"I'm the Map!"
Hello wonderful Anomalies,
and welcome to the all about the map section of our group! Here you will find a picture of our wonderful land and helpful descriptions of each of our territories as well as significant places within them. There will be helpful links included, but if you get stuck on something, or just aren't quite sure exactly what something means, please let us know so we can help you paint the picture of anomalous in your mind!
Let's get started!
General SizeAnomalous is a very large island (continentthingidek) with varying territories that all experience differences in weather/climate! For the sake of referencing travel times/territory sizes, the following will now be known to be true:
- Approximately 100 km per cm on the map's scale; approximately 250 km to an inch on the map's scale.
- Yes, we know that the rivers/lakes/all that good stuff is not to scale, so shush! You see nothing!
- From the northernmost tip to the southernmost tip of Anomalous is ~2,000 km (~1,243 miles).
- The thickest point going east to west across Anomalous is ~1,625 km (~1,010 miles) wide.
With so much competition for available resources/territory, there aren’t many locations left that are unclaimed! However, there are a few locations that are only partially claimed by certain herds and, for the most part, are largely left unprotected. While travellers and renegades frequent these areas, many don’t stay for long due to fluid borders and the probability of less-than-welcoming patrols!
- Lake Vesta - Found roughly in the center of the Homeland, Lake Vesta has long been the source of both life and legend. Surrounded by myths of how it was created, many believe a tale of how a large asteroid crashed into the Homeland and created the original crater. Regardless of its origins, Lake Vesta is a serene place. Surrounded by lush grass and green trees, its cool waters offer both refreshment and recreation to life in the Homeland. However, with the strange anomalies that are cropping up here, things may not be as peaceful as they seem... While the bulk of Lake Vesta’s shores are governed by the Austerians, the northwestern banks are uncontrolled and often visited by renegades. No one typically is a permanent inhabitant, however.
- River Cognar - The Cognar River is the mighty river of the Homeland! Just about all streams and ponds are fed by this great river, including the large Lake Vesta. It's path starts in the Linx Mountain Ranges and flows down its proud peaks into a gentle meander between small hills and slopes lined by lush foliage. At approximately a hundred feet wide at its widest and seventy feet deep at its deepest, the current in some areas is dangerously fast. This river also draws in prey and predators alike, so tread carefully. The River Cognar passes through nearly every territory on Anomalous; caution is to be taken when trekking near herd borders!
- Beryl Bay - Beryl Bay is located on the western half of the Homeland. Extending several miles across the coast just south of the Gish, it is here that equids may take a trip to the beach or go for a swim in warm water off of the Mainland. In addition, the Bay is the pathway to Ricochet Sound, where individuals may attempt to make the crossing to or from the Islands. Beware Hihiri warriors who guard the island shoreline when you arrive! The sands of the beaches here are very coarse, with rocks scattered throughout. Those playing in the waves are urged to take caution, as nobody knows what sharp stones or stingrays hide beneath the ocean's darkened surface.
- The Battlegrounds - Technically overseen by the Linx, the Battlegrounds are an important hunting grounds for the Linx but, during the summer season, a somewhat ignored section of territory that is rarely frequented by its master. Historically, the Battlegrounds were used as a place for young stallions to fight over mares that grazed on its lush green grasses and gently sloping foothills. Many renegades come here to graze, joining the caribou as the migrate here during the fall and early winter months to prepare for their birthing season. Caribou are a favorite meal of the Linx and, during this time, Linx hunting parties and wolves frequent the area so it is unwise to linger lest you become a meal yourself! The eastern border of the Battlegrounds near the Auster Wood is fiercely guarded by Austerians preventing predators/intruders from entering their forest.
- Yacare Mire - Characterized by saturated soil and murky bodies of water, the rich soil of the Yacare Mire supports a variety of vegetation and woody trees. Not without beauty, fallen trees adorn the water like stepping stones into another world, while the mangroves provide an important ecological service for environment. Home to several different species of alligator and crocodiles, the marshlands are hardly a home for the faint of heart. There is little to no solid, dry ground here and raised areas are often filled with quicksand-like mud to boot. Although some are known to brave the outskirts of the Mire, the darkness and lore that drove out the native Scybillines surrounds its heart keep all at bay.
