Snow falls upon the ancient parapets of Heightswatch, the sentinel citadel of stone looking down from atop the Alden’s Gate. Rain drowns the ruins of Storm’s Veil like memories of the endless tears shed over its destruction. Phantasmagoric wisps of magic dance above the white sand of the Mourning Desert. Hooded figures convene in a darkened corner of Kalibaba tavern. Clockwork marvels carry goods across the walls of the tiered city of New Lystar.
Each of these scenes occur somewhere on the approximately 140,000 square miles of the Archipelago of Amelor. It is a land of Spirits and sorcery, ardor and adventure, where fortunes can always be found or made.
The Twelve Great Spirits made Amelor for its mortal inhabitants, and their love for mortals can be felt across the whole expanse. The climate varies widely from North to South and East to West, allowing all people to live in an environment they prefer. There are five major regions in Amelor, called the Pinnacles. Once they were claimed by the five Noble Houses, but since the rise of the Senate the boundaries between them have faded from the collective consciousness.
Once, Amelor was cut off from the rest of Reya by a roiling wall of storms conjured by the spirits of Wind and Water singing together. This wall isolated Amelor for untold ages. When the spirits returned to walk among the people, the wall fell. Amelor’s long solitude ended, allowing the people to explore the vastness of the sea. They spread to many new lands across Reya’s face, colonizing several distant continents, but Amelor remains the heart and home of its people.
“If ye ask me to tell ye about the Wall, I tell ye this and I tell ye true- tales about it end the same way, because all words spoken about the Wall fail.” - Excerpt from the journal of Gadrick Whalen, Captain of the Finn Corsin, upon his discovery of the Walled Continent.
North of Amelor, across the Ukai Ocean, lies a massive Continent. It sits like a crown on top of Reya, encircling the whole of the world. While many sailors have circumnavigated The Continent, there are no maps describing what secrets lay within. A massive wall of silver stone, too smooth to have been hewn by mortal hands, wraps all around the shores, preventing anyone from setting foot inside.
For centuries curiosity has compelled Amelorains to sail across the treacherous Ukai and seek a passage through the wall, but all of these attempts have proven fruitless. Arcane scrying magics and Melosinian dream-walking have offered glimpses of a wonderous world of abundance, but such visions fade shortly after they appear. Lystarian Technomancers have sent exploratory ornithopters and flying machines, but a dense canopy of massive- and corrosive- fungus shields the top of the Wall.
Speculation about the Walled Continent runs rampant across Amelor. Opinions differ wildly on what might lay within, but most agree on one thing- as long as the continent remains a mystery, Amelorians will attempt to explore it.
A magus stands alone in a field of silver flowers, conjuring shadows of possible futures from the swirling chaos of the petals. A young somnambulist steps out of her open window, and flies in both the waking and dreaming worlds. A shattered plate knits itself back together immediately after being dropped on the floor. A woman sits outside of time, enjoying the solitude beneath the gleaming golden boughs of a sacred tree. An Empress sits beneath the moon, praying for the healing light to wash away the illness in her sister’s blood.
Magic pervades across the Dreaming Isle of Melosine. Melosinians treat the arcane like the wind or the water, an intrinsic aspect of their existence that they cannot live without.
Melosine is a mercurial island, ever-shifting with the whims of its people. Even the physical location of the island itself changes unpredictably. The boundary between the spirit and mortal realms ebbs and flows with the Melosinian tide, leading to a constant state of geographic fluctuation. Waterfalls rise today where flowers grew yesterday, and a mountain grows tomorrow from what is today an old-growth forest.
Due to the liminal nature of the island, Melosine is primarily populated by Spiritbloods, as mortals can find the magical undercurrent disconcerting. The Melosinians care little for the affairs of the greater world, preferring to ponder the mysteries of magic within their own borders. However, the Melosinians do not hesitate to intervene if their Oracle witnesses a threat in the future to the world’s magic.
Melosine appeared off the western coast of Amelor a decade ago, and has not moved since. The anchoring is a source of fright for a great many Melosinians, as they fear the island’s wandering days have ended and they do not know why. The Oracle foresees a dark time, a silent time, a time without magic as the Melosinians have come to understand it, and so with apprehension the Melosinians have extended a venix branch to Amelor, allowing trade of ideas and goods to occur between the islands.
Young thieves run across ramshackle boards that span gaps between rooftops, technomancer blueprints flapping in the wind as they flee. The Consortium of Coin denies a loan to a mercantile expedition to The Continent. Masked dignitaries sit enraptured at the swan song of a virtuosic bard from Galen’s College of Music. A cloaked Arcanist meets a nameless contact in a house of ill-repute and leaves with a jar that an Alden would seize on sight. A knife flashes in the dark, ensuring that the sun will rise on better business prospects for the person who paid for the knife. Pirates and the merchants they have stolen from trade stories over bottles of rum.
To some, Strykaria represents the worst aspects and excesses of humanity. To others, it offers a paradise free from oppressive rules and regulations. No government exercises sovereignty over the island, and those with power must be ever-vigilant and iron-handed if they wish to maintain it.
Strykaria is an island of some 50,000 square miles, carved into sections of influence by powerful institutions. A branch of the Malyce Mercantile Guild, a shipping and exploration company, controls the docks of Xanatos and the northern half of the Island. The southern half is controlled by the Consortium of Coin, a massive banking conglomeration with long reach and a longer memory. Conflicts between the two are constant, with both sides employing the services of the Strykarian Assassin’s Guild.
The history of Strykaria begins with the succession of Starford from Amelor. The city-state refused to send a delegation to the Senate or to heed its directives. Tensions escalated as the Senate imposed “harsh” sanctions against the Black Market, crippling Starford’s trade. After decades of strangling restrictions, Saidro Santello, then-governer of Starford, led an armed revolted against the Senate. The insurrection was brief and bloody, a crimson stain on the annals of history.
Saidro and his followers fled east across the sea, seeking safe haven on distant shores. They made landfall on a craggy, crescent shaped island, which Saidro named “Strykaria” after his grandfather.