Geography (Lands of the Twin Gods Supplement)
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The world is a massive Torus around the sun, every day the surface rotates about the secondary (circular) axis, Because of this constant motion the fault lines between the continental plates and the oceanic plates are completely smooth and cause no earthquakes. No two continental plates touch, but rather they are each separated by an oceanic plate.
Deep beneath the surface, in the mantle are massive screws that drive rotation of the surface. It is believed that they are somewhere connected to Mechanus, but no one has yet found out where.
- 1 The Continents
- 1.1 Othri
- 1.2 Tekmin
- 1.3 Tycore
- 1.4 The Violet Archipelago
- 2 The Underdark
- 3 Sea of Rage
- 4 Moving Locals
There exist three major continents on Byd: Othri, the mysterious mountainous continent to the east; Tekmin, the western and largest continent; and Tycore, the continent that lies to the south of Tekmin.
The continents Othri and Tekmin are quite close, and are even connected by a land bridge. This bridge, however, can only be crossed for a period of two weeks once a decade, when the water is low enough. Thus, Othri remains a largely mysterious place.
The Creators Chalice is a massive ocean surrounded by mountains such that it is several miles above sea level. It surrounded by many monasteries that worship the Creator/Destroyer over-deities. Thus is surrounded by many great sculptures built for the simple sake of creation, while a few have been destroyed as the Creator is dominant at this time.
The Destroyer's drain is a bottomless trench on the bottom of the Creators Chalice. Any thing which falls into it is forever lost. Merefolk monks carefully maintain a partial plug of it, as well as many current controlling vanes which prevent a whirlpool from forming. They also are careful to keep the knowledge of its exact location secret from all outsiders. Legend has it that the partial plug keeps the creator dominant. Completing the plug would create a great imbalance while destroying it would cause much destruction in all its forms.
A few hundred years ago, deep in the Kliandri Mountains, a meteorite fell to the earth. It's otherworldly taint has been slightly altering the animals and landscape and now the crater, surrounding valley, and all the animals and plants in it's vicinity are almost completely alien in appearance. Those who have attempted to explore it have either never returned or gone incurably mad, fearfully uttering the same phrase over and over in their sleep. "Ynnoch watches... Ynnoch waits..."
The Rainshadow Desert (Dakars to the Gnolls) is, despite it's dryness, home to thousands of creatures. The most feared is a dragon by the name of Iorth. It and its kind burrows through the ground like a fish would swim through water, punching up through the ground when it sences movement. This is partly the reason why the gnolls are nomadic.
Gnolls and goblins are locked in a bloody war for dominion over the northern part of the Rainshadow Desert, called the Dakar Rumble, and mercenaries from all around the world come to Rainshadow Desert to take part in the Rumble to hone their skills.
The Dakar Rumble gets its name from the frequent tremors in the area. Due to the torus shape the world retains and the stabilized plate tectonics, earthquakes are unheard of anywhere else in the world; however the Dakar Rumble is a cavernous region, and a giant field of natural gas deposits lays under the area. it is unknown why, but these pockets sometimes explode violently and without warning, causing the stone desert above to shake.
The reason for the gas pockets underneath Dakar Rumble exploding is because of the competition between two Elder Dragons, Violtelist the Third Eye (a Purple Dragon) and Browtaraghat Sandscales (a Brown Dragon). Violtelist's territory extends to much of the northern regions, and Retaraghat possesses much of the land south of the Dakar Rumble, and the area is where the two Dragon's territories converge. The surface war between gnolls and goblins is a facet of the power struggle between these two entities, and they also employ many subterranean forces, some of which cause explosions in the natural gas pockets underneath the desert.
The Amenuk River is one of the longest rivers in the world. It wraps around mountains, tumbles down cliffs (creating spectacular waterfalls at multiple points along its course) and runs straight through forests and prairies. The river terminates in a serpentine oasis in the Calla Desert, where it flows down through a cave that leads to the underdark. Legend has it that the river moves in circles, the water that disappears at the end reappearing at its headspring weeks later. The Amenuk river actually has two end-points. It splits off about two-thirds of the way down its length, terminating both in the Calla Desert and in the Sea of Rage, where it forms a delta around which extensive mangrove swamps have formed.
At the deepest, widest and slowest points along the Amenuk River there are said to live mer-people of some kind. The story goes at the fall of the Amentest many of the noblity could not go on living without their beloved empire, so they threw themselves into the river, becoming part of it. They are known simply as Tucuxi.
The people of the Amenuk River have made a special ink from the black mud of the riverbed. They use it to cover themselves in intricate tattoos which display their family heritage, life history, social status, and religion.
It is thought that humanity was created from the silt at the bottom of the Amenuk River, as there is barely a spot along it's bank that doesn't have a human settlement. The first human empire of Amentest covered the Amenuk from spring to mouth and over the course of five hundred years spread slowly over the land, both literally and culturually. Though the empire crumbled in time, the reasons lost, it's language, now known as common, is spoken all over the world.
