World of Aedalon
The World of Aedalon is the fictional fantasy setting developed and used exclusively by "So You Think You Can Quest?" for the purposes of its contest.
The World of Aedalon
Ancient even among the infinite expanse of the Material Plane, the story of Aedalon’s original creation remains unknown. It has been handed down in bloody and broken succession for long enough that time itself struggles to find the meters for its history. Its oceans have endured such endless eons as to have reflected the rise and fall of stars both radiant and malign. Though many have sought dominion over the world’s place among the Meridians of Power that thread throughout the structure of the Multiverse, the reign of its Goddesses extend into uncounted Ages before the time of Humans, dwarves, and elves alike. The certainty of their power and union beyond reproach, they are constantly tested by the ebbing and flowing forces of the Multiverse, yet still they remain.
To what extent of Aedalon's histories remain without archive or measure is unknown to its people. New and powerful secrets can only go undiscovered for so long by its nations before once again the storied deck of history shuffles all hands dealt back into its fold and deals them anew. The Ages of Aedalon are defined not by a distinct measure of calendar, rather a number of years since its empires were last excoriated for their hubris by a time of great troubles. Though their exact nature changes, these happenings are known as Events of the Ages, marking the tipping point when a Past Age has ceased, and a New Age has begun. Though its current peoples have survived several Ages, and in some cases even managed to preserve knowledge and culture as a bridge between them, it is without doubt that there could easily be any number of past societies buried now under the march of time across Aedalon.
The first Age is known as the Sculptors Age, during which the Goddess Aidala remade the world and its skies to the liking of the other Goddesses so that they might all have proper homes for themselves and their followers. It is unknown how many Ages have passed since this time and how may unknown empires bay be buried beneath its layers of sedentary rock. The best accounts put forth by the most learned sages believe that:
- It is the Age of Veils, the Year is Approximately 5150-5211 depending upon whether you measure from the beginning or the end of the last Event of the Ages
- The Event of Ages responsible for the current one is known as the Unveiling. During the year 4639, Age of New Suns, as Aedalon was settling into an orbit within one of the three solar systems it shares, an aurora of energy became visible in the night sky to all the world. Flashes of bright color and writhing silver cords of light replaced the moons and stars, and when it was through, the following 61 years were marked by strange occurrences and the crib-death of many children among notable families of mages, clergy, aristocrats, and even great martial traditions. All across Aedalon, parents and caregivers alike found the corpses of shapeshifters in nurseries of once healthy children. A unique faction of Doppelganger known as the Elimgong was discovered to have installed members of their own in positions of power across almost all of Aedalon. Paranoia erupted and power vacuums opened all across the world simultaneously, and even those who sought to create peace anew were unable to find suitable heirs to necessary roles among their peoples. At the end of the 61 years that began the Age of Veils the world had successfully created magics to both detect and repel these powerful psionic creatures, managing to drive their presence from settled lands.
- There are been 14 Current Ages, these are Ages that can be sequentially accounted for going back from the the current one.
- There are 11 Elder Ages, these are Ages that have become established through archaeological study or other magical means, yet their exact sequence and length relative to the Current Ages are unknown.
- There are speculated to be 23 or more Unknown Ages, these ages account for timeline disparities between many Elder Ages as well and are supported by the evidence of major catastrophes that are recorded geologically but lack historical evidence to create context for.
- Year length is dependent upon the sun that Aedalon was rotating around during a given Age. The world exists within very specific bands of gravity and orbits that cause it to be pulled into one of three different solar systems by other nearby planets caught in different synchronized orbits. These facts combine to make time a very difficult thing to measure exactly, Aedalon's cultures all have grown to accept a certain imminence of their being. The ability to know the past and future are assuredly beyond them, its people are reminded constantly by the savagery of chaos that there is only now.
