Celmarea lies near the center of the Northern Ocean. The nearest inhabited mainland is two to three days’ sail to the east. To the north, about five days away, are the ten thousand islands of the Trystan Archipelago. The islands of the tropics are about the same distance to the south. Arra, Destauria, and Audicia, the closest inhabited places, are our closest neighbors.
Celmarea is a sub-tropical island situated at the confluence of a warm current from the south, and a cool current from the northwest. The climate is mild and extremes of temperature are rare. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are wet. Only occasionally does it snow.
Size and Shape
One can ride around Celmarea following the beach trails in less than a day. It takes several hours to navigate the limestone plateau of the northwest, where white cliffs abut the sea. The island’s profile resembles a capital letter R, with a bay opening to the south, and a long dune-topped peninsula (the diagonal stroke of the R) protecting the bay from the ocean swells.
Celmarea used to be part of a much larger land mass that has subsided beneath the ocean surface. It’s mainly limestone. There’s some marble too, but most of the marble that makes up our great palace was brought from the mainland.
Forests cover the interior, repleneshing a thick layer of topsoil and humus. The island is riddled with caves, especially in the north. Corals ring the island. The reef life in the cold current is quite different from the life in the warm current.
Plants and fungi
Wild plants: Three quarters of Celmarea is covered by a forest of both deciduous and evergreen species. Some green is maintained all year. Wild flowering plants and fungi abound, and we frequently collect them for use in cooking and medicine.
Domestic plants: We have domesticated several wild grasses which supply protein-rich grain. In farms surrounding our city we grow thousands of varieties of vegetables, fruits and mushrooms. We also tend to underwater plantations of nutritious sea grasses and algae.
Wild animals: Most of Celmareas native wild animals are small and harmless, the largest being a tiny herbivorous goat called a maran. Non-native animals like deer and wild white horses flourished after being brought here millenia ago from the mainland. We need to carefully watch their activities and numbers so they don’t upset the natural order. Lizards and frogs abound, including sea lizards. 213 species of birds call the island home–some all year, and some for part of the year. Bats roost in the limestone caves, and small marsupials called rethins leap between the branches and trunks of tall trees. Our waters team with life of all description.
Domestic animals: We keep a few species of domesticated animals, such as horses, dogs, cats, cows, sheep, goats and fowl.
The sea is part of our world. Its vast expanses… Its canyons and reefs… Its creatures… Our Celmarea is far larger than just our island.
In our forest, life surrounds and renews us.