- 1 Geography
- 1.1 Nokira
- 1.1.1 The Outcrop
- 1.1.2 Cloven Mountains
- 1.1.3 The Channel
- 1.1.4 Weatherpeak Mountains
- 1.1.5 Grand Plateau
- 1.1.6 Far Vale
- 1.1.7 Delta Green
- 1.1.8 |CLASSIFED|
- 1.1.9 The Wanderlands
- 1.1.10 Goldenroad
- 1.1.11 Heigel's Valley
- 1.1.12 The Gulag Isles
- 1.1.13 The Littlerocks
- 1.1.14 Ripygara
- 1.1.15 Cratersea
- 1.1.16 The Shards
- 1.1.17 Ouroborous Archipelago
- 1.2 Axtlan's Isle
- 1.2.1 The Slashrocks
- 1.2.2 Ferfyor
- 1.2.3 The Fold
- 1.2.4 The Reserve
- 1.2.5 Contingency Delta Green
- 1.2.6 Sindri's Land
- 1.2.7 Meijaz Marshes
- 1.2.8 Tejantera
- 1.3 Kalamako
- 1.4 Revivatas
- 1.5 Rynganit
- 1.6 Abu Magri
- 1.1 Nokira
Alech has 15 defined continents on it's surface, and many smaller geographical formations among them. They are as follows:
Nokira is a continent to the southwest of the planet, a large island with the largest formations of life and settlements centered around it's large freshwater lake. The continent is among the largest on the planet. Though it provides more food than most of the other continents, almost all of it is consumed internally, as the central plains and steppes of Nokira have some of the highest population density on the planet.
The Outcrop is a coastal desert on the southeastern edge of Nokira. It is distinct from the rest of the eastern deserts because of its low elevation, and is also separated from them by the Brackwater river. As implied by the name, the Brackwater river runs through salt flats, and is therefore undrinkable without filtration. The river flows down out of the Cloven Mountains, the great range of the southern coast. Speaking of the southern coast, The Outcrop is connected to the heartland of Nokira by a strip of beach and desert cradled between the mountains and the coastline. This narrow route is the main overland trade route into The Outcrop, providing about 85% of overland travel.
In the far west and far east of the district, there are smatterings of lakes created by ancient asteroid impacts that serve as some of the only sources of fresh water in the area. The lone river, the Brackwater, ran through slat flats, and was undrinkable before the government of the region chemically treated it. The region's northern edge is the Brackwater river and the Cloven mountains, which separate it from the far more vast deserts to the north.
The southwest possesses some beautiful beaches, but the remote location and lack of easy access mean that it will likely be some time before this natural beauty becomes privatized. The southeast was formed mainly of salt marshes and a more jagged coastline before it was overtaken by city, and the center of the district is mostly barren. The desert is hot and not very hospitable, with the only life clinging to small oases and lakes dotted throughout the area. The land is flowing dunes and little else.
Overall, The Outcrop is very sparsely populated for Alech, but by the standards of most other worlds that means it's still an area of average population density. The region's largest city, Gellermore, is situated on the coast at the merging point of two rivers and the ocean, with two lakes at it's back and an archipelago to the front. It was founded by an expedition of 2000, mainly human colonists in 10017. The two large lakes provided the otherwise sparse freshwater needed to sustain a large city, but the city still lacked a consistent large source of food. Then, in 10018, one colonist proposed an idea.
There was one large island just at the mouth of the city's bay that possessed numerous lakes and oases, and was flat enough that laying down new topsoil would be fairly easy. The colonists petitioned the Nokiran officials for access to some of the leftover terraforming materials from the colony ship, and used them to turn the island into a completely lush plain rising gently above the saltwater, now dubbed Salvation Green. The island was hundreds of square kilometers in area, and would now easily sustain the new settlement until well beyond when they could construct new terraforming equipment of their own. The petition to the government was accepted partially because The city sat near the entrance of the Saltstrait, a wide ocean strait dividing Nokira from Panace, that was already becoming a trade artery between the nearby continents. They foresaw that if the colony sprouted into a sizeable city, it would give them a stronger foothold on the most lucrative waterway available to them.
Nowadays Gellermore is a bustling trade port. The city has long since outgrown the food production capacity of Salvation Green alone, but it has also spread along the coast and turned much of the land around its lifegiving oases and rivers into arable land through the use of local terraforming equipment. The city is one of the largest exporters of food on the entire western side of the continent. The skyscrapers stand watch over the peaceful ocean strait and the distant shores as both a protector and master.
Salvador's Marsh is the second largest city of The Outcrop. It's situated on an isthmus that separates the largest lake in the region from the ocean. It's a trade city that's always played second fiddle to Gellermore, and the rivalry has slowly grown less and less friendly over the years. Salvador's Marsh was founded later, in an arguably more hospitable place, but further from the sea trade routes, and without the terraforming equipment that let Gellermore flourish so soon after it's inception. The people here have a history of hard work, and it's created no small amount of bitterness towards Gellermore. The people of the city see Gellermore as a city that has always been given what they had to work their entire lives to attain.
There was once nearly a civil war between the two cities. In 14037, Salvador's Marsh began construction of a megadam at the mouth of the Brackwater river for the hydroelectric power it would provide. The dam's completion would have cut off the river from Gellermore, causing a drought and possibly a famine, as by that point Gellermore had begun to purify the Brackwater and use it to irrigate many of their crops. Protests flared up at the dam involving citizens of both cities, and eventually they were cracked down on by Marsh Civil Defense Force troopers. CDF troops from Gellermore were brought up in response, and many believe the resultant standoff would have devolved into a gunfight if the Nokiran governor had not intervened and forced the Marsh government to alter the dam's design so that it would allow water to continue to flow at the cost of reduced power output from the dam. Since that time, Gellermore and the Marsh have been lead by the same governor, in an attempt to promote cooperation between the cites. The effort has been mostly successful, with the populations slowly coming to respect and accept one another, and work together for common goals. As of 14075 onwards, those who would have a war between the cities are relegated to political extremists with little real power, and as of 14543 the cities have effectively forgotten about these disputes, as they have bled into each other, forming a metropolis that covers much of the southwest of the district.
The Sandgate is the third major city of The Outcrop. It was founded between the mountains and three lakes, and it was named because it was the point where the steppes and plains of the central continent morphed fully into desert. The city is almost entirely sustained by fishing and overland trade, and though it is part of the same district as Gellermore and Salvador's Marsh, they have little history between them. They are separated by a large patch of mostly uninhabited desert, and only really interact through the main land trade route that supplies all three cities. The buildings cling to the mountain's edge and the coasts of the lakes, cut through by the main highway that brings food and life to the city and the remote parts of the district.
The Cloven Mountains are the southern mountain range of Nokira. They are packed tightly together, forming a plateau of narrow, almost unnavigable mountain passes. They help to separate the districts on the west of the island from the east, and their rain shadow contributes to the mostly barren nature of the western end of the isle. The mountains can be subdivided into several sections. On the outskirts of the range are slopes that rise into hills and eventually grand stone peaks, areas where the ground remains mostly flat but made of stone instead of the dry soil or sand of the rest of the desert. Towards the east end of the range, the Brackwater river runs down through an ancient canyon and out to sea, dividing the easternmost mountains from the west and creating the only large valley in the range. On the northern edge are the oldest mountains, those that have been more weathered by the passage of time and broke down into smaller and smoother peaks. At the range's southernmost end sit the newest and tallest peaks of the range, stabbing far above the ocean and packed densely together, in a reminder of the ancient tectonic violence that occurred here.
The Cloven District is one of the most sparsely populated on the planet, for it has little of almost everything necessary for life but water, and even that was only made drinkable after chemical treatment by the cities of The Outcrop. There is only one sizable city, and that is Brackensource Point. This small city sits just downriver of the source of the Brackenwater river, and is also the site where the cities of Gellermore and Salvador's Marsh have established their water purification facilities for the river. The town exports moderate amounts of ores downriver, and for many years that was the job of almost everyone in the city. In the modern times of relative prosperity in the Dominion, there is more freedom of employment in the area, and with a government spanning a galaxy, the Dominion have found a new use for Brackensource Point. It is isolated, surrounded by mountains on three sides and with a reliable source of freshwater that it could easily control. Furthermore, the cities of Salvador's Marsh and Gelelrmore to the south are very populous but on the less defensible side of Alech's settelments. A fortress and evacuation point was needed. The city has been turned into a fortress, and with resources pouring in from offworld the soil of the city's farms has been made much more fertile. Brackensource Point nowadays is a fortress high in the mountains with only one narrow method of overland attack, and that route is split by a river. Like many places on Alech's surface, this city and citadel are one and the same.
The Channel District is little to write home about. It refers to a large stretch of flat and barren land in between the Cloven Mountains, the fertile lands of the center, the eastern deserts, and the Weatherpeak Mountains. It has almost no population. There is no fertile land, no freshwater, not geographic defenses, and little land suited to tourism. The few small towns in the area sit on the highways that run from the central farms out to the western port cities, or on the very few isolated oases in the region. It is the most desolate but arguably most peaceful region on the continent. The largest city is Flat Springs, a town on the highway and the largest oasis in the region, with a population of 20,000.
