Today, it’s an overview of the (known and nearby-unknown) World of Atheria.
Actually, this represents rather more information than will be available to any single character: the outer magical domains (shown in blue), quite a lot of the more distant political groupings (shown in red), and a many of the major geographical features (in black), are terra incognita to characters from more than a domain or two away. However, given that players tend to make characters from all over the place, the players might as well take a look at the entire layout – even if they will have to download the file to make out most of the labels.
Unfortunately, map-making is not a well-developed art throughout most of Atheria (and this map shows realm relationships rather than topography in any case). The Alarian Imperium and HuSung have excellent maps of their own territories, and fairly good ones of the areas for a hundred miles or so past their borders. There, are, however, difficulties with many of the other realms.
The Alarian Imperium has excellent (and rarely-needed) maps of it’s own territories and passable ones for the border regions, as well as maps showing a fair chunk of Parack, the Trackless Forest / Parliament of Trees, and many of the major features of the Barbarian Lands, the Mri Desert, and the nearer segments of the Great Northern Barrens. Unfortunately, the territories of the various barbarian tribes change constantly and have few notable locations outside of a few tradecities. There isn’t much of anything in the Mri Desert to map outside of a few stable watering holes and landmarks – and little reason to bother anyway, since the place is infested with nomads and bandits. The Trackless Forest, Parliament of Trees, and Great Northern Barrens are mapable – if only because there is very little to show – but they’re also implacably hostile. Parack is battered by storms and erosion, as well as being populated by an impossibly insular people, but is tolerably well mapped.
Unfortunately, elsewhere there are difficulties. Dernmarik, Senthar, and Nial are full of spatial distortions, areas that appear and disappear, and similar problems – making serious mapping near-impossible. The Mri desert is populated by bandits and nomads and has few landmarks to work with. The areas about the gulf of Irudan and the Sea of Jade change constantly. The realm of Dreams is pretty much unmappable by definition. Chelm is infested with hideous toxins and extraordinarily dangerous creatures – and its inherent darkness magic blocks attempts at divination. So do the magics of the Warding domain – and the Imperium has not even determined if there IS anything past that, much less made an attempt to map it.
HuSung has good maps as well, and has extended them well into the great savannah – although they find the quarrelsome tribes there hardly worth dealing with. The Twisted Peaks resist both gravity and erosion, and hence are both near-impassable and a refuge for refugees escaping troubles in HuSung. Their experiences with the Forest Domain, Chelm, and the Great Northern Barrens mirror those of the Imperium – and explorations into the metaphysical realms off their coastline have proven confusing.
It’s worth nothing that quite a few theoretically-possible birthrights have not yet been seen in the game. Some are generally lethal: even if anyone was likely to be born in the realm of Destruction, Transformation, or Dream, they are not likely to survive the experience – or at least not as anything recognizably human. Others have simply never come up.