Morashtar Ardda

Dark gateways netherworld Inhabitable

Morashtar means planet of dark gateways. Outlanders have been known to advent Morashtar by mere chance. Temporal dimensional rifts sometimes overlap other worlds to open unseen in a traveler's path, as they are walking, or riding along a road, and suddenly, often without them even realizing it, they will find themselves on one of Morashtar's dirt or stone roads or paths. The only other way to travel to Morashtar is by planes walking or dimensional gate abilities. There are times when the Morning Star may close off all access to this world at will, or banish those he does not wish trespassing on or invading the planet he is guardian over. Some of his Elites share knowledge of these commands as well.

Fuel burning vehicles and ships are forbidden on Morashtar and cannot surpass the planet's protective barrier. There are those who inhabit Acheron who wish to see an industrial and technological age develop in Morashtar, but the Morning Star's authoritarian restrictions forbid it from outside sources. Also, to restrict hostilities and invasions between continents, there is a field of energy around Morashtar which prohibits gate powers across oceans and seas. If one is compelled to cross an ocean, they must do so by ship or winged flight. The only exception to this rule is Mephais, which is overlapped by the gate barrier. That was very likely not an accident inasmuch as the Westfold has been at war with Eastfold for many ages. An ancient Methao Wizard named Proktorees got around the gate barrier eons ago by erecting fixed gate markers of standing stones at various intervals across the lands from the far west to the great seas desert of the far east. Only by these markers can a mage use gate powers to cross the threshold into Mephais, or within Mephais by gating from marker to marker.

Morashtar is a pristine planet of a medieval age that has lasted as long as its people have inhabited the world. Ancient trees tower in the forests like titans and their dead fall provides all the lumber that is needed for building and fuel. Smaller tree varieties provide nuts and flexible strong wood for bows, or hard straight limbs for arrows. Mineral resources are as abundant and rich as the incredible wildlife on the planet. Because Morashtar has a climate similar to Earth's, animals can be found on Morashtar which inhabit Earth, while Morashtar also has an untold numbers of creatures that are unique only to its world. There are many kinds of sentient races, including humans and human-like ageless people, elves, demons, vampires, shape shifters, lycanthrope, tsetar (angels to some), elementals, and dragons, to name a few. There are a few speaking animals as well, including various birds, and one race of wolf. Many creatures in Morashtar have the ability to command arcane powers, and owed to this, all non-magical creatures have evolved high resistance, and in some cases, immunity to physically invasive energies. Mortal creatures on Morashtar tend to live long lives, and many races are quasi-immortal, or immortal. This came about by the overlapping of Morashtar's material plane with the elemental planes, the upper kingdom's and Lower Kingdom's demi-planes.

There are forests of trees on Morashtar that are billions of years old, particularly on the continents of Arithendor and Morendor. Morashtar is a pristine world, and even its cities and villages have a clean appearance. The people of this planet are very environmentally aware, perhaps because they are so in- tuned with the natural world, or because the Morning Star has instilled his sense of environmental pride in all the races of Morashtar with strict penalties for abusing the natural resources everything depends on. The cities sewers and aqueducts pour into marshes that act as filtration ponds while the waste feeds aquatic plants to make them healthy and verdant. The plants in turn provide nourishment to birds and animals. Paradoxically, there are a few scattered buildings in Morashtar, namely fortresses and Inns that are powered by cold fusion reactors. This energy is stable, safe, clean, and self-sustaining. Its formula was unlocked by the Morning Star himself, who hand selected locations for the reactors to be installed. Outlets and furnaces are not wired to the reactors, but rather linked to the reactors via sub-planular energy waves. In time he may provide more structures with this energy, and even have reactors installed that that would replace wood and fire-stone furnaces to power entire cities.

