Drowda: Difference between revisions

From MassiveCraft Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
No edit summary
mNo edit summary
 
(22 intermediate revisions by 4 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{Info geography
{{Info geography
|image = noimg.png  
|image = noimg.png
|fullname = Drowda.
|fullname = Drowda
|pronunciation = Drow-dah.
|pronunciation = Drow-dah
|demonym = Drowdan
|demonym = Drowdan
|area = 250,000 mi²
|area = 4,900,000 mi²
|languages = Drowdar Elven.
|races = [[Sihndar]], assorted micro-minorities
|population = 22,000.
|}}
|}}
 
Drowda, also referred to as the Forbidden Continent, is one of the most dangerous lands in [[Aloria]]. Situated in the [[Far North]] of Aloria, it is filled with [[Essence]] that has escaped the broken tear between dimensions, known as the [[Veil]], during the time of the [[Cataclysm]] and in the centuries since this event occurred. This has resulted in the continent being filled with various tainted [[Flora]] and [[Fauna]] which have battled against the region’s lone protectors, the [[Sihndar]], for three centuries. The Sihndar live the entirety of their lives dedicated to preventing these otherworldly forces from leaving their forsaken continent and wreaking havoc elsewhere. Drowda is a place of beginnings and ends, where the [[Drovv]] civilization collapsed, where the Cataclysm altered the world forever, and where the Sihndar developed into the powerful warriors they are today.
Drowda, sometimes called the Forbidden Continent, is one of the most magical yet simultaneously dangerous lands in [[Aloria]]. This island far to the north has been barraged with [[Void Essence]] from the [[Veil]] for the past 300 years, and is the site of the beginning of the [[Fifth Void Invasion]] as well as the [[Cataclysm]]. Dotted with hundreds of species of dangerous flora and fauna, the lone [[Nelfin]] protectors known as the [[Drowdar]] live their entire lives dedicated to holding back the masses of the [[Void]] from leaving the continent and wreaking havoc elsewhere in Aloria. Drowda is a place of beginnings and ends—and it is unknown which of the two it is enduring now.  


==History==
==History==
Drowda has a long history dating back centuries before the Cataclysm. Drowda was once occupied by the Drovv, a mythical race with elongated necks who were centered around martial skill. These [[Drovv]] became a client state of the [[Elven Empire]] around 500 BC, keeping watch over the Arctic continents. In these days, Drowda was relatively similar to [[Ellador]] and [[Fendarfelle]], though likeness would soon be nonexistent. This race was glorified by the [[Cult of Dronnal]], a mysterious group of Nelfin that glorified martial skill and prowess in combat. During the [[Void Invasion]], the Drovv people fell and were utterly exterminated by the demonic forces of the Void but not before they warned the Elven Empire of the looming threat of the Void. In a fortunate series of events, the Elves were able to organize a resistance to the Void armies, and successfully fought back. Though they fought bravely, it was not the Nelfin military that would save Aloria.  
Drowda’s history is steeped in the [[Void Invasion]]s. From this location, in an uneven but inevitably completed timetable, Void Invasions occurred when the civilizations of Aloria had grown too much in magical power, weakening the Veil to the point of no return. But after the [[Fourth Void Invasion]] ended, a new [[Race]] came to call the northern reaches home. Known as the Drovv, their people are only known in records for three things: their strange physique of long necks; their surprising physical strength and combat skills; and their knowledge of the [[Void Cycle]]. Seeking to avoid the use of Magic, they lived simple lives but hardened themselves in combat, preparing for the day when the Void would come. Their dedication to the ways of warriors could eventually attract the interest of a group soon known as the [[Cult of Drovv]]. This group arose in the [[Allorn Empire’s]] province of Drowda, a region near Drovv territory of little consequence and considered a backward land by the majority of the Empire. Despite this, the Cult developed a strong following under the tutelage of the nearby Drovv. Unfortunately, the Drovv’s centuries of preparation were not enough to hold back the darkness that came with the [[Fifth Void Invasion]]. Millions of Drovv died in the desperate defense of Aloria, but the [[Void]] was an otherworldly foe. Their vile armies and corrupted creatures surged outward, causing the Drovv to go extinct while massacring those of the Cult who stood in their way. When the Allorn Empire’s army was formed, much of the surviving Cult joined up and became major leaders in the battles that followed. The Cultists pushed on ahead, attempting to reach their old home territory and somehow found themselves in what is nowDrowda when the Cataclysm occurred.  
 
===The Cataclysm===
Years prior to the Void Invasion, the [[Kathar]] agents of the Void captured the statue of [[Estel]] and moved her to a large cavern in a large mountain in the middle of Drowda. Here, they chained Estel up and used her power to open the Veil to enable the forces of the Void to invade. A small group of around eight adventurers ultimately sacrificed themselves by collapsing the entire mountain on top of them and the statue of Estel, destroying her and thereby halting the Void Invasion. The end of the Fifth Void Invasion was not the only consequence of this action, though. When the Veil closed, all of the demons and Void Essence tried to drain itself back through the window, like water in a sink going through a drain. Unfortunately, this drain was blocked by the destruction of the Veil, resulting in the Void Essences lingering above Drowda.  
 
