On Verdan, the “Civilized World” mostly consists of Eurasia – and not all of that. Much of the southern reaches of Africa, and the North and Eastern reaches of Asia, remain partially unknown.
Much of the vast, frigid reaches of Siberia’s subarctic forests and tundras remain the domain of an assortment of dangerous creatures and of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribesmen – primarily reindeer herders. While the area can hardly be said to be unexplored, vast reaches of trackless wilderness with a few local tribes and fur traders wandering about and a constant risk of being eaten by something about isn’t what most people think of as “civilization”.
China is… strange, mysterious, and utterly foreign. While everyone is aware that ghosts exist, and occasionally hang about, most of the civilized world encourages them to move on; the living rarely appreciate having long-deceased elders occupying the best rooms of the house, kibitzing on their private affairs, and sticking their noses into things. Even more importantly, the modern European notion of “progress” is antithetical to ghosts; a conservative mindset seems to be one of the major factors that encourages a spirit to hang about. China, however, has been encouraging ancestral spirits to hang about for thousands of years – to the point where there might well be more ghosts hanging about than there are living people. The labyrinth of customs, etiquette, and traditions is thick enough to completely baffle most outsiders – and the fact that most ghosts are practicing magicians also complicates matters considerably.
Japan and the isles of Indonesia are places of legend – high in magic, surrounded by monsters, and occupied (where inhabited by humans at all) by most peculiar cultures. While much of the area is close enough to the Eurasian continent for boats to occasionally make the trip, or to jump between islands, the cultures there revolve around relatively primitive social systems and deeply-ingrained magical traditions. Those focus on driving a small number of lux-channels so deeply into the mind that they allow humans to match the raw power of cryptids – giving the local rulers (who can afford to thus train their offspring) an almost unquestioned dominance over the “lower classes”.
Australia and New Guinea (if they exist at all) have not yet been sighted or reported in Europe – although there are plenty of rumors of unknown continents.
The New World is only now being explored – and the process is expensive, and being carried out by small groups. Enormous reaches have only been seen from the air, while even greater areas have never been seen at all. Some areas are, however, reported to have higher magic zones than Eurasia has hosted in eons – and the locals there sometimes resent intrusion.
Antarctica remains unknown as well. One expedition did attempt to reach the south pole by air, but it (and several subsequent attempts) discovered that the continent has a great many volcanoes. The eruptions and updrafts – coupled with the magical disturbances related to the ongoing lux-storm resulting from the magically-charged particles from the solar wind being channeled to the area by the Verdan’s magnetic field – make the antarctic regions virtually inaccessible even by zeppelin. A few reports have been made describing a variety of semi-tropical regions beneath a massive thermal inversion layer and constant cloud cover, but the majority of expeditions to the area have been lost without a trace. That same excessive volcanism has built up the antarctic continent to the point where it depresses the sea floor around it; resulting in towering cliffs at the continental edge and some of the deepest waters on Verdan (and the richest, given the constant geothermally-driven upwelling) surrounding the continent. To earthly eyes that neatly compensates for the water which is not tied up as an icecap, thus maintaining a roughly “normal” sea level throughout the rest of the world.
Iceland / Hyperborea – and the mid-atlantic island of Avalon – are highly volcanic, and are infused with fresh supplies of Lux from the deep mantle – making them some of the most magical places in the world. At least some humans are supposed to live in Hyperborea, and are rumored to have provided powerful magical talismans to the people of Sweden-Norway.
- Verdan Arcanis – Technology and Magic II. The Biological Sciences (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Verdan Arcanis – Historical Development (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Verdan Arcanis – Basic Magic (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Verdan Arcanis – Technology and Magic I (ruscumag.wordpress.com)