Savelan Geography Lesson in Malkora | World Anvil

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!

Savelan Geography Lesson

An introduction to the world of Malkora, from a Savelan perspective.

You Are Invited Into a Small, Dusty Library...

As you enter the dusty library, well-maintained but with ample contents left idle too long, you find a small tome — a history book, in the making. Rather, a reference book on the world beyond Arsavela. You leaf through its contents gently, the pages of the tome surprisingly brittle for a project still in the works today.  
The keeper of this space, who invited you to indulge your quest for knowledge, toils away nearby, and you hear the clinking of glass bottles and the tapping of pencils against their old wooden desk. There is no rest for the old cartographer, as he endeavors to salvage an ink-stained map you both know to be a lost cause.
Sounds of the turning of pages, parchment dragging against other sheets, and the clattering of containers fill the space as you realize this may be the most busy this library has been in quite some time.
Most of the tome yet remains blank, but you see several pieces of parchment stuffed between its pages with plans for its future contents. Headers on these notes show plans for sections dedicated to the Kingdom, to world maps and geography, and even to magic and the gods.
You flip back to the first page and notice you had unintentionally skipped over a page which does have contents of its own: a foreword, dedicated to the reader.
by Strixxline


There is great power to be found throughout this world, but so many remain blissfully unaware of the land's innate magical qualities...
  Many mysteries abound within this world of Malkora, and it has been our mission as scholars of the land to unearth them, that we may share the bounty of knowledge with our people.  
My name is Tenilon B. Duarte, former royal cartographer of Castle Amsa and Academic Advisor to the Arsaces Monarchy. Though my titles have washed away in the Kingdom's bloody changing of hands, my expertise in worldly affairs should be considered unmatched — as my position, as of yet, remains unfilled. A shame, to see Arsavela's academics begin to plummet into veils and ignorance.
The purpose of this document is to share with intrepid adventurers what lies beyond the borders of our Kingdom of Arsavela — as you will find the lands beyond to be quite different from our dear "Kingdom of Autumn." By the will of our late Queen, I will ensure that the people know what lies in the lands beyond. That they will not fear the unknown, but embrace it with love and curiosity as my students once did. As I hope you, reader, will as well.
by Strixxline

Just as you prepare to flip the page to the contents following the foreword, you hear the sound of wood scraping against the floorboards as the cartographer rises from his working desk to approach you. Placing one hand on your shoulder and the other upon the book in your hands, he bids you to set the book down gently upon the table from which you picked it up.  
"Ah, Seeker — this text isn't prepared for reading. But... I see you are interested in knowing of the world beyond our Kingdom's borders. Am I correct?" A new gleam in his eyes almost seems to catch you off guard; his expressions up until this point were rather... tired? "I thought you might be in here looking for books on Atreimus. Of course I have them, but..."
His expression sours just briefly, before brightening again, remembering the topic of your interest.
"I will tell you everything I know. The information is still all in here, you see." The cartographer points a finger to his head with a chuckle and a warm smile, then gestures to his workbench, upon which his great restoration project sits — an ink-stained map of Malkora. Breathing a sigh laced with a newly-ignited determination, he points to a clean section of the map. "Here... we start here."

Ink-Stained Map of Malkora
This map may be a ruined cartography project, but you find that it is still quite useful in getting to know at least one corner of the world — the continent of Nefyran.   Luckily for you, the poor cartographer whose work has been ruined is not too distraught to tell you at least a little bit about some of the regions and some of the places within. Just don't be too pushy.
Before you sits a map of Malkora, illustrious in its craftsmanship, but utterly ruined by a toppled bottle of ink. The culprit lingers nearby, pacing across the library's many flat surfaces with ink-stained paws.  
"We are here — The Kingdom of Arsavela." Your attention snaps back to the map as the cartographer brushes away a hastily-scrawled note and sets a finger on an area yet-unobscured by ink — the continent, Nefyran. It was not common to see such detailed maps of the lands of Arsavela, let alone maps detailing the entire continent around it. Was the world around you always so large?
"I will go through this entire map with you, if you have the time. But if any regions stick out to you, simply point them out, and I will give you a summary of them."
Turn on the Regions layer of the map above to learn more about the different lands which make up Nefyran. This map is best experienced in full-size view. Some pins will have additional reading material attached, if you find yourself interested in learning even more. If they don't — request more in the comments!

An Ever-shifting World

Lands unlike any other you've known are depicted on the map; in between the common climates you've come to know and understand are landscapes wrought from forces of which you find yourself wholly unfamiliar.  
"Our world is constantly shifting and changing, you see. The cause of this — and, I'm about to use a word you likely hear only in whispers these days — is magic." You've heard tales, as a child, of magic not of the gods, but such topics have fallen gravely out of favor with the people of Arsavela in recent years. The very mention of it could cast dread upon an entire room, as if you'd cursed all of its inhabitants.
"Power beyond the domain of even the gods, if you could believe such a thing. Indeed, there is a force of its own which pulses through the leylines of our world, carried as blood through our own veins."
"You may take that last statement rather literally, as well — that same magic may just flow through your veins. No way of knowing, quite yet." Seeing your confusion, he places his hand to his own chest, as though seeking his heartbeat.

Iskani Concepts by Polina Arteev (strixxline)
"These powers didn't simply shape our origins; they shape our futures, Seeker." The cartographer gestures once more to the map of Nefyran, circling the continent's southern reaches. "These lands were altered by magical presence, and their people changed with them."
"This is a phenomenon we have never observed, here in the Kingdom. I know not why that is, but know that we are an anomaly in this ever-shifting world."
"Humanity is so much more than we think, Seeker. We were shaped by powers more ancient than we can ever know. Children of the gods walk among us, spirits of the world live mundane lives, and hearts of arcane burn quietly, all none the wiser."

Unrest in the Kingdom of Autumn

Upon concluding your tour of the continent, you turn your curiosity back to your own homeland. Noticing this, the cartographer begins to collect stray notes and tomes for reference. "Three regions surround us here, each with their own stories to tell. And, my, have the stories only darkened with age."  
"You're old enough to remember this, but these lands were once united under the Arsaces banner. Some reading material, if you're interested..." The cartographer pulls open a nearby panel, hidden behind the shelf adjacent to his desk, to reveal a dusty book on which the cover reads, The Arsaces Family Rule. "The Hand wouldn't be too pleased to know I held on to this relic. It may be safest in your hands, if you're planning to leave the city."
Memories of your early life flash through your mind as you tentatively tuck the book into your pack. The Arsaces were kind rulers; that made it much harder to forget the carnage of the royal family's executions you witnessed but a few years ago. As though pulling the memory from your thoughts, the cartographer comments on their end, "Deposed they were — branded as heretics and culled. The Hand ensured that not a drop of royal blood saw a new dawn."
"Aurel used to be a historical gem, of artistry and academia. Now..." There is a long pause before his next words come, and you see he is trying desperately to prevent a deep despair from surfacing and ruining your discussion. "Now, they aim to dismantle the Kingdom brick by brick — mind by mind."
These articles provide further reading into the past and present rulers of the Kingdom of Arsavela.

The Gods Watch Over Us

Having lived in Arsavela your whole life, you are no stranger to faith and prayer. Faith is a plentiful resource in the Kingdom of Arsavela, as those around you have ever called to the gods for aid in dark times, and called out in thanks in times of abundance.  
"By Vosra's might, we have been lifted from an unfathomable darkness. She earned her title as the New Dawn, allowing this world to enter into a newer, brighter age. However, she is not alone in the realm of the divine, as you know." The cartographer pulls charts and diagrams from another shelf nearby and sets them on the desk before you. "You may be quite familiar, now, with another who occupies Vosra's own pantheon: Atreimus, the Purifier, favored of the Alabaster Hand. His symbols adorn their uniforms, their banners, and soon every wall of this city."
"Both are worthy of reverence, make no mistake — but there is a difference between reverence and zealotry." A bitterness washes over the cartographer's face. "Atreimus embodies strength, a core human trait which aided our escape from the Nameless Age, but it seems those who now rule this land see only this trait as valuable."
"They would have us place this god on a pedestal above all others, and they would have us forget our own historical patrons. Where is their love for Levje, the Druid, who has tended to our people for millennia? They claim that all Ascended, including the Champions of the Dawn, are weak, for its human origins." He leans in towards you to whisper, "Is the human heart not the most powerful force you've known, Seeker?"

Seek Out This World's Truth

You've just about had your fill of information, both verbal and physical — your adventurer's bag now sags with the weight of countless books and scrolls with supplemental reading, and... is that homework? Just as you prepare to disengage from the discussion, the cartographer clasps his hands together, clearly having something more pressing to say.  
"If you're truly venturing out there, into the world, please know that though I did my best to prepare you, there are unfathomable dangers to encounter. There is life in magic, but there is death in equal or greater part." He pulls one more tome from his collection, but his demeanor implies he is not preparing to hand this one off to you. "I implore you to read into our ancient history. Understand humanity's origins, the ages which came before, and the peril that the leylines may be laced with."
"Our world has sunk into Oblivion before, and has been redeemed — but this force has not left this plane." He opens the tome in his hands to a chapter on the Font of Oblivion, which you recognize as a myth of old. "How are we to know what is myth and what is history? The Hand has already done a great deal of work in muddling the two."
"Venture forth, Seeker! Secrets of this world await you." As you struggle to get your full bag onto your back comfortably, a gleam reappears in the cartographer's eye, much like the one you saw when your interest in the world beyond sparked his impromptu lesson. This time, it is laced with an unbridled excitement.
"Whatever you find out there... come back and tell me the tales of your adventures, would you?"

Born of Air by Strixxline
Many adventures await in the world of Malkora — will you stumble into them through adventuring in mysterious corners of the world, led by storytellers and game-runners? Or would you seek to take up the mantle of such a leader yourself?   Select a role below which best suits your interests! These roles may be selected or swapped from any other article using the "Want secrets?" window in the bottom left.
Seekers are our intrepid explorers, and players at the gaming table.
Take this role if you aim to play in this setting one day, and wish to keep its secrets unspoiled.
Dawnbringers bring tales of Malkora to life, leading explorers through the world and its mysteries.
Take this role if you wish to see secrets otherwise unavailable to players!

Cover image: by Strixxline


Author's Notes

8 Dec. 23
This is Malkora's first primer! It's still in progress and I'm open to feedback throughout WorldEmber!   Plans:
Set images in reactive containers for clean formatting
Create book page container to add flavor to the Foreword
Move around some article blocks, swap some out
Fill out information in articles linked in each section

Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 1, 2023 20:47 by TJ Trewin

I'd love to know what magic looks like and *feels* like :D

Journals of Yesteryear
You're invited to explore my new world!
Dec 2, 2023 23:20 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Ooh I'll keep this in mind! I'm sure I can find some scenarios in which our cartographer friend might have encountered magic on journeys away from home :D

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 2, 2023 08:41 by Annie Stein

Woo! A Malkora primer! It'll be neat seeing this come together

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 9, 2023 02:11 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I've been so excited through the whole process of setting this up! I can't wait to see what it looks like by the end of the event!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 2, 2023 12:31 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I'm looking forward to reading this as it is more filled out. :D

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 2, 2023 23:15 by Chris L

So you're basically putting a physical version of World Anvil into your world! I look forward to seeing hot it comes together!

See WorldEmber 2023 Hub for my WorldEmber progress.

Check out my challenge winning article: Ghost Boy.

Dec 2, 2023 23:19 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I've created a character in the world who can be a knowledge bank for future players! :D I like to think that he's the one writing down all of the information (articles) that adventurers bring back to him over time... hehe. I'm so excited about this process!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 8, 2023 16:44 by Rin Garnett

I love this approach to a primer, having an in-world tutorial on the setting :D

Dec 9, 2023 02:13 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! This immersive approach has brought me a lot of joy to explore, and having it be an in-world lesson means it's pretty natural if some details get missed or lost along the way. Good thing he shoved so many extra books in your pockets to read later! :D

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 9, 2023 01:41 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is coming together so well. I love the tone of someone leading you through the introduction.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 9, 2023 02:18 by Polina "Line" Arteev

eee I'm happy to hear it! I'm so stoked about this article and the whole process of setting it up! It's mostly done now, but I'm sure I'll find sections to adjust and edit throughout the month!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 31, 2023 00:56

Wonderful primer! <3

Dec 31, 2023 01:28 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! It's the article I'm most excited about in my world now!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Dec 31, 2023 04:40 by Dimitris Havlidis

I loved this article always - the new art is incredible :D

World Anvil Founder & Chief Grease Monkey
Twitter | World Anvil Changelog
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop

Dec 31, 2023 05:42 by Polina "Line" Arteev

Thank you! And finally you don't have to bully me about not having a primer for Malkora anymore bahahaha ❤ I'm so excited I got to add some fresh art to my world this WE. Here's to more next year, as well!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Jan 2, 2024 02:47 by Dimitris Havlidis

Don't see it as bullying it was more a "Forceful" remined with love :P

World Anvil Founder & Chief Grease Monkey
Twitter | World Anvil Changelog
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop

Jan 1, 2024 12:43

Whoah, this is such a fantastic primer. You had me hooked from the first to the last word and every bit in between. I absolutely love how you lead me through the article as if I was already part of the world. I'll definitely be looking back to this primer whenever I need inspiration for my own.

