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Old 09-14-2014, 05:10 AM
thedreamwithin thedreamwithin is offline

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Post Landmass visited in War of the Ancients (Book I), Ny'alotha?

Hi,

Please forgive me if this topic has already been discussed -and I'd be ever so grateful for any further reading on the matter -but having searched Wikis, Google, WoWInsider and Scrolls of Lore I still haven't found an answer on something that's left me curious for years since first reading it.

I believe it's from the third chapter of the first book in The War of the Ancients trilogy, page 16 and begins:

Quote:
Impossible as it seemed, somewhere along the way Rhonin fell asleep. Despite that, even then he did not tumble from his seat to certain death. Korialstrasz certainly had something to do with that, although to all appearances the dragon appeared to be flying blithely along.
The scene is setup with Rhonin and Korialstrasz seeking refuge on a landmass whilst traversing The Great Sea, the location is unknown to the reader and not revealed since though we are told this is certainly not Tol Barad. Rhonin, upon landing on the "island almost entirely bare of vegetation", "too small for a city" is immediately "swept over" with a feeling of dread. Yet again, here, Rhonin experiences "the same kind of horrific, mournful cries again" similar to that he felt passing over Tol Barad.

Clues we are given of the landmass:
  1. "Too small for a city"
  2. "a series of shadowed, ruined structures"
  3. "could have been “a fort or perhaps even a walled estate"
  4. Korialstrasz to Rhonin: "Something tragic happened here"
  5. "[A] horrific, hissing sound beset [Rhonin's] ears" upon waking from a nightmare

For the location, we are given a clue:

Korialstrasz: “We must pass near the Maelstrom to reach Kalimdor, and we will need our full wits and strength about us for that. This is the only island I have seen for some time.”
Rhonin: “What's it called?”
Korialstrasz: “That knowledge is not mine.”

One of the island's inhabitants is described, upon Rhonin's wakening from a slumber:

"If someone had taken a human skull, dipped it in soft, melting wax and let that wax drip free, that would have come close to describing the gut-wrenching vision at which Rhonin stared. Add to that needle-shaped teeth filling the mouth, along with red, soulless orbs that glared hungrily at the wizard, and the picture of hellish horror was made complete."

The assailant is described further, moving towards Rhonin with "legs much too long", with "bony arms that ended in three long, curved fingers" wearing over its macabre form "ripped remnants of a once-regal coat and pants." The identity of the assailant is hinted at, with K saying to R: “I believe it was once one of those who called this home.”

Of the assailant, Rhonin asks if it was the work of the Scourge to with K replies “No…this is much older…and even more unholy an act than the Lich King ever perpetrated.”

We are told next that there are others:

“Kras—Korialstrasz, it entered my dreams! Manipulated them!”
“Yes, the others sought to do the same with me—”

Korialstrasz to Rhonin, on alighting the landmass: “We are safe…for the time being. Several are now less than what remains of yours and the rest have scattered into every crevice and gap in these ruins. I believe there are cata-combs below and that they slumber there when not hunting victims.”

***

So, this passage really stayed with me (I love my Old Gods and Lovecraft references) but I think the curiosity remained because it was such an abstract in the narrative and not returned to. I expected to find more information about its location but I believe that passage in the Well of Eternity is all we are given.

There are a few clues and even facts we can gather, it is certainly not Tol Barad nor Nazjatar. Maybe it was part of the Broken Isles, but then the Broken Isles should be quite too close to the Maelstrom -and we are told through Korialstrasz's dialogue that our protagonists have not yet reached that far. I guess an academic response is that the landmass could what remains of the Kul'Tiras navy's attempt to establish a base on one of the Broken Isles -an exercise that would be met with doom.

Personally, and as I said I am endeared to Lovecraft and Old Gods, I believe that Rhonin and happened upon the infamous Ny'alotha.