The North is a formidable land unsuited for those without a fierce inner strength and stamina that allow them to survive. The most prominent feature of the Linx territory are mountain ranges for which they are named. The Linx Mountain Ranges completely separate the Northernmost tip of the realm from the rest of the island, with its eastern and western edges meeting sheer cliff faces that drop with staggering steepness to black, churning seas that often carry thick blocks of ice on their surface.
- Pampero’s Fields - Pampero’s Fields (named after the bull that originally populated the tundra so many centuries ago), the tundra to the north of the mountains, can reach temperatures as low as -34℃! However, some creatures such as caribou, hares, certain migratory birds, foxes, wolves and even snow bears make the tundra their home! It is on the cusp of Pampero’s Fields that the the annual summer caribou hunt takes place as the caribou move north for their summer grazing grounds.
- Linx Mountain Range - The Linx Mountain Range occupies the nothern territories and acts as a strict border that cuts off the northern tundra and sea from the rest of Anomalous. Snow falls thickly and fiercely here during the winter. Year round the mountains remain cooler than the rest of Anomalous, hosting a myriad of coniferous trees at the lower elevations that allow their growth. It is within these magnificent peaks that the Linx have built their tunnels, protected from the harsh weather that often comes unexpectedly during the cold season.
- The Hot Springs - The name says it all! The Hot Springs are the savior of the North. Nestled at the northwestern base of the Linx Mountains, these natural hot springs can put life and warmth into even the coldest of bones. A thick forest protects the springs from the colder outside air, giving the atmosphere around them an almost sauna-like effect. It's said that hallucinogenic plants often sprout up around here and cause for some interesting happenings in the mist. Be careful when bringing your children. Happy dipping!
- The Tunnels - The Linx, although capable of surviving several days in the harsh conditions, have found paradise and made their home in a vast network of tunnels beneath the mountain. Carved out of stone and etched into the walls are the legends and lore of their ancestors. If one enters the correct tunnel, they may follow the stories of their origin from the very beginning and, although it would take a day or two to read completely, would find themselves in the newest tunnels beside those who continue to painstakingly record the latest events into the walls. While many of the tunnels are meant to trick and betray those who do not belong, there are several different halls that will eventually lead to the main hold of the herd.
- The Capital - The Capital, as it has been simply dubbed, is nearly always bustling with activity as living underneath a mountain requires constant maintenance. Gemstones, placed by the founders of the Capital, adorn the cavern’s roof in ornate patterns while their most precious and beloved stone, the Dragonstone, allows natural light (if any is to be had on the surface) to filter down and cast rainbows of light upon its inhabitants. Legend says that if the Dragonstone, forged by the now extinct dragons of old, were to ever be broken or removed from its place that the mountain itself would collapse and their herd would be brought to ruin…
The Austerians live in the lush, old growth forests of the Auster Wood and Carlin Forest. The trees are massive here, growing larger and faster than normal thanks to the abundant Laurel and Earth magic users that inhabit the forest. There are very few predators in the forest (the guard chased them out centuries ago) but there are hundreds of species of plants that inhabit the forest, some of which are deadly! The Austerians experience the most varied seasons of all the herds. The forest stays lush and warm during the spring and summer, cool and garbed in an array of autumnal colors during the fall, and sometimes heavy snowfall during the winter! While the Austerians share a border with the Yacare Mire, they rarely enter it as their legends tell of a great ‘evil’ that lives there. Guarded paths through the Mire do exist but are few and far between; to wander off of these paths is considered suicide!
- Auster Wood - A sprawling coniferous forest dominated by species such as hemlock, golden larch, cedar, redwoods, and fir trees from which the Austerians derived their name. A largely evergreen forest, Auster Wood is a welcome reprieve from the stark white mountains of the north. Wolves used to run rampant here but, thanks to the hard work of the Austerian’s guard, the borders are now tightly sealed against outside threats. It is within the Auster Wood that the bulk of the herd lives and makes their homes, favoring hemlocks and - if not occupied - sequoias for building their homes.
