Sundering the Gods

On the Eve of Snows,

come heavens or hells,

war will rage.

The Seven Sister Continents

Kûtu

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The Continent of Kûtu can be broken into three geographic regions, Northern, Central and Southern, which are easily discernible by the “hourglass” shape of the continent. Despite all evidence suggesting that Kûtu and Sutân were once part of a larger body of land they are very dissimilar. Where Sutân is dominated by steamy jungles Kûtu's Southern and Central regions are open rolling hills more suited to agriculture. The Southern and Central regions are also where the Kêanth, a human culture, has cleared additional lands to make a  living from various agricultural ventures, ranging from grains and grapes to sheep and Kutun cattle. The Northern region becomes mountainous, cold and sparsely populated by civilized peoples.

Many have suggested that the Kêanth are a remnant of whatever empire ruled both Kûtu and Sutân in ages past but their architecture, art and traditions dissuade most scholars of this notion. The Kêanth certainly are benefactors of this past civilization, as they have taken advantage of fertile lands previously cleared of jungle by their predecessors and by restoring ancient structures for their own uses. Because of the reclamation of these locations there are fewer ruins upon Kûtu than there are on Sutân, but the Kêanth rarely fully understand these places in which they live.

The wilder areas of Kûtu, remaining forest on the East Coast and the northern region in particular are quite dangerous with Îgœ tribes, amongst other more brutal creatures, dominating where man does not. One particularly nasty, but small, animal that gives everyone pause is the tiny Kîmu frog, whose poison is agonizingly deadly, causing rapid swelling and a hardening of the skin, the combination of which can cause large ruptures and death.  

Kubanxê are also known to frequent the continent, this trader people doing a steady business with the Kêanth of the Central region where many fine wines are made from the multitude of vineyards in that area. The persistent presence of the Kubanxê traders indicates that it is a robust and profitable trade partnership.

A halfling people known as the Œkêtu also dwell in Southern Kûtu in small tight knit communities. They and the Kêanth mostly stay out of each other’s way, as both are settled agricultural peoples with little need for expansion. Conflicts between the two tend to favor the Œkêtu as they are quick and reputedly deadly with the Atlatl, and their combination above and below ground dwellings are difficult and dangerous to attack. Most disputes are settled peaceably in consensual trials headed by regional leaders of both peoples, and by 300 F.E. this has developed into an extremely formal and effective dispute resolution system.

Sutân

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The Day of Forgetting was relatively tame on the continent of Sutân as there is little that can be called civilized about this region. The better part of this continent is dominated by vast mountain ranges and dense jungle, and even in the far Northwest jungle dominates around the seismically active geyser fields, where lakes of steaming water keep the surrounding environment unnaturally warm.

Despite the current lack of civilization in the F.E. there is plentiful evidence of a previous and extremely powerful nation, ranging from massive abandoned cities to libraries full of tomes unreadable now. Nobody knows the name of the people who once dwelt here, but their civilization was likely at its height during the God Wars, and dominated all of Sutân and Kûtu, so it is assumed that the people and their gods were extremely influential in those times. Map fragments from the Ages of God Wars and Warlords which depicted this area as one piece of land have labeled the region as Totukotwonu, and without any further eidence of what to call this ancient people, Totukotwonu has come to mean both the larger Kûtu-Sutân Continent and the mysterious people that ruled it.

One culture remaining on the continent is the Îgœ, a mannish race, burly, fanged and more powerfully built than humans the Îgœ are thought to possibly have been slaves to the dominant people of the continent during previous ages. The difficulty of communicating with these people, who’s language is primitive and relatively difficult has proven fruitless in learning anything of their past beyond the Forgetting. They are also a primitive, untrusting and violent people, just as likely to kill strangers as to attempt communication.

The numerous ruins scattered through the jungles are certain to date to the Age of Warlords at least, and many to the God Wars, so treasure hunters, explorers and scholars are drawn to this continent from circa 450 F.E. onward. How much knowledge of the God Wars is hidden in all those texts, just waiting for the day they can be translated? Nobody knows, but it is worth many lives and hoards of gold to collect such treasures. 

