Going to talk a bit about the actual geography of Verse today! The world of Verse is very Earth-like— continents, oceans, similar axial tilt and seasons. Magic used to let people easily traverse the world, whether it was over large stone causeways or with mighty ocean liners. None of that exists anymore, so character’s knowledge is informed by any surviving text and the rare traveler. But, the World is a diverse place, thousands of years of easy travel means that people spread out and settled in new areas, bringing their culture with them.
The bulk of Verse takes place around Essear. The southern part of Essear is 100% what I know-- coming from Southern Ontario-- it has hot summers and winters with a bit of snow. Moving northwards into the Fog highlands the landscape and climate begin to reflect parts of Scotland and Ireland, but with much harsher winters, especially at the most northern points. To the east of Essear is an extensive mountain range called the Verdant Range. It cuts off Essear from the rest of the continent and has protected them from other nations for a very long time. To the south is Orthena, separated by a narrow body of water, The Green Channel. It is the only viable point of entry into Essear and primed to see some fighting over control from Orthena. The Shattered Sea to the east of Essear and Orthena is dangerous because of all the small islands and shallow areas, no ships can sail through there.
Character’s who are Essic natives include: Fife, Ophelia, and Isolf.
To the west of Essear is the island of Tille, it’s a commonwealth of Essear. Magdalena is originally from there and has family still living on the island. She made her way to the city of Maidenstone to study at their college. (* *Bastia should be labelled Tille on the map, oops!)
To the south of Orthena is Atan and the new nation of Mugai. Orthena unsuccessfully tried to expand southwards, now there is just a stretch of land between the two countries that belongs to nobody and is sometimes still fought over. West of Atan is the Radiant Isles, an ironic mistranslation. In the native language of Atan, the islands are referred to as the Ghost Islands. Nobody lives there anymore, and there are a high number of Vel.
Kidai is from Atan and fled with his family north to Orthena, then Essear, when civil war broke out.
The Ruin and the Sea of Broken Bridges are areas where few people live. These countries were hit hardest by the disappearance of Magic and never recovered. As the name implies… the Sea of Broken Bridges had the largest stone causeway which ran all the way to the Oyara Desert before it sank into the ocean.
Another area hit hard by Magic disappearing is the Oyara Desert itself. It’s actually a cold desert climate, and one of the harshest places to live. With the aid of machinery and Magic, it used to be a hub of trade as people from the Eastern continent made their way over the large stone causeway. The southern part is dominated by a broad mountain range that was hard to travel even with the aid of Magic.
The character’s who were natives to Oyara are Lahel and Ladis.
Lastly is Kalis! The southern part of Kalis is mostly uninhabited jungle and mountains. The north part flattens out enough for the large city of Janeh, built on the bones of the many fallen cities of Kalis. It’s a dense city that’s cut-off from the rest of the world.
Azar is from the city of Janeh and made the treacherous trip as a stowaway on a ship headed to Orthena as a boy.
In general, the World that Verse is situated in is vast, but cities are dense. Middle-sized towns were abandoned when the Vel showed up, as people sought safety in numbers. There are small and scattered villages in every country, but their existence is fragile.
A lot of this world-building nonsense has little impact on the story, but I like to think it informs how certain characters act and what they value. As always I love getting questions about this kind of stuff, so don't be shy!
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