Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Ten Furthest Lands

Across the Thousand Oceans from the continent of Fulcrise Haelere, the Furthest Lands unfold.  The highest peaked mountains, the most vast reaching plains, the deepest wettest jungles.  An avalanche of life and a stampede of land forms.  They are unknown to the outside as anything other than an abstraction.  They are the lands of primal monsters and multitudinous magics, the beginnings and endings of stories.  A fairy tale in overgrown megaliths and myriad megafauna.
The animal/monster life here is drawn from a variety of sources: currently living animals, particularly marsupials and birds, animals from the Mesozoic era, animals from the Cenozoic era, inspirations from the work of Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Clive Barker, underrepresented mythology, and the curly Suessian reaches of my mind.
50,000 years ago, the greatest ancients waged an incomprehensible war with their unknown enemy from the shining city they had settled atop the Juum plateau.  On the Day of the Black Finger, darkness poured from the noon sun, the shining city was destroyed, and Juum crumbled into a hole that never filled, the Hive Mouth.
Now, the races that lived in the shadow of the ancients have cobbled together their own areas of civilization in a land that resists taming.  Here food is rarely a problem, all environments teem with plant and animal life.  Few communities are truly agricultural and farms, like all settlements must be defended constantly.  This is the true problem in the Furthest Lands: the environment quickly takes back from civilization, roads and paths are consumed, monsters return, nature spirits incite and seek to inhabit the people, and there are many many creatures adept at predating humanoids.  The only routes to holding back or taming in some small way the wilderness is multi-species cooperation, magic, or creating a symbiosis with it.
Now, the unique living magic of this place, the peculiarities of its geography and the ruinous transformation that created the Hive Mouth have unbalanced the world.  This has resulted in the Furthest Lands becoming a sort of planar sink.  Magical travelers often unexpectedly end up here from the Cross Continent and from throughout the multiverse.  Likewise, magical travel off continent is now considerably more difficult.
The Furthest Lands have a tropical to sub-tropical climate and two major seasons.  The dry, hot season Sunhold lasts two thirds of the year, and the cooler, wet season Stormseat lasts the rest.  There is a single sun and single moon. 
This is a continent mostly without kingdoms, where the few true cities have necessarily high walls and strange rules.  Outside the bipeds’ scattered enclaves, the beasts and nature spirits own the lands, lands that have swallowed up most evidence of the past.  This is a continent where journeys require preparation and are never assured successes.  Very few people venture out alone, and the strongest know best when to run.

Woof woof.
Here's a general overview of the geographical areas.  Many occur as the briefest note, some of those I know about and won't get into until later, some I have the vaguest idea beyond their name.  A name is often enough, you know?

Ten Major Areas of the Furthest Lands

Twin Cities Area

The most civilized part of a savage continent. 

Anderside & Kraoshd, the Twin Cities - connected to each other across the Ceresine River via Bruuhoila's Bridge (an immense stone bridge that appears almost a natural landform, said to be built by one of the iele First Magic users, a holy site).  The bridge is usually the simplest and least expensive way to cross the Ceresine, which is wide and home to many hungry creatures.  Each city is surrounded by a 90-foot stone wall with one major and two lesser gates.
Known to change hands quickly, the cities have alternately been united under a single ruler, separate but trading, or openly at war.  Each has been nearly leveled in the past 200 years.  The constant rebuilding and periodic shifts in control create a riot of art, advertisement, and architecture.  Government and basic services are a complete mess at best.  The Twin Cities trade with a network of specialized farming and fishing villages nearby, hunting settlements further out in the Great Plain, the fishing nation of Rilm, Tauk Toma, and controlled dealings with Soec.  A huge amount of goods and services are found in the two vast central marketplaces: normal and exotic animals, fish, vegetables, textiles, weapons.  Stalls, stands and hawkers of all races line the streets, ready to haggle at great length, and disappear with their wares in seconds at the slightest sign of trouble in the market.   Some stalls are built to slide back into the store and close up with metal or chitin plated shutters.  Merchants and local shoppers are used to clearing out quickly to avoid rampaging escaped animals, street fights, magical mishaps, and the odd gang war or militant crackdown.
The Twin Cities are the launching point for countless caravans heading out across the Great Plain
(lower) Ceresine River - a wide, deep, wild river teeming with animal life.  The Twin Cities serve as the primary crossing point, but barge passage can often be purchased at other points downriver.
Mygwa - a farming village in the shadow of Anderside.  Mygwans raise livestock here close to the river, lappets and crenchies for clothing and armor.
Mil Waite - a farming village in the shadow of Anderside.
the Blue Forest - a dense jungle of strange plants, few of which are actually blue.  Beyond the slicers and  and various wretched arboreal mammals, there are metal ziggurats deep within that no plants will take root on.
Jaolis Tract - a broken forestland to the south of Kraoshd.
Kraok Marshland - a salt marsh, at the southwestern edge of the continent. 

