Map of the Western Kingdoms
Since the days of Lore, the five prongs of the Western Kingdoms have been at war. Mountains cannot part them, nor mile nor land nor sea, and nor can the spray from the waves cool their fury of a long forgotten wrong. Destined to forever clash and lock horns, friendships are broken and enemies made as each facet struggles for power. Welcome to the Western Isles.
It takes at least 2 seasons (6 months) to get from one end of the Isles to the other (Silverthorne to Windborne) on the most direct route, if the fawnling in question is traveling at pace and is not interrupted.
It takes at least several weeks to get through especially mountainous regions.
Travel between Kingdoms is not a short walk, and is often hazardous. All Kingdoms besides your own are hostile to one another, and generally mean that when travelling through them detours have to be made to find adequate food and water away from the main guarded herd areas and predators.
It will take longer if your fawnling is:
- Visiting Friends
- Going in circles
- On holiday
- With a fawn
- Not well fed or watered
- Sick / injured
- Encountering bad weather
- Stopped for any reason
Most like Australia
Separated from the rest of the kingdoms at high tide by Blackfoot Sound, Windborne is the northernmost island in the Western Isles and represents one of the five Fawnling kingdoms. Its flora and fauna differ to that of the main island, with eucalypt forests and snowgrass glades. Its environment is reminiscent of Australia, with rugged granite outcroppings and a dry climate. The wildlife on the island reflect this also, with a collection of odd animals including kangaroos, koalas, wombats, platypus and echidnas. The majority of the wildlife on the island are birds however, with many of the species native to Australia. There are few natural predators on the island that hunt the Fawnlings, though danger is real in the snakes and spiders that inhabit the island, and large wedge-tailed eagles are known to take fawns.
The main grazing ground on the island is in the mountains and forests around Westhaven, dotted with eucalypts, teatree, bottlebrush and other low shrubs. Sweet snowgrass grows in the mountainous regions and gives way to grassland as the land flattens out towards the coast, where paperbarks and gum trees dominate the scenery. The waters of Haven Creek supply the pastures of Westhaven with fresh water and eventually flow into Alba Lake on the plains. To the northwest, across a narrow tidal strip known as The Spit, lies Point Danger; a swampy quagmire known for flooding and bogs that can ensnare a Fawnling. The coastline here forms Cockle Bay, a large sheltered cove with very shallow waters making for a picturesque setting. The highest mountains on Windborne are the Sorghum Peaks, high alpine mountains with sparse treecover and towering cliffs. These are the source of the River Mor and Bottleneck Creek, which runs into Gumtree Hollow; a secluded grazing ground with dense cover and deep gullies. There are two points on Windborne where Fawnlings may cross to the south island at low tide, one on the easternmost point north of Gumtree Hollow and one just south of where the River Mor enters the ocean.
North of the mountains the land is cut across by the River Raul which runs into the twin lakes, Lake Raul and Lake Reid. The plains beyond this are known as The Burns, for the great bushfire that left the land scarred many generations ago, with bare dead gums still remnants of the furious fire. There is little vegetation aside from sparse scrub and grassland here, as this cape receives the brunt of harsh winds from the north. To the north, The Cape is another swampy landscape but offers more protection from weather and valuable plants for healing and magics.
Most like Britain (England / Scotland)
The largest of the five kingdoms, Glenmore extends from the coast to the Ridgeback Range. Its habitat is far more European than the northern island, with typical temperate forest conditions and animals, with a slight tropical hint towards the coast. The main grazing area is Glenwood, nestled in the crook of the Ranges and spreading out in great forested glade to the coast. In the centre of the kingdom are the Glenmore mountains and Lