Holy Valley Geographic Location in Pretheya | World Anvil

Holy Valley

The Land Which Was Spared
"It is said by many that the Holy Valley is the last remaining place in the world to still bear the mark of the Ormr's original creations. Tales from those who have travelled through the salt wastes to reach it describe it as a landscape unlike any other; an untamed wilderness that serves as the sole surviving piece of the First World."
— Unknown
  The portion of land in north-western Zemet known as the Holy Valley is the only part of the region that is truly fertile and capable of sustaining life on a large scale. When the Leskeln unleashed the red mist at the outbreak of The War, the fog swept through Zemet; transforming everything it touched, from grass, to trees, and even mountains, into salt. The ring of mountains that surround the valley known as the Bulwark served to protect it from the mist, and so the Holy Valley became the only place in Zemet that survived the curse.   In the aftermath of The War, the civilisation that had existed in and around Mount Varosok in the centre of the Holy Valley collapsed, leading fields to go unmaintained and the land to slowly be overtaken by jungle. In the present day, the valley is home to the only surviving descendants of the First Country; known as the Ashborn. The valley is also known across the continent as the place where Rukhmar the Firebird first appeared, and is regarded by many as the birthplace of the Shahru religion.  


The geographical landscape of Holy Valley is split between three distinct areas: The Bulwark, which sits at the very edge of the region and surrounds everything else, serving as a barrier between the Holy Valley and the salt wastes; a green area that occupies the middle of the region, which consists of heavily forested and jungle-like patches of land interspersed with less dense regions which have been cleared for farming; and Mount Varosok in the centre, which dominates the valley's skyline and can be seen for hundreds of miles even beyond the Bulwark.   The human settlements in the region are contained entirely within the central ring and upon Mount Varosok, often being situated by the volcano's base for strategic reasons. Some villages are present at higher altitudes upon the volcano's flat planes; with some being as high as 4,000m up, though these are a minority and sparsely populated.
Holy Valley
An aqueduct within the valley that has been reclaimed by the jungle
Controlling Polities: The The Vestaltir
Racial Majority: Tveirfotr
Minority Races: None
Ethnicities: Ashborn
Inhabitants Demonym: Ashborn
Notable Cities & Landmarks: Varosok Hold
Average Rainfall: Around 140 days a year
Snow in Winter: Almost never
Spring Temperatures: 10-18c
Summer Temperatures: 24-36c
Autumn Temperatures: 16-24c
Winter Temperatures: 2-12c
Location of the Bulwark within Zemet. The ring of green inside of it is the Holy Valley

The Bulwark

The rock formation that comprises the Bulwark has a unique composition owing to the history behind its creation: The outer-facing portions of rock where the red mist brushed against them have been entirely transformed into white salt, while the interior which faces Mount Varosok has retains its original dark granite composition. The point of conversion between the two can be observed inside of tunnels dug through the upper layers of the mountain, with normal rock abruptly changing into salt over an area of around six metres. Unlike most natural mountains, the rock formations of the Bulwark more closely
"The Bulwark, the ring of transfigured stone which surrounds the Holy Valley, can be seen from the surrounding area for miles in every direction; its pristine white exterior the mark of the great calamity which once struck Zemet."
— Unknown
resemble the mesas found in certain parts of the world. They do not have peaks, and are instead for the most part entirely flat on the top; making them easy to walk across. The ridge's elevation shifts very slightly in certain places, but is estimated to be around 1,500 metres on average; with variances of at most 100m in certain areas.  
View of part of the inward-facing side of the Bulkwark
One of the most peculiar features of the ridge is its plant distribution: The inside-facing half of the ridge is covered in scrub, small bushes, and hardy trees, while the top and outside-facing half are completely devoid of flora whatsoever. As a result of this, some small creatures do make their homes upon the inside slope of the ridge, but the top and exterior are completely uninhabited.


The ring of jungle in the centre of the Holy Valley is where the vast majority of the region's fauna live, as well as where the entirety of its human inhabitants are concentrated. The native flora are descended from plants kept by the Ormr in their gardens prior to the outbreak of the War; and as such most species that grow within the jungle are not found anywhere else in Pretheya. Many of these species exhibit strange characteristics, such as unusually vibrant colours, flower shapes, or patterns of growth.   The reason for the area's classification as a jungle is the extreme density of its foliage. The plants that grow within the area compete aggressively with each other for resources such as light, and in many cases have grown to occupy much of the available space on the floor; making travel through the region difficult without a means of cutting the plants away.
A Mimicat, a creature endemic only to Varosok and the Holy Valley

Varosok Base

Around a third of the Holy Valley's area is taken up by Mount Varosok and its periphery. The rocky sloppes of the volcano's base are home to their own unique ecosystem, which changes by elevation. The rocky ground makes this area difficult for the jungle plants that grow elsewhere to get a foothold in, and as such, the areas directly surrounding Varosok are some of the only open and easily traversable parts of the Holy Ridge. It is for this reason that the region's native inhabitants have used it as the centre of their road network for over a millennium.


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