Among Morashtar's fuel resources are clean burning woods, all harvested from dead fall, and as mentioned, Fire-stone, or shicracha, a flammable, volcanic mineral which burns much cleaner than coal with very low carbon emissions. The staple trees which provide comparatively clean burning wood are white bark trees (rusvalan), gold leaf trees (ghaelphoil), moss wood trees (caeonari), red plum trees (dirgrio), and watch tower pine trees (suil arieth). Gold leaf trees also provide delicious and highly nutritious nuts, and very strong, flexible wood for making bows, while red plum trees are enormous trees with a high dome of wide sweeping branches that can produce thousands of plums on one tree. Harvesting them is the trick as they are anywhere from twenty-five to one-hundred feet off the ground. By the time they fall to the ground they are soft and bruise from the fall, which quickens their fermentation process. Animals, even predatory types, do not mind the bruised or fermented fruit in the least.

The Tempest Ocean, or Malidsian Muir, is the only ocean on Morashtar, as the people see the ocean for what it is; one body of water. They distinguish one area of the ocean by referring to a specific region as tempest Morendor, tempest Andoreth, tempest Mephais, tempest Morganth north or east, etc. Lakes are few and are widely scattered in Morashtar, while more lakes are hidden underground than can be found above ground. Caverns and caves are abundant on this planet and some run for many miles deep into its bedrock and beneath the outer crust. Subterranean Rivers, creeks, and lakes are common in the caverns, while some of Morendor's caverns are sweltering furnaces of volcanic activity with bubbling lakes and rivers of lava. Dead or dormant volcanoes have formed deep lakes in their craters in Morendor and Mhas Andoreth.

The forests range from mammoth forests of pine, jungle, and hardwood forests. All share one thing in common. They are all ancient and their trees are enormous, some trees reaching heights of 300 feet or more. Dragons can inhabit the darkest forests because the majority of forestlands are primeval and open beneath the trees, the branches high enough for large dragons to pass beneath. Flight however is only possible for the larger dragons from ample clearings. Of the continents, Mephais, Mhas Andoreth, and the Polar Regions are the most open lands with the fewest forests. The remaining continents are dominated by trees.

The Continents

Brughir Craig: Castle Rock

    Features: a barren rocky island-like continent with a few trees clinging to the land while weeds and wild rock rose predominate where the potent plant is otherwise rare. The ruins of what was once a great fortress still remains at the center of the continent. It is by the ruins that the rock rose spreads its vines, deep red flowers, and dense leaves over the ground and rubble.

    Climate: Temperate

Morendor: Shadowlands

    Etymology: An Morendor {an (the) mor (dark) endor (continent)} is named after the caverns, the darkness of its ancient and very pristine forests, and it's untamed wilderlands.

    Features: An Morendor is the second largest continent on Morashtar. It is a primal land, the trees mammoth, its air and waters pure and crystal clear. The mountains are rugged and forested, while the ocean (five hundred leagues to the North of the lake) are untouched by pollution, savage storms sometimes raging over its waters and battering its breath taking, white sand shores. Wildlife is abundant in the ocean, lake, rivers and forests alike, but not all creatures are what they seem. Some are immortal or have magical attributes.

    The Caverns: Caves and caverns in An Morendor are common. The caverns are very dangerous, ancient dragons, or at time powerful demonic people or vengoath cannibals live in some of the caverns' lairs. Other caverns are volcanic and have lakes of magma, while clear white water rivers rush through others. All remember that while some are not inhabited, others are, and unless someone is a true adventurerer prepared to take almost anything on, it is not advisable to enter the caves and caverns past their mouths, unless accompanied by someone who knows the territory well.

    Resources: Resources in An Morendor are abundant but regulated. It is forbidden for anyone to hunt, fish, or use more resources than is needed for a single family, to cut down trees, mine or claim any of the rich resources in An Morendor for profit is strictly illegal without the approval and supervision of one of An Morendor's Lords, or even the Morning Star, who only betrays himself in human form to strangers, as Maelmorda, his presence likewise concealed when he appears as a human, unless he allows his presence to be felt or seen.

