Continents and Oceans
Thervade is primarily covered by water, with sea ice concentrated in the polar regions. Whether or not any land exists beneath the northern ice is unconfirmed, whereas rock features are visible in the south. The world's landmasses are divided into four continents, accompanied by smaller islands. All continents are concentrated on the known side of the world, between two mountain ranges that run the length of the planet, north to south: the Crags (Perthawelc Mountains) and the Akai. Beyond these mountain ranges lies the Nebolith Ocean, a region with no known land, although it has not been fully explored or traversed.
The continents of Thervade
The Four Continents
Continent names vary between countries and groups. The names given below are those used in Paramir, in what Paramirans call Common Tongue (their language, which is standard in Paramir, Millian, Rolia, and Llannonport). Several notable name divergences are listed.
Noriin – This northern continent contains Paramir, Millian, Nomsk, Iwenik, Rolia (the Farlands), Alt Rohan, and various tribal territories. Notable features include the Razorback Mountains, which divide much of the continent between temperate habitat and the uppermost, glacial north. Kandor refers to Noriin as Uttarkandor, a word that suggests the continent rightly belongs to Kandor, whereas Damnir refers to it as Unwe-ak (unfit god), possibly referring to its harsher climate.
Dakshin – This is the southern continent containing Kandor, the Great Desert, Ombesh, and various wildlands and tribes. In colloquial usage, it includes the Cold Kingdom (Samuia). The continent name originates in Kandori and is likely a holdover from Kandor’s imperial days in the north, when there was a northern and southern Kandor. Although largely arid due to the desertification caused by magic during the empire’s collapse, the continent was once covered in temperate and tropical forests. In Kandori, the continent is Kebaya (of the garden).
Damnir – Damnir is both the name of the continent and the country of its largest island. The four remaining islands are separate units, but closely allied with Damnir the country. The islands have long collaborated to withstand imperial ambitions, first from Ombesh and then Kandor, with the first documented peace accord between them dating back five hundred years. Notable continent features include the Rotolung Volcano and Hlanna, capital city of Damnir. Llannonport, now an independent island and former penal colony, was once classified as part of Damnir, but this has fallen out of practice.
The Far Continent – This continent is a great distance from the other three and borders the Akai Mountains along the Nebolith Ocean. Its landscape is largely inhospitable between rocks and ice, but does have verdant areas. Two countries, Itanu and Gaed, occupy segments of land, although they are highly decentralized entities. Kandor has a colony, Purvakar, in the continent’s south and, as a whole, refers to the continent as Bikandor.
The Role of Welc
The morpheme welc predates any known language and is likely related to wels, the Venoran word for “place of or by water.” It is theorized that Venoran is the closest language to an ancient mother tongue from which Thervade’s other languages evolved over centuries.
Remnants of welc can be seen in Perthawelc and Ganthwelc, and the derivative wels sometimes identifies settlements in Alt Rohan, such as Idlewels, a lakeside town. Likewise, wels exists in every known language to identify a pit/shaft/hole in the earth for sourcing water, whether pronounced as wels, well, welsh, or wills.
The area between the eastern and western continents is divided into three oceans.
Ganthwelc Ocean – This ocean stretches between Noriin, Dakshin, and Venora. The Ganthwelc Hook, a warm surge of water from the south, dominates the currents and surrounding climate.
Siliman Ocean – This ocean stretches between Venora, Damnir, and the Far Continent.
Bollawelc Ocean – This southernmost ocean stretches between Dakshin and the polar south. It’s most notable feature is the Tower Coast, a slender mountain range that is part of the Perthawelc Mountains. Although the coast belongs to no country, Ombeshi youth are required to serve one year in maintaining its watchtowers, which face the Endless Ocean, although no real threat from beyond the towers has been seen in over a century.
The Nebolith Ocean – This is the largest of the oceans and contains no documented land or civilizations, although the region has not been fully explored or traversed. It stretches between the Crags (Perthawelc Mountains) and the Akai, which frame the continents.
Nebolith is the Common name for the ocean, and similar to welc, "nebo" is shared across various languages. It is believed to be a complete word in referring to mist that forms above bodies of water. Other names for the ocean include the following: Sehknebhos (Venoran), Nebhosawetenas (Ombeshi), Nebhosveta (Kandori), Nebosegaz (Damniran), Nenemshil (Rohan).
Mermaid marble: a mer crystal smoothed by the tides