The Weatherpeaks are the oldest mountains on the continent, relics from a time long before life graced Alech's surface. They were most likely formed in the early days of Alech's tectonic plate activity, before Nokira had unified into one larger tectonic plate. The mountains are also theorized to be the main reason for many of the rivers flowing through central Nokira. There was water ice left on the peaks of many of these mountains, and when the planet was terraformed that water spilled nicely into rivers and lakes. Too nicely. It's theorized that at some point, billions of years in the past, most likely during the phase after the big bang where the ambient temperature of space was much warmer, there was liquid water on Alech's surface. This would have helped form this unique latticework of rivers and lakes on the planet's surface, and it has also lead many to theorize about the possibility of alien life on the planet in the distant past. Alech's scholars realized this possibility millennia ago, and though they have searched diligently, no signs of life have been found. Whether this is due to the massive timescales between the Dominion and any possible alien precursors, or the lack of life having ever evolved on the planet, has not been adequately determined.
The past aside, the Weatherpeaks of the present are the largest but also shortest and least dense mountain range of Nokira. It's the most heavily populated range as well, because it's sparse enough to run roads through, and near or inside areas of fertile land. In the west the range is divided by rivers and lakes and also interspersed with the most arable soil. The further east and south the range moves, the less arable land you'll find. Though the mountains have passes wide enough for roads, they are still nearly omnipresent in the region, always in sight with their imposing climb to the sky. The mountains in the north are still graced by extensive pine forests near their peaks, a beautiful sight that stands in a vibrant and stark color contrast to the rest of the region.
Sypert is the largest city of the district, situated in the west center of the range. The main metropolis snakes through the mountain passes with suburbs rising up the sides of the mountains themselves. It is one of Alech's cities that is nowadays kept alive by imports. The city is a minor agricultural producer and trade port, but is in a fairly central position for the continent, and as a result has sprawled into a megacity. The people living there are almost all businesspeople or administrators, making grand plans and critical decisions in a city that is bustling yet far removed from the consequences of their actions. The forests that clung to the mountains here are almost entirely gone now, replaced with perfect little cul de sacs and neighborhoods. Sypert has a rivalry with the northern city of Sindril because of their more aggressive policy regarding nature.
Expected to soon overtake Sypert, Sindril is the second largest city of the Weatherpeaks, though to call it one city is misleading. It is rather a collection of smaller cities in various valleys throughout the northern Weatherpeaks that govern collaboratively. They have long lobbied for environmental protections for the forests of the region, but have failed at achieving any wider legislation. As it is, they are one of the strongest lobbyers for environmental protection on the planet, and succeeded in winning cases elsewhere on the planet, but not on the home front. The cities sit in the valleys of the northern range, their food provided by sprawling farms on the outskirts of the city. They have a fair amount of tourism, as they are one of the few places on Alech with well forested mountains and consistent snowfall.
Nestled in a lonely valley further east is the city of Hinzerholm. It is an isolated city, but unlike many that bear that title on Alech, they still interact very often and very visibly with the outside world. The city was founded as a stop on a trade route between the south and north ends of the continent, and that spirit continues on as the city is home to two of the four largest transport companies on the planet. Hinzerholm itself is an opulent fortress city, that extends into the mountains through extensive cave and tunnel systems. The city is tall, with shining, angular architecture rising above the surrounding peaks. The city is still self-sufficient in agriculture due to extremely efficient use of arable land and treatments to improve soil fertility. The city is technically smaller than Sindril, but since Sindril is a collective of cities, Hinzerholm is larger than almost all of the individual cities of Sindril put together.
Grand Plateau is a region similar to the Channel, though with a bit more geographical variation. It is mostly empty, crisscrossed by major roads with little life along them save occasional small towns and rest stops. Truth be told, the area is actually made up of a large desert interspersed with various plateaus rather than a single vast plateau as the name would suggest. There is only one major city in the district, sitting on a long peninsula between the region's largest bay and only river. This is The Jut, a city built by the Dominion military. It has a population of ten million and is mainly a shipyard where large spacecraft are constructed for the Dominion navy. Its only large and reliable source of food is imported MREs, for almost all the population of the city are employed by the government. It is as much if not more a factory than a true city. There are not any soaring skyscrapers here, only modest apartment housing and short, blocky factories, offices, and warehouses. The city also has a massive stockpile of MREs kept in stasis along with many alloys and advanced ship components to allow construction to continue even if the city were to come under siege. The city is secondarily a dock for Dominion and Nokiran Coast Guard vessels to combat the small amount of piracy and trafficking. More often these ships are used to jockey for political power in the Saltstrait.
Far Vale is the district at the northeastern corner of Nokira, and, though separated by mountain ranges and grand deserts from the rest of the continent, the district has managed to flourish, due in no small part to intervention from the Dominion government.
Far Vale is home to the tallest and youngest mountains of Nokira. These mountains have extensive cave systems and rise so high into the atmosphere that water becomes permafrost at their tops. The only fertile land is artificial and situated deep underground or inside the protective walls of the mountain ranges. This entire district is dominated by one Megacity, Helios. Helios was initially founded by a group of colonists from Sindril who heard rumors of verdant, lush mountain valleys in the far east of the continent. What they found on arrival were many valleys but little arable land or wildlife. The colonists began to suffer from famine until Nokiran and Dominion military forces swooped in, providing the group with ample hydroponics and equipment. Since that point, the city has worked in close conjunction with the Dominion military.
Far Vale is among the so called "Deathforts" of Alech, fortress-cities so vast and impermeable that they are meant to sustain punishment from any foe the Dominion could face. Of course there are many foes that could drown Alech in corpses or defeat them with technology so advanced the Dominion has no counters, but any conventional attack would be almost unfathomably difficult, long, and costly. The City is massive, and almost every building could serve as a fortification, even once you get past the mountains and three layers of outer walls. This is neglecting the fact that at least half of the city is underground, built in mountain complexes that have been built upon for millennia in order to create a facility that could withstand devastating orbital bombardment and funnel any attackers into coverless killboxes where they could be cut down by the hundreds of thousands before ever reaching an enemy position.
The city also has vast stockpiles of food, weapons, ammuniton, vehicles, and raw materials to create everything necessary in a war. Like many of its Deathfort brethren, in peacetime it serves as mostly a factory city of very high output. All in all, Far Vale exists as a self-sufficient final fallback point for the continent, situated far from arable land or cities the enemy could use to resupply and with every building armed to the teeth, above or below ground. It is meant to be the rock on which Alech could break the backs of civilizations so advanced they might as well be gods.
Delta Green is the official name for the region in between Far Vale and The Weatherpeaks. It has some fertile land, but it is home to only one major city, Taiphong Glen. The Glen clings to the north coast and river deltas at the far northern end of Delta Green. It is very densely packed, and the only major roads of the area run through the city. At no point does the city extend past the end of the delta, and as a result the population density is extremely high. Taiphong Glen is the fourth most populous city on the continent, close behind Far Vale, despite being less than a third the land area. The living accommodations are luxurious but extremely compact and efficient. The city is mainly a trade hub on the southern end of the Hartlage Bay that runs between between several of Alech's continents.
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The Southern end of Delta Green is permanently off limits to all civilian travel. In 10075, an expedition headed by professor Johannes Konrad headed into the area to investigate reports of ruined alien structures. They arrived in what appeared to be an ancient alien city, constructed from a mixture of marble and alloys not known to the Dominion's scientists, in the shapes of grand tiered pyramids colored bone white. Ten days after arrival, shortly after the party climbed to the top of one of these towering structures, all contact was lost with the explorers. A national guard squad was sent in to investigate and reported high-pitched screeching of intense volume before what sounded like a firefight and then cessations of communication. Several days later, satellite imagery showed a new structure rising in the middle of the city, A pyramid similar in design to the others of the settlement. This one, however, was pitch black. The Dominion had already cordoned off the area, and when this structure began to rise a reinforced battalion of infantry in the best protective gear available to the Dominion headed into the city.
The city was as seemingly empty as it had been when the expedition first arrived, but the streets were cleaner and much debris had been removed or cleaned away. It was not known until survivors were interviewed what happened when the battalion reached the city center. For the outside observers, contact was lost, and then a giant blue energy pulse raced out across the land, scouring the wildlife, killing most of the Dominion's soldiers in the cordon, and erasing half of Taiphong Glen from existence in seconds.
The following day, radio contact was made with a Lt. Colonel Adams, the senior remaining officer in the city. This is what he had to say on the event.
