Geography - Orius
Orius is the larger of the two continents on Terranis. Roughly crescent shaped, it stretches over a thousand miles from the Bloodlands to northern Doramor. As it nearly reaches both poles, it features a diverse range of climates (Diverse for Terranis, anyway). Southern Korneth and northern Doramor tend to have stronger winters and milder summers, while Saernis, almost straddling the equator, remains fairly pleasant for most of the year.
The eastern continent is home to three of the Five Powers: Korneth, Saernis, and Doramor. While Korneth and Doramor each have a primary port city through which goods flow across the Inner Sea to Occidus, Saernis lacks such a city and thus conducts most of its trade over land to its neighbors. Although the over-water distance across the Outer Ocean to Occidus is roughly equal, there is little trade between the continents in that direction. Doramor’s only port city on its eastern coast, Eastmarch, is only half the size of Landsbury, with a steady trickle of ships going between it, Kaldoris, and Hassidia. For Korneth and Saernis, the distances involved are simply too great to be worthwhile.
Of notable geographic features, the Dunkelwald in Korneth is, by far, the largest forest on Terranis. Several hundred miles across, it boasts some of the largest trees in the world, and its canopy stays thick and shadowy for most of the year, lending it the name. At some point, considerable numbers of monsters came to inhabit the forest, leaving its reaches a dangerous place to wander alone or even in small groups.
Within the borders of Saernis, the Valley of Dragons remains a foreboding and avoided place. It was from this small cluster of mountains that the dragon god Dagorleth appeared in the fourth century to terrorize the surrounding areas, leading armies of monsters to raze large parts of Saernis City (which, after the war, was rebuilt and renamed Kunskaborg). It was only through tremendous sacrifice that the human armies, bolstered by the Order of Light, were able to drive the monsters back, and nearly three hundred paladins descended into the earth to fight Dagorleth within its lair. Although less than half of them returned alive, they emerged dragging the severed head of the beast behind them.
The vast Mendis River forms a natural boundary and most of the border between Saernis and Doramor, while the Ren An marks the separation between Korneth and Saernis. The Mendis River flows out of the Sural Mountains, a massive circle of peaks nearly impossible to traverse. It has only been in recent decades that explorers have even been able to reach the inner parts of the range, reporting a vast lake, at the center of which lies a small island and a tower of clearly ancient origin. To date, no one has reached the tower.
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