I think the hints (1) and (2) we have been given within WoW pertaining to Ny'alotha also compliment the narrative and abstract treatment we are given within The Well of Eternity:

From the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep...
In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes...
*
In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.


One way of approaching the identity of the landmass as Ny'alotha is perhaps to suggest that the abstract within The Well of Eternity (book) only visits an outcrop of it, certainly the rocky mass Rhonin aspies on approach would not be big enough to represent the epic that should be Ny'alotha. Of course Ny'alotha can be wildly speculated endlessly as to its definition, origin, location, accountability, existence -or plane of! -but my curiosity has always tied this brief abstract to the work of Old Gods, and I hope you will too.

***

Whether my humble speculation is wildly flawed -or not, I invite all opinions! -I think it's a nice passage and would be fun to explore any discussion around what may have happened to this island and its inhabitants, its location and what may lay there in waiting now. If a location or any facts can be confirmed then you'd be solving a longstanding curiosity!

Thanks in advance,

G~

References:
Shadows & Light -page 123 Sargeras' Tomb, Amazon
Lands of Mystery -Amazon
Lands of Conflict -Amazon
Ny'alotha
Suggested local of Ny'alotha on Azeroth
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron -wowhead
The War of the Ancients Archive (Books 1, 2 and 3) -Amazon
A brilliant map, but highly speculative -unknown source
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:26 AM
Revenant Revenant is offline

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It might be a fragment of Suramar, which became the Broken Isles. The Dreadlords created a sort of proto-plague there later on in the War of the Ancients. While it did not make psychic ghouls, they might have come from that.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:45 AM
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Could this be the island Gul'dan visits in WCII that houses the eye of Sargeras? That description of what they encounter is strange though, it almost reads like a ghoul to me rather than the demons living in the tomb.

Edit: Broken Isles
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:56 AM
Triceron Triceron is offline

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Ny'alotha is obviously an homage to the sunken city of R'lyeh. As an homage I wouldn't put much in finding a tangible location for it, since we don't have much information on the place outside of flavourtext for an Archeology trinket.

If it's based on R'lyeh however, it would be interesting if it were an ancient, forgotten name for Suramar, particularly where the Tomb of Sargeras is.

I agree with what Revenant said though, and the landmass in the novel is likely Suramar. They probably wrote the novel by referencing the world geography around the Maelstrom. If it were supposed to be Ny'alotha, we would have more obvious hints than an archaeology trinket found in Northrend.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:22 PM
Reignac Reignac is offline

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I'd agree it was Suramar, especially since Suramar was victim to a dreadlord necromancy attack, but weren't the undead there described as humans? And how did they invade Rhonin's dreams?
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Reignac View Post
I'd agree it was Suramar, especially since Suramar was victim to a dreadlord necromancy attack, but weren't the undead there described as humans? And how did they invade Rhonin's dreams?
They were unique non-Scourge undead human psychic ghoul-like creatures around an old estate.

From a narrative perspective, I can only think that it was related to the Suramar experiments that came later. It does not match up well, and so the island is never explained, but that is the best that I can think of.

Richard A. Knaak likes to throw in random encounters with strange things. Some dislike him for that, but we see with recent WoW novels that without that ideology the story consists of wandering around WoW as-is and that is it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:04 PM
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Long legs? Three Fingers? Sounds like Troll Voodoo zombies to me. Have whatever profane ritual they were doing have something to do with the Emerald Dream and it all fits.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:33 PM
thedreamwithin thedreamwithin is offline

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Thanks everyone,

Yes guys I think it is most likely a fragment of Suramar -though with the troll reference (read below) perhaps it is the remains of an old Kul Tiras naval base of the Darkspear Islands -that would have fallen to Zar'jira.

Great input and thank you so much for the further reading, cheers! If it's ok by you guys I think I'll enjoy my time here reading the forums you guys are very well informed!


