The world of Chronicles, known simply as the world, is where the grand story of Chronicles unfolds. The main story of Chronicles follows the peoples of the continent of Indagar. It is on Indagar that Spirits are first discovered, The Republic is founded, and the many Factions of Indagar come together to tell the story of Chronicles. This section describes in brief the geography of the world as it is known by the inhabitants of Indagar.
"What we teach you here is not all that there is to the world. We know greatly of the lands to the West, controlled by The Minsheng Empire. It is a continent just as large as our own and equally as diverse with many peoples spanning deserts, mountains, lakes, and plains. We know greatly of the lands to the East, a mountainous continent dominated by volcanic rock, mostly uninhabitable except for the fertile valleys and large bays that the Kingdom of Grandia encompasses. And of course, we know all that there is to know of Indagar, except perhaps to the south where none really travel. But, there is more to the World. The scholars of The Minsheng Empire know of at least one more continent to their north, a place they claim is frozen and inhospitable, and my colleagues in Grandia have spoken much that they believe across the treacherous seas and around the southern tip of Grandia there is perhaps a whole undiscovered part of the World beyond their sight. Perhaps one day, one of you will be the great explorer who is able to shed more light on the rest of the World, and you will be the hero of all modern science and knowledge. Or perhaps, like most, you will simply find your way here on Indagar." - Professor Ryo Bae AF 6 in a lecture to his geography students at the Great University of Konagara.
The World is the planet as it is known to the people of Chronicles. It is a planet not unlike our own, mostly dominated by oceans but also with great continents, only of which three are known to be inhabited and explored. The climate of the World is also like our own, warmest near the equator of the World and coldest near the poles. The World experiences many of the same cycles as our own as well, with a day and night cycle as the World spins, seasonal patterns as the World tilts towards and away from the suns, tides which undulate based on the position of the Moon, familiar weather patterns, oceanic currents, and many of the other things of which we know well.
However, it is here that the similarities stop as the continents of the World are far different than our own as is the local geography of each of the continents. Perhaps most distinctive is that the World orbits two suns, one a huge, faintly yellow star and the other a much smaller red star. The red start orbits the yellow star closely and can only be seen during certain times of the year when the World is aligned in its own orbit in such a way that the red star is not hidden behind the yellow.
The passage of time on the World is similar to our own, with a year being nearly equivalent to our own. As with many of our ancient cultures, the passage of time on the World for most cultures can be seen through the seasons with the northern portions of Indagar, save for the mysterious Great Forest, experiencing the warmth of summer and bitter cold of winter. Whereas the southern region of Indagar is much closer to the equator, within the tropic zones, and is much warmer, year round.
The people of Indagar do not understand their place in the cosmos for there does not exist planetary science, telescopes, or other such tools of science that we find within our modern era. To them, the World is simply the nameless place that contains their land. The many languages of Indagar and the people at large refer to the World by differing names, all of which are simply terms referring to the soil or earth.
The Two Suns, the Stars, and Other Celestial Bodies
The World orbits two suns, one a very large, faintly yellow, sun. This is the primary sun of the World, providing the warmth and light necessary for life. This sun is as large in the sky as our own, but is much physically larger, and also hotter.
Also orbiting the Yellow Sun is a second, deeply red, star. This star is much smaller than the Yellow Sun and is referred to as the Red Sun by the people of Indagar. The Red Sun orbits the Yellow Sun in the opposite direction of the World's orbit. During most of the yearly cycle, the Red Sun is either only partially visible or completely hidden from view in the sky by the Yellow Sun as it makes it orbit. It's orbit is also not entirely in line with the World, causing its position in the sky as well as its position relative to the World to change in a much longer, more distinct cycle as the years pass.
During the years when the World is closest to the Red Sun, as their orbits converge at just the right moments, the sky takes on a red haze, and the weather grows distinctly warmer. It is also during this time that the Moon also takes on a red haze during the night.
The Moon is much closer to the World than our own and therefore is much larger in the night sky. It appears as the largest celestial body to the people of the World. As they do not have a scientific understanding of the heavens, most people on the World consider the Moon to be the dominant celestial body in the sky due to its relative size. Also, because the Moon is much closer, the tides of the World are much stronger than our own with the shifts between high and low tides being distinctly more noticeable.
The night sky is also full of countless other stars, mere pinpricks of light.
