WBJ2015: Geography

Aluma has three main continents: Ywaszj (Yuashi), Mitrokh, and Resona [tentative name]. Ywaszj and Resona lie along the same west-east line, but Mitrokh is south to them.

Far north to Ywaszj and Resona is the arctic region, called Prossiveria. It gets its name from being close (or proximate) to the north star, known as Veria, which in turn gets its name from Verity because of its use as a guide. Largely lifeless and still, not a lot happens there. It is somehow in near-night twilight almost all the time, even more than would be expected from the normal cycle of polar night/day.

Humans have almost never been to Prossiveria, afraid based on the few previous explorers’ failure to report back that terrible things lurk there. To be fair, one somewhat terrible thing does: a powerful hexart named Achroma made out of a peculiar glass-ice. Achroma prefers to bask alone in the cold eternal ice of Prossiveria and the vast, hollow truths of existence. When the Kolonok expedition, the first to really uncover the mystery of Prossiveria, tried to analyse her, she didn’t take kindly to it and made short work of nearly all of the team. Kolonok survived to document her, but was not well known until a folk song about him based on his notes surfaced many years later.

Resona

Resona is sort of the place of legends. It’s notably home to Grævonia and Aeterna, two countries from a common ancestral culture that once fought each other but now have settled into a more subtle, peaceful rivalry.

Grævonia definitely has forests, undulating hills, and bluffs. It’s home to a number of different Hexartiformes, including hexarts, leijonœrns, and cœlhips; Hexartiform diversity is kind of its special bragging thing. Grævonia is somewhat plain compared to Hinotoria, Vvaghras, and even Aeterna, but its places all look so inexplicably interesting and full of adventure. It’s the kind of place that’s full to the brim with weird landmarks that each have their own dubious story—that weird swamp, that warped tree, that one place with the huge rock, that one eerily unremarkable stretch of roads that one local is sure must have a monster in it.

Aeterna has 16 different states, each with their own distinctive features. This is a rather tentative, incomplete description of each of them but eh.

  • Veritania probably has some wetlands.
  • Bloth might have wild cats? Possibly servals. If so it definitely has open grassy areas.
  • Zzuria is a state of farms and countryside. It notably has a lot of crows.
  • Cvars [tentative name] makes fine things. It has at least one crystalline cave.
  • Vogelhairnn [tentative name] neighbours the capital. It has some Græv influence.
  • Reannar [tentative name] is home to the Rotators, a class of movers. In Aeterna, as elsewhere, surnames are sometimes used as given names; this is where Rotator Phoenix’s given name comes from.
  • Oteceta is famous for eggs. It has a lot of henhouses, as well as fish farms, some of which raise an unusual breed of sturgeon called the Harrmerad that produces small clutches of giant hard-shelled eggs.
  • Perkh is known for high-altitude areas where llamas thrive, as well as good growing conditions for cotton and coffee. Though it does not have a lot of trees it often ends up full of wind-blown leaves from neighbouring states (the leaves carry small tightly-clinging seeds).
  • Vanse has a lot of beekeepers.
  • Hesterima is strongly isolated from all but one neighbour by a really difficult-to-navigate strip of badlands, with ocean on the other side.
  • Sevellina [tentative name] also neighbours the capital. It’s sort of known as the clan-state of historians.
  • Saxicona [tentative name] is known for streams, waterfalls, and rocky cliffsides. It exports ink.
  • Harberra is full of temperate forest. It’s well known as a source of wood.
  • Bommullagh [tentative name] is really good at shipbuilding but has a lot of rats, making it hard to farm anything. There are so many rats even cats are useless. People have become accustomed to eating them given the expense of raising most better kinds of meat.
  • Crotana [tentative name] … has snakes maybe? Also possibly leucrotas.
  • Ssairreta, historically a really warlike state, is located near Hesterima, containing part of its border badlands. It’s rather dry and dusty and almost feels lifeless. It has people known as Sirripars who supposedly can detect spirits.

Was your first thought “man those look hard to pronounce”? It was mine too. Have a pronunciation key.

The capital (Aeterna, Aeterna), is known as the place of clocks, with clocks of various kinds basically everywhere. It has a distinctly dated feel to it, very visible in its architecture and roads, though on the whole its people have mostly embraced the modern era. A lot of cities in Aeterna are something like this, though usually their aesthetics have aged a lot better and they aren’t nearly as obsessed with clocks.

In between the two is Corazón, or previously, the Heartland. The Heartland was prime farm country, full of life. Corazón is now full of zen-garden-like sand, whiteness, and a few sterile white future-modern buildings. Nobody lives there who isn’t a member of the Quack Faction.

Ywaszj

Ywaszj is quite a varied continent, with a lot of different environments on it. Much of the continent is taken up by The United Establishment of Hwnzj Trjvp (aka Hinotoria), a collection of what were once many different states that now function as a single cohesive country. Each territory maintains its own peculiar customs and such, but unlike Aeterna the separate territories are not treated as separate states. Over the ages, Hinotoria swallowed them all up—peacefully in most cases—inviting them into the union but also allowing them to keep doing things as they had, and eventually, the overarching culture began to spread into the territories.