This hovering Void Essence shaped and tainted the land, turning its flora and fauna all different colors, twisting their sizes and shapes, and changing their abilities and functions beyond recognition. The plantlife either died or mutated into abhorrent and sometimes toxic alterations of themselves, while the animals became hyper-aggressive. Drowda, quite literally, became a massive breeding ground for mutants, monsters, and other horrible things.
 
===The Protectors of Drowda===
With the disintegration of the Elven Empire, as well as the apparent loss of the Drovv, the Cult of Dronnal ventured north on a crusade to try to liberate any imprisoned or trapped Drovv who might be remaining. Unfortunately, all they found was a graveyard littered with monstrosities. Finding no Drovv left to help fight the terrible forces of Drowda, the Cult of Dronnal took up the mantel and began clearing out the old strongholds around the coasts of Drowda. As these Nelfin warriors liberated the citadels one by one, they found their skins turn tyrian purple and their hair white as snow. Taking up the name of Drowdar, these warriors took up the mission of ensuring the terrible and horrific monsters that lived on Drowda would never be able to leave the continent. Eventually, the Drowdar established fortresses around the entire continent to ensure the Void mutants could never leave, and have been fighting to strengthen their chokehold ever since.  


Today, the Forbidden Continent is closed off from most of the world due to the hostile oceans that surround it. Still, many Drowdar find their way from the continent in search of aid against the forces of the Void. [[Ailor]], other Nelfin, [[Orcs]], and more all flock to join the legendary warriors at the most dangerous continent in Aloria, seeking honor and glory, or for the more selfless and altruistic reasons such as defending the ones they love back home.  
The Void was defeated, but in the process something had drastically changed. [[Magic]] energies of both the Void and the [[Exist]] tore across the continent as land bridges and chunks of land were sunk, isolating it from the world. For the Cult of Dovv, it was a living hell. Many promptly died of poisoning from the raw power of these otherworldly Essences, but the ones who did manage to persevere adapted. Their skin and hair were altered, and they now had power to help them combat the magical forces and foes which emerged all around them. The same energies also corrupted the local wildlife and twisted the continent, transforming what had been a briskly cold but habitable region into a warmed-with-energy inhospitable dark landmass. However, the survivors persevered and did very well, carving out territory for themselves and developing into the Sihndar based on the lessons of the long-dead Drovv. Over the span of 130 years, the Sihndar Xasters and their supporting fortresses formed across the continent, and the Sihndar fully developed into a people while their continent’s wildlife continued to also develop and solidify into their murderous forms. In 150 AC, the Sihndar all met and devised many systems and beliefs which sent thousands of them away from Drowda, seeking knowledge and allies from the wider world which they knew existed at this time. Drowda has since seen many of its dangers kept in check by the constant efforts of the Sihndar, aided by outside parties interceding and aiding them in this harrowing task. The death of the physical form of the [[Archdemon]] in 302 AC had some effect in clearing the darkest areas of the continent, but Drowda remains largely as it did nearly 300 years ago.  


==Geography==
==Geography==
{{Flora and Fauna
Drowda is in [[The North Belt]] of Aloria, found to the north of the [[Regalian Archipelago]], northwest of [[Ellador]] and north of [[Jorrhildr]]. The continent faces the freezing waters of [[Narrow Ice-Bræ Gap]] to its northwest, but Drowda’s own waters are positively tepid, if not warm. The likely reason for this is the continued existence of Essences and cracks in the Veil that leak exotic forms of energy into the world, all of this raw power keeping the continent largely humid in what should otherwise be a freezing landscape. There are also a series of volcanoes on the continent which blow their heat over the rest of the terrain due to wind patterns, serving to maintain the temperate climate of many areas of Drowda. Drowa is a continent covered in hostility, from rugged mountains to wild forests and hilly plains, filled with creatures as diverse as carnivorous plants to fierce beasts. Additionally, rifts, fissures, and cracks between this world and others dot the wild, leaking their energy into the surrounding areas, making them warped and violent places. The coastline and edges of the continent are jagged and varied with many boulder and rock beaches meeting jagged cliffs or dark forests. Dotted across all of these regions are the Xasters, the great fortress-cities of the Sihndar people based on the architecture of the Drovv who came before them.
|flora    =
:*''Click [[Sihndar#Drowda|HERE]] for more information on Drowda’s geography
<div class="mw-collapsed mw-collapsible mw-collapsible-content">
===Notable Flora===
{{#dpl: category ={{PAGENAME}} Flora| format = ,*[[%PAGE%|%TITLE%]]\n,}}
The flora of Drowda have largely been twisted and mutated into horrifying renditions of themselves, also commonly changing in color and form. These mutated plants are generally more dangerous in the west and southern island, as opposed to the mild and passive flora which live in southern regions or in the plains. The majority of what seems to be plant life on Drowda is actually fungi; mushrooms of many sizes (including those as tall as trees) dot Drowda’s surface. Unique plants, such as the [[Eluhwa]] or [[Honey Ball]], make frequent appearances along the coasts, plains and forests of Drowda. Others, such as the man-eating [[Reaper]]s, exist deeper inland.
</div>
===Notable Fauna===
|fauna    =  
The fauna seen on Drowda is likely the greatest threat to any adventurer exploring the region. The beasts here come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is their Void-induced mutations and madness. Many creatures on Drowda are hyper-aggressive and will attack anything sentient they see due to the influence of the Void. A prime example of this is the [[Giant Drow Spider]], an arachnid well-known for its devastating abilities, or the [[Drowda Vas Pirion]], a vast carnivorous bat. Another lesser-known creature is the [[Shssisse]], semi-intelligent reptilian hunters which wander Aloria and feed off of [[Void Essence]]. On the other side, there are a few animals which are not aggressive or even violent despite their mutations. The most prominent of these is the [[Drowdan Stag]], a species of non-aggressive cervid the Sihndar keep as pets as well as mounts for small units of agile light cavalry or scouts. Another species with members kept by the Sihdar is the [[Qilkar]], a large winged reptilian-mammalian creature capable of leaping great distances.
<div class="mw-collapsed mw-collapsible mw-collapsible-content">
{{#dpl: category ={{PAGENAME}} Fauna| format = ,*[[%PAGE%|%TITLE%]]\n,}}
</div>
}}
Drowda is considered one of the northernmost “civilized” continents in Aloria, as civil as one may call its occupants. The Void-tainted land is separated from Fendarfelle to the west, and [[Ellador]] to the east by the [[Inner Storm Sea]], which almost entirely isolates the landmass from the rest of the world. Drowda is within the [[Arctic]] regions of Aloria, and can be classified as a tundra with intermittent mountains. Icy rains come from the sea and pelt the continent, which intensifies towards the center due to the distortion of the Veil and excessive amounts of Void Essence.  