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Originally Posted by Reignac View Post
I'd agree it was Suramar, especially since Suramar was victim to a dreadlord necromancy attack, but weren't the undead there described as humans? And how did they invade Rhonin's dreams?
Dreaming of his wife Vereesa, in the dream Rhonin is being called to by his twins "Papa..." but they are beyond reach and it soon becomes an urgent nightmare from which he struggles from. Upon waking Rhonin is confronted by the ghoul who it is revealed was the one calling out in his daughter's voice "Papa."

Korialstrasz also confirms that 'several' of these ghouls had made attempts to assail his dreams, too and it was likely Korialstrasz that came to Rhonin's aid in waking him in his dream calling him "Wherever you are Rhonin wake up." It is quite a well delivered compact nugget of creepiness, definitely a haunting affair and arresting but sadly not revisited at all by the book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Menel'dirion View Post
Long legs? Three Fingers? Sounds like Troll Voodoo zombies to me. Have whatever profane ritual they were doing have something to do with the Emerald Dream and it all fits.
As for the troll reference, yes interesting!! It could be part of the old Darkspear Islands which fell to Zar'jira, which would also match locations of the narrative in the book (not too close to the Maelstrom) and may explain the descriptions of the ruins "too small for a city" "possibly a fort" --it would be in fact the remains of a Kul Tiras Marine navy base?

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Originally Posted by Revenant View Post
Richard A. Knaak likes to throw in random encounters with strange things. Some dislike him for that, but we see with recent WoW novels that without that ideology the story consists of wandering around WoW as-is and that is it.
Random encounters with strange things. I am a fan of this.

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Originally Posted by Triceron View Post
Ny'alotha is obviously an homage to the sunken city of R'lyeh. As an homage I wouldn't put much in finding a tangible location for it, since we don't have much information on the place outside of flavourtext for an Archeology trinket.

If it's based on R'lyeh however, it would be interesting if it were an ancient, forgotten name for Suramar, particularly where the Tomb of Sargeras is.

I agree with what Revenant said though, and the landmass in the novel is likely Suramar. They probably wrote the novel by referencing the world geography around the Maelstrom. If it were supposed to be Ny'alotha, we would have more obvious hints than an archaeology trinket found in Northrend.
Yes I agree wholeheartedly that Ny'alotha is an homage Lovecraft's R'lyeh, and I thank The Old Ones that Blizzard pay such to Lovecraft... but wouldn't it be exciting that it was Ny'alotha, and wouldn't it be fun if all we ever had to confirm its existence were abstract clues such as archaeological trinkets and whispers?
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:42 AM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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I think it could be a landmass containing crypts for trolls that was separated during the Sundering. The dark magic of the old god in the area awakened the dead. But that's just me.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:00 AM
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I think it could be a landmass containing crypts for trolls that was separated during the Sundering. The dark magic of the old god in the area awakened the dead. But that's just me.
I agree with this. Zandalar ruins from the sundering, the dead risen by the fifth Old God. Thoguh it could be N'zoth too but I doubt it. It's not his memo, raising the dead.
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:28 AM
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I agree with this. Zandalar ruins from the sundering, the dead risen by the fifth Old God. Thoguh it could be N'zoth too but I doubt it. It's not his memo, raising the dead.
Not him personally. The dark energies emanating from him could have brought the dead back. Sort of how Sauron's dark magic influenced the undead in the Dead Marshes.
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Old 09-15-2014, 07:38 AM
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Zul'dare is an option on the troll line of thought. A place where they buried the trolls when the humans took the surrounding islands, Kul'Tiras and Gilneas.

My assumption is that Knakk made up some stuff which may or may not make sense, exist or be cannon. Didn't he also end up on an island with Scourge before the Scourge existed?
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:00 AM
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Nice options on the Troll lines and Zul'Dare (looking at Wikis) could match given that an orc base was established there explaining the ruins of a possible fort.

