Geography and Environment (Moon of Five Suns Supplement)
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There are five continents.
The West Continent
Land of turmoil.
A continent of conflict and warring tribes.
It is constantly in turmoil, nations rising and falling almost weekly. Anyone that gains true, stable power cannot act quickly enough before a combination or insurrection and outer conflict deposes them. There are many tribes, the most notable of which are the four feral elf tribes, the two dwarven tribes, one of the more powerful human tribes, and the one goliath tribe.
The continent is almost three times as long laterally (North-South) as it is longitudinally (East-West).
From the midpoint (longitudinally) of the continent North, there are vast, flat grasslands with various lakes and small rivers across the landscape. Many of the tribes favor this as their home and battleground, as it gives few advantages to any of the tribes. Along the Northern coast is a long mountain range, where several gnome tribes dwell along with an elf tribe and one or two halfling tribes. The area around this mountain range is littered with small forests, making the mountains easy to defend. The Southern Half of the continent is covered with mountainous rainforest until the farthest South, where there are hilly, craggy plains.
The continent has a plethora tribes roaming its land, consisting of many races: Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Halflings, Goliaths, Giants, Orcs, Goblinoids. Of these, there are several more notable than the others these are as follows:
The elves have four tribes of note. The Songwise live in the North mountains, where they keep peace. The Bladeroot travel the grasslands, seeking conflict and bloodshed. The Crystalmask an the Kuto dominate their skills in stealth and crafting, respectively.
The dwarves have two tribes of note, both of whom live in the mountainous rain forest. The Deephammer clan are honest, hard-working dwarves true to their crafts and disciplines. The Blackquarry dwarves are dark dwarves of evil intent. The most notable human tribe is that of the Bamaru, fierce warriors, faithful allies, and cunning diplomats who have befriended the elven crafters.
The Goliaths are a notable clan, both because they are the only of their race and because they are strong, being powerful fighters as they need, but otherwise meeting other tribes warmly, if prepared for ambush.
The East Continent
Land of peace.
A mostly lush continent dominated by an empire but barren, harsh and abandoned in the North.
The Empire of the Phoenix is the largest nation, both on the continent and in the world. Its powerful, well-organized government keeps this nation, cobbled together from a myriad of cultures as it is, whole and stable, falling wholly under the jurisdiction of the council, a parliament of elects, not just from the major provinces of the nation, but from every city, village, and hamlet. The Land to the north, however, is thought to be inarable and therefore uninhabitable, its windy dunes and warm, craggy peaks abandoned to the forces of time and nature.
The continent, while comparable to the West continent in size and shape, is slightly longer longitudinally (East-West).
The North-most third of the continent is a dry desert-tundra with mountains and hills strewn about. The Eastern coast is the most mountainous area and has several seasonal streams that run through it for mere weeks, sometimes even only days, during the year.
The other two thirds are dominated by the Empire of the Phoenix, a long-standing government that rules peacefully through a council of town-elected representatives. The landscape consists of mountains running down the Eastern coast from the Northern desert which soon dissolve into a rainforest of comparable size to that on the West continent, which runs along half the coast claimed by the Empire and inland for several leagues. The rest is fertile, hilly grassland.
Within the Empire, many races live in close proximity, and, while they may not always get along, conflicts that are not avoided are resolved quickly by the Courts of Justice. The dominant race in the Empire is the Humans.
The South Continent
Land of history.
Where undead rule a forsaken forest that dominates the continent and harry the lands nearby, but is otherwise divided between two nations.
The two nations trade freely between themselves, but the intrigue between the two nations has the two governments at odds and their treaties are tenuously held in place by their common enemy. The source of the unending tides of undead have been unknown for centuries, and the forest has been shrouded in mystery since anyone who enters rarely returns.
The continent is longitudinally (East-West) the longest, though laterally (North-South) quite short.
The East half of the island, the half just south of the East continent and across the Dead Strait, is covered with a thick, lush, arcane rainforest. From this rainforest have risen countless hordes of undead armies for centuries, and the source has yet to be found. The two nations on this continent have treaties made strong by their shared enemy of the wickedness that spews forth from the forest, dividing the rest of the continent in half.
