Etymology and Names
By the end of the Imperial Era, the Olgish name Elondor has come in use with the majority of societies on the continent, propagated along the official channels of the Empire. It first appears in the narrative concerning Nardin and the First Battle of Mortim-Arnim as Old Olgish ...elondor cún grálí srónath ‘the all-boundary, where men dwell’, presumably denoting not only the continent but the wider domain of humans, into which the Nathari have ventured, implying their origin in a para-human, mythological plain, possibly the Underworld. The legend was included in the (6th century E.B.) Lonsorigi but probably dates from at least the 8th century B.E.B., with certain passages possibly even older. Originally pronounced as [ɛ.ˈlɔn.dɔɾ], with regular stress on the heavy second syllable, its frequent use by the itinerant preacher Dúrmin, who in his sermons warned against a return of ‘those that dwell beyond the all-boundary’ (grálá dess' elondor), popularized an alternative stress pattern in the mid-3rd century B.E.B., following the strict initial stress of his native Ébrinine dialect as [ˈɛ.lɔn.dɔɾ] or [ˈe.lɔn.dɔɾ].
The name was applied to the continent in particular no later than the 4th century E.B., when the Edict of Corbin uses it explicitly in contrast to Nokim. It was later adopted by the Olgish Church as their predestined domain of reach and prominently used by Beldárin Fadhérún in his campaign to gain dominion over ‘all those devout to the true faith of Ortûlék and Shéa'voch to dwell in Elondor’. With its common usage in imperial parlance, it came to be adopted in most provinces.
The Iiles of old referred to the continent as Dínerima ‘the white dryes’, but the term has mostly fallen out of use in favour of the Olgish-derived Erùndar. Even throughout Imperial times, the Lerewe have kept their ancient term Ğewodun' Esneğiwi ‘the great earth of fire’, contrasting with Ğewoduna Syōwe ‘the great earth of the wind’, Nokim.
Geography and Climate
Elondor is located immediately north of the continent of Nokim, mostly separated by the Sea of Timesthe, but at their closest point, the Seligonian Trident, only about 7.5 Olgish Leagues apart. It spans just under 80 Olgish Leagues east to west between the seas of Avalia and Runion and just over 50 Olgish Leagues north to south, giving it an upper-central position, entirely in the northern hemisphere, between the continents of Eren and Nokim. The continent has a vaguely triangular shape between its corner points at Tár-Noldorin, the Allalond, and the Seligonian Trident, with the Erendál Peninsula emerging in its northeast and forming a fourth tip of land. An S-shaped mountain chain comprised of the Míbar-Hûrind, the Reknayan Mountains, and the Seven Rivers, and extended by the Erendál Mountains, the highlands of Belkondíl, and the mountains of Seligon, cuts Elondor in half, separating the northeastern, Avalian from the southwestern, Runian part. It has three major inland sees, the Kalparian Sea in the northwest and the White Sea and the Bight of Loskilón on its southern shores.
Traditionally, the continent is divided into seven regions:
- Belkondíl, the heartland of Lécaron, located on both banks of the rivers Cëlac and Brethan in the southwestern corner of Elondor. The homeland of the Olgs and Western Sosks, it is a vast area of heath and moorland, mostly looking upon the brash waters of Runion, but with warmer strands toward the Timesthe to the south.
- Old Seligon, the homeland of Iilish culture, east of Belkondíl, comprising Moreth east of the Seven Rivers, the fields of Amasia, and the islands of the Gulf of Seligon. Served considerably milder climate by the warm streams of the Timesthe, it consists of mostly swampy plains and humid highlands, notable the Seven Rivers, and with the Lakes of Amasia Elondor's largest inland bodies of water.
- Seligon, the southeastern tip of the continent. A warm and sunny region, it was home to the earliest of Elondor's civilizations, thriving for millennia before conquered and colonized by expatriate Olgish groups. It has retained its cultural diversity well into the Imperial Era and become notorious for its ethical conflicts and bloody nationalist wars after the end of Lécaronian rule. Before its southern coast lie the Great Islands of Seligon, a cradle of early civilization on Elondor and a contentious area in both imperial politics and religion. While its fertile western part is densely populated and home to several significant market towns and port cities, East Seligon is a dry and deserted region, largely unexplored even in the days of Lécaron. The term is sometimes meant to include Nelkon, the sparsely populated region north of the Seligonian heartland and east of Amasia, concentrated on the high plains and marshes running down to the Sea of Avalia.
- The Reknaya lies in the heart of Elondor, stretching east to west along the mountain range of the same name and south across high plains and foothills, bordering Belkondíl and Old Seligon. A region known for its wealth in ores and a site of earliest metallurgy, it has experienced frequent migrations throughout its history, and its west had come under Olgish dominion around the 12th century B.E.B., while its northeastern third was one of the few areas to remain free of Lécaronian rule for the entirety of the empire's history (save for a short period 682‒700 L.R.), alongside only parts of Aribel and Celsond. The Reknayan climate varies from the relatively moist and fertile Besokan Valley to the open plains of Atiya and the stony deserts of Wat and Erkenma.
- Celsond is the northernmost part of Elondor, comprising the Erendál Peninsula and the lands to its south, north of the Reknayan Mountains, which can loosely be divided into the western steppes and the more mountainous and densely forested east. Like East Seligon a mostly untamed landscape, infamed for its harsh climate, it is home to the Celdic Peoples, who live of fishing, gathering, and herding, and was never conquered or otherwise part of Lécaron.
- Aribel, the homeland of Aribelian culture and the early Aribelian Republic, is located in the utmost northwest of Elondor. Like Celsond, it is a region of relatively cold and harsh climate, covered mostly in swampy plains, boreal forest, and its famed lakes, and the population is concentrated to its abundant harbour cities and a few other population centre. The fortress-city of Berán with its famous academy is the cultural and political centre of the free strip of land north of the River Muïnulis, with the rest of its land occupied by the Northwestern Colonies, a loose federation of states inhabited by Aribelians, Olgs, Sosks, and Kalparians, and part of Lécaron 135‒645 L.R. To its south, it is bordered by the River Kalpa and the Kalparian Sea, home to the Kalparian nation, which is split in its lands between Aribel and Geran.
- Geran, finally, is located between Belkondíl, Aribel, and the western foothills of the Reknaya. In its centre split by the Ílgarian Woods and the Nukna Highlands, it divides into the Geranian Heath, an open grassland home to the ancient Yamenaen culture and more recently the Wertian Olgs, the Hajalad, a wealthy coastal region inhabited mostly by Geranian Olgs and Kalparians, and the Norides archipelago. It is bordered to the north by the river Kalpa and the Kalparian Sea and contains the southern half of the lands traditionally claimed by the Kalparians.
Its position between the longitudes of 38° and 60° north allows for the mostly temperate climate in Elondor. The southwestern corner of the continent, the southern coast of Seligon, experiences the warmest climate with mild winters and dry summers, propagated by the warm water carried north by the eastern half of the Timesthian Current. Its warmest sub-region is the plain of Iliatar, which experiences hot subtropical and in exceptional years even tropical climate. As one travels west towards the Runian coast, temperatures steadily drop, still fairly warm in Old Seligon and moderate in eastern Belkondíl, but cold and harsh along the western shores of Belkondíl and Geran, and similarly on the Avalian coast of Nelkon. Aribel and Celsond cap the lower end of temperatures, with cold moderate and subpolar climate, and near-polar conditions in the north of the Randal.
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