Takawaoku Geographic Location in Istralar | World Anvil


Hostile though the environment may be, you cannot deny the beauty of it.
— awed traveller
  Takawaoku, the Southern Continent of Istralar, is a battlescarred continent that claims its title as southernmost continent only by rite of Kudara's obscurity. It is a largely hot continent, with its position and geography priming it to unique weather conditions resulting in its multitiude of deserts and rainforests. A lush green belt surrounds its inner sea, the Sea of Souls, providing fertile terrain for the continent's many inhabitants to flourish in and war over.  
Jungles of Merahilani by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Nestled close to the Sea of Souls are the countries of Nahazan, Ahtiraq, Keselam, Tevairai, Osori, and jewel of the south, Shiar. Irezut and Areshket claim the savannahs and deserts of the northwest, whilst Kirinui, Merahilani, and Rhaead claim the verdant rainforests of the northeast. Tzoltekan is the only nation to dwell in the volcanic wastes of Xotlan, with Mijhel having an uncontested stake over the southeastern deserts and Bharaduz nestling into the southeastern mountains and their peninsula.   The southwest is the least populated area of Takawaoku. Few would lay claim to the Scalded Plateau; the land falls mostly into Sareshan's territory out of a lack of desire to manage the rough canyons and plateaus that hold strange life and stranger magic. Fyore live a lonely existence directly south of the Starsear, often shunned for their strange magics and isolated ways.   Of course, none live in the Starsear itself. The land is ruined, and the Incarnadine are a threat none wish to bring upon themselves.
  Many natives of Takawaoku swear no allegiance to any given country, choosing nomadic ways in tune with the movements of the weather. Kirinui and Merahilani both support these tribes immensely; the latter is in fact ruled by an open council of elders. These drifting tribes often spend the summers in the rainforests under their shade, and migrate elsewhere as the heat subsides to find rare resources only they know of.


Cerulean seas and jutting igneous rock; flourishing green forest and desolate desert expanse. Truly, we have a world of our own!
— citizen of Kirinui on Takawaoku
  Takawaoku is unique in the sheer variance of its terrain, shaped by the extremity of its climate, the savagery of the storms that brew within and around it, and the lingering fallout of the long-past Divine Wars. The temperatures across the continent are some of the highest found across all of Istralar, even in the winter months, and the high temperatures have certainly aided the wild geography found throughout the continent.   The Irkalla Desert stretches across the northwestern reaches of Takawaoku, bordered by the Jitounoc Range - oft-snowless mountains that jut up and block the Irkalla from receiving the rain that falls on the Devil's Spears and the accompanying humid rainforests of Kirinui, Merahilani, and all else in Takawaoku's east up to the jagged igneous walls of Xotlan's border mountains.  
To the south of the Jitounocs lies the Sea of Souls, the inner sea that serves as the continent's heart. It provides lush vegetation to the valleys and plains throughout Shiar, Nahazan, Ahtiraq. and even Rhaead, and its tributary rivers contribute to life throughout the entirety of Takawaoku.   The rainfall and flourishing vegetation is a blessing to many of these communities, but somewhat a curse to those living in Irezut - the region's terrain, south of the Jitounocs but west of the Inner Sea, is far more unstable.   When it rains, the land is awash in mud and erosion; when droughts hit, it becomes cracked and dry. Communities there largely stick to the unstable coastline or the swamp areas where vegetation is more dense, or construct immense underground civilisations where the rock can be considered more reliable.   This shift in terrain is geologically recent and magically caused; prior to wars with Areshket and Shiar, the area was reasonably inhabitable as an expansive and well-vegetated plains region.
Takawaokan Waters by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
  The continent's southern reaches are its most dangerous areas. South of desperate Osori is the magic-twisted Starsear, a forbidden land that none can enter without being twisted into one of the Incarnadine. Its terrain is wild and battlescarred, even milennia after the events that originally ruined it, and its horrors occasionally leave its borders to lay waste to all they can before some intrepid group of heroes can stop them.  
Devil's Spears in Kirinui by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
East, beyond the mountains that border the Starsear, lies yet more inhospitable terrain in the Scalded Plateau, an ancient dissected plateau run through by deep canyons, rivers, and expansive cavern systems that extend far into the neighbouring Majhula Desert.   Only beyond the boundaries set by yet more jutting mountains and earthen formations do more stable, agrarian-friendly areas appear in Takawaoku's south; the foothills around Fyore and the Dhoroktan Peninsula on which Bharaduz was built are both examples of this.   Smaller islands do surround many areas of Takawaoku, often not considered important enough to mention on maps. Notably, the Thousand Tears of Hope off the coast of Merahilani are comprised of countless smaller islands flush with their own vegetation and life, with many tribes claiming individual islands as their own homes.


  • Takawaoku
    The continent of Takawaoku shelters its people under thick rainforests and around the life-giving waters of the Sea of Souls, ever resisting the Starsear's burning touch.
The Starsear by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Our continent wears her scars well. They suit her!
— local

Localised Phenomena

Prior to the First Divine War, our continent flourished... it was still a wild place, it would have always been, but it was the interference of gods and magic that caused such dark corruptions across our lands. It's a miracle our gods were able to protect our ancestors. They should never have needed to.
Xotlan's Cry by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
As with all of Istralar's continents, Takawaoku is battlescarred. The Rage of the Sunari often storms down from the distant Sunari Wilderness that sprawls across southern Xin-Jiyu to wreak havoc across the continent, the Starsear spreads its scarlet corruption across the continent's southern reaches, and strange magical emanations from the Sea of Souls are not uncommon.   In more mundane phenomena, the entire continent is notably surrounded by more geological instability than most other areas of Istralar, something researchers attribute potentially to undersea activity or to ripple effects from the mysterious Kudara.   Whilst the continent is not nearly so wrecked by magic as Iskaldhal, it is not unheard of for the continent to experience its own incidents. Currently, the entire continent is under threat by Gaia's Lament, the most severe and impactful phenomenon that the continent has experienced in centuries - and perhaps even millennia. The Lament prevents all planar travel in and around the continent, including that of demigods, champions, and even the souls of the dead - these either linger, or vanish in a strange black mist.   The work of the Lost Ones has uncovered this phenomenon to be linked to both the Shard known as the Earth-Mother's Gift and to one of Takawaoku's own avatars, meaning that these trapped souls are, in fact, absorbed into the Shard - and are forever lost.   If it was teleportation alone that was blocked, the Lament would be less of a problem. Unfortunately, it has greater effects: it disables all magical production of food and drink, and seems to lay some level of enchantment over those affected as no individual on Takawaoku is able to comprehend when the Lament began. It is hoped that the Champions, having been assisted onto the continent by means of leyline travel, will finally end the Lament and free the continent from its grasp.
Sunari's Rage by Hanhula (via Midjourney)

Cover image: Takawaoku cover by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


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Oct 21, 2023 11:44 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is a masterclass in how to write a continent article. :D Sounds like a harsh but beautiful place to live.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Nov 6, 2023 18:17

Really vivid description of the continent and great article design. Really loved reading it.

Sit down, my friend, and let me tell you of Aran'sha . A world where the sands shift and the stars sing, where the wind carries secrets and the twin moons keep silent vigil over it all.