World:Eolia/The Eastern Continent
The eastern continent consists of a long island chain. The north and southern islands are massive in size and could be considered continents in their own right, given the distance that separates them and the vastly different landscapes the two offer. They are linked however by an chain of many small and a few not so small islands that curve between the two and so are often considered together as one of the three great continents.
This land is one of the most fertile lands in the entire planet for all its wasteland like appearance. The landscape is dominated by the valleys, crags, tunnel, caves and chasms that run everywhere seemingly at random. By terms of area it is the largest ecosystem on the planet. The valleys are formed are of outstanding variety of minerals and many of the components that make up the walls of the chasms or are buried in the depths of the tunnels can be found nowhere else. Plants do grow here, but they don’t last long before being consumed by the ravenous jaws of the local rock snakes. There are not many varieties of local animal here either as they have mostly been eaten by rock snakes as well, although one creature of note that mostly manages to avoid becoming a snack is the blood creeper.
The rock snakes are the reason for this lands existence and the most distinctive feature. They will eat anything. The only thing so far discovered that they dislike the taste of is the desert sands there is apparently something in them that tastes funny. Laying down enough of this sand around an area can help to keep a place save from the Rock snakes, but it’s not guaranteed to work by any means.
There is only one thing that stops the rock snakes from overpopulating and possibly taking over the world and that is the tall volcano that lies in the centre of these lands. It spews out many unusual stones and crystals and so is a feast in the nonexistent eyes of the rock snakes, which swarm towards it from all over. A huge number get too caught up in the taste of these rocks and venture too close to the source, falling into the volcano itself. While there are so many of the snakes that this doesn’t seem likely to drive them to extinction, it certainly helps keep their numbers down.
One of the only parts of the canyon landscape not ruled by the rock snakes is the network of flooded canyons that crisscross the land. Formed whenever the snakes had dug too far and hit ocean these places are filled with salt water, yet their banks are one of the few places where plants can grow without fear in this land as the snakes will not venture to near for fear of falling into the water and drowning. These places provide roosts for the blood creepers and other birds, and food for small rodents. The waters themselves also teem with life. Normally nothing is able to use the incredibly rich soil of the canyons, but underwater this silt strewn heaven is a paradise for crustaceans and shellfish of every conceivable variety.
This is an incredibly dry land of sand, As the wind here is quite low the dunes while shifting a re more static then other deserts and due to being so far north to the temperate zone, it never quite reaches the heat of the great desert in the south. Never the less it is still burning hot during the day, however at night it drops well below freezing. The sand from here and here alone has the property of repelling rock snakes. There are no large animals here, only small rodents and insects are able to find enough food or water to survive. One of the most not worthy of these small insects are the Indira scarabs.
A small range of mountains lays just to the south and east of this desert. They are the cause of the pitiful rainfall as all the rain falls there instead. As a result plant life in the mountains is quite wide spread on the southern face of the range. The mountains are incredibly steep however and so not many animals that cannot fly are able to live here. They provide a barrier between the desert and the plains to the east.
It is made up of two distinct, but intermingling areas. The northern area tends to be dryer and is home to many herds of buffalo. It is also home of great hunting beasts of unrivaled ferocity. The south is made up of swampy marshlands. These marshlands are ruled by crocodiles who feed off the fish and the many small rodents that live here. The division between these two areas isn’t as clear as one would think however and tends to change depending on the season and the current whims of rainfall distribution. An area that a few months ago had been covered in grass could very well now be covered in reeds, or it could be the other way round with the ground drying out and the fast growing grasses of the plains taking it over. The swamps of the south spread out to the islands off the coast, even as far as the most northern part of the so called island of plenty. Theses islands are home to a wide variety of life forms. Particularly there seem to be a wide range of terrifying parasite for any visitors to catch.
The centre of the island is a land of many mountainous peaks. These peaks are connected by a lattice work similar to that found on the isle of storms although on a smaller scale. All the animals that make the isle of storms their home live here too, the storm chasers, lighting crawlers and iron moss. At the foot of these mountains grow sundrinker trees. Unlike the sundrinker forest they don’t grow on spires and so their canopies are not so high and given the cloudy nature of the weather here, there is no way near as much arcane power here as in the larger forest, still it is able to support a population of rynnocs. Closer to the coast the sundrinker trees give way to ironbark groves, apart from the plains in the south west of the isle where razorgrass dominates.
This land is home to a large population of the senient Lithians.
The majority of Ainae is made up of a mixture of wetlands, grassy plains and verdant steppes skirting around the mountains. There are also forests, but unlike the humid forests of the western tropical lands here the forests are much drier, although they contain nearly as much diversity in the life forms that can be found there. The most distinctive features of this area are centered around the gulf in the north of the island. Across the entirety of the mouth of the gulf is a great stone bridge whose origins are cloaked in mythology. Made of a similar stone and workmanship near where the northern end of the bridge touches the shore is the great lighthouse that shines out across the seas, guiding those lost in the ocean back home.
The lands to the east that make up the southern part of the island chain are similar in climate to mainland Ainae. Every major island has mountainous centre around which a mix of different ecosystem types are arranged. Around the coast there are many coral reefs and some of these form island lagoons that are heavens for the local fish. This area is also the homeland of the original honey creepers. While they have spread to many other areas of the world it is still here that has the widest range of sub species and the biggest concentration of population.
Just south of the gulf are hollow hills. These hills appear normal from the outside, but are in fact as their name would suggest hollow. Inside they are in fact great stone halls. These halls are protected from the elements and maintain a cosy temperature all year round. These halls are the home of the Ainae them who this land is named after and those Renyan who live with. Ainae is actually their word for earth, but as this is the only land they knew for many centuries this land is colloquially referred to as ‘the earth’ or Ainae.
The most scorching dry place on the planet this area combines incredibly low rainfall and proximity to the southern pole to create a place that is mostly unlivable. The only creature that could truly be said to flourish here is the sand dragons.
The Dividing Mountains are a hot dry range of low peaks that separate the lush tropical lands of Ainae to the north from the great southern desert. The lower southern slopes of the mountain range are home to sand dragons, but their lungs are poorly adapted to the heights that the mountains climb and so are unable to cross to the northern side of the mountains. The land is home to more life than the desert to the south, but is not exactly overflowing with diversity. One thing that it does have an ample supply of is bird life. Many of the larger desert carrion birds roost in the most pleasant climate of the mountains and then fly great distances out over the desert using their incredible eyesight to find food.