Geography of Feyworld
The world of Baltheron is known to possess at least three continents, situated around the Betshaban Ocean. The continent of Duria lies to the northeast, Aurea to the northwest and the continent of Gallorea across the south. There are rumors of other continents to the east and south, but there are no truly reliable reports of travelers reaching those lands and returning to tell the tale.
Baltheron is about 60% larger than our own and the known world spans from arctic climates to the Equator, which runs just along the southern shores of Gallorea. The northern hemisphere, at least in the known world, tends to be a bit more temperate than our own world, with only a few rainforests along the southern side of Gallorea and a thin band of taiga along the northern continents.
The tallest mountains are in the Peaks of the Wyrm in southeastern Gallorea, though very few, if any, travelers have found the mystic peaks that rise so high to the firmament. The largest swamp is Vagorosh along the southern shore of Gallorea and the longest mountain range is a combination of the Janos Mountains and the Hshron Mountains. The largest forest are the forests of Ywys on the cold northern shores of Aurea.
Volcanic activity tends to be rare; there are volcanoes on the islands of Tamerynd, Stormward and Harshwind near Duria. The Greenmist Mountains and the Peaks of Dreg'nor have several active volcanoes. There have been volcanoes elsewhere, but scholars believe that most of those were the result of magical or even deital intervention.
Baltheron's crust tends to be cracked and honeycombed with extensive tunnels and caverns, particularly in mountainous regions. There are six regions that are particularly porous, each of which is inhabited by a dwarven kingdom: Derlos beneath the Cambrecian Mountains, Eisenhallen beneath the Paelusian Mountains, Gundag beneath the Divian Mountains, Nuithone beneath Valtaan, Unterreich deep beneath the Antasian Mountains and Valdal beneath the Janos Mountains (which also now claims Valduran on the surface as part of its kingdom). Somewhere, now lost even to the dwarves, is the ancient kingdom of Karazan. There are rumors of other places beneath the surface that have extensive cavernworks, some of which are inhabited by strange sentient creatures, some by even more terrible monsters or even dragons.
Aurea is the second largest continent in the known world on Baltheron. Prevalent winds tend to come from the west, with cold winds blowing southerly in the northern reaches and warm winds blowing northerly in the southern regions. The northern coastlines are primarily taiga, particularly in the western reaches, including the Plains of Tazgrat and Kadach. Central Aurea is dominated by deciduous forests and open grasslands, which become chaparral along the southern shores.
The Challieann Mountains is the longest mountain range on the continent, though the Antasian Mountains are taller. The only other range is the frozen Reg'thul Peaks in the northwest. The world's largest forest lies along the northern coast, in Ywys and into the Challieann Mountains. Several other large forests dot the continent, though only the Greywood and the Glistening Weald on the Anclean Peninsula are known to be inhabited by elves.
Aurea is bordered by the Betshaban Ocean to the east, the White Ocean to the north, the Eternal Ocean to the west and the Aebasan Ocean to the south. Numerous small seas provide deep harbors, including the Aurean Sea, the Tangar Sea, Sonat Bay, Tanos Bay and the Valtaani Sea. Four large freshwater lakes, called The Brothers separate the bulk of the continent from the wilds of the northwestern regions.
The island of Dresta is generally considered a part of Aurea, as is Valtaan and the Green Isle in the far north. Two dwarven kingdoms lie beneath Aurea: Nuithone beneath Valtaan and Unterreich deep beneath the Antasian Mountains. The dwarves of Unterreich have very little contact with the humans above, despite the restoration of the Treaty of Gundagor. It is unknown how much contact the dwarves of Nuithone have with the human raiders who live on the surface of the island, though there are rumors that their kingdom spans under the Valtaani Sea and has gates hidden somewhere in eastern Donnagh Saoristat.
Duria is the smallest of the three known continents, forming a triangle between the frigid White Ocean, the Betshaban Ocean to the southwest, and the Endless Ocean in the east. Prevalent winds generally coming from the west in the north and from the east in the extreme south. Wind patterns are heavily affected by the two large mountain ranges on the continent, with the Divian Mountains keeping the frigid northern winds from cooling the fertile lands south of it and the Cambrecian Mountains keeping the winds mild in the south. Lun Dorak, however, is generally unprotected and periodically experiences violent tornados, particularly during the spring stormy season.
The vast Divian Mountains are the highest mountains on the continent, with frozen peaks throughout much of the range. The Cambrecian Mountains in the south tend to be warmer and lower, as if age has eroded its once-sharp peaks. The only other mountains of any particular size are the Sapphire Mount in Lun Dorak and the Tamerynd Plateau on the island of Tamerynd. Duria is peppered with numerous woods, most of which were inhabited by elves at some point. The Webwood in the far north, has one of the largest concentrations of elves outside the elven homeland of Elarean, though their numbers were greatly reduced when the orcish horde burned most of the southern woods after the Mage War at the conclusion of the Third Age of Man.
Divia is bordered by several seas: the Valtaani Sea, the Pirate Sea and the Maroshan Sea along its southwestern shores. The Sea of Blades, the largest freshwater lake in the known world, dominates the northeast, emptying into the Endless Ocean through a strait called the Maraudine. There are several islands of various sizes considered part of Duria, from the frozen Trollstova Islands in the north to the Black Isle, Stormward Isle, Braregia, Tamerynd, Harshwind and Marosh in the Pirate Sea.
The vast continent of Gallorea is the largest and warmest of the three known continents on Baltheron. Winds tend to blow southerly and to the west, though wind patterns along the southern shore tend to be very mild at best, making wind-based sailing along the southern shores a dicey proposition at best. Vast, open grasslands tend to dominate the central areas of the continent, with chaparral on the northern shores and deciduous forests giving way to tropical rainforests in the south.
The Eternal Ocean lies to the west of Gallorea, with the Great Southern Ocean to the south, the Endless Ocean to the east and the Betshaban Ocean to the north. The Ygarlsed Sea and the Aebasan Sea lie along the northern coasts of the continent, while the Galek Sea and the Gray Sea dominate the central southern region. The largest swamp in the world, Vagorosh, lies along the southern shore, near the legendary Dragonlands.
The jagged Janos Mountains, the tallest mountains in the world, divide central Gallorea from eastern Gallorea. South of the Janos range, the Hshron Mountains and the Dreadspire Mountains cut off and protect the legendary homeland of the elven race, Elarean. Between the Dreadspire Mountains and the Peaks of the Wyrm lie the only known deserts, The Sands of Dawn and the Sands of Night. Western Gallorea is home to the ancient and mysterious Greenmist Mountains, the orc-infested Peaks of Dreg'nor and the rocky defiles of the Paelusian Mountains.
There are two dwarven nations under Gallorea: Eisenhallen in the west, deep beneath the Paelusian Mountains and Valdal in the east, beneath the Janos Mountains (with a colony on the surface, Valduran).
The Aebasan Ocean
The Aebasan Ocean lies between Aurea, western Gallorea and the island of Dresta, including the Tangar Sea. The primary current is a strong warm current that flows from the Eternal Ocean in the southwest that meets a weaker, colder current flowing from the northwest, before merging with the Great Betshaban Drift in the Betshaban Ocean south of Ganesia. Winds in the southern region tend to blow in an easterly direct, winds in the north westerly. Therefore, oceanic travel northward typically takes a westerly route near Dresta or following the northerly currents in calm winds. Travel south is substantially more difficult without a strong wind to fight the northeasterly currents. There are some heavy storms and the rare hurricane that hits Medalia and Camaria in early autumn.
The warm waters in the southern reaches of the ocean are known to be populated by Tritons and a variety of sea giants, making travel in the deep oceans dangerous, though most of the threats are at least semi-intelligent, if territorial, and can generally be negotiated with when conditions are favorable.
