There are many magical places in Annwn, but these are the most well-known.
During the God Year Bromios, a roughly 500-year-long period started (and ended at the start of the God Year Circe), during which magical plants and animals acted crazed and violent. During this time, many cities suffered famine as the creatures would attack their crop supply seemingly without reason (for those of you that rp on the server, you can include Monsters in the attacks). No one understood why this was happening until, finally, a dark energy crystal known as ‘Malkeshin’ was found in the area now known as the Wastelands. The existence of Malkeshin was never truly understood, but people did understand that while the entire world was being affected by its existence, areas farthest away from the crystal were less affected. The reverse was true as well, though, and in the immediate approximately 1,000-mile radius, rivers and lakes had run dry, all animals had either run away or died, all plants were dead and rotten, and the air was filled with a heavy fog that burns the lungs. That area was so polluted by the dark energy from Malkeshin that it was unfixable. Malkeshin was also indestructible. The only choice that people had was to gather enough Mages from all over Annwn to build a force-field. While the field prevents the dark energy from getting out, unfortunately, the dark energy consumes so much of the power of the field, that people and creatures can still effortlessly pass through. Due to this, the Wastelands have become the home of creatures and people that are drawn to the immense dark energy of Malkeshin. But, on the bright side it has also become an ideal spot for adventurers to test their strength. Be warned though, any person or creature that enters the Wastelands must wear an enchanted hood and face mask. This is to prevent both the fog from burning their lungs and the dark energy from infecting their consciousness.
The River Styx
A legendary river located in Regenwoud that is rumored to be the entrance to the underworld.
In ancient times, there was a myth that there was a spell protecting those who aren’t dead from entering the underworld by causing those that follow the river to go in circles. In reality, the river literally goes in a circle, which is very notable as no one knows why it flows instead of just remaining still like it should.
The river flows clockwise, which is said to be a symbol of the passage of time leading to death.
The river’s waters are a different color for everyone that looks at them. It is said that what color you see is the color of your soul, but this is just a myth and no one knows why this phenomenon occurs.
Those that drink the river’s waters will experience intense hallucinations, but in some religions, doing so will cause you to uncover truths about yourself that your subconscious has hidden from you. In reality, though, these hallucination effects are likely caused by a native hallucinogenic mushroom species that grows along the river’s edge.
About 5 feet around the banks of the river on each side is incapable of growing anything but mushrooms.
The Lost City of Zaranga
A Legendary city that is rumored to be hidden somewhere in the jungles of the islands of Retto. Legend says that the city is a place of extreme magical and technological advancements that is hidden by an extremely powerful unknown type of magic spell. The city’s buildings are said to be windowless and made of steel while the streets are lined with copper and gold. Everyone in the city supposedly has no eyes because they cut their eyes out at birth due to the belief that the best magic is produced from those that have no expectations of what it should look like – they use magic to ‘see’ instead (their magic shows them general shapes and locations of those shapes). Many people, both mages seeking power and explorers seeking adventure have tried to find the city, but due to Retto’s rough terrain and extremely high magical animal population, many never return. In fact, many expeditions have been launched by families of these lost mages/explorers to find their bodies.
Egig Ero Fa
Translated from a dead language, known as Armelitian, as the “Sky-High Tree”. The tree, which is as wide as a castle and tall enough to touch the upper reaches of the atmosphere, is rumored to be on one of the islands of Ekosca. The tree is an incredible sight, but it has a very sad reality. Legend says that the center of the tree is hallow and at the bottom is a portal. If someone falls from the top of the tree (the only way to access the center) down into the portal, the portal will teleport the person back to the top of the tree, but only if they have something or someone to live for. Those that don’t will hit the exposed roots of the tree and die. Because of the nature of this place, many forlorn and suicidal people will go to the tree to see if they have anything to live for. If they die, then they are happy to have taken their own lives like they wanted to. But, if they don’t then they do have something/someone to live for, but unfortunately at that point they are trapped in the never-ending loop of falling. Once they die from starvation/dehydration or if their thing/person to live for is gone/dies, the portal will no longer teleport them, and they will fall to the roots. But, legend also says that the one way to save the person from the never-ending loop is for the soul mate of the person to also jump into the tree. If this happens, both will be teleported safely to on the ground outside the tree. For this reason, there are many love stories that have been written regarding the Egig Ero Fa.
