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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Voyage of the Discovery.

Between Episodes.
This episode a lesson earlier this year 1014 AC followed By Gaston vander Klil, where he met Salechaam the Dwarf. Gaston relates this into this diary as completing the information he later explains.

Geomorfological History of the Broken Lands

As told by Mergrath the Dwarf Druid (actually Earth-Elementalist). Penned down by Professor vander Klil who was present at this interesting lecture.

Mergrath, twisted his beard, rubbed his bare feet and thus removed some caked earth from his feet hair. He looked down upon his scholars, and without hesitation began.

In my lectures about the Megalith, the living planet Urt, the history of the Broken Lands region will explain many things happening with the cells of the Megalith.
As some of you might have learned in accessing other worlds, is that most planets with active geological processes have, what we call, tectonic plates; A crust actually floating very slowly on the internal magma and molten more metals that actually compose most of the planet.
Mystara, as being a living planet has no tectonic plates, it has cells instead. Where tectonic plates slowly move on the molten mass and fold against, over-under and alongside each other, thus creating mountains, depths, volcanoes, earthquakes and similar processes, Mystara functions differently. Although same said effects are produced, Mystara’s cells only sink, raise, twist, or rotate, expand, shrink, or most rarely implode. Some other effects like temperature increase or decrease can happen too.
The different rotation effects do cause earthquakes, but rarely as destructive as on tectonic worlds. Oh yes, it may be destructive to the creatures living on the surface, but to the planet itself, it is a mere shedding of skin, a blemish, a zitt growing or expanding, an itch.
But as we have almost no effect on tectonic worlds, we do have effect on the cells of Mystara, especially Immortals, or our magic. We all know of the Plateaux of Atruaghin being raised by the Immortals, or the impact of the meteor in the Great Crater south Glantri. But even here we can see the difference of the tectonic versus the real living world.
I do say living, even if there are many sages who say our Urt is dead or extremely slowly dying, but other sages say the opposite. Either way, the processes are part of living processes, and as such I call it Living World (even though there seems to be proof of these processes changing. More about this later.)
Back to the Meteor; Mystara has a powerful Skyshield, a biological magical process that functions similar as the spell protection from missiles. The speed of the incoming object is instantly decreased or reflected and only sources with internal magic can penetrate that shield. As the nearby fifth planet did explode some time ago, many debris of this magical world floats around in space, some of it reaches Mystara, and as thus penetrates, though greatly reduced in speed, the Skyshield, hitting the ground below with greatly reduced impact.
A meteor of the same size would normally have destroyed ALL life on a tectonic planet, as the meteor would have slammed deep into the tectonic plate, surfaced explosion magma, spreading an impenetrable dust cloud, and bombard the rest of the world with returning meteor and planet debris. Survival would be nigh impossible.
Mystara on the other hand has the Skyshield, AND its cells. Not only is here the speed of the incoming object greatly reduced, the surface (or skin) cells are the secondary defence. With the impact of the Glantrian Meteor, we see that only a few cells exploded, a powerful wave of energy caused an earthquake several cells further away, and expulsed matter was spread within the general same region, even the dust cloud was less intense than it would have been on a tectonic world. And you should be happy about this, for if Mystara was no Megalith, we would now be dead, or dying, buried, burned or choking dust, and then die slowly because of heat, or food deprivation. This impact clearly learned us much more about the composition of our world.
And as such we can explain many other things, among so…The Creation of the Broken Lands.

Some dwarves twisted in their seats, and between the snoring of the sleeping ones, some muttered foul words of Shadow Elves or Humanoid scum.

We must go back in time, back to the age before the Great Rain of Fire, back to 3000 Before Crowing.
Several sages have discovered that the dominant nation of Blackmoor had a great colony here on the continent of Brun, in a temperate region not very far from the edge of the polar cap of that era. The Azcan and Oltec Empires to the East, and a Draconic empire to the Northeast. And South East, the ancestors of the dwarven race, before Kagyar moulded us into his image. A lot of minerals important to their technomantic energy could be located in this region, and as thus were of great import of the growth of both the Empire and the region itself. The region was accessible over the Grasslands we now know as Ethengar, or by using their technology to fly. Some even say they had tunnels in the air where tubes could fly, in which you sat. Nobody knows for certain, but the Ruined city in Fenhold seems to be connected to this.
As you see in this map…I drew a square over the region we discuss…which is the region we will learn to now as the Broken Lands.
Yes, it was a fertile region with forested hills, some mountains, and a large lake. No culture of any race would disdain itself from here by choice.