"When we reached the city center, we saw something wild. There were aliens of some kind, blue-skinned reptilian looking creatures. They had four eyes, four arms, and zero interest in diplomacy. They started firing on us with some kind of blue energy weapons. Cut through just about everything we had. But the creatures didn't have armor and there were only a few hundred of them to our few thousand. After they opened fire we pushed towards that black pyramid from all sides. It was a bloodbath. I'd estimate of our five thousand men, three thousand were cut down around that pyramid. We had no cover, nowhere to go but forward. But eventually we broke through. I was with my command squad in one of the last functioning vehicles, and we breached the pyramid first. We entered on the top floor, and we found a blue crystal rotating and sparking energy in some kind of reinforced glass container. There were steps behind that thing leading up to a throne, and Professor Johannes was sat there with the other members of his expedition feeding him and bringing him gifts."
"He told us that they'd found stasis pods in one of the pyramids, and they'd opened when the expedition entered the building. He described how he'd been brought to the top of a pyramid, to a crystal like this one, only colored red instead of blue. He claimed it had spoken to him, offered him control of the city and the alien species, and the ability to build those blue crystals to supposedly act as mind control devices that would let him manipulate any intelligent beings near them. I said that he was a lunatic. We had to put him down when he pulled a gun on us, and then everything went to hell. There were about fifty of us inside the room when it happened. Before Johannes' corpse even hit the floor, energy shields lit up on every doorway, and the rest of the expedition members charged us like a pack of feral dogs. We cut them down, and then turned to see the sky glowing teal-blue outside, and energy rising up conduits on the side of the pyramid. I saw a man who's body had been cut in half by the shields when they turned on. I saw Staff Sergeant Laurens trying to break the shield down with the butt of her rifle, and then she was gone. There was a bright flash for a second, and when our vision recovered everything was gone. The city, our friends outside of the throne room, all the corpses- everything. It's like somebody reset time to before there was ever a city, except for us and this one pyramid."
Casualties of the Konrad incident are estimated at 393,000 military personnel and in the range of 120-170 million civilians from the southern half of Taiphong Glen, the eastern Weatherpeaks, and the first inhabitants of the Far Vale's mountain ranges. The aliens that the Lieutenant Colonel reported most likely built the city and the superweapon that killed so many. Later analysis of the black pyramid would show that the blue crystal was a partially completed psychic pulser, an object that harnesses the energies that psychokinetic individuals use for their powers, and uses it to manipulate the minds of specific intelligent creatures in the area. This crystal appears to have been calibrated for use on humans specifically, but, as it was incomplete, was operating at only enough capacity to affect a small number of people at once. As for the red crystal Konrad claimed to have spoken with, we can only assume that the aliens living in the city used it to influence Konrad and drive him mad, and that the reason it was not used on the Dominion soliders is simply that one of these devices that is not tailored to a specific species is extremely inefficient at communicating with them.
As for the energy weapon, it was determined to be a plasma washer, a device that essentially blasts away everything but the most resilient of materials from a planet's surface by slamming it with a superheated wave of energy, atomizing most anything in its path. Looking at the design of the black pyramid compared with what is known about the rest of the alien city, it appears to have been a purpose built doomsday weapon, designed to take mind control of the humans in the area, and, failing that, scour all life nearby from existence. The weapon might have annihilated all life on the planet if construction had been completed.
The Wanderlands are so named because of the area's increased geographic diversity compared to much of Nokira, the many twisting rivers that flow through it, and the beautiful landscape that lends itself to tourism. The eastern islands of The Wanderlands are hilly and well forested, but the northwest and northeast are giant fertile deltas. To the southwest are sprawling plains. Along the central inland sea, beautiful beaches slope gently along the orange oceans of Alech, and in the center are extensive savannas. There are five major cities in the Wanderlands, though four have begun to merge into one megacity. The Wanderlands have the highest population and population density of any Nokiran district, owing to the abundance of fertile land, easy trade routes, and central location.
On the west central coast sits the "city" of Moltenmount. Moltenmount is truly a collection of giant resorts, and the most popular destination for tourism on the continent. There is a small area of actual residential housing on Moltenmount itself. The city takes its name from a lonely mountain that looks out over the Cratersea, named Moltenmount, which also has most of the arable land in the city. In the modern day, the original residents of the city live on this mountain, interspersed with resorts, and are mostly left out of local politics. They built the city, but with the giant tourism output of the city and the money of interplanetary companies lined up against them, they get little recognition or appreciation, and in fact many have been forced to leave the city due to rising land prices and pressure for more hotel space. The only reason the original settlers still hold some power here is that the beaches along the mountain are much steeper and less conducive to tourism, so the land is amongst the least valuable for the city's main financial focus. This is a highly publicized resort strip of Nokira, the kind that draws in many offworlders or people from other continents. As such it is quite beautiful, but also densely packed and corporatized, lacking the more peaceful isolation of less public retreats.
At the northwest edge of The Wanderlands is the city of Cratergate. It sits on the west side of the narrow strait that connects the Cratersea to the rest of Alech's oceans. The city is a shipping and civilian shipyard hub, a center of business that has grown to encompass nearly the entire peninsula on which it was founded, an area roughly 107,000 square kilometers, or in other words an area slightly larger than the US state of Virginia, covered entirely by this metropolis. Cratergate is the sentinel of the continent's seas, a bastion against the storm, and a city that sends its ships out around the globe and the galaxy.
Alpha Ridge is situated east of Cratergate, merging into it somewhere near the Forstbay Oasis. The name comes from the layout of fertile land around the original city. The city was founded on a ridgeline inside a patch of fertile land shaped like the letter A of the old English alphabet. The city has since spread to cover the northern tip of that fertile land and spread out across much of Nokira's northern coast, even crossing the Henhuein river and extending from the coast all the way to the Weathertops. This city is several times the size of Cratergate, and serves as essentially a factory and a source of people. Alpha Ridge is a megacity that has a massive population, used to work in industrial sectors or sent out across the world, or even the stars, to serve as colonists, soldiers, or laborers wherever they are needed. In ancient times it was a horrendous polluter of Alech before environmental restrcitions were increased in the aftermath of the Screk War. It is a sprawling maze of high rises, skyscrapers, factories, and academies of both military and civilian persuasions.
New Delta sits at the eastern edge of The Wanderlands. It was established by refugees fleeing the abrupt and terrible natural disaster that leveled half of Taiphong Glen, and has since become a prosperous city and the second largest agricultural producer of Nokira. Running along the west coast of the Lifeblood river and the various lakes of the district, it has turned much of the central archipelago of Nokira into massive farms to supply the food for the giant cities of the region. The city runs along the entire western bank of the river until it merges with Alpha Ridge. It is a center of pioneering in agricultural technology and massive exporter of food.
Debate rages as to whether the name of this city at the southwestern edge of The Wanderlands originated from the explorer, Dak Rainer, or the tendency of the area to have unnaturally high precipitation. Regardless, Rainer's crossing is the largest supplier of timber on the continent. That might sound odd, but Rainer's Crossing is one of the few places in Nokira with abundant forests and land suited to support them, and though obsolete as a construction material, the citizens of the dominion still love ornate wooden decorations and furniture. The city is also a leading pioneer in the field of improved anti-gravity technology, a specialty initially developed to try and find a faster method of travel between The Wanderlands and the cities of Nokira's western edge.
Goldenroad is the richest district of Nokira. It is the number one agricultural producer, number two in tourism, and it sits in between The Wanderlands and the western cities, the largest population centers on the planet. However, the population density is not extremely high here. Most of the land is either farms operated by robot work crews, resorts on the southern shore of the Cratersea, or homes of the wealthy. The largest highways of the continent cut through this area, and by combining minor taxes on this trade, immense agricultural output, bustling tourism, and the continent's largest spaceport, the residents here have become fabulously wealthy. The single large city sits in a savanna-like area of land between The Wanderlands and the farmlands of Goldenroad. This is Prima's Tower, the main operating center for many of Nokira's wealthiest corporations, and a city of gigantic buildings that seem to scrape the stars. The only unappealing thing about the city is the price tag of living there. Housing costs at best 3-4 times the amount for a similar space in other cities of the same size.
Heigel's Valley is the largest district of Nokira. It spans the entire western third of the continent, though for a good reason. With one notable exception, this entire area has been controlled by one city for all of the Dominion's history.
That city is Bluhmpoint. Founded on a large circular lake prone to massive algae blooms, the city was originally the only settlement on the western third of Nokira. It expanded south and east over time, claiming the only spots of fertile land in the district, those being the Bluhm underground river valley, and the north coast of the Cratersea. Nowadays it spans the entire center of the district along the Bluhm river valley. Bluhmpoint's expansion to the east went flawlessly, as they claimed the opposite side of the Cratersea strait from Cratergate. However, their expansion south would meet with trouble. It followed the path of the Bluhm river, a river which flows through a cavern system just beneath the surface of the planet and makes the valley just fertile enough for hardier plants to grow. But at the southern end, the source of the river was found, a split where one river flowed north, and the second flowed south to create a vast and rich delta on the other end of the continent.
