Geography (TLKoA Setting)
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Geography by Area
I tried making a table of climates at Docs And got confused about scales and temperatures.
Special Encounter Areas
Dorasi Plains colony
The giant ants of the Dorasi Plains (stats as formians) live in extensive underground colonies, miles of winding passageways connecting chambers and complicated fungus farms. Guests, usually Druids or Rangers with high int, see very little of this, and the uninvited see only the fungus which decomposes their flesh whilst their heart still beats.
Rooms are roughly spherical, upper corridors are mostly empty (1d12) although patrols of ant males (always in 2s) increase rapidly as threats approach egg Chambers, or the Queen. Ants under threat may call friendly Xorns to their aid using patterns of floor stamps
Caprinon, Elven staging post
The small town of Caprinon lies on the strategically important river Ell, known by the Elves as the westward river, and the easiest way to lead an army into Dorasi territory without risking the logistics of water and food on the plains. The military camp and it's makeshift dock take up a position on the north bank of the river, whilst the main town is situated to its South, and the general attitude is mixed. Elders who experienced the first and as yet last confrontation between humans and elves in Vaniya are apprehensive of, and in some cases directly opposed to, the idea of putting their people through it again, whilst the younger generation, which includes leader Mirasaer Stormwind, naively yearn for warfare, as a way to prove their position in the continent.
Interspersed with the regimented dwarven earthworks, makeshift Mandrai tunnels snake off in all directions. Along the sides of all the tunnels are blast marks from magical excavation, and at random intervals, veins of extracted crystal leak chaos, forming pools and clouds. Random effect from interplanar travel to blindness or insanity [I have used both the tables for the rod of wonder, and the 'net libram of random magical effects (v2)'].
Maps should be made up of gridlike wide (if a little low) tunnels on various levels and smaller ratways between. Chaos ~30ft intervals in smaller tunnels. Non-Dwarf characters exploring the mines may well be confounded by their design, and need dc16 survival check each hour to stay sane. Bands of Mandrai (~2d4, larger groups have sorcerers) may surprise PCs with an ambush, using their knowledge of the area to full effect.
"The expansive colleges, universities and learning houses of the new city of Rike stand resplendent as bastions of truth and shining lights illuminating the future of humanity and the enlightened humanoid races." That's the intention, anyway, but despite the discoveries made and tomes of knowledge accumulated, most progress emerges from an inherent competition between the constantly feuding parties. If members of the royal family spent some effort on uniting the system, perhaps improvements could be made, but it could be that the complexity of the system is the only thing holding it together.
Maps should have large (not quite venetian) amounts of waterways, at least one of the 12 or so larger institutions, a few smaller schools (think Sanctaphrax) and a relatively low proportion residential areas. Groups of rowdy students may behave much as they do now, albeit with a little more menace, especially if you're in the wrong area at the wrong time.
Elven settlements in the Rinon Gulf form around volcanic hotspots, and along the main rift in a wide band at optimal temperature distance. Houses are mostly dome shaped for purposes of structural integrity, and roughly 50% will be air-filled. Temples and religious buildings (dedicated to Deep Sashelas, the Elven god of the sea) are situated closer to the rifts, and some may preside over large bridges, magically cooled to make the passage bearable. Toll payments go to the followers, although nobody begrudges them their share.
Maps would be difficult, since three dimensional movement is possible, and some houses even operate on a kind of buoyant second layer. There is some resentment between those in an airbreather only upper layer, and the mostly 'true' Sea Elves of the baselayer.
Mandrai temples built in their golden age are varied and magnificent, ranging from ziggurats with reaching spires to wide based pyramids, and can also range from completely destroyed, overgrown so much as to be almost unrecognisable, to almost completely intact, spires wrapped in vines yet retaining some shred of magical protection reveal perfectly preserved chambers within.
Maps vary by temple design and integrity, although near all will contain central altars dedicated to Lolth, the spider goddess, and bands of Mandrai (2d4, often +1 dreamer or minor sorcerer) seeking lost magical artefacts are likely to turn up.
Vosstern, guild of farriers
The guild of farriers holds a prominent position on the riverfront of Vosstern, and has risen rapidly in the recent escalation of military strength between Doras and Rydony, given their near monopoly over nearly all the stables in the city and the majority of those in the surrounding area, as far as Cadenze and Navoss. The inside of the guild betrays their position as nouveau riche, with expensive decor as yet unstained by wild parties (almost certainly the reason you're here).
The large panelled doors open into a sumptuous meeting chamber with a small shrine where at peak times contractors from nobles to generals may be seen, although in very different states depending on which peak it is. A smaller smoking room and the warrens of kitchens, servant quarters and storage rooms make up the rest of the first floor. Up sweeping gilded marble steps lies suites of private rooms for important clients and 'necessary moments'. Also on the upper floor are employees' offices, mostly poky cupboard spaces, apart from two polar opposite rooms facing across the main balcony, owned by the ambitious twin half-elves to whom the guild belongs.
The lake which forms a centrepoint to the Ambvrrian trade triplicate may seem innocuous at first, but, apart from the unusually bustling towns on its shores, a particularly discerning adventurer may find that though the Ambvir, Wise, and Mord rivers feed into the lake, its seaward side is blockaded by a crescent of mountains. In fact, no rivers drain the Mite. Beneath its still, dark waters is a direct portal to the elemental plane of water, which keeps the water level constant. The attraction of the lake is the clam pearls which thrive in turbulent waters near the edge of the portal, the only material besides crystals from the Mandlin mines which can hold the magic necessary to create a magic item. Two groups brave the journey to the deeps, with the fisher monks of Belge, and the lake-walkers of Edgeburr, who rely on discipline and magic respectively.
boats regularly leave both towns to travel to near the middle of the lake, but you'd be hard pressed to find one with passage across, given the inherent competition between the two groups of divers.
Serdanon, Great Longlace Bridge
Situated on the border between Romara and the far southern reaches of Rydony, Serdanon technically spans the Longlace river, becoming simultaneously the southernmost Rydonian settlement, and the northernmost Dorasi controlled City. The Garrison retains capacity for the vast forces of Doras which were already beginning to arrive in ~650KE, before they were sent back east to fight at carnage hill. The bridge is an imposing structure, built as much to block Rydonian trade downriver as to cross. A two part affair, the wide, low bridge connects to an island halfway, where a Dorasi fortress marks the end of nominally Dorasi controlled territory, and acts as border control as effectively as it can with a fraction of its intended soldiery.