Mergrath scraped his throat, paused a moment and then continued. Still many dwarves were attending…consciously.
Geo fase 0     3200 BC - 3000 BC

Then we had the Great Rain of Fire. Some unknown technological magical devices exploded in such a fore that it tilted the planet., and changed its polar axis. The region of Blackmoor was depressed by the power and cells imploded, the ocean swept in and doused the flames, which otherwise would have caused greater harm. The dust and debris covered most of the world, and caused darkness, greatly diminished harvests, and the rotting plague we all know in our history. It also caused a great temperature change, the amount of snow (with ash from the explosion) covered great areas of the world.
Of the map here the grey areas are the limits of the thickest snow layers.
Geofase 1     3000 BC - 2700 BC

Of the information gathered by these sages there was created this large scale map of the region. Yes it looks differently than our world, but do not forget that the world was tilted. As points of reference, Redfen was on the location of current Glantri city and the mountain spur in the lower corner are the Dwargate Mountains.

Beastmen, the ancestors of the current humanoids, unhalted by the fallen Blackmoor Empire, quickly took over the region, changing rapidly by the Rotting disease in a multitude of forms, we now know as the different humanoid races.
The human race, were it survived returned to a much more primitive state. Their former cities ruined, slowly crumbled down, and within the upcoming centuries, most of the completely disappeared (either by nature, erosion or plunder). Some Fairies tried to withstand this hard era and had a region they claimed as theirs. The Beastmen slowly filling in the niche of disappeared humans, elves and other races, were afraid of their magic and stayed away moving north into future Glantri and  south into the Hills of the Streel Plain.

Here a more detailed map depicting the region. Clearly can be seen the huge area covered with hundreds of feet of snow.
The northern part of the Known World was probably covered by snow and ice all year long, making food scarce and life quite difficult.  All this snow has weight, and this weight depressed the cells. Etthengar and Northern Darokin were lower in that era as currently. When the snow later melted the ground slowly rebound, as the cells expanded again.
Geofase 2     2300 BC
Back to the Broken Lands, the next thousand or so years, the world calmed down, the dust clouds dispersed, and temperatures rose, snow and ice melted, new rivers sprung and lakes filled. The following map is the region in the year 2000 Before Crowning.

To explain the difference and the coming changes of this region we overlap both maps and create a new one. Now it becomes clear where what was and is. The dots within the hexes denote the state of the region 2000BC being different from that currently. White were glaciers, of which only a few, much decreased in size and volume may exist.
Brown dots were mountains, very familiar to us.

The words “…were mountains…” caused a stir under the suddenly active dwarves. Mountains disappearing, that’s a horror. “Silence please” Mergrath continued. “I will explain later”.

Beige dots were hills in that era, as light yellow dots were fields, acres, or flatland. There were no forms of broken land. Green dots were forests. As you study this map you can see great differences between today and then, but this did not happen all in once.
The great lake, almost an inner sea, formerly known as Anur Lake was now part of the Grondheim region, and as thus we name it now Lake Grondheim, although the real name of that era is lost.

Then came the year 1700 Before Crowning. We all know how inquisitive, strange, curious yet dumbfounded elves can be in reflection or use with machinery. The may know a lot about plants, nature or even magic, yet they are often so alien to this world, that they seem to be no part of its real understanding.

The dwarves cheered, and applauded. Some even brought forth flask, and poured it in their gullets as a way to enlighten the joy.
“Please, please, keep your attention” Mergrath said smilingly, trying to prevent the lesson turning into a dwarven bar feast.

As I said it was the year 1700 BC, but to explain, we actually have to go back way to the Era of Blackmoor. It was in this time the scientists (as mages were called then) discovered the cellular structure of the world. And it was in this age, druids and elves surmised that the world could well be a iving creature. Yet no signs were known to link to lifesigns, so further investigation was needed. 
As technology and magic fused, powered by the knowledge the Ancients brought forth when their vessel crashed on Mystara, the world soon suffered from pollution by this technology, and the nature minded people and elves desired other sources of energy, better for the world but without pollution. This was difficult, as the world was often in war, The humans versus the Beastmen, nations against nations, all to acquire the technological might Blackmoor possessed. 
Then some scientists discovered that on some locations in the world the ground possessed great power generated by itself. As if this living planet had something like muscles, able to generate power to do things. This power could maybe harnessed and used. There was only one location that was easily accessible…The region West of Anur Lake…the current Blackmoor colony of Brun..
The humans, dwarves and yes, even elves worked together to create an immense machinery called the RCC (Regressive Colliding Collector), around the few underground cells that provided the energy they craved for. 

