The planet itself is generally known as Darkshom. The diameter of the planet is 7900 miles (similar to Earth). The circumferance on the equator of the surface is 24,900 miles. The planetary Crust is 100 miles thick and contains magma chambres as well as the gravity plane. The inner diameter of Rohrn at it's equater is 24,500 miles.
The diagram below shows the basic geography of the inner and outer world. The core of the planet is about 1500 miles in diamter and is a concentrated ball of magma that acts as an interior sun.
The Midworld caves hold a gravitational plane that runs through the center of the planetary crust. The arrows show the downward force of the gravity. Travelling through this area will be a form of dead space if you can find a path that does
not lead into magma chambres that run through the center of the crust. There are 6 vortexes who's details are described below. One is at the north pole, one south, then 4 more run at equal intervals across the equator of the planet. The magma core is
suspended by a mixture of gravity and the planetary magical force. It acts a sun for the inside world.
DARKSHOM--THE SURFACE WORLD
The exterior or surface world is much like our Earth. It's called Darkshom, which means "Dragon's Shadow". You will find varied climates and species. Darkshom has 3 moons, named after the 3 phases of Fate in a tongue that's origins are long lost. These moons.are Liser, Mantaruk, and Shantus. Liser reaches full moon 13 Earthdays. Mantaruk is called the Moon of Blood in old orcish writings. This one will glow red at new moon and white at full. It reaches full moon every 208 days Shantus--called the Moon of Nightmares-- has no odd coloration. Its full moon occurs once every 365 days. This is the moon of nightmares. Every 500 earth years this moon will have a red halo around it. The origin of these phenomena is unknown. When the halo is present necromantic powers reach a zenith--and bad dreams in ALL sentient species are prevalent.
Every 2,073 years the three moons align with the sun. This conjunction is said to be the time when prophecies are made real. It is far worse than that however, for there is a year period where the planet activity becomes violent. There are massive storms. Vortexes get so violent they cannot be navigated. There is huge volcanic activity, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc. At the end of this year is a 7 day period of absolute SILENCE so to speak. Nothing planted grows. All storms and activity ceases. The vortexes close completely. At the end of this period people are able to start rebuilding their lives again.
Darkshom's general geography is similar to Earth. There are polar ice caps at North and South. The Darkshom day is one half of the day of Earth (in part to deal with the constraints in NeverWinter Nights and NeverWinter Nights II). One year on Darkshom is 4/3 of a year on Earth due to the planetary rotation. However, Darkshom takes a longer time to go around the sun-- so it's real year is 1.5 times that of Earth in proper perspective. Planet surface size is twice that of Earth. Gravity is the same. It is a very compatible environ for those who come from Earth through the DarkGate.
The surface is 3/4 water. There are some large landmasses. Thanks to the industrious dwarves, there are lots of artificial extensions on the land. Some cities are built over top of the water. The largest continent is Janus. This land mass contains a giant mountain range the people have called the Spine of the Dragon, or Dragon's Spine. Janus is where NeverWinter players will begin their journies on this planet. Even though much of the continent is temperate to tropical--the Dragon's Spine is snow capped. Major cities known thus far on Janus include: Zaladorn, Old Zaladorn, Emerald Harbor, DarkGate, Greenwich, and Siviche. There are a large amount of regional areas and tribal cultures across the continent. Nearby islands that are considered part of Janus include Elsiana and Waterford.
The other continents are: Melefor, Shardis, Elom (West of Janus), Carcisse, Kordukahn (south of Janus), Zantus, Aegypt, and Raumer. The equator runs along the top edge of Kordukahn.
Flora is highly compatible to Earth. There is a tremendous variety from grasses to carnivorous plants. There are bright flowers to trees bearing nuts, seeds, and fruits. With an abundance of fresh water across the landscapes there is no shortage of plant life except in the rare desert regions.
Fauna run from mundane to magical creatures. Many are similar to Earth. The magical creatures are their own. People in both Rohrn and Darkshom believe that the abundant and intelligent dragons were creators of the world--and that most of the sentient species descend from them.
ROHRN--THE INNER SURFACE
The inside world of Rohrn is named for the dwarven god Rohrn. It is little explored. One continent is known for certain--and it appears to be vast with various islands around it. This continent has been named Fe-last (meaning "First"). The environment is a little more hostile for visitors.
The interior is lit by a red sun--the magma core is suspended via magic and gravity in the center of the planet. The core is shielded enough to prevent it from scorching the inner surface. Even though the planet rotates--the inner core rotates with it. Therefore there is no night and there are no seasons on the interior surface. It is always a warm to hot climate.
