Mar 24, 2018
So, here I am with map #30 in the atlas Elyden project, and this brings me full circle to where I started out in the world of Elyden, about 12 - 13 years ago now.
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At that point I had only done a small amount of worldbuilding for my DnD campaigns, fleshing out the immediate region around the adventurer's starting location, making sure to be a few steps ahead of the players at any time, but never knowing the full picture.
I was bored at home between sessions, between jobs at the time, and started writing “Alone, he rode across the Temujan plains.” not much as far as opening lines go (it was quickly replaced by something equally terrible), but it’s what started me along this journey. About 5,000,000 words (yes you read that right - I got up to 7 volumes of unedited meandering structureless writing before realizing I was getting nowhere), and dozens of maps later, here I am, fleshing out the place where it all started - Temuja.
A lot has changed about the world since then, not least of all the world map, which has been constantly evolving in the ensuing years, but Temuja has remained largely unchanged - an inland highland region bordered by mountains, its people are primitive by the post-industrial age standards around the Inner Sea. They are equine masters and scholars of the mystic arts, studying Firmamental theory brought to them from the East, rather than practicing it, due largely to its placement along the so-called nullambit (see appendix for details on this).
Temuja was, in the early days of my writing, the ‘Rebel Alliance’ to Korachan’s ‘Galactic Empire’ and was the scapegoat of the latter’s wars and crusades. This has lessened as the rest of the world was fleshed out, but remains largely true - much of the so-called ‘War for the Shadow and Helix‘ (as my book series would be called if it was ever published) hinges on the fate of this region and some characters in particular…
So it feels weird to revisit this region with the level of scrutiny that the Atlas Elyden allows. I already know so much about this place. Valghar was the first named settlement in Elyden. Many thousands more would follow, as my patrons and followers of the Atlas can attest to! Duariahahn was the first capital I named. The first characters, the first organisations, religions, myths, histories - all were in Temuja.
I’ve gravitated elsewhere since creating this place, much like the Demiurges of my mythology leaving the world of their creation. I was lured by the imagery of the dystopian post-industrial magitech that’s so prevalent around the Inner Sea and left Temuja behind.
But Temuja will always be the first place I visited in this world :)
A landlocked nation in central North Llachatul, Temuja (as it is called by natives) is a natural highland basin almost 300-square-miles, that lies to the south-east of the Desolation of Astudan, north of Saua and west of Malan, and is cosseted by mountains on all sides. It’s people are descended from a mix of various cultures and races, mostly Goethan and Nahorian people from the Fourth Age of Mortal Life.
Traditionally, the people of Temuja have been a mix of small pastoral communities or tribes, and nomads known for their cultural ties with sturdy horses. The nomads would move along the central plains whilst the communities became established in the relative safety of the foothills that flank them. Though descended from the same people, these pastoral and nomadic communities developed separately to one another, with the latter sometimes preying on the former. Despite this they shared a deep-rooted belief in tutelary spirits that persists to this day, as well as a fire-goddess, known as Ot.
It is this heathen religion, coupled with the region’s esoteric study of the Firmament that eschews practice in favour of theory, that has earnt the region the ire of Korachan. More than once was Korachan the target of imperial crusades that have left its settlements depopulated, its fields burnt. These crusades were known as the Witch Wars by the Korachani people. None know the true number of innocent Temujans that were killed by these crusaders and witch hunters.
But that is not to say that Temuja is a defenceless place. Quite the contrary. Her people are proud and brave, and have a long martial history. The mountains surrounding Temuja (fittingly called the Border Mountains) are fortified and guarded by well-defended watch towers. Its horse riders are unrivalled in all of Llachatul, and their keen eyes guide their powderguns as much they once did their bows.
Leadership of Temujan settlements comes in two forms - the more traditional council of elders, which is most common in the plains settlements; and a meritocratic republic where the traditional elders have become advisors to an elected ruler. Together all Temujan settlements are connected by a loose coalition known as the Plainsleague, which meets four times a year in the Greattown of Duariahahn to discuss matters of national importance.
The unified Temuja of today is a relatively recent occurence, with its disparate tribes gathered under the banner of the Hero
By the standards of nations around the Inner Sea, Temuja is a backwards nation, only recently embracing the technology of powderguns (ironically, sold to them by Korachani dealers) steam mills. Iron ore is rare though copper and bronze are abundant, as are stone and lumber. Common livestock include goats, sheep and aurochs, and fermented milk being a common drink. Horses have been a part of Temujan culture for as long as anyone can remember, and are thought to date back to the days of their Goethan ancestors and a time when the Desolation was more hospitable.
The Nullambit: is a region and supranatural phenomena that spans the globe, at an angle to the equator. It is equidistant from the Atramental and Firmamental fonts (the Black Fountain and the Menisucs; at 8o57’33”S 27o56’20”W and 8o57’33”N 152o03’40”E, respectively) and is the farthest point from the two regions, circumventing the globe of Elyden.
The closer one gets to the Nullambit the weaker the effects of the Atramenta and the Firmament become, making shaping and technarcane use a lot more difficult. The farther one moves from the Nullambit (and closer to the antipodes of the Black Fountain or the True Meniscus) the stronger relative shaping becomes and the more pronounced the respective effects become. Within a radius of 10 - 100-miles of the antipodes survival becomes close to impossible, with both the Atramenta and the Firmament coming up many horrific and inventive ways of debilitating and killing mortal life there.
TLDR: it’s another equator at a tangent to the real one, whose poles are the two magical fonts, which are antipodes.
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