Time of Game
It is 5173, the Age of the Veils, the Year of Tides. The Season of Blooms is soon to give way to the Season of Skies. It is a time of both prosperous nations and rising tensions. Without war to deplete the great power of its rulers, many of Aedalon’s great nations have amassed armies that might scar the land with their conflict. The Age of Veils has run its course, Aedalon knows it is only a matter of time before a new Event of the Ages becomes the harbinger of a new era. The questions all rulers ask themselves are not those of when and if, rather what shall herald the coming of a new Age, and who will survive its dawn?
Geography of Aedalon
Land Masses Ordered by Size. (Polar Ice Shelves not included)
(Nem-e-Ther-ah) Named for Nemare, it is taught that when Aidala remade the surface of the world to make it inhabitable to life, its largest and most abundant land was named for the Goddess of the Lonely as a tribute to the great sadness she endures. Though nemithera touches every hemisphere of Aedalon and features every biome within the boundary of its shore, most its landmass is made of non-arable land that consists of large mountain ranges on both its Northwest and Southeastern ends.
It is also taught that Nemare is the one who caused its rupture, why there is now a Sea of Craters, and why Alidora and Ronire are entirely different lands. Nemare, for all of her want to accept Aidala’s gift, was unable to touch its lands without destroying them and caused the formation of the Moonwake mountainrange during the blast, destroying much of the original continent, and scattering its remains about Aedalon. Any particularly large or jagged monolith is thought to be a remnant of the Lost Nemithera.
Nemithera is only the second most populated land mass on Aedalon despite its being easily largest in size. Though Nemithera has seen a variety of feuding monarchies over its recorded history, in its the current age the kingdoms of Deluse and Ormith control the vast majority of the continents resources. There remain other smaller nations and autonomous communities scattered throughout the more difficult and less desirable sections of the land, most notable among these are Kylithia, Nemistad, and Aigaril.
Nemithera offers the longest unbroken sections of settled land across which caravans might travel (provided they don’t mind all the customs Knights at the Deluse border). From north to south and east to west, though its land at times is little more than a thin band of weather worn stone almost drowning in the ocean waves Nemithera is a presence in the lives of every other continent and nation of Aedalon.
-"Like borders of Nemithera," is a common expression to denote something that is a statement entirely of opinion, or of an insubstantial nature.
(Th-oo-sell-keh) From old translations of the common tongue spoken across Aedalon Thuselke takes its name symbol meaning “to take shelter in cliffs,” Thuselke’s landscape and culture embody this well. The entire exterior of the continent being shear rocky cliff face that are continually wracked by storm, Thuselke is precluded from threat of most any standard invasion. These same protections have made the land mass self dependent which has proven any easy task for its peoples, the interior of its landmass consisting of plentiful pastures and temperate meadowlands.
Thuselke consists governing body is a single national government that is controlled by the decisions of a voting council whose members are elected to their positions by the township they represent. It would be a functioning republic were it not for the fact that the election process involves such hurdles as acquiring more than a thousand, one hundred swords of superior quality, and receive an endorsement from any of the powerful fey spirits that inhabit Thuselke’s land. This process effectively turning its voting process into little more than a pageant for the Theocracy of its natural forces.
While the mortal population of Thuselke may not have the final say it would like, the land does prosper under the Fey influenced stewardship. Its lands produce much of Aedalon’s edible produce, and have a reputation for being of the highest quality.
-“Drinking milk in Thuselke,” is a common expression used to refer to living a life of luxury by many both as a goal and something that is unachievably far away.
(Say-Toor) Often forgot about by the rest of Aedalon’s body politic Saehtur is a land of deserts, mountains, and pockets of sparse, yet densely vibrant jungles. Even with it being the third largest single landmass on Aedalon, it is better represented culturally by the island chains near its Eastern and Northern coasts. These islands are known to produce some of the most brilliant of all the world’s gemstones and sought after spices, all while being far more hospitable than the continent and its interior.
The Sands of Saehtur are to home mostly to nomadic peoples with the exception of some the coastal cities and a few cultural hubs that mark important cultural or geographic features for the area. The continent would be a welcome crossroads of trade for all of Aedalon for its location if not for the journey across its sands made so perilous by beasts and fire.
