|Geography of Andurin -- Telluria
|Geography of Andurin: Telluria
Andurin is a roughly Earth-sized world with an axial tilt of 23 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic. It revolves around its sun once every 365 days, and has a lunar system of three moons - Bevir, Tintagel and Elantyreth.
The planet is 8,172 miles in diameter, 55% of which is covered by water. It has five major continents - Telluria, Naranduil, Silmataurea, Arator and Aramin, and two minor ones - Vathar and Tincoras. In ancient elven, the names of the continents have the respective meanings: “land of the watchers”, “long forgotten homeland”, “starlit woods”, “hall of the dead”, “wastes of death”, “bowl of flame” and “where the stars never shine”.
Of the continents, Naranduil is the largest, followed by Silmataurea, then Telluria, Arator, Aramin, Vathar and finally, Tincoras.
For purposes of this summary discussion, we will be limiting ourselves to the continent where the campaign takes place, specifically the continent of Telluria.
The continent of Telluria is a landmass with a total acreage roughly the equivalent of North America and Greenland. It sits roughly along the same latitudinal range as the real-world continent of Africa (that is, if a world map of Andurin were superimposed over a world map of the Earth, the range of latitude that Telluria would cover would be from the northernmost tip of Africa to the southernmost tip.) This is just to give players an approximate visualization of the campaign world.
Climate is roughly similar to that of Earth, although please keep in mind that the presence of magic plays a huge role, and often accounts for any variation from the norm. Telluria enjoys a wide diversity of climactic regions, from temperate forests and plains to scorching deserts and salt wastes to equatorial jungles and rain forests.
The known world of the current campaign takes place in western and southwestern Telluria, defined as the region west of the Galandarel Mountains, bordered on the west by the Sea of Endless Stars, and on the southwest by the Sea of Pelagia and on the south by the Azure Sea. This area of the continent is dominated by the Empire of Mel’Cendia, the Kingdom of Hyboras and the Plains of the Fhaard. The Empire is a vast territory which covers much of the land west and northwest of the Galandarels. Hyboras is a medium-sized country, bordered on the west by the Sea of Endless Stars, on the north by the Imperial province of Cyradia, on the east by the wilds of the northern Fhaard, and on the south by the Grand Duchy of Kern.
The Fhaard is the name for the vast plains-terrain that covers much of southwest-central Telluria and ranges through many locales in that area. The region is akin to the Great Plains in the real-world United States: rolling grasslands, intermittent watering holes, short and often stunted trees and low vegetation cover. The peoples of the Fhaard range from the nomadic Ulu’taari, otherwise known as the barbarian clans of the Fhaard, to barrowfholk (barrow halflings, so named due to the manner in which they construct their homes), to plains ogres, to marauding bands of brigands and wandering witchwomen who inspire fear and respect in all they encounter. Often spoken of as a regional power unto themselves, the peoples and inhabitants of the Tellurian plains bow to no king or emperor, although many make alliances out of convenience’s sake. Freedom to seize one’s destiny, to make of one’s life what one would or will is the hallmark of daily life on the open plains, and a tradition worth fighting or dying for.
South and west of the Fhaard lie the Grand Duchy of Kern, the Kingdom of Toralin, and the Kingdom of Wylund. East of Wylund are situated the six nations which comprise the Council of Alalminor: Damrosil, Gwythnecht, Cyrdd, Keenreach, Wyndfaste and Brynnel. Far to the northeast of Gwythnecht is the southern tip of the Galandarel mountain range, wherein is located the city-states of Nith’Tar Valon and Nord’athaq.
The Sea of Pelagia
The Sea of Pelagia holds many locales of interest which play roles both major and minor in this part of the world, including:
-- the Elfdom of Feandöril, an island kingdom several hundreds of leagues to the southwest of Wylund. The Isle of Lost Voices is a major seat of power of the elves of Andurin, and it is here that the legendary Council of Telenth-alil holds sway over all matters elven. Here the various royal families of each of the surface elven races come forth to pay homage to the living god-kings and queens of the Ara-Cemnari, who hold court on the Council. Here the lost magicka of Lalven Tathothaun has not yet died, as his priests are still able to weave their spells and dweomers. Many have said that the rule of the elves will eventually pass on to the ascendancy of humans and of Men, but that age has not yet come to pass. Eternal Feandöril, gate to the Undying Lands.
-- The Isle of the Oracle. The mist-shrouded Isle of the Oracle is a mystery to most mortal eyes. Many legends surround the Isle and its most famous inhabitant, the Oracle of Oneiros. Those who overcome a sahuagin-infested labyrinth of razor coral that surrounds the island like a protective barrier must also brave the Bacchae, the spirit guardians of the Oracle who sit in judgment over all petitioners who come seeking the Oracle’s advice. Whereas a dreamspeaker of Oneiros often gives cryptic answers to questions brought to him or her, the Oracle is famed for prophecies as clear as daylight, without falsehood or deceit.
-- The Seaholds of Vesicant and Scrape. The Seaholds are the domain of the pirate lords of Scrape, a nefarious and sinister group of seafarers who hold sway over much of the region. The nation and its rulers would have been overcome many years ago by its considerable enemies were it not for the power of the emerald drake Vesicant, who lairs on the island that bears her name. Besides being a peerless practitioner of draconic sorcery, Vesicant holds overlordship over all that lives within the borders of the Seaholds - on air, in the sea, or on land. Her sphere even extends to the borders of mainland Telluria where, it is rumored, her agents seek to work her will and extend her influence ever farther and ever wider. Only the might of the elven navy of Feandöril, the coral elves of Tholamon, and the Wylundian fleet strike fear into the lords of Scrape and help keep the balance of sea power in check.
