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Populating a Continent

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Exploring the Five Nations of Teren'vei in The Forbidden Scrolls

So real quick before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post, yes... I've been quiet lately. With the release of my book late last month immediately followed by a busy Labor Day weekend at work, I needed to rest and recharge my batteries a bit. Ah, the joys of being an ambivert. But good news, I'm back! And not just here, but also to writing book two of The Forbidden Scrolls. So that's all good news.

But on to the topic of today's blog: world-building. I've done a couple of previous posts about how the continent of Teren'vei came into being. But I thought it would be fun to go through the various nations and races of the continent to help familiarize you all with the people and places in the book. We'll work our way west to east, and I'll include the map for reference:

On a large island off to the west of the main continent across the Straights of Faire Trade sits the Arathi Dominion. One of two nations on Teren'vei belonging to the elves, this lush island is best known for the massive city of Arathas. What sets Arathas apart from every other city that you'll get to explore on this journey is that it's built into the canopy of the trees of the island's lush forest. It's a bit more isolated than most of the other nations of Teren'vei. As such, little is known about the inner forest portion of the island by most outsiders except for what they've heard in legends.

Back across the Siren's Sea to the southeast lies the Kingdom of Tethis. The majority of book one takes place here. Tethis is one of two human nations, and just happens to be at war with the other human nation. As far overall land, the Kingdom of Tethis is the largest nation on the continent. The city of Tethis sits on the coastline in the shape of a long crescent and is the largest port for the western half of the continent.

Much of the southern part of the nation is covered with farms and large grasslands. The grasslands are cut apart by three major rivers. Raven's Run separates the capital from the southwestern tip of the nation, The Barrow River cuts across the center of the nation, and the Fel Run to the west of Felbreach runs across the eastern part. Just to the west of the Barrow River sits a series of knolls known as The Barrows. This is where the few gnomes that the reader will meet in this book originate from.

The northern part of the nation is dominated by the vast Brittlewood Forest. Situated in the middle of it all sits Crater Lake and the small town of Barhnal where our tale begins. The fortress city of Calder is the northernmost city in Tethis, and then there are a few unaligned villages that reside between the Brittlewood and the Dwarven lands to the north.

Above the northern tip of the Brittlewood sits the kingdom of the dwarves, Jodendal. Almost completely surrounded by the Thrumvold Mountains, the dwarven lands are the smallest on Teren'vei. But the city of Jodendal may be the largest city on the continent. Half of the city resides under the mountains. Dwarven lands are cold and snowy tundra, and only the heartiest merchants of the other races dare to make the trek through the Winter's Pass. The thin line of mountains known as the Frostspires separate the dwarven lands from the Brittlewood Forest to the south.

Across the Thrumvold Mountains to the east lies the Elven Kingdom of Elind'thas.  Much like the dwarven lands, these plains are a vast and snowy tundra, though there are a few small forests dotting the southern end of the kingdom. The capital city of Elind'thas sits to the south of one of these forests on a peninsula that cuts out into the Border Sea. The city's buildings are all carved out of a massive crystal formation that covered the peninsula.

By land, the elves of Elind'thas trade with the nation of Tethis at the small border city of Vali'thras. But the port at the city of Elind'thas encircles all sides of the peninsula that the city sits upon, making it the largest port on Teren'vei.

And lastly, the vast desert nation to the south of the Border Sea is the Destan Empire. The Empire is the other human nation, and is currently at war with Tethis. As a large desert nation, the Destans have expanded to take the city of Wen and the small village of Gan. When the story of The Forbidden Scrolls begins, the war between the two nations is at a veritable standstill to the east of the Fel Run with the Empire having set it's sights on taking Felbreach and the surrounding farmlands.

The people of the Empire have a more bronzed, darker tone to their skin and narrower eyes than the people of Tethis. They also have a strict sense of honor. Culturally, they are reminiscent of feudal Japan here on Earth, but with some Arabic flourishes. Their weapons and armor are similar to those of the samurai, and the Destan army paints their armor white to reflect the heat of the desert sun.

All of these places mentioned above will be visited, if only briefly or at some length in book one. If you've come this far, you may have noticed that there are lands further east than the Destan Empire. Across the Sea of Forgotten Ships lies the Undead Isle and the city of Necronis. And across the Sea of All Seasons from Elind'thas sits the frozen island of Thea'thal. These places are not spoken of in book one at all, but play an important role in book two of the trilogy. As such, I'm not inclined to spoil much about these places... yet. Consider that a little bit of a teaser for book two.

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