Transcript – The Lands of Toor
[Theme music plays, then fades into a soothing ambiance.]
There is no place to begin other than the beginning, with the creation of Toor itself. Of course, if you ask the question “How was Toor created?” you will have as many answers as there are civilisations. The elves will tell you that Anorel and Ingithil, the chiefs of the gods, spun the world into being upon a cosmic loom. The dwarves; they say that when their ancient ancestors arrived on Toor at the dawn of time, they found it a dead and desolate world and they used their ancient and mysterious technologies to breathe life into the world. Many goblins believe that the world is an intricate and elaborate mechanism, crafted by Gorrik and Gor in their great forge in the heart of a star.
To list the many theories and myths that claim to answer that question across all of Toor would take a year or more. But, in truth, none are entirely correct, though the dwarves are perhaps closest in their beliefs.
It was the Aenaeti, the First Folk, who created the world, as a hundred thousand worlds before it had been created throughout the Continuum. As it had been with all those worlds before it, Toor was crafted with the Three Powers. The True Potence, the Central Science and the Ever Presence. These powers have existed throughout all of time and reality and, some say, were there before all things. With these powers, the Aenaeti brought into being the stars in the sky, the sun, moon and the world of Toor itself, with all of its seas, lands and peoples.
There are seven continents on Toor. The continent of Z’Irizhad, also called the Land of Wyrms, is the land mass in the farthest north. It is a land of harsh, cold winds, high mountains and driving snow. Few dwell there but those that do are as hardy and rugged as the land they call home.
The mysterious land of Aszanti lies far across the Delmian Ocean. Because it is so far removed from the other lands, very little is known about it or the people who live there, if any live there at all. Even to us, it is shrouded in mystery.
Its twin, the land of Deszanti, is only slightly less mysterious. It lies closer to the other continents but the people who dwell there are very protective of their borders and so allow visitors and traders only as far as the coastal settlements and, even then, only in specially designated zones. Any who violate these rules are rarely heard from again.
Across the Gardorian Channel lies the continent of Craadiel, a vast land of wide savannas and dense jungles. It is believed by some that it was here that humanity first emerged and many human societies do remain there to this day.
The Eastern Lands, also known as Kandurin, are perhaps the most varied of anywhere in the world. Much of it is given over to volcanic deserts and harsh, inhospitable plains where little water can be found. For those who are able to make the journey, though, the oasis cities of the far east are sights unlike any in the rest of the known world.
If you were to ask any sailor where the most dangerous shores and seas could be found, it is a safe bet they would all answer that the continent Iritarna is one best left avoided. Waves crash fiercely against jagged and unforgiving coasts and the land is home to many great and terrible creatures.
And finally, the lands that lie between the Four Lighthouses, where the veil between the material world and the wildness of the Fae is at its thinnest. These lands are called Irdaliin, and they are the main focus of our study.
From the frozen tundra of Weisscrag to the volcanic lands of the Ashen Plains, Irdaliin is home to many different peoples, cultures and societies.
The lands of Ardh Narasant, once the beating heart of Irdaliin. Wide green plains stretched from the white sands of Pale Harbour all the way to the rocky cliffs of Dor-Eru. From the Copper Hills in the West, to the Gailaeglir mountains in the east, with the Sea of Nara at its centre. Ardh Narasant, at its peak, was a multicultural hub where architects, philosophers and other great souls would gather to exchange idea.
Beyond the Gondram Mountains can be found the icy land of Weisscrag. Though at first glance it is a hard and frigid place, great beauty can be found there by those willing to look. Those that can make it to the sprawling forest of Daeryn or climb the Grey Hills, or come upon any of the quiet rivers or glittering lakes that dot Weisscrag’s landscape, will find places of quiet serenity and natural splendour.
In the southwest lie the realms of Sarnor and Aladia. These two nations were as intertwined by their history as they were by their politics. They in fact used to be one nation, ruled by the High King of the West from their seat in Careg Cadden. But, in time, a schism formed in the land between those in Aladia who worshipped the gods of the elves and those in Sarnor who turned their attentions to other powers.
In the far northwest can be found the wide tundra of Norbaran. This land has ever been sparsely populated, its people preferring the lives of nomadic herdsmen to the more permanent settlements of their fellow humans in the south.
Of the lands of Lhain, not much has been written. It was a quiet, peaceful part of the world, its residents preferring simple and industrious lives. In more recent times, it has become something of a touchstone for the rest of the continent, for in its still fertile soil, green woods and happy and populace towns can be seen a remnant of the world as it used to be. Though even here, the insidious tendrils of the enemy can be seen. They are merely harder to spot.
To the south east can be found the Ashen Plains, a land steeped in perhaps more tragedy than any other land. Once the rich and verdant lands of Uialnor, it was transformed forever by the Great Warping, the misguided attempt of the elven king Orcanor to gain more power which succeeded only in transforming his people into what we now know as orcs and their homeland into desert. These lands would be changed again many thousands of years later, this time to halt the Undead March of the Warlord Corchir. The Gold Mountains of the far most southeast were remade as volcanos, blasting the land and leaving it a volcanic wasteland, and thus it remains. The people who remain here, the descendants of the humans and elves who fought together against Corchir, lead the lives of wanderers, making their homes in the various oases that dot their land.
The humans who dwelt within the small country of Ilarth were ever an insular people, distrustful of any who came from beyond their borders, even other humans. The War of Destruction and the years since have done nothing for their xenophobia. They dwell in the few holdouts they have left, praying to their god for deliverance, ever on the edge of eradication but saved by the rich fields they have guarded jealously for the entirety of their history.
In the furthest south lies Esgardor, once one of the most populated places in all of Irdaliin. It is perhaps for this reason that very little remains there. There was so much for the Horde to destroy that the land now stands deserted, perhaps the one place that suffered more from the Harbinger than the lands of the west.
East of Lhain, bordering the edge of Irdaliin, are the lands of Khran Dur. Once a place of self-imposed exile for the orcs, following the Great Warping, it has become a place of great industry and now stands as a bastion of development, strength and education in this new world. Though perhaps not as aesthetically impressive as the mechanical city of Cavernvault or the dwarven cities of the north, the factories and workshops of Khran Dur are still something to admire, especially in these turbulent times. There are some who mutter that the orcs could not have achieved such greatness without the help of the goblins of Kapulbaur. How much truth there is to this, I cannot say. But even if it is true, it shows wisdom on the part of the orcs for seeking aid in areas where they fall short. If this new world has shown anything, it is that we are at our strongest when we work together.
These are, or perhaps I should say were, the nations that made up the continent of Irdaliin. Since the Dawn Age, these countries have been at the epicentre of nearly all great and momentous events to occur in Toor.
A lot of this is down to the presence to the four lighthouses, the ancient structures that hold up the portals that allow magic to cross into the material world. As such, it is a place of great power and potential opportunity for those who call it home.
Or rather, called it home.
But beyond this portal is another world, a realm as unlike this material realm of Toor as night is different from day. This realm and the beings who dwell there have had an impact on Toor since the very forming of the world. But of these things, we shall talk next time.
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