Over at the MMO-C forums, where I've posted the same question, a user suggested Darkmoon Island, which I have no knowledge of. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:07 AM
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Nice options on the Troll lines and Zul'Dare (looking at Wikis) could match given that an orc base was established there explaining the ruins of a possible fort.

Over at the MMO-C forums, where I've posted the same question, a user suggested Darkmoon Island, which I have no knowledge of. Any thoughts on that?
Darkmoon island is odd, I'm not sure we will ever find out the deal with it. It's possible as theres some very strange Oldgod purpose behind it. Darkmoon islands inhabitants are outside of the carnies, wolves, a killer rabit and ravens. Theres a ship wreck and a lot of odd ghosts that seem to be carnies, as well as a Forsaken cannibal which may or may not be related to the faire. They really need to develop that more, the Darkmoon stuff is one of the few things that still has potential and is interesting while being fun and mysterious. The island itself was purchased by Silas Darkmoon who absolutely (outside of out right stating it) has ties to an Oldgod from "someone or something".
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:16 AM
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Zul'dare is an option on the troll line of thought. A place where they buried the trolls when the humans took the surrounding islands, Kul'Tiras and Gilneas.

My assumption is that Knakk made up some stuff which may or may not make sense, exist or be cannon. Didn't he also end up on an island with Scourge before the Scourge existed?
Zul'dare works really nicely IMHO.

In regards to Knaack, say what you will about his writing, the guy has introduced a lot of lore to Warcraft. Half of Silvermoon surviving the Scourge, Naga, Dragon Aspects, Twilight Dragons, Deathwing, Nozdormu going off the deep end.... Knaack wrote about it first.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:23 AM
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Well, it shouldn't be Darkmoon Island. The Knaak's isle is "almost enterely bare of any vegetation", and DMI is covered by a dense forest.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:29 AM
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Balor is also possible given it's size and location towards the malestrom. We know little of that island, but given the name of it and the whole Fomorian connection, it's a contender as well.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:35 AM
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Balor is also possible given it's size and location towards the malestrom. We know little of that island, but given the name of it and the whole Fomorian connection, it's a contender as well.
Wait, what Fomorian connection?
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:36 AM
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Wait, what Fomorian connection?
Balor is the Fomorians' king in Irish Mythos.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:37 AM
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Balor is the Fomorians' king in Irish Mythos.
Thanks. That makes more sense now.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:20 PM
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In all seriousness, I think it was probably one of the islands planned for WoW that never made it to vanilla. Things like that big naga shell island, or the two off of STV. The WotA books were written when WoW was being made and he could have been seeding it.
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It's one thing to have problems and voice your concerns, but when you endlessly bitch day in and day out about the same tired old shit, it honestly makes me wonder why you are even here. Generally when somebody doesn't like something, they stop caring about it.

And on that note, SoL is a forum I no longer enjoy. So, I'm done here. And I genuinely think the people who have absolutely nothing at all positive to say about the game and, the people whose posts are composed entirely of whining, really consider leaving (or at least sticking to non-WoW sections). Because if you truly get no enjoyment out of WoW, then why are you here?

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Old 09-17-2014, 08:00 AM
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Darkmoon island is odd, I'm not sure we will ever find out the deal with it. It's possible as theres some very strange Oldgod purpose behind it. Darkmoon islands inhabitants are outside of the carnies, wolves, a killer rabit and ravens. Theres a ship wreck and a lot of odd ghosts that seem to be carnies, as well as a Forsaken cannibal which may or may not be related to the faire. They really need to develop that more, the Darkmoon stuff is one of the few things that still has potential and is interesting while being fun and mysterious. The island itself was purchased by Silas Darkmoon who absolutely (outside of out right stating it) has ties to an Oldgod from "someone or something".
Thanks for the excellent summarisation, that's very generous of you though I couldn't find further backstory to Silas Darkmoon and his links to Old Gods it certainly adds an interesting touch to DMI!

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Zul'dare works really nicely IMHO.