The Explored Continents
There are three continents known to be inhabited and fully supporting of people. They are:
Montilliare - The home of the Kingdom of Grandia and once the homeland of the Kingdom of Arkland. Montilliare is a mountainous and volcanic continent where most of the land is generally considered uninhabitable and as a result of that, also unexplored. What is known of Montilliare is that it is a narrow but lengthy continent whose northern tip is just north of the equator and who southern tip stretches far into the southern hemisphere. The eastern shores of the continent are largely unexplored as a dramatic ocean current which flows from the northern tip of the continent, down the eastern coast, and stopping at the southern point makes sea travel extremely treacherous.
Shizuijiang - A continent whose bulk is to the west/northwest of Indagar, Shizuijiang is the home land of the Minsheng Empire. Larger than Indagar, the climate and landscape of Shizuijiang is equally as varied, with a frozen tundra covering most of the northern portion of the continent and a geography growing much more diverse as you move south. Beautiful mountain ranges, a large rain forest, deserts, steppes, plains, swamps, and forests cover the continent. Shizuijiang is home to a variety of peoples, all ranging from deep ethnic lines that go back to pre-history.
Indagar - The land of magic, so named by the Minsheng Empire when they first arrived on its shores and also adopted by The Republic and all of its peoples. Indagar is the primary setting of Chronicles and is home to all of the factions within the story. The northern points of Indagar stretch into the northern hemisphere, and except for areas covered by the Great Forest, grow cold and snowy in the winters. On the very southern tip, the Sand Seas barely touch the equator. The major geographic features of Indagar are hills, swamps, and forests covering much of the western portion of the continent, ranging into deep swamp land in the south. A lengthy mountain chain, known as the Spine, travels around a massive low lying land which covers over a quarter of the continent and contains the magical, Great Forest. To the south east is the Sand Seas, a parched land dominated by three major rivers. To its north is the Sand Ocean, a strip of bone dry sand. To the west of the Spine are the great steppes and plains of the eastern continent. Lastly, to the far east is the deciduous shoreline, gentle hills, and the Bay of Kings.
Major Regions of Indagar
Indagar's geography and climate varies as the continent itself stretches from the cold north to the equator. When looking at the map of Indagar, there are distinct regions which can be identified, and often, the people that live in them reflect the climate and geography of the region.
Hill Country - The north west of Indagar is dominated by rugged hills and sparse forest lines. Known as Hill Country, this area of Indagar experiences bitter winters as cold air blows in from the northern ocean often covering the land in snow. The people of Hill Country are mainly of two distinct ethnic groups, both of which were once apart of the The Republic and now form counties controlled by the Lanagaran Scions. Although difficult to farm due to poor soil, Hill Country covers vast deposits of natural resources in the form of oil, gold, and other rare metals. The people of this region live off the land, just in a different way than farming, as they tap into those resources to fuel a stable economy. Currently, Hill Country is occupied by two counties of the Lanagaran Scions, Gyanyi-lan and Toma-lan.
Dead Lands - The area around the Bay of Spirits, which used to be home to the great Republic capitol of Konagara, is now a swampy, wasteland. Here, the very soil has turned gray, as the color of ash, and the shorelines have turned to fetid swamps. The burned corpse of Konagara still exists atop the caves which contain the ancient Well. The Dead Lands are roamed by monsters of The Cabal. No one who ventures into the Dead Lands leaves alive. Thus, not much is known of the area since the Cataclysm.
Border Lands - The lands immediately surrounding the Dead Lands are known as the Borderlands and are comprised of three counties of the Lanagaran Scions, Katsu-lan, Jin-lan, and Chan-lan. Mostly a forested area, large parts of Jin-lan are swampy as a major river runs through it. The people of these counties are under constant threat from the Dead Lands and to the strife and unease which now exists between the major counties of the Lanagaran Scions. There are also two major ethnic groups living within these counties. As forested land, there is plenty of timber and good soil for farming, and the villages and cities within this area benefit from it.
Heart Lands - The Heartlands refers to what used to be considered the heart of the Republic, an area of rich farm land in the center portion of the western side of Indagar. Leading up to the hills and the Western Pass, are rich metal and ore deposits that were long ago discovered. The counties of the Lanagaran Scions, Tianjin-lan, Tianyi-lan, Ryuk-lan, and Nataki-lan, all exist within this region. The soil rich rolling hills of this area used to provide the main food source to feed the Republic. From there, as you travel east, you arrive in the foothills of the Spine where the terrain becomes more hilly and rugged. Ryuk-lan is the southern most county of what was the Republic, and it borders to the south a region known as the Deep Swamps.