The jungles and mountains are teeming with dangerous creatures ranging from tiny disease carrying bugs to three ton monstrosities to poisonous tree dwelling Yûn-Tœhô and the Spirit Jaguars known as Lîpû. Around every tree, in the foggy haze hanging in the jungle’s canopy, beneath the surface of every stagnant pool, something is always out to bite and eat the unwary.

The interior of the continent is a geographic phenomenon, a high altitude plateau surrounded by mountains so difficult to reach that it is not known to exist until circa 650 F.E., and what dwells in those dense jungles is a mystery until well into the S.E.

Demmen

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When speaking of the continent of Demmen it is useful to break it into two “civilized” zones, the Kastal Peninsula in the Northeast and the Rendren Coast that faces the Black Straits between Demmen and Demmen Minor (also known as the Black Isle for the extensive black cliffs on the southern coast). Both of these land masses lacked any significant population but both showed signs of previous, scattered, and seemingly unrelated civilizations presumably dating back to the Age of God Wars. What does exist leading up to the Day of Forgetting are a multitude of micro-cultures, small pockets of civilization within foundations left by past peoples.

The Day of Forgetting presents many issues in respect to the first colonization of these lands by the Kartâ. Evidence seems to suggest that they arrived upon Demmen Minor and the Rendren Coast regions just before the Day of Forgetting, and continued in greater numbers immediately after. Why these Kartâ were arriving and continued to arrive is speculation, mostly centered around the idea that they were refugees of a fallen warlord, but whatever the reason these Kartâ quickly come to dominate the region, razing most towns and cities they encountered while routing, destroying, or assimilating the many little cultures they came into contact with. This nomadic Kartâ people, with its violent disdain for civilization, is concentrated upon Demmen Minor and the Rendren Coast and reaches as far as the isle of Trâ, however, the further east they traveled the less extensive the damage to the local cultures.

In the first millennia of the Age of Stability this region is primarily about these Kartâ and their drive for dominance and destruction of civilization with relatively little influence from the more populated continents of the world. The Island of Trâ experiences some Lûxun influence, and they make contact across the region, but they never make a major push into the area except for trade. In the arctic south of Demmen, where tundra and mountains are covered in ice and snows, the undead are prevalent in abnormal numbers, particularly in the east that is closest to Kunûbis. 

Off the west coast lies the Colonies Bay and Sea of Demons, where a multitude of tiny islands, uncharted and mostly so small as to not be mapped, lie. These islands are violent and mysterios, where strange and powerful creatures may be found. Arguably, the more intriguing feature of these islands and their diverse and dangerous populations, is that these creatures seem to be “imprisoned” upon these islands.

History doesn’t account for the odd variety of peoples in this region, not surprising considering the Forgetting, but unusual beings and peoples also seem to just appear in the frozen wilds. This is similar to phenomena upon Molo, with the addition of Forgetting style memory loss.

Northern Vandunêz

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Northern Vandunêz is a continent with a widely diverse population of peoples ranging from the Êdân and their cousin elves that dominate the vast forest on the eastern coast to the numerous Tek Nations to the Eight Kingdomer Dwarves and the boar-like Mexûk of the Mîsunik jungles of the south. With these and several other cultures ranging the lands, conflict and war are a near constant even without wilds teeming with dangerous creatures.

The Dragon Span Mountains which are home to the Eight Kingdoms are a natural barrier between north and south, with the north generally being more civilized during the first several hundred years of the F.E., due to the Tek Nations and Êdân dominating up there. The wet tropical belt south of the Dragon Spans is a lush plain overrun by powerful tribes of a variety of creatures, which keep the more mannish races' advancement held back.

On the Lœsî Peninsula of the southeast are two peoples, the Gôrôtan and Listôlên, who are at odds with each other at every turn, with the Gôrôtan holding the fertile rolling hills and the Listôlên the forested and more mountainous north. The Gôrôtan city-states of the early F.E. are easily the most civilized people of the south until the arrival of the Silonê migration circa 504 F.E.