At several locations they erected huge factories of machinery, connected to each other in a large circle around these.cells. The huge rock cells above holding the energy within, and nearby volcanoes enabling the energy being channelled outside to be harvested.  Further details of this machinery is lost in time, and that may well be a good thing too.

3000 BC - 1700 BC

The machinery was still in its try-out fase, when the Great Rain of Fire disaster struck. All over Mystara machines exploded that were connected to the Technomantic reactor, many people perished in an instant, cities, and villages were blown away in mushroom clouds. Why mushrooms? We really do not know, maybe the technomagic worked like a fungus, a disease, at least it brought a great disease.
At the RCC machine, only the outside controlling towers suffered from the explosions, the machinery below survived, intact, and active. Yes, active, the machines continued working, unchecked, uncontrolled. Some say that special golems called S-bots and U-bots kept all things as they were, but none of these were ever recovered, or recognized as such.  For 1300 years the machines hummed, slowly storing energy, continuously created by the biological effects of the cells themselves, normally used by the organism, intended to be used by the Blackmoor culture and  stored in huge special vats, called accumulators.
Geofase 4    2300 BC
Before 1700 BC, the Great Horde conquerred the steppes. King Loark settled in the region west of Lake Grondheim. Some say he was influenced by the Mighty Troll Quen there, others say differently. There seems no real proof of either case, however. The elves were enslaved by the humanoids as were the Ethengarians.

The Elven King Atziann, who maybe was in hiding with some loyal followers, discovered the ancient RCC machinery. As being technologically inept Elves, they wrongly surmised it was a weapon of some sort, and tried to use the Blackmoorian device to destroy the humanoids. Pushing several unknown buttons, and altering several levers, they activated the machinery. 
The plan backfired, the last we know is that U and S Golems tried to save what they could, and Atziann and his followers were forced to escape underground. It was too late; What did actually happen?
The cells surrounded by the RCC device released all stored energy back into the cells were the derived energy from. This sudden instant backlash of energy caused the cells to chemically overload and explode.
A local cataclysm rakes the region, and buries the Great Horde.
The Great Cataclysm of 1700 BC as seen from Ethengar, 200 miles away.

Geofase 5     1700 BC

1700 BC – 1550 BC

The explosion caused the central cells to collapse.  The main cell complex, which was located right underneath today’s Trolhattan, was lierally destroyed. (red circle with red dots).
The blast created a force directed outward of the region, pushing the bordering cells outward, rupturing their connection, but also lifting the area upwards. This power was greatest upwards in the North, west and Southern Region. (green lined area with Green dots).
The mountains existing in the North East and East could not endure this and two large sections collapsed into itself. Where there were only hills or flat land before, the force pushed the area up, and this pushing continued as the heavier Rock cells on the surface start sinking, as they lost their support, pushing the lower and other cells next to them away.  
The two complete mountains collapsed and disappeared. All this being hidden from direct view in an enormous cloud of dust and sound. (red lined area with red dots.
This whole breaking up caused further side-effects lifting and pushing territory, that it became Broken Lands (orange dots)
At the same time magma comes from below in an attempt to heal the wound thus creating more upward power.
The alteration of the region caused the Isoile River from the region of today Glantri to become blocked, slowly creating an ever expanding lake. This lake pressed itself against the new broken lands in the south of future Ererwan and Belcadiz.

The Red and orange dots on the last maps became Broken Lands. The Green dots became Mountains. Some minor areas had lesser effect and became hills or barren plains.
Geofase 06 1700-1691 BC

