Herein you will find a list of the principal locations in the Circle of the World with brief descriptions compiled from the writings of Travelers and others who visited them. This record will remain here in the Central Hall of Tiger City that students of knowledge may add to it and learn from it so that we may recover our lost geography.
If you have obtained permission to read this it is with the understanding that you do not use the information provided here in conjunction with sorcery of any kind - no matter how benign. Let us honor those who are giving their lives to restore our lands from the evils of Sorcery.
Principal Locations in the Circle of the World
The Giant Lands --
The High Kingdoms --
The Goblin Mines --
The Petty Kingdoms
The Hunter's Chain --
The Inner Circle --
The Lesser Water --
The Great Water
The Giant Lands
In the ancient lore of our people it is known that the Giant Lands, stretching from Shark Pass at 80 degrees to the cliffs of the Grakish Coast at 130 degrees, are the crown atop the Cirle of the World and at the same time they are a mirror of the world.
Just as the Inner Circle is protected by the ring of mountains so the Valley of Riches at the center of the Giant Lands is also protected by a ring of mountains. The Giant Lands lack for no resource available in other lands. The Mines near Tiger city once held the same renown as the Goblin Mines and the River and Streams and forests of the Sea-Facing Mountains hold natural beauty that equals that found in the Hunter's Chain and the Petty Kingdoms.
Before the Grakish Coast became infected with the horror of the Shape-Shifters its ports could rival the White City and the Isle of Seven Stars and The Cove near Red Fern City for trade.
Much has been destroyed in the Giant Wars and much of our Knowledge has been lost, but it is my hope that we may herein recover some of it and use that guidance to rebuild our Lands once again in the image of the Great Giant Lands of the past.
The fate of our people changed the day Dakarai convinced an elder, a warrrior, and a trust-keeper from each tribe to meet under one roof. It was at this meeting that, after seventy five years of warfare, our people decided to request a Traveler Ban on our own lands. Tired of the Sorcery and meddling that was being brought in to our lands, sometimes under the guise of well-meant charity, we decided that we needed to cut oursleves off for a time in order to solve our conflicts.
Let it be known that although it meant splitting up his family Dakarai supported the decision and carried it to the Traveler Circle. Let it be known that while the rest of the world looked down upon our people it was the Travelers who respected our decision and worked hard to impose the ban on every single land in the Circle of the World.
On this day the Great Council of our people, which was begun by Dakarai twenty seven years ago, has finally resolved all the conflicts between the tribes by uncovering their origins and bringing justice to those that remain. Today it was declared that no Giant shall ever kill another Giant, no matter the justification. Any future problems will henceforth be resolved by the Great Council.
This is not to say the Giant Wars are over. Sorcerers still wreak havoc in our lands. But we now stand united against them. For the first time I see hope.
Fujo has finally allowed me to write in this record, perhaps because he is worried what all these changes will bring, or losing hope because of the recent devastating deaths in his hometown. Today the Great Council decided to enlist the aid of Traveler Katsuo and Traveler Iro IronGlove against the sorcerers that still roam our lands.
Traveler Katsuo and Traveler Iro have arrived. They brought Dakarai sad news that his son, Traveler Dalmar, and Dalmar's Wife, Storyteller-Traveler Nyarai of Coal Mine village died defending a little known city called Dalaiabeth in the Petty Kingdoms. The fate of their young son Acklavion is unknown.
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The High Kingdoms
The High Kingdoms are a loosely linked group of mountain kingdoms stretching from the Jade Kingdom bordering the Giant Lands to the Kingdom of Glass bordering the Goblin Mines. Although they share many customs such as their strict class system with the High Lords at the top they were not always united and had many wars in the past before the treaties that brought them together as one loosely connected confederation.
The Lords of the High Kingdoms rule over their lands with absolute power, but they have succumbed to their own greed and this has allowed the Sorcerers, who dangle the promise of power before them, to reach very high positions in the class system of the Lords. As such Sorcery is very tightly controlled in the High Kingdoms and there are many rules to dictate who can practice Sorcery and who cannot.
Unfortunately, in their obsession with class and position the High Lords sought to control who could weild these powers, but they neglected to control what kinds of Sorcery could be practiced. The Sorcerers of the High Kingdoms practice their Sorcery without limit. They must take care only to remain in the good graces of the High Lords and any experiments which the High Lords might find untasteful are practiced either behind the High Lords' backs or in other lands, such as the Giant Lands.
Let it not be forgotten that the Sorcery of the High Kingdoms is what ignited and then fanned the flames of the Giant Wars. That their meddling in our lands is what turned Giant against Giant and began our long road of misery 87 years ago.
Let it not be forgotten also that it was because of the meddling of the High Kingdoms that our people decided, in the first meeting of the Council to end the Giant Wars, that the Traveler Dakarai of the Giant Lands should be sent to the Travelers' Circle to obtain a ban on travel into the Giant Lands so that our people may be free to solve our problem without Sorcerer meddling diguised as harmless trade or well-meant aid.
There is now a Traveler Ban on the High Kingdoms. The letter from the Record Keeper of the Travelers' Circle states (without detail) that the crimes we suspected the Sorcerers of the High Kingdoms of committing in our lands have now been proven to have been carried out in other lands as well.
The Traveler Ban on the High Kingdoms has now been endorsed by the Inner Circle. The elders of Tiger City are convinced that this is why that large group of sorcerers attacked our borders a few days ago. The High Kingdoms will suffer from the loss of trade and the greedy High Lords will seek to steal our resources if they can.