What do you want to discover in Computer Adventures?
Jan 16, 2024 15:58 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I'm so glad you loved it!! Thanks for the lovely words <3 I can't wait to make future additions and changes as the world evolves in the future :)

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Jan 3, 2024 23:15

I do love this POV-style introduction to your world, and the formatting makes it look very nice when it comes to layout. I do love the map addition having just an ink blot to ignore the other big continent, really helps play into the theme of this introduction!   Some additional images later down the line for each section definitely would improve the article, but overall I really love it!

Jan 16, 2024 15:59 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I would love to add more art to this article in the future! Thanks for reading, and for the wonderful feedback :)

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Jan 4, 2024 04:02 by Jared Richardson-Rushin

Fantastic primer! Really helps one get into Malkora. I love being lead by an encyclopedic character. This is a great inspiration. Also wish I had 1 iota of the artistic talent you have, the art is great, as is the map it truly helps bring Malkora to life. Can't wait to dive into more lore!

When you’re writing you’re trying to find out something which you don’t know. - James A. Baldwin

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Jan 7, 2024 20:08

This is so engaging! This may be one of, if not the best primer I have read! Stoked to read more in the future Line :D

With the gears of the mind turning everlong, see what they produce in times old and new alike! Ignotas, Where Fog Turns Into Steam
Jan 7, 2024 23:31 by Chase

I really had no idea what a primer was until the end of December, which inspired me to write my own but... I wish I'd seen this first! This is simply incredible. From the design to the details, I enjoyed every moment of reading it. Looking forward to more, and I might change my own primer now to imitate the effectiveness of this one. Thanks for the awesome read and giving me something to aspire to, Line!

Jan 8, 2024 15:14 by Jada T

Heya Line! Absolutely adored this read, and I hope you know it inspired me in leaps and bounds! The narration style was wonderful and engages the reader into delving more into the books they've been handed, the material at their disposal, and the font of knowledge in their guide. I certainly investigated the other linked articles here!   As for feedback, I honestly cannot think of much that left me with questions I couldn't find answers to! Perhaps a simple one: what is the name that the dreaded careless creature that ruined the map so irrevocably?   Keep creating and experimenting, this was an absolute joy to read and feel immersed in and I cannot wait to see what you create next!!

There's so much worth loving in this world. You are one of those things.
Jan 16, 2024 08:53 by Jon (he/him)

I gotta say, this article was an absolute BANGER, it's without a doubt one of the coolest concepts for a world primer that I've read so far! I love that it's essentially a 2nd-person short story that branches out into other areas of the world without breaking the immersion, as if the article blocks are the actual books the cartographer is giving you as he tells you the lore. And I'm sure it goes without saying that the art is really good and the style fits this world nicely. 10/10, this will make a fine addition to my collection (of inspirations!)

While I would love to go on an adventure, writing them is enough for me.
Jan 17, 2024 23:13 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)

Interesting article. I love the way it is written and how it guides you through the world. Also, your art is always amazing, and I adore the way the ink-stained map is so prevalent in the storyline. :D Thanks for sharing and entering this into the Special Category. God bless and much success with your New Year's plans! <3

Jan 26, 2024 01:20 by Solomon Weatherby

I don't even know where to begin, this article was just simply amazing I would love to get to this level of worldbuilding in the future wonderful job!

Jan 26, 2024 01:20 by Solomon Weatherby

I don't even know where to begin, this article was just simply amazing I would love to get to this level of worldbuilding in the future wonderful job!

Feb 2, 2024 07:26

I swear I have commented on this already, but alas multiple refreshes have proven me wrong.   This is an amazing primer. Your art is awesome. (my favorite besides the map is the first piece with the hands holding the book but it is all wonderful)   Everything from the formatting to the in-world perspective to the linked articles (which I am slowly making my way through) it is all a good read.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
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