There was one major civil war in Dominion history, and Bluhmpoint's expansionism was one of the many causes. At the southwest corner of Heigel's Valley is a river delta, far more fertile and as vast as the arable land in the rest of the district put together. However, it had become inhabited. The city of Khyros was a refuge for Magdetum, other aliens, and humans fleeing gentrification in The Wanderlands and Goldenroad. So when Bluhmpoint offered to merge with them, they were more than a little hesitant to put themselves back under the control of a distant and disconnected city. Khyros declined the offer, but Bluhmpoint wouldn't take no for an answer, and eventually the conflict became more hostile. In the Dominion Rupture, Khyros sided with the rebellion against the Dominion, but lost the battle against most of the rest of the planet, being a city on the home planet of the empire. In the peace treaty, the city was put under Bluhmpoint's control, and it remains so to this day. Even still there is a major division between Bluhmpoint and "Southern Bluhmpoint", as the region that used to be Khyros is none too happy with the ruling government. There is still a marked difference in racial diversity, percentage of college-educated citizens, income, and more between the two halves of Bluhmpoint, and so it will likely remain for many years.
As far as geography goes, much of Heigel's Valley outside of Bluhmpoint is merely desert. There are several rivers that flow out from desert plateaus to sea, but they harbor no life. In the north is the Bluhm range, a small mountain range slightly younger than the Weatherpeaks and many of which are still rich in unmined ores. The coastline of the area is mainly rough and jagged, unsuited to tourism. Heigel's Valley is a vast wasteland closing in to a respite from the heat, a narrow band of soaring towers and verdant fields looking out over a dead landscape.
The Gulag Isles
The Gulag isles are a set of islands west of Nokira that are nowadays completely barren save a few military bases. In the aftermath of the Dominion Rupture, enemy combatants were brought here and forced to work in factories and mines to produce equipment for the soldiers that had defeated them. The Dominion was not merciful to traitors, and many prisoners did not survive their fifteen year sentences on the barren rocks, being forced to work on subsistence rations every day for years. The abandoned prisoncamps remain as museums on the island, though they are not treated with the respect of many of the war's monuments. This place is a monument to where the Dominion went beyond what was necessary to survive, and committed great atrocities and mass murder out of paranoia and bitterness.
The Littlerocks District is a tiny district north of The Wanderlands, containing small islands that are formed by the highest points in the edges of ancient asteroid impacts.
Shatterpeaks is a city that has sprawled out across the western isles of The Littlerocks. It is a government-provided resort city. What that essentially means is that the city works in close conjunction with the government to provide free vacations for all Nokiran citizens. It is a little more crowded than other resorts, but the benefits to morale and productivity from free getaways have been proven time and again to be worth far more than the cost of sustaining the program. As for the city itself, it connects its various islands through massive white bridges, with arches in the shape of curved chevrons. Almost all the buildings are stark-white with black highlights, and the city is purpose-built to show luxury and the possibilities of the future at every turn.
Ostile is the coalition of cities that control the smaller eastern isles of The Littlerocks. They are small, peaceful cities in island paradises, comfortably subsisting on what they make. The islands are a moderate trade port, being in one of the access straits for the grand inland sea of Alech, and the military has plans in place to turn them into unassailable fortresses if need be, but for the time they are content to sit on the periphery.
Ripygara sits above a barren and empty portion of Nokira, but the island is far from empty or barren. It has an island style city, Srivarock, with elegant, curved and window-heavy architecture. The city is a marketplace of ideas. It is directly in the middle of one of the largest trade routes on Alech, and as a result it is a perfect place for the spread of ideas. The island has strong tourism and trade as well, but it is primarily home to Nokira's most renowned universities. The Dominion military has three specific R&D bases on Alech, and one of them is here, on the east coast of the island.
The Cratersea is not a district of Nokira, but it is a central geographic feature that is crucial to the island's history. It is the Cratersea's evaporated water that supplemented the formation of many of the island's waterways. It is the Cratersea that forms the heart of Nokira's tourism and separates the west from the east. It is the Cratersea that put Goldenroad in a place of such power. It is not populated, but it is nevertheless crucial to Nokira's identity.
The Shards are an island chain south of The Gulag Isles that was used for a similar purpose at the time of the Dominion Civil War. Unlike The Gulag Isles, The Shards are still inhabited. These islands were used as a food production labor camp, forcing those imprisoned there to irrgate the land and grow crops that would be sent off to feed Dominion soldiers much like the ones guarding them. The Shards had a much higher survival rate than the Gulag Isles because many prisoners managed to sneak extra food from their farms. When the war ended, the prisoners were freed, but many decided to stay on these islands when the Dominion garrison left. The islands had been made fertile and self-sufficient, and the same coastal cliffs and tough geography that led to choosing the place as a prison make it highly defensible. The Shards are technically part of the Nokiran district, but they are very autonomous from the mainland in most manners. They pay taxes, and are otherwise mostly separate in government from the rest of Alech. The isles have a history of activism and protests, but their separation from the wider planet means that there haven't been crackdowns on the populace. The isles would make a great fortress in a time of need, with natural walls on most shores and isolated, well protected food and water sources. The main unknown factor in a defense of The Shards is if the populace, with old but very legitimate grievances against the government, would stay loyal to the Dominion.
The Ouroborous Archipelago is named for the shape of the islands, which look like an animal curling it's spine back to devour its own tail.
Ouroborous itself is by far the largest island in the archipelago. The East of the island is fertile, covered in grass and forests. The north coast is comprised of jagged, triangular peninsulas jutting out into the ocean, and interspersed with lakes and swamp, the coastline ravaged by some ancient glacier. At the edge of the grand plain and the desert are crags, cliffs, and soaring hills, then a band of large lakes, forming a barrier between the Easternmost quarter and the rest of the island. Near the western tip, the land rises into mountains and then shatters into smaller soaring islands.
The Southmost coast of the island offers plenty of fertile land and also ample flat land to build. This is where the city of Sarpe was established in 9973 with the first wave of colonists to reach the planet, and it is the capital of the Ouroborous district off the south coast of the Continent of Nokira. Sarpe is a trade center and a city that has spread out along the coastline like a snake. It is ancient, and still a city with political influence due to its location.
The Ridgeline is a city nestled between the Snowsea, Lake Majecy, and the Ralyxhome mountains. It is the home of much of the Snowsea's fishing industry, and also a major tourist destination. The city spread out from idyllic beachside and lakeside resorts, cabins, and everything in between, then climbs onto the mountainsides in grand lodges and hotels mounted in the sprawling forests that transition from palms all the way to pines near the peaks.
Lastly is Peterson's Plantation. It is a city situated on the coasts of the island's largest lake, in between the sprawling forests and crop fields of Ouroborous' fertile East end. The name of the city, being the first man to settle in the area, hints at the people and lifestyle. It is a simple metropolis of fishing, farming, and factories, rarely visited by the outside world and content with it's place.
The Barrens is a colloquial name for the islands just off the northwest coast of Ouroborous. They are sandbars all, some large plains and some merely little hills rising from the water. They are resorts or refuges and little else.
Duskrock is the southernmost isle of The Barrens. It is an ancient mountain peak rising from the ocean floor and stabbing into the sky. It's so named because it was the westernmost edge of the Ouroborous district in years past, and because while it stood as that westernmost bastion, it was the last place in the district to see the sunset every day. Now it is mostly empty. Up one modest road from a single dock, a lone town sits on a plateau surrounded by walls and with one soaring tower piercing high above the other buildings, looking out over the oceans. It reaches high enough that you can see the edges of Ouroborous. It is a very calm and peaceful place, and a popular one for many from the archipelago to live out their final days should they choose to do so.
The Talontips are a collection of small islands near the end of Ouroborous, extending from bands that look almost like submerged claws of a long dead beast. They are small and privately owned all, retreats for the rich isolated from any population centers and (hopefully) paparazzi. They have very little population and no output of minerals, food, or anything material to the rest of the planet.
Prismpoint is the name of a triangular island to the southwest of the Ouroborous proper.
Prismpoint is roughly 2350 square kilometers, just over two thirds the size of the former US state of Rhode Island. It is a decently sized island, but not among the largest of the planet. It has two major cities, those being Glensjut, spread along much of the island's East coast, and Pareteu, situated on the northwestern plateau of the island. Glensjut is a coastal trading city, and also owns the vast majority of the naturally arable land on the island. The city was first established in 9973 when colony ships landed on Alech. At that time it was a community of a few thousand colonists who mostly focused on subsistence farming.
However, the island sat on the western end of a strait that lead into the rest of the Ouroborous archipelago, and thus became a frequent stop for trade ships both from the other islands and the continents further to the south. By setting up a port infrastructure, the island became a small trade nexus- not the focus of any shipping routes, but a convenient stop on several major ones.
Pareteu has a more dubious history. It was initially founded by people fleeing the taxes of Prismpoint around the same time as the establishment of The Barony to the south. It was, for many years, a poor and oft-forgotten settlement much smaller and less interesting than Glensjut, deliberately built apart from the more prosperous city. It additionally became a haven for a convoy of Magdetum fleeing prosecution by the governor of Ashensand, and it became the only settlement in Prismpoint with a sizable population of xenos for the next several centuries.
