Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Brief Introduction to the World of Yezmyr

Copyright © 2009, Ramsey Dow. All Rights Reserved.

Yezmyr was a dying world. The civilization of the Precursors laid smoking in ruins, their fate sealed by the Great Cataclysm. Oceans boiled and evaporated even as the atmosphere thinned dangerously, sucked out into space. Continents buckled as tectonic plates clashed. Souls fled with unerring trajectory into the stratosphere and the Planes Beyond as everyone died. The world transformed into swirling chaos. When the chaos finally subsided, all that remained was a planetary sea of silicate sand. Eons passed.

Without precedent, the twin primordial beings, Islou and Onettetian, arose from the sands of chaos. They created the Lands Above, gigantic pillars of stone capped with earth. Not quite continents, the Lands Above are gigantic mesas. Colloquially known as the Pillars, they alone break the monotony of the boundless wastes that cover the remainder of the world. Although varying in shape and area, the smallest could easily best the size of Texas. There are ten such Pillars, clustered together like islands. They are known as the Spires of Yezmyr. It is there that the Twins chose to rekindle life, ushering Yezmyr into a strange, new era.

The tops of the Pillars are swathed in mountains, twisted forests, steppes, and deserts. Water, although present, is rare. Large bodies, where they exist, are typically salty, with spring-fed streams being the most common source of fresh water. Rivers are unheard of. Five of the Pillars are desolate, demon haunted places. They remain unexplored and enigmatic, although tales of fabulous, lost wealth abound. The remaining Pillars comprise the Five Kingdoms, where the disparate, warring tribes of man make their home. Travel between the Pillars, while possible, is uncommon, requiring aerial steeds or magic.

Endless sky lies above and to all sides of the Pillars. For all its beauty, the sky is a desert. The atmosphere of Yezmyr is unnaturally thin and dangerous to breathe for long periods. The Twins, in their beneficence, created Atmosphere Plants, which produce prodigious amounts of oxygen locally. These plants are liberally scattered throughout the realms of man. Breathable air abounds wherever these plants flourish. The further one travels from the civilized realms the less likely one is to find this plant. Traveling in areas not populated by Atmosphere Plants is dangerous and ill advised unless appropriate precautions have been taken.

Traditional air-breathing creatures are found all across the surface of the Pillars. In other regions, particularly where the atmosphere thins and turns foul, the creatures become stranger yet. Thousands of feet below the edges of the Pillars stretch a thick, seemingly endless expanse of clouds. This cloud cover, known as The Between, separates the Lands Above from the Chaos Below. This place is haunted by all manner of terrifying creatures, the most common being huge, man-eating birds.

Several miles below The Between lies the wasted surface of Yezmyr. Known as the Unending Chaos, it is all that remains of the former world. Corrupted, decayed, and disintegrated, it is a perpetual wasteland of deep and suffocating silicate sand. The cloud cover of The Between is thick, expansive, and permanent, rendering the wasted surface overcast and eternally hot. Sands swirl wildly in the hot winds that constantly sweep the planet's surface. Primordial horrors haunt the wastes and travel there is thought impossible. Journeying to the Unending Chaos is considered suicidal.

This is the World of Yezmyr, a non-traditional setting of high fantasy, lowly sword swinging, and wild, violent sorcery. This is not an age of romance, but an age of peril. The sentient races fight tooth and nail for their survival, while the low creatures menacingly stalk prey in an endless cycle of life and death.

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