The elevations of the landmasses harbor the deserts since these are closer to the magma core. Moisture is wicked away or absorbed by massive jungle canopies in the lower regions. There are no snowy regions. Drier forest regions appear on elevations between the deserts and the jungles or swamps.
Flora: there are very few species of food producing plant life on the interior surface. There are some grasses and seed producers in the temperate forests. In the jungles you will see very little in the way of fruit. Seeds and spores are common and can be vitamin rich and greatly sought after for food. Harvesting them is much more difficult than on the surface. Much of Rohrn's plant life is carnivorous or survives on the decay in the soil around it. Some move to find carcasses to feed on. Others have developed mechanisms to attack and kill other life forms. Some water life is able to come to the surface to hunt. It is a dangerous landscape.
The danger is in part due to the lack of fresh water. It does exist but can be very hard to find. Most of the populated areas of Rohrn are built around fresh water. The rest of the waters show high saline content or even traces of arsenic. The plant life often have to go to blood sources to compensate for this lack of fresh water.
Geological activity is often in the form of small geysers. These put the traces of the poisons into the soil and water. Fresh water sources are located far from any seismic activity. Most arsenic deposits are found in Rohrn or Midworld.
Fauna: weaker creatures such as rabbit, deer, etc generally do not survive well on Rohrn. They get eaten too quickly. The animals that have survived have come to rely on magics or have developed battle tactics to survive the plant life. Dragons that reside here without difficulty are the blacks and the reds. Also there are the Vortex Dragons located inside the vortexes.
People: There is a growing orc village here. Other people's that inhabit the interior are the drow, some dark elves, the black dwarves, and some human peoples.
THE VORTEXES: There are 2 we know of on Rohrn—from what area has been explored. These do not form an atmospheric reaction like those on Darkshom due to the differences between the skies of Darkshom and Rohrn. The vortexes affect only the Rohrn seas—with one in the Blood Sea and another located in the Sea of Bahst. Like the surface openings, they do form a tunnel of violent water 75 miles in diameter through the water into the sea bed. The 25 mile diameter tunnel leads to Darkshom. The waters here harbor the natural bacteria of the surrounding water, plus algae and microbes that are only found in the vortexes due to the mixture of water compositions from Surface world and Inner world. Of course the vortex dragons live in these tunnels. None of the land based dragons will approach them. Only the Sea Runners (an elven race) are able to navigate the vortexes.
ENVIRONMENTAL NOTES: CONTINENT OF JANUS
ALLENDRA’S FALL: runs through Vor’sarhan. Divided the city Sardecens took over in half. Burned 2 mile wide swath through the area and destroyed villages, etc for 200 miles on her path. The ravine is ¼ mile deep. For 2/3 of this swath there are sheer cliffs that the northern kingdom of Eldueth has just begun mining—however they will not go all the way down into the ravine. Deeper inside the cliffs are made of glass (onyx) from the melting due to Allendra’s Fire. This ravine reaches all the way to the cliffs that drop into the ocean—so during the last 1/3 of the ravine it is ocean water at the base. The swath cuts at the tip of the Tang Mountain, but they have direct access to Zaladorn through mountain routes and a cave system. The mountains are valued for the mining, and so is the side of the ravine. Eldueth and Elberin are at the halfway point of the ravine. This area is also known as “Cities of the Fall” if referring to the two nations that have developed.. General belief is that this land is cursed.. 2 societies have developed on the north and south. The northern kingdom is Eldueth. The southern kingdom is Elberin. Both mean “city divided” due to linguistics differences.
GREAT RIFT: result of one plate pulling away from the others. There are some tiny settlements inside the many caves. The floor is thick loam and very rich—this is a dense jungle where no sun reaches the bottom. Some geysers. Some caves lead to Rohrn. This rift is being studied by the gnomes.
BURNING LAKE: volcanic caldera. Was calm until the earthquake that people believe was caused by Codus slaying the goddess of compassion. Lava spouts appeared inside the lake waters. This place has huge earth, steam, and fire elemental activity. Land around it is becoming poisoned and sulfuric. Old Zaladorn sits next to this. It has a small mountain range on one side of it.
CRATER LAKE: this is a dead volcanic caldera in the icy Dragonspine near the city of Darkgate. It is assumed to be filled by several freshwater springs from deep within the mountains. It spills through a small river off of the cliffs into the Dragon's Emerald Ocean to the south. This area is rich in gem deposits, sulfur, nickel, lead, zinc, copper, gold, diamond, and bauxite.
