The Travelers Guide to Aqualon
The Travelers Guide to Aqualon, No.1
Welcome, esteemed reader, to the Travelers Guide to Aqualon!
First things first! My name is Thadeus Fletcher, and if you are from the High North a little word of advice: our side won the war, so the North is at the bottom of the map; remember that when I talk about ''up'' and ''down''. It's been fifty days since I left the comfort of my hometown of Manastrat, and the Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Corporation has been so kind as to sponsor part of my trip. I am sending regular letters to my publisher at the HJT Gazette, and you, esteemed reader, will be able to reap the fruits of my in-depth field research!
So, ever had an atlas in your hands? No? Well, this is the situation: We got lots of land in the northern hemisphere, lots of water in the southern hemisphere. The former is called the Great Land and the High North, and the latter the Ocean Belt and the Spiral Sea. We got some big island chains in the Ocean Belt, so it's not all wet. Seventeen really big ones in the Corsic Ocean to the West, and a couple more to the East, and they got some huge lakes and rivers in the Great Land too, so we're all nice and balanced. In the middle, smack in between, of course, lies that wretched Iron Belt. Almost a hundred miles of pure iron (where it hasn't rusted at least), a real bitch to cross, but don't you worry, man finds a way!
In fact, here are my first valuable travel tips:
If you wish to cross the Iron Belt to reach the Great Land, there are three great ports you can steer to: Nankô above the Yamato Kingdom, Blacksteel above the Red Sands, and Ísenwyll by Svalbrynd. Now, if you head over to Ísenwyll, I strongly suggest you curb the whole winning the war stick I gave you in the beginning. The Svalbrynd Nords don't take too kindly to that kind of talk. But hey, since they joined the Axis of Steel with Altonar and the Fiefdoms of Ravensburg, they've become a lot more amenable to travelers and commerce, so don't worry about it. Added bonus with this port: you got actual land around it. Do some shopping, get some souveniers, and spend the night in a room without an iron floor. Additionally, you can cross the Iron Belt pretty quickly here: From Rusty Shore to Rusty Shore, the crazy Altonar technocrats built this thing they call a 'railway' where this huge, metal vehicle drives to and fro, getting you across lickedysplit.
If you're heading for the Middle Lands though, you might not want to take the long way around via Altonar or the Yamato Kingdom, so what do you do? You head to Blacksteel. Now this port is pretty big, and they have these impressive installations built into the side of the Rusty Shore for mooring ships and getting people onto the Belt. You can get some exotic goods here too, if you don't mind hitting the shadier corners. But be careful or you might lose your purse. They don't have any mass transit across the Iron Belt here, but the whole section there is Steel Baron territory. For some coin, their underlings are usually good for taking you across in their magnet rollers. These smaller vehicles float a few inches above the Iron Belt and can reach impressive speeds. The Borealians sold them to the Steel Barons apparently and supply the carbonic power cells they use for fuel; smart deal if you ask me.
Lastly, if the Yamato Kingdom is your first stop, well, Nankô it is. The name means "South Steel" I am told, and it is quite rustic. Everything is made out of bamboo scaffolding and you can usually see several impressive barks moored to the piers here, courtesy of the West Yamato Trading Company. Getting passage of one of their ships to Nankô is also a solid option, if you are having trouble finding your way to one of the three ports. Interestingly, the Yamato Folk have built this huge waterway all the way across the Iron Belt. Almost one hundred miles of artificial river you might call it, a comfortable way to make it across to the Great Land.
Well, while the Yamato Kingdom is a beautiful place to visit, my first stop will be the Middle Lands. I want to head to Aquaris, get a good look at that beautiful Spire of Rahn, everyone keeps talking about! So, Blacksteel it is. I'm on an HJT cog right now, writing this column for my publisher; the captain will hand it over when he returns to Graanshoof, and you'll be able to read more in a couple of issues! T.F.
Map of The World of Aqualon
This world map shows the basic layout of Aqualon, most of its parts bleached out to indicate it has not been completed yet. As more and more detailed maps of the nations and locations of Aqualon become available, this grand world map will also become more and more filled out! For now it should help you see the geographic relations of some of the places described in this setting.
Color Key for Pins
Green - Large nation, island chain, or region
Orange - Sub-nation or smaller island
Blue - Capital city
Purple - Culturally significant landmark
Grey - Politically or economically significant landmark
Related Aqualon Facts of the Day
- #96 -
After the Declaration of Existential Independence between 22 and 25 GE, during which Borealis prepared to and then jumped away to the South Pole to forever isolate itself from the world and become a technocratic mega-utopia, the Corsic Ocean was left with a power vacuum that threatened to collapse it. The main actors taking charge across the Seventeen Yonder Islands were the Church of Pure Souls, the reemerging Great Pirate Houses, the cursed land Jamphel Yeshe, and a little bit later the newly formed Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Corporation, which expanded the weakened Hank & Jordan's Cooper and Shipwright Guild into a booming business of mages for hire, which would escort trade ships and liners through the Corsic Ocean, which was now pirate-infested. These mages are still operating today as HJT has grown to a powerful entity within the Seventeen Yonder Islands, and they are generally referred to as "Ferries" due to their occupation of ferrying people safely across the ocean.
- #110 -
The Hank & Jordan & Tenzer Coporation has diversified quite a bit since its founding in 390 GE. Turning into a lucrative business, they have reclaimed some of the old Hank & Jordan's cooper works and shipyards, opened profitable trading routes across the Corsic Ocean, and even published a series of story books called "Ferry Tales of the Ocean Belt", which boasts twenty-four large volumes by now and a roughly five-thousand issue story magazine called "Silfs of the Sea" has been in circulation around the Corsic Ocean and even the Great Land since 1304 GE, coming out monthly pretty much ever since.
The Altonar Calendar
The Altonar Calendar is used in Altonar, the Middle Lands, and some of the Seventeen Yonder Islands.
A primer on mapmaking and the history of the southward orientation.
One of the five capitals of the Middle Lands, home to the Spire of Rahn.
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