A legendary school located in the mountains of Gecaosga. Legend says the school is run by Morket himself, and that he teaches the most promising students the worst types of black magic. In reality, the school is run collectively by some of the top Mages in all of Annwn. The horrible myths and legends about the school being run by Morket to teach black magic were likely spread by people who were rejected when they applied to the school, as getting into the school requires immense magical potential (aka most applicants are rejected). The school has an incredibly rigorous academic curriculum, and even those that are accepted are constantly at risk of being kicked out. Unfortunately, this also means that they have the highest suicide rates for any school in Annwn. But, the students that do manage to graduate are some of the most capable and powerful Mages in the world.
Normal, Magic, and Colossal Animals and Plants
In Annwn there are three different classifications of plants and animals; Normal, Magic, and Colossal.
Normal animals and plants are all the animals and plants that currently exist irl.
Normal animals will be generally neutral (not innately hostile unless they have something to protect or they are attacked).
Magic animals can be one of two types. The first is normal animals that, as a result of a mutation, can use magic. These magic animals will also typically have physical peculiarities such as strange colors, a mix of multiple animals, and/or extra limbs. The second type is an animal that naturally can use magic. Some of the magic animals that exist are owlbears, hippogriffs, krakens, manticores, and etcetera. These magic animals are considered different from the first type because they are much more abundant and can breed, whereas the first type are rare anomalies that are typically infertile.
Magic plants are sentient plants that can use magic. Magic plants are different from Galdurlif in that magic plants have Inferior Souls and thus are not capable of abstract thought and will act similarly to animals.
Magic animals and plants will be generally neutral (not innately hostile unless they have something to protect or they are attacked).
Colossal animals and plants are either normal/magic animals or magic plants that, through a massive ritual requiring hundreds of mages, are up to 30x their normal size and can have magic abilities such as a creature without wings being able to fly. Colossal animals are used for the sole purpose of transport (though in the past they were used in warfare, this practice was viewed as reckless and inhumane to the creatures and thus was outlawed by the URA in Hathor 100 at the centennial meeting). Colossal animals are an extremely prized commodity, and are used extensively all over Annwn.
In Regards to the Existence of Golems
Golems do exist, and are created by making materials of any kind into a humanoid or animalistic form and infusing that form with a soul. Golems are different from Elementals in that when creating a golem, only an ‘inferior’ soul can be used. There are two types of souls: inferior and superior (Lost Souls aren’t included here because they are a subset of superior souls). Superior souls are fully developed souls that can be placed in beings that are capable of abstract thought and profound spiritual progress. Inferior souls, on the other hand, are only capable of being placed in beings that are incapable of abstract thought and that can only have minimal spiritual progress, such as plants (only certain plants) or animals (or in this case golems). Inferior souls must go through multiple lifetimes before being able to progress into a superior soul.
Golems are capable of emotion, just like an animal would be, but they are incapable of abstract thought, and will have animal-like tendencies. Due to the magic involved in creating a golem, though, golems inherently will be able to understand and follow any command given to them by their creator. Golems are not soul bound to their creators, like elementals are, and are only capable of dying if their entire body is destroyed. If even a single piece of the golem body remains, the golem can rebuild itself over the period of 60 seconds with any surrounding materials. Golems are inherently good creatures, and although they are capable of following any command, they are also capable of refusing to follow a command; especially if it is something they may consider bad or evil. Unlike Elementals, Golems retain all memories of their previous lives.
Creating a golem is much easier than creating an Elemental, as only small amounts of life magic are required. This is because inferior souls do not go the underworld; instead, they wander on the same plane as Lost Souls (Aequether) until they are reincarnated. An inferior soul will only go to the underworld once they have gained enough spiritual progress to be made into a superior soul. With a little help, anyone is capable of creating a golem. Golems are not a playable race.
Familiars are animals that have been soul-bound to a person. This arrangement is most commonly done with magic animals, especially those that are summoned, but it is possible to do it with normal animals as well. Unless a clarification is put into the soul-binding spell, the animal will always be the ‘slave’ in the soul-binding. But, given that soul-bindings must be mutual, the animals do not view their service as restricting, and typically have a very deep bond with their master prior to the spell.
In some cases, one may choose to also blood-bind a familiar to themselves. Blood-binding makes it so that the two that are bound can read each other's minds (no matter how far away), and that if one dies, so does the other. This is not commonly chosen given how it could be abused, but in some cases it proves to be very useful.
In Regards to the Existence of Dragons
Dragons do exist, but they are a complicated group. Technically they are considered magic animals because they have animal-like tendencies and are not humanoid in form. But, they also have extremely high intelligence and are capable of abstract thought. Due to this, no one is quite sure how to categorize dragons. Dragons are not a playable race.