- Carlin Forest - A comparatively young forest when sized against the age of Auster’s trees, Carlin’s forest shifts from coniferous trees near its border with Auster and melts into a deciduous forest filled species such as oak, elm, and maple. Carlin is filled with low growing shrubs and berry bushes; depending on the season, Carlin’s boughs appear in a variety of colors and exhibit the most colorful seasonal displays.
- Heaven’s Gates - While the name might not make sense for most of the year, in the fall the leaves of the golden larch trees that populate this area turn a bright gold color before falling. The golden trees create a passageway through the forest, exuding peace and warmth from their yellowed branches. It is the younger part of the forest, and is located at the southerly end of Auster Wood. Heaven’s Gate is the last completely safe/guarded passageway between the Carlin Forest and the Auster Wood but it does hold a bit of an ominous feel since, along the length of its eastern edge, the Shadow’s Path is so near.
- The Onyx Shore - Access to the northeastern edge of the Ragnar Sea, this dark and dangerous beach is rocky and, more often than not, too cold to swim in. However, it is a strikingly beautiful area. With sheer cliffs kissing the shoreline and bald cypress trees hugging the cliff’s edge and rocky beaches, one can't argue against its stern yet proud countenance.
- The Shadow's Path - The equines who do not wish to get their feet wet while traveling from Auster to Carlin may be troubled to take this newly formed path that borders Yacare Mire. Although it is a forest just like the rest, it holds a certain spooky lore that children are afraid of from childhood stories. The Austrians typically keep this path guarded from the mysterious darkness of Yacare, but that isn't to say that they aren't paranoid when traveling upon it.
- Vae’a’s Glade - Is'ia Glade is positioned about halfway from the start of Carlin Forest and is the home of the fabeled Wishing Tree, a stark white oak tree that is argued to be the sapling that Vae’a gave her life to save. Long it has been believed to grant wisdom and power to those who meditate or pray to Vae’a in its presence, which is how it acquired its nickname. Towering at over a hundred feet tall and supported by a trunk perhaps twelve feet in diameter, it is an impressive sight to behold. A nearby brook feeds the ground, producing lush grass and small berry bushes. This vegetation makes the glade a hotspot for travelers who want to relax and rest a while in the glade Vae’a herself was rumored to frequent.
The Nombeko’s land stretches from the foothills of the Linx Mountain Range to a giant fault in the earth known as the Gish, which marks the border between the Nombeko and Saraph territories. All in all, weather is somewhat predictable in the Plains. Springs are mild in the Plains and are arguably the most pleasant and plentiful season. Summers are hot and can be quite humid, while fall is mild in comparison to the cold winter. Snow does not usually fall in the plains except in thin layers that generally do not last for more than a day or two. What aren’t predictable are the extreme rainstorms or tornados that have been known to touch down upon the Plains!
- The Nombeko Plains - The Plains themselves are the homebase of the herd! Filled with tall grasses and piles of rock that serve well as outposts, the plains are often bustling with activity during the day as individuals move at fast pace to get as much hunting done as they can before predators come a’knocking! Burrow entrances are scattered across the Plains but the Nombeko know where most entrances are and rarely fall into them... unless trying to impress the ladies.
- The Gish - Long ago, a large crack started to form this great cliff and, over time, has continued to do so. In some places, the fault is so deep that no bottom can be seen! The walls of the fault are constantly shifting, so those passing through should be wary of falling rocks or the possibility of a landslide. The Gish is a sheer drop in most places but can be crossed in areas where the crack is not as wide or steep.
- The System - To evade airborne and earthbound predators, the Nombeko have developed a system of underground burrows. Although some family groups have chosen to keep their tunnels unconnected to the main group, the majority of the herd chooses to reside in a network of age-worn burrows simply referred to as the System! Those who have not grown up navigating the maze since childhood are likely to get lost in the various abandoned corridors and halls but those who know their way around will have no trouble finding their path. The actual caverns range in size and occupancy, but if you want to be alone (and have willing paws to help) you can certainly inquire about creating your own den as the tunnels are always expanding!
- Spy Rock - A large grouping of rocks at the base of the Linx Foothills that is most often used as a guard post but is also useful for ceremonial purposes. Young Nombeko are often brought here to practice their scouting and play amongst the rocks. One thing is for sure, if you'd rather not risk meeting a Linx or need a romantic view to watch a sunset, this is where you'll find it.
