Civilization & Environment
Argaes has the most diverse environment in the world. With the exception of arctic snow and ice, the landscape presents a sample of each of the world's terrain-types, making it an ideal place for a young adventurer to get started.
the surrounding sea
The currents swirling around the continent are too strong for a small vessel to navigate, requiring instead for larger ships to make any journey to or from another land.
the rocky northern coast
concepts: bottomless caves, the cliffs and the waterfall..
Cliffs and a few small plateaus separate the valley below from the coast. Various summits can be reached without climbing the rock-face, only by entering the caverns within the cliffs, but beware; the caves can be very dangerous. Going up leads you with moderate ease to the summits, but going down leads to unknown depths. Since the caves were discovered, people have been trying to reach the bottom, but lower levels continue to be found.
From the cliffs, a waterfall feeds a river that runs south, where it eventually meets a lake. Along the lake and bisected by the river lies the economic hub of the continent; Trade City.
A highway leaves Trade City its east and west gates. Following the road out of town in an easterly direction takes you through farmland and gradually in to hotter climate. Traveling instead to the west, you would quickly find the edge of the great forest.
the savanna & the desert
This dry area has very little ground water and only a few small aquifers and springs, but if you look in the right places, you can find fresh cacti which can be tapped for water. There are many old farm houses, barns and outbuildings scattered throughout the dust; many nearly or completely buried by mountains of silt and debris. Much of the landscape is still littered with the remnants of the forest that once thrived here.
The people of Sonbral claim ownership over the entire basin, though their city sits along the southern rim. The warriors of Sonbral use the desert for training, but other citizens also had their reasons for exploring this less than hospitable region. Shaman hunt for sacred herbs, while hunters hunt for dinner.
the forest & the jungle
The general area is separated by a river that flows west from the lake to the ocean. The woodlands on the northern side of the river are forest class, while the southern side's woodlands are jungle. Aside from this river, there are at least 4 other significantly sized rivers and quite a few streams, spread out across the region. Two mountains lie entirely within the jungle perimeter; the southernmost of the two is the world's largest known deposit of fool's gold.. though there are tales of sizable amounts of REAL gold being found, as well.
There are generally two modes of travel through the woodland regions, the many paths and roads, or the bridge network. The roads get you there, but the bridges are a bit more direct, making them a bit quicker. The bridges began in the town of Canopy, who's local government still maintains responsibility over them. To gain access to the bridge network, you must go to Canopy and obtain a pass.
Zartam is the senior power in the area. The entire jungle is sometimes referred to simply as "Zartam" because of its diligent control over the general area.
HELP THINK! ..I want there to be something other than surroundings distinguishing forest-folk from jungle-folk.. perhaps even just some sort of cultural wedge, like a strong difference in beliefs. I'm not sure if I want the two sides to be feuding, but that's a possibility. An idea that I had was that one side is attempting to get rid of the loggers, while the other side is doing nothing. That's kinda boring though. Any ideas for this would be appreciated. Also, I don't have enough planned for the woodlands.. so don't be afraid to put some thought in to the area.
Suggestion: Maybe the Jungle folks consider woman to be inferior beings, and value strength and brutality whereas forest folks consider them to be holy bringers of life, valuing wisdom and cunning?
Suggestion: Maybe there could be something like amazon tribes, not exactly amazons, another name would be better; an the animals there would be something like lions, tigers, mokeys, etc, but derivatives, like tiger-lion,monkey-gorilla,giant maggots, bitans, etc. somethig that make it a JUNGLE.