To the north of the mainland continent lies the Island of Kaludor which is dominated by the Silonê Clans until 502 F.E. Cataclysmic events drive the Silonê from the island at this date, although a few remain behind, and this people finds themselves on a long and bloody journey to a new homeland in the south.  

A short distance to the northwest of the Dragon Spans lies another geographic landmark, a mirror of sorts of the mountains, known simply as the Orstân Rift. This great canyon is routinely over a mile deep, as wide as thirty miles at points, and is several hundred miles long. The Rift during the F.E. serves as a natural barrier to the Tek Nations, giving the Ûlstrwar and Ilu-Sivztro a defensible haven from their northern neighbors. 

Southern Vandunêz

 

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The continent of Southern Vandunêz is geographically dominated by a huge desert, collectively known as the Deserts of Ul, and in the First Era, socially by the Lûxun people whose homeland are the Sea Throne Islands off the south coast, but the lands are widely unsettled and the peoples scattered without cohesive central governments. Whether speaking of the Korô Nomads of the Deserts Ul-Œñerô and Ul-Lâñeru (who thrive around the Sunddestogu River) or the Horse-Born Ûvî of the Ûvœzjûn Plains, the largest human populations of this continent are primarily tribal. The exceptions are the Korômon, the northern cousins of the Korô, who develop into a feudal society with scattered kings early in the First Era and the geographically separated Œvin Klîn, who tend toward decentralized forms of government as they both develop into civilizations centered around independent city-states.

The Lûxuns, human-like with some seemingly avian characteristics, on the other hand are arguably the first empire to develop in the First Era with a strong central government based on the Island of Lûxêu. This people expands rapidly in the confusion following the forgetting with their ships settling both Southern Vandunêz and Molo by 50 F.E. With sea-going vessels traversing the world they are often considered the most influential people of the first thousand years of the Age of Stability.

The massive desert is broken into three regions: Ul-Œñernô, Ul-Lâneru and the Ôkôtô Badlands. Ul-Œñernô and Ul-Lâneru are separated by one of the longest rivers in the world, the Sunddestogu, while the Ôkôtô Badlands vaguely begin as you leave the dunes and flatlands of Ul-Lâneru for a rougher, rockier region that lacks the massive blowing dunes of the other regions. Ul-Œñernô and Ul-Lâneru are home to the Korô Nomads (a human people) who believe that they belong to the desert rather than vice versa, which is a basic acknowledgement that life in these lands is dominated by the fight to survive rather than to conquer. The Ôkôtô Badlands are often traversed but never inhabited by any “civilized” people as both the climate, terrain and creatures of this region make even migrating through the area treacherous. 

The other dominating features of the continent are the mountain ranges, the most western of which spans the west coast and is nearly as long as the Sunddestogu River. These mountains too are broken into three regions, the Hen-Mokar and Hen-Gyîn, which border the desert, and the Ôlôvrek Mountains in the north. The two Hen Chains are home to the Kôlkân dwarven nations while the Ôlôvrek are claimed and mined by the Korômon, who must resist the trespasses of the Kôlkân as well as defend their mines from a troglodyte creature known as the Es-Zêmê. West of these mountains lies a strip of fertile land settled by the Totohoku, an amphibian seafaring folk who colonize both the beaches and shallow coastal waters. 

The range east of the Ôkôtô Badlands is known as the Motokôtô Mountains, and this is the pre-Forgetting homeland of the Kôlkân, whose ancient tunnels are collapsed or overrun by a vicious being called the Bokœ, who forced the Kôlkân from their caverns early in the Age of Warlords.  

 

Molo

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The continent of Molo covers the southern pole of the planet with the polar land mass covered in a glacier at least a mile thick in most areas. The region not covered in ice, which stretches north into warmer climate zones, is known as Molo while the glacier region is known as Polar Molo. Seismic activity where the two pieces of ground meet is steady and occasionally intense, causing great chunks of glacier to fall to the earth to complement the already shuddering ground. These tremors make traveling into the caverns all the more deadly.

