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.