Aetraterra is the world in which The Gods' Ultimatum takes place.
This continent has the highest range of elevations on Aetraterra, as well as the tallest mountain range, The Sunbeams. The tundra is far above sea level and has vast chasms and tall cliffs that make crossing it on foot nearly impossible. The forests of the south are situated on slopes of rolling hills, resembling enormous waves on a dark ocean of evergreen foliage.
Aiglon is known to be the home of many types of Giants and Elves, as they prefer the isolated environment this mountain island provides. Rockseer Elves are rumored to exist in the roots of the mountains, though no traveller had yet seen any. Also found here are Rocs, Pegasus, and other creatures that find themselves at home in the sky. This island is commonly referred to as the “Air Plane,” as it certainly seems like almost an extension of the Elemental Plane of Air. Inhabitants are generally neutral to visitors. They do not attack unless provoked. Some may even be hospitable, especially to those who share a passion for the mountains or the sky. The environment is very cold, with snowfall even during some summer months (except for the southern hills).
The most scenic and musical desert in Aetraterra stretches across this continent. The low, pervasive rumbling of the sand dunes can be heard sometimes even from the deck of approaching ships. To the north and south, the continent is bordered by strips of rich grasslands and deciduous forests. The main inhabitants of the desert are Formians, many of whom are aggressive. Some Hives have formed trade agreements with other societies, and respect other races as long as there is no threat to their Hive or their Queen. The Formians have developed a complex system of underground tunnels practically spanning the desert to avoid the harsh desert weather conditions. Tribes of Kobolds roam the outskirts of the desert, scavenging and raiding other populations. Harssaf ambush explorers in the desert and particularly despise kobold clans, often seeking to destroy kobold sentries, scouts, and even entire clans. Some dragons enjoy hiding their hoards under the vast dunes; as the dunes move and drift over the years, treasure becomes buried and lost. It is rumoured that half of the wealth of the world is buried in Sangor’s desert.
Inhabitants are often hostile to visitors, with the exception of some Formian Hives and other secluded settlements of various species. The forests are temperate, while the desert’s temperatures fluctuate, plummeting to below freezing some winter nights.
The Party traveled to Sangor as of Session 10: A Punishing Past to further investigate the second of the Anomaly Map's red circles. While here, they were introduced to a hive of more amiable of the ant-like Formians who guided them towards the red circle's approximate location. There, they encountered what may have been a particularly potent vision: Sangor's distant past, when elves thrived in the lush jungle that once covered Sangor.
Covered in dense leafy forest, Vertica is a place for meditation and peace. The natives of this island are Fey. The Grigs, Dryads, Pixies, Nymphs, and some LeShays have banded together to make this island a haven, uniting against evil and mischievous co-inhabitants of the island. Treants also find their home here. They are fond of the good Fey folk, and often help them against unwanted intruders.
Wealthy travellers from around the world practically claw to get a reservation at the LifeStream Resort here, offering vast sums of gold to spend a few nights in Aetraterra’s most peaceful forest, filled with restorative magic. However, the Fey are very particular about the qualities of individuals they allow into their domain, and thus only a handful of people every generation have a chance to visit.
The good inhabitants of this island are wary of visitors and test them upon arrival. The mischievous Fey such as Satyrs seek out newcomers and deceive them, stealing belongings and possibly leading to the visitors getting lost in the woods and starving to death. The evil inhabitants seek to destroy the sanctity of the forest, hating all the good natives who defend against them and killing or enslaving everyone who gets in their way. The climate is pleasant and controlled, with warm rains keeping the vegetation healthy and strong (plants are often used as defense against attacks).
Originally a large triangular island known for its comfortable climate and rich ore deposits, Fleche had been overrun and split into three distinct parts by dragons. The dragons had arrived with many slaves to mine the plentiful resources of the island, and their conflicts eventually tore the island asunder.