    Wards: Some areas of An Morendor are enchanted. Kingdoms which are titled to Lords are almost always warded, particularly their castles or Manors.

    This continent is roughly 9000 miles in longitude and 7200 miles in latitude.

Isla Bruwen: Bear Island

    Size: this island is actually a small continent

    Features: This large, continental island is roughly 900 miles across, 1000 miles across to the north, and about 1100 miles long. The Island is named after the large bears that live there, which stand 6-8 feet at the shoulders on all fours, and up to 10-15 feet tall standing on their hind legs. The Scythe mountain range, named for its shape, runs almost the length of the Island ten miles off the Eastern Shores. Northward the mountains curve westward, forming a barrier between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. The Island's land mass is nearly split equally between the two kingdoms, owed to the broad sweep of the northern territory. An Inisai Impiro (emperor) rules over the Northern kingdom, while a demonic dragon shifter rules over the southern kingdom. The same Inisai Impiro also rules over the Islae Valzaer (barrier islands), and Isla Anundor (cloud island) in the tropics.

    This island lies approximately 4000 miles east of An Morendor, and is tropical in climate.

Arithendor: Forestland continent

    Arithendor has lived up to its name through thousands of years of territorial wars. This horseshoe shaped continent is dominated by forestland with only three grassland areas not including its shorelines. It's climate varies widely despite its size from tropical, to subtropical, and temperate in the south. The elves of the Aerloil kingdom rarely ever see snow in the valley or even the mountains to the north because the cool air from the south is trapped by the southern faces of the mountains while warm air is held within the ring of peaks surrounding their valley. Liath Barad is in the tropical quarter of the continent and its jungle forests and plant life are rich and abundant.

    The people of this land respect their natural resources despite their differences and the conflicts between one another. Like the lords of An Morendor, Arithendor's leaders have no desire to exploit their forests and wildlife needlessly, though people have from time to time hunted dragons, lycanthrope, and other dangerous creatures out of fear. The dead fall from storms and other natural causes provides enough wood for the population to build with and use for fuel, quite simply because there are not more people than the land can support. The high walls of Liath Barad, the largest city in Arithendor, is surrounded by forestland with only a few acres between the citadel and forest.

    Hurricanes occasionally devastate the northern shores of the Rapid Falls Kingdom which lies at the center of the continent's crescent, flood waters often coming far inland. The fishing in that same area offshore is incredible however, thus fishermen set up camps on the shore which they pack up when destructive storms threaten. When they leave it is difficult to tell that they were even there. The only other cities in Arithendor are Midaer, the mountain valley city of the elves, the Northern Star Citadel, the Long Valley Citadel of the Namas, and the City of Five thrones and its castle where the pentacles vampires dwell. The villages scattered around the continent are few as well, the largest among them Blackthorn Grove. Castle Blackwall to the far east, and Cavern Halls to the northwest are by far the largest solitary fortresses.

    This crescent shaped continent is roughly 8000 miles from its north-western tip to its north-eastern tip, 175-1500 miles east to west, and 1000-125 miles north to south. It is 3000 miles south of Mhas Adoreth, 4000 miles south of Mephais, 12,100 miles west of An Morendor, and 400 miles north-west of Morganth.

Morganth: Devil's Head continent

    This continent is temperate with exception of its southern tip which dips into the arctic. Its climate is seasonal with hard winters, mild springs and autumns, and balmy summers. Elves, Tumaa, Ssetis, and Morgoroth demons are the dominant people on this fairly large continent. Humans do not inhabit this continent unless as an immigrant. The continent is so named because if seen from an aerial view it is shaped like some people's idea of a devil's head, with horns, a crown, and a goatee. The islands to the northwest and northeast are indeed shaped like horns, and are called devil's horn island major and devil's horn island minor. The chain of small islands between them is called devil's crown, each island named after a jewel, symbolizing jewels in the crown; ruby island, sapphire island, diamond island, agate island, amethyst island, topaz island, emerald island, and tourmaline island. All of these islands are comprised of volcanic rock and are have rich deposits of diamthrill and gems stones. The horn at the southern tip of the continent is called devil's beard and the cliffs on the central west and east side of the continent are called devil's cheek west and devil's cheek east.