After the Screk War ended, Pareteu's fortunes shifted. There was a mass influx of tourism to Alech, and the city's companies took advantage, pouring much of the settlement's production into a sizable resort. Pareteu was in this way able to claim the vast majority of the beachfront property of the island, including the most scenic coastlines. Since this time, Pareteu has become a city that rivals Glensjut, it's ancient progenitor, and is truly held on equal standing with the rest of the Prismport settlements.
Directly to the south of Prismpoint are two smaller islands that are part of the same city and district, Jaggerfall and The Barony.
Jaggerfall is just over five kilometers in land area. It is an island that is very vertical with several peninsulas and inlets across it's entire coastline. The East coast peninsula holds a large lighthouse in the center of the port district. Jaggerfall became a boomtown around 10056, as the ports of The Barony became too small to support the trade coming through the archipelago. The island became a small coastal city that specialized in shipbuilding. In the modern day it is a small city in a symbiotic relationship with the resorts of The Barony and the larger Primspoint providing healthy competition in the tourism and trade departments.
The Barony is only a little over a kilometer in land area. The planet Alech was colonized in 9973, but nobody lived on The Barony until 10014, when Baron Tarvitz bought up the island. Tarvitz was one of the men on the colony ships sent to the Ouranir Galaxy, and a very rich man. At the age of sixty-four, he became upset with the Prismport's tariffs on trade and dug into his fortune to establish a rival port on The Barony. It was smaller than the Prismport, but there were much lower taxes, and Tarvitz quickly regained his investment. He built himself a castle on the West end of the island to live out his days, and to this day his family still owns the small island.
In the modern day The Barony is mostly a resort island. The castle of the Tarvitz family still stands and serves as their home. Besides this, there is a hotel, port, small port town, seaside restaurant district, and shopping district. The Barony imports almost all food and water. The castle produces enough for its inhabitants, but the populace and tourists receive food shipped from elsewhere on the planet to sate their appetites. The port on the island is far less successful than it once was, but it still turns a profit, and it serves as a paradisal getaway, though mostly for the locals, as without a starport few offworlders take the trip to the island.
Verdant Atoll is the name of an island and archipelago making up much of the south end of the Ouroborous. The island bearing the same name is crescent shaped, bordering a bay on three sides and with almost the entire surface covered in arable land. It was colonized in 9987 by a large group of colonists due to how quickly crops had spread there after the seeding of the planet with flora. Verdant Atoll has been mostly a peaceful farming and trade community since, providing 30% as much food as Ouroborous, despite being less than a tenth the size. It's not much of a resort community, as much of the land is protected by the government for agricultural use. The southwest coast and single large lake are home to two of the three major cities on the island, Thumla and Verde Valley.
The third city stands apart from the others. To the northwest coast of the island is a peninsula connected by an isthmus only a couple hundred meters wide to the rest of the mainland. Beyond this isthmus is the largest city of the archipelago, Fort Cragrise. It contributes about 40% of the island's food, but that's not the main reasons that is stands apart. It's a fortress city. The center of downtown is built of reinforced, angular, blocky buildings each heavily armed and serving as the homes and or workplaces for hundreds or thousands of individuals. Each bristles with firing ports and mounted weapons, making assault from the air or any direction on the ground quite an undertaking. It's nowhere near the largest fort on the planet, but it is so geographically defensible and remote that siege or assault is difficult.
There are several smaller satellite islands of Verdant Atoll, as follows:
To the west of Thumla is an area that appears from orbit to be a peninsula of Verdant Atoll. It is in reality a sandbar just underneath the ocean's surface that rises out of the water further to the West to form the island of Halchesk. Halchesk is not quite as fertile as the Atoll, but still has many patches of arable land and serves as a competitor to the Atoll in trade, as it is a smaller city with less food to offer, but better beaches for tourism and a more optimal location for trade, preventing the otherwise necessary circumvention of the sandbar that sits in between the Atoll bay and the wider ocean.
To the East is another small archipelago, the Spine. The Spine has some fertile land, but much less than the other isles of the Atoll. The shallow waters around it combined with its jagged coastline make it a poor location for both trade and tourism, yet the island is still decently populated. Similarly to Fort Cragrise, this is a fortified position. The island has enough arable land for a sizeable populace, but it is divided into two patches of land that are small enough to be reasonably locked down with a small garrison. The island serves mainly as a stockpile and possible evacuation point if the nearby islands were to fall to invasion. In addition, the island has several freshwater lakes large enough to support a moderate population's water needs, and the shallow water prevents large ships from getting close to the island on two sides. There are also several small islands to the west that don't support agriculture, but could easily serve as airbases and locations for artillery emplacements in a conflict.
Lastly, to the northwest of the island are the Barrier Islands. They're situated slightly to the side of the entrance to Verdant Atoll's central bay. They have almost no arable land, and are much less defensible than the Spine. They are lightly populated, with a few resorts and homes of the rich and powerful, and very few permanent residents. There are food sources nearby, but the rich and the companies have lobbied to keep this area from urban development for the tourism revenue. These islands are viewed by the rest of Verdant as at best an oddity and at worst a complete departure from their cultural values. Tourism exists elsewhere in the Atoll, but it's smaller scale and supplementary to agriculture. Some residents see the Barrier Islands as land that should belong to the government of the Atoll, to be turned into territory more suitable for farming and increase the Atoll's prestige, but as it is, they see a small archipelago of the rich and the tourists who come to their land and see only the superficial beauty of the beaches and not the fruits of their labor or what their society represents, and fight to keep land that is within view of Fort Cragrise's homes from the government that rules that capital.
Turtlerock is a group of islands formed out of the same subterranean mountain range Northeast of Ouroborous. It's so called because from orbit the ridge vaguely resembles a massive turtle. The islands have three main cities. The Strip is situated on the westernmost island, in between the two large swathes of fertile land. The other cities are situated mainly on the largest island of the group. On the northern bay sits Criscen, a city of resorts that makes use of the beautiful sloping beaches and the vibrant orange ocean to market itself as a grand vacation destination. It is in close contention with the other major city of the island, Argus. Argus is a city that is much more trade oriented and also utilizes the central fertile land of the island to grow exotic cash crops. The tension between the cities has been getting worse and worse, as Argus is still the more powerful city, but Criscen is growing faster, and Argus controls the vast majority of the island despite it's economy and population only being about 15% larger than Criscen. Adding to the debacle, Argus has been growing certain crops that are highly valued in the Dominion, but also have a well documented effect of deteriorating soil's quality over time.
Greentop is an island close off the west coast of Turtlerock, but also an independent one. It's so named because the island's only arable land sits on the crest of it's central hills. It has one major settlement, Werthrbai, a small city nestled in between the beach and the hills. It's a minor fortress city, but truly it's not designed to hold against direct invasion on it's own. It's mainly outfitted to serve as an evacuation and regrouping point for Dominion forces, and also as a heavy artillery and anti-air battery. It isn't the strongest fortress in the Dominion, but that doesn't matter if the enemies can't get close enough to crack it.
Rainshadow is an island far west of Ouroborous that is so named because it's a perfect example of the geographical concept of the same name. There is a small mountain range that splits the island in half, and almost all of the fertile land is located on one side, with the other being desert only interspersed with occasional oases. The island's only large city, Rhand, is on the East coast squeezed between the ocean and fertile plains. It's mainly an exporter of food, with little tourism, imports, or really any economic activities outside of farming, fishing, and herding. There are smaller communities based around the oases on the island's west side, but they are more susceptible to drought and harder to reach compared to the port city. Still, their survival knowledge and isolated, harsh location may prove invaluable if an enemy were to land on Alech.
Axtlan's Isle is one of the smallest continents of Nokira. It is thin, sparse with arable land, and the terrain is made up mostly of flat arid plains or deserts. It remains sparsely populated to this day, and the continent's main claims to fame are tourism and trading, with a specialized industry in the production of high quality glass. The continent is highly elongated but not very wide, and has many smaller islands ringing it. Scientists theorize that this was an oceanic mountain range that formed long ago, and the modern continent and surrounding islands consist of its highest peaks. The islands are rich in minerals, but the sandy soil, proximity to ocean, and nearby cities make extracting that mineral wealth very difficult.
The Slashrocks are the westernmost holdings of Axtlan's Isle. They consist of many smaller islands and two larger landmasses created by the impact of an asteroid when the planet was still forming. The region is a tropical paradise with few inhabitants and little tourism, at least by Alech's standards. There are states inside every Dominion district, and The Slashrocks are one such state of Axtlan's Isle. The capital city sits on an isthmus to the southeast edge of the main island, between two fertile plains and with a fertile island off the coast.
Sjintelfar is the name of the largest archipelago in the Slashrocks. The islands have a mostly jagged coastline, cut into by many inlets and fjords, lakes interspersed throughout the landscape, and large peninsulas stabbing into the water of molten gold. Sjintelfar is a very beautiful place, and one of the few places on the planet where you can still see what Alech might have looked like in years long past, before it dried up and was then resuscitated by the Dominion's forerunners. It is made up of three main islands, Danyfel, Klevebay, and Wjorex.
