Geography of Jorth
The World of Jorth is, in some ways, not much different from our own. In the warm months, hurricanes sweep in from the Ocean of Storms and drop massive amounts of rain, and blast the coastal areas with howling winds. In the winter, nor'easters roar along the coast, bringing blizzards, hail and ice storms. On Jorth, only a brave hero or a fool would attempt to sail across the Ocean of Storms to reach the fabled Eastern Lands across the deep. Aside from the stormy nature of the Ocean, there are also great icebergs that float down from the icy north to menace shipping; the Ocean of Storms and the Weed Sea are home to a verity of aquatic monsters that enjoy nothing more than snacking on ships and foolhardy mariners. Coastal shipping along the Ocean of Storms is not as dangerous as cross-Ocean voyages, and some large ports exist in the well protected harbor areas. Fishing is also excellent in most areas, with Blue, Fluke, Cod, Herring, Seabass, various Sharks, and all manner of crustaceans making appearances throughout the year.
The rivers of Jorth are important routes of trade, bringing goods, travelers, and news to far off points. The major rivers of the East are the River of Tears, the Eagle River, the Coal River, The Iron river, The Wheatwater River, the Pleasant River (also called the Halflingwash, by some Humans), the Cotton River, the Stoney Bed, the Seadrain River, the Moose River and, westernmost river of the eastern lands, but mightiest, is the Great River. The western rivers are just as numerous and important as their eastern counterparts. The Long River, Canyoncarver, Cactus, the High-King's River, and the Whale are some of the most important rivers in the west. The Freshwater Sea is the most important body of water in the central area. The kingdoms along the shores of the Freshwater Sea are prosperous. The southern areas grow great quantities of grain. The northern shores are forested with tall, strong trees, that fetch good prices as building materials, and the entire area is home to abundant game.
The Cotton Lands are the areas west of the Sea of Storms, south of the Halflingwash, all the way west up to the Great River. This land is particularly bountiful in cotton, corn, and fruit. This area is also home to the County of the Halflings, where the best quality of pipeweed is grown, and well known beers are brewed. There are other pipeweed producing regions (the Stoneybed and Coal river valleys are other well known sources) but the product from the County is considered superior.
Far to the south lies the Encircled Sea. The Encircled Sea is surrounded by long chains of islands, broken by narrow channels to the Ocean of Storms. The Encircled Sea is subject to hurricanes in the summer and autumn, but is relatively calm most of the rest of the year. The Encircling Lands are foreign to most northerners, and are known only as places of tropical paradise, beautiful and savage.
At some time, a series of plagues passed over Jorth. Different societies have different tales of this time, but the most common include: famine, pox, leprosy, magical war, wrath of the gods, monstrous invasion, fire, flood, and freak weather. After many years of being subject to these repeated plagues, Humankind, and their brothers, Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, etc. were able to rise again and begin their return to greatness.
No one knows if, in The World Before there were Demi-Humans and Humanoids. Elves claim to have existed since long before the fall of Mankind, indeed, they claim to be the First Race. Their history is fragmentary, due to the Passing of the ancient world. At the time of the plagues, the Elves became subject to Death, their lifespans no more than two or three centuries. The wars and plagues took their toll on the Elves, and they retreated to their traditional homes, the deep forests of the world. After the dawn of the current age, the Elves quickly followed the revelations of their Powers, and headed west, to the coast of the Western Sea, founding their kingdom in the Land of the Great Trees. Now the High King of the Elves rules a great people, with sovereign domains along the densely forested far north western coast. All Elven lands, either on the coast of the Western Ocean, or on the coast of the Ocean of Storms, or in between, recognize the High King as their overlord, though in practice most of the realms in the east are independent, without much interaction with the High King.
The Dwarves claim to pre-date Humans also, and their tales tell that they have worked the Earth for as long as the Elves have walked the forests. Dwarven legends tell that during the Ancient Times they were less numerous, and hid among the Human population. After the Passing they began to increase in number. They founded new Dwarven realms, each with it's king and lords, and once again began thier ceaseless conflict with the Goblins and Orcs beneath the surface. In the eastern area, the largest Dwarf Halls are beneath the Coal Mountains and throughout the chain of low mountains that stretches north to south throughout most of the east. Dwarves also inhabit the Wyvern Spine Mountains,and other mountain chains of the west.
The Halflings don't have any tales that stretch back beyond the Passing. They consider themselves related to Humans, but more intelligent, wiser, more attractive, and, generally, superior in most ways to the clumsy big folk. For the most part the Halflings live in their County, growing pipeweed, brewing beer, and generally enjoying the Good Life. They tend to have good relations with the Human populations surrounding them, but prefer to be left alone. The Halflings that venture beyond their own lands (especially the pipeweed wagoneers) are viewed with as a bit suspicious, though the stories they tell in the pubs are enjoyed by even the most solid Halfling citizen.
Ok, I've decided to heed my wife and oldest daughter when they tell me "You should write down the ideas you have, and see what you can make out of them". This is the space where I will try to do that. Feel free to comment on anything here, or offer constructive criticism.
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