    At the center of the continent is a ring of titanic, canyon-like mountains called Tircracha Gormath (Temple Stone Mountains) which surround an enormous and very deep lake called Cweshala Anun, or brimming goblet lake. The lake is the size of a small sea and provides abundant fish to the dark elves living in the mountains' vast network of caverns. The elves have carved a fantastic fortress out of the largest cavern which has protected and sheltered their people for untold generations. This underground kingdom is called Tirsgaeth, or Fortress of Shadows.

    A warm jet-stream controls the temperate climate over the majority of the continent, while to the north is tundra which stretches east to west. It is called simply, Unas Escion, or north tundra. The ground beneath the tundra's warmer surface never thaws. This tundra provides rich grasses and fodder to herds of deer, horses, lombra, and mammoth-like elephants called narumha which inhabit the tundra, and many medicinal plants and wildflowers to the Tumaa and Ssetis people who inhabit the pine woods bordering the tundra. The Tumaa race, or pine woods people, originated in Morganth and can be found in isolated tracts of forestland in areas of Morganth not claimed by others. To the southwest of the tundra is a great river canyon called the Sorcheos Balta (Deep Water Canyons), where rapids cut a deep gorge from northeast to southwest.

    The great forest of Drannaer (Impenetrable Forest) extends centrally south of Temple Stone road from east to west and south all the way to the devil's beard horn. This is the kingdom of the Mythaen elves. The elves of Drannaer are suspicious of strangers and the forest wardens will seize any unknown trespassing on the territory to take them before an elder or the king. This is in part owed to the Morgoroth demons which inhabit the forests to the north and south of the Midern River, which runs east to west through the central part of the continent, including the Temple Stone Mountains. The river also connects to a brackish swamp called the Sciath Raomeg (biting marsh) to the east, so named for the biting insects, leeches (some of them giants) and swarms of flying scorpions which team in the swamp. The swamp is the kingdom of a great Arcane Lich and his minions. A variety of dangerous creatures serve this powerful undead necromancer who was once a Ssetis cabalist. The lich raised a tower of stone using earth elements which serves as his fortress, along with temples where his priestesses worship Behemoth and practice their dark powers. All the dark creatures and monsters which inhabit this swamp are loyal to the lich king, some of them created by him. Few but the priestesses ever lay eyes on the Lich King himself.

    The horn at the southern tip is often pounded by violent storms as the warm jet stream collides with arctic temperatures. This horn is very difficult to navigate around, its storms driving ships to the ice fields of the south. Mariners are thus compelled to go around Morganth rather than across its horn to reach the temperate climates of Damhas.

    Morganth is a rounded continent that is roughly 4000 miles across and 5000 miles long from the tip of its northern islands to the southern tip its southern the horn. It is 3000 miles southeast from Arithendor, and 8900 miles southwest from An Morendor.

Mephais: The wilderland continent

    Mephais is Morashtar's third largest continent. It is split into two kingdoms called the Westfold (Vethsa Aonith), and the Eastfold (Methla Aonith). These two kingdoms have been engaged in warfare off and on for many ages. Each Kingdom is made up of a coalition of nations. The Westfold is a coalition of men, elves, namas, and methao wizards who serve under the banner of a human king. The Eastfold is a coalition of demons, vampires, elves, mortaeid sorcerers, and dark creatures who serve under the banner of an arch lich named Hesstromeph. Generations of mortal kings have been at war with the very same immortal king, whose agenda is for his people to inhabit the rich lands of the west, and subjugate the people there. The Eastfold is mostly desert with a narrow corridor of forest and mountain land. From time to time the reigning king of the west attempted treaties with King Hesstromeph only to be met with treachery every time, if not from Hesstromeph, then his people. It was decided with his latest treachery that Hesstromeph was too ambitious and power hungry ever to place any trust in again. The Westfold leaders were thus faced with the problem of throwing down a king who boasted terrifying power. They had one ally from An Morendor who had the will, guts, and power to destroy Hesstromeph once and for all, if he could discover where the Mortaeid Lich kept his phylactery.

