The Cradle at the Green River
Located between the Amber Ocean in the east and the Quiet Sea in the west lies the territory of the Kingdom of Ivendarea. In the language of the native Nyr "Ivendarea" means as much as "the cradle at the green river", which couldn't be more accurate to describe the country's heartlands. The massive Green River, called "Iven" by the natives, springs from the central massive mountain range, the Skyreach Mountains. Creating a large region of fertile valleys, plains, and lakeland along its length, the river is not only metaphorically considered Ivendarea's lifeblood. Both a sub-continent and an independent nation, Ivendarea can be separated into two main parts: the mainland, a huge peninsula covering around 85% of the nation's surface, and a large jagged island off its west coast by the name of Maan Garth, "the gods' garden". Surrounded by stormy waters on three sides and fairly isolated from the other continents, Ivendarea doesn't immediately seem like the most desirable location to settle down in. The country's rich, wild, and oftentimes dangerous flora and fauna, its great range of different climate zones, and largely untamed nature seeping with magic make it a secret jewel hidden away behind deadly currents and unpredictable weather. In its cold north a sheer impenetrable ice desert forms a natural border to its only direct neighboring nation, the just as isolated Darthonis. Today Ivendarea is not only the home to its native inhabitants, the Nyr, but has also become the chosen home of many Aapha of Darthonis, the marginalized Kitu, and many Assadin that left their home continent Atrana over the course of the last few centuries in search of a better life.
The Skyreach MountainsIn the central portion of the mainland of Ivendarea lie the Skyreach Mountains. In the language of the natives, Nyrval, they are called "Sylaristrea" . This word is best translated as "reaching for the skies" and actually describes the action of a person stretching themself so far to be as tall as possible, hands reaching towards the sky. It's a gesture that couldn't be more fitting to use to illustrate the massif's enormous dimensions when standing right in front of it, and it is most likely the origin of the mountains' name. The massive mountain range stretches along almost the entirety of the country's length, dividing its main peninsula almost in half. To the east of the mountains lies a thin, steep strip of land dominated by forests, a few lakes, and little villages that specialize in mining, hunting, or fishing and are mostly inhabited by Assadin. One of the largest settlements on the mountains' eastern slopes is the town Stendell, famous for its blacksmiths, and sitting right at the Ashen Lake, a nowadays inactive volcano that serves as a reservoir of fresh water fed by the surrounding glaciers. To the west of the Skyreach Mountains lie the valleys that give Ivendarea its name. The Green River springs at the western slopes, providing the farmlands beneath with fresh water and creating fertile ground as far as the eye can see. Towards the south the mountains become broad and shallow, eventually transitioning into rocky flats with increasingly more thickly growing jungles and treacherous marshlands. Ivendarea's oldest settlement is located slightly to the east of the Skyreach Mountains' northernmost peaks: the old capital city Canwyl, birthplace of the kingdom of Ivendarea.
The Green RiverName-giving to the country, the "Iven" - or Green River - is seen as the land's lifeblood. It is supposedly carries a particularly potent magical essence or energy in its waters that some claim is a reason for the Nyr's long lifespan. Taking a bath in the river is said to increase one's life for a year, and at its shores grows an abundance of alchemically potent plants that have been used in herbal medicine for millennia. Springing from the Skyreach Mountains, near the capital city Saratheas, the river eventually splits into several large arms that form a gigantic river delta issuing into the Quiet Sea.
The Quiet SeaThe Quiet Sea (in Nyrval called "Naluar Serveetha") lies to the west of Ivendarea. It is a predominantly cold, stormy ocean, with waters so dark and clear that its surface can appear almost like a mirror on the rare days it's calm. Not much about the sea's nature seems quiet, apart from its icy temperature, and in fact its name is not in reference to its temperament. Many ships have sunk in its storms, disappearing from this world without a trace in treacherous currents. "Naluar Serveetha" can both mean "quiet sea" or "sea of secrets". Part of the Quiet Sea, located between the mainland and the island Maan Garth, lies the Thorn Strait ("Candarnas", literally the "thorny depths"). Millennia before Ivendarea became a united nation this portion of the Quiet Sea used to be the caldera of a huge volcano that is now dormant. There is still some volcanic activity in the area, accompanied by underwater earthquakes, but the true danger of the Thorn Strait is a huge and far-spread cluster of sharp, spike-like rocks that linger just below the water surface, ready to tear into the hull of an inexperienced sailor's ship.
The Amber OceanAt Ivendarea's eastern shores lies the Amber Ocean. It has a calmer temperament than the Quiet Sea, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous. On the relatively warm shores all sorts of underwater creatures feel at home, both friendly and deadly. The steep and porous cliffs make landing with a bigger ship nigh impossible, which is why merchants usually decide to take a detour around the southern cape of Ivendarea to anchor at one of the main harbours in the west. The Amber Ocean has its name from the way the colours of rising and setting sun reflected in its waters in combination with many colourful sandbars winding along its coast create a unique spectacle of nature. The differently coloured sands found in the region range from black volcanic types to warm reds, yellows, and white quartz-sand. During dusk and dawn the sandbars only just covered by the golden waters can have the appearance of the strangely shaped insects or plants that can sometimes be found conserved in amber.