The legendary beast tamers of Amentest's greatest acheivement was creating chimeras. They were strong, sturdy, and smart enough to follow the simplest commands. The people used them for transportation, fieldwork, and even in battle. Nowadays, nothing has changed. The humans still use them for their own purposes, but there is a steadily increasing number of rogue chimeras that have fled the yoke and become feral, killing farmers, livestock, and travelers.
In the modern era it is still the spiritual home of the humans and is defended from invaders and non-human settlers at all costs.
Among the Amuntest, it is traditional for newly married couples to go adventuring together. They must each find a treasure and return with it. It is only once they have returned and exchanged treasures that the marriage ceremony is viewed as complete.
The human city-state of Ament-Oruh was once the former capital of the Amentest Empire. It is situated beneath Heaven's Rain, the largest of the many waterfalls of the Amenuk River. The city is nowhere near as big as it once was, and the outer districts have fallen into disrepair and mostly been torn down. Though trade has slowed down in these dark times, Ament-Oruh remains an important center for what watertrade remains. An ingenious pulley system allows small riverboats to be pulled up onto the riverbank and lowered up and down the waterfall for a modest fee, allowing boats to go right on through.
Halfway down the western Tekmin coast is a sacred grove called Apple Heart. The Apple Heart Druids tend the grove, and revere the giant apple tree that grows at its center. Here Ourochi, the Hiisi of apple trees, resides and throws summer parties under the trees' shade. She is a benevolent Hiisi that takes the form of a young lady clothed in magenta fabric. Any travelers who stop in her orchard are presented with a magic apple from Ourochi's apple tree (limit one per person). This apple never rots, and when consumed grants an immediate action point to the eater.
The Caustic Carnaval is a travelling circus that travels up and down the Amenuk, from city to city. When it arrives in town, it is a marvellous affair, with folks flocking from miles to see. Halfling acrobats and animal tamers amaze audiences with fatastic feat of daring and skill. The Caustic Carnaval is known for the exotic beasts they put on display, which range from the mundane to the supernatural. The Roma Brothers, a trio of halflings run the show, and each brings a different skillset to the circus.
Midway down the Amenuk River lies the citystate of Rothello, known as the tin city. The ruling family, known as the Jalik, are selfish and power crazed, stripping the nearby earth of any resourses and keeping the cityfolk in perpetual squalor. From afar, the contrast of brightly painted sandstone walls and towers of the royal palace and the grey and brown shantytown surrounding is striking. The only thing left to brighten the lives of the serfs is the yearly arrival of the Caustic Carnival, during which time the Jalik are just as enraptured with the show's marvels as everyone else.
On the western coast there is a hamlet called Silena. It is a town of magicians, and it is always very peaceful. There are magic spells over all the lop-sided huts that keep the household chores from making a ruckus. All the shops have signs with the name and price of the spell ingredients they stand over, which helps keep bartering and noise to a minimum. And all the children (of which there are few) have magic hats that kept them to whispers.
Even the scenes are quiet. There are fields of flowers and plains of grass, and the wind that blows over is a silent one. The crickets are never noisy, and the bees have special instructions from the animal whisperers of the town that they should never hum as they go about their business. In the middle of the hamlet is a large fountain, but the water never splashes when it hits the basin.
As the magicians go about their days, they seldom have need for noise, and sometimes if you stand in the center courtyard and listen you might think you were deaf. From the time they get up, to the time they go to bed, it is as if they have forgotten how to make noise. And they actually have started to do just that.
Today, even if one were to try to speak to the people of the town, the only response to be gleaned would be a slight nod of the head or a pointed finger. Travelers often bypass the town entirely, and those who do stop for a time never stay for very long, as it is quite annoying to have shushing signs made at you whenever you say anything.
In the great Calla Desert to the east lies an adamantine tower that is unearthed occasionally by the shifting sands. There are many legends that talk of great wealth, weapons of the gods, and even mighty guardians that dwell within the aged tower, but none know for sure whether there is any truth in these.
The greatest current nation of humanity is in Tycore, the southern continent.
Several generations after the fall of the Amentest thousands of people followed the four Ivory Monarchs across the Spectrum Sea in search of a new land to conquer. The Monarchs were lichs and while they ruled the people justly for hundreds of years, they slowly became more and more corrupt as their dark magic took them. The people fought back against the undead leaders with the aid of the clerics of Wishu & the Yagga. (Few modern Tycorish people know that Wishu and the Yagga are not "human gods", which is to say, they have not always been worshipped by humans, but long before by whatever ancient beings lived and died in Tycore before the Ivory Monarchs ever set foot there.)Different accounts claim the Monarchs are dead, fled or still on Tycore, watching and waiting...
All of Tycora is now lead by the Honest Senate, political parties that are voted in whenever the people wish for a new government.
Tycora's architecture is magical, some of it's towers have never touched the ground, streets can rearrange themselves, bridges over the harbour can vanish to let ships through and then reappear and much more. The guild Exalted Arcane Maintenance Company (Eamc) uses their wizardry to keep the cities running, and have a huge say in the goings on of the nation. If enough members of the guild were to die before replacements were found, the cities would crumble.
