Fantasy- Maps & World Building

Maps

Click on map for larger image…

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Klou
Klou
Winter and Autumn Isles
Winter and Autumn Isles
Summer and Spring Isles
Summer and Spring Isles
Mainland of Klou
Mainland of Klou

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Kingdom of Ish

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Historical Timeline of ISH: 

The Chronicles of Ish
Keepers = First torch bearers,
3 moons, 3 suns.
Creation = coitus of light and dark
Council of Brightness and Shadow
First civilization of Serupentia
Kingdom of Klou (Marginalization of the Dragons)
Separating of the Monys & Cappas, / Birth of Kafka / Start of the 42 year War.
Pirates take Islands of Abuis / Pact of the treasure seekers
Her Most Serene Highness is crowned
Witch Finders Established
Thermos Incident
Us.
Dawn of the Necromancers.

History

Council of Brightness and Shadow

In the years following the Great Creation, the most bountiful and sacred coitus of Light and Dark, the world of Ish was young and fresh. There was harmony throughout the lands and between the races, from the lords of fire and sky, the dragons, to the prosperous and masters of the tilled earth, the humans. Together the races forged and discovered the six terrains of Ish, the six lands that wait beyond the seas and thus they discovered the glorious River of Crystal, the mysterious inverse volcano of Terc and the highly diverse islands of what they could call Klau. Here they sought and found, here they discovered and settled, here they learnt about the gods, about Light and Dark, about the mighty and powerful beings that had been born from their sacred coitus during the time of Great Creation. They learnt that, with reverence and with honour, these beings could each provide abilities to aid discovery and to further the development of the world, and thus magic was released unto the world. From the god of music, Paneth, there came the wonders of the instruments, from the great goddess of winter and wonder, Hreosan, there came witch’s magic in all its wise and beautiful delights, and many more.

Time went on, the island of Myth-Birth was founded by the twins Estevan and Mildred as a place for unicorns to gallop and for immortality to be found. The great central land with the River of Crystal was blessed by the earth-father Naganis, whose children took the form of great snakes. Paneth took it upon himself to encourage the land of Musicca, where the arts and the power of song became as important to the people as bread and water. Hreosan took it upon herself to bless the islands of Klau, in partnership with those goddesses and gods of the seasons, to guide a new world for dragons to inhabit and thrive upon. And lastly, there was the young goddess Grimelda, who was born as death, as it always must, needed to enter the world and she came into it, black-haired and white-eyed, made her place in the island of Mortemonde, where she planted the Tree Of Death as a reminder to all that death, although it may be the one thing to fear above all, was necessary and that all things have their time. And thus the world settled, it was made great. The races inhabited the world, and took their place.

Time went on, magic was used for gain, and then for ill. Great civilisations rose, great families came into beings and dragons began to burn forests for the pure chance to burn forests. Unicorns roamed across the seas to claim what was not theirs, gold was discovered and riches amounted into the air. The darkest thing that can be called dark, the green-eyed monster of jealousy came into the land of Ish and created holes the size of the seeds of the Arnikam tree in many hearts. Dragons became greedy and longed for more than what they had, men from the north desired the south, magic was misused in order to find what should never be found, and hatred came. Hatred so hard that the inhabitants of Mortemonde turned their backs upon their goddess and her sacred tree and tore away the back, without heeding her warnings. They stripped the blessing of death, the final rest, of its peace and brought back the souls of the dead to walk the earth, creating an army so large it was said to be able to cross the Northern Sea in one night and reach the Spine Of The World by noon the next day. Doom came, true night fell and the gods realised they must make drastic decisions.

Thus the children of Dark and Light came together in the heavens and discussed what should be done. Sitting in their bright thrones the beings of earth, arts, death, wonder and all others came together to create the first, and only, Council Of Brightness And Shadow.

Montys and Cappas

How Montys and Cappas were separated:

This used to be one island, called Avoren, with two families ruling the land. They were the Montys, an agricultural based family, and the Cappas, a largely industrial family. The land of Avoren was perfectly made for them. Half of the land was fertile and perfect for growing crops. The other half had mountains and hills filled with ores of many different materials. However an argument arose between the two families and that was to do with the future of the island. The Montys believed that the food and crops were the way forward and many of the hills of Averon could be used to grow the rare Aquava crop, whose vitamins could help any sick person to get better quicker. However it would be destroyed if the ground of the hills was affected by too much mining. The Cappas had reports which suggested that in the fields of Averon there was a rich seam of the strongest iron ore. The argument carried on until there was nearly a war on the island between the two families and their supporters. One day witches heard of this argument and went to Averon to try and help. They suggested the land be split in two, although stopping people from getting what they wanted, it would also stop a war. The families were pleased with this idea, even if they would both lose out. So the witches together said their spell and the land was split in two. Ever since the land has been split, the argument has raged on and neither land will take resources from the other. They choose to take resources from the mainland.