Gragot Plain Area

A gigantic open wild area with few areas of civilization. 

West Gragot Plain (the Great Plain) - the drier area of the plains, with sparse vegetation.  Spans from the the Nemeb River to Kraoshd.
East Gragot Plain (the Vash) - the lush part of the plains, with more vegetation.  Spans from the Nemeb River to the Jungle Wall (the border of the Faakshidraa and Faakmataba Jungles to the plains).
Nemeb River - the muddy, slow-moving river near the center of the plain.
Sradahath - the waypoint village, the most common stopover point on cross plain journeys.  It is surrounded by huge sharp rock spires, moved into place in ages past by an unknown force.  Sradahath is disproportionately heavy in entertainment venues, like bars, brothels, and gaming houses.  Most extensive animal market on the continent.  If a plains creature isn't currently up for sale in Sradahath a deal can be made to procure one readily.
Gnarl - the village in the stump.  Here a giant tree grew from a gorge-like rock formation, ages past the tree was gutted, either by fire, insects, or disease, and its enormous hollowed remains became a defensible perimeter.  Gnarl is predominantly a hunting camp and trading post, lacking the space for farming.
Aegir Tarn - the low southernmost mountainous range separating the plains from the sea.  Primary underground nesting ground of the largest Mororca tribes.
Rg’Zhd - the ancestral Mororca Tri-horn lair deep in the mountains underground.  Home to the current Tri-horn's extended family.

Six-legged snake weasel, rhino rat... just some normal animals.

Faakshidraa Area

Faakshidraa Rainforest - the largest jungle of the continent.  Mostly held by the Fasinaa lizardfolk from their capital city Fasinadas.  This is a dense, dark rainforest made of immense intertwining trees, parasitic and saprophytic flora.  In its depths, the Faakshidraa contains many naturally occurring layers which house a variety of separate specific environments. 
Faakmataba Jungle - the so-called “Jungle of the Elders”, second-largest on the continent.  Lies across from the Faakshidraa and is bordered on the north and west by the Jodah range.  A taboo place generally avoided by the Fasinaa.
Fasinadas - the capital of the Fasinaa lizardfolk nation, a city carved into giant trees and the caves beneath them. 
Tsugumi's Mouth – the southeastern delta lands.  The richest and most contested farmlands on the continent lie here.
Eerilke Marsh - the winding marshland that forms the southeastern edge of the continent.
Maes Nassaa - "Best View”, a Fasinaa canopy village at the southeast end of the Faakshidraa. 
Shidraa Ruins - the warped remnants of the Fasinaa city Shidraa.  Now overwhelmed by a massive fungal growth, stretching miles underground. 
Vailska - the village at the edge of the Eerilke Marsh.
Tsku Tskuun River - longest of the three main rivers, it begins in the Jodah, curls all the way around the Faakshidraa Rainforest and ends in Tsugumi’s Mouth.

Pofft Coast Area

Booezor the City of Magic - meticulously carved from the top of the tallest peak of the Cnatka Taer, the Magic City’s architecture is the most elaborate and fanciful anywhere on the continent.  The city is structured in tiers, five above the main gate and three below.  Entry lies at the end of a huge, wide, winding stone staircase  The cabal of powerful wizards, scientists, and archaeologists who call themselves the Children govern this place and store their carefully hoarded knowledge here.  The Children have kept Booezor stable with clearly defined laws, and safe from most threats that magic and money can combat.  Population is predominantly iele, though more chrichoral are found here than any other city.  Booezor’s economy revolves mainly around the trade of spell and magic item components, which it lies in a unique position to monopolize.  The other major trade service is the sale of the Children’s restricted magics like Space Magic (including teleportation), the group’s catalog of true names, or certain powerful divinations.  The City of Magic trades with the Fasinaa realm of the Faakshidraa, villages along the Pofft coast, and the eastern end of the Ridgewaste, and the occasional caravan from the Twin Cities.
Werefti Sea - the wide western sea.
Zhayshabbed - a coastal town.
Northern Waste - the sprawling badlands below the Yarmir Tarn that stretch for endless miles.  Commonly called the Bloodless Plains, the Hollows, and Dust and Sighs.
Yarmir Tarn - the northernmost mountain range of the continent.  Jagged peaks that create countless aeries, treacherous caves, and yawning fissures.
Ridgewaste - the broken lands to the north of Booezor.  Hunting grounds of many strange creatures attracted to the Magic city.
Oln Altra - ...
Quus Mire - ...
Cnatka Taer - a short range of mountains, Booezor lies here.

Tomada Yoma Area

Tomada Yoma - an expansive desert.
Tauk Toma - the great temple city of the Wheel, home of the Goboda.