Saehtur is known for being a land of mysterious happenings, the deserts of its interior are synonymous with the supernatural and unexplained. The deserts are thought to contain a sprawling cavern system that can take one anywhere in the world and to those yet unknown. As the legends state, these caverns contain the first Glyphs of Magic as discovered by the mortals of Aedalon. These tales are unified by varying accounts of brave, and perhaps foolish, explorers having returned with their bodies and minds stained by the experiences of worlds both alien and unmade for the likes of material beings. Said to have become souls that could no longer sustain themselves in this realm, the travelers returned again to the caverns underneath the sands of Saehtur, leaving behind what they could of the wisdom they had gained.
-"Food, or sand?" is a question used as a common expression originating from Saehtur referring to the necessity of hospitality in harsh environments. It observes the loyalty living creatures should have to each first, as the unforgiving sands do not nourish them and will gladly bury them. It is the end of a much longer poem that everyone claims to have read, but no one really did. That thing is like a thousand pages in a dead language, gimme a break.
(Row-Nigh-ur) Home to the Goddess Gorielle, Ronire is famed for many things but almost all of them seem to stem from the multidimensional embodiment of victory and strength that stalks through their countryside. Most of Ronire’s land is a series of river valleys decorated by dense forests and timberland. Ronire’s coast is considered to be the true beauty of its settled lands, its waters clear and warmed by volcanic currents, Ronire has a robust trading economy despite its few population centers.
Rich with natural resources, there are many mines and logging camps speckled throughout its terrain. Many abandoned at a moment’s notice due to the risks of operating deep within the interior near mount Ronire where Gorielle lives atop with her families of royal sky raptors. The abundance of the land invites prospectors from all over Aedalon, each intent with trying to be one of lucky few who manage to strike it rich and then return from where they came before the fates undo their fortunes.
Anyone who ventures into Ronire’s beautiful landscapes must contend with the logistic concerns of a living Goddess appearing at any time. As a result of Aidala crafting it to be Gorielle’s hunting ground, Ronire is home to a unique abundance of behemoths and giant creatures that the Goddess of Victory spends endless days ranging among. There are libraries filled with the tremors, avalanches, floods, fires, and raining blood that are all a result of Gorielle’s pass time escapades, and any who seek to journey through Ronire’s untamed tempt such intervention in their journey.
-"Riches of Ronire!" Is an expression that declares excitement or astonishment at a given idea or occurrence.
North of Ronire, Alidora is also commonly known as the Nest Lands for the presence of reptiles and the insects that inhabit its landscapes and define much of its peoples cultures. A mixture of a habitats, Alidora is mostly arid plains and canyons that give way to wetlands and prairie in the more forgiving swaths of its land. A place of poison, murk, and Mystery, Alidora is regarded with a large amount of contempt for its lawlessness and the constantly shifting nature of its peoples. Alidora considers the rest of the world to be of a similar and shared delusion that life is supposed to be filled with comfort and joy.
None rule in Alidora with the exception of the locust. Creatures of havoc and hunger, Alidorian Locusts move across the landscape as a plague devouring all their path. No city is safe from their eventual ire, instead Alidora’s people have developed as nomads who move between existing stone cities as if hermit crabs in a sea of dust. Due to the high death toll of its citizens and their transitory nature, Alidorians are known to be among the world’s greatest necromancers. Often having to return to cities whose populations have been ravaged and begin to start anew, death is a close reality and thin barrier to a vast world among those of Alidorian descent.
With all of the dangerous aspects of life in Alidora, its communities tend to be small and close knit. Many guard secrets learned in their time among its venomous landscape that enable their families to survive, and even prosper. There are rumors of special mages taught by super intelligent insects that dwell with within its swamps. While Saehtur may be the birthplace of Glyph Magic, Alidora guards mysteries of death and disease that many would rather never contemplate.
-"Alidorian Family" is a common expression to refer to a group of individuals that you share close bonds with currently, but likely will have to part with over time.
