Baltia Geographic Location in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Baltia

Baltia is an island shrouded both physically and spiritually. Cursed by man & god, it should never have existed in the Material Plane. Hidden for millennia and only found rarely by those with the necessary strength of will, none who have stood on it wish to reman. Only fools would, and even then they normally pray for death after.

Geography

A single shore of sand is to the south of the island with a jutting amber & obsidian crag covering the rest of the surface. The sand itself is primarily made of ground amber and some of the obsidian. A cave entrance sits at the edge of the sand into the rocky crag.

Ecosystem

A few dying bushes & grasses grow here and there on the sandy shore and pretty much nothing else.

Localized Phenomena

The island of Baltia was created originally by a collision between the region of where the Baltic Sea is now, and an Amber shard from the Great World Tree the size of a small country collided into it. The amber is primarily inert and worn away over time leading to it washing up on the shores of the lands surrounding the Baltic Sea, and on rare occasions an active piece with an element of a trapped god does the same. Even rarer are parts of Mistletoe's Blood Clot that is still found in the old shard.   It seems to be in an area of the Baltic Sea that is becalmed and surrounded by a circle of mist roughly 3 miles high and 2 miles deep. This mist gives off a strange feeling, one of dread & coming horror like nothing else. A feeling of being watched is said to be felt too. The only way to find it is to wait till a full moon is present and sacrifice nine sentient life forms. Any will do as long as they are tied up and thrown overboard at midnight. This causes the mist to appear and allow passage through to the island.   The island is deathly quiet with no wind, no animal noises and little in the way of water lapping up against it. The feeling of being watched here too is common. The cave has a guardian called the Baltia Guardian who is rumoured to be an ancient human who is now undead that sits on an amber & obsidian throne¬† near the centre of the cave. He is armed with an axe and seems impervious to may spells. Behind him, according to those who have been there, is the only remaining Mistletoe's Blood Clot on the island itself. All the rest have either been mined, damaged by being near evil nameless gods, or worn away over time. His whole purpose of existing it is to prevent those unworthy of removing it, or to prevent the most evil of creatures removing the amber while stopping the nameless gods escaping.

Climate

The overall climate is cool and moonlit even in the middle of a summer's day.

Natural Resources

Amber & obsidian are the main resources here. The majority of the former has changed into standard amber over time, while a good swathe of it deep in still contains the magics of the Great World Tree. Parts still contain the essence of unborn gods, almost all have been driven to madness and evil if not so already. A few of them contain small portions of gods and god-like creatures that became trapped at the crash site. How this happened none can say.   The obsidian itself is totally normal, formed from the heat of the impact of the amber when it crashed into Earth.   There used to be a number of veins of the substance called the Mistletoe's Blood Clot present. Sadly, most of this has either vanished, been destroyed, or removed over time. In the latter case there was not much in the first place and what could be removed was took in far more ancient times. One true block remains deeper in the cave but now heavily defended.

History

Nothing much is known for certain, though the dragons know off it and possibly the Ancient Ones. When the Material Plane was born, a part of the Great World Tree's amber was torn off with a smaller piece of the Mistletoe's Blood Clot. It was torn into the Material Plane and sent shooting through space / time until it crashed into it's present location. After a while, strange mists appeared around it seemingly removing it to it's own pocket dimension.   Over time when the Ancient Ones & Dragons settled on Earth, it remained there and a few of these ancient creatures made their way to it looking for material to use in ancient rituals. Passed down through local myths the place is cursed even from those times when many of the earlier species that travelled there never returned. Some of them say that this pocket dimension is protected by a group of Dark Gods that escaped from the amber and settled somewhere in the Shadowfell, using it as a test bed of sorts for a series of demiplanes of their own devising.   Eventually it became so much of a myth most forgot about it. The last vestiges of the myth is found along the Germanic, Slavic, Sami, and the Finns living on the coastline of the Baltic Sea. In 77AD, Pliny the Elder heard of it and documented it in his Natural History books.   Over time, a few attempts have been made to try to find Baltia again, and most have met with failure. In the majority of cases, absolutely nothing has happened, while in the remainder, the majority of them has been lost at sea, vanished, or completely disappeared. The very few that have returned, they tell of the island having an internal glow of yellow like the rising sun, and of shadows following & watching them. Those that survive with little hardship tell of the guardian giving them wisdom and what they were seeking while others had been decimated nearly to a man by the guardian who let one or two live to spread the word. The word in this case is death to all those that come seeking forbidden powers & knowledge.
"That is a strange tale to say the least. Baltia, the island of amber. Avoid it at all costs. If not for a select few Normans, especially of the Geats & Rus tribes, most of them even avoid looking for it. And the penalty for looking? If your lucky, nine criminals tied up and thrown over the side of the long-ship still conscious. At least usually, I have heard of slaves, even passengers going over that way.   As for the island, the protector is an old undead thing, once a Norman too. Seems to be protected from magic by all accounts to a greater or lesser degree. It can cu down most with that magical axe it carries too. Better to leave well enough alone and stick to known places, that's what I say."   Olivia the barmaid, in the Frankish Crown tavern in Aachen.
Type
Island
Characters in Location
Related Reports (Secondary)


Cover image: by Colonel 101

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