So, last week I went over a bit of how Ancient Dreams was inspired by Senkar, but despite my rambling I didn’t really give a lot of information about the setting. This week I’ll try to fix that.
When I was creating Senkar, I wanted a world where I could run almost any type of game I could imagine, which also translates to allowing almost any fantasy story I can imagine. I find it ironic that despite this goal, I ended up with several more that wouldn’t fit in the setting. Still, I digress. Each of the continents was created with different themes in mind.
The first of my creations was Kavarn, a vast, sprawling continent of empires and magic, and at its heart is the Thorned Wood, a forest which surrounds the World Tree. Unlike the Eternal Wood of Ancient Dreams, the Thorned Wood is one of the most dangerous realms across the world, filled with dragons and monsters, and narrow bands of the forest extend outward across the continent and even under the oceans themselves, their magic allowing the forest to spread even there. This continent is the most like a classic magical realms of High Fantasy, with realms of elves, dwarves, and humans dominating the landscape.
South of Kavarn, across the relatively small Sea of Mists (not unlike the Mediterranean Sea) is the continent of Algaria. This continent is split in two by the Walls of Heaven, a mountain range that crosses most of the landmass. The northern region of Algaria is partially savannahs, and partially deserts that teem with genies and magic. The human nation of Corval has mastered magic to a great degree, and though their empire is decaying, their magical airships are works of art. South the the Walls of Heaven are dense jungles and swamps that are dominated by serpentfolk and native humans. Few civilizations last long here, as the climate makes travel more difficult, as do the dangers of the jungles.
East of Kavarn and Algaria are the Isles of Kalpher. A sprawling island chain, this is almost a continent in its own right. The magic of Kalpher is pervasive, and strange caverns dot the islands that form miniature realms that are sometimes like small worlds themselves, sometimes far larger than the island they’re supposedly a part of. The people of Kalpher tend to produce a fair number of philosophers and seafarers, and they trade heavily with Kavarn. In fact, it’s believed that it was a combination of human inhabitants of Kalpher and Algaria that first began to settle Kavarn.
Opposite the globe from Kavarn is Soryska. This realm is dominated by two species, the vampire-like vorpir to the south, and the demon-descended derran to the north. The vorpir are believed to have been humans to adapted to the intense necromantic energy surrounding the Well of Souls, a lake at the heart of the southern branch of the continent and the gateway for souls to the afterlife. Many lycanthropes, undead, and other creatures typically classified in horror and the like congregate here, while the derran form a loose, fractious empire to the north that’s only held together by the threat of the vorpir. Other species are hardly unknown in this realm, and are often enslaved by the dominant species.
Finally there is the small continent of Delsen, over 1,500 miles from the shore of other continents. Fortunately for Delsen, the closest nations are ruled by the vorpir, whose allergy to sunlight make them poor sailors. Protected by currents and a lack of islands that would allow others to easily approach it, Delsen is idyllic when compared to other nations. This is a land of fairy tales, where small kingdoms thrive in relative harmony. Few other continents would consider the threats they face truly dangerous, but they’re enough for the inhabitants, which are primarily humans but with a few elves, dwarves, and the fey fair folk.
These are the continents which I built for the setting. To give some reference, Through the Fire will be set in part of Kavarn, as is the story Broken Chains which I shared via my newsletter some time ago. Sisters of Radiance is going to be largely set on the continent of Soryska, though I’m not certain it’ll stay there.
I may discuss more about the setting next week, but we’ll have to see!