World of Argethen

Page Contents

Sections: Destalia | Gueressa | High Kortenka | Central Kortenka | Low Kortenka | Osertania
Links: Argethen’s Chronology(X) | The Gethenite Pantheon | The Oasis Ordaros | Planar Cosmology | The Sovereignty of Ranosyrd

Make sure to check out Argethen’s Chronology(X), The Gethenite Pantheon and Planar Cosmology to help round out your SyndeconRPG experience!

Destalia Thumbnail

Destalia, the Fields of Pain

Overview: Destalia is a war-torn continent where a near-utopian ecosystem was thrown awry by cataclysmic supernatural forces. Theologically speaking, this occurred when Heredys plunged into the Soulmar Ocean off of Destalia’s western coast. A series of enormous tidal waves overwhelmed half the continent, and Heredys gave birth to Rhasmoth in their wake. Their are no proven scientific or planar explanations for the shattered environment, since expeditions into the Rhasodock territory are nearly nonexistent. The Descendant Heredys, the deprived, is this continent’s namesake, and in Destalia, the land is desolate and its people are desperate.

Regardless of what caused Destalia’s current ecological state, it’s clear that it is just barely sustaining the lives that depend on it. The ruthless population of orcs to the west eat whoever they can find and catch, including each other, and though the Kingsley Province has almost enough natural resources to sustain itself, the war effort against the Rhasodok drains them steadily. Only trade with the Middle Sea countries, and carefully rationing their soldiers and citizens keeps the Kingsley Province from withering away. For their part, Haiduk and Irvalon each have a wealth of resources, but the Dukkan dwarves lack the Valonian’s bountiful lumber, and the Valonians rely on Dukkan metalworkers for the best tools Destalia can offer.

The constant threat of orc attacks forces each of the Destalian nations to employ defensive measures and take a military stance on city design. The Kingsley Province epitomizes this concept, and thick walls, defensive bulwarks and lofty lookout towers permeate every city, town and village. The Dukkans had little to no problem building in preparation for war. Their deep mountain homes afford some of the best natural protection possible. Only the Valonians had to adapt to the changing times. After the Tragedy of Felvalorn, during early Rhasodok invasions, the elves began tapping into the Welkin to alter their wooded homeland. The Valonian forests have become supernaturally resilient to both fire and disease from their efforts. The southern edge of Destalia is also dotted with smaller human communities, called border settlements. These settlements are extremely reserved communities that seldom receive help from the other regions (even the Kingsley Knights). These small settlements are set in defensible locations, and the border people are known for their strength and resourcefulness.

The Kingsley Knights are often seen as fodder for the orcs by Valonians and Dukkans. Still, Irvalon heavily depends on the Kingsley Knights to hold the buffer zone between them and the Rhasodok. This reliance leads Irvalon to send many more soldiers and supplies to aid their human cousins than Haiduk, and a stronger alliance has formed between the two nations. Before Kingsley’s ascension was the last time orcs were able to attack the elven homeland, so even though the Dukkans and Valonians see the Kingsley Knights as a resource, they are an invaluable resource they work to sustain. The border settlements, however, share almost no connection with the elves and dwarves, and even harbor a certain resentment for the Kingsley Knights. They feel abandoned by the Knights, who lack the forces to patrol and defend outside of the Province, which used to be much larger.

Gueressa, the Heart of the Hunt

Overview: Gueressa is a jungle continent that is almost entirely covered by lush rainforests. It is home to the largest natural trees and ferns (meaning, not magically enhanced or biologically engineered as they sometimes are in Irvalon), and it is filled with the widest variety of carnivorous beasts in the world. The Warlord Gulena, the huntress, is this continent’s namesake, and in Gueressa, everything hunts, and everything is prey.

There is an over-abundance of natural resources in Gueressa, but the persistent threats of wild animals, native resistance, toxic flora and heavy storms make it extremely difficult to maintain settlements, lumber camps or mining colonies. Even the largest native mainland tribes, the Gau’ten and the Res’tavn, have only claimed enough land for their primary cities through sacrificing many lives over long periods of time. Protecting these claims is a daily affair, and tribal Gueressan cities are extremely small and reserved compared with cities on any other continent in the world. Only the Uero elves, who live on the far-western shore, have maintained grand settlements that they protect through unique magics.