Culture:

Gods and Goddesses

Seasons:

Unnamed goddess of Spring

Mythika:

Goddess of Summer and Guardian of Klou

Form: endlessly long silver-blue hair and a gentle nature but sharp mind

Associations: Secrecy. lives on Summer Isle and Queen of the Fairies. she lives in a cave upon a cliff, a cavern of pure crystal water and fairies, some freely floating around, others in jars, with an entrance to the cave that is concealed. She has few visitors.

Erienkinos:

God of Autumn and Fire.

Form: great red and copper dragon

Associations: father of the dragons upon Myth-Birth. Moved here after its creation by Estevan and Mildred, now spends his time breathing smoke-rings.

Hreosan:

Goddess of Winter and wonder

Form: golden-haired woman with a “stern brow”, very focused eyes. Typical witch.

Associations: Has a temple on the Winter Isle. She is incredibly powerful, most prominent of the season gods. Her power is mysterious, and it is undefined as to what precisely she can do. She grants power to witches in return for worship, which in turn makes her more powerful and all the more regarded.

The Arts:

Paneth:

God of Music and other arts

Form: Human

Associations: Literally created the land of Musica during the time of the Great Creation, and added to it – “encouraged” it – in the few years after. He frequently came up with “ideas”, such as dancing and storytelling, and invented instruments.

Various unnamed sub-gods of poetry etc, under Paneth

Irisa:

Goddess of Colour

Form: human, wide violet eyes and frizzy red hair. Wears loose-fitting dresses.

Associations: the Arts, she takes interest in simply watching Paneth at work. Rather an abstract goddess she stands and watches the world for days at times. Very vague, head in the clouds.

Logan Rye:

Sub-god, a scribe

Form: a small scruffy monk

Associations: Best known for being the official scribe for the council of brightness and shadow. A bit of an idiot.

Earth:

Naganis:

God of the Earth, “Earth-father”

Form: Old figure with a beard

Associations: Blesser of the Crystal River, which was his idea. He looks like a man but has both sets of reproductive organs, thus he gave birth to the great serpents of the Spine of the World. Provides his worshippers with simple magic associated with growing plants etc.

Arkinam:

Goddess of Vegetation

Form: Young bearded girl. Daughter of Naganis.

Associations: plants in general. She has a special tree named after her which seeds can provide healing properties.

Various other unnamed earth-gods to do with rivers and mountains and islands

Others:

Estevan:

God of Justice

Form: silver-haired human with ability to shift into unicorn form

Associations: Twin brother to Mildred. They are joint gods of justice and immortality. Together they created and developed the island of Myth-Birth after the splitting of the land of Abuis. Creator of lion-dragons and unicorns. “Father” of the Torch-bearers

Mildred:

Goddess of Justice and Imagination

Form: Silver-haired elf

Associations: Twin sister to Mildred. Created the Wood of Everlife. It was her idea to create the potential for mortals to become immortal. “Mother” of the Torch-bearers.

Avarin:

God of Envy

Form: Green-eyed human, ability to be immaterial

Associations: long standing nemesis of Paneth. Did not like him from the Great Creation because of Paneth’s skills with the Arts. Genuinely immaterial until jealousy became over-baring.

Grimelda:

Goddess Of Death

Form: Black-haired, white-eyed young human woman.

Associations: Took the north island of Mortemonde as her home and planted the Tree Of Death as a reminder of the “final peace”. Generally a pleasant person.

Vara:

God Of Shadows and Dreams

Form: black-haired dreamy man

Associations: direct lone son of Darkness, his alliances have always been unknown. Possibly the man who inspired the humans of Mortemonde to first experiment with the powers of necromancy.

