spine of Kallex serves as a gateway to a vast, underground network that is uncharted and the exact size of it is unknown. Even the great mines of the Dwarves and the hunting grounds of the Drow do not take up the entire expanse of the caverns, underground lakes and maze-like tunnels that wind ever deeper into the ground. Below the surface This mountain range holds the western outlet for the Great Tunnel.  

Teeth of the North

Much of the coastal area on the Northern Continent is marked by jagged cliffs, jutting rocks, and harsh waves. Much of the eastern and western shore is unusable as a trade front because of the sheer climb of hundreds of feet that present an obstacle for anyone wishing to make landfall. There are small places where the cliffs dip and taper that can be used but they are few and far between, even along the southern edge of the Fairy King's Wood there are many cliffs. These cliffs are not present along the hundreds of miles where the Little Greenwood reaches the southern shore. This terrain is inhospitable to anyone wanting to make a home by the coast and act as a natural barrier for many kingdoms that makes assailing them from the sea a resource-heavy undertaking.   While many have attempted to create dwellings in these cliffs the geography often proves too unstable or difficult to manage for most folk. Though at populated junctions makeshift ports or stops for smaller vessels have been constructed that involve pulley systems, suspended platforms, and in some cases magical transportation. While more inviting this is no less treacherous for the ships that reside near the cliffs, the waves are unpredictable and may expose a labyrinth of rocks and spikes where there was deep seawater a moment ago or the waves may see fit to smash a small vessel into unrecognizable splinters against the cliffside itself.  

Timbers of the Furnace

A stifling forest that sits on the east coast of the continent that is bordered on the west by the Great Plains, the north by the Goliath's Cradle and the south by the Little Greenwood. These woods are uninhabited by any notable civilization but they are known for having strong, thick trees with a unique property. The wood used from these trees is especially dense, having the ability to burn hotter and longer than coal and this makes them perfect for use during the winter and for the forge. The trees here grow close together and they cover every inch of the mountain range, the Great Furnaces, these tall evergreens leave little room for trails of any kind because of how fast they grow. Despite being felled, cut, and used for thousands of years the forest is no smaller than it has ever been in the memories of the woodcutters. In fact there are legends that suggest if the Dwarves of the Great Furnaces ever stopped cutting as much as they did that the forest would attempt to expand and reclaim the land for it's own, choking out other plants and animals.   The climate in this area is cold, the air is thin and anything that can be found here must be able to deal with a frosty climate nearly year-round. Even the mosses and fungi that grow on the sides of the trees appear to have a natural resistance to the cold. Plantlife here is hardy and the few animals that can make their homes in these woods do so by being just as resilient to the cold, the only true summer months that this forest sees are the Morning and Noon of Summer.   Often on the outskirts of this area, you can hear the falling of an axe or the sawing of a blade. It is a friendly, warm sound that can be quickly replaced by a deafening silence. If there is no sound made by the woodcutter or the traveler, that silence looms in from all around and makes it feel like the forest wishes for you to leave. It is an unfriendly and cold forest with dark shadows and cheerless skies. In some areas, the light of a noon sun is completely blocked out and you can find ice underfoot even in the summer months. Creatures move silently here, stalking about in the small space that the trees allow them to have but travelers must stick to known paths. Wandering from the old Dwarven roads is not advised, though it cannot be proven, but stories are told that the trees themselves will lead you astray and move about seeking to strand you and block you from safe paths. For those that walk on two legs, there is no welcome in these woods.  

Veins of the North

The Veins of the North is a name commonly given to the large rivers that are spread out over the Northern Continent. These act as critical supplies of water to much of the land and have become natural borderline for countries, races, and politics. In most cases, these rivers have a powerful flow, bringing cold water from the north or from Lake Idryl, this water is a constant and is seldom affected even in times of drought for other areas. The waters are clear, fast, and wide with the smallest rivers in this classification still being over fifty feet wide and in many cases, they have carved canyons or grand valleys into the landscape because of their constant flow.   Each river has distinct properties tied to its area that make it more suited to the geography with a naming convention decided by the predominant race of the area that it flows through, the rivers in this classification are True Ice, Eye of Kallex, Shattered Ice, Mystic Flow, Wilderrun, Feyline, Gweyr, Snowrun, Sulphur, Saltpeter, Fiddle, and Bow.   Despite any hardships or conflicts that occur between the peoples of the world, the veins have stood as a testament to the strength of the world to preserve. They have never been known to run dry nor have they ever been affected by droughts or long dry seasons. They are also remarkably resilient to magic and the tampering thereof, this phenomenon has fallen out of discussion circles as a topic of interest but it is often a consideration that travelers must understand when they attempt to circumnavigate the rivers.  

Zóni

The Zóni is a large belt of islands that serves to be a natural barrier to separate the Northern Continent from the Southern Continent. There are eight islands in this belt ranging in size with the smallest being fifty miles across while the largest is comparable in size to the Elven Forest and is large enough in size to be considered a continent on its own. The island belt as a whole has diverse environments that include forests, jungles, mountains, deserts, and plains though most islands only support one type of biome each.   The islands are usually typically identified from west to east, starting with the largest:   Ullindar: A large Island that is populated primarily by Dragonborn and sports three large rivers that flow from a high, mountain city called the Fearsome Maw.   Visk: Home to a large mountain called Ainspur that is said to be a hollowed-out fortress that has never been overcome.   Nuul: A lush, green Island that is covered in ruins, many of which depict the earliest mention of the Warforged species.   Eth: Currently a Deadzone.   Timil: A tropical, jungle island that is primarily populated by Tabaxi. This island is known for its exports of exotic spices and linens.   Shyv: An island that is home to a variety of young Metallic Dragons that have only, recently hatched. This is considered a nesting ground for Metallic Dragons of all kinds and a safe haven for their young. Here, territory disputes are outlawed by the Council of Metallic Dragons and Dragons may live out their first few years in peace before seeking out new territory of their own.   And then the three smallest Islands are identified as the Emerald Cluster, this is thought to stem from the large presence of Dwarves in their population. These Dwarves do not consider themselves to be part of the larger Dwarven Kingdom from the Northern Continent. They are known as shipwrights and supply the mainland with great vessels that seldom sink in battle or during dangerous storms.


Cover image: Voreios Cover by Landscape via Artbreeder, created by RiverFang

Comments

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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Dec, 2020 15:44

This is so detailed. I love that you've dedicated different sections to the areas of geography that are most important. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
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