Danyfel is the westernmost island. It is fairly mountainous and smattered with fertile highlands and oases throughout. Danyfel has no large cities, but many smaller cities based around the isolated fertile areas. Strangely for Alech, most of the populace lives away from the coast. The main sea trade routes pass through the Shatter Ring or southern Wjorex, and so port cities simply weren't as advantageous as elsewhere on Alech, especially with more of the fertile land being further from the island's coast.
Despite this, there are two port cities of decent size. Crescentcoast, population 216,000, sits on a natural peninsula that formed in the shape of a crescent moon, with a fertile mountaintop at the northern edge. The city sits on one of the largest areas of flat land on the island, and though not on a major trade route it does have a decent shipping industry due to trade between the cities of Axtlan's Isle and some smaller routes that pass through the Sjintelfar Straits instead of the Shatter Isles.
The second port city, Fylae, population 322,000, sits on an isthmus between a peninsula and the main island of Danyfel. It gets food from terraced farms on mountaintops west of the city, a beautiful and exotic sight. There is a large canal that passes through the middle of the city, constructed in the 14,000s to facilitate easier sea travel between the north and south of the city, and it later became the largest trade artery of the city. The waterfront is the most bustling, diverse, and fancy portion of the city, a cultural soup of various cuisines, fashions, cultures, products, knickknacks and ideas. Small local stores produce a cascade of smells, sights, and sounds from distant worlds.
There are three main regions of the island away from the coast. In the south is a grand plateau, morphing into a ridgeline further north until at the northern tip of the island the land widens out into fertile coastal plains.
In the south sits the 2nd largest city on the island, Ryngel. Ryngel sits in the middle of a rough elliptical ring of fertile land. It prospers on a high plateau far from other major cities. It has a population of about 776,000.
There is another small city of 116,000 to Ryngel's southeast, the city of Hailek. Hailek was founded by a Dominion veteran and hero of the Screk War. Nowadays it is actually the family estate of that ancient war hero, mostly populated only by that noble family and their servants. Unlike many rich families, the Hailek family contributes much of their wealth back into the state, helping fund the military of The Slashrocks and many infrastructure and public work projects in the region.
The center of the island is made up of many smaller cities often collectively referred to as the Ridgeline. The area is fairly remote, and the cities are spread out and small. The area is a major food exporter, due to having much fertile land and few residents.
In the North is the largest city of the island, Fyndelholm, population 1.3 million. It takes up a sizeable amount of the northwest plateau, farming from the largest plain on the island. Approaching from a distance, the city would look like sleek polished bronze stakes rising out of the sand and rock. The city is growing at a miniscule rate due to it having little going for it beyond good food and water supplies. No tourism industry, average quantaties of most other industries, and a general lack of desire for growth have hindered the city.
Klevebai is the name of the smallest island of the Slashrocks proper. It has three major cities, two of which sit of opposite sides of the Bladed Bay, a large bay that cuts into the island. The island's jagged coastline is slightly more pronounced than that of Danyfel, and there is more fertile land as well. The two main sister cities of the island are Tripartiata and Bymblent. Tripartiata is divided into three main districts by narrow isthmuses and a large lake. In the Southwest is mostly housing, sprawling apartments and suburbs. In the Southeast is the downtown, the city's soaring skyscrapers and largest fortresses towering over the ocean. In the north are the agricultural districts, mostly on the shoreline of the bay, farming the fertile land on the eastern side of the small mountain range adjacent to the city. All in all the city has a population of 13 million, tiny for Alech.
Bymblent is the sister city to Tripartiata. With a population of 25 million, it's much larger than Tripartiata, covering most of the western end of the main landmass, and stretches almost all the way to the east coast in places. The area grew first by merits of simply having more farmland closer together, and better access to fresh water. As a more convenient trade stop however, Tripartiata has begun growing faster than it's sibling.
The Third major city of the island was established more recently, within the last 1000 years. Celeste's Refuge is a name that has begun to appear on many worlds across the local group. It is a popular name for cities established by those fleeing the Celestial Plague, and cities of the name have popped up everywhere, sometimes more than once on the same world. This Celeste's Refuge has become fairly prosperous. It is a city of 15 million, and though there are poorer areas of the city many of these refugees have managed to establish successful jobs and their own city, with the only outside help being small funds from parent nations of the refugees and advisors from Bymblent and Tripartiata.
Wjorex is the largest island of the Slashrocks. It is also the most populated. It's roughly 2125 square kilometers, or about the size of Tokyo at the dawn of the 21st century. Wjorex has two main cities, Molten Plateau and Puerte Vert.
Puerte Vert is older, and has much more local trade. The city has a population of 42 million, and the port district spans almost the entire waterline of the city. It is a bustling economic powerhouse, with impossibly tall towers stabbing into the void and casting shadows miles long over the world below. Though small for Alech standards, the city is likely still rich enough to bankroll the conquest of several star systems on it's own.
Molten Plateau covers almost the entirety of the island's northern third, and has a population of 65 million. It possesses the largest spaceports in the district, which has caused it to grow faster than Puerte Vert in recent years. Predictions indicate a tourism boom in the region in the coming years, and Molten Plateau will likely explode in size and power when that day comes.
Wsij is the southernmost island of the Slashrocks. It is the second most populated island, with 87 million inhabitants. Almost all of these live in the city of Dyindall. Dyindall is the main trade competitor of Puerte Vert and Molten Plateau, but has grown more slowly due to poorer space travel infrastructure and greater distance from tourist hotspots.
Shatter Ring is a colloquialism for the islands surrounding the coasts of the main island of the district. It's made up of many smaller islands that were once connected to the main landmass , but were cut off over time by erosion.
Felikar is directly west of the main island, and an island with peculiar geography. The island has many freshwater wellsprings beneath the surface that result in isolated patches of fertile land between the deserts and beaches of the island. This land is also concentrated in the northern hills of the islands, where springs arose because of ancient tectonic activity. There are no large cities on the island. The largest is Lock Point, a city of roughly 134,000 on the west coast. The city has large irrigated fields along it's central lake that form it's food source. It's so named because the city built a large canal between the lake and the bay to facilitate easier travel and trade around the area. The city is built around the water, with ports along much of it's coast and a road system that only has a few routes into the center of the island.
Nueva Hispaniola is an island which bears beautiful beaches and tropical peaks, jungles high in the hills and sparse clearings that sustain the isle's farms. The east of the island is the most prosperous- the eastern tip has the largest fertile plains, and the island is split down the middle by fertile highlands. In addition, an extensive cave network gave the colonists in the east easy access to the substantial mineral wealth belowground. The western side of the island is not poor, but certainly not the booming and opulent city of the east either. There is much less arable land and access to natural resources required much more exhaustive work. However, the area is now receiving renewed attention in the media, as the remote location has fostered beautiful and strange forms of dance, music, and literature.
Cape Canary is a small archipelago north of Felikar consisting of three major islands, Yarmount, Provenzia, and Harwick. Yarmount is the largest island, at four times the size of Provenzia. Harwick is considerably the smallest, but has remained relevant and a source of resources due to a favorable trading position. Harwick is actually home to the richest of Cape Canary, a beacon of soaring skyscrapers in the endless flat expanse of blue. Ports line almost half of its shore, and a small spaceport takes up much of the island. Harwick is one of the least militarized places on Alech, where one might forget that the society that forged this realm is highly martial.
Provenzia is to the northeast of the other two isles, and is dominated by three geographic features- the northern atoll, central plateau, and the dormant southern volcano. The volcano, dubbed Emeraldember by the locals, is extremely fertile and provides more food than the entire island consumes on it's own. The atoll is the location of the main tourist attractions, and the central plateau is where the vast majority of Provenzia's people actually live.
Yarmount is very much a dichotomous island. The western side is larger, more fertile, and far more mountainous, with the east being much drier, flatter, and constrained. The island's largest cities have developed in the east due to ease of construction and trade, and the majority of the populace resides there, but they are reliant on food imports from the western mountains. Likewise, the farmers are reliant on fertilizer, farm equipment, and new tech brought in by the city trade networks. The two societies have formed a peaceful coexistence.
Vendreyz is an island northwest of the Slashrocks proper. It is a hilly island with an enclosed freshwater lake. The city of Golden Green sits on a plain in the northwest of the island, obtaining food from smaller settlements around the lake and several smaller oases and arable plains closer to the city proper. The island is overall fairly isolated and well off. It's not very fortified, and the residents have little interaction with the outside except through the ports on the north coast, the island possessing no spaceport. The isle is fairly isolated and self sufficient, with the residents having little interest in much of the wider Dominion.
Verdesatzi is an island northeast of Klevebai. The small farming communities here received an influx of refugees due to the Celestial Plague and War of the Ancients, and the population has gone from 700,000 to 3.5 million in recent years. The island is unsurprisingly cordial with Klevebai, especially Celeste's Refuge. It's mostly a breadbasket, but the city of Ialimo on the south coast is rising to some prominence. It has recently struggled to retain agricultural autonomy in opposition to a plan to give the island's farmland over to the Constructs.