Klou

Kloudian physics:
1. The principle of replacement:
When resources are removed from one of the four season isles (for example, when apples are traded from Summer Isle, gold wool from Spring Isle, wheat or cider from Autumn Isle), a piece of the main island falls away, crumbling into the ocean where it dissolves forever. Klou on the surface appears highly self-sufficient, with its division of production between different islands, but because of this law of magical physics Klou is forced to trade with other kingdoms because they need the imported soil/earth/stone to replace the lost pieces of land. In recent post-war years, the xenophobia of Klou is gradually eroding and the kingdom is becoming more open to wider trade agreements and even plans of migration. This has been heightened in the current era where the politics of piracy are stretching across different kingdoms and the king of Klou is becoming involved in cross-national alliances and battles, leading to more trade agreements as sharing of resources leads to more land loss. As a consequence of this physical principle, Klou is very controlling over its citizens when it comes to goods – stealing is a crime on par with murder – those in power need to know exactly how much seasonal resources are being used and traded so they know how much land will require importing.

Anthology of Ish

The First Hunt – by Jack Smith

It was in the aftermath of the Great War when it happened. A time of peace, and of celebration. Celebration that was about to turn sour. It began in a tavern shrouded in fauna, on the outskirts of the shimmering cities of the Morning Lands: The Tipsy Troll. On a cold morning filled with triumphant shouts.

‘The Troll’ was on this morning abundant with a wealthy assortment of patrons – some new and old, together rejoicing in the illumination of candlelight. Many spoke of how later the new monarch was to hold a public ceremony outside Fengsel, to commemorate the release of prisoners of war. Most planned to journey there after, and others simply saw it as another reason to drink to the honour of Her Most Serene Highness. Yet in the most secluded corner of this tavern, at a small table worn with neglect, sat a man who did not join in the festivities. He was fully clad in black, and several times had been mistaken for a mere shadow. Added to this was his physical appearance: skin as black as burnt coal, and his eyes devoid of life. Though hooded, the ashen grey of his hair protruded out from under his cowl. Affixed to his right hand was a torn piece of parchment, something that had caught the eyes of many who passed his table with drunken struts. This man said nothing to those who offered him a drink to toast the new monarch, and simply sat motionless, his eyes glued to the tavern door.

This man’s name was Maxwell Knox. For him, the war had only just begun.

Eventually, after shrugging off a dozen merry drunkards, Knox saw what he had been waiting for: the door of the tavern was flung open, and a man dressed in grey chainmail marched into the room. All the dancers suddenly ceased their revelry to perceive this new figure: his silvery hair flowed down his back and framed a face perfectly crafted, marked with no blemish. It was beautifully pale, and not too gaunt but perfectly balanced. His ocean blue eyes scanned the room and upon seeing Knox he hurried towards him. As the dancing resumed both men shook hands and sat at Knox’s table, shadow and light inhabiting the same space.

“It’s been a long time Drexel,” Knox smiled. Such was a gesture he was not used to. His friend on the other hand beamed with delight.

“Five whole years my friend – five whole years!” he shouted with glee. “By our most Esteemed – sorry, our Most Serene Highness, it’s great to see you again Max”.

“Likewise!” Knox stuttered, barely able to hold off his friend’s powerful embrace, “But I’d have thought a hardened soldier like you wouldn’t want to be seen with a man unfit for military service”.

“Max, I can’t understand why the Legion rejected you, I gave them every assurance you were a skilled fighter,” his friend replied, releasing him.

Knox eyed Drexel, seeing him again as a fifteen year old boy going off to fight for the glory of his land. Yet for the experience of a bloody war he was no less naive. Knox pulled down his hood and raised his face high so the dim light glinted off his dark skin. Both men knew exactly why he had been rejected by the army.

“I want you to know I’m not like them,” Drexel muttered, “You know me better than that”.

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me; I know I am nothing remarkable”. Knox paused, and became at once grim. This reunion, he knew, was not to be a joyous one, “But I called you here for a different reason”. He slid the parchment across the table.

“Oh what right to business then?” Drexel chuckled, “You don’t want to buy a drink? A whore? No foreplay at all? Really I can get us both for nothing – soldier’s discount”.

“Drexel,” sighed Knox

“Fine. Fine – I’m reading”.

Knox scrutinised his friend’s reaction as he scanned the document. His face by the second grew paler – and as he neared its conclusion a look of terror was smeared upon his features.

“Is this…” he stopped, and read the last lines again, “Is this true?”

Knox nodded. Neither man could meet the others gaze in that moment.