Drowda is a rugged land, and its ecosystem has simultaneously been flipped on its side, yet reinvigorated by the horrors of the Void. The grass that survives there is grey, black, and sometimes even purple, while the trees are twisted and gnarled. Towards the center of the island are huge mountain ranges that surround Estel’s Grave—the crater where a massive mountain once stood, destroyed by the catalyst for the Cataclysm. This center is, by far, the most affected by the Void, which directly correlates to the amount of dangerous flora and fauna located there. Constant storms of Void Essence rain down on this area, and not even the brave Drowdar dare to venture there. Away from the inner mountains are plains and forests of local flora. The coasts of Drowda are, while still dangerous, not as threatening as the center of the continent. Only the occasional fauna still venture here, mostly due to the presence of the Drowdar Xaster citadels which push them back. There are no formal countries in place on the island; only the citadels which know only one enemy: The Void.  
==Politics==
===Sihndar Xasters===
Drowda is politically united by the singular Race that dominates the landmass. All Xasters are led by pairs of elected royals known as Duo-Kings and Duo-Queens, These four leaders oversee few aspects of an individual Xaster’s functions, with the real power resting in the Xaster Councils, groups of between twenty and forty Elders who control all aspects of the fortress-city they ruled over. Political disunity between the Xasters is unheard of, as while each Xaster goes its own course, influencing the resident Sihndar as a result, outright conflict and warfare is not conducive to the end-mission of all loyal Sihndar, defeating the threats of, and cleansing, Drowda. Any differences between Sihndar usually comes down to local groups who encounter one another to sort them out, and while most are based on the trading of barbs and quips, the odd duel or two is known to exist if the differences between Sihndar subcultures is extreme enough. The [[Regalian Empire]] is nominally aligned with the Sihndar Xasters, sending them support in the form of bureaucrats and other simple supplies, but little else. These contributions ultimately fall to the nobles of the Regalian realms, and in recent years, many of them have been diverted by affairs elsewhere in the world, with Drowda ultimately remaining stable.


===Flora===
==Notable Locations==
[[File:Mushrooms of drowda.JPG|270px|thumb|right|There are many different magical fungi on Drowda, each with their own individual uses.]]
===Xan-Xavacellon===
 
:*''Click [[List of Major Cities#Xan-Xavacellon|HERE]] for more information on Xan-Xavacellon
As mentioned before, the flora of Drowda have all been twisted and mutated into horrifying renditions of themselves. These mutated plants are generally more dangerous closer to the center of the island, as opposed to the mild and passive flora that live towards the coasts. The majority of plant life on Drowda is actually fungi; mushrooms of any size (including those as tall as trees) dot Drowda’s surface. Unique and niche plants, such as the [[Eluhwa]] or [[Honey Ball]], make frequent appearances along the coasts and inner plains and forests of Drowda. Some mistakenly think that [[Dulofall]] grows and spreads on the Forbidden Continent, though this is only a myth.
 
===Fauna===
The fauna represent the greatest threat to any adventurer exploring Drowda. The beasts here come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is their Void-induced mutations and madness. All creatures on Drowda are hyper-aggressive and will attack anything sentient they see due to the influence of the Void. A prime example of this is the [[Giant Drow Spider]], an arachnid well-known for its devastating ability to slay Drowdar patrols with ease. Another lesser known creature is the [[Shssisse]], semi-intelligent hunters that wander Aloria and feed off of Void Essence, who have all seemed to gather on Drowda. These beasts, deceptively nick-named “Void Dragons,” are able to control the Void to make themselves blend in with the environment around them, making them exceedingly difficult to detect.
 
