The Refuge of Antyr
Antyr is vast. How vast? One measure is found in the extensive caravan archives kept in the Library of Tether, which are deemed accurate at least back to the foundation of the Restored Magisterium three hundred years ago. During that time at least a dozen special exploratory caravan voyages have been dispatched to map immovable features- mountains and saltwater oceans – and to locate other long-established settlements for the establishment of trade routes. Each caravan included the most capable trackers and stellular cartographers. Only five ever returned; each of the surviving expeditions traveled in different directions, all documented more than a thousand miles of oceans and wilderness. One, led by Karas Tarnenn, managed the treacherous crossing of the Boreac Sea, traveled the land on the other side another five hundred miles, and encountered a second vast body of water.
The defining feature of all Antyr is its instability. Extreme and dangerous changes to flora, fauna, climate, and even geographic features such as rivers and hills occur within the span of a decade. This shifting landscape is inhabited with a seemingly limitless stock of deadly beasts and hostile races battling for survival. Comprehending the extent of diverse life in even a small area of Antyr would require a lifetime of study, and before that lifetime was through the subjects would have either been destroyed, or moved, or remixed with other competing creatures. This is the perpetual swirl of life and death that covers nearly the entire world.
There have been numerous attempts by magister apprentices and grand wizards over the centuries to describe and predict the patterns of change in Antyr’s landscape; several of the grandest efforts are stored in the Library of Tether. They are all failures. The forces that influence the whirlwind of life on Antyr are too numerous, and too capricious, to be catalogued.
As an alternative, some claim that the ever-shifting balance of lands and creatures can be understood as the work of natural spirits which are embodied in the plants, animals, rivers, lakes, and lands of Antyr. This is the crucial philosophy shared by all nomadic cultures, including the Restless and many smaller packs, and a few non-magical settlements such as the Skyers. All shamanic tradition can be traced to this core spirit philosophy.