“Our hometown…” Drexel muttered, “Destroyed?” He became frantic, “Why? H-How?”

It was no act of war, Knox had been told by the cold hearted Legionnaire who had delivered the message to him. Indeed, this was the act of a single being, he said. For, walking amongst the burnt out homes, the messenger had spotted a lone figure, and heard maniacal laughter echo in charged air. Knox had to endure Drexel’s weeping as he told him this – of how the place they had grown up in had been turned to ash. Though neither of their families dwelled there now, it was still a place of deep attachment for both men; the only existence they ever had was confined to that small settlement. After some time the grieving boy suddenly choked through bared teeth and clenched fists “One person did this?” and Knox confirmed this truth. Already he had grieved before Drexel’s arrival, but the sight of the warrior lay so low brought fresh tears to his cheeks. However, a sudden change in the soldier’s disposition unnerved him.

“Bastard!” Drexel spat, enraged like a rabid beast, “Only one creature is capable of such savagery: a vile witch!” He twisted his angelic face in disgust. Knox admitted this was a possibility – however he had only called the soldier here to tell him the grim news, never had he thought to take any action. But now in the eyes of his friend burnt only contempt, and a lust for vengeance.

“We ride for the village now Knox – I will take the demon’s head!” and the zealous warrior stormed away without pause, bludgeoning the dancers out of his path with one gauntleted hand.

“Drexel!” yelled the shadow after the vanishing pure light, “Calm-“

But the slam of the tavern door as his friend left cut him off. There was no helping it; he could not let the youth hunt this demon alone.

So it was that upon horseback, Drexel leading, both men rode through the Great Forest towards the ruins of their forsaken home. The Glittering Glades nearby shone in ignorance of their plight, and those who they passed on their way paid them no attention – too intent on celebrating the war justly won. For the entire journey, Knox’s eyes kept returning to his friend’s trembling sword hand.

Eventually, they came to the humble trading – post which they once called home, but piles of ash were all that greeted them. Every hovel was razed, every field blackened, and all livestock slaughtered. Both men dismounted and dropped to their knees. It was gone – everything: the memories of playing in the ripe fields in summer, of chasing each other in the long thickets next to the barn, and daring each other to scale the wall of Fengsel on the horizon. These memories were nothing but lacerations to the conscience now – blackened with the soot that buried the village. Neither man knew how to proceed, but a terrified wail of “Help!” gave them direction. A single woman, dressed in rags, and extremely malnourished, ran to them from out of the ruins. The next moments were cloudy to Knox, for still his shock had paralysed him. Drexel however, had no restrictions. With a whisper of “Demon” he glued his eyes to the sputtering woman, and ignorant of her pleas unsheathed his sword and rushed towards her. She fell to the ground and screamed, certain of death, but in the moment it was to come Knox’s blade had met his friend’s.

“What are you doing Knox?” Drexel seethed with his eyes unfocussed, his entire body shaking with fury.

“We…do not know she is responsible!”

“Bollocks Knox!” roared the warrior, “She is the only survivor! I know witches – this is one of the scum”.

He pushed his blade closer to Knox’s face, and Knox began to falter under the strength of the trained soldier.

“Think about what you’re doing,” he spoke calmly, “I do not wish to condemn an innocent woman on our own soil”.

Drexel was gradually relenting, but Knox could not yet breathe a sigh of relief, for the ragged woman at their feet wept and pleaded “Put down your swords please! I beg you my Lords!”

On that word ‘Lords’, Drexel threw Knox to the singed grass and leapt upon her, hammering his gauntlets into her face and screaming “Defend yourself wretch! I know you killed them all, filthy daughter of Hreosan!”

Her cries were muffled under the pressure of Drexel’s fists and his berserk roar. Dazed, and not truly believing what was transpiring, Knox flung himself upon his childhood companion and pinned him to the ground beside the shuddering woman. He felt Drexel flail and try to scratch at him, tears still running down his pale face. But Knox would not be moved.

“Drexel,” Knox spoke in measured tones, “look at her”.

He made him turn his head to see the heaving victim and continued, “She is nothing more than an innocent and frightened human being, no threat to any living thing, and damn the message, I won’t allow this. If your hatred burns in you, don’t let it be directed towards her”.

“Damn it Knox,” wept Drexel, “It’s all gone. What purpose do we have now? What was I even fighting to protect?”