Along the western shore of Tycore there is an archipelago known as Shau'Ori or the Shaman Isles. It is nearly exclusivilly inhabited and ruled by dozens of different minor Magocracies, all ruled by a Shaman.
A Shaman is a Genasi, a human with Elemental blood that has extrensive magical skill and powe. The people that lives on these isles are slightly technological impaired due to the general lack of mountains and iron ore within their realm. Though they are known as fierce fighters, skilled magicians and are also known for the fact that they tend to wear masks in to combat. These masks vary in size and appearance but are exclusivily made out of wood.
The Violet Archipelago
The Violet Archipelago is a vast chain of tiny islands that lie between the three major continents. Few islands are large enough to support any permanent residences, but they are the location of many halfling bases. The inner islands are effectively off limits to non halflings, as few others have the skill or knowledge to navigate the treacherous waters. This is a major advantage for the halflings, as halfling vessels can move through the islands and dramatically reduce the time they need to travel between the continents. During times of great prosperity, the halfling capitol Terrk is often located on one of the outer isles - signaling an apex of halfling power. The archipelago is the closest thing the halflings have to a permanent nation. The islands are named after the halfling flag - a dark violet leaf on a blue boarder.
The Underdark is currently war torn in a battle between the Dragons and the Gensai, each trying to gaing complete control over the now destroyed subbterranian world.
The world has several cities underground, in the Underdark. Most are poulated by Drow, Illithids, Vampires, and Tieflings. These massive cities and there residents are not inherently evil, just dark. One such city is the great Arachna-citadel, a former evil drow fortress liberated by heroes from above. The city is shaped like a great spider, with each leg housing s different idea (trade, etc.)
There exists a large city called Mythshine, populated by a smattering of all of the races. Mythshine is a melting pot of cultures, and is home to a great Guildhall, where adventurers and heroes are trained in their craft by class-specific masters. A Warlock can find a patron witthout fear of being cheated, a Rogue can perfect his Spetschnatz backflip axe-throw, and a Druid can learn from the Spirits themselves.
Sea of Rage
It is said that there is something sleeping beneath the Sea of Rage to the west, an ancient being that defied the gods long ago called Ralstyx. When it stirs in its sleep, great tsunamis ravage the western coasts. It would be calamitous if it were to awaken...
The Forgotten Land
Somewhere in the great Sea of Rage there is a continent forgotten to time. Some legends say it is never nighttime on this forgotten island. Great creatures of many limbs roam this sun baked land, in a perpetual cycle of predator and prey, life and death. One such creature is the Sariange, a giant centipede that has eyes on both ends of its body.
On the far western ocean lies the fantastic Turtle's Port, a mastery of human engineering combined with magical energies. Great vents exist all over this large port town, belching out steam and smoke and arcane trails as the large island is propelled across the ocean. Great fairs arrive whenever the Port reaches landfall, as they bring items from across the world to trade.
Turtle's Port is actually powered by a Hiisi who made a pact with the floating island's human creator, Rachum Danveri. Rachum died a few years ago, and his son Villo is now in charge. No one besides Villo knows this secret. Whenever they stop at a port, one local child goes missing. People haven't managed to put two and two together yet.
Turtle Port is a marvel of technology, in that most of the basic necesstites are automated. Full plumbing, lamps that go off and on with the flip of a lever, even vending machines that dispense packaged foods and cheap magic items. There are no automated transports, however; the streets are narrow and only allow space for walking.
Ilkhrok is the oldest dragon alive. This colossal specimen (his specific species is unclear) lives in a cloud that never dissipates, drifting endlessly around the skies of the world, emerging from his home only rarely. Whenever a large cloudhead passes overhead, someone will claim that it is the domain of Ilkhrok, though in truth no one knows which cloud it is at this point.
Ilthrok is so large that his back serves as the ancestrial home of a tribe of Dragonborn that pay homage to the humongous dragon for their creation. They own wings of their own, and go on hunting trips into the vast skys for food. Incidently, Ilthrok has evolved to the point that he no longer has to eat; he lives off a diet of magic nutrients created in an extra gullet.
Legends speak of a city inhabited solely by Hiisi, the mythical Yomjarra-Sed. However, its location changes from tale to tale. Some say it is located on some unclimable mountain's peak. Others declare it rests in the middle of the Sylwood Jungle. Still others claim it floats on the morning mists that cover the Rainshadow Desert. In reality, these tales are equal parts true and false. Yomjarra-Sed is the meeting place of the Hiisi, and because no one Hiisi controls it it moves about at random. Sometimes it stays in one place for a year, sometimes it moves within an hour. Yomjarra-Sed always relocates to a place of pristine nature. The residents of the city vary with the seasons; during the winter many of the springtime Hiisi stay in this Haven. When a forest burns down, its Hiisi might stay in the city for a time while its plants regrow. The one and only rule is that no mortal is ever to be allowed into the city. It vanishes in an instant if anyone tries.