==Politics and Demographics==
{{Geography Nations and States
|nationsandstates    =
{{#dpl: category ={{PAGENAME}} Nations and States| format = ,*[[%PAGE%|%TITLE%]]\n,}}
}}
Drowda is predominantly ruled by the Matrial Council, a group of fourteen elderly Drowdar women from each of the fourteen Xasters. This group, led by the figurehead “Queen” of the Drowdar, decide yearly goals and objectives for the Drowdar to work towards. They do not, however, dictate how the individual Xaster keeps are supposed to achieve this goal. One citadel may decide to bide their time and utilize stealth to get the job done, while another may charge right into the fray to clear out a nest of Void-infested creatures. The Drowdar on the continent are not free thinkers, and often blindly obey orders to the death without question.
 
{{Demographics Table
|group1 = Drowdar
|desc1 =
{{GDP
| percentage = 100%
| description = The only race able to survive the harsh environment of Drowda are the Drowdar. Their bodies have adapted overtime to be incredibly resistant to the errant Void energies present. Meanwhile, their martial way of life has enabled them to fight off the dangerous fauna that lurk around the continent. Over the past century, the Drowdar numbers seem to remain consistent; enough children are born to replace the older generation as they grow too old to fight, or more likely, die in the line of battle.
}}
}}


==Notable Locations==
Xaster Xan-Xavacellon is the most commonly visited Xaster by outsiders when they first arrive in Drowda, and for good reason. Resting against the coastline of the relatively peaceful plains of southern Drowda, Xan-Xavacellon has been able to grow a political establishment to the point that some outside nations consider it the unofficial capital of the Sihndar people. They are also enjoyed by outsiders because of their principles, of rejecting any agreements with powers dark or mysterious through pacts to instead rely on their own wills and strength. Xaster Xan-Xavacellon stands tall when approached from any angle, built up and around a sheltered bay which is now a bustling harbor. While Demons rarely rise or attack from the sea, the defensive walls which curtain and surround the quays make it clear the Sihndar take no chances. A seeming central avenue leaving the harbor takes travelers into the next quarter, only for the avenue to abruptly end and split off into a dozen smaller roads winding through the sprawl of the Sihndar city. This system exists in all Sihndar Xasters, to funnel foes into singular routes or lead them to sudden dead ends, all the while tall towers allow archers and machines to fire or pour down pain. It is more intricate in Xaster Xan-Xavacellon however, decades of limited combat seeing dead-ends falling into disuse, and outside groups preferring stretches of road that clearly lead from one location of importance to another, resulting in banners of different colors to lead the way through the structures. Despite all of this beauty, there is the same oppressive tone to all Xasters well and alive here, the aforementioned banners dull tones rather than anything bright, while the structures themselves possess the characteristic brutal, functional style of the Sihndar. However, the Xan-Xar Academy and Sihn-Xan Alramar Academy, for leadership in conflict and political leadership respectively, have hints of non-Sihndar influence, due to the routine visitations, lectures and interactions with outsiders the schools support. Carpets, and foreign fineries as well as foods, are more commonly located here.
===The Last Bastion===
The Last Bastion is the only port in Drowda that accepts outsiders. Orcs, Dwarves, Ailor, and Nelfin that flock to the Forbidden Continent must stop here before being assigned to assimilate into one of the Xasters. This port also sends Drowdar scouts out into the world to gather supplies, knowledge, technology, and resources from the rest of Aloria in order to ensure the Xaster keeps are well-stocked. Despite being the only port in Drowda, it is not busy at all; a ship comes once or twice a year, and that is only if it manages to survive the Inner Storm Sea. This makes all imports and exports to and from Drowda incredibly rare for the seemingly two different worlds of Drowda and the rest of the Aloria.  


