Caido is a continent roughly 9 million km2 (approximately the size of China)


    The Hollowed Grounds

    The area immediately around the Spire is little more than a barren waste. A fine, black dust covers the ground - a mix of ashes and sand which, when kicked up by footsteps, can sting the eyes and clog the throat. Nothing grows here - the air tastes dry with death. There is no birdsong, no insects, no life. An obsidian tower dominates the very core of this place, striking at the sky like a black needle. The walls are smooth but for a square outline at the base of the structure which might be a door. The top has been blown open when our characters managed to make their way into the Spire, releasing the Voice from where she was held prisoner

    The ruins immediately around the Spire have been tamed by the new arrivals, creating a refuge in the chaos. Buildings have been renovated, repairs have been made to the streets and there are even a few rudimentary attempts to decorate.

    Temple:

    • Infirmary Situated at the back of the temple, the infirmary consists of a few rudimentary treatment rooms, a primitive ward and a large study.
    • Rathskeller Situated in the Temple cellar, this is the name given to the makeshift tavern that has been set up there. It can be accessed via the Temple but also through cellar doors outside which open into a short tunnel, and then the Rathskeller proper.
    Atheneum: A domed building which has been recently repaired from a catastrophic cave-in on one side. Though renovation of the interior is still underway, the half which is still accessible is grandiose and holds the remnants of volumes and tomes in a range of languages.

    Domiciles: What was once a well-established hamlet is now in fairly poor shape. As well as in the Fields and the Woodlands, the Naturals left inside of the bubble dwell here. The foundations of most of the homes are crumbling, though there are a few communities that seem hospitable with a little work.

    Old buildings on the verge of collapse, winding, empty streets, skeletal structures and hidden lanes and alleyways. Ruins dominate the city and make up the majority of its landscape. Exploration is dangerous…but it might be rewarding, too.

    The Underground: One of the streets has buckled inwards. Clearing the rubble away has revealed the entrance to a hidden cave system.

    The Bonebridge: Composed entirely of stones so white and cracked as to appear like bones, this bridge stretches across an expanse that seems always bathed in mist. To fall into the gorge below would mean almost immediate death.

    The Labyrinth: Once clearly the pride and joy of the Hollowed Grounds, now the Labyrinth stands as a deadly reminder of what nature can do when left on its own. The hedges have grown so wild that at times it is hard to see the sky from inside. Thorns grow from some of the hedges and it seems entirely unclear whether or not the bushes actually remain in the same place

    The Settlement : The Settlement is perhaps the only area of the Ruins that looks moderately habitable and not completely run down. This is where the Naturals do most of their trading and where merchants and other peddlers set up their wares for sale and trade.

    The Outskirts might once have been an extension of the fields, but are now clearly demarcated by the ring-like shape of absolutely barren land. Once a magical barrier separated the Grounds from the rest of Caido, but it has since been removed. Now there is only a barren scar in the earth that indicates where it once was.

    Fields: While the Outskirts are the most dangerous of the areas around the Spire, there is also fertile ground here. Soft earth and vegetable patches abound, making it an attractive place to grow crops. There are also a few herds of animals roaming.

    Woodlands: The dense trees in the Woodland seem to stifle all sound making them unnervingly quiet. In some places the foliage is so thick that almost all light is barred from reaching the ground.

    A small spot of completely natural beauty sits in the shadow of the Spire. So completely at odds with this desolate wasteland, the Glade boasts a circle of fragrant trees and a rolling expanse of sweet grass. The sound of birdsong and distant, babbling water suffuses the place.

    Oasis: The Oasis is like a piece of paradise in an all but ruined world. A stream rushes out from between the face of two rocks, producing a pool of water which is deep and calm and serene. Some even say that it has healing properties.

    The Greatwood

    Though this enchanting forest is rather large, it is not easy to find. Magically warded by the Fae, only those who know the correct paths will ever be able to find themselves in the heart of this lush magical kingdom. Wanderers will simply find themselves turned around and spat out after having delved only a few hundred feet or so into the woods.

    Given that very few travelers other than the Fae find themselves in these woods, most of the animals are quite friendly and have lost many of their flight instincts when it comes to strangers.

