Telifog

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Telifog (pronounced /ˈtɛlɪfɔːg/) is a solar domain along the southwest border of Vlastach. The name comes from the Alar Teilifarum, meaning "between two seas", and with good reason: Telifog borders the Mirror Sea to the northeast and the Gloaming Sea on the southwest, the land area being an oblong rectangle between the two.

Contents

Geography

Between the Mirror Sea on one side and the Gloaming Sea on the other, the land part of Telifog is just a relatively narrow strip three thousand kilometers wide. To the northwest, Telifog meets the domains of Jacca and Ketaski, and to the southeast the "dark land" of Ruale. (Technically, the domain of Telifog also shares borders with Metcitum and Kithelin, but these borders are in the middle of the Mirror Sea.)

Running lengthwise down the western part of the domain, closer to the Mirror Sea than to the Gloaming, is a mountain range, the Hartoks. It is in the eastern part of the Hartoks that Telifog's solar peak rises, Mount Radjala, in which rests the sun Nostezuul. In the southeastern end of the domain, the mountains broaden into a gently sloping ridge, which at the edge of the domain steepens into a plateau.

Fitting its bimarine location, Telifog is a very wet domain; the coast along the Gloaming Sea is largely jungle, fading into mushroom forest on the right end, while much of the shore of the Mirror Sea is swamp. The northeastern part of ridge in eastern Telifog is well watered and green. The dryest part of the domain is the western part of its northern shore, where the wind mostly blows from the mountains and the air has already left most of its moisture on their southern slopes. Also somewhat siccaneous is the southern tip of the domain, sometimes known as the Ocshire, where the slope down to the Gloaming Sea is made up largely of arid hills and karrenfeld, dotted with the occasional wood. The few rivers that run through this badland carve out elaborate canyons, the largest of which, near the edge of the domain, is the Singing Canyon, so called for the eerie "music" created by strong winds blowing through its channels.

Nations

Despite the domain's straitness, no single nation of Telifog spans the entire veigur: a number of nations of Telifog lie along the Mirror Sea, and a number along the Gloaming, but none reach to both. At least one nation, Iamo, did formerly reach both seas, and claimed distant places besides at the peak of its imperial age. Postimperially, though, its size drastically diminished, and now, while still the largest nation lying wholly within Telifog, it is only a fraction of what it once was, and has lost its land along the Gloaming Sea. It still has a considerable coastline along the Mirror Sea, however, but does most of its trade overland, having carved out for itself a lucrative position as the principal intermediary for commerce between the Mirror Sea and the Gloaming.

Other Telifar nations bordering the Mirror Sea include Jjamajj, Kaxusek, and Ylfane. Jjamajj is a nation covered almost entirely by swamp that nevertheless manages to make a good income from rich mines in its few mountains as well as from paludal resources. Kaxusek is a naturally droughty nation that counterchecks this condition by an extensive system of canals. Ylfane also makes extensive use of canals, but for very different reasons; it makes such extensive use of mariculture that it sees benefit in creating extra area for it... besides which, Ylfane also has much dealings with mepqueps, many of whom actually live in the canals among the nation's terrestrial citizens.

On the southwest, the Telifar nation with the longest coastline along the Gloaming Sea is Kek, which has taken advantage of its position to trade with distant lands, sailing through the veigur of Cha'a'e all the way to the Gloaming's ferren shores. Another nation on the Gloaming is Maicon, one of only two countries on Vlastach to be populated mostly by casami. Satce, a former part of the Iamese Empire that reacted to independence by seeking to do things as differently as possible from its former masters, has a small outlet to the Gloaming between Kek and Maicon. And, of course, Kahmari, while it lies mostly in the domain of Jacca, extends partly into Telifog as well, making it the only nation on Vlastach to have continuous territory in two solar domains.

Telifog also contains a few landlocked nations that border neither sea. The sun-baked nation of Scigritti lies high in the Hartok Mountains, surrounding Mount Radjala itself. In the jungles of western Telifog, Gaharum struggles to utilize its natural resources to escape the poverty that has long afflicted it. On the opposite side of the mountains, Kilchech is a tiny nation founded by Blotesian refugees from Kaxusek when that nation rebelled against the empire that claimed it.

Life

Telifog teems with life in its well-watered western wilds. The swamps are home to kehru and their more intelligent cousins, iako, as well as to tsilikins, crocodiles, and frostbirds. Invertebrates of the swamps include liver slugs, giant crabs, niceworms, and the many species of paradise slug. The swamps contain many unusual flora as well, not just useful plants like the oil tree, or strange but harmless species like jewel moss and screamlilies, but some, like the lady's hand, that can cause painful rashes or other ill effects, and some, such as the butcher vine, the clapper tree, and the uardego, that are actively dangerous (as well as some, like the demon's goblet, that are useful, strange, and dangerous all at once). A few notable swamp creatures are technically neither animal nor vegetable, such as ghostweed, waterpoms, and chaochole.

In the jungle canopies dwell carpet sloths, monkey sharks, aabats, and piewocks. The forest floor is roamed by gherigens, psashis, glass cats, and many types of shannarac. The jungle trees include such exotic varieties as spiltrees, dirgebells, and zvabra trees, while other flora include eyevines, bladderbushes, and scuttleweed.

While not as densely populated, the drier eastern part of the domain is certainly not lifeless. The stony barrens are home to such creatures as tapals, chickers, and yaninos. Witherthorn, glory cactus, and spiritberry shrubs grow among the karstland's sparse vegetation. And of course the mushroom forests have their own fauna, including chattersquid and mushroom hawks.

Stars

The two most famous fixed constellations of Telifog are Chiai, the Seal; and Dyasarala, the Jewel of Dyasa. The former was created just after the Second Demon War, and is purposed to close off a crepature through which demons were entering the world. The latter is notable because it was formerly a wandering constellation which was sickered in place by a powerful sorcerer. Other fixed and bound constellations in the domain are Rohai the Climber, Issiri the Hornbill, Maro the Delver, Ors the Helmet, and Seneres the Theelian.

Another notable constellation of Telifog is Oaldi, a peregrine gyrant constellation most of the path of which lies over Cha'a'e but which passes over Telifog about once every eight years. A unique arcanum accompanies Oaldi's travels, and a strange group of viadants called Rounders follow it to stay always below the constellation and within its zone of influence.

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