In regards to Knaack, say what you will about his writing, the guy has introduced a lot of lore to Warcraft. Half of Silvermoon surviving the Scourge, Naga, Dragon Aspects, Twilight Dragons, Deathwing, Nozdormu going off the deep end.... Knaack wrote about it first.
Hate to repeat myself, but I very much agree with just about all you say! I often wonder what the relationship between Knaack and Blizzard is, and how far the relationship affects Blizzard's own lore development.

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Balor is also possible given it's size and location towards the malestrom. We know little of that island, but given the name of it and the whole Fomorian connection, it's a contender as well.
That's certainly a leftfield suggestion, do you mind me asking what brought that island to your attention? It certainly fits, it could be argued, but I don't recall it from books and see that it's only mentioned in two installments of Warcraft. Either way, kudos for remembering it so! You're probably already aware, but there's a link to a collectors' maps website on Balor's wiki I found it very interesting: http://zaphoyd.com/wowcemaps/index.html Some of the maps (Eastern Kingdoms) provide additional detail of the Broken Islands and even locate Balor.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:15 AM
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Well, it shouldn't be Darkmoon Island. The Knaak's isle is "almost enterely bare of any vegetation", and DMI is covered by a dense forest.
Looking at the vegetation, Dark Moon Isle is most likely somewhere close to Gilneas.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the excellent summarisation, that's very generous of you though I couldn't find further backstory to Silas Darkmoon and his links to Old Gods it certainly adds an interesting touch to DMI!

Hate to repeat myself, but I very much agree with just about all you say! I often wonder what the relationship between Knaack and Blizzard is, and how far the relationship affects Blizzard's own lore development.

That's certainly a leftfield suggestion, do you mind me asking what brought that island to your attention? It certainly fits, it could be argued, but I don't recall it from books and see that it's only mentioned in two installments of Warcraft. Either way, kudos for remembering it so! You're probably already aware, but there's a link to a collectors' maps website on Balor's wiki I found it very interesting: http://zaphoyd.com/wowcemaps/index.html Some of the maps (Eastern Kingdoms) provide additional detail of the Broken Islands and even locate Balor.
Well, there's things like him blatantly using a C'thun eye staring at a dark star as his symbol. He runs a very culty carnie group who may or may not sacrifice themselves, there's certainly echos of the Twilights Hammer there. He's generally benevolent, weird and rife with hidden agenda.

As for Balor, I've been waiting and wondering what happened to the Islands of Warcraft 2 since I saw the first Vanilla map. It's just another oddly missing thing. Balor has always interested me because of the reason I mentioned, implying it's name is such as a reference to it's mythological namesake. I'm just generally annoyed that places that should exist and be known of can vanish without a trace with a handwave of non applicable "plate tectonics" by the lore team.

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Originally Posted by Yaskaleh View Post
Looking at the vegetation, Dark Moon Isle is most likely somewhere close to Gilneas.
Nah, it could be anywhere, the vegetation and thematic coloration is barely an indicator. Another thing to note, we still have a vast unexplored ocean on the other side of the planet, if we are losing islands that are just off shore and discovering new ones like Pandaria, the entire blank slate on the other side is important to note. It could be pretty much anywhere, I'd prefer it to be outside of the places we sail by all the time suddenly popping up and existing. Or as I said earlier re-purposing another island, which it just seems odd they wouldn't have mentioned if it weren't the case. The notion we have no idea where it is and can only get there by portals is quite suspect to begin with. It'd be neat if below Darkmoon was actually Ny'alotha, it just being the peak of a long sunken mountain.

Personally I think thats where I'd slap down Ny'alotha if I were writing this game, on the side opposite to where the Maelstrom is it'd be more mysterious and give plenty of room for it to be a thing. Right smack dab where the waters of the Veiled Sea mix with the Forbidding Sea. That's the only logical place for it to be both in reasoning, map/world construction and narrative.
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Last edited by Sonneillon; 09-17-2014 at 09:32 AM..
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