Underneath an Orange Sky
Novus Mundus consists of four continents along with numerous smaller islands. The four continents in order of land area are Dilerim, Panarium, Undarak, and Soril. While the larger two continents, Dilerim and Panarium reside mostly in the northern hemisphere the smaller landmasses are entirely on the southern half of the planet. While exact figures are not available it is generally agreed that the Conflux caused a net increase in land area of 30 percent, including nearly the entirety of Undarak.
With a few exceptions the 16 cities that now dominate Novus grew up from smaller national centers. Because of this history, many of the mega-cites still show signs of the racial cultures they originally derived from. However, with the ease of transportation there are now only a handful of racially homogeneous places. This causes tension from time to time as much of the political power is typical still held by the founding races of each city. Strangely this subtle racism is most pronounced in Soril on the southern island continent. This city was originally founded by Half-Elves and Half-Orcs that were displaced by their ‘purer’ cousins. They desired a land of their own and founded Soril as a haven for the persecuted mix species. Ever fearful of new oppression the laws of Soril were written so as to provide certain legal boons to people of mixed blood. This legalized discrimination continues into the modern day despite being significantly diminished from its original form. The city now completely covers the entirety of the island it sits on such that the original name of the island, Erathandrial, is no longer in use.
Seven of the sixteen Great Cities reside on Dilerim. The largest city is Parlak on the southwest shore. This is the capital of the pre-shielding empire of Cindunya and is one of the oldest cities on Novus. The mechanical and arcane ingenuity of the Gnomes allowed Parlak to expand more rapidly than most of the other cities. Jutting up against the western mountain range, the city of Parlak is also connected to the remaining Dwarven underground complexes which helps the city stay well supplied. The inventors of both the pocket chronometer and the standardized Fizzle calendar were both from Parlak and so position and time are both measured from the Parlak Mean.
Three additional cities from the old Cindunya empire still exist, Vernus on the western plain, Kalarba on the coast just north of the Binder Mountains, and Dakra’Tel in the northern highlands.
South-East of Parlak is the dual city of Kolrec-Tanor. A true victim of the Conflux, Kolrec-Tanor was original two separate cities. One, Kolrec, was the second largest city of the Shattenwelt and the other, Tanor, was an independent city just outside the boarders of Cindunya. Turing the Conflux the two cities were slammed together and now they are separated only by a 100 mile long shear cliff. The two races share an uneasy peace but tensions are always high and violence is not uncommon.
South of Kolrec-Tanor is the smallest Dilerim City, Bounties Bridge. The city was originally founded as a colony of Cindunya. By the second century most of the damage caused by the Conflux had been dealt with and numerous groups started looking towards settling the huge swaths of land that either had not existed or been depopulated by the Conflux. One such area was the genisleme region south of the Binder Mountains. A group of settlers, primarily Dwarven and Halfling, set sail from Parlak in the later part of the second century and landed near the southern end of genisleme. The initial explorations inland revealed a huge stone bridge over a ravine with a dry riverbed. There was no evidence of roads or habitation near the bridge. Further study of the far side of the bridge revealed huge diamond and iron deposits as well as a previously unknown plant the settlers named cocoa. The settlement was named Bounties Bridge in honor of these discoveries.
The seventh Dilerim City is another transplant from Schattenwelt. The original name of the city was lost long before the Conflux and it it now known only as the Necropolis. Nearly 80% of the Necropolis is used for internment of or monuments to deceased people from both antemiscrean Schattenwelt and Novus Mundus.
The western continent of Panarium is the birthplace of the elves and humans. The human and elven empires were once quite extensive and covered the entirety of the continent. However, both races were decimated by a deadly virus that killed nearly half of the population of Panarium. The survivors of the plague became the new ruling class. The vacant infrastructure left in the wake of the plague eventually enticed members of all the other races to migrate to Panarium. Following the initial devastation of the plague both empires enjoyed tremendous growth uninterrupted until the beginning of the Dragon War. By the time of the Shielding both empires possessed urban centers of Great City status. Presently these four Great Cities of Panarium are the least homogeneous parts of Novus.
The capital of the Tirdynol empire, New Port City, straddles the river delta on the northeastern arm of the continent. The city is a manufacturing powerhouse. Alchemical plants, forges, smithies, and mills operate 27 hours a day while automatons continually work on new construction projects. Lacking both the efficiency of Gnomish design and the florid beauty of their Elven neighbors, New Port City is considered by some to be an ugly place to live. There is beauty amongst the smog however. Not long before the start of the Dragon War the king commissioned a series of parks to be built all around the city, each one celebrating a particular racial or geography heritage of Novus.
West of New Port City on the central plain is the second Great City of the Human empire, Severmill. Compared to the towering spires of New Port City, Severmill may seem almost quaint. Lying between the arms of two rivers the city grew up from the major market town that served the Human side of the Panarium plane. Despite having nearly the same population of the other Great Cities Severmill was sprawled over twice the land area. Once the shield was raised most of the people moved closer to the city center leaving the outlying areas vacant. The leaders of Severmill quickly realized the potential of the situation and began converting the edges of the city back into arable land. They even employed complex magic to create additional floating farming platforms, doubling the available farmland. Now Severmill is one of the only native sources of crops.
To the south and west of the old human empire are the two remaining cities of the elven kingdom Veralaa. Maisonbois is the larger of the two cities. Lying nearly due west from Severmill on the banks of the West River, Maisonbois is the former capital of Veralaa. The second city of Veralaa is the southern city of Saufport.
Veralaa, Maisonbois in particular, was know in antemiscerian Terra as the center of research in all areas of magic. Two of the five top arcane academies can still be found in Maisonbois. The tile of most magical city was brought into question after the Conflux due to the arrival of the Pasakan city of Arlthelia. This shining jewel now sits along the crest of the western continent just east of the Sky’s Edge mountains.
The central continent of Undarak is unique in that it did not exist prior to the Conflux. Ancient maps show several island chains in what was then called simply The Divide, there was nothing even approaching the size of Undarak. However, the Conflux flung several million square miles into the Divide along with the seeds of what would eventually become the Cities of Zurath, Einrethar, and Etymopolis.