Geography and Climate

The archipelago is composed of one very large island (or very small continent) called Samadria, although the Kingdom of the same name occupies only the western half of the Island - the east and South are largely scrubby wilderness or enormously high mountains in which are found a few small, isolated enclaves of civilisation. The rest of the archipelago is referred to as the Western Isles and consists of 9 large islands and innumerable smaller ones.

The archipelago lies in the temperate zone, some 2500 kilometres south of the equator at its northernmost point. Samadria gets the heaviest rainfall, especially along the northern and eastern coasts and the Yulish peninsula, and the landscape is dominated by vast softwood forests. In the interior of the island, however, rain is often blocked by the mountains, so much of the landscape is scrubland, with straggling forests along the valley bottoms and heath on the hills. The lands north of the Kijarney Peaks and the Sea between the Mountains are a mixture of heaths and wide spreading bogs caused by run-off from the mountains, which turn into small, slow streams and tarns. In contrast, the Whentish peninsula is a heavily settled land of rolling hills and small forests, dotted with villages. Anoria, Thurbulon and Hallanawell are all similar to the Whentish peninsula, although hillier - Hallanwell in particular has grassy uplands, which are rich grazing lands. Ostraygya and Dendrith are both dominated by a range of steep, craggy hills and low, forested mountains that runs along their spines - most people live in small towns or villages along the coastline, although woodcutters and small farms are found in the mountains. The largest and richest of the Western Isles, Talarg has a range of slatey, scree-sided mountains on its eastern coast but the western and southern parts are rich farming and grazing land. Terregor is dominated by its high central peaks, which are craggy and often snow-covered, although good farming land is found around the coasts. The chain of little islands that form the southern part of the Kingdom of Terregor are less mountainous, but their hills are steep-sided and rocky, hiding dense forests in their folds.

The climate of the Archipelago is mild and warm, especially on Thurbulon and Hallanwell - although Samadria actually lies further north, the mountains cool its climate while the warm seas of the Great Shallows moderate the climate of the two smaller islands. In most of the archipelago, snow is almost unknown, except in the mountains of Terrgor and Talarg - even then it is only present in winter. However, the soaring peaks of the Kijarney and Southern Cloudhead ranges are perpetually snow-covered, and the flanks of these mountain ranges are covered in a strange, mossy forest - the so-called goblin forests - which are almost always wrapped in cloud or clinging mists.