The Betshaban Ocean
The Betshaban Ocean lies between the continents of Aurea, Duria and Gallorea and includes the Pirates' Sea and the Maroshan Sea near Duria and the Yglarsed Sea on the Gallorean coast. The ocean is dominated by the clockwise Betshaban Stream, which is fed by warm waters in the west from the Aebasan Ocean and warm waters from the Endless Ocean in the east. The Betshaban Stream tends to cool somewhat along the Durian coast, feeding into the Endless Ocean south of Danas. Prevailing winds in the southern Betshaban Ocean tend to move from the east, with the current, making westerly travel particularly easy for most ships and easterly travel extremely difficult. In the northern reaches, winds tend to move from the west, also with the current, making travel from Aurea to Duria particularly easy, though the converse more difficult. The currents and prevailing winds create a large calm area southwest of The Island of Tamarynd known affectionately as "Betshaba's Bosom". Ships who drift into Betshaba's Bosom are rarely heard from again. The northern reaches of the Betshaban Ocean are known for its legendary storms, particularly in autumn and winter. Hurricanes are a constant threat during the storm season, particularly along the Aurean coast and the northern Pirate Isles.
Though all oceans are claimed by Betshaba, the Betshaban Ocean is, obviously, considered particularly blessed (and cursed) by the Wave Queen. Though the Pirate Sea is considered by many to be appropriated by her greatest enemy, Taltos, the Deep Dweller. Most aquatic creatures, monstrous and sentinent, can be found in the Betshaban, though the most legendary creature known to travel Betshaba's ocean is the Leviathan, an impossibly huge whale said to be her personal eyes and ears in the mortal realm.
The Endless Ocean
The Endless Ocean lies to the east of the known world and is considered the eastern edge of the world by most. Known currents move predominantly northward, with a major warm current entering the Betshaban Ocean north of Haleland on the northeastern shores of Gallorea, forming the Betshaban Stream. The Betshaban stream cools substantially before re-entering the Endless Ocean just south of Danas, on the southern shore of Duria. The main current turns eastward once it reaches the easterly currents of the White Ocean.
The Endless Ocean is a place of legend and a source of fear for sailors who ply her waters, almost always hugging close to the shores. Fantastic creatures, all of which seeming to consider air-breathers a delicacy, ply her deep waters. The island of Kesh hangs off the eastern shores of Gallorea, the only known island in the Endless Ocean. Rumors are heard from Kesh traders of another continent to the east across the trackless waves, but most scholars consider these rumors little more than foundless myths.
The Eternal Ocean
The Eternal Ocean lies to the west of the known world. It has two known currents. The colder, northern current flows south, bringing cold waters from the White Ocean south along the western Auric coastline, feeding cold water into the Aebasan Ocean through the Tangar Sea. The warmer, southern current moves warm water north along the western shore of Gallorea, an stream feeding warm water into the Aebasan Ocean before the main current cuts west into the trackless sea.
There are no known land masses in the Eternal Ocean, nor even rumors of such. It is rumored that the Eternal Ocean literally goes on forever, though scholars knowledgeable about geography point out the world being round makes that theory little more than ignorant myth. Like the Endless Ocean in the east, the Eternal Ocean is home to numerous monstrous creatures of legendary size, some of which wander close enough to the continents to terrorize shipping.
The Great Southern Ocean
The Great Southern Ocean lies south of the continent of Gallorea and is dominated by a strong western current. This current whips into the Gray Sea, though it bypasses the Galek Sea. Winds tend to be extremely calm in the Great Southern Ocean, making travel by sail extremely difficult. Despite the lack of travel, there are rumors of a vast continent to the south covered in intractable forests and peopled by black-skinned humans who worship a ferocious serpent-god.
The White Ocean
The cold waters of the White Ocean lie north of the continents of Aurea and Duria. It is dominated by a sluggish eastern current that dips into the Valtaani Sea before moving northward back across the northern Durian continent. Some parts of the White Ocean freeze over, particularly the portions north of the eastern half of the Durian continent, sometimes freezing all the way to the shoreline. The late spring and early summer tends to be a very dangerous time to travel in the White Ocean as huge icebergs break off the ice pack and flow southward.
There are very few monstrous creatures known to live under the waves of the White Ocean, though much of it is patrolled by Valtang raiders, making mercantile travel dangerous even in warmer seasons.