Slowly more pressure build up by the magma coming in from below, loosened the remaining upper cells. The body of the Megalith worked clearly to heal this wound.
We now know that dust of fresh magma used in potions of healing, brought the power up (from 1d6 to 1d6+1).
The devastation seemed complete, but actually the change was just beginning.
The region of the collapsed cells was terrible. Through the broken Lands, deep within this crater, noxious gasses, killed all that was still living. and even petrified them, similar as fossils. 
Meanwhile, the magma started slowly to solidify.
The Great Glacier on the Southern end of the Collossus Mountains, north of the Broken Lands, starts to melt, and two new rivers empty in Lake Grondheim. On the Western side the same glacier helps filling the new lake in Future Erewan. In 1691 BC the lake already covers an area of more than 200 square miles, and there does not seem to come an end to this.
In this same year the pressure from below becomes thus strong it slowly, but inexoribly lifts up a whole region of mountains, creating a whole new Plateaux. This area will later be named South Gnollistan. And holds three active volcanoes.
The old fortress of the Troll Queen (current Akkrass) is slowly pushed up also, but further sustains minor damages.
Otherwise the old Blackmoor town at the rim of the rising Gnollistan Plateaux suffers severe damages.
Water Being blocked from leaving the mountains come together south west of fort Akkrass, and create another lake in the region later to be named Red Orcland.
Geofase 7     1691 BC - 1550 BC
The Streel River is now only fed by a single source (and some minor sorces elsewhere) in the new mountain pass East of the crater of implosion.
Specific locations in Ethengar seemed to become attuned to Magic, by the amount of dust caused by the Region.
Further away, the destruction caused a breach between the spirit realm and the Prime Plane on the only mountain of Ethengar. The new magic attracted the falling dust towards it, and as thus saved Ethengar from eternal deprivation of a fertile ground.  The region became known as the Black Sands, and the various other magic locations seemed to become sources for magic users or Hakomon.
The region of the today Yak's Spur/Orgemoor, starts and continues up to today, a slow but steadily rise. This not only breaks of the old Vesubian river, but with the uplift of the area, creating a sort of Plateaux, it locked water here into small lake.

1550 BC - 1420 BC

As the Isoile River (Future Vesubian River) did no more connect the Streel River, it became of much less influence to the nation of Darokin, much less water passed through and often he river fell dry in summer. Side rivers went even north on the Glantrian side and further filling up the Erewan Lake, effectively enlarging it to a surface area of no less than 850 square miles. The water slowly gained such a level, it found a way into the new broken lands.

The new mountains have reached such height new glaciers are formed on several tips. Between three of them a new valley, comes to be. This valley is the Later Valley of Khyr. 

The erosion caused by the dissapearance of the glaciers of the Collossus Mountains caused the britle rocks of the broken lands between Ethengar and Glantri to become hills. The broken lands created on the former mountains betwee Darokin and Ethengar, had no glaciers and as thus suffered less erosion. 

The volcano Kalazyrd (north of the Zyrd Plateaux) becomes active and up to our current date never stopped.  This was caused by the geological activity below. Kalazyrd is an ash volcano, and its poisonous ash is blown to the by a wind that is almost always southbound due to the collossus Mountains. Even the Twin volcanoes were still active, spuwing fort supplies of lava, that hardened and increased their height. 
Geofase 8     1550 BC - 1420 BC
However, the volcano on the Plateaux of Gnollistan ceased its activity, and seemingly died. The large "cork"that closed the crater falls down in the now empty magma chamber, and will later become the "Rock of Oenkmar" resting on the floor of the small upper magma chamber of the dead volcano. 
Within this underground chamber refugees from the Hollow World Azcans created a new town Mictlan on the rock as this is the only flat and sturdy surface to build upon. A small temple and several structures are erected..
The plateaux itself continued to rise, and the water that became blocked, still enabled enough moisture to let trees survive...for now.

Lake Grondheim also enlarged, by the several new streams from the melting ice caps and glaciers of the Collossus Mountains.

Water from Lake Grondheim seeped in through the ground, creating enormous pressure as it became steam. Not only created this the further heightening of the Gnollistan Plateaux, but around it a new feature became prominent, making the region difficult to traverse to; Hot Steam Vents. 

The  region of today's Ogremoor has been uplifted that much, that small lake flows down north through its old riverbed where it earlier flowed south. The humanoids call it "The Returning River". It flows back into Lake Erewan, fed by the small creeks in the mountains. Lake Erewan slowly pushes itself, into the Broken Lands.