Fleche is inhabited by dragons, many of whom still fight over each other’s hoards. They venture out into the world and bring back what treasures they can find; while they are gone, other dragons steal from their hoards, creating a never-ending cycle of skirmishes. Dragonborns and other draconic creatures believe that it is their duty to make a pilgrimage to Fleche at least once in their lifetime to observe and learn from the beauty and horror of dragons in their native element. Some of the more tolerant dragons take on “apprentices,” enslaving them and forcing them to mine what little ore remains in the island.
Most of the dragons on this island are chromatic, leaning towards evil and determined to out-hoard everyone else. However, some metallic dragons do make their homes in the more secluded reaches of the island. The climate remains comfortable and mild, but constant warring has released stresses in the earth, making earthquakes harsh and common.
Population: Kobold. Thought to be the origin of kobols, Nullus neighbors the dragon island of Fleche. The exact origin of neither race is known, but it is obvious that both are very old and very hardy.
The kobolds look up to the dragons as their Gods and Masters, constructing temples and shrines for the dragons. Inhabitants of Fleche generally ignore Nullus, naming it “Zero” in the ancient Dragon tongue. The kobolds multiply rapidly, but the clashes between clans also take heavy tolls on the populations. Many kobolds had drowned attempting to swim across the channel to get to Fleche, as they do not have enough knowledge of physics to build proper ships. The construction of a Bridge had started some time ago, however, and it is the one point on which all kobold clans agree: the Enkindler Bridge must be completed for the kobold race to achieve superiority over all other races-- except, of course, the dragons.
The climate is as mild as in Fleche. Kobolds are generally territorial, cowardly, and aggressive; however, they are not all evil by default. Some clans attempt to bring peace between warring tribes. Other kobolds wander around as healers, preferring to help other tribes rather than form their own. Visitors are either eaten alive, stampeded by inquisitive feet, or raised to deity status-- if the visitor is a dragon, of course.
This sunken, inactive volcano-turned-island is home to the greatest magic scholars of Aetraterra. Two enormous towers rise high above the water on either side of the half moon shape: one for divine magics, and one for arcane. A new section is being build in the center of the island for psionics, but it is still under development.
Magic users are generally aware how dangerous the spells may be. Some voluntarily give up their home lives to live and study at the Nest under constant supervision of experienced sorcerers and wizards skilled in nullifying magic, should anything occur. Though few ever permanently leave the Nest, many venture out to study in different parts of the world and then return with new information for the research laboratories housed in both towers. Study there does not cost anything, but inhabitants of the island are expected to pitch in with daily chores, keep the dormitories tidy, and make building repairs when needed. The Nest has a strict policy of racial neutrality.
Visitors are greeted cordially and escorted to guest chambers, but are kept under strict supervision at all time. Lodging and tours cost significant gold, as the Nest itself focuses more on research than making a profit. Temperate climate.
Yeula’kai has the most deadly desert in Aetraterra, the Lost Vale, in part due to its severe temperature fluctuations and toxic gas emissions. Few have survived trips of any length through it, and none now live to tell of it. Rumors say that only the dead may walk through the Vale. The surrounding jungles and savannas, in stark contrast, are teeming with life.
Humans do not inhabit this continent. It is home to a large variety of monstrous humanoids and extraplanar beings, all of whom form small communities and rarely interfere in each other’s lives. The shores of the beautiful fresh-water Sea Opticon are well-known for beautiful scenery and warm waters, so only the most affluent people can visit the five different resorts located on its banks. No organized government exists here outside of the communities. Creatures on either side of the desert despise the other side in an ancient rivalry, the cause of which had been long forgotten. Stigma in the north against the “Beasts of the South” is especially great, and hate crimes are rampant.
The climate varies with the environment, as the continent is large and spans several types of terrains. Visitors usually find their luck tested. They may encounter a friendly group of centaurs or a hungry Devourer. Nothing here is guaranteed. The populations here are ever-moving, ever-changing.
This island was formed by a volcano that had arisen from the centre of Sea Opticon. Centuries ago, it is rumored, Fire Giants roamed the slopes of the volcano, relishing in the heat and comfort of the fragile new island. No Fire Giants had been seen in the area for several generations.