Since Gueressan perils come from any direction, tribal villages are typically well-hidden, spread out, and numerous. Avoiding the endless dangers is much easier than combating them, and constantly moving throughout the jungle makes it more difficult for the fiercest of Gueressan predators, which are predominately nocturnal in nature, to track the natives. Only in the largest native settlements are permanent fixtures seen on the surface. These “open-sets” are non-essential structures, like obelisks, totems, small shelters and rain-catchers, and they remain exposed only because they are easily repaired or replaced. These “open-sets” are typically the only signs that a tribe has been in an area. The rest of the native structures are hidden away in “closed-sets,” found predominately high in large trees, deep in caverns, or dug down through the soil. Each tribe has several preferred methods of building their closed-sets, but all of the tribes survive Gueressa because of their ability to hide in plain sight.

At one point, nearly all of the tribes were cannibalistic, and believed they honored Gulena by hunting the most cunning prey they could find (though, this was not always humanoid prey). This tradition caused many of the other nations to turn their back on Gueressa, and send emissaries elsewhere for trade. Some more recent expeditions have reported an enormous decline in cannibalism among the tribes, but most nations still do not accept the tribal societies, even the Gau’ten and Res’tavn, as legitimate governments. Only the Syrdans of High Kortenka have made regular contact with the Guero peoples, and often recruit their warriors into the Yrfæng, Ranosyrd’s military sector. As far as Gueressa natives are concerned, they have enough problems of their own to contend with, and relations with other nations are seen as frivolous and unimportant.

Major Geographical Regions: Au’renna River Valley, Gau’ma River Sparselands, Gracka, Guera Uar, Long Shadows, Ro’vayn.

The Au’renna River Valley: South-western end of the continent between the Hegrac mountains and the Uero tribelands. Heavily patrolled by Uero soldiers to ensure easy access for slaveships navigating between camps and Scalewell Bay.

The Gau’ma River Sparselands: Northern end of the continent. Fewer trees than in most of Gueressa, and fairly low slopes. Main area for Gau’ten gatherings and where most foreign travelers come to trade with Gueressan natives.

Gracka: A small river that leads into the large lake at the center of the Hegrac mountains. Considered one of the most dangerous regions in Gueressa. Between the seemingly ancient water life, and the highly reclusive dwarves who call the mountain home, few have survived a trek down the Gracka.

Guera Uar: The north-western chunk of Uero territory, including the several small islands jutting into the Ocean of Afterall. This region holds the most concentrated numbers of Gueressa’s elves, and the Uero Council calls the largest island, Uara Mai, their noble home.

The Long Shadows: Between the south-eastern face of the Hegrac mountains and the northern end of the Resa river lies an expanse of particularly dense jungle that sees very little light beneath its thick canopy. Typically nocturnal creatures are often seen out at odd hours in the Long Shadows. The nearby Res’tavn typically avoid the area if they can, but it’s rumored that some kind of pale humanoids inhabit this dangerous area.

Ro’vayn: A forbidden area located between the Gau’ten and Res’tavn territories. A tribe passing through this region is seen as a declaration of war by the other, and so the passage is marked with warning totems carved into dead trees or out of stone. Any adventurers found crossing through this area are typically met with distrust, if they are not immediately attacked by the tribes.

High Kortenka, the Glory of Mankind

Overview: High Kortenka (core-ten-ka) is the most technologically advanced continent in the whole of Argethen. Seemingly endless mineral wealth from the ore-rich mountains covering a good portion of the continent, and ample plains throughout the southern regions produce a self-sustaining geopolitical system.

See Also: The Oasis Ordaros | The Sovereignty of Ranosyrd

Central Kortenka, the Transcendent Islands

Low Kortenka, the Scarred Lands

Overview: Low Kortenka is most-commonly called Vremoar, though there are diverse regions that make the continent truly unique. The three largest regions are the Vremoar Crescent, the large, plague-ridden marshland at the far north; the central portion of Vremoar is the Basin, named after the bowl-like shape created by surrounding mountains; and the Turgathka lowlands in the far south are a semi-frozen wasteland that lead into the southern tundra. The Warlord Vrem, the voiceless, is this continent’s namesake, and in Vremoar, all must tread the threshold of death.

