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The Geography of High Rock, Through the Realms of Tamriel


Started by Harlwystyr
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Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Wayrest
Chapter III: Daggerfall
Chapter IV: Shornhelm
Chapter V: Evermore
Chapter VI: Farrun
Chapter VII: Jehenna
Chapter VIII: The Geography of High Rock

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High Rock, sometimes referred to as the Direnni West, lies in the north-western part of Tamriel, with Skyrim and Hammerfell bordering to the east and south respectively. The province is divided in four major regions, namely the Bjoulsae River, Greater Bretony, the Dellese Isles, and the Western Reach, and is further broken into various baronies, duchies and kingdoms. The most powerful nations are Daggerfall, Evermore, Farrun, Jehenna, Shornhelm, and Wayrest, and much strife has existed throughout history between this neighbours, even as there are border disputes with Skyrim that require military attention.

The southern lands are wet and temperate, said to be blessed by Kynareth with abundant rain during the summer and spring and plentiful snow during the winter; cold, long winters and short, but hot summers. The pleasant spring and fall provide rich green forests that yield a multitude of beautiful colours and healthy fields of grain in the southern parts that surrender up bountiful harvests. Along the Iliac Bay's coastal regions, fog is rather common, and there are often mists along the foothills of the Wrothgarian Mountains that dominate the interior of the land. The lands north of the Wrothgarian mountains - the realms of Shornhelm, Farrun, and Jehenna - are rather inhospitable in comparison, with the eastern kingdoms appearing much like Skyrim in terms of topography and climate.

Like any current cradle of civilization, High Rock was once heavily forested, but generations of clearing and farming have done much to reduce the proud landscape, so that regions like the forests of Daenia are not as widespread as they once were. Still, those forests that do remain provide the kingdoms with plentiful timber and game, but only through strict regulation by crown laws. Harpies, giant bats, lamias and other monstrous creatures roam certain parts of these place, and the bretons have learnt to respect the territories of these beings. Whilst Daggerfall is a relatively peaceful kingdom, the inner parts of the forests of Daenia can still be dangerous to all, and therefore most villages are placed around the area or near the sea, which also contributes to trade in the region.

Rivers, swamps, inlets, natural bays, both large and small, run through the lands of High Rock, and often capital cities such as Daggerfall, Evermore, and Wayrest appear to have been built around such rivers. Glenumbra is an example where the swamps create a natural defensive barrier in the eastern parts of the region. Society is not halted by these rivers and swamps, however, and roads and bridges of all qualities cross the various bodies of water, which allows the people to enjoy commerce from both land and see.

The two most important bodies of water in High Rock are the Iliac Bay and the Bay of Farrun (also called the Bay of Northpoint). The Iliac Bay separates most of High Rock from Hammerfell, and is heavily infested with pirates. The Thrassian Plague of old has also set its mark upon the bay, taking with it approximately half of the population. However, these threats - in the past and present - do nothing to prevent the bretons from using the Iliac Bay as the primary shipping point to the Abecean Sea, which leads to the rest of Tamriel. The Isle of Balfiera is roughly situated in the middle of the bay, and is home to the legendary Adamantite Tower; the oldest known structure in Tamriel.

The Bay of Farrun, in contrast, is the major inlet into the north parts of High Rock. One major river flows into the northern part of Rivenspire, just south of the city of Northpoint.

The central, and only, mountain region in High Rock is the Wrothgarian Mountains. It serves as a practical border for all the kingdoms of High Rock, as no larger force could march through it without enduring the harsh weather and the orcs who inhabit the region. Though Hick Rock traditionally claims these mountains, travel to and from the region is, as previously mentioned, very difficult, and few bretons live there.

Violent storms sometimes occur in High Rock, but fortunately seem to mostly pass over the Wrothgarian Mountains and the Iliac Bay. Since little sanctuary can be found from the weather in these regions, travellers have learnt to pay heed to those more experienced than themselves, and rarely travel if advised not to by a native. These storms have rolled out of a clear sky, delivered deafening thunder, blinding lightning, and terrible winds, and much worse, should the more elaborate horror stories be taken into account.

Many rumours surround two mysterious places in High Rock. The first is the aforementioned Adamantite Tower upon the Isle of Balfiera, where mad Direnni sorcerers are said to live. The other mysterious site is the gigantic tree known as the Wyrd Tree in Glenumbra, said to be the gathering place for women with a strange connection to nature. Some call them witches, some call them by other names.

History and local legends tell many tales of the elves who once had the land as seat for their ancient civilization, but very few detailed records of this time remains. Nevertheless, many reports of fantastic buildings and ruins located around the land exist, and several stories shape an image of how folklore is an important part of breton culture. Unfortunately, finances and the traps lingering in these ruins have so far prevented a concerted effort to explore and catalog the wonders therein, and the few people who have ventured deep into the earth rarely speak of their experiences. In these ruins, and the swamps and many other places in High Rock, common diseases of various severity, such as Red Death, leprosy, Caliron's Curse, Witches' Pox, Blood Rot, Yellow Fever, and so on, can be contacted from beasts if caution is not taken.

Goblins, orcs and their allies are still seen as a pest upon the land. Some places, such as the Wrothgarian Mountains, their power is unquestioned, but that story is largely connected with the history of Orsinium, which shall not be retold here.

Rivenspire, with its jagged rock formations and shadowy lowlands, is widely believed to be a center of unnatural activity, including thousands of dangerous falls and pits. In addition, many wild and dead areas in the region blankets the lands of Shornhelm. The most dangerous areas host bizarre phenomena of magical origin, which sometimes have effects on the unwary traveller.

Naturally, this makes Rivenspire the least populated area in High Rock. Just as naturally, monsters and foul beings feel quite at home here, especially the dreaded feral vampires. On occasions, their lairs have been cleared, but a new assortment of the undead fill the void each time. A solution to end this cycle has been discussed in recent times, and the king of Shornhelm has done much to consult his court wizard on the problem, who is rumoured to be working on a method to wipe out the vampires here. There are two versions of this rumour, one in which the court wizard is trying to invent a spell that completely eradicates undead, and the other in which he is planning to teleport them all out over the sea, one by one. Neither is likely true.

Ghostly and undead activities can be spotted throughout all of High Rock, and there is much speculation as to the origins of these creatures. The most common explanation is that the ghosts are the spirits of the elves and nords who first fought over the land, and that their deaths were the result of some terrible, unnatural cause - something that yet exists somewhere in High Rock.

The farmlands of High Rock remain the underlying strength of the various kingdoms as well as a primary shaping force of its topography. Farming, as previously mentioned, is responsible for reducing the forests of the land, and some areas in Glenumbra and Stormhaven were once completely covered by trees. Now, farms and pastures dot the lands in the south, whilst the northern realms seem unsuited for agriculture in comparison, as the soil is hard and largely composed of clay. In addition, the surface of these realms is mostly covered with huge boulders. Sizes may vary, but some are as large as small cottages, and they are scattered everywhere.

- From the Journals of Harlwystyr the Wanderer, Through the Realms of Tamriel, published in 2E 188.
This post was last modified: February 9th 2014, 07:50 AM by Harlwystyr
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Is this the last one? You are scaring me!


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No no, don't worry :P
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Good, good.


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