1420 BC - 1290 BC

In this era the Shadow Elves discovered Mictlan, conquered it, erected a much larger pyramid temple over the older Mictlan Temple, and radically enlarged the city in a period of fifty years. They used the name of their former nation, Aengmor. It was 1352 BC. The Elves could not rebuild their nation however, as the region was not fully settled from the earlier happenings, and ravaged by many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The elves could not enjoy their city for long, as already in 1290 BC, a mere 62 years later, the inflow of water from lake Mictlan renewed the inflow of magma caused by the build up of pressure from below. Clogs in the flow directed most pressure to the  larger magma chambers in the North East. With this, magma surrounded the Rock of Oenkmar, lifting it high up, back into the crater of the volcano. The only thing the elves could do was fleeing. Several sources claim that an Immortal named Artzanteotl, caused this to happen, to further increase the power and input of humanoids on the world. With the Elves gone, the input of the humanoids on the region greatly enhanced. 

Within the area of future Ogremoor (actually named after Aengmor, but the Ogres wanted an Oenkmar by themselves), the area slowly stabilized. In the underground chambers the magma retreated, and never returned as the inlet was blocked by a basalt plug.

The Erewan and Red Orcland lakes continued to fill and expand, As did Lake Grondheim, by the increased wet weather in this era. This was probably caused as a final stir of the destabilization caused by the tilt of the planet, and the few disaster following, before it stabilized in normal weather patterns.  Most dust now settled, and the world prepared itself for a clearer sky. 

Lake Erewan, pierced itself through fissures into the mountains North East of the Trollheim crater, plunged down into Lake Red Orcland, further filling it up. With this waterflow, through a small channel, erosion was imminent, and the fissure opened by the Erewan Lake, widened, and covered the bottom of the Red Orcland Lake with a thick coating of sticky mud. 

This also caused Lake Erewan to decrease, and leaving behind a very fertile light clay. Soon nature will take over and covers the edges of the lake with grasslands. The humans of the region greedily made it into farmlands, and  former fishing settlements, slowly become farming centres. This can still be seen, as upturned  wooden ships, have been used to make housing and temples.

Geofase 9     1420 BC - 1290 BC
The small poisonous lake created earlier north of the Twin Volcanoes breaks over its edge and starts to cause effect in Lake Grondheim. As the flow in the Lake seems to be East bound, the poisonous acidic water starts to affect that region. Many plants and animal life seem to perish, or adept.

1290 BC - 1269 BC. 

The always active volcano Kalazyrd, increases its activity and yield of ash, greatly altering the region, as the mostly southbound wind draws all the ash falling down in the same area. A plain of Ash is created, and continues to grow up to this date. When not blown South East, it tumbles down the hills, packed up in layers of dust, ash and debris of several feet thickness in the areas of High Gobliny and Bugburbia. 

Another Volcano becomes active, further up north the Collossus mountains, south of Mount Skullhorn. This volano, later named Thanos Breath, exhumed great amounts of noxious gasses, and acidic downfall. this greatly affected the region of Ethengar West, Glantr, and Lake Grondheim, which took the brunt of the damage. The forests around the lake died. and the region was abandoned by most animals, humans and even humanoids. This may be the reason for the attacks by orcs into Darokin, as their own territory became less usable. 

This massive eruption  took away a lot of pressure below the Broken Lands, and the higher magma chambers began flowing back down. In this proces the magma underneath Oenkmars Rock started to solidify and crystalize into a fine sand-like substance. The Rock of Oenkmar was still stuck in the shaft of the volcano it was originally the "cork" of.  The small upper magma chamber was fully filled with this crystalized sand. This "sand " was later traded and was the prime source for the dwarves who invented glass. This process later became simpler, and open to use by all races, but the source lay within Dwarven hands and this region. Many glass artifacts will proof this. This trade and the hidden Elven knowledge ignited the growth of the influence of Oenkmar.

Geofase 10    1290 BC - 1269 BC
1269 BC; Ogres settle in the Broken Lands after suffering great drought in Sind.

Mergrath viewed the room, several hours had passed, yet stil most dwarves were awake. he was content, but decided he no longer could keep their attention.
"This was all for today. If you want to learn more return tomorrow. For those hungry, we have drinks and food prepared in the halls in outside. A curtisy of my own".
The dwarves cheered, and readily, a bit stiiff, left the large room.
Most would return tomorrow, maybe a safe spot to sleep, or an interesting lecture, who knows.

Earlier chapters;
PreludeChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 1
Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands 2
Following Chapters;
Chapter 4Chapter 5

Sources; 3050-3000 BC, 2300 BC maps By John Calvin and Sturm
Art; machinery_factory__underground__by_yoyojun-d6hne5l
Picture; Hadron Collider Cern
Picture; Nuclear underground explosion

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