Return of the Long Night
Kulthea – the Shadow World
Planet Ceril VII – commonly named the ShadowWorld by its inhabitants
The major feature of Kulthea is that only one hemisphere is accessible and known. Running from pole to pole and cutting Kulthea in half is the Wall of Darkness. A great Essence barrier, it is impervious to any known force or method of crossing.
It is generally believed that beyond the Wall in the so-called eastern hemisphere lies a
“negative” world, where evil reigns and “good” is limited to small pockets.
Kulthea has 14 land masses that are large enough to be called continents or continental masses: Jaiman, Emer, Mulira, Govon, Gaalt, Palia, Folenn, Murlis, Mythenis, Iyxia, Thuul, Agyra, Falias, and Kelestia.
The Oceans and Seas
Even as there are a few dominant continental land masses in the world, there are but a handful of unbroken expanses of ocean. Early seismic activity has so convoluted the surface of the planet that there are few stretches of water wider than one thousand miles unbroken by a formidable island or series of islands. Also common are atoll chains, strings of sheer black volcanic rock isles, uninhabitable, but presenting formidable navigational barriers. Many a ship has been wrecked upon these dark crags, either because the hazard remained undetected in the night or the ship was unable to veer away in time|for the currents of the world’s seas are often swift and ever-changing.
While much of the ocean is shallow (less than half a mile in depth) with wide continental shelves, there are several very deep trenches, some kning more than 10 miles into the depths of the planet.
The seas of the western hemisphere were named by the Lords of Essence as follows:
Malvin Tesea (Endless Sea), Farok Tesea (Forbidden Sea), Dom Usuiv (Shallow Ocean),
Tairken Usuiv (Broken Ocean), Throk Tesea (Guardian Sea), Kemm Usuiv (Glass Ocean),
Hulkanen Arus (Barren Waters), Loorn Tesea (Lonely Sea), Kiskaa Arus (Chilling Waters).
The mighty Orhan dictates the tides of Kulthea, causing a high tide every 12.17 hours and two low tides per day between those times. In addition to Orhan, there are a number of factors (the other moons, the sun, etc), which can affect the severity of the tides and create minor tidal shifts. In some areas the difference between high and low tides can be more than 100 feet given the right conditions.
Islands are everywhere on Kulthea, in every shape and size, in long chains or resting alone in a wide sea. Some are even in motion, floating domains sustained by exotic marine plants which are no more (or less) than great gas-filled balloons.
Some islands have no permanent home; their relation with the Shadow World is even more tenuous. Linked with the Flows of Essence, they are in no particular place at any given time, but can be nowhere|or several places at once. Only the Loremasters and the Navigators fully understand these places.
Numerous chains of treacherous atolls also stretch across the seas, making navigation tricky for the skilled and foolhardy for those without intimate knowledge of the sea-lanes.
The Eastern Hemisphere is rarely referred to at all except by the very knowledgeable, and even by them as an unknown. While not believed to be particularly evil or horrible, the East is a place which is almost impossible to travel to|and far more dicult to return from.
Navigators will not go there, claiming that no client is wealthy enough to pay the fee. This fuels rumors that the Navigators are unable to cross the Barrier.
A number of key land masses exist, each with its own culture, inhabitants and history.
The following are the main ones already identified: