Tegn (pronounced /teɪn/) is an eder on the world of Sent which is almost entirely sea, albeit sea made up of a number of different monals. Only a few tiny, scattered islands are found anywhere in the eder, and those are the domain of the very wealthy, made valuable by their scarcity. Most of the terrestrial population of Tegn lives on artificial shees made by alchemical means far above the surface of the ocean.
Four millennia ago, Tegn was nothing more than a vast expanse of ocean with only some tiny specks of uninhabited land. Occasionally ships and airships passed over its fluids either en route between populated eders or exploring the area, but otherwise it seems to have been almost entirely untenanted by terrestrial races, the only exception being the island of Muru where a small population appears to have existed but not spread beyond their home isle. All this began to change when a small band of refugee alchemists from the nearby eder of Saulis. Intent on finding a new place to live, these expatriates were disappointed by the limited land surface in the sea they found but loath to travel further, so they put their alchemical skill to use creating shees to live in.
From that day, Tegn's population slowly grew. Some of the growing populace were the descendants of the original refugees; some were more recent immigrants from other eders; some were descended from the inhabitants of some of Tegn's islands, who, with more room in which to expand, experienced something of a population explosion. The knowledge of the early alchemists was passed on and built on, and more shees were constructed to accomodate the burgeoning population. There remain rumors that some of the first colonists' greatest alchemical secrets they kept to themselves, and that there may still be hidden in the original shees some records of powerful techniques that have since been forgotten. No evidence has turned up of any truth in these rumors, however.
Although Tegn is about seven hundred million square kilometers in total area, its total land area is less than eighty thousand square kilometers. The rest is taken up by the fluids of its monals, of which there are thirty-seven in all. The largest monals are the freshwater monal of Osi, the ammonia monal of Hyhn, the monal of Yys composed of molten gold, and the quicksilver monal of Ahn.
Given the lack of natural landspace, then, Tegn's terrestrial inhabitants live primarily on its shees. Tegn has three hundred and twelve shees of significant size, not counting the small private shees of less than a square kilometer that belong to specific individuals or small organizations. The largest shees are Guradi, Aabon, and Ulamia. In all, the shees cover a little more than fifty million square kilometers—still very much less than the total surface area of the world, but much more than the land below.
Most of Tegn's terrestrial inhabitants are human, but there are other races found there too. Among the races common elsewhere on Sent that are also significant on Tegn are the misj, the yindle, the swese, and the doran. Other races common on Tegn are the swirn, the puncheon, and the alchemically manufactured na rau. Tegn's seas, however, while inhospitable to terrestrial life, have inhabitants of their own, including the strique, the togan, the tossrock, the crog, the ii, and the baderscatch.
Although the few islands that exist in Tegn do have some native wildlife, most of the innoetic terrestrial creatures living on the shees of Tegn have been either imported from other eders or created through alchemy. Prominent in the latter category are the beautiful winged nabi; the formidable bhoja, used as guardians; and the eorrog, amorphous products of procedures gone wrong. The seas teem with life, however, such as the mulge, the meyan, and the great jasiri.
In the millennia since the first shee was formed, Tegn has split into a number of different states and cultures. Some shees share multiple nations, while some nations span multiple shees, most notably the empire of Goom. Given the way the world was founded, the governments of Tegn tend toward goetarchies. Many other forms of government also exist, however, among Tegn's numerous nations.
Because the people of Tegn place so much value on learning, the eder is home to many universities. In fact, these universities are so renowned they even attract students from other eders, some making journeys across hundreds of thousands of kilometers to get there. Most of those students return after their studies to their own eders, but some of them choose to settle in Tegn, adding to the eder's diversity. In any case, the universities form such an important factor in Tegn's society and exert such influence over its culture and economy that they form a potent political force as well, and the rectors of the largest universities have a power rivaling that of the greatest heads of state.
Naturally, the form of magic Tegn is best known for is alchemy; the knowledge passed on from the founders of its shees was built on by later generations until today alchemy is used in Tegn to do many strange and wondrous things. Alchemy supplies power to give the buildings of Tegn convenient light and running water and other liquids, and other amenities not often found elsewhere on Sent. Most of the airships that fly between the shees of Tegn are likewise powered by alchemy. Different shees tend to specialize in different aspects of alchemy, and potions and other alchemical goods are important trade commodities.
However, despite its importance, alchemy is not the only form of magic practiced in Tegn. Satura is in relatively common use, as are low magic and beamery. Other forms of magic are taught in some of the universities but in relatively rare use outside them. Indeed, some universities have developed or discovered proprietary forms of magic not shared with outsiders, their students sworn to uphold their secrets. The most notorious such magic is honimy, a type of magic taught by the widely mistrusted university of Modengony which is believed to involve in some way the undead.