Thursday, May 30, 2013

Regions Part Four: Off the Map

Though the main continent of Desylinn is where most of the peoples in the world live, it is not the only land and they are not the only peoples that populate the world. Some lands are well known and even have large populations of humanoid races, like The Northlands or the The Thousands Islands of Go’Arig. Others are just rumors, legendary places where only the most courageous adventurers tread. These places are home to strange creatures, some not unfamiliar to the standard person from the mainland.

The Northlands
North of Desylinn surrounding the North Pole a large sheet of continental sheet of ice, called the Northlands by people on the main continent, is the homeland of the elves. Those elves living on the ice call it the Palace of Mari’es. The father of the elven race, and one of three gods that make up the Seal, sits on a throne at the center of a massive ice palace made of frozen blocks from the bodies of his honored sons and daughters. The god, forever frozen by the power of the Seal, gives off a glow that illuminates the palace through his icy translucent skin. Beneath the palace tunnels crisscross the frozen shelf in a nearly perfect grid and at each junction a lantern adds the brightness of Mari’es. For leagues around the pole an eerie ethereal glow can be seen, becoming ever brighter as one nears the palace and near blinding inside. Mari’es is forever surrounded by the descendants of those elves who never journeyed south, periodically speaking to them and directing them in machinations that only a god would fully understand.
A handful of fortresses sit along the coast, made of ice, manned only by the descendants of elves that never left the frozen land. They hunt the artic sea life and cultivate the ocean for food to send back to those elves living in the palace. They also keep a watchful eye on their neighbors to the south, who they consider little more than beasts. And the deep oceans where strange beings and travelers are said to live.

The Abysmal Depths
The oceans team with life: Fish, marine mammals, great ocean dwelling beasts, and intelligent creatures all exist beneath the sea. Divided into three regions the ocean has developed its own surprising breadth of culture. The northern region, between the mainland and the Northland, is home to strange intelligent fish. The unusual species have developed a magical system in which individual breeds of lesser fish each have a single magical effect that can be used. They can tap into this magic, casting spells through touching, rubbing, biting or fully eating the unintelligent fish.
The center region, the oceans around Desylinn and just to the south, are teaming with more recognizable sea-life that is fished and hunted by those living on the coast of the mainland and the nearby islands. In underwater caverns just off the coast live two dominant races, similar physically with rough humanoid shapes and features but differencing greatly in temperament. The peaceful Bortaryen seek a pastoral life, cultivating and domesticating the sea-life, while the more aggressive Shartaryen have begun to dominate those nearby, acting violently against the more peaceful cousins and others of their own species.
The southern seas surround and including the Thousand Islands are home to races of sea people who are half men, half fish. Of all the ocean races these are the most welcome to contact by surface dwellers. These beings have vast city states and will often parlay with ships coming and going to the islands. With a human torso and a lower portion that takes on the aspect of specific kinds of marine life, these are the least alien of the races to those on the surface. In the region furthest to the south of the islands there is rumored to be an underwater race that can only mate with humans of the surface. These tales are laughed at as rumors, but strange human villages appear whose inhabitants have waxy pale skin, strange buggy eyes and wide grotesque mouths. Travelers to these islands who go alone never come back. 

The City of the Kado
At the center of the world the god Daikado is sealed, one of the Brothers whose anger sundered the heavens. His servants, the Kado, large toad shaped men that carry his will through the world are said to create earthquakes where they go, releasing his toxic breath. When the Kado do not travel the vast underground highways that run beneath the surface they rest in their “city”. The City of the Kado is rumored to be near Daikado, with cyclopean temples of vast archways and columns to the god. There is no trade or enterprise here. Here they sleep, sometimes for decades or centuries, until called into service by their god, or until curiosity takes them away from the place itself. They can be sometimes be found on the surface acting as a proxy in a shrine or temple for Daikado, but most often they are encountered on the massive underground roads by travelers who have un-wittedly discovered the Kado’s highway through the world. 

The Thousand Islands of Go’Arig
Far to the south of the mainland islands spot the seas like pepper. Go’Arig, the largest of the Southern Islands, sits at the center of a vast chain of archipelagos that span the southern ocean. The islands are settled mostly by humans, but a few enterprising Lash-ti-nowish can be found on the more northern islands. Several distinct cultures exist throughout the islands, though many have common traits. Much like their northern cousins the humans of many of the islands form loose confederacies. Unlike their northern cousins many are still warlike and these confederacies are slowly forming island nations.
The largest island of Go’Arig is ruled by a single king and a caste of powerful and wealthy nobles. They trade with their more aggressive and powerful neighbors, encouraging them to attack each other. They have begun forging metal weapons, thanks to a small contingent of the Blacksmiths guild who seek to form monasteries on some of the less populated islands. The Merchant’s Guild has sent emissaries as well, hoping to open up established trade routes for more accessible spices and wood.  On the islands furthest south are rumors of cannibals and much worse things. 

The City of the Lalt
Like Mari’es who sits on his icy throne at the north pole, Tlal is suspended high in the clouds above the south pole. Sealed unmoving except for the twirling of his massive tail he is served by the Lalt. Surrounding Tlal is a magical bank of tangible, solid clouds that serves as a home to his servants. Much like their cousins the Kado, the Lalt spend most of their time performing tasks for their master, usually carrying large magical storms north to the Thousand Islands or even the mainland. They spend the remainder of their time in the cloud banks of their “city” sleeping between tasks. Like the Kado, they can sometimes be found on the mainland acting as emissaries to the cults that worship their master. It is possible to travel on the clouds nearest Tlal where the Lalt reside, if one can manage to get there.