Suggestion: Perhaps the 'Jungle Folk' might be a bit more proficient in magic and magical knowledge/items than the 'Forest Folk'. Maybe the Forest Folken would be a bit more technologically advanced; any items they sold, traded or possessed would hinder the player's use of magic.
the two rivers & the swamp
This strip of land separates two formidable rivers. Somehow, the river on the west runs south, while the river on the east runs north. This circular flow has contributed a great deal to successful exploitation of the river, for shipping and travel. In the south, the two rivers meet the sea; this is the only safe access to and from the continent, by sea. This is what makes Trade City's location so vital; boats can come up the eastern river, dock at Trade City's harbor to unload/load cargo and make an easy exit down the western river, back out to sea. The two rivers are also used for local travel. An individual can go it alone with a boat of their own, or for an easier time, one can book passage on a ferry.
Back to the swamp.. though it's mostly trees and mucky water, a few caves can be found. The area used to be a blend of savanna and woodlands, but an alchemist's experiment turned the area in to a swamp. The experiment employed the use of magical spores, which were supposed to grow in to mushroom houses. Instead, the spores (which were probably handled improperly) grew in to fungus creatures, which quickly multiplied. Shortly after this blunder, the swamp began to form and the fungus creatures quickly overtook the strip. Zartam's council of elders banished the alchemist, who then promptly disappeared. They also ordered that a group be sent to the swamp, to contain the problem. Those people managed to learn to live in the swamp and continue their effort in pest control; the first generation of children could be being born there now.
the island off of the northeast coast
This tropical island is full of ferocious beasts. Only a few people live here and only they could tell you exactly why. A tribe inhabiting this place probably have some special spells or abilities to teach. We could place a small volcano here, if we really wanted to get cliched with the whole "tribal islanders" theme.
the southern mountainrange
Crossing the mountains is a challenge, but the road that passes through them is said to be a thief checkpoint. Rivers running between the mountains can be navigated by a small raft or boat, but this also carries its own set of risks. There are mining projects currently active in the area, leaving abandoned tunnels behind them.
the landmass is revealed
When the Gods escaped from the Crystals, the flow of elemental energy was altered. In addition to releasing vast amounts of previously unavailable energy, the environment was severely distorted. Northwest of Tonori, a storm raged for over a decade, causing extreme turbulence in the sea below. This seemingly normal turbulence then changed in to an enormous whirlpool. All travel through the area was interrupted.
The storm eventually relented and the sea calmed. Much to the world's surprise, the whirlpool that had disrupted travel for so long, seemed to give birth to an entirely new landmass. What started with a few explorers quickly expanded in to groups. A few small settlements, forts and colonies came and went and before long, people began to stay and raise families.
farming ruins the east
At first, the eastern half of the continent was a bounty of wild flora, allowing people to perform a passive form of agriculture; gathering. There were a few controlled crops, but they were small and uncommon. Most of the resources gathered from the area were of a wild variety. When the wild fruits, vegetables and herbs failed to output, people became impatient. When it started to seriously impact the area's food supply, people began to clear the land for farming. Much to the protest of woodland folk, most of the eastern forest was destroyed to make way for farms.
Though farming went well for a while, the hot winds from Tonori proved to be too harsh for the eastern edge of the continent. Without its previous blanket of woodlands to protect it, the area degraded to a dusty, desert waste and the farming days were over. Many of the people moved west, some attempted to leave the continent entirely. Some were content to stay on damaged ground, preferring the lifestyle for its rugged appeal.
modern-day boundaries begin to form
After the end of a small war to the southeast, a number of dislocated warriors sought refuge with a small group nomads, who were trying to survive in the new desert. The disorganized nomads realized that they warriors had much wisdom to offer them and insisted on receiving their guidance. Some of the warriors stayed and became integrated in to the nomad's group. Soon after, the group founded the town of Sonbral.
After taking in many refugees from the farming disaster, Zartam became more recognizable as a city. Though its boundaries tend to fluctuate the most, it is the oldest, active settlement known on Argaes.
Trade between Sonbral and Zartam was non-existent for a while, but eventually a trading post was established midway between both regions. Over time, this trading post attracted its own community. The community built a village and over a bit more time, the village became Trade City.
Today, Trade City's people have developed a new but powerful government called the Republic of Argaes, which seeks to control the continent's economy.