    Mephais is made up of four countries. To the west lies Anmeth Taenor which is separated from the rest of the continent by a narrow sea called the Mariner's Crossing, where the land broke away from the mainland during a great earthquake in the later years of the first age. East of Anmeth Taenor is the Westfold, the kingdom of men and namas. In the Westfold are the districts of Hessrha Aanar, Anruith Talmha, Esslor Talmha, and Loamir Aanar. East of the Westfold is the country of Sgaith Aendor, the elven kingdom, which is named after the black sea which their northeastern shores encompass. East of Sgaith Aendor is the Eastfold, a rugged mountain range separating the narrow territory of grass and forestlands from the great barren seas desert. In the southern region of the Eastfold, west of the mountains, is the Kingdom of Besrhas Mephae. The Kingdom and its great fortress once belonged to the Eastfold's regent, Aelroth Behesthma. The castle is now uninhabited owed to the regent being slain. His soul plunged into the abyss which raised him again as a wraith demon. He returned to Besrhas Mephae only to gather all of his adherents and flee with them on his ships to Arithendor, where he usurped the castle and kingdom of a demon queen named Zephruen.

    Mephais is a mountainous land of great fortresses, citadels, and quaint villages which are scattered far and wide between the open grasslands, old growth forests and towering mountains. Over the ages, those serving under the banner of the black hand of Hesstromeph have destroyed many trees on the lands bordering Sgaith Aendor and along the roads to the west to make it more difficult for the elves to ambush their ranks by concealing themselves in the tree lines. Although Mephais already had abundant natural meadows and grasslands, the Eastfold created even more grasslands by clearing trees which they used for fuel and to build their strongholds. In Anmeth Taenor there is a desert of dirt where once an ancient forest had grown owed to resources, including trees and minerals, being plundered by sea faring mariners from the cold regions of the north. Though the wizards of Anmeth Taenor had the power to restore the land, they forbid themselves from doing so that the land served the younger generations as a reminder of the consequences of abusing the natural world.

    The mountain ranges in Mephais are rugged, extensive, and crowded, often acting as protective barriers between one kingdom and another, and in some cases, as bastions which guard private havens or cities. There are three mountain rings in Mephais in fact, two of them in Sqaith Aendor, and one in the Eastfold. The ring to the west surrounds a large lake called Gormath Anun (mountain lake), at the center of which is the fortress of the elven arch elder, King Thallus. The ring east of Gormath Anun surrounds a valley where an ancient Mortaeid sorcerer named Hessildaer dwells. He happens to be the younger brother of Bhiragast Hesstromeph, and though Hessildaer is not evil, he has remained neutral to his brother's deeds down through the ages so as not to attract attention to him self from either side of the conflict.

    Hessildaer knew his brother before he ascended into a lich, and had attempted many times to influence him unsuccessfully. All he managed was to get imprisoned for refusing to be a party to his brother's plans, and after he escaped he fled to the west where he has remained since in the Valley of Standing Stones, in isolation. King Hesstromeph believes his brother is dead, inasmuch as Hessildaer conjured a living reflection of himself which remained in prison until it perished from a lack of food and water, mimicking what would have transpired had Hessildaer not escaped his confines within the dungeon Hesstromeph has condemned him to die within. Hessildaer only escaped with the aid of two guards who took pity on him out of respect. Mephais is 4000 miles north of Arithendor, 9000 miles east of An Morendor, and lies west of Mhas Andoreth. It is roughly 8500 miles across and 8200 miles long.