Knox released him, astonished at his friend’s disillusionment, and knelt next to the still trembling female. She was badly bruised, and still recoiled from his touch. Above her right eye was painted a small blue crescent moon. Knox knew enough about geography to know what that mark meant.

“You are from Klou?” he asked, offering a hand to her. She did not take it, but choked a reply:

“Wi – Winter Isle”.

“You’ve come a long way, miss…?”

“Agatha,” she stated, brushing a grey hair out of her face, “Agatha Wilde”.

“It’s nice to meet you Agatha. My name is Maxwell,” Knox smiled, “and I’m curious as to what you’re doing here”.

She merely looked around her as if about to vomit. Knox pushed her however:

“Did you see who did this?”

She nodded.

“Can you tell me?”

She only shivered, and breathed a hastily constructed response:

“I have a message I must deliver. I came from my home to this land with a message from my king. I was welcomed in your home to rest on my journey, but a band of marauders prejudice against my people saw this village as harbouring a – a piece of filth”. She glanced at Drexel, and then buried her face in her hands crying, “I’m sorry! They tried to protect me…this is all my fault!”

Knox sat back, the news having stunned him once more. Surely racial prejudice alone had not stimulated the destruction of their home?

“It’s not uncommon,” he heard Drexel say, composing himself slightly, “The Legion has heard reports of such attacks by rebels and bigots against settlements. I just never though one of them would be ours”. He knelt before Agatha as Knox had done, his face still wet, “I am sorry Milady,” he stated, “Nothing forgives what I have done here”. After having said this Drexel wished to drop his gaze, but Agatha looked at him far too sternly, and spoke with incredible conviction:

“Help me deliver my message to Her Most Serene Highness”.

Both men stared, confused. Then suddenly clarity came to them. “Of course,” said Knox, “This very night she holds a ceremony for the release of prisoners of war in Fengsel”. This realisation provoked another nod from Agatha, who said her message concerned the release of such prisoners, and an apparent danger to the monarch. “I believe we owe it to you,” Knox continued, turning his gaze to the still forlorn Drexel, who said that if there was a danger to Her Highness, then it was their duty to rush there at once.

“Spoken like a true soldier, my Lord,” bowed Agatha, who then moved towards Knox’s horse as he gestured towards it. He remained standing amongst the ash waste with Drexel for a moment, who was still knelt, uttering a short prayer to what the area once was.

“We shall have a proper funeral for the fallen when we return, I promise,” whispered Knox. Then he moved towards the awaiting messenger.

“Max…I…” began Drexel.

“I understand, my friend,” smiled Knox. But when he turned away he knew that now his entire past had just vanished under his eyes. And as he and the others rode away from the village, it was left shrouded in ashes forever.

As night fell, the travellers made it to the great wall of Fengsel, in the middle of the monarch’s public address. They were able to verify Agatha’s identity quickly, and with the veteran soldier Drexel vouching for her, managed to grant her an audience with Her Highness. All civilians present were intrigued, many having never seen a citizen of Klou. The monarch herself sat upon a prepared golden platform, with a curtain draped over her. From above, on the wall battlements, crossbowmen stood ready should there be any signs of danger. Knox and Drexel stood side by side at the front of the crowd, behind Agatha who stepped forward at the request of one man atop the platform at the young monarch’s side. He was clad in onyx plate, with a helmet in the shape of a dragon. Drexel, now in much higher spirits, told Knox this was Grigorij Kafka, ‘The Dragon’ of the war. His appearance marked this moment in history as one which would never be forgotten.

“If all could be silent,” shouted this ‘Dragon’ to the crowd, “We can begin these proceedings. Miss Wilde, it is customary to bow before the Queen of our land”.

As Agatha came forward slowly to give her answer to this request, a thin smile played across her face. She licked her lips with some apparent satisfaction, and suddenly Knox found himself unable to move. He tried to flex his fingers, but found then unresponsive. His blood stopped flowing. All he could hear was Drexel screaming “The eyes! The eyes!” Sure enough, Agatha’s eyes began to bulge with sickening sounds out of her sockets. The pupils were lengthened: black slits across eggshell white like a vicious reptile’s.  At Drexel’s call she focussed her attention on him and Knox saw his friend stiffen abruptly. Then his hand reached slowly for the sword at his side. The air was at once filled with screams from the crowd – lying on the grass, bodies twitching and writhing uncontrollably. In front of Agatha, floating high above this chaos in her grip, was Kafka, whose wails could be heard even above those of the crowd in their intensity. With a flick of her head the witch had his legs contort and twist till the grotesque snapping of every bone was heard. Then the great Dragon fell to the ground – a mangled and crying wretch.

