This article is adapted from the entry for Quemar in The Sâryan Encyclopedia, Cárshǒhl University Press, 22nd edition (716).
There are two words almost always used to describe Quemar: rocky and remote. It’s a small island, with little soil thickness on any part of it, thanks to its steep, exposed slopes and the odd volcanic eruption. Quemar is a couple weeks’ or more sail southeast of the eastern tip of Vèkya. While this made voyages to and from the mainland very difficult (especially given the chances of missing an island the size of Quemar), during the “Age of Expansion” it also made Quemar a good stopover point for ships travelling eastwards from Vèkya to the continents across the Kafar Ocean. Another result of Quemar’s geography and remoteness is that its people have been few in number and have held to their own unique traditions to a greater extent than many other cultures in the Hlorasan sphere. From most foreigners’ perspective, Quemar is a port country, heavily reliant on trade from the east, south, and later west (though its tin mines were vital to the bronze industry in much of Southeastern Vèkya), but for Quemari people the exposed moorlands are the true heart of their country, where they, their ancestors, and their descendants can weather any rise or fall in fortune, if with considerably less comfort than in the harbour towns.
The two main geological features which form Quemar are intrusive granite (there is some debate over whether it’s a massive volcanic plug and part of a larger batholith also underlying parts of Tílthoría , or a distinct batholith), and active volcanism across much of the island, though in recorded history most eruptions have taken place in the central and southwestern regions. Although Quemar is not totally devoid of other rock types, and has areas that have built up sediment recently, it does not have valleys as large as the Tambakhan Highlands, making it even less well-suited to agriculture and the grazing of large livestock. The most welcoming part of the island to most outsiders is the north and west, which have a gentler topography, like the sheltered side of Tílthoría’s Ároásh and Sílvashó highlands, or many of the hill-lands of southeastern Vèkya. The central region is extremely mixed, with deep chasms, hidden pastures, and volcanic slopes. The central east is more protected than the south, but has been the primary route for lava flows from the central volcanoes in recorded history, making it even more of a fishing and trade district than the other regions of Quemar. The southern, wider end of the island—often divided into the southwest and southeast—lays claim to the harshest topography of all. Like the central region, the south is full of cliffs, jagged spires of rock, and treacherous paths to the few sheltered pasture areas. The south is the only region without major ports, due to the topography and resource distribution within Quemar. Past glaciation, the steepness of the slopes, and the weather have led to an inhospitable island with little ecological diversity. Although Quemar is further north than Tílthoría, and shares its temperate marine climate, more of the country is exposed to the polar southeastern storm winds, and if it has warm spots, they are nowhere near as large as Tílthoría’s.
Quemar is possibly the most active tectonic zone in the southeast Vèkyan sphere. Part of the same fault zone as Tílthoría, the two islands may have split off from mainland Vèkya millions of years ago via back-arc spreading related to the subduction of an oceanic plate under the continental one, however Quemar and Tílthoría don’t quite seem to form an island arc. In addition to the eruption history of its many volcanoes, Quemar is prone to earthquakes—in the central and southern regions these can be particularly dangerous for the changes in access the quakes cause, toppling loose granite boulders into the narrow passages between one pasture and the next.