    Dozens of hidden pathways seemingly lead to this safe haven, though only those with keen eyes and knowledge of the area will be able to follow them. The thriving heartland of the Fae, much of the ground area is used for communal purposes. A marketplace shields one edge of the village, and the centre boasts a beautiful square which is open to the skies above. The trees are filled with homes of the Fae, suspended as if part of the forest itself. In the evening, their light suffuses the branches with a warm glow.

    The Observatory: Delicate stairways and ladders cover the trunk of the tallest tree in the village. Nestled in its topmost branches lies the Observatory, where Fae might read the skies or hope to catch a glimpse of Star Whales.

    The Bodega: A picturesque market of individual stalls set on the bank of a crystal clear river.

    Undercroft: Deep beneath the roots of an ancient oak, things are not what they seem. This warm, dry underground space contains troves of information; grimoires, tomes and tales of the Fae.

    The name of this fast-flowing river comes from the oddly shaped rocks which jut out from its depths. When the water and air rush through them the river truly sings in a soft and haunting melody. But whilst life is abundant here, it is as treacherous as it is beautiful.

    A dense and eclectic maze of trees, the clue is in the name for the Wildwood. It is easy to get lost or turned around, and travellers will often find themselves right back where they started. Brimming with life and illuminated by Will-o-Wisps, this place truly is a wonder to behold.

    Ludo's Wood:There exists within the Wildwood a thicket of trees where the Fae bury their dead. Lanterns are buried with the bodies so that, in the afterlife, the dead might find their way to Mort and his herald, Ludo. These woods are almost certainly haunted, and the trees grow in a reddish colour with a texture like old skin.

    Crimson Cataract: A waterfall that begins as a clear trickle plummets from the mouth of a cliff into a vast pool that is entirely crimson. Due to a species of lichen that grows at the bottom, the water appears a dark ruby colour. The lichen is quick to attach to any surface and multiplies quickly.

    Mathair: The oldest tree in the Wildwood. Notoriously difficult to find, it is said that this is not really a tree at all, but a goddess in her own right. The tree is rumoured to bleed when cut, and bears fruit capable of staving off hunger for days.


    Halo
    What was once a stable northern plain has been reduced to a glacial desert by a long forgotten magical disaster. The Tundra is vast and lonely, hosting only a few scattered remnants of its former nomadic tribes. Inhabited almost entirely by hostile carnivores (including ursurs, frost giants and wolves), few venture through this region except to get to the Citadel - a bastion of civilisation in the wasteland.

    Communication is difficult between Halo and the rest of Caido for obvious reasons. Messages take a great deal of time to reach the Citadel, carried on the wings of ravens or (very rarely) delivered by couriers on horseback. That isn't to say trade is impossible, however.

    The Fangs - a perilous mountain range in the Tundra - is rich with a diamond coloquially known as Mageglass. This mineral can greatly amplify the magical power of any Abandoned who wields it, and it is considered a rare and valuable export of Halo.

    An icy jewel in a frozen and unforgiving wasteland, the Citadel is the single thriving civilization within Halo. The city walls are steep and the people are hard and untrusting. One message pervades this society above all else: Stay warm. Stay alive.

    Palace: Situated in the centre of the Citadel, with spires and turrets piercing the sky for a view that spans miles in all directions, one would not be blamed for thinking the Palace was made of ice. A structure of clear, sharp lines, glass and stone and snow, it is the largest edifice in the Citadel by far, and home to Halo's seat of power.

    Snowcloak: Bustling around the Palace like an embrace, the town of Snowcloak boasts the majority of the citizens within the Citadel. Hunters are all but considered heroes, bringing back meat and fur and fuel for the people - a people who know better than to trust easily. It is considered a crime to allow a fire to burn out, here.

    A haunting wasteland of snow and ice. Once hospitable, the Tundra is now a world of death preserved on ice. What will kill you first? The elements? Snow-blindness? Or the monsters that roam the endless cold

    Sea of Glass: A frozen sheet of water covers this inland sea. Though it appears sturdy, elementals frequent the area and are wont to crack the ice beneath a wayward traveller's feet. Beneath the surface, rumours of lurking gargantuan creatures abound, but the water is too cold and the ice too thick for anyone to have verified this.

    The Fangs: The mountains that crown Halo are sharp and unforgiving, earning their predatory name. Within lies an endless labyrinth of tunnels and abandoned mines; the wind howling through them causes the Fangs to sing, and their melody can be heard right across the Tundra. There is hearsay that Mageglass may be found here.

    Whitebrim: Once home to a large tribe of Tundra natives, Whitebrim is naught more than a frozen shell. Now an outpost in the midst of snowy ruin, the settlement does still host a few inhabitants - all of them exiles from the Citadel. Their motivations are questionable. Meat is meat. Run.


    Torchline
    A vast archipelago, so named for the lights that burn bright along its shores each night, this cluster of islands is deceivingly large. It houses Caido's busiest port, famed for its shipmakers, fishermen... and smugglers. Beyond the coast, ships dropping anchor can make trade with the merfolk, or merely admire their shimmering city deep below.

    Lined with tiki torches that glow white and cool during the day and yellow and warm at night, the Ahi Coast is always alight with fire and song. White-sand beaches stretch towards the bordering jungle or disappear into the crystal-clear waters of the ocean.

    Kaiholo Port: Always rife with activity, you'll find those with sticky fingers, silver tongues, and golden smiles abound here. Merchants, pirates, and travellers all find their way to this port eventually. During the day everyone is friendly enough, but be wary of the business ventures that take place here when the sun sets.
    • Shrine: A nautical shrine to Ludo/Mort to keep sailors safe. Where numerous hands have reached to brush the aquatic man's face and arms the statue seems to shine.
    Hale Ka’aila: During certain times of the day when the tide is out, a sand bar is visible leading to a beautiful mini-cathedral of seaglass and coral. When the wind blows through the most haunting and playful melodies can be heard. Large enough for only two or so to comfortably sit within, this structure appears far too perfect to have been created naturally

    The Rainbow Road: The Ahi Coastline bleeds away into volcanic and sponge-like gray rock. Everywhere you look, colour is strewn about, breathtaking mixtures that reflect against intricate pools of water. Every few minutes, a gust of sound is heard, tickling pleasantly against the ears. A little searching unearths the culprit, extravagant earthen mounds painted in vibrant, lurid colours that seem to bleed together. Multitudes of geysers, spraying water and steam into the air intermittently, pepper the land before you. They are vibrant and sporadic, welcoming you to the land with mesmerizing spouting displays.

    • Shrine: A shrine dedicated to Rae/Frey; the colours of the road are much more vivid here, swirling in prismatic hues.

    Aumakua: A lighthouse created of pale stone stands sentinel upon the coastline, rising up three stories. Lit by magic at the top, legend warns that should the light ever go out, Torchline will fall into the sea.

    • Shrine: At the very top of the lighthouse is a shrine to Vi/Safrin, where prayers can be made to light the way for those out on the water.

    Miana Pool: A naturally occurring pool just a few meters out from the coastline. Merfolk and fisherpeople alike believe that if you make a wish and toss a brightly coloured stone into the pool, it will be taken by the evening tides and dropped down to L'ma's lair far below. Those who offer the most beautiful stones will find their wishes granted.

    Shrine: Far down the Ahi Coast, a hidden pathway leads to a small opening halfway down a rocky cliff. Inside, there is a shrine dedicated to the Voice/new gods. There is an altar at the back of the cave, made out of metal and stone. On it is a lovingly carved obsidian statue of a young woman standing tall, lightning clutched in her hands.

    The largest city in Torchline is the perfect kind of paradise. Warm, welcoming and ever-so-dangerous, the natives will hold the door open for you whilst picking your pockets. Home to some of the best fishing fare in Caido and promising riches and wishes to those who like to gamble, Haulani never wants you to leave.

    The Hanged Man: Set on the beach and walled in with palm trees, The Hanged Man is enchanted so that regardless of the time of day or weather, it always appears to be dusk within with a light sea-breeze.

    Rae's Fingers: An intricate series of tunnels created by the flow of lava into the sea exists beneath all of Torchline. Used commonly by smugglers to fence ill-gotten gains, these tunnels are used almost explicitly by those with less than honourable intentions in mind. Careful though, only those who can read the smugglers-code will be able to navigate the tunnels and the hidden directions on the walls. Those who can't will likely find themselves lost and then drowned when the tide comes in.