Mhas Andoreth: Barren Sea Continent

    This continent is named for its sea of sand and salt flats. It borders Mephais and is dominated by a vast march of desert land called the Barren Sea of Sand, and the Salt Grave. The salt grave is a vast salt flat where a sea once was. To the far east of the desert are scattered grasslands and forests which edge the continent 100-1000 miles inland to its eastern shores, while jungles cover approximately 1500 miles of its southern territory to the coast. To the far north is tundra and an arctic region. The desert, forests, and jungles are inhabited by scattered clans and tribes of Ariad Elves, Neffari, Duminor Vampires, Mephais Vampires, Dumaedor Demons, Bhassah Maul Demons, and Mugol. The desert dwelling people, with two exceptions, are all nomadic and share the desert with a wide variety of desert animals. There are only two oases that support stable civilizations; the Dum (doom) Oasis, which is well fortified with a stronghold that is carved out of a hill of sand stone; and the Forgotten Oasis which is the settlement of the Mugol Cave Clan, who live in caves beneath the sand around the oasis.

    Mhas Andoreth is by far the largest continent on Morashtar, separated from Mephais by the Morbh Bienae (Dead Mountains). It is roughly 9550 miles across, and 12,500 miles long to its arctic region. Mhas Andoreth borders Mephais to the east and is 7500-8000 west of An Morendor, 3000 miles north of Arithendor, and 5000 miles north of Morganth.

Elorendor: Land of Many Deer

    Elorendor is a fairly large, temperate continent. Its climate is mild in the summer with a cool spring and autumn, while its winters are very harsh with deep snows and frigid temperatures which come up from the south. Over half of Elorendor is forested while the rest is grasslands and the midigard tundra. This continent is inhabited by large populations of elk- like, and large deer, many crowned with impressive antlers. The deer are hunted seasonally and their population is monitored by the Eastern Coalition's king. Elorendor is split between two kingdoms which are separated by the continent's only mountain range, the Aurora Mountains, which are named after the Southern Aurora which gleans above its high peaks. The Western Kingdom is ruled by an even handed devil named Morgais Argeled. The Eastern Kingdom is ruled by a felid tiger named Vendos Torgran. There has been no conflict whatsoever between these two kingdoms which are in fact allies. The two kings maintain a loose friendship and their people are well protected and provided for. Most common folk in Elorendor either have apple, peach, plum and pear orchards, or vegatable gardens, and raise horses and midigard muloris (named after the tundra) which are smallish cattle-deer-like animals with goat-like flared horns. Muloris are strictly weed and grass eating, densely furred animals which provide downy soft wool and excellent meat. Also domesticated are large deer called rocvar which are used for mounts, pulling sleds, and for meat in times of scarcity, as they are valued more as companions than for meat. Those who raise livestock also raise large dogs called Carrcu (herd dogs) to guard their herds and homes alike.

    Elorendor is roughly 5000 miles across and 1000-1100 miles long. It is 3000-4000 miles south-south-west of An Morendor, 125 miles north of Damhas, and 7000 miles dead east of Morganth.

Damhas: Southern Land

    The northeastern region of Damhas is temperate while the rest of the continent is arctic or polar. Only the northeastern and northwestern regions are inhabited by people, while ice dragons and animals adapted to freezing temperatures inhabit the arctic regions.

Marbhfir Cadri: Dead Man's Reef

    This reef is 2000 miles long from east to west and lies just beneath, and in some places, level or just above the surface of the ocean. It is southeast of Isla Anundor, northeast of Sgaithir Anmethseti, and west of Arithendor. Many ships have been wrecked against this reef during storms.

Mortarris Suil: Morning Star Tower

    This monstrous statue once served as a watch tower to warn ships of the gateways Whirlpool. It is sometimes used by mariner's now as shelter against stormy seas.

Sgaithir Anmethseti: Abyssal Gateways Whirlpool.