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The Goblin Mines
Not much remains of our knowledge and records on the Mines, now known for many years as the Goblin Mines. They stretch between 230 degrees bordering the Kingdom of Glass and 270 degrees where they meet the Land of Sunsets. Rumors abound that the people of the Goblin Mines have ghastly, inhuman appearances that earned them this name. Rumor also has it that they have abandoned the beauty of the Mountaintops of their land to live in the underground tunnels from whence they mine their jewels. Rumor states that their eyes no longer drink in the bright rays of the sun as they turn ever towards the brightness of their jewels.
I do not like to include rumor in this record, but after two years of delay I have included it here in hopes that our people will seek to find the truth hidden behind these unkind rumors. I hope that the students of knowledge who add to this tome will uncover the truth just as the truth behind the unkind rumors about the Tribe of the Wolf on the Grakish coast was uncovered by the great Dakarai of the Giant Lands and their dignity restored.
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The Petty Kingdoms
The Petty Kingdoms were once full of life and trade. More than one of the Great Cities of the Ancients lay in these mountain ranges. There is a lush valley at 335 degrees and quite a few easy passes that allow merchants and casual travelers to get through the mountain ranges and out to the coastal lands on the Great Water.
Throughout the ages they have benefited from being near other great places such as the Travelers' Circle, the White City, the Land of Sunsets and, not to be forgotten, the Fire Mountain of the Dragon Lords. The people of these Petty Kingdoms are quite diverse, their rich history and their past greatness having at one time or another drawn people from all the other lands of the Circle of the World.
Perhaps it is because of this past greatness that they are now so useless. This once great land has fallen to the ruin that can only come from many competing greedy Kings. The Petty Kings. They each carved out their own little realms, splitting these lands into tiny single-mountain Kingdoms that quickly fell into disrepute.
For many years now these Kingdoms have held no interest to outsiders. Merchants go through the low passes on their guard for thieves and troublemakers without once looking up at the Kingdoms that lie atop the mountains. Even the keenest of Travelers only pass through them if they must, leaving little for us record-hunters to find except long lists of boring titles and silly problems like two Kings fighting over a harvest with sarcastic comments and uninteresting legal formalities.
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The Hunters' Chain
The people of the Hunters' Chain are strong and protective of what they have. They live in the most dangerous chain of mountains in the Circle of the World. The dangers found on those sheer cliffs and impregnable heights, the diversity of wild and thrilling animals that can be found there, the strength and wisdom of the Hunters that live there... all of these things are legend.
It is difficult for those unaccustomed to these dangers to survive there and the Hunters do not encourage it. They intermingle with others from time to time, but it is rare. A few prominent Travelers have been born to those lands, for if one can survive the Hunters' Chain a life of travel around the rest of the Circle must seem natural.
The name of Traveler Nanoka is well known here in the Giant Lands. She married Traveler Dakarai, hero of the Giant Lands, and supported and respected our ways, even to the point of supporting the Traveler Ban on the Giant Lands when she knew full well it would shut her out from these lands and banish her from her husband's side.
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The Inner Circle
In his War Scrolls Traveler Dakarai of the Giant Lands says that the Inner Circle will be the last of the great lands to fall. The Inner Circle is a large Island surrounded by the Lesser Water which is then surrounded by the mountain ranges. This offers it protection from many things. It is also not as rich in resources as any of the surrounding mountain areas or even the Islands on the Great Water.
There are several small communities and Kingdoms here that each have their own rules and their own systems of governance. They rarely cooperate, but regular meetings are held in the Hall on the Marsh anyway. The lands in the Inner Circle are quite flat and free of imposing landmarks or showy castles. The people of the surrounding mountains and the great seafarers and Island dwellers in the Great Water respect the Inner Circle only in so much as it is a quiet, peaceful, easy path to get things from one more interesting place to another more quickly and with less hassle.
The main lands found there are the farmlands, the marshlands with their Hall of learning, the Shelves of Shabak that lie in the middle of a deserted wasteland, and the Forests. The Travelers Circle also lies there, at the edge of the Old Forest at the origin of all the old maps, although when you look at the maps it doesn't seem to be in the center.
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The Lesser Water
In the Lesser Water dwell the only seafaring people of the Inner Circle in their Floating City. The Floating City has not moved from its position near the mouth of the Running River in living memory, but all the old records suggest that it can move.
The people of the Floating City work closely with all the Kingdoms on either side of the Lesser Water to ensure that no boatman from any land breaks any of their laws. In return they guarantee safe passage of any and all through the Lesser Water and they share the fish and other sea-based riches that they have access to.
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The Great Water
Knowledge of the Great Water has been lost not just to us in the Giant Lands, but to all land-dwellers. With so few Islands scattered around the edges of the map even the renowened sailors of the White City and the boastful ship captains of the High Kingdoms no longer venture beyond their safe, well-known routes. Pirates, shape-shifters, strange monsters of the deep, and unbearable storms rule the Great Water now.
The High Kingdoms have set up a sea barricade preventing ships from passing through their waters without paying dearly. I worry that traders will begin to flaunt the Traveler Ban on the High Kingdoms, and perhaps even the ban on the Giant Lands, if this continues.
A Traveler Sedra has just sent the Great Council a letter reassuring us that the Travelers will enforce the bans and that the Wanderer Captains will ensure its viability. Apparently these Wanderer Captains have found a way to get past the High Kingdoms barrier. None of our records shed light on the identity of these Wanderers.
Rumour has it that even the Mad Sorcerer who began his experimentations on the borders of our lands in the darkest days of the Giant Wars failed to keep the Isle of Seven Stars under his control when he had it. The seas around it were too wild and unpredictable, the conection to the rest of the world so tenuous that he abandoned it the moment he was challenged by a couple of ships full of angry sailors from the White city.
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