Deep Swamps - Running along most of the south, south-western portion of Indagar to the southern tip of the Spine is a swampy area known as the Deep Swamps. This is a large and treacherous parcel of land which is thought to be uninhabited. Due to the fetid nature of the Deep Swamps, early exploration of the area was abandoned, and the Republic never ventured much further into this area to map or discover it.
Spine - Starting in the northwest of Indagar is an enormous mountain chain known as the Spine. It contains huge peaks and is nearly impassable in most areas. This mountain chain runs almost to the southern shores, bordering the Deep Swamps before it curves around to the east again. Then, it turns back north all the way to the eastern shoreline of Indagar, forming another mountain range known as the Teeth. The Spine creates a bowl around the Great Forest, an area which is now a completely over-grown crater of a super-massive volcano from pre-historic times. The Spine continues into the sea, forming the Spine Islands.There are three distinct valleys that run through the Spine known as the Eastern Pass, Western Pass, and Southern Pass. Here, the Republic built huge gates which serve to keep the mountains open, and the Highway runs through these passes. The newly Cataclysm-created Broken Pass is also located in the Spine but further south, between the Deep Swamp and the Ramal Nations.
Sand Ocean - The Sand Ocean is a narrow strip of bone-dry, sandy desert marked by massive sand dunes. It is approximately 100 miles wide and runs all the way from the Spine, east, to the eastern shores and serves as a natural boundary for the Sand Seas. The sand of this area has been placed over thousands of years of deposits from the great rivers of the Sand Seas as well as from silt blowing in from the winds of the southern rains. The Sand Ocean borders the Southern Gate of the Spine.
Sand Seas - The south-eastern portion of Indagar is known as the Sand Seas. It is a desert land, but three major rivers that run north through it provide the life-giving water and floods that support the Ramal Nations. Most of the terrain in this area is sandy dunes, but some portions are rocky, scrub lands. The Sand Seas sit behind the natural barrier of the Sand Ocean to the north and is bordered by a mountain chain which runs the length of the south-eastern shores of Indagar known as the Teeth.
Teeth - The part of the Spine mountain range which runs the entire south-eastern shore of Indgar, the Teeth boasts high peaks which run directly into the ocean on their southern side. They act as a rain shadow, largely stopping all but the seasonal rains from ever passing. However, when the rainy season arrives, with massive monsoons blowing in from the south, the Teeth also become the source of the three major rivers of the Sand Seas, the Neket, Karma, and Hmadi. The Neket eventually dries up as it approaches the Sand Ocean, but the Karma and Hmadi eventually wind their way north-east to empty into the ocean. That is, if the rainy season brings enough rain for them to make it.
Eastern Plains - The area of Indagar east of the Spine is known as the Eastern Plains. This area covers the central-eastern portion of Indagar, bordered on the south by the Sand Ocean and on the north by the Northern Steppes. Home to the Stars of Ixohtl, the Eastern Plains are rolling grasslands which stretch to the horizon. Lacking major rivers and with soil not very rich, farming is hard, and as such, the nomadic nature of the people who live in this area has become a constant way of life. There are few trees in this area, mostly low and shrubby.
Northern Steppes - Along the north-eastern shoreline of Indagar are the Northern Steppes. It is an arid and cold land as this section of Indagar is far enough north as to receive harsher winters. It is hard to tell where the Eastern Plains stop and the Northern Steppes begin, but there is a distinct difference in the lower grass, shrubbery, and other sparse vegetation of the area. This land is currently roamed by the Stars of Ixothl, and although living here is difficult, the Northern Steppes are also home to some ore and metal deposits.
Bay of Kings - Nestled between the eastern shore line in the middle of the Eastern Plains and bordered to the south by Ironwood forests which quickly become the Sand Ocean, sits the Bay of Kings. This is the home of the great Kingdom of Arkland. The area immediately surrounding the bay is rich farm land to the north and west while forests dot the south. Mild and temperate, this area is a perfect cradle of humanity although lacking directly in other natural resources.