Evac A is an island north of the Slashrocks. In times past it was notable for having no arable land and no population. During the Screk War, the island became the center of the military effort in the Slashrocks. At the time the population of the islands was much lower, so the base amounted to a small fortified position on the northeast peninsula. The island's facilities were slowly expanded on during the war, and in the aftermath the central Dominion government took direct control, maintain the base's size for years until 14002, when it was renovated and drastically expanded upon as part of the Dominion's Iron Bulwark Initiative. The surface base was turned into a subsurface bunker with the capacity to hold almost half the population of the Slashrocks, a project that took ten years to complete. There are massive hydroponic complexes that can feed that population for theoretically thousands of years. It holds a skeleton crew of workers and soldiers, supported by many automated defenses such as combat robots and turrets in case of a direct attack on the facility before reinforcements could arrive.
Axtlan Construct Farms
The construct farms are a set of artificial islands east of the Slashrocks. They were built by the artificial species the Constructs to provide food to the area, especially the megacities with poor supply lines. When the place was first built its necessity was questioned, but thirty years later refugees began to arrive to the area en masse, in numbers that might have caused widespread famine if the islands had not been there to pick up the slack.
Ferfyor is a large island west of the main landmass of Axtlan's Isle. The west coast is lined with beautiful fjords, and the only entry points are a heavily guarded spaceport and ports at the bottom of the fjords that connect to the rest of the city by freight elevators. Ferfyor is the largest defensive lynchpin of the district, holding space for billions of individuals in unused subsurface bunkers maintained by robots. There are many lakes and subsurface water springs in the area that could be tapped by the defenders, and the facility would utilize vat grown food in an emergency. There is already a city on the surface of the island, Torus Feil. Torus Feil houses a population of 313 million and mostly serves as a center for manufacture, training, recruitment, and minor amounts of trade. The island has shields that could be activated to cover the entire coastline, and several layers of walls to deter attackers.
The Fold is an area south of Axtlan's Isle proper made up of mountainous islands around an ancient asteroid impact crater. The population of the area is fairly small, as most of the valuable ores have been long since mined out by drones. Nowadays the area is home to about 267 million spread out in valleys and along the coasts. Small by Alech's standards, but the area could also be an excellent base for a guerilla warfare operation if the time came.
The Reserve sits far west of Axtlan's Isle, and is only nominally a part of it. It is an archipelago cordoned off for the natural life of Alech, recovered from fossil records found in the planet's soil over the years. There are very few permanent inhabitants, but many tourists, and one might have to schedule their trip months in advance to get a ticket to come to the reserve.
Contingency Delta Green
Known only to a few, this volcanic island is cloaked with every kind of cloaking tech the Dominion possess. This is the location where the crystal for Contingency Delta Green is kept. It's inside an active volcano, to offer significant deterrence to most biological or mechanical invaders. The base is small, only a few thousand staff. Most hope that they will never need to execute their emergency duties.
Sindri's Land is an island separated from Axtlan's Isle by a narrow channel, and sits just east of the mainland. The largest city, Gyndell, of 477 million, is built around a small lake and supplied food by the marshes to its northeast. The island's populace is majority Ysau, unlike much of Alech and the wider Dominion. mostly made up of the descendants of Ysau prisoners of war. Unlike the Gulag Isles, this land has prospered since those dark days. The city has become a major source of recruits and special forces units for the district, what with the advantages the Ysau's unique biologies afford them on extended missions.
The Meijaz Marshes are mostly run by the Constructs in the wake of the refugee crisis on Alech. These swamps have since become a massive production center for variants of terran rice among other food crops. The population is relatively small, but the Constructs provide enough food for most of the district from this region alone. The area could also be a good base for an insurgency, with fertile swamps filled with trees, and with only a few major roads through the area, lined by wetlands and trees that could serve as excellent hiding places for a quick and devastating ambush.
Tejantera is the most populated portion of the district, covering all of the main landmass except the fertile marshes. The population of this area is over 13 trillion. The minerals here have long since been mined out, and now the city's main industries are producing high quality glass from the sand, tourism, and work for the Dominion government, be that as bureaucrats, laborers, craftsmen, or soldiers. This is one of the most exposed major cities on the planet, with comparatively little orbital shielding, fortification, or overwhelming military presence to places like Nokira. However, some Dominion strategists have suggested that this may be useful. In a war, If they could draw the enemy into this position, they'd be surrounded by much better defended land and stuck trying to hold down a massive amount of civilians.
Tejantera is a large center of recruitment for the Dominion. It's not required to join the army when you come of age, but it is highly encouraged. Recruiters visit and speak at schools regularly, and the army often offers the most choices for jobs and the highest pay for citizens who can't afford to go to college. Added to the fact the the Dominion Corps' armies' promise tuition to soldiers who serve for ten years, many young people all around the Dominion end up in the military, and Tejantera is no exception.
Kalamako is a wild continent, dominated by jagged mountains and foothills, and sprawling, tightly packed rainforests, with smaller deserts interspersed. The continent has the highest population of Ysau of any continent on the planet. Giant misty valleys covered in alien greenery sit far from the massive gleaming cities. The place is a source of high quality lumber and a center of tourism. These forests house much of Alech's old natural wildlife in natural habitats. Taking the winding roads through ancient mountaintops is truly a breathtaking experience. You can see a layer of mist in the air in the early morning, shimmering with the light of the brilliant triple suns of Borodin.
The Gandreyil Delta
The Gandreyil Delta is the largest population center of the continent. It is a collection of regions where several rivers merge and all flow out to sea. On the south side of the island sat mostly empty and flat lands, and so the area became a center of migration for Ysau in the Ouranir Galaxy. Now cities have spread out along much of the coastline in the area. There are still jungles here- The Daramayin sits in the center of the southern shore, and in the southeast sits the Yereyni jungle. But all around the fringes of these forests are sprawling metropolises- skyscrapers, apartments, high rises, and all kinds of buildings and districts. In the deep centers of the jungles are smaller cities, that try to blend in with and build around the forest. The Ysau have a habit of constructing cities that, while still functioning settlements, often serve as retreats and places for Ysau to migrate to garner a closer connection to nature. All told the cities here have a population of about 35 trillion.
Kellesht is the most isolated megacity on the continent, far up the west coast from the rest of the population centers, and sitting in a coastal plain between a ring of forest. The city has a population of 19 trillion, and has the largest tourism industry on the continent, due to being in the midst of the rainforest and closer to the idyllic mountain ranges. The Ysau here tend towards the highly spiritual, many undertaking foot migrations to Meshu'Dar, a dormant volcano now filled with a unique forest with glowing blue pollen, across over a thousand kilometers of jungle. To tell the truth, the full population of the city is hard to tally, as communities that consider themselves part of Kellesht stretch all the way into the heart of the jungle, but many are dozens or hundreds of kilometers from the city proper. The propsering city and the brilliant, vibrant mountains and forest make many proud to be Kellesht.
The Unending Woods
The Unending Woods cover the northern third of the continent. The mountains and hills here are tamer, older and more worn by time. Here the trees soar unhindered, vines reaching from the ground all the way to the canopy hundreds of meters above. The beautiful constant twilight and filtered rays of golden brilliance make the forest a sight to behold. Here sit some of the most isolated communities, especially in the far north. in the twilight's heart sits a massive crevasse, and at the bottom stretches out a massive sprawl of building in the style of Ysi, the Ysau homeworld. The city of Manziel is wondrous to behold from within. As you approach the city, you will begin to see golden light rise from a crack in the ground. Should you approach the edge, you could look down and see massive stone edifices carved into the canyon walls and all throughout it's floor. This place is sacred to the inhabitants, and to many Ysau on the planet.
The Soaring Forest
The Soaring Forest sits inside one of the most expansive mountain ranges on Alech. Vast valleys and canyons are filled with or watched over by trees taller than giants, and bright, beautiful alien birds fill the air with their flying forms and exotic songs. Travelers must still keep their wits about them- more than one hapless tourist has fallen to an opportunistic predator when being careless in the face of the land's rugged beauty. Yet the sights are sublime and the experience unforgettable, which remains the reason why so many travel to this distant and more than a little dangerous land. For those who venture all the way to Meshu'Dar, the sight is scarcely able to be represented by words. The natural greens mixed with otherworldly neon blues create a contrast that is truly amazing.
Trondelfeeir is an island west of Kalamako, one of the few majority human areas of the continent. The island shares much climate and geography with Kalamako proper, to a lesser extreme. The mountains and rainforests are smaller, but still beautiful, though here they serve more as pockets of exceptional beauty in the sandy desert. The island has become essentially a giant resort- the natives live in a central city, and more than half of the developed area on the island is mostly used by tourists come to see the beautiful beaches and rainforests in temperate climes.
