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A world that is largely water, the land being scattered with archipelagos. Tectonically very active, which reflects in architecture, and much of the world's resources come from the sea, which is very nearly fresh-water, with a low salt content, creating a startlingly cobalt-blue ocean. (On the east sides of some islands, where the higher mountains stop the weather patterns, creating drought, sometimes uses magic to purify sea water for drinking during the drier summers.)

Sea creatures have lived there for a very long time. Fish are food for both humans, many animals, and sea creatures. Humans don't trouble the big sea mammals or squid-related creatures, and those don't bother humans. There are shark-like creatures that do eat anything, and they are hunted if they swim near inhabited islands.

Humans arrived from Sartorias-deles after the Fall, with some world gate visitors in time shifts; the mages who came instituted more draconian controls than even on S-d, vis. trying to eradicate puberty altogether. Sartorias-deles is still referred to as the world on the dark side of the sun, meaning Norsunder-ridden. The women mages felt that whatever it was that turned boys into men was primarily responsible for war, and its correspondence in women reflected that, though to a lesser degree.

For a long time the Isul archipelago was considered the children's playground (there is all kinds of magic bound up with childhood), the Birth Spell being relied on to propagate the species. The village Fya Ria is enchanted to only permit those through who have not completed puberty (beard growth for boys, menarche for girls); it is governed by the young, and serves as a central hostel and waystation for those who travel. Likewise there is a small island, Hyafa' whose founding mage laid down magic that children can fly, and can do certain kinds of largely illusory or simple magic: save and reproduce music, make bubbles, colors, etc. But when they hit puberty it's gone.

Gradually the emphasis on ending puberty as the catchall for ending evil changed, the controls loosening, especially when beings from other worlds arrived, mixing with the population. (Like those called Rowens, who have their own language, and whose music is never written down, as it, too, is a form of communication; the closest description is gamelon, except that there are strict rules about chord). There are also the sharron, dawnsingers escaping from Sartorias-deles during bad times. They are forest dwellers, live in treehouse, and like their cousins, do not own land, and music is part of everyday life. They are far closer to the Rowen-kind than to other humans, though they have a different culture: their young are generally known as bae--without gender--until the bae chooses a gender. 'Bae' is both noun and pronoun.

Governments have traditionally been small-scale matriarchies, which are still common though not ubiquitous, and magic has largely remained in women's hands: the chief mages are termed the Four Witches, and although males can be witches, one cannot be appointed until one is over fifty years old.

The most powerful overt mage school is located in Isul Demarzal, on the island Isul, which sits just above the equator, with a clement climate most of the year (a couple of months in summer are extremely hot, and there are a couple of months of monsoonal rains in its winter). The center is the edifice called Charlotte's Palace, named for the daughter of the two humans who joined the refugees, as she was the first mage to keep records. This "palace" is a rambling single-story edifice, more like a city unto itself, built over an older one that was probably established by the refugees; as the tectonic activity is constant, there is little underground building. This edifice was one of the first to be protected by magic, once the Geth people recovered that ability.

There is a second, more secret school, and from this school are drawn at least two of the Four Witches. This school is invitational, female only, and is strongly oriented toward service. Mages call themselves 'the ones,' they cannot own property, or be paid. Those who have an eye to becoming Witches must also keep anonymity, doing misvas (good works) without personal recognition, but there is a ledger kept. Ones are tremendously respected when recognized.

There is only one language, having been controlled by magic.

Isul Demarzal is the center of the loose federation connecting the islands through trade and shared language and magical protection. The Four Witches and the Shipwrights Guild are the two most powerful polities in the human part of the world, and both are centered here. The oldest archives are also here, and it has become a center of culture.

The most populated portion is on the biggest archipelago, with the biggest islands and the largest number. Isul is the largest island in this archipelago. Norsunder gained a toehold in the northwest corner of Isul, building a huge stone fortress, as they wished to control the mysterious Marshes, near Talya Ran Din without any success whatsoever. Forays beyond were sporadic at best, as they were under constant magical barrage from Geth's mages.

Connecting Isul and the isle of Dran is a magical area called the Marshes. Those who go into the Marshes seldom come out the same. Time can also be as untrustworthy as space. 'Marshmad' is regarded by visitors from Sartorias-deles as related to dena Yeresbeth, though it operates slightly differently. One with dena Yeresbeth can also become 'marsh mad.' There used to be a polity north and west of the Marshes called !!!Talya Ran Din!!! but Norsunder took that area, the people fought or fled, and a fortress now dominates that part of the island.

Though there is much variation in size, and in micro-climates, one generality that can be made is a tendency for the land to gradually slant upward into mountainy areas at the east, from fairly flat farmland at the west. The east on the big islands tends toward forestland. some of the most colorful or popular are Averal (where the marsh mad Mildrit originated, who becomes important later], and Tola Medera, Serenna, Yahuda, Merria, and Cleimen and Gabrael, many of which show their Sartoran roots. A few of these have monarchs. Another archipelago comprises Argan, Venee Naer, Ramo-Ani, Giless-Tuess and Tu-Scani.

Generally, it is a warmer world, and though fashions vary widely, generally loose, layered clothing in light colors is favored. Houses tend to be made mostly of the plentiful undersea "wood" that looks like manzanita, or melted metal, or gold. In some places, where stone and scavenged deadwood is more plentiful, square stone and wood houses can be found, but most dwellings tend to be round, and very rarely is there a second story, as quakes are frequent. They are never strong, as the mages have been able to tame them down to gentle releases of tectonic energy.

Also of note: though Geth forgot until recently, a very small number of refugees who disliked the decisions of those ruling Geth transferred to the larger moon, which they named Calderon. That became important when a couple of kids from Calderon, entranced by the huge blue ball in their sky, made a journey to it, taking with it Calderon's version of magic . . .

Page last modified on August 21, 2016, at 01:27 PM