No travel occurs between the shores of Lake Opticon and Kirabo, as the volcano constantly emits smoke and deep rumbles shake the air. This island has remained unexplored-- at least, no survivors had ever reached Enderland or lived to write of their experiences. There is no travel from the island, either. Kirabo has become a symbol of a time lost, an extinct people who left nothing behind but a tall peak of volcanic rock and the fire within its depths.
Trail of ChainsEdit
Looks as ominous as it sounds. This archipelago stretches off the east coast of Zyne Vul, melding together grey swamp, grey stone and grey sky. Each island is barren. Some are snow-covered, others under a constant barrage of ocean waves and gusts of wind, and yet others are as quiet and deadly as their swampy sinkholes. Travellers who dare pass through any stretch of the Trail of Chains swear that the sky and water, as well as the scarce plants and bleached bones of animals, turn grey to match the rock. The air is heavy and empty.
A few travellers, having returned insane and incoherent from the Trail, tell tales of dread Illithids. Others return devoid of emotions, empty as the wind howling through the island stones. They mumble about mind-numbing cold, the violent shredding air that rips the soul out of the body and feeds it to the night. Rumors.
An unspoken taboo against venturing towards these islands is well-established on each continent, among all races that are aware of the world map. Traveller fate is rarely promising-- some return scarred: physically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. Most do not return.
The majority of this crater island is covered in high mountains and dense jungles. The air is humid and stifling, even in the swamp region to the south. The enormous crater is ancient, and its origin is unknown. The water surrounding the inner islands is the deepest of all the oceans in Aetraterra, and also the least-explored.
The tropical forests of Tendaji are filled with abnormally large insects, sentient plants, and imaginative inhabitants. The hostility of the natural environment led to creative means of ensuring the survival of native communities. The largest united population of centaurs operates very successful trade routes to Sangor, Volche’s Nest, and Yeula’kai. The aura of mystery surrounding the crater continent attracts cults of both religious and secular origins. Few manage to establish permanent footholds in Tendaji, so the continent is full of ruins, abandoned buildings, and impromptu mass graves. Some of the oldest metallic dragons in Aetraterra make a home here, relishing the beauty and mystery of the central islands and enjoying the relative isolation they provide.
Rainfall is frequent. The mountains and jungle are hot and humid, whereas the swamp is cold, and the humidity chills to the bone (sometimes literally). The environment is hostile, and the attitudes of the natives to newcomers are as diverse and unpredictable as the flora and fauna of Tenaji.
The largest continent of Aetraterra also has the largest population of humans, and a dwindling population of elves. During the Melding that happened centuries ago where the humans “civilized and subdued” the Elven race in the west of the continent, hundreds of thousands of elves fell trying to defend their way of life. Humans established a few kingdoms and republics all along the west coast, spreading down the grasslands and up to the mountain region. There they encountered the dwarves, whose massive kingdom underlies the entire mountain range that spans the continent. Living in the mountains too are kobold clans, whom the dwarves view as very substantial nuisances. The human and dwarves established trade agreements and financial ties, promising to remain respectful of the others’ lands and laws. In the tundra and mountains of the north (a cold latitude often referred to as the Frost Blade), giants and other monstrous and extraplanar beings make their homes, forcing a blind eye to the political squabbles of their southern neighbors. The swamp that stretches across Zyne Vul and into the Trail of Chains serves as a barrier both to the human “civilizing” movement and to Tendaji travel. The swamp is treacherous, with no paths crossing it and no sure way to establish a firm footing. The east and south of the continent are home to the last great elven empire, as it struggle to maintain its integrity and sovereignty against the advancing human expansion. Needless to say, they hate humans.
The white image with red circles was found in the Time Magic spellbook in Session 03: A Tome of Time. It is not clear what the circles indicate, but Creston is marked, making it reasonable to assume that it is a guide to time anomalies throughout Aetraterra.