===Xan-Vernh===
Xan-Vernh stands as a testament to the dangers of Drowda, and that no matter the victories against the demonic forces they face, no Sihndar should ever grow complacent in their vigilance. Once a grand, sprawling fortress-city of foundries and the greatest smiths of Drowda, the citadel and its supporting fortresses were all destroyed by the volcanic power of Alamat, who rules the volcanic landscape the Xaster rests in. This event occurred shortly after 150 AC, in the first few years of Sihndar outreach to the rest of Aloria when fortunately for the fortress, saw a number of apprentices and younger warriors or smiths going abroad to learn and collect new materials for forging. In information recovered from dubious sources, Alamat was supposedly prodded into his extreme actions by another power, though if this was a god from elsewhere in Aloria or a fellow Greater Demon at home in Drowda is unclear. Regardless, his choice to destroy the Sihndar presence in his land was immensely successful, and the ruins of Xan-Vernh stand as clear evidence of his wrath. The modern ruins are half consumed by a slowly moving pyroclastic flow, once a source of heat for the city’s outlying forges but now their destruction, as the magma sharply rose during the city’s destruction. Many walls remain but are blacked by soot and ash, their tops melted down by dancing fire demons, who delight at ruining the great fortifications and halls of the city yet further. The inside of the city is a mess of collapsed buildings and great fissures, from which jet toxic volcanic gasses or the dull, far below heat of the magma which once surged up to envelop parts of the city. But by far the more macabre and disturbing part of the city is the central citadel, where thousands of survivors fled only to suffer a terrible fate: a firestorm. Alamat slammed the great tornado of flame down onto the central structure, incinerating hundreds instantly while others lost all oxygen and died in agony. Others still were mortally wounded or found the stone which melted around them to offer a horrifying tomb. The tower is now warped into an almost alien form, half-melted in a twisting motion toward the sky and is now residence to one of Alamat’s greater servants known as the Wicked Dancer.
===The Veil===
===The Veil===
The Veil is not necessarily a tangible location but its influence in Aloria’s long history is noteworthy enough to warrant mention. The Veil is a non-physical window into the Void positioned directly in the center of Drowda, directly above the crater known as Estel’s Grave. This Veil is the sieve through which magic flows into the world, considerably justifying why Drowda is as twisted and mutated as it currently is. The Veil has no physical representation and is not able to be seen, but is moreso a metaphysical connection between Aloria and the Void. Mages who cast on Drowda find their powers amplified by hundreds, but are almost certain to be possessed by [[Voidlings]].
The Veil is not necessarily a tangible location, but its influence in Aloria’s long history is noteworthy enough to warrant mention. The Veil is a non-physical window into the realms of the Exist and Void whose location in Aloria is closest to Drowda. As a result, at this weak point between the worlds, piercing the Veil is easiest, which is why it was the constant location of the different Void Invasions. Unfortunately for the world, the Veil was damaged due to the Cataclysm. Rather than properly close itself, it was torn, and continues to leak foreign substances in the mortal plane. Currently, the Veil remains damaged but not in the extreme way it once was, efforts by the Sihndar and more gradually sealing the worst of these tears in reality. The damage to the Veil also means that most outside Mages who come to Drowda struggle with the blend of sensations they feel, while Sihndar Mages are more principled and prepared for the whispers or temptations of the Void and Exist. The Veil itself is said to be occasionally seen in Drowda, a warping, shifting effect in a single point like a curtain being blown by wind, despite neither being present. Most of these Veil sightings are known to occur near the north of the continent, and can be on the misty marsh-covered ground or high in the open air. It is sometimes described as a vertical version of Njal’s Lights, the northern phenomena of multi-colored streams arcing across the northern sky, but the Veil is instead seemingly monochromatic.
 
===Grave of the Drovv===
===Estel’s Grave===
The Grave of the Drovv is not one structure or ruin presay but instead a section of the toxic marshes lorded over by Qamtaar. This particular location is said to have been the site of the Drovv’s main city, a grand and powerful fortress said to be built around the entrypoint of the Void Invasions into the plane of Binral. However, when the Fifth Void Invasion began, nothing could stand against it, and while the battle was fierce, the Drovv ultimately fell in defense of the world. It is said that some of the earliest Sihndar expeditions north across the landscape of Drowda were efforts to seek out this great settlement, only to find it rapidly dissolving and collapsing into the putrid pools of Qamtaar, who taunted the Sihndar by summoning Demon mockeries of the Drovv, formed from the dreadful marshes, to fight those who followed their teachings. However, these stories might be only tall tales, and even the modern Xaster of Xan-Savel is careful in the language they used regarding these stories. Most doubts center on the lack of any evidence for a large-scale city in the area, for while the marshes and swamps destroy matter, they do not encompass every inch of land in Qamtaar’s domain, and surely something would remain or have at least been sketched or preserved by the Sihndar by the time the Xaster formed. Still, the Grave is a site of pilgrimage for the Sihndar and their allies, a place of memory and remembrance in direct rejection of the influence Qamtaar has over minds. Several shrines dot the “shoreline” of the region, with the largest being a true grave, a series of simple stones expanded into a proper shrine over the apparent body of a Drovv woman the Sihndar dared not disturb upon finding her body, instead simply honoring the Extinct Race by giving it a proper burial. The shrine is also the one best guarded, a fortress standing less than a mile away with a commanding view of the surrounding area. It is known as “Grave-rest” in Common for its close proximity to the Grave of the Drovv.
Estel’s Grave is the large crater located in the center of Drowda where the statue of Estel was crushed, ushering forth the Cataclysm. Where once was a mountain, the destruction of the magical statue leveled the entire mountain and sent meteors across the sky that could be seen continents away. It is said that this area is so polluted by magical essences that when one stands in the middle, they can feel themselves standing in multiple dimensions at once. Many speculate that there are valuable treasures to be found in Estel’s Grave, though nobody has ever returned to tell the tale of the potential wonders.  


==Trivia==
==Trivia==
*Many rumors persist that old, lost citadels are located deeper in the continent, untouched by the Drowdar. The tyrian warriors have mostly left these alone, allowing whatever manifests these ruins to rule them unopposed.
*Why so few remains of the Drovv survive is not clear, but it is believed the Void was ruthless in extinguishing this first victim Race of their return after millennia away.
*Along with the unproven myths of Dulofall presence on Drowda, some travellers claim that Kathar live on the continent as well. This is false.  
*Drowda’s diverse climates are believed to one day prove a problem, as it is unclear what role the Greater Demons might be playing in preventing Drowda from freezing over like many other nearby continents given its northern location.
 