- Linx Foothills - At the far end of the plains lie the Linx Foothills. The foothills slope up gently on one end and much more abruptly on the other end. From atop the latter, many a great leader have watched over their herd. It has been deemed the Nombeko's Throne by some and is truly fit for a king... If the Nombeko had a king that is! Although they serve primarily as a lookout, the foothills are a great place for holding contests of speed and endurance. While the Nombeko have claim over the foothills of the mountains, for fear of predation by a Linx they do not often travel to the mountains (at least not alone). Thankfully, the Linx rarely travel the eastern reaches of their territory except to make sure the Nombeko are keeping to their side of the border so confrontations are rare!
Although their ancestral home was originally the Yacare Mire, the Scybilline herd was driven out from their precious swamps long ago by a darkness that shrouded the swamps. The land the Scybillines now inhabit are much more mild in terms of weather when compared to the Saraph Sand Dunes, but they still experience hot, dry summers and cool winters. Rainfall is unpredictable in the shrubland but reliable, most often coming in the form of random, heavy thunderstorms that are beautiful to watch.
- The Boondocks - Jagged and uneven in terrain, red plateaus and rocky outcroppings create a variety of havens to weather out a storm or make a den in. Dens must be chosen carefully, though, for if a den is too exposed to either the elements or predators, nests may get raided! A vast shrubland dotted with low-growing shrubs and short, hardy trees the Boondocks are rarely visited by predators that pose much of a threat to the Scybillines… Well, except for the giant predatory butterflies that is!
- Xorta Valley - Xorta Valley is actually not a valley at all. Rather, it is the dried out vein of a river that once cut a winding road through the Boondocks. With several places to jump into and out of the six-foot deep riverbed, one need not worry about getting stuck. Rattlesnakes are known to linger within the shade that the dead river's walls have to offer and, if you are in just the right position, you can hear their rattling echo down the miniature valley for what seems like miles. The sandy bottom of Xorta is a favorite place for Scybillines to practice fighting or young ones to play!
- Haven's Hold - A group of sturdy and reliable dens are located near the western end of the Xorta Valley. A spot known to be safe from egg raiders or other wayward predators, many Scybillines call the Hold home. The Hold is the most common place for femmes to lay their eggs in the protection of Safeguards. A hub of activity, it is often buzzing with gossip and stories.
- Harrier Moorlands - The highest peaks of the Boondocks reside within the featureless hills of the Moorlands. Windswept and barren, the moorlands support only low-growing grasses. Several species of birds and smaller mammals make the moorlands their permanent home, with smaller predators making the journey here to feed upon them. It is a relatively safe place for herd members and a great place to condition - wind speeds here are quick to increase and running uphill against them makes for great endurance training! Heather fields also dot the moorland, giving the place spectacular color.
- Moon Stone - A truly sacred feature, this large, white stone was eroded smooth by the now-dry river that once moved through the Boondocks. The natural beauty of the geological wonder persuaded the Scybillines to choose the Boondocks as their new territory of residence when the darkness drove them from their home farther North. The Moon Stone is a place of worship and pilgrimage for any monk of the Order, young or old. When the moon shines its brightest and the grand ceremony for Induala is held, Scybillines of all ages and backgrounds join at the Moon Stone for storytelling and prayer.
- Dagobah Mists - Ever since the monks were driven from their home in the Mire, they have feared and fought a darkness that they cannot explain. Whether this darkness is tangible or completely in their minds is still unknown, but the power it carries is something no one can deny. Near the border of the Mire, at the northernmost point of the Boondocks lies a swamp-like area that is nearly always shrouded in mist and therefore mystery. Fear clings to this place, and only the bravest or the most inclined to disobey the Order ever enter these lands. What goes on here is something that only those who have entered (and failed to return) know about.
- Lythraccean Mangroves - Surrounded by different species of mangroves and beautiful flowering plants, the Lythracean Mangroves were a wonderful place to experience new wildlife. An irreplaceable asset to the environment, the mangroves perform a duty far past the mere entertainment of those who live here. A nursery for many different species of birds and fish, the intricate roots of the trees protect the young from predation and the coast from erosion.