“Knox!” breathed Drexel with extreme effort, struggling to nod towards the crossbow which lay at his feet, dropped by one of the archers on the battlements as he fell to his death under the witch’s control.  As Knox fell to his knees and fought against the invisible strings of this puppeteer her laughter echoed in his mind

“Fool!” she spat, “You know nothing of magic!”

He saw Drexel begin to approach where Her Most Serene Highness sat, his sword raised high above his head. Her guards had already slit their throats. Rivers of crimson flowed down the golden platform.

Knox reached for the crossbow with all remaining strength. But the flesh of his hand began to peel back and burn and he grabbed it.

“You shall all die here!” cried the witch within his skull, “Klou shall never submit to this tyrant!”

Drexel continued walking as commanded, and eventually reached the curtain of the new monarch. One arm slowly extended to pull it back and deal the blow that would plunge the world once again into total war. Knox lay in deaths grip. His hold on the crossbow weakened. But he was not choked by the witch’s magic. For a moment, the world was suddenly bathed in ethereal white. All space and time vanished in an instance and Knox felt his limbs loosen. Agatha’s voice trailed off in his head till it was a mere whisper, and then was silenced entirely. Confused, he sat up and surveyed his surroundings, seeing nothing but pure white. Then a heartbeat began to drum in his ears:  furious, and beating at an inhuman pace. Turning around Knox saw the source of the aching noise: Agatha’s heart. He could just discern her outline around it, but in this state only the heart had colour in the entire world. Suddenly remembering what was transpiring, Knox raised the crossbow to his eye – level, and fired a single bolt at the organ. It pierced through it directly, and Knox watched it explode from within the witch’s body in a cloud of darkness. The white world then began to fade before him, and his eyes closed.

When Knox awoke, he found himself staring up at the familiar grey wall. Next to him was Drexel, bowing and weeping like a madman over his body, and on the platform Agatha lay dead, a gaping hole torn through her chest. Knox began to slip out of consciousness again, when he thought he saw a figure clad in gold appear before him. It was female, small, and she spoke in the most soothing and sanguine tone that could be mustered by a mortal being:

“I believe I owe you my thanks.”

Though Knox’s vision was blurred, he knew who it was that addressed him.

“Y-Your Highness…”

The golden girl smiled, “Not so formal please, Witch – Finder.”

#

This is why witches are hunted. This is what defines the Order of Witch Finders to this day: remembrance of a time when the threat of witch magic was so great as to even bring about the resurgence of a war. Klou was not held responsible for the actions of Agatha Wilde, in fact delegates went to great lengths to provide peace offerings to the new monarch, but Her Most Serene Highness still created the Order of Witch Finders in response to the assassination attempt. They were to be led by Maxwell Knox, who possessed the ability (which he had used to slay Agatha) known as ‘Nullification’ – that of being able to destroy the source of witch magic utterly by stopping all time– a gift from the goddess Grimelda herself. His Order’s purpose was to seek out and eradicate all instances of witchcraft (omitting the kingdom of Klou, of course) and do so without remorse. This they have done to this day and, although Knox, first Grandmaster of the Witch Finders, has now passed away, and the order is led by Drexel in his stead, many Finders still prey to Grimelda that one day the great hero may return, to purge the world of witchcraft forever.

Story of Thermos by Dominic Spencer

The Great War was over, her Serene Highness manages to broker peace between the nations and everyone looked towards a new brighter future. The council of representatives met in the city of Tortand, just south of Serepentia, to discuss what shape that future was going to look like. Many agreed that the lives of Ish had been ruined by the magic and tyranny of the witches. Also, the land had been torn and ravaged by war for too long and something had to be done to unite the land. Halfway through the meeting, the technicians of her Serene Highness entered with a grand idea.

The technicians argued that for too long the magic and darkness had controlled how the world progressed. Now was the time for mankind to take charge and forge a new destiny. They came up with a blueprint for a construction. It would be called Thermos and it would revolutionise the world. With it they would have the power to change the climate and environment of Ish. If they wanted snow and winter, this would make it for them. If they needed sunshine it would destroy the clouds and blue skies would abound.