*Sihndar in wider Aloria who feel homesick often indulge in potato soup in mimicry of the [[Praeter Stew]] commonly found in Sihndar cuisine which is made from the beneficial plants of the hostile continent.
{{Geography}}
{{Geography}}
{{Accreditation
{{Accreditation
|Artists = Leave empty if none.
|Writers = HydraLana
|Writers = Shayin.
|Processors = FireFan96
|Processors = The_Shadow_King3, PonyoWantHam, LumosJared
}}
}}
[[category:Geography]] [[category:The Arctic]]
[[category:Geography]] [[category:The North Belt]]

Latest revision as of 15:29, 14 August 2022

Drowda
Noimg.png
Geography
Full Name Drowda
Pronunciation Drow-dah
Demonym Drowdan
Area 4,900,000 mi²
Races Sihndar, assorted micro-minorities
Flora and Fauna

Drowda, also referred to as the Forbidden Continent, is one of the most dangerous lands in Aloria. Situated in the Far North of Aloria, it is filled with Essence that has escaped the broken tear between dimensions, known as the Veil, during the time of the Cataclysm and in the centuries since this event occurred. This has resulted in the continent being filled with various tainted Flora and Fauna which have battled against the region’s lone protectors, the Sihndar, for three centuries. The Sihndar live the entirety of their lives dedicated to preventing these otherworldly forces from leaving their forsaken continent and wreaking havoc elsewhere. Drowda is a place of beginnings and ends, where the Drovv civilization collapsed, where the Cataclysm altered the world forever, and where the Sihndar developed into the powerful warriors they are today.

History

Drowda’s history is steeped in the Void Invasions. From this location, in an uneven but inevitably completed timetable, Void Invasions occurred when the civilizations of Aloria had grown too much in magical power, weakening the Veil to the point of no return. But after the Fourth Void Invasion ended, a new Race came to call the northern reaches home. Known as the Drovv, their people are only known in records for three things: their strange physique of long necks; their surprising physical strength and combat skills; and their knowledge of the Void Cycle. Seeking to avoid the use of Magic, they lived simple lives but hardened themselves in combat, preparing for the day when the Void would come. Their dedication to the ways of warriors could eventually attract the interest of a group soon known as the Cult of Drovv. This group arose in the Allorn Empire’s province of Drowda, a region near Drovv territory of little consequence and considered a backward land by the majority of the Empire. Despite this, the Cult developed a strong following under the tutelage of the nearby Drovv. Unfortunately, the Drovv’s centuries of preparation were not enough to hold back the darkness that came with the Fifth Void Invasion. Millions of Drovv died in the desperate defense of Aloria, but the Void was an otherworldly foe. Their vile armies and corrupted creatures surged outward, causing the Drovv to go extinct while massacring those of the Cult who stood in their way. When the Allorn Empire’s army was formed, much of the surviving Cult joined up and became major leaders in the battles that followed. The Cultists pushed on ahead, attempting to reach their old home territory and somehow found themselves in what is nowDrowda when the Cataclysm occurred.

The Void was defeated, but in the process something had drastically changed. Magic energies of both the Void and the Exist tore across the continent as land bridges and chunks of land were sunk, isolating it from the world. For the Cult of Dovv, it was a living hell. Many promptly died of poisoning from the raw power of these otherworldly Essences, but the ones who did manage to persevere adapted. Their skin and hair were altered, and they now had power to help them combat the magical forces and foes which emerged all around them. The same energies also corrupted the local wildlife and twisted the continent, transforming what had been a briskly cold but habitable region into a warmed-with-energy inhospitable dark landmass. However, the survivors persevered and did very well, carving out territory for themselves and developing into the Sihndar based on the lessons of the long-dead Drovv. Over the span of 130 years, the Sihndar Xasters and their supporting fortresses formed across the continent, and the Sihndar fully developed into a people while their continent’s wildlife continued to also develop and solidify into their murderous forms. In 150 AC, the Sihndar all met and devised many systems and beliefs which sent thousands of them away from Drowda, seeking knowledge and allies from the wider world which they knew existed at this time. Drowda has since seen many of its dangers kept in check by the constant efforts of the Sihndar, aided by outside parties interceding and aiding them in this harrowing task. The death of the physical form of the Archdemon in 302 AC had some effect in clearing the darkest areas of the continent, but Drowda remains largely as it did nearly 300 years ago.

Geography

Drowda is in The North Belt of Aloria, found to the north of the Regalian Archipelago, northwest of Ellador and north of Jorrhildr. The continent faces the freezing waters of Narrow Ice-Bræ Gap to its northwest, but Drowda’s own waters are positively tepid, if not warm. The likely reason for this is the continued existence of Essences and cracks in the Veil that leak exotic forms of energy into the world, all of this raw power keeping the continent largely humid in what should otherwise be a freezing landscape. There are also a series of volcanoes on the continent which blow their heat over the rest of the terrain due to wind patterns, serving to maintain the temperate climate of many areas of Drowda. Drowa is a continent covered in hostility, from rugged mountains to wild forests and hilly plains, filled with creatures as diverse as carnivorous plants to fierce beasts. Additionally, rifts, fissures, and cracks between this world and others dot the wild, leaking their energy into the surrounding areas, making them warped and violent places. The coastline and edges of the continent are jagged and varied with many boulder and rock beaches meeting jagged cliffs or dark forests. Dotted across all of these regions are the Xasters, the great fortress-cities of the Sihndar people based on the architecture of the Drovv who came before them.