Mekong Bay is an archipelago east of Kalamako. The main island has many rivers that cut through much of the land and create excellent topsoil for farming. The island's farms have recently been bought out by the Constructs, who in return provide a large cut of the massively increased profits to the locals. Speaking of the locals, most now live in the central island city of Homink, population 1 trillion. There are several remaining human farming villages, but their number and size continue to shrink as the constructs buy out more of the land for exorbitant prices.
Splitskin Atoll is an lightly populated cold desert south of Kalamako. The few locals are mostly descendants of those put into Dominion work camps in the wake of the civil war, who didn't decide to leave after being freed. Life here is difficult, but it is mostly free from Dominion oversight, a penance for the nation's past crimes.
Mount Rebirth is a minor Ysau holy site, less famous and popular than Meshu'Dar, but still a hot tourist destination. It is a massive volcano that has since become a harbor for massive tropical forests. The few cities sit on the outer edge of the island, with only hotels and resorts making their way inland to the top of the volcanic peak. It's also one of the tallest peaks on the planet, standing over 8 3/4 km high on parts of the volcano's lip.
Starscraper Peak is the name of a dormant volcanic island and the city atop it that lies southwest of Kalamako. The city of 2 trillion lives off of luxury food crops grown in the highly fertile volcanic soil. Starscraper is the least environmentalist part of Kalamako. They are intensive farmers in a district that mostly sees exploitation of nature as abhorrent. The city still has better environmental protections than much of the Dominion, but since they aren't as extreme as the mainland, the area is seen as a detracting province of the district.
Revivatas is the most recent district to be established on Alech, and not a true continent on it's own. It is majority Construct, due to it's history. The area before Construct terraformation was a large but almost entirely barren archipelago devoid of life. When Constructs first arrived on Alech, they chose this as their first main operating base. At first glance this baffled many Dominion planners, as the island possessed saltwater swamps, a few mountains, dormant volcanoes, and deserts. However, as would become a pattern in the Dominion, the Constructs had detected resources and potential where even the Dominion's most advanced technologies and engineers had not. The islands nowadays are almost unrecognizable to before Construct intervention. The volcano has become a megaforge, the mountains a vast source of mineral wealth, the swamps an amazing breadbasket, the plains massive factories and cities.
The Alpha Forge
The Alpha Forge is the name given to the dormant volcano at the southern end of the district. The Constructs have turned the area into the heart of their most complex and advanced construction projects and research labs. Some of the finest alloys in the galaxy are made in this location, and the Construct research facilities advance the technologies of the Dominion at a blazing speed. The place is one of the largest industrial centers of Alech, despite being 6000 years younger than most of it's competitors.
Raq is a name given to the mountains by the human workers of the area. The Constructs simply call the area a (R)esource (A)c(q)uisiton site, hence Raq. The area's mountains are fairly small, none even reaching a half kilometer in height, but the mines beneath them supplied the Construct forges for centuries. Nowadays the area is mostly used as part of a vast subway system around the island, and is a home for many of the island's non robotic residents.
The Fresh Springs are the slatwater swamps that the Constructs sealed off and turned into vast fields of freshwater to irrigate massive amounts of food crops for the planet. This is where many of the human workers of the island now labor, watching over automated farming systems that produce more than ten times the food of many farms of equivalent size elsewhere on the planet.
The Alpha Habs are the housing and simple factory sections of the district. Bleeding edge tech and fancy manufacture are the domain of The Alpha Forge, but the Habs manufacture most consumer goods and civilian grade weaponry, vehciles, and the like. These are where most of the islands' population actually live, within a ten minute commute to work and in small but well-furnished and luxurious housing.
Rynganit is one of the most temperate continents of Alech. Much of the continent is grasslands or forests, and of the remainder much is beach or shorter mountain ranges. The continent is mostly made up of one larger southern landmass and a smaller but still extensive northern archipelago, with one very large island that's about a tenth the size of the entire main continent.
Far Atoll is a peninsula at the extreme western end of the continent. The southern side of the giant lake is bordered by a metropolis, Zen Harbor, and the northern half is dominated by a forest of imported terran trees. Zen Harbor is one of the continent's many booming trade cities. The continent's place in the center of the planet's largest ocean makes it a throughway for millions of ships a day, and Zen is no exception. The city is the first stop on the continent for boats taking the southern route along the Rynganit-Revivitas coasts.
Plantikya Plain sits just east of Far Atoll, along the east coast of Rynganit. It is a large coastal plain, and sits in between the Far Atoll and the largest mountain range of Rynganit. The area has a population of two trillion, mostly in the coastal city of Talagashev. Talagashev is tied closely to Zen Harbor, and both are booming trade ports. Competition between companies in the two cities have driven a steady economy for many years. Plantikya is significantly more diverse than Far Atoll, with minorities of many alien species, including large minorities of the Rylon and Callidee. The Rylon and Callidee set up giant subterranean cities, with construct help, in many of the mountain ranges of the continent.
Nukana-Teshkar is the largest mountain range on the continent. It had another name long ago, The Fools' Gold Canyons, but the government and populace have adapted to the new name it was given by it's inhabitants. The area was considered a barren wasteland for a long time, until a coalition of Callidee, Rylon, and Constructs saw potential in the saltwater river and lake winding through these towering peaks. The coalition worked to make the area livable, and over the course of decades the area turned from a dead wasteland into a prospering river valley. The Callidee and Rylon were both partial to subterranean cities, so even though the valley itself is almost evenly split between organics and Constructs, there are many more that live inside the titanic stone monuments. The area, since it's taming, has become a land trade route between the far western cities of the continent and the rest of the landmass.
Zande Delta is the region directly south of Nukana-Teshkar. Zande is the sparsest delta of the continent, possessing smaller forests along the banks of it's rivers that morph into savannas and vast plains. The delta also flows into the largest freshwater lake of Rynganit, Lake Chyanzikod. There are three major cities, one at each major outlet of the delta and one bordering the northern mountains that has a booming lumber industry, creating high quality wood from Alech's fine pine trees. The area has a total population of about 2.5 trillion, but that population is much more spread out than many other places on Alech, stretching across much of the southern coast. The mostly barren lands east of the Zande until Ortarlia are considered part of the district, and a third of the population live in the smaller metropolises in that sandy expanse.
The Ortalia Delta is the largest and most densely populated area of the continent, coming in at around 15 trillion people. Vast farms that have been automated by the constructs sit in fields beneath the shadows of towers that pierce the clouds. The farms toil themselves while the people breathe life into the planet's trade networks and devise brilliant new marketing strategies. Ortalia is arguably the center of economic interests on Alech, as it holds the current headquarters of more top 100 businesses than any other city on the planet. Despite this, the area is not ruled by corporations. The Dominion government has taken many precautions to keep companies out of government as much as possible. It doesn't prevent corporate influence on the government entirely, but heavy surveillance of elected officials is one of many measures used to keep the government from being bought. The area has the lowest corporate taxes on Alech, which is likely the simple reason why many set up their main bases here.
The Pahpel Reach sits at the southeastern edge of the continent. Here the elevation and climate vary wildly. The region holds deserts, swamps, forests, plains, and soaring mountains. These mountains are mainly situated at the eastern edge of the area, and they are cut through by one ancient and massive river valley simply called the Green Channel. A little further southwest, the Channel merges with rivers from Ortalia and forms a giant freshwater swamp just a little ways from the southern coast. Speaking of the southern coast, it's mostly barren desert like most of Rynganit's southern edges. It is also the location of the area's largest city, Nuhocinta, population 3 trillion.
Cape Coronata is the name of the northeastern stretch of Rynganit. Total population 12 trillion, the area is growing more rapidly than many other cities in the area due to still having some open flat land. The region extends from the Goishenk volcano and Chakun Mountains up to the tip of the island's northeastern arm. The largest population center, Marak, lies along the Kaeva river, with 7 trillion of the area's inhabitants. The rest are spread out in smaller megacities throughout the east coast of the area, in the regions colonized by Alech's settlers latest.
Lelani's Isle is the name of the northernmost of the two main islands that make up Rynganit. Lelani's Isle is a very verdant place, with abundant lakes and rivers cutting through the land. The population of the region is three trillion, though many live belowground inside vast bunker cities, with only traders, merchants, farmers, and the rich situated aboveground. These farms are run by prototype constructs from Revivitas' labs, and have thus far proven more productive than even their machine brothers.
The Outliers are the archipelagos north of Rynganit. These islands have been formed into a single administrative zone despite their vast geographical distances. The islands put together have a population of a quarter trillion, by far the smallest sector of Ryganit in both land and population size. The area is mostly construct farms bordered by luxury resorts, with underground bunker cities housing the inhabitants.
The Siblings are the tow volcanic islands in Ryganit's central bay. Both are tall enough to scrape the outer reaches of Alech's atmosphere, so most of the population lives on the edges of the islands. Unlike the volcanoes of Kalamako, the tops of these mountains are barren fields of rock. The two have a total population of about 5 trillion, as the district also includes the underwater and floating cities that dot much of the Ryganit Bay. The volcanoes are decent tourist attractions, and scientists still make geological studies of the rocks oftne enough that their peaks house small cities with sealed domes to keep in oxygen.