Glass Waste - a vitrified wasteland stalked by terrifying predators and twisted poisoned spirits.
Rilm the City of Fish - a city built into and on top of cliffs hanging out over the Acris Sea.  Umash, iele, and Fasinaa boats set out from this rocky port to haul in thousands of kinds of edible and otherwise useful sea creatures.  Seasonally afflicted by oppressive winds from the Glass Waste.
Lassemedra’s Lip - a deep oceanic trench that runs close to Rilm.  Fish, whales, and all manner of other sea creatures pour from it near constantly, in a tidal cycle.
Abelwidt - a village.
Five Oases -  the holiest site of the goddess Immacula, a Kiss Upon Seeds. 
Arcris Sea - the wild western sea, dotted with many small islands and the archipelagos where the Gawshien and other isolated tribes of iele live.

Shemna Island Area

Two large islands to the northeast of the main continent.  Home of the Shem empire that regularly strikes at the mainland.

Oubliess Sea - the quiet northern sea.
Kao Shem - city of the Shem, curious geometric stone structures protruding senselessly from an immense mass of blue-white crystals.  This is the Crystal Colony of the insectoid abominations called Shem, where they each return once a month to drink up reflected sunlight and keep their strange congress.
Lbon Island - the smaller of the islands, avoided or unused by the Shem and unseen by any from the mainland.

Cnacol Peninsula Area

Cnacociel Tarn - the sharp-peaked mountain range dividing the peninsula.
Werefti Sea
- the wide western sea.
Vortice Tower - a windowless, black stone tower suspended thousands of feet in the air.  This is the steed, the coffin, the forge, the manse and the master is N’Gael.
Ig the City of Outcasts -
there is a great beast that wanders Cnacol, burdened across its acres of back with a tremendous ball.  Balanced upon the ball is the point of an inverted pyramidal structure which is the city of Ig.
Mount Wendg - ...

Soec Area

(upper) Ceresine River - a wide, deep, wild river teeming with animal life.
Soec, City of Monsters - the underground city of Soec is a cleverly managed warren of depravity.  If an act or good is illegal in some other city, chances are it’s legal here.  Soec is home to over a dozen competing gangs who deal in drugs, slaves, dangerous magic, poisons, assassination, and depraved craftwork.
The “street” tunnels are often several building levels high, and lit by phosphorescent moss and fungi blooms.  Alleys and disused streets will have lower ceilings and have poor lighting (sometimes luminescent lichen is the only thing to eat). 
Ovocil is, and has always seemingly been the hidden ruler of Soec, his desires accomplished by his Hands, Jaelek and Jaff.  Jaelek the Right Hand, is regularly visible and communicates on the master’s behalf.  Jaff the Left Hand, is rarely seen but is said to be responsible for the assassinations of those who disobey or work against the master.  Ovocil demands toll fees through the city’s main gate, which is a stable gateway to the deeps, as well as a tax on near every purchase.  Tax evasion is punishable by petrification, the statue-remains of those who didn’t pay litter the central square.
Unlike other cities with a low population of iele, Soec is one of the most diverse.  Many creatures who could never be found in a lighted city are seen here, naga, medusae, myconids, and stranger things from below ground going about their business and carrying on as normal.
Mumattoba Tarn - the widest and tallest of the central mountain ranges that gird Centerscar.
Kufis - a town on the opposite side of the Ceresine river from Soec.  Close enough that the City of Monsters’ many gangs hold sway here as well.
Tomadan Scrubland - the disintegrating terrain at the borders of the vast Tomada Yoma.
Pallenseil Plain - the lowlands of the peaceful skies.  Compared to the Gragot or the Vash, the Pallenseil is an idyll.  Though the farming is easy here and the packs of animals and giant monsters fewer, entire towns can still disappear seemingly overnight.
Peak of Attalystor - the tallest peak of the Mumattoba Tarn, source of the Ceresine.

Centerscar Area

Vriskirr Lake - a great placid lake at the approximate center of the continent.
Hive Mouth - an infinitely deep hole?  A well of cosmic evil?  The resting place of a falling star?  A gateway to a greater darkness?  A wound?  A womb?  There are few who know of the great abyss that the Juum plateau has become, and none who understand it.  Year by year it grows.
Rariidesht Desert - the frozen desert.  A quiet, apparently lifeless desert of fine white sand during the day.  The yawning winds of Centerscar make the desert freeze each night,
Ria Vrika - the short doomed flow from Vriskirr, fed to the Hive Mouth.
Aoal Eska - isolated village.
Mranda - isolated village.
Nagga Vris - isolated village.
Jodah Taer - small mountain range separating the Faakmataba jungle from Centerscar.
Enoretma's Fen - ...

Aika Aitat

The high mountain home of the Chrichoral, inaccessible by all other races.

Jiri Riji -
Star on Zikken - the capital "Secret City" (more village) of the Chrichoral, meeting place of the Songstealers.


 And that's that for now I suppose.  Questions?  Comments?  That's the helpful stuff.  Races next, unless I think of something better.

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