The Saraph live in one of the most hostile territories in Anomalous! Saraph summers are nearly unbearable hot and nearly all nights, regardless of the season, are cool. During the winter the desert is surprisingly cold and, on occasion, will experience a light layer of snow! The Saraph hold control over the southern portion of land separated by the Gish but make their home base amongst the hot sand dunes where their herd is safe from invasion from all but the giant scorpions and centipedes of the desert!
- Saraph Sand Dunes - A sea of sand, the Saraph Sand Dunes were historically known to only be able to house a small herd of the most hardy nature. Thankfully, the ability to digest insects has helped overcome this issue! In the heart of the desert the dunes are an empty expanse of rolling red dunes but, further north, the desert is dotted with cracked earth and cactus to provide shelter from the blistering heat. That being said, it is practically impossible to cross this red desert and get out alive… Unless you are a Saraph, of course!
- Fire Bird’s Gorge - Fire Bird’s Gorge, which one can enter from either side of the waterfall, is a twisting and turning maze of high-walled sandstone full of dead-ends. Mercenaries and young tiercels alike frequent the mazes daily to test their own agility and stamina. Contests are often held here to determine who are the dominant tiercels of the year! For the young, the Gorge also offers a nice place to play hide and seek or take a break from the sun! It is even said that some of the hen’s take comfort birthing their young here and, in some cases, more solitary Saraphs may carve their homes amongst the sandstone walls.
- The Pools - In the center of the herd’s city are the Pools of Elysia. The Pools are the only source of fresh water in all of the desert and, as such, are jealously guarded. Guards are constantly on patrol to make sure that no outsiders drink from the pools, as it is believed that should anyone but a pure-blooded Saraph seek refreshment from the pools that the spring will dry up.
- Gardens of Elysia - While the Saraph border extends to the Southern side of the Gish down to the southernmost tip of Anomalous, the herd makes their home in a beautiful oasis they have named the Gardens of Elysia. Hidden from view to someone on foot, the Gardens of Elysia are actually nestled in a natural basin surrounded by sheer walls of sandstone on all sides. Over the years, a single foot path is available to move in and out of the Gardens to the desert but it is used only by slaves and slave traders, for they are the only ones who need it!
- The Honeycombs - Within the walls of sandstone, Saraph and their slaves have carved nests into the cliff-face. Nests may be quite ornate and styled with elaborate, pillared entrances. Those who can afford to keep slaves may even commission elegant staircases or tunnels to be built so that their slaves can make the journey from the ground to the higher nests! The Honeycombs house the majority of the Saraph herd.
The Southern Sea - To the far south lies the southern edge of Anomalous, an edge known to the Saraph as the Southern Sea. Just past Fire Bird’s Gorge lies the sea that kisses the pink to orange hued sands of the dunes. There is a vast nothingness here, with little plant or wildlife to speak of other than creatures that can live off of little to know water. The highest dune of the Saraph territory lies near the Southern Sea, and Saraphs too young to use their wings often come here to slide down its face and play in the salty sea. Beware to those who tread here. While the salty sand offers a welcome cool-down from the desert heat, scorpions thrive here…
The Island Territory:
The islands have a very tropical feel where rain falls hard and often, allowing them to be covered in a lush rainforest so thick that in some areas they are impenetrable. Colorful birds and other small species bring the forest alive with their cacophony of calls as diverse as the herd that lives there.
Tangaroa, the northernmost island known for its white sand beaches and bounty, is the largest island and used to the the home of the larger of two island tribes. However, all that changed centuries ago when Ahi Waha erupted. Ahi Waha, a giant shield volcano that dominated the southern portion of Tangaroa, destroyed the nearly entire island and killed almost all forms of life upon it. The survivors of the Tangaroa tribe (as they were known at the time) fled to the southern island inhabited by the Kahukura tribe. Eventually, the two herds officially joined together and took on the name of the middle island, a beautiful but minute island too small to inhabit, Hihiri. With the island of Tangaroa in recovery some have moved back to the largest island but the Hihiri have kept their single, mass tribe!
