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Artanis

Artanis is a land that only exists in my imagination.

It is a place based on 5th century Britain, divided into four kingdoms. Each one is ruled by its own King, who in turn are subjects of the High King, Cadern Ap Caddock II.

Innis Deo – Isle of Light – Seat of the High King

In the center of Artanis the three northern rivers join to create a lake, which surrounds an island. It is here that the High King resides.

Tuatha, the Northern Kingdom

The north is home to miners, skilled weapon and armor smiths.  A great mountain range marks the border of Artanis – The Torrach Mountains. Nobody, who tried to cross the mountains, has come back to tell the tale. It is said that Dragons still roam far above the world.

Ear, the Eastern Kingdom

Dark woods, marsh land and dry prairie make the east less than inviting. Yet, a lot of people are drawn to the kingdom, because the grand, blue ocean beckons. The main export of Ear is Fish and Horses. Fishing vessels arrive in the thriving seaport of Cala during all times of the day. Here, their goods are being unloaded, weight, salted and transported to every corner of Artanis. Horses actually thrive on the  Southern Plains and are valued highly by the other Kingdoms.

Deas, the Southern Kingdom

Large farms dot the fruitful valleys. The sun sets a bit later here and rises much too early. Harvest time calls for celebrations. A straw man burns to appease the Goddess Dana and ensure another successful season next year. Most Southern folk are rather superstitious and who will blame them? They live the closest to the magical barrier, although most have never seen it and never will.

An Iar, the Western Kingdom

90% of the Kingdom is covered by a large forest. Wood cutters transport their logs using the extensive river system of Artanis. 85% of the buildings are made from An Iar timber. Only the castles of the four provinces and the High Kings large palace complex are build from stone. Rumors circulate that here,  amidst the towering trees of the Western Forest, the El-Shee have taken refuge.

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Avaness

Avaness has been cut off from the rest of the world, just after the great war between El-Shee and Humans. Shea used the last of her magical reserves to erect a magical barrier between the worlds and therefore ending the war. The people soon forgot all about Avaness, the land of the El-Shee, as it drifted further and further from conscious thought. Only a few remember the lost realm.

Even before the magical border cut it off, it was a perilous journey into Avaness. The paths lead either through Ardan Draca or the Carga Forest.

Ardan Draca – The Dragon Mountains – Western Avaness

Strange spires of granite rock cover a vast area. One can not cross over those grey mountains, but must follow the labyrinthine paths, in the hopes to cross the Valley of Fate and reach a large area called Boglach.

Boglach – Swampland – Western Avaness

The Talach Burn has its early beginnings in Ardan Draca, but not all the water flows evenly towards the south. A multitude of small streams are naturally diverted underground through caverns. The water then seeps back through the dirt in the western part far below the mountains, forming a swamp. Large, lichen covered trees dot the landscape. Sharp, hard grass mark the edges of a few remaining paths weaving through the treacherous area.

Cagar Forest – Whisper Woods – Eastern Avaness

A dark, old forest stretches along the eastern border of Avaness. Trees grow so close that the forest’s    density allows only sparse sunlight.  Strange creatures inhabit the twilit region of the ancient woods. Not much is known about this region, since most travelers avoid it and rather take their chances following the Ceobanach Burn north and then head west towards Ardan Draca. If a traveler is lucky enough to survive the woods, they will enter the Wastelands.

Wastelands – Eastern Avaness

Black rock formations litter the landscape.  It’s a hostile environment, unable to sustain life. Once a fertile plain, now just a reminder of a long ago battle, fought with magical force.  Ugly scars mar the ground; large and small fissures weave through the cracked dirt, expelling hot steam. This in turn covers the whole area in a thick fog, hiding Tur Eolas in its center.

Tur Eolas – Tower of Wisdom – Eastern Avaness

Once the center of learning, the tower has fallen into disrepair and stands forgotten. Here the El-Shee were educated in the use of magic. The tower consists of various levels of instructions. The pupil would enter the lower levels and learn about the use and power of magic.

Tur Eolas

Dorcha Raon – The Dark Plains – Central Avaness

The Dark Plains take up much of Central Avaness. A long time ago, long before the great war even, these plains were fertile farmland. Lush, dense grass covered the area and served as a  great source of feed for a variety of livestock. Now, like most of the land, it is an unforgiving place. Neither grass, nor weeds will grow here, all that remains is dark, dead earth.

Siabra’s castle stands like a black sentinel upon a hill on its western edge, close to Ceobanach Burn. Even the river has difficulty crossing this terrain and its waters are a mere shadow of the strong current that began far to the north in Artanis and winds its way south through Avaness.

Heavenly Kingdom Wallpaper by CSnyder

 Sàmhach Woods – The Silent Woods – Southern Avaness

To the far south of Avaness, near the western edge, ancient trees grow tall and green. It is the last vestige of verdant life in this forsaken land. The Silent Woods are a haven in a dark place. No harm will come to the small and large woodland creatures that have fled the magical devastation. It is silent, because no magick will penetrate its bounds and no battle cry has ever echoed through this hallowed place.

Silent Forest with sunlight

Ard Tursachan – The Great Stone Circle – Found within the Silent Woods

It is said that a great circle of stones protects the forest. However, not many have laid eyes on it, for it is found deep within the woods. It is the only magick found here and only those who are chosen to be Sheelana – Earth Mother and Protector of Avaness, will find their way to it. Many covet the power of the life giving magick and have tried to seek out its source.

Standing Stones