    Not a continent but a dangerous point of interest to mariners. This whirlpool is ancient, enormous, and perilously powerful, able to engulf several large ships at once. It is said to be a gateway to other worlds.

The Leonese Solar System

Its ancient name is actually Vaos (vay-ohs) Tirrusae Taercoras (Twin Stars Solar-system) more commonly broken down to Vaos. It was later named Leonese after the cat people and elves who inhabit its key planet. There are six planets in the solar system, and two suns (one a binary star). The planets are named below in order of closet to the furthest from the suns. Both suns can be seen in the sky at the same time until the sun eclipses the binary star. It is a small solar system which resides in a dimensional plane on the border between the Middle Kingdom and Acheron, which is also called the Kingdom of Darkness and Everreach.

The Sun: Ess Tirrus Saeol (star of life major)

Binary Sun: Taen Tirrus Saeol (star of life minor)

Ithir Aedor: Planet of fire and shadows Uninhabitable

This planet is volcanic with fields of rock between massive lava beds and volcanoes. The few areas where volcanoes lie dormant or are non-existent on the planet form the planes and mountains of rock. This planet's volcanoes form valuable mineral, gem, and crystal deposits which planes walkers immune to heat can mine. Among the minerals is diamagg (dee-ah-mag) which means impervious stone. It is the hardest known mineral. Diamond, which its name incidentally resembles, is far softer in comparison to diamagg. Ithir Aedor also has rich deposits of diamthrill.

Ithir Carragli: Planet of grey rock Unihabitable

As its name portends, this planet is comprised completely of grey rock. Aside from large deposits of iron, it holds little value to planes travelers.

Morashtar Ardda: Dark gateways netherworld Inhabitable

See Above at top of Page for details.

Cirsuil Ardda: Seven towers netherworld Inhabitable

(Ceer-sool ar-dah)

This planet of glaciers, rocky mountains, ice caverns, startling blue oceans and skies, has an equator which reaches temperatures of 40 in the summer and 5 in the dead of winter. The middle of winter world wide is in fact called en morkhros (the deadly time). The mountains in the equator are always capped in snow and ice, and it is in the equator that titan evergreens, abundant creeping flora, and tough plants with leathery leaves grow which are adapted to lasting cold weather, ice, and snow. The summer only lasts two months in a ten month long year, and spring and fall are merely brief intervals of rising and plummeting temperatures. The sentient creatures of Cirsuil Ardda call summer en nomedlis, the moment of warmth, for indeed, compared to the winter which lasts most of the year, summer seems like but a breath in time. There are 20 hours in a day on Cirsuil, for it is a relatively small planet.

Because the ice and snow lasts all year, massive icicles form anywhere where the ice and snow may melt even by slight degrees. Many of these titanic icicles are so ancient that it is impossible to trace their origins. Over the ages ice caves and caverns formed from glacial canyons and the stalactites and stalagmites of ice planet wide, some of them with walls miles thick. The ice caves near the equator are the most dangerous and only the largest and most stable of them provide permanent shelter. These caves are abundant and many of them provide shelter, and in some cases great fortress citadels of ice for the world's inhabitants.

The planet is named after seven great towers formed by the chimneys of ancient, dead, volcanoes. These towers are between 90 feet, and 200 feet high and are formed of hard obsidian and metal fused basalt. Where these towers have been polished to a high sheen by wind and fine ice crystals, all other chimneys were worn away.

All but two of these towers are inhabited, the largest untouched as a symbol of the natural wonders they are. The five tower fortresses are used not only as residences, but as watch towers, not only over the surrounding lands, but of the heavens, for if a traveler should invade their space by gate, the sky lights up with a brief but brilliant aurora. The sentient creatures of this planet do not welcome outlanders, inasmuch as the world's scarce resources obliges them to maintain a careful balance. Outlanders are expected to go directly to a country's Riem, or monarch, and if they fail to do so, scouts or wing riders (warriors on winged dragons) are sent out to capture them, often with orders to kill trespassers and invaders if they fail to cooperate.