    Apopo: Overlooking the town lies Apopo, a long dormant volcano which gives rich fertility to the land around it. Home to the Governor's Townhouse, this enormous mountain has not erupted in centuries, they say.

    Pale turquoise in its shallows to a deep, swallowing blue deeper out at sea, the Arclight Ocean is so named for the bands of concentric light that seem to scatter across the water when the sun sets. No one knows what causes this phenomenon, but myths abound - from merfolk to old and ancient technology.

    Underwater City: A true marvel of gravity-defying architecture, the underwater city of Haulani is a sight seen by precious few mouth-breathers. Castles made of literal sand, coral, and other underwater resources glitter even though it is far from the reach of the sun above the waves. Instead, it is lit from within by bioluminescent plankton that makes it appear in a constant state of near-twilight. Though there are many ways of breathing underwater, only true aquatic creatures are welcome in the city.

    Shrine: Hundreds of feet below the surface where the pressure will kill you slower than the predatory creatures that roam the semi-sunlit waters, is a dilapidated shrine to the old gods.

    Kuali'i Isles: An ever-changing number of islands that act almost like a sentient hive-mind of insects. Melding into each other and then breaking away, the islands never stay in the same place or shape for long. Some are several hundred meters wide while others are merely large enough for one person to sit on, pay attention to your surroundings, for you'll surely end up far from where you started.

    The Maw: An underwater volcano which has been dormant for centuries. With many of the Kualii isles floating nearby, even those who cannot swim or fly can eventually make their way to the Maw given enough patience. Legend has it that there is a Krakken that lives deep at the heart of the volcano, its massive body all that is keeping the crater quiet.


    The Climb
    Nestled in the shadow of Halo's walls of ice, The Climb is just as inhospitable as its icy neighbour. Sweltering pools of lava bubble on the region's surface from an active volcano, immediately dissolving the bodies of any unlucky enough to fall in. Hellhounds, Lials, massive rats and other creatures scour the surface for food and find shelter in the intricate cave systems at night. There are natural wonders here, though, for those brave enough to find them; hot springs, caverns crafted from diamond, and even underground pools rumoured to have healing properties.

    A vast span of lava long gone solid, the Crust makes up the top layer of the Climb. Navigating the area is a tricky business, given how often it splits to reveal bright and deadly magma beneath. Be wary of storms of ash and scavenger animals looking for a quick meal.

    Angel's End:Barren and sweltering, swathes of lava have cooled and solidified to create a dark scab over the magma beneath forming these islands, which is just about safe to walk upon. Only the most hardy (or magically inclined) vegetation flourishes here, and hot, dry winds carry ash storms across the area.

    Lava Pits: Where the crust splits and opens, a fiendish glow leads wanderers to scorching pools of molten rock. Stories abound of things that live in this sea of heat, of treasures that might be found. But who is going to go diving in that?

    In a hellish parody of Rae's Fingers from the more more tropical climes of Torchline, this cave system is lit by bubbling magma that threatens around every corner. Hot, claustrophobic and exquisitely dangerous, only the desperate and foolish venture inside.

    The Mountain's Roar: An underground spring leading directly from Halo's glaciers bursts from the rock and down into a crystal clear pool below. As waterfalls go, this one is magnificent.

    Soulfire Reach: Deep within the caves, nigh impossible to find, is a wide, glittering cavern. At first the walls appear glass-like, sharp almost, but a closer inspection reveals crystals of every colour, shape and consistency imaginable. The entire cavern is coated in gems, sparkling eerily in the ruddy light.

    Obsidian Cathedral:Where the lava tunnels converge sits a vast chamber made entirely of black glass. Formed from a massive magma bubble in past aeons, the Obsidian Cathedral holds the curious property of muting all light within it, and its ice smooth floors require great care to walk upon. Large, rectangular blocks of black stone, carried by a river long since gone, litter the floor, vaguely resembling pews in uneven rows. In the exact center of the room sits a perfect cube of polished obsidian with a shallow basin atop it, though there is no sign of how it got there.

    Frey's Breath: Entirely unexpected within a comparatively deadly cave system, the welcoming steam of these underground hot springs can ease the aches and pains of travellers. Be wary, however - the temperature can quickly become overwhemling.



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