"Anyone can draw a map, boy - there's no more difficulty in that than laying brick. What makes maps useful is when they are so proper, so precise, that they are living images of the places they represent. Encompassing knowledge of the geography, and mastery of the very space itself - that, child, is cartogramancy."
- Sage Pakpao Sasithorn, Chief Lecturer, the Ezagun-Darkbolt College of Cartogramancy
"You shall find my body beneath the steep cliff, where the larch grove grows. Take my skull, and hang it from the old larch tree. And then you shall make of me an instrument: my skull for the box, the tree for the neck, my tail for the strings and bow. Whenever you play it, I shall be with you, for At-Beyi is inseparable."
- The Legend of At-Beyi
"From his strange raft, the bizarre man stood, shell armor glistening in the sun. Bringing his stingray-barbed spear aloft, he howled: 'Be wary, trespasser! This reef is under my guard, and I her patronage! Bring not your boats near my shoal, lest you suffer the wrath of the Reef Knights!'"
- The logs Cpt. Creos Althea, Boshail Coast, 6 Ventôse 986.
"Is it just me, or is this cave moving?"
- Obin the Spelunker’s last words
"Their so-called god, it is claimed, loves, and thus love is their virtue. Foolishness! Love is only fear of loss, and fear is among the keenest of weapons in our arsenal. Let us turn their virtue onto itself, and draw more souls into the Devouring Maw."
- The Paragon, address to his Overlords, in the second year of the Sectarian Wars
Most know the love that goblins have for mushrooms. Few know the lengths they will go to obtain their delicacy.
"Why’s she want the rings? Heh, ye ain’t the first ta ask. Well, why’s the wind blow? Why’s the shark bite? Trust me, lad, you don’ want ta question her nature, jus’ as ye wouldn’ question mother nature. I say she’s lookin fer somethin’ - gods save me when she finds it."
- Ben "The Biter" Yardrin, sailor
The whales of the Epoan skies…
"O Victorious Maul, send down your fury!
O Hammer of Justice, bring Dalraaen’s law!
O Weapon of Righteousness, cast out the unlawful!"
- Magistrate Archivinus Kelstori, Ode to the Gavel
With the patronage of Dalraaen, this heavenly mace is the focus of the Magisterium’s strongest order. Its darker roots, however, are hidden even to its wielders, and its very existance threatens the world.
Few even know of the existence of the DarnunÃƒÂ©.
"...and thus it was said that Adaleer the Blest could reflect the true nature of any soul. Now some of his followers believed that his ranger gear, as much a part of him as his faith, was also so blest."
- Dauneth, Lore Chronicles
The powerful wizard Sumuho styled himself as a god and was worshipped far and wide. After his fall, his vast temple sank into the desert long ago. What secrets lie in the Sanctuary of Sumuho?
There is more than meets the eye to these nightmarish insects…
A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat. -P.J. O’Rourke
“He is the Astral Harvester, the Lifegiver, the Sun King. Without him, the world is naught. And we, the members of his Divine Church, serve only at his command. It is by this holy order that we convert the universe.”
- Exarch Hardulph Symphorian
Not only a faith but a state, the Imperial Modoals are the largest force in the Continent. Can they hold their position as the Sectarian Wars begin?
"Hear, O Servant of the Just One! Hear and stand ye before him, the Celestial Judge! Hear and write: ‘Thus speaks the Great Lawgiver, before whom the world shall be tried, the one that is just and righteous beyond all - I am the Law. I am Dalraaen.’"
-The Didache of Law
The worshippers of the Celestial Judge have kept peace and law for a thousand years. When they see great injustice across the Continent, what can they do but fight?
“‘Hear! That which you warred for it gone. In its place is my own creation under my own authority. This Blessed Great Blue is my patronage and you will have no part in it! Lest you soil my sacred waves, I will cause them to crash onto your lands and drown your own creations. End your fighting: the seas are mine.’
Thus she spake from the Merciful Deep.”
- Yamasatran oral tradition
The mysterious Sisters of the Sea watch the events of the Sectarian Wars unfold from the safety of their monastery ships. But how long can they remain neutral before war is brought upon them?
“And into World they cast him, deep below, beneath stone and water and flame. In World’s Heart, doth gape the Peccant Maw, yet starved as the hunger grows unabated. Terror, irony, horror, farce! That which ends all is trapped beneath all.”
-The Tale of the Maw, “The Enslavement of the Devourer”
An ancient cult, the Vautuans worship their god with zeal. Chaos is their sacrament, death their prayer. Will the followers of the Gaping Maw free their god and destroy the world?
“Woe, brethren! What hath these gods wrought? For a thousand suns we have had peace, and now in an instant the light is being extinguished. How can any survive in these Wars of the Sects?”
- Arbiter Ariston Nikomachus
The Continent and its faiths have thrived with little fuss for a millenium. And now, with a few holy words, all of heaven, earth, and hell seem to be at war…
What appears to be a simple fisherman’s basket has a storied past and secret usage.
The city of Nausopol is built on stilts. Lots of very sturdy stilts and butresses, of course, because it rises about five hundred feet from the ocean. Even the most terrific of storms is only heard in the city as a distant cacophony of blasts as waves strike the solid stonework fathoms below. It has never been attacked because of its isolation and impregnability.
It's not a place for the faint-hearted: vertigo and sea-sickness are not desirable traits. But when you are standing in the middle of the city there is no way you could tell that you were standing above an ocean, separated only by a gulf of air and a few stones.
A thousand steps lead down from Nausopol to the floating docks. These docks are pitch-coated wooden and can be raised by winches during squalls. Trade with other cities and countries is good: Nausopol is built over a sunken atoll whose minerals are still mined by divers, and it was from this that it originally derived its wealth.
But the principal method of getting to and from the city is by riding the giant sea-eagles which have been captured and bred for that very reason.