Two of the many places within Hinotoria are the Great Ailuran Range and Bazj Kwn (Baj Kun), the lake city of herons (both of which were incidentally created by Ariana). Other places have maple trees, or even rainforest. One part of the continent has high mountains covered in snow, one of the more dangerous places to be; rare creatures called shikunbao are one of the few things that can navigate them effectively.

Also on Ywaszj is the Kskenghra (Sengra) territory, maintained by a nomadic people who have always picked fights with and never surrendered to Hinotoria. Their territory is largely grassland, with a number of formidable beasts, most famously the monoceros. The Sengra are known for domesticating an animal closely related to it, known to the world as the zenra (“zenra” being a butchering of kskenghra, their word for the monoceros they take their name from). Zenras are highly obedient and good workers, making them popular in Hinotoria. (The Sengra as a whole resent them having their special zenras, but Sengra are often greedy and Hinotorians are often generous so it probably didn’t take long for a few individuals to trade them zenras for something suitably disproportionate.)

Third, there’s a part of Ywaszj called The Scorched. It’s simply a vast wasteland of ash and ruin.

Mitrokh

Mitrokh is a really treacherous continent, full of all manner of harsh, unpredictable places. On it are Vvaghras, Mazzul, the Fort, and the Borderlands. Probably a handful of places too hostile to inhabit too.

Vvaghras is a really beautiful place, filled with a lot of water. Some of it is mangrove forest, some of it is rivers, some of it open water or marshier areas. The country gets its name from a striped marsupial called the vvagra, which preys on small aquatic rodents with the help of talon-like feet. Vvaghras is full of a lot of desirable and exotic resources, including minerals, unusual woods, unique pigments, plant products, animal products. Of course, in order not to deplete them, the Vvagh have judiciously expanded some of their operations out to other parts of Mitrokh. The rest of Mitrokh is a fairly good place for resources as well, with the “slight” disadvantage that it’s way more dangerous than Vvaghras.

Mazzul is a deserty region, not very well inhabited. Its main hazards are just extreme temperatures and getting lost, but sometimes throughout the desert “mystery beings” such as Seuwayotes (harmless) and Portensilisks (somewhat dangerous) will appear. There are occasional snakes, but most are not dangerous. It has at least one town of some size, with some of its buildings made of or within giant cacti. Its people have honed the art of navigation over large distances using palm-sized armillary-sphere-like compasses.

The Fort is located within a large forest region known as Dixygia [tentative name]. Dixygia is famous for a reindeer-like animal called the camotarand, which can change the patterning of the skin beneath its transparent hair to almost perfectly blend in with its surroundings. Generally in Dixygia, everything is adapted to either blend in, act fast, or both, so Machination-aligned circles including the Fort generally have this weird almost worshipful reverence of it, treating it and almost everything in it like a model that needs to be aspired toward. Probably foxes live there, knowing Machination’s oldest and most legendary Antecedent was named “Fox”. Maybe weasels too.

The Fort itself carries out a number of useful tasks, including mining and logging; it’s sort of an organ of Vvaghras in practice, though Vvaghras doesn’t actually control it and never did. Its idea is to make strong anybody who can withstand its gruelling work, and “build character”, as well as get you some connections and other help in becoming great. Kind of like a military thing, though completely not aimed at combat.

The Borderlands are perhaps one of the most unpredictable places in the world. At first they appear to be normal, but the deeper you get into them the weirder and more incoherent they get. (Going too deep will take you straight into the Aether actually.) So-called “mystery beings”, a really uncommon sight elsewhere, are at peak density here; seeing more than one of them is usually enough to freak out any would-be explorers and direct them straight back home.

Other places

There… are supposed to be a few other places but I haven’t really placed them. :p

One is Salvare, the small haven country Fuchsia manages. I don’t know where it is but it’s fairly remote.

Another is Techanopia, the glassy newagey sky city run by the Techs. I thiiiink it would most likely be on Ywaszj because it was founded after a big war that mostly happened in Resona, as kind of an escape.

The Aether

I’ve said all that really needs to be said about it in the WSP. This is just here to remind you it’s there, particularly if you haven’t read it yet and are like “what’s the aether?” “what are mbs??”. ;)

Other planets

The aside at the beginning made me think about this so I’ll add, I hadn’t thought about the possibility of life on other planets before but now that I think about it, MBs don’t require any air (or any anything except sustanzsia), so I’m pretty much certain there are MBs chilling out on other planets, and even just wandering around in space. There could be MBs casually hanging out in freaking gas giants for crying out loud. Probably not in stars unless they’re really powerful, but short of that, MBs can go practically anywhere. (Even there, Totalia or Nanta probably could go inside stars no problem since they are stars.)