Espatir & Zijwen
(es-pah-tear) (zi-jeh-wen) Considered two halves of the same whole, it is impossible to discuss the history of one without discussing the history of the other. Divided by an ocean strait that at times is little more than a river delta, these two continents would be one and the same if not for the cultural distinctions that their peoples possess. Scholars still study ancient histories and bloodlines to try and trace exactly where the split began, but the feuds between the nations along the dividing ocean strait that separates the two continents seem to be without beginning as much as they do without end. Many speculate it is simply the seduction of the power one might hold if they could anchor a nation on either side of the strait and hold dominion over trade for the two continents and beyond.
Espatir’s geography varies from jungle to fertile wetlands, its small mountains provide quarry for its industrious people’s much lauded masonry. Zijwen represents a transition from Espatir’s wetlands into grasslands that rise into forested foothills to become a range of steep mountains that run almost the entire length of the continent’s eatern flank. Espatir is famous for its cultivation of its natural habitat that is full of unique flora and fauna, Zijwen renowned for its horsemanship and its half-subterranean canyon cities.
Zijwen and is ruled by several nations, most of which value war and martial prowess in a variety of fields. They all work as independent cells that end up supporting a larger system that prevents outside forces from taking root within their lands. Potential invaders may sieze a few strongholds, but over to conquer Zijwen would require being spread thin while being attacked all sides by power hungry oligarchs. Recognition that everyone from Zijwen is raised to fights and command armies is found in the fact that all deaths of native born people are eulogized as “A leader among our people.”
Contrasting the Zijwen ferocity and perceived humorlessness, Espatir is a land that survives thanks to a globally recognized tradition of hospitality. While their standing army is just as intimidating as any, Espatir is a place where war is generally considered an afterthought so long as you don’t live near the strait bordering Zijwen. Espatir’s people are concerned foremost with their works of monument building and masonry. With adamant protest before, during, and after the entire process, much raw stone is shipped from Zijwen to Espatir. Between that and the common intermingling of cultures due to non-native travelers moving between borders, many question exactly what the grounds for any modern conflict between the lands really exists.
-"You can still carve the names off," is an expression referring to the two continents trading of goods under embargo by origin by falsifying their pedigree. It is used to refer to something that is functioning even if broken.
Shoals of Quathe
(koo-ah-th-eh) Quathe is less a single continent, and more the name given the regions composed largely of tundra and rock that exist in the northern and southern hemispheres. Maze like shoals of brilliantly colored mineral reefs give the approach to the coastlines of Quathe a mystical quality. Much of Quathe is thought to reflect remnants of realms far beyond Aedalon into this one. The deeper you get into the snows that lie beyond its ports, the more you risk emerging in another world entirely. But that is just old superstition.
Bordering both Polar Ice Shelves of Aedalon, Quathe takes its name from an ancient word in the common tongue meaning “Lost at sea,” referring to a land all floating ships were thought to eventually end up at. Sailors when arriving at these distant and frigid lands would name them Quathe, believing they had found the distant and forlorn place of legend.In the current age of Aedalon maps have concluded that these disparate lands are not connected at all in most cases.
Now home to many booming fishing ports as well as lucrative ore mines, the regions of Quathe are synonymous with hardened sailors and metal ships transporting vast cargos of pulled from frozen grounds. The culture of Quathe is a mosaic of nautical traditions having merged over thousands of years with various noble houses and merchant guilds. There are no rulers of Quathe, yet there are certainly powers that exist among regions. Cities tend to make their own rules, but so steel clad armadas.
Quathe’s most notable export is Colossus Oil, a unique and long burning source of fuel extracted from the flesh of sea monsters that dwell among mineral stained the region’s ice floats. Hunted out of necessity to keep the shipping lanes clear, their bodies are boiled down down into a tar like substance that has proven invaluable to many around Aedalon.
-"What was it like in Quathe?" is a common way of commenting on someone being late or returning from somewhere unlikely.