Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Lay of the Land

Today I will give a brief overview of the lands surrounding the Trollenmere, the kingdom in which it is located, and the greater world beyond, as they all currently exist. I doubt this will be their final form, but it is a good start. A glossary of the names and places can be found here.

The Lands around the Trollenmere

In what was once the land of the Skidafolk before their clan fell under the rule of the Uskings, Northmarch encompasses the northwestern reaches of Usk, and where the Skaldafjoll and Wilderlands meet, there is an ancient and deep lake with no rivers flowing into or from it. This crescent-shaped lake is known as the Trollenmere.

The sliver of a lake some 70 miles from north coast to west coast and about 10 miles wide at its widest as it curls around the southernmost mountain of the Skaldafjoll, Kalwinberg. Of unknown depth, the unnaturally clear and icy waters still obscure its tremendous depths where legends whisper of primordial beasts and abominations. Still, the lake is home to many fish and birds, and countless deer, beavers, ermines, stoats, otters, and more drink from its frigid waters freely.

To the north of Trollenmere lies the slopes of Kalwinberg, covered in pines to an altitude of 9,000 feet, marks the northern edge of the Dunweald, and this branch is known as the Silverketh. On the southern shore of the great lake lies Dunmire, a large, still expanse of fens, bogs, and marshes about twenty miles long about which the Finwold wraps and hugs the lake. Where the Finwold and Silverketh meet in the west is a clearing occupied by the ruins of the ancient city Thanras whose doom is not known to man and most feel should stay that way. And nestled near that ancient city shrouded in secrets is a small, stony island known as Kattaholm. The otherwise unremarkable island gained renown generations ago when sorcerers built a castle atop its granite crags and cliffs and named it Seidrborg. The marvelous edifice still remains, but the school has long since vanished into the mists of time.

And on the opposite end of the lake in the north, an unassuming town called Alnwich grasps to life amidst the enchanted forests of Dunmire. There, the stalwart descendants of the Skidafolk eke out a living hunting, farming, and fishing in the puny hollow of civilization they have carved from the Wilderlands. Connected to the rest of Northmarch, they are among the most isolated congregations of people in Usk, but that is changing. A driving desire throughout the kingdom for furs has created a small boom, with the Royal Mercantile Syndicate moving in to acquire furs and feed the insatiable demands of civilization. Furs. The people of Alnwich all but exist these days to support the fur trade, but that same trade is changing their enchanting village. But the call of the Wilderlands is never far and the Skidafolk still remember days of communion with the Forest. The North remembers its freedom – a freedom that burns inside every resident.

The Kingdom of Usk

The Kingdom of Usk lies in the catchments of the River Usk and the northern stretches of the Arafon. These lands are marked by gentle hills that grow more wild and rough in the northern reaches, until they ultimately turn into the foothills of the Skaldafjoll in Northmarch. To the east of Usk lies Carantania, and the west the Wilderlands. To its south, the Planes of Arnath stretch for countless miles under the great blue sky, and to the north, the cold clouds of the Vitrdauth break against the Skaldafjoll.

The kingdom itself ranged from pleasant temperate climates in the south to subarctic ones in the northern mountains, but most of Northmarch is just a cold continental climate. The capital city of Dunmore upon its hill overlooking the confluence of the Usk and Arafon has mild summers, cold winters, and plenty of rainfall, much like most of the kingdom. Violent weather usually takes the form of blizzards in the winter or torrential thunderstorms in the summer, and near the southern border, tornados are known to occur in Spring.

Beyond Usk

The Planes of Arnath lie to the south, where the Riders of Arnath make their nomadic existence in the endless seas of grass. The extent of their realm is not known, but it ends in the north at the Great Wall, a natural escarpment some hundreds of feet high that rises to the plateau upon which Usklond perches, and in the west at the Wilderlands.

To the East of Usk lie the boreal Carantanian Forest inhabited by the clans of hardy people who live close to the land and closer to the axe and sword. Their frozen haunts stretch into the East, some say to the morning abode of the Sun itself. Theirs is a difficult life, for the forest is a hard and cruel mistress whose frozen ground suffers not crops to grow and whose leafy canopy lets little light to the forest floor.

The Skaldafjoll mountains of the North form a shield wall against the merciless march of snow, ice, and sorrow. There in that bleak expanse known as the Vitrdauth, only the courtiers of death prowl the frozen wastelands where Mistress Winter makes her halls. Ever her chilling tendrils creep through the passes of the Skaldafjoll in search of egress into the world below. Should the dam ever break, the world will be engulfed by snow and ice.

And to the West, a vast expanse of dark woodlands and enchanted streams known as the Wilderlands stretches for miles untold. There the spirits of old still roam free and monsters of legend make their layers. Untouched by civilization, the Wilderlands are pure Nature in all of Her unbridled, fickle cruelty. Such is the land of faerie tales and more.

No comments :

Post a Comment