THE CONTINENT OF ERDESSA: Erdessa
means "the living sea" in the old elven tongue. This name is believed to have been given because of the vast forests that once covered the continent like a vast living ocean of green. Erdessa is a land uniquely blessed by the Powers. It is here that the Powers are said to have walked on the newly formed world when they shaped the first parents of each of the moral races...their beloved children. It is said that of all the vast continents on the World of Klouth, Erdessa is jealously watched over by the Powers and their servants. Erdessa is around 2500 miles from east to west and close to 3000 miles from the northern coast to the southern most point in the Cyran Empire. Because of its shape and location near the equator, most of the continent is warm and dry with the exception of the northern reaches which receive regular seasonal snowfall. Of all of the inhabitants of Erdessa, the race of men are the most common with their vast empires dominating the southern half of the continent. To the west lie the remnants of the vast forests that once covered the continent in the ages long past. Here the elves still hold sway and men live a precarious existence on the edge of the Great Woods. In the trackless reaches of the northeast, the Orcish tribes border the remnants of the ancient and inhuman Rathian Empire. The Rathians (called Wer-Ogres by southern humans) are a cruel and strong race of giant, man-like, shape changers. These powerful beings once united the true giants and orcs with the help of a Draco-Lord. Their armies burned the great forests of the elves all the way back beyond the Amber Sea before they were pushed back by an alliance of elves and northmen. The cold reaches of the far north are home only to lonely forests and scattered tribes of primitive men and elves. It is also said that the Power Marsara's children, the blessed winged Unicorns, dwell in a hidden valley in the northernmost forests but none have found this sacred refuge. Neither have any discovered the home of the Dragons. Some say they sleep in the earth waiting for the next Great War, when they shall awaken. Their Draco-Lords, thought to be five in number, are said to be the size of mountains. Young children are often told that a jagged peak is really one of these sleeping Dragon Lords. Strangely enough, the old wizards confirm these tales more often than not.
ERDESSA: THE TWIN SEAS REGION
Near the center of the continent lie two inland seas that were said to be carved by the Powers themselves. To the south lies the Stormy Sea, a tempestuous body of water ringed by the vast and ancient civilizations of the Heartlands. The stormy weather that often batters the sea results from the mixing of the cold air from the north (the Lands of the Biting Snow) and the hot breezes from the west (off the Shan Desert)...both the result of powerful magics gone awry. To the north of the great spine mountains lies the Amber Sea, a calmer sibling to the Stormy Sea in the south. A single road connects the frontier kingdoms of the Northlands to the Heartlands in the south. Here life is rugged and men still occasionally catch sightings of the elves moving in the shadows of the forests. It is said that the men of these parts are descendants of the brave human warriors who fought alongside the elves to break the Rathian Empire. But to the southerners they seem strange and uncivilized for they only speak the old trade tongue of Sarssian as opposed to the imperial Lasinian tongue of the southern empires of Darzagda and the Council Lands. Part I: The Northlands
In the Northlands three kingdoms of men hold the line of civilization against the pressing forces of the Orcish tribes to the east. Cromlyn the northernmost of these three kingdoms is renowned for fielding armies of heavy plate-wearing mounted horsemen. These mounted Chevaliers form a powerful line of defense against the northern goblins of the Mog plateau. To the south along the Great Road lies the kingdom of Arys, a vast realm of many mercenaries and merchants seeking to forge a living. Finally, Taridor, the gem of the Amber Sea, is unique among the kingdoms of men. It has been ruled by the noble queen Crysala Morning-Dove, an elf from En Del'Fey, after the tragic death of its king. It is known for its strong alliance with the elves and its massive sailing vessels, the Taridorian Dragons. The bravery of its citizens is also widely acclaimed as they hold the frontier against the Galkrul tribes.
The Amber Sea Kingdoms (detail)
Part II: The Heartlands