The Northern nation is enclosed by the high cliffs that are the shores to the north and east and controls the vast majority of the resources available to the living, while the Southern nation has all the trade ports available to international trade ships. Free trade lends itself to peace between the two, and the ever present conflict with the creatures of the forest distract from any enmity that may develop between their powers.
The Ice Continent
Land of knowledge.
A slowly-drifting glacier where a reclusive city-state holds sway over the desolate, unforgiving landscape.
Few traders dare venture to this drifting continent, as only few are trusted to enter its city in the peaks. From it traders come with rare and exotic goods of the finest quality. Many stories abound of the highly trained monks and clerics that train there, and of the few who journey into its barren landscape to seek new life and return with new experiences and power.
The continent is actually a never-melting glacier adrift in the Sinking Sea, relatively small when compared to the East, West, and South continent, but comparable in size to the Continent of Fire. It is only slightly longer laterally (North-South) than it is longitudinally (East-West), though the longitudinal length tapers to a point gradually from the North to the South.
The continent has a ridge of peaks and cliffs along the north shore, making the river and lake there exceptionally defensible for the only town on the continent, which is a fortress constructed out of a light grey stone with streaks of white. Any travelers are welcome to stay long enough to recover, resupply, and move on, but never see much of the city besides what is necessary for them to be shown. The few who do gain the trust of the resident monks and priests who control the city are treated to a wider access of the fortress, though many things are still prohibited to them. The city thrives through its discipline, training its monks and priests intensely in the defense, ruling, and preservation of the city.
Many rumors abound about the glacial city-state, the most prominent of which talk about vast libraries hidden away within the depths of the fortress, and magic rifts that have been preserved by the priests and monks over the centuries.
The Continent of Fire
Land of forbiddance.
A large island that is shrouded in mystery and magic but is known to be controlled by a less-than-advanced civilization.
In their secretive state, many rumors spread of both great danger and great fortune that are protected by the people of the only known tribe to inhabit its sandy lands, the Wo'Ku. They are proud and powerful, wielding powerful forces, even in times of no magic around the rest of the planet. Should anyone venture there, they are turned back by the Wo'Ku with a warning against their lives.
Comparable in size to the Ice Continent, it is only slightly larger, but still longer laterally (North-South) than it is longitudinally (East-West).
The main island of the continent is one of sand and craggy mountains, rule by a barbaric tribe that turns away any who attempt to explore the land. The smaller island nestle in its Southeastern bay is a newly formed land-mass originating from a volcano, charred and black from the cooling lava flows that have formed it. So, little is known of the continent, that not even rumors about it last very long.
Oceans and Seas
Even the seas and oceans are each unique:
The Middle Sea
The small ocean (relatively speaking as compared to the larger one between them that also contains the Ice Continent and the Continent of Fire) that separates the East and the West continents, where many isles and islands are still unclaimed. The sea was so named by unimaginative merchants and traders, who find it to be the fastest trade route between the two continent and to the South continent.
The Sinking Sea
The ocean between the East and West continent where the many currents from around the world meet. It is so named for the maelstroms that are produced when conflicting currents collide as the two continent that float within it, the Ice Continent and the Continent of Fire, drift in every direction and cause the currents to shift.
The sea separating the West continent from the South continent and the most commonly used route of intercontinental trade due to its favorable Easterly current year-round that causes boats to drift directly to the Middle Sea. Its complete lack of islands makes it perfect for a fast voyage.
The sea separating the East continent from the South continent and so named for the hundreds of islets, isles, and islands speckling its waves. Many ships run aground or are smashed against reefs as the Westerly current drifts them towards the Middle Sea in the winter, and the Easterly current pushes them to the Sinking Sea in the summer.
The vast expanse of water to the north, where the currents shift unpredictable from season to season and the three larger continents (East, West, and South) meet again, the other junction being where the Middle Sea and the Traders' and Dead Straits meet.
On this world, the magic works in long, erratic cycles. Sometimes the magic is overwhelming and creates rifts in the physical plane all over the world. Other times it is completely inaccessible, forcing the people to revert to technological advancement. Due to this, the world began in dark ages, but is very, very slowly inching its way through the technologies as forced by the fickle nature of magic.
The following are additions or changes to the rules and information presented in the Exploration and Environment section of the SRD.