- Ahi Waha - Literally meaning 'fire mouth', Ahi Waha dominates the southern portion of Tangaroa. A series of smaller, active volcanoes rest at the southernmost base of the much larger dormant volcano. Ahi Waha is both respected and feared by the native population. While it hasn't erupted since its destruction of the island centuries ago, the massive shield volcano is believed to burst only when the population has wronged nature. The smaller beds at its base are constantly spitting fire but are watchable from a safe distance. Scaling Ahi Waha is pleasant; surrounded by wilderness on the northern side, rare shrubs and beautiful views of both the islands and the Homeland are what attracts souls to to come here. However, it is best to take care. The trails can be treacherous and, with no accessible water sources, getting stuck here can be fatal. This area is just barely being visited again by the island herd.
- Shearwater Cove - Named for the multitudes of shearwater birds that are seen here, Shearwater Cove is the only black-sand beach in all of the Homeland. Nestled on the southwestern half of Tangaroa, the soft black sands of the cove and its surrounding beaches provide a resting spot for sea turtles and many other species. Many bring their foals to the cove to teach them how to swim and older horses enjoy swimming off of the surrounding black shores.
- Ruins of Wakainga - Left of Tangaroa in the ocean, and recently rediscovered by Cellophane, Wakainga was once the home of the very first Hihiri to be blessed with fins and gills! Once an elaborate and beautiful palace full of lively culture, over the years it has become little more than ruins and forgotten murals. Despite its crumbling structure and the fact that it’s been overgrown with coral and sea life, its bare bones still remain and it’s possible for adventurous Hihiri to swim through the hallowed halls and corridors! Often frequented by daring youths or curious explorers… or perhaps, treasure hunters? Who knows what lies in this lost city!
The tiny island of Hihiri is the most beautiful and connects the three islands with a series of sand bars dubbed the Whaka-Ma Pass. Hihiri has a beautiful waterfall in its center but, due to a lack of other resources it serves as more of a rest stop between the islands.
- Tukutuku - While not the biggest waterfall known in the Homeland, Tukutuku is arguably the most beautiful. It falls through a series of shelves which capture the fresh water before it falls into the shallow, warm lagoon. Tukutuku is also the place where an ancient ritual of the natives takes place. Whenever a foal is born, it is taken to the waterfall and bathed within its sacred waters. It is then considered blessed by Seysh to live a strong, fruitful life.
- Whaka-Ma Pass - Whaka-Ma Pass is made of a series of half-submerged sandbars that have been created over time by the waves and the currents, expedited by the eruption. The water is extremely shallow around Whaka-Ma Pass, making for easier travelling between the three islands. Many different species of smaller marine life make the sandbars their home so be careful where you tread.
Kahukura is the southernmost island and known for its uniquely soft sand beaches! Longer than it is wide, Kahukura is nearly all jungle with little variance in terrain. In the center of the island is a natural stone basin where water collects and, all around the island, a beautiful array of coral reefs and tide pools about in earnest.
- The Graveyard - Far more morbid in name than nature, The Graveyard is nothing more than a beach where the bleached skeletal remains of a large humpback whale came to rest. The bones have been on the beach for as long as anyone can remember and, as such, several legends have sprouted from its empty jaws. It is a common practice among the natives to bring their first-born colts and fillies to The Graveyard to test their bravery and courage in the face of a foreign foe. Foals who successfully stay the night in the belly of the whale are considered fit to be members of the herd and are given a vision from their ancestors of what their lot in life should be. Although most still carry on the practice, when not in use for the ceremony the bones of the paikea are used for more recreational purposes.
- Gathering Waters - In the center of the island is a natural stone basin where water collects and creatures from all over the island congregate to drink from it. A watering hole of sorts, the Gathering Waters are a great place to meet new people or catch up with old friends. Many mares bring their children here when they need a break. The Holy One often rests here, making himself/herself available for the herd should they need advice.
- Ngohi Shallows - Off of the eastern shore of Kahukura lies the largest and most famous collection of tide pools in all of the islands. Protected by several offshore rock formations, the tide pools are safely accessible for equines twice a day. When the water recedes, if one watches their hooves a plethora of sea-life may be viewed at one's pleasure. Take care to watch the waves; many have forgotten to heed Seysh's warning and been sucked into the sharp undertow, never to be seen again…