  • Click HERE for more information on Drowda’s geography

Notable Flora

The flora of Drowda have largely been twisted and mutated into horrifying renditions of themselves, also commonly changing in color and form. These mutated plants are generally more dangerous in the west and southern island, as opposed to the mild and passive flora which live in southern regions or in the plains. The majority of what seems to be plant life on Drowda is actually fungi; mushrooms of many sizes (including those as tall as trees) dot Drowda’s surface. Unique plants, such as the Eluhwa or Honey Ball, make frequent appearances along the coasts, plains and forests of Drowda. Others, such as the man-eating Reapers, exist deeper inland.

Notable Fauna

The fauna seen on Drowda is likely the greatest threat to any adventurer exploring the region. The beasts here come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all share is their Void-induced mutations and madness. Many creatures on Drowda are hyper-aggressive and will attack anything sentient they see due to the influence of the Void. A prime example of this is the Giant Drow Spider, an arachnid well-known for its devastating abilities, or the Drowda Vas Pirion, a vast carnivorous bat. Another lesser-known creature is the Shssisse, semi-intelligent reptilian hunters which wander Aloria and feed off of Void Essence. On the other side, there are a few animals which are not aggressive or even violent despite their mutations. The most prominent of these is the Drowdan Stag, a species of non-aggressive cervid the Sihndar keep as pets as well as mounts for small units of agile light cavalry or scouts. Another species with members kept by the Sihdar is the Qilkar, a large winged reptilian-mammalian creature capable of leaping great distances.

Politics

Sihndar Xasters

Drowda is politically united by the singular Race that dominates the landmass. All Xasters are led by pairs of elected royals known as Duo-Kings and Duo-Queens, These four leaders oversee few aspects of an individual Xaster’s functions, with the real power resting in the Xaster Councils, groups of between twenty and forty Elders who control all aspects of the fortress-city they ruled over. Political disunity between the Xasters is unheard of, as while each Xaster goes its own course, influencing the resident Sihndar as a result, outright conflict and warfare is not conducive to the end-mission of all loyal Sihndar, defeating the threats of, and cleansing, Drowda. Any differences between Sihndar usually comes down to local groups who encounter one another to sort them out, and while most are based on the trading of barbs and quips, the odd duel or two is known to exist if the differences between Sihndar subcultures is extreme enough. The Regalian Empire is nominally aligned with the Sihndar Xasters, sending them support in the form of bureaucrats and other simple supplies, but little else. These contributions ultimately fall to the nobles of the Regalian realms, and in recent years, many of them have been diverted by affairs elsewhere in the world, with Drowda ultimately remaining stable.

Notable Locations

Xan-Xavacellon

  • Click HERE for more information on Xan-Xavacellon

Xaster Xan-Xavacellon is the most commonly visited Xaster by outsiders when they first arrive in Drowda, and for good reason. Resting against the coastline of the relatively peaceful plains of southern Drowda, Xan-Xavacellon has been able to grow a political establishment to the point that some outside nations consider it the unofficial capital of the Sihndar people. They are also enjoyed by outsiders because of their principles, of rejecting any agreements with powers dark or mysterious through pacts to instead rely on their own wills and strength. Xaster Xan-Xavacellon stands tall when approached from any angle, built up and around a sheltered bay which is now a bustling harbor. While Demons rarely rise or attack from the sea, the defensive walls which curtain and surround the quays make it clear the Sihndar take no chances. A seeming central avenue leaving the harbor takes travelers into the next quarter, only for the avenue to abruptly end and split off into a dozen smaller roads winding through the sprawl of the Sihndar city. This system exists in all Sihndar Xasters, to funnel foes into singular routes or lead them to sudden dead ends, all the while tall towers allow archers and machines to fire or pour down pain. It is more intricate in Xaster Xan-Xavacellon however, decades of limited combat seeing dead-ends falling into disuse, and outside groups preferring stretches of road that clearly lead from one location of importance to another, resulting in banners of different colors to lead the way through the structures. Despite all of this beauty, there is the same oppressive tone to all Xasters well and alive here, the aforementioned banners dull tones rather than anything bright, while the structures themselves possess the characteristic brutal, functional style of the Sihndar. However, the Xan-Xar Academy and Sihn-Xan Alramar Academy, for leadership in conflict and political leadership respectively, have hints of non-Sihndar influence, due to the routine visitations, lectures and interactions with outsiders the schools support. Carpets, and foreign fineries as well as foods, are more commonly located here.