Dragons come in many different shapes and sizes, and like the races of Annwn, each dragon can have a type of innate magic or innate individual magic. Depending on the type of Dragon, they can also breathe either fire, poison/sleeping/laughing gas, tar, or steam (this steam is boiling hot and can melt flesh). Dragons also have innate shapeshifting powers, allowing them to shapeshift into any form, and the appearance of the form is completely up to them. This makes them especially dangerous as they can hide in plain sight and take their opponents off guard. Dragons can’t use any magic while shifted, but they can breathe fire/gas/etcetera while shifted. If a Dragon’s wings are cut off, they will never grow back.
As stated previously, there are many varieties of dragons, but there are four main classifications of Dragons. These classifications are very general, and in each classification, there are many, many different varieties of Dragons. The four classifications are Royals, Ryugons, Hargons, and Ferals. These categories have lines that are easily blurred, and often it is very easy to categorize a dragon as being a member of multiple categories, but if such a case does exist, it is up to the person that discovers such a Dragon to categorize it at their own discretion. It should be noted that these are the official Common names, classifications, and categories set up by the URA, but that there are many different names that can be used to describe different types of Dragons. – Any type of Dragon can have multiple heads, but it is an uncommon trait.
Royal Dragons get their name because thousands of years ago these types of dragons were the prized possessions of many Kings and Queens all over Annwn. These dragons have 2-10 large wings and 4 legs. They are the type that most commonly gets featured in art throughout Annwn. Royal Dragons can’t fly if their wings are cut off. Varieties of Royals are categorized by color as most Royals are solid colored. If a Royal is multi-colored, they will be classified by the color that is most prominent or notable. Some examples of the varieties of Royals are: Red Royal, Yellow Royal, Black Royal, Green Royal, and etcetera.
Ryugon Dragons get their name from a dead language of Retto known as Nikanoian. Ryugons have 0-12 sets of wings and 0-12 sets of legs. Ryugons tend to have long, snake-like bodies, but there are exceptions. Ryugons can fly without wings as they generally use magic to fly. Varieties of Ryugons are categorized by number of legs and wings. Ryugons with 0 legs and/or wings are called Wyrms, Ryugons with 2/4 legs and/or 0-4 sets of wings are called Drakes, and Ryugons with 6-12 sets of legs and/or wings are called Salamanders. When categorizing Ryugons, the number of wings takes precedence; aka if a Ryugon has 2 legs but has 6 sets of wings, they are called a Salamander instead of a Drake.
Hargon Dragons get their name because they are slightly similar to Harpies in that Hargons have two legs and two wings (these wings can take the place of another two legs/arms or they can be an extension of the legs/arms). Hargons can’t fly without their wings. Varieties of Hargons are categorized by the presence or absence of feathers. Wyverns are Hargons without feathers, and Cockatrices are Hargons with feathers (Not all Cockatrices are chicken-like, they can be just like Wyverns but with feathers).
Feral Dragons get their name because they tend to be more animalistic than other Dragons. Ferals can have any number of wings/legs/etcetera, but they are typically much smaller than other Dragons, and they typically are incapable of speaking (they are capable of understanding language, as they are still intelligent enough to learn it, but they are incapable of speaking it) (instead they will communicate through growls, roars, etcetera). Other Dragons typically keep Ferals as pets. There are no categories for the many types of Ferals.
Languages of Annwn
The official language of Annwn, which was created by the URA in the God year Enlil 213, is known as Common. This language is used all over Annwn for most interracial communication. Other languages depend on race, not on region or country. This means that typically members of the same race will communicate in their racial language rather than Common; though it should be noted that in larger cities, this may not be true and Common may also be spoken. To rp in a certain language, simply include somewhere in the text that the reply is in that language. You should only need to say this when you are speaking in a language other than Common, unless you are switching from another language into Common. For example, if you start a rp and you want to speak in Dwarvish, you would remark that that is the case. But, if later you want to switch into Common, simply say this. It only takes once to clarify, and the rest of the dialogue is assumed to be in the specified language until someone changes it.
Why Isn’t This Race Overrunning Annwn?
You may think that with some races capable of producing many offspring at once that Annwn is on the precipice of being overrun by one of these races. But, Annwn is actually very stable in regards to preventing the overpopulation of all races or any one race. This population stabilization is due to the high mortality rate (aka high rates of people dying) caused by a plethora of wars, diseases, famines, droughts, dangerous animals/magic animals (/monsters), evil Mages (which lead to curses and etcetera), and birth defects. On the bright side, all of this together keeps Annwn’s population from getting too high. But, all of this also means that it is very hard for races that grow few in numbers to replenish their populations, thus making extinction an ever-looming threat for the races of Annwn.