Maan GarthWhile Ivendarea's fauna and landscape is already wild and beautiful, Maan Garth takes its uniqueness to new extremes. The tremendously rugged island features the country's steepest and highest cliff-sides, several active volcanoes, marshes and jungles resembling labyrinths, and creatures so distinctly different, they could have come from another plane of existence altogether. Not without reason the island is therefore called "Garden of the Gods" or "Thorn Island". Just like the rest of the nation it is overflowing with magic. The torn landscape makes the construction of roads and towns a major challenge, and so the majority of the inhabitants of the island live in the gigantic capital of Maan Garth, the harbour city Panthil. It sits on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Maan Garth and Thorn Strait, and on a clear day it is possible to see the coastline of the mainland on the horizon from its highest districts. Maan Garth's name-giving trademark are steep, thorn-like stone formations. Overgrown with mosses, grass, or even trees these rocks are the home to shepherds and tiny settlements far above the ragged valleys, winding rivers, and many hundred fjords. In opposition to the chalky western shores of the main peninsula it is notable that the beaches of Maan Garth are completely black, a hint at the strong volcanic activity in the area.
Flora & Fauna
Predatory AnimalsMany of Ivendarea's predatory animals are of a reptile nature: from small venomous snakes, quadrupedal lizards the size of mountain lions, to a variety of dragons found both on mountaintops and deep at the bottom of the seas, anything can be found. There is a smaller range of non-reptile predators as well, but they are less commonly seen as their scaled brothers.
Prey and Domesticated AnimalsEven Ivendarea's more docile creatures often have something threatening about their appearance, for example the massive Giant Goat most commonly found on Maan Garth. With twisted spiky horns and muscular bodies they almost dare their natural predators to approach them carelessly, as they will definitely know how to defend themselves. Amphibians such as the large Arcane Axolotl as well as a variety of felines are popular pets and often found in the heraldry of old families. Unheard of in most other nations is the Silk Spider. It feels at home in the more humid south and produces a strong silk-like material for its webs. The webs are harvested and turned into some of the finest garments found across the globe.
Wild PlantsIvendarea is sprawling with herbs, spices, and flowers used in alchemy, medicine, and cooking. Some are common, others rare or even under strict protection due to being close to extinction, such as the Riverroot. A large range of climate zones also brings forth a colourful abundance of trees and other larger plants, from fir trees almost as tall as castles in the far north, to winding jungle shrubbery, thick vines and bamboo-like plants in the west and south. The Veerali, a subgroup of Nyr at home along Ivendarea's humid southern coast, cultivate a special type of tree that can be magically manipulated to grow into the shape of anything imaginable - in the Veerali's case in particular housing for their people.
Cultivated PlantsThe vast majority of the Nyr live as vegetarians, as do many Kitu, so the cultivation of farmland is essential for their survival. Fields of grains and different breeds of rice are a common sight, as well as vegetables such as beets, potatoes, and cabbages, to name a few. In Ivendarea's warmer regions there is also plantations of fruit trees and tea, spices, as well as lacquer trees. The region around the town Fandyl is known for its production of honey, fitting called the Honeyfields, where almost all-around the year the meadows are covered in flowers and the buzzing of insects. Furthermore, Ivendarea's forests and jungles also provide edible fruits, berries, mushrooms, roots, and vegetables that are eagerly gathered and part of a variety of popular traditional dishes.
Foreign Flora and FaunaWhen the Assadin came to Ivendarea to settle down, some brought animals from their home-nations to the new continent along with them, but few actually seemed to be able to adapt to the living conditions of Ivendarea. Certain canines, snakes, and a few brands of farm animals though feel at home in the more moderate areas of the land. Similarly, seeds, plants, and animals from other continents and nations occasionally find their way to Ivendarea aboard of ships as accidental stowaways. Thankfully so far no species introduced to Ivendarea from a foreign place seems to be harmful to the isolated nations nature and creatures - quite the opposite, it seems that Ivendarea's creatures are actually more hostile towards other nations's ecology and habitat. Therefore checks at the harbours have become more strict over time - to prevent alive flora and fauna not only from entering but also from leaving the subcontinent.
The Kingdom of Ivendarea
Seat of Government
Leoros (Saratheas, Title: King of Ivendarea)
Panmorn (Panthil, Title: Iovana)
Nyrval, Trade Official Currency
Neril Alternative Name
The Cradle at the Green River
Subcontinental Landmass and Political Territory
Ecosystem Dense mixed woodlands, rivers, lakes, jungles, and marshes, valleys, small and bigger islands, steep cliff-sides, glaciers, volcanoes Distinguishing Features Unique flora and fauna that developed independently from other continents
Wide range of climate zones through large north-south length but comparably small east-west width
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