SWEET WATER RIVER: deposits of gold, copper, silver, tin, iron. Is approx 2000 miles long. Areas of depth range from 1 foot at the headwaters in the Dragonspine to 400 feet deep near the Bay of Lost Hope. Widest point is 10 miles at juncture of the main waters and the 2nd branch. Sweet Water consists of the main and 2 branches that are all considered the Sweet Water. There are many small tributaries. Land is fertile due to the every 3-year flooding. Basin at Lost Hope is becoming poisoned due to the Greenwich. Jungle is becoming poisoned swamp. Continental fault line is all the way up the main waters from Lost Hope to the Headwaters.
The Sweet Water is named for the goddess of compassion who was said to have her naming ceremony in the waters of the river. It's also been witnessed that during times of major world events the river will shake and the waters will flow backwards and actually go back UP the mountain range. This will cause massive flooding. It is a phenomena related to the earthquakes caused by continental drift. Magnetism is high. Compasses and lodestones will fail. Occasionally villages will pop up here—but they do not remain long. Heavy rains are closer to the mountains from the Vortex Winds.
MOROU DELTA: Fed by the adjoining waters of the Taramak and Clesiastis rivers that join at the Nouakchott Falls. From there the waters cause the Morou floodplain and delta. In the past 7,000 years this coastline has advanced into the Forgotten Ocean by 30 to 100 miles. It is formed by sediment that builds up and compacts. It is said that the Great Northern Marsh is part of this delta in a different stage of the process. This is a heavy fish resource. Life includes reptilian, mussels, turtle, black bear, and jaguar. Heavy producer of clay and oil (petroleum). The Murai (reed people) dwell in here and the swamps. Morou is a bastardization of the Murai name—and any areas with this name are believed to be controlled by the Murai.
GREAT NORTHERN SWAMPS: similar to Florida Everglades. 3 million years ago silt and sediment formed a limestone bed called a Tamiami Formation. The marsh lay over this. Trees in this area vary from Cypress, mangrove, hemlock, and pine.
ISLES OF MOROU: a swampy set of islands. This is a huge part of the delta.
BARREN SANDS: similar to the Sahara. Nights are extremely cold. The Dragonspine to the south prevents moisture and warm coastal storms from the Vortex. These sands are in the Dragonspine rain shadow. The desert is riddled with caves and some run into the Dragonspine and deep enough to reach Rohrn. Minerals available: Agate, Amethyst, Calcite, Chalcedony, Copper, diamonds, fluorite, geodes, gold, halite, jade, kyanite, malachite, opal, quartz, petrified wood, silver, spodume, topaz, tourmaline, turquoise. Has many streams that run toward dry basins—where the waters are sucked into the sands. There are not a lot of geologic rock formations in the desert itself. What rock there is remain along the Dragonspine where the rocks are polished by the winds. The winds here come from the plains of Har-inshea and get trapped in the curl of the Dragon's Tail. There are frequent sand storms with winds that do not reach above 60 miles an hour.
GREENWICH WASTES: This is becoming a barren and poisoned plain to desert region. Waters in this area are highly poisonous and polluted due to gnomish experiments. Even with purification spells—it's best to avoid drinking the water here. Eating any fleshy creatures or plants (if found) is not advised. Toxins range from sulfurs, salts, aconite, arsenic, and acids. This edge in the current century is encroaching on the Sweet Water River. Even though the gnomes have stopped their experiments 2,000 years ago and are working to help the dwarves and elves preserve the Sweet Water River basin…it is doubtful they will succeed. People say the land is acting like a tumor that is growing. Druids put massive efforts in to stave off the growth of the poison.