Cirsuil Ardda is inhabited by ice demons, cave people, ice dragons, cave elves, unique vampires, and many other creatures that have all evolved for cold weather. The cave people are stocky, have shaggy hair, shaggy flop ears, clawed hands, and wear layers of thick pelts, and all the animals have dense or long fur or thick scales and hides with a thick fat between their skin and strong muscles. The elves meanwhile are descendants of Elwion who have evolved to grow dense fur pelts of very soft fur which cover their entire bodies, with thin fur on their faces and the palms of their hands, while their heads are crowned with dense manes of long hair. The soles of their fur laden feet are so thick and leathery that they need not wear shoes. The fur on their webbed wings is downy soft like their ancestors and short so as not to hinder their flight. All creatures are equipped with strong jaws and either crushing teeth or sharp teeth and large fangs. Herbivores have evolved to eat and digest the plant life's tough stems, leaves, nuts and seeds, their manure providing warm, fertile ground for the seeds and pits, while the cold temperatures break the hard kernels to allow germination. The predators meanwhile have adapted to get through thick hides and manage strong, big boned creatures. All have developed measures and resistance to cope with the extreme cold. The few outlanders who settled on Cirsuil many ages ago have also adapted to the planet's climate through ingenuity and evolution, and over time become natives out of sheer adaptation.

On the volcanic island of Isavulcor (island of fire), where the world's two known volcanoes still exists, is the forge of Antaress, a volcano named after the demon who first began to forge weapons there. Antaress is a stable volcano which, unlike it twin Surithag (angry brother) on the other side of the island, has bubbled and seeped with deep pools magma for ages beyond memory. Surithag erupts violently from time to time and lies dormant for centuries in between, a danger which the island's few clannish inhabitants have learned to survive and prepare for. This island is a paradise within a cold world, but the people there earn their paradise by the weapons and many other items they forge in the mountain, their craftsmanship renowned even on Morashtar. Metal, including diamthrill, is abundant on Cirsuil Ardda, particularly on the chain of islands surrounding Isavulcar.

Magic is impossible on Cirsuil Ardda with exception of magic items where the power is contained in either hard minerals or metals. Why this is so is a mystery to its inhabitants as much as to others who have found themselves stranded their after they were stripped of any magic, including the power which got them there. Some believe a god or gods made it so, or that the climate somehow affected a unique atmosphere where only the planet's natural elements could occur. Regardless of the cause, the only power any of Cirsuil's creatures have is very limited and developed in their breath, flesh, fangs, wings, and claws, and in some rare cases, even in their eyes as gateways to their minds and spirits. Sentients here speak Elwarian, which was derived from the Elwion language. It sounds like a broken form of Griddaen, for the dragons learned to speak from the Elwion. The only other language spoken is a broken form of Esurian. Esurian was brought to them many ages ago by Morashtarians and was simplified by Cirsuilians over the ages.

Ithir Se Gielaes: Planet of six moons Uninhabitable

This planet produces poisonous vapors and high emissions of carbon ice. It is too cold and toxic to support any kind of life. Deep pools and clouds of acid are not uncommon on this astral body. Its moons are mere spheres of compound minerals and ice, some of the minerals very valuable, albeit no living being known has ever risked traveling to this planet's moons to discover their abundant mineral and chemical resources.

Ithir Raortaeg Ashoir: Planet of quaking ice Uninhabitable

This planet's name says it all. A deep crust of ice blankets this planet's core of rock. Glaciers, caverns, and great fields of ice are eternally shifting to cause massive quakes which are constantly reshaping this planet's marches of ice. This planet is so incredibly cold that not even those capable of gate traveling or planes walking there would expose themselves to its deep space freezing temperature. The planet has nothing of value to offer or invite planes travelers.

Contents by JD and Sparky © Copyright 2008