Xan-Vernh

Xan-Vernh stands as a testament to the dangers of Drowda, and that no matter the victories against the demonic forces they face, no Sihndar should ever grow complacent in their vigilance. Once a grand, sprawling fortress-city of foundries and the greatest smiths of Drowda, the citadel and its supporting fortresses were all destroyed by the volcanic power of Alamat, who rules the volcanic landscape the Xaster rests in. This event occurred shortly after 150 AC, in the first few years of Sihndar outreach to the rest of Aloria when fortunately for the fortress, saw a number of apprentices and younger warriors or smiths going abroad to learn and collect new materials for forging. In information recovered from dubious sources, Alamat was supposedly prodded into his extreme actions by another power, though if this was a god from elsewhere in Aloria or a fellow Greater Demon at home in Drowda is unclear. Regardless, his choice to destroy the Sihndar presence in his land was immensely successful, and the ruins of Xan-Vernh stand as clear evidence of his wrath. The modern ruins are half consumed by a slowly moving pyroclastic flow, once a source of heat for the city’s outlying forges but now their destruction, as the magma sharply rose during the city’s destruction. Many walls remain but are blacked by soot and ash, their tops melted down by dancing fire demons, who delight at ruining the great fortifications and halls of the city yet further. The inside of the city is a mess of collapsed buildings and great fissures, from which jet toxic volcanic gasses or the dull, far below heat of the magma which once surged up to envelop parts of the city. But by far the more macabre and disturbing part of the city is the central citadel, where thousands of survivors fled only to suffer a terrible fate: a firestorm. Alamat slammed the great tornado of flame down onto the central structure, incinerating hundreds instantly while others lost all oxygen and died in agony. Others still were mortally wounded or found the stone which melted around them to offer a horrifying tomb. The tower is now warped into an almost alien form, half-melted in a twisting motion toward the sky and is now residence to one of Alamat’s greater servants known as the Wicked Dancer.

The Veil

The Veil is not necessarily a tangible location, but its influence in Aloria’s long history is noteworthy enough to warrant mention. The Veil is a non-physical window into the realms of the Exist and Void whose location in Aloria is closest to Drowda. As a result, at this weak point between the worlds, piercing the Veil is easiest, which is why it was the constant location of the different Void Invasions. Unfortunately for the world, the Veil was damaged due to the Cataclysm. Rather than properly close itself, it was torn, and continues to leak foreign substances in the mortal plane. Currently, the Veil remains damaged but not in the extreme way it once was, efforts by the Sihndar and more gradually sealing the worst of these tears in reality. The damage to the Veil also means that most outside Mages who come to Drowda struggle with the blend of sensations they feel, while Sihndar Mages are more principled and prepared for the whispers or temptations of the Void and Exist. The Veil itself is said to be occasionally seen in Drowda, a warping, shifting effect in a single point like a curtain being blown by wind, despite neither being present. Most of these Veil sightings are known to occur near the north of the continent, and can be on the misty marsh-covered ground or high in the open air. It is sometimes described as a vertical version of Njal’s Lights, the northern phenomena of multi-colored streams arcing across the northern sky, but the Veil is instead seemingly monochromatic.

Grave of the Drovv

The Grave of the Drovv is not one structure or ruin presay but instead a section of the toxic marshes lorded over by Qamtaar. This particular location is said to have been the site of the Drovv’s main city, a grand and powerful fortress said to be built around the entrypoint of the Void Invasions into the plane of Binral. However, when the Fifth Void Invasion began, nothing could stand against it, and while the battle was fierce, the Drovv ultimately fell in defense of the world. It is said that some of the earliest Sihndar expeditions north across the landscape of Drowda were efforts to seek out this great settlement, only to find it rapidly dissolving and collapsing into the putrid pools of Qamtaar, who taunted the Sihndar by summoning Demon mockeries of the Drovv, formed from the dreadful marshes, to fight those who followed their teachings. However, these stories might be only tall tales, and even the modern Xaster of Xan-Savel is careful in the language they used regarding these stories. Most doubts center on the lack of any evidence for a large-scale city in the area, for while the marshes and swamps destroy matter, they do not encompass every inch of land in Qamtaar’s domain, and surely something would remain or have at least been sketched or preserved by the Sihndar by the time the Xaster formed. Still, the Grave is a site of pilgrimage for the Sihndar and their allies, a place of memory and remembrance in direct rejection of the influence Qamtaar has over minds. Several shrines dot the “shoreline” of the region, with the largest being a true grave, a series of simple stones expanded into a proper shrine over the apparent body of a Drovv woman the Sihndar dared not disturb upon finding her body, instead simply honoring the Extinct Race by giving it a proper burial. The shrine is also the one best guarded, a fortress standing less than a mile away with a commanding view of the surrounding area. It is known as “Grave-rest” in Common for its close proximity to the Grave of the Drovv.

Trivia

  • Why so few remains of the Drovv survive is not clear, but it is believed the Void was ruthless in extinguishing this first victim Race of their return after millennia away.
  • Drowda’s diverse climates are believed to one day prove a problem, as it is unclear what role the Greater Demons might be playing in preventing Drowda from freezing over like many other nearby continents given its northern location.
  • Sihndar in wider Aloria who feel homesick often indulge in potato soup in mimicry of the Praeter Stew commonly found in Sihndar cuisine which is made from the beneficial plants of the hostile continent.

Accreditation
Writers HydraLana
Processors FireFan96
Last Editor HydraLana on 08/14/2022.

» Read more