ASKIVARR: The people who live within this thick jungle are also called the Askivarr. This is a massive rain forest that runs from the western tip of Janus clear to the Dragonspine. Its northern edge is the Great Rift. Extra tributaries and small rivers drain into the Great Rift's western tip. All manner of wildlife and black dragons reside in this area. Product from this region is very hard to get—but ranges from bright feathers, hides of serpents, venoms, flowers, exotic animals, exotic woods. Food is plentiful here. Looking at the plant life, it is easy to think that the soil is rich, but it is actually nutrient poor. Plants cannot grow on sunlight and rain alone: they need small quantities of minerals as well. These minerals include calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Over the years the rain has washed these out of the soil, so all the nutrients are actually in the living plants and animals. Competition for the minerals is fierce. If a leaf falls from a tall tree, or a piece of fruit is knocked off a branch, it may fall to the forest floor. Immediately the detritivores (bacteria and fungi that eat (break down) dead material) get to work and start digesting the fallen piece of organic matter. Their digestive processes make the minerals available again, and the net of shallow plant roots lies ready to soak them up and send them up into the trees and vines. This means that the nutrient "wealth" of the forest is all being used by the life forms living there. If the rain forest is cut down, nothing remains but a thin layer of low fertility soil. Seen from above, the rain forest looks like a bumpy green carpet, but it actually has a number of levels. The emergent layer has the tallest trees, which stand up individually above the trees crowded together below them. These trees get a lot of light, but they also have to deal with the wind. They make good perches for eagles and other predatory birds. The canopy consists of a thick growth of tall trees, which capture much of the sunlight. Their branches touch, their leaves seem to fill every space where light may fall. Their branches bear colorful fruits. Epiphytes (plants that "grow in air") perch on the branches as well, and vines climb up from the forest floor to claim a share of the sun. Many of the animals live in the canopy, eating fruit, flowers, and leaves. Meat eaters go where the plant eaters are, and prey on the monkeys and colorful birds. Insects are everywhere. This part of the rain forest is filled with life. It supports life forms and communities as the surface of the earth usually does. The understory consists of small trees, shrubs, and bushes. These plants are adapted to low light levels, and their large, tender leaves capture as much light energy as they can. The shrubs support vines, mosses, and fragile amphibians, such a frogs, which enjoy the humid atmosphere. The forest floor receives only about 2% of the light that falls onto the trees of the canopy. There are few plants down here in the twilight. The floor is littered with dead leaves, twigs, animals and fallen fruit, all of which are being digested by diligent insects and other detritivores. A few animals also live here, including wild pigs. They eat whatever has fallen from the rich communities above them. There is no underbrush for them to deal with, so travel in this dim world is easy. A serious problem is developing as small ponds deep within the askivarr are starting to show signs of poisoning—containing acids, arsenic, aconite. Druids are concerned that the poisoning of the Greenwich Wastes is reaching into the Askivarr.
WATERFORD: This is tropical paradise. The whole island is owned by the merchant people there. There are beautiful beaches and this is quite the 'tourist spot'. Being the land of neutrality and commerce--it is home for people of all types. There are jungle type forests on the interior of the island.
DRAGON'S TONGUE: volcanic tropical islands and small mountains. This is similar to Waterford except for the volcanice activity. There are frequent slow moving molten lava flows that form black rock and eventually soil. Where things grow is lush and tropical.
PTAHRR FORESTS: These are more temperate forests named after a long forgotten god when the humans first started arriving through the DarkGate. There are various hard and softwoods here.
GRASSLANDS AND PLAINS: Here you find more herd animals and prairie life. There is little in the way of trees. However the soil is thick with grasses and flowering plants. Hunting animals here have to be fast and fierce.
ELSIANA: This island is more of a temperate forested island with many cliffs inside of it. It seems to be the top of an underwater mountain. Caves are inside the cliff faces that lead to mines the island inhabitants use. It had been settled by a brother of Emporer Zalus the 20th and numerous wealthy families. However none expected the Amazons that lived deep within the island. There has been turmoiol there since.
The surface world oceans are close to what you find on Earth. There are lines of underwater volcanic activity, ocean vents, deep crevasses, reefs, etc. The only major differences are some of the sea life and the vortexes.
VORTEX: There is one directly south of the continent of Janus between it and the continent of Kordukahn. It's affect on the atmosphere is that it's a severe storm tunnel that reaches from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of the Rohrn oceans. All of this tunnel is violent and turbulant. Land based dragons will not fly over the vortexes. The storms are constant with loud violent winds, heavy rains, and hail. There are hot rains. Sailing ships that have the misfortune of getting too close will be ripped apart. Only the Sea Runners have managed to navigate and sail these vortexes—and thusly handle most of the shipping that occurs between Darkshom and Rohrn. From a distance these tubes of storms look like large tunnels of lightening.
The vortex is not only in the ocean itself—but the air currents continue this as a tunnel of violent water and air from the sea floor to the top of the planet's atmosphere. This tube that the vortex forms is 75 miles in diameter. The waters within this tube are just as violent as the air above and creates a rolling mass that is filled with silt, dead sea life, boulders, and anything else you can imagine.
Mostly it's bacteria that survive here. Because it reaches the Rohrn waters on the other end of the tube (a 25 mile hole leads from the sea floor through the shell of the planet and to the other side in the Rohrn oceans), the waters also have a mixture of chemicals in them from the Rohrn oceans. These waters are hot. Bacteria thrive.
Witnesses have seen great dragons ride these currents with ease. Ships that get too near the vortex will sometimes be destroyed by these dragons who seem to grow to great lengths—some even a mile long! All that is seen is ruddy mottled flesh that matches the water and fins along the bodies. The sea runners may know more.
copyright: 7/25/2006 Christine H. Rietsch