Life is difficult in Vremoar, and entire populations have been wiped out completely by schisms, planar disruptions, and other violent terramorphic activity: tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes and earthquakes. Moarians have come to rely on exotic resources from other planes to survive the more unnatural disasters. Such materials and artifacts often entice foreigners to adventure through Vremoar. Seafarers eagerly collect a number of items that affect the winds and waters, and nothing will keep travelers safer in the Turgathka tundra like emberstones. Moarians will regularly trade with outsiders, since technologically speaking, Moarians have been left far behind the other nations. Lacking the means to craft advanced tech themselves, they are typically just as eager to trade with Syrdans and Kaians as High Kortenkans are with them.

There are no standard construction styles in Vremoar, and very few settlements exist. The tumultous geography destroys most long-term settlements, so most Moarians have adapted by moving around, trying to predict the next catastrophe. Many times, caves and cavern-systems are used as temporary shelters, but this is seen as a last resort. Sometimes, underground is more dangerous than hazarding the surface, since they are just as likely to shift closed or collapse as the rest of Vremoar. Some Moarian groups have established small civilizations in coterminous planar boundaries, and have disappeared until the plane becomes coterminous again–sometimes only after centuries or more have passed. These boundary cultures typically have populations consisting primarily of Welkin-born, given their proximity to other planes.

The various cultures in Low Kortenka are wary and suspicious of anyone outside of their immediate circle, but the are rarely hostile and seldom resort to direct violence. Death is an all-too-common occurance in their daily lives, so most Moarians share a reverence of life unmatched anywhere else in the world. Their overt attempts at peaceful relations has earned them friends–Osers, Mendrals, Kers and Valonians, especially–but it has also led some nations to believe Vremoar is ripe for the taking. Several dwarven lords have established colonies in Vremoar over the years, and Moarians typically let the land push them back out. The dwarves that obstinately remain, and survive, are left alone from a mixture of respect and fear. Once, and only once, the Kaian Empire attempted an invasion. The Moarian nomads outmaneuvered the nimble Kaian soldiers, and continually led the invaders into the land’s disasters. Since the Kaian lacked the Moarians’ native intuition, they were practically annihilated. Since then, the Kaian have kept their distance, and returned their focus to High Kortenka.

Major Geographical Regions: Divide, Leviathan, Little Snake, Wispwood

The Divide: A lengthy river runs over half the way from the northern end of Vremoar, clear to the Lowlands coast. Its exact path changes over time, fluctuating with the region’s terramorphic events, and occasionally parts of the river become almost entirely blocked off by rocks or other debris. Still, the river is wide and deep enough that, so far, it has survived as a major travel route for generations of Moarians. Given the rough waters and hazardous obstacles, large ships cannot safely maneuver the Divide, but the small, leather-sealed Moarian vessels handle well.

The Leviathan: A snake-shaped body of water that is much larger than the Little Snake (another snake-shaped body of water) that has seemed unaffected by planar boundaries and schisms. The water is calm and fetid, and the home of foul, dangerous creatures. It is rumored that here, in the Crescent’s largest inland body of water, a mythical sea-creature had crawled out of the sea to die.

The Little Snake: A small river in western Vremoar, the Little Snake opens up into a small lake, and from above, it looks like a serpent. Despite the constantly shifting landscape, the Little Snake has remained unchanged for generations. Many Moarians have congregated around this small bit of stable lane, and built their largest cities around the lake at its southern end.

The Wispwood: All manner of otherworldly creature has been rumored to travel the Wispwood, and only Moarians looking for rare artifacts ever dare to enter this sparse forest. Dividing the mountains which split the Crescent from the rest of Vremoar, the Wispwood is the quickest way to travel north through upper Vremoar.

Osertania, the Island Dynasties


Page Contents

Sections: Destalia | Gueressa | High Kortenka | Central Kortenka | Low Kortenka | Osertania
Links: Argethen’s Chronology(X) | The Gethenite Pantheon | The Oasis Ordaros | Planar Cosmology | The Sovereignty of Ranosyrd