These tremors have also created great crevasses in the glacier of Polar Molo that are sometimes miles wide at their mouths and which penetrate the glacier to unknown depths in cracked, treacherous mazes. All manner of strange creatures have been known to come from crevasses, ranging from mammoth to giant sloths to the primitive dwarf-like people known as the Polisêzt to name a few. No one has ever made it far enough into these caves to discover the source of these creatures, but over time many do try, often hitting dead ends that leave the mystery greater than before.

Molo’s more populated region is still a very harsh environment where herds of mammoth vie against packs of dire wolves and saber toothed tigers in the unforgiving wilds, while creatures just as deadly but more intelligent keep civilization from encroaching too far. That said, several cities do exist on the coasts, all of which are ruled by the Lûxun Empire, but heavily populated with the hyena-like Ruxkarê who give their allegiance to the Lûxuns. Outside the cities the Lûxun patrols become sparse as they employ the local Ruxkarê to handle most issues with their mining operations. By 150 F.E. these operations include the enslavement of the Polisêzt by the Ruxkarê with the tacit approval of the Lûxuns, who are not known as a slaver people. Ores taken form the mountains here range from iron to gold and even some Elementally Infused metals, making the operations here economically vital.

The rolling hills of Molo are mostly covered by a hardy cold and drought resistant grass known as saber grass, as it stands nearly four feet tall, adequate to hide hunting tigers from the unwary with ease while maintaining herds of antelope and mammoth. Scattered across the landscape one also finds the Perkeru, a thorny evergreen shrub whose branches are a popular home for several species of bird, while varmints live in the midst of the trunk and roots, all seeking the protection of the plant's poisoned thorns. The coasts of Molo sustain some tree growth, but most permanent housing on this continent is crafted from the stone of the land, while the Ruxkarê use their limited wood supply to create tent poles, utilizing bison and mammoth hide to fashion their more temporary structures that range from teepee to yurt depending on wood availability.

Anduras

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In the First Era Anduras is primarily populated by three human cultures, the most advanced of which are the Talmeran, who inhabit the Talmeran Peninsula in the far northeast of the continent and the western shore of the Talmeran Sea. At the time of the Forgetting this region is relatively lush and green, but over the first one thousand years of the First Era the climate begins to dry and become cooler, killing off most vegetation and leading to desertification while crippling the Talmeran Kingdom.

The Kartâ people are another advanced civilization at the start of the F.E., noted for their sailing, trading and exploration. The Kartâ live on the southern end of the continent below the Andurin Belt mountain chain, a region soaked by rains nearly year round. The Kartâ Kingdoms that form in the First Era remain mostly regional powers but do make contact with peoples from the world in their explorations.

The third indigenous humans on Anduras are the Andurin people, who were given this name by the Lûxuns based upon fragments of (admittedly inaccurate) charts when the continent was rediscovered by Lûxun sailers after the Forgetting. There was never a united Andurin people, but both the Telnepon and Ilsdar nations are populated by those called Andurin. Interestingly, Ilsdar is actually ruled by a Gorôtan family of the same name.

The formation and migration of a collection of peoples known as Nîdronderians, which literally means the “Followers of Nîdron”, is one of the major events of the First Era on Anduras. The Nîdronerians are not a single people, but are rather made up of dwarves, half-dwarves and gray-skinned humans. Nîdron is a powerful figure of enigmatic origin, but he manages to bring these peoples under his banner and lead them from the small Northeastern Mountains to the Anderac Mountains on the west coast, and founding what is known as the First Kingdom circa 265 F.E. The Dwarven clans then migrated northerly through the mountains to found the Second and Third Kingdoms by 1500 F.E. The human and half-dwarven Nîdronderians gradually spread east and by the end of the First Era have reached as far as the Talmeran Sea. 

The far north of Anduras is untamed wilderness that is populated by dangerous beasts and unruly, primitive peoples. Few inroads are made into these territories during the First Era.

Also deserving of notice is the island of Kubon which comes to be the home to lizard-like humanoids soon after the Forgetting. The Kubanxê are known to be incredible sailors and work as pirates and blockade runners throughtout the waters around Anduras. Despite not having the largest compliment of ships they are a maritime power to be reckoned with throughout the Eras of Stability.

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2017 Demesne De Noir L.L.C.