The representatives on the council rejoiced at the idea and all resources necessary were sent to the centre of the Glittering Glades, just north of the Spine of the world. The mines of Montys sent as much iron and coal to create the steel needed. The islands of Klau sent people to help construct Thermos, as they could not send any goods. People from around the world came to give their help in constructing this grand structure. Only the Islands of Abuis were against this construction, particularly the habitants of Mythbirth who were the closest to nature and understood how it could go wrong. Nobody listened to these creatures and the other people from Abuis, believing that they were old-fashioned and had no concept of forward thinking.

During the ten years which it took for Thermos to be built, the mainland developed greatly. New security measures were created, which made it harder for people to escape Fengsel. Boats with metal hulls were designed, which sped through the water with the greatest of ease. Her Serene Highness benefited most of all, with improvements in weaponry for her guards. She also gained a huge support from the people, who all benefited technically and culturally. The metal structure grew and grew and people were amazed at the size and scale of it.

On the third month and ten years after the end of the Great War, it was complete. It was a huge smooth metal dome, with only one entrance. To get in you had to have two keys, which were in two separate safes by the two scientific teams in charge of Thermos. The power of Thermos was one not to be messed with, so these precautions were created to make sure it was only those who were supposed to use it were the ones in control. This was also why the only controls for Thermos were in the centre of the building. On the day it was finished, scientists Maka and Dave, were the two people chosen to oversee the first climate change.

They entered the building and walked down the long corridor to the central hub. This corridor was just pure metal, the walls were plain and smooth with no detail at all. Once in the central hub there were gauges, levers and buttons which at the moment only these two scientists knew the exact sequence which was needed to start the process of changing the weather patterns of Ish. It took them ten minutes to be absolutely certain they had pressed, flicked and sorted each button, lever and diode. Once they were happy, together they pulled the main lever and started to change the weather. The mainland wanted the world to be a tiny bit hotter and that was what Maka and Dave were hoping to do.

They input the relevant changes and pulled the lever back up but something went wrong. The alarms started to sound and Maka noticed something,

“Dave, why are you sweating?”

“Did we increase the heat too much?”

They looked at the readings and noticed that for some reason there were two problems. One the temperature was increasing dramatically higher than they ever intended. Secondly, it was only affecting Thermos itself. Which created another issue, as Thermos was made entirely of metal. Dave went to open the door which lead to the corridor but the handle was too hot for him to even touch. They looked at each other as the heat started to increase and they realised that they were trapped in what essentially was an oven. They held on to each other close as they roasted alive.

When the other scientists discovered this problem they tried to fix it, but their own security measures went against them. To stop people from tampering with the weather too much, the only controls were inside. This meant that if they wanted to correct the mistake that was made they had to go in. The intense heat of the structure though made walking anywhere close to Thermos impossible, let alone getting inside. The only beings which would be able to stand the intense temperatures were the dragons. A few days after the incident one appeared and took residence. It was a long thin dragon, with purple scales. Its eyes shone with a deep red, the colour of the rubies it protected.

After the incident various things changed in Ish. The Glades shimmering lakes and the emerald grass had been burned up and they became the Burning Miles with its arid heat and mile high sand dunes nothing can live in this desert. Surrounding the structure, was glass forged from the heat of Thermos.  The land of Ish, after giving all its resources towards this grand construction, fell from its golden age into a new dark age. All forms of technology were destroyed, except from the Serene Highness’ guards. This lead to people no longer willing to support the Serene Highness and soon rumours of revolution spread throughout the land. All this talk of chaos and change, all these fights and strife and all these deaths for the greater good all steamed from a big metal building built from the idea of humans controlling nature.

The Tragedy of Thermos – by Maria Sledmere

There the sun rises in the East
perpetually,
with gloom hanging in the West
endlessly.
A divided land; split by a spine,
a mountain range
walls off endless desert, ravaged ground
that crackles, like the flaked skin of a dragon’s back.

Since the fires, the bitter
hot-white fires
that blackened the island
in furious, devouring flames,
the great Glittering Glades faded
and all grass was burnt to ashes,
all nature annihilated
in angry, vivid crashes.

The heat
spread and spread;
a great tidal wave of ignition,
an inferno swirling and slashing and consuming –
and then
there was nothing left.

Just the divided sky,
the aquamarine east and violet west,
the strange incongruity of light
that drowns a landscape
left barren by the ferocious fire of Time.

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