-- the Tholamon-naquentil (in coral elven: “Kingdom of the Dreamless Deeps”). The Tholamon-naquentil (or Tholamon for short), is a wide-ranging coral elven nation underneath the the Sea of Pelagia. Exact borders are unknown for the most part, but many agree that the extent of coral elven influence ranges as far west as the shores of the Grand Duchy of Kern, and as far east as the Kingdom of Brynnel. The southern extent of Tholamon is rumored to range to the tip of the Sea of Frozen Fingers.
Wylund is a medium-large sized country that borders the southern coast of Telluria and is one of the former southern provinces of the Mel’Cendian Empire. The country is governed by a hereditary monarchy whose seat of power is located in the city of Tolmara, in central Wylund. The Forest of Miir is a famous (some would say infamous) forest situated in east-central Wylund, and is the site of many star elven ruins from when elves ruled the land. Although the elven presence in the Forest is a shadow of what it once was, their influence can still be felt. The eastern Forest is now home to some orc clans and ogre tribes. A long-running war conducted between the Kingdom’s warriors and the orcish humanoids has never been resolved, and may in fact be one of the reasons why orcs are increasingly active in that portion of the Kingdom. Something or someone is driving the humanoids to pillage and raid the surrounding land.
Located in northeastern Wylund, Wintershivven is medium-sized town that is a major trade stop in that part of the country. All sorts of merchants, traders, and itinerant peoples converge onto the town, both to exchange goods and information, and also to avail themselves of work and services. The town is popular with adventuring groups that seek to hire themselves out as caravan guards, surveyors and explorers, or as mercenary groups-for-hire.
Situated on the opposite end of the country astride the Azure Sea stands the city of Highkeep, otherwise known as the City of Secrets or the City of Sevenscore Shadows. Highkeep is home to the country-wide thieves’ guild known as the Silent Network. The city is a hotbed of political, mercantile and other types of intrigue. Money swiftly changes hands, and a common adage of the city is “Keep one hand on your sword and the other on your purse, and a third on your heart, for you never know when a fourth may come to steal them away.” The city is also noted for being relatively barren of priests. Only two temples stand in the city - one dedicated to Llyndeiras, god of commerce, trade and wealth, and one dedicated to every other deity. The city is ruled by a Lord Mayor appointed by the ruler of Wylund, and is advised by a council composed of the guildmasters of the various guilds in the city. Local lore has it that the true ruler of Highkeep is the Master of Shadows of the city’s thieves’ guild, answerable only to the Silent Network.
Wylund is noted for being relatively welcoming towards mages, wizards and sorcerers, all the more unusual considering that much of the surrounding lands are inhospitable to workers of the arcane. Tolmara is home to the Diamond Citadel, one of the foremost bastions of magic, learning and knowledge in all of southwestern Telluria. Other Citadels include the Ruby Citadel in Pelham, capital of Gwythnecht, and the Onyx Citadel in the Imperial city of Mel’Dorath. All of the Citadels provide centers wherein wizards and arcane casters come to share spells, magicka, lore and other types of knowledge with the goal of expanding awareness of and knowledge of the Art and of magick. Citadel wizards are also members of the Circle of Sorcery, a cabal of wizards, sorcerers, channelers, bards and other types of casters whose ultimate goal is to prevent a catastrophe such as the Invoked Devastation from ever happening again. The Magister of the Diamond Citadel shares a seat on Wylund’s advisory council to the country’s monarch.
Slavery is also illegal in Wylund, another fact that sets it apart from some of the lands that neighbor it, most notably the Kingdom of Toralin and the Grand Duchy of Kern. During the Kernin invasion and occupation of Wylund that took place over thirty years ago, many Wylundinin were either put to the sword or taken away in chains. The two countries have been at odds ever since. Ayyers I, the current King of Wylund, has sworn that no ambassador from the Duchy shall ever set foot in the country until the Duchy makes appropriate reparations for what he has called “a crime against the gods and against nature”.
The Kingdom of Toralin is a country sandwiched between the Grand Duchy of Kern and the Kingdom of Wylund. The Kingdom is governed by a hereditary monarchy and is a former province of the Empire of Mel’Cendia. Toralin has never been particularly good at carving out its own destiny and seems fated to be a satellite of Kern, independent in name only but for all intents and purposes, a creature of the Grand Dukes.
Toralin was the source of the Great Plague that swept the continent thirty winters ago. As the plague seemed magical in the sense that it resisted most known cures, the populace has never forgotten that fact and coupled with an already extreme fear of wizards and magic, has not made it easy for wizards and casters in general to live peaceably in the Kingdom.
Bordered on the west by the Sea of Pelagia and the Sea of Endless Stars, to the north by the Kingdom of Hyboras, to the east and south by the Fhaard and Toralin, the Grand Duchy is a primarily naval power that engages in trade of all kinds - including the slave trade. The country is an oligarchy, ruled by nobles and led by a council of grand dukes. A former province of the Empire of Mel’Cendia, the Duchy mirrors its Imperial parent in many ways, not the least of which is an almost disturbing lust for power - and an equally disturbing will to acquire it by any means.