As promised last week, I’ve got an entry lined up to discuss the world and weather dynamics of the Mists of Albion setting. And it’s going to take the form of an in-universe treatise by a scholar, and potentially an out-of-universe explanation. I apologise in advance for the half-formed names; I initially envisioned the setting as an alternate Britain, and so a lot of the names I developed have flowed from Old English roots.
And for reference, here’s a map that was created using Donjon’s fractal world generator, and served as a basis for the geography. It doesn’t show the altitude well, though, so bear that in mind for the description. The names of regions and towns may change over time, as the conception gets further from ancient Britain. This has been tweaked slightly in the process, and there’s still some argument about exactly where Ierne and Orcadia should be, but this is the map used for the purposes of this treatise. more rethinking would be required for the more recent maps I’ve created, where the Inner Sea (between this map’s Orcadia, Albany and Leogaria) doesn’t exist.
Apologies for the quality of the language; I wanted to get an outline of the world out and written so that I can start to think in definite climatological terms about it. I have yet to factor in the nature of the moon and whether there are tides and the like, for example.
So begins the account of Eadweard Manse on the Nature and Caprice of Cæstron’s Domain, by Examination of the Features that betray its inner Principles and Thoughts.
Albion is a land of conflict, for it is constantly at war with the claws of Mists and the maw of the Sea, both of which would constantly seek to engulf it. Rain and wind hound it from almost all sides, and only the lands that hew to Ayrn’s Folly and the relative calm of the Inner Sea between Orcadia and the plains of Leogaria know much of true peace from Albion’s twin perils.
Albion’s chief anchor is Ayrn’s Folly, a mountain that looms over all of southern Albion, yielding not only succour from the Mists but a fine bounty of minerals. The winds and rain of Albion’s eastern shores break on its lofty shoulders, allowing the lands in its shadow to the West to remain unmolested. Of course the Mists do yet plague the plains, but their grasp is far less than those to the east of the Folly, as the Inner Sea is far lesser in its fury than the endless oceans further from Albion’s shores.
The plains of Leogaria are however less fertile than the lands to the south of the Great River, birthing less crops and life the further towards the shoes of the Inner Sea one ventures, although the horsemen of Aefhame’s kin will doubtless tell you different. But they are merely savage brutes who claim their ancestors speak to them from their barrows. The land slopes down toward the Great River as befits its place as Cæstron’s cradle, and as it does so the Mists rise with it. The clouds blown north from the forests of Brython bear fell rain and the whispers of the Sidhe, but Cæstron be praised it never climbs far beyond the river valley.
The lands to the south of the River are ravaged by southern Mists and rain, which seem to disperse among the forests and clearnings of Brython’s lands. The people there are hardy, but yet must surely suffer through their constant struggle against the Mists. Some even whisper that there are those among them that would seek out the Sidhe. A curse be on them, and their kind.
North of Aryn’s Folly we find the true consequences of the Mists and all that are brought with it; Ierne is a land of mires and marshes, where the very ground beneath your feet is possessed of treachery. To wander this place without a guide is to invite death, madness and the games of the Sidhe upon the traveller. It seems that the Folly does not entirely break the Mists that beat upon it, but rather lays them at its feet between the low hills of Albany.
These horrors meander across the length of Albion, clawing at Albany’s foothills before emptying into the Inner Sea. The folk of Albany guard their borders jealously against any incursions from the south of whatever kind since Eománld stole Wifreua from Cæstronstowe. It is said however that the land rails heartily against the maw of the Sea, rising high above it even at its very shore, curving round to contain the northeastern part of the Inner Sea, containing the most tranquil waters known to Albion.
The tranquility of the inner Sea allows many craft to traverse its waters, between the shores of Leogaria and the island chain that is Orcadia, should any ever be foolish to travel there. The natives are grim and dour, set hard against both the dry winds that eternally buffet the islands and the hard iron of their home. The latter is crafted in a manner most strange, into strucutures the secrets of which are known to no man. There are tales that tell of how they were built by the Trow in ages past, but these can scarce be true, as the Trow are both too short of stature and too mean of thought to be capable of crafting more than stone hovels.
South of Orcadia back upon mainland Albion the land tapers out into salt-addled marshlands towards the mouth of the Great River, where none but the hardiest of plants bloom. The borders between Brython’land and Leogaria tapers out into a similarly blurred peninsula that slides into the endless seas as men slide down into death.
Albion is a land embattled; there are many peoples and many lands that strive from under the Mists’ shroud, but they all must strive to endure against the constant threats that would aim to engulf it. We must strive, with Cæstron as our protector and our guide, to make sure that they never do so.
This will likely be revised over time, as I hone both the landscape and the language of its inhabitants. If you have any ideas on how this might make more sense or how the writing might be improved (both feel like they need a lot of work), please leave a comment below!
I’ve recently been reading about ancient Chinese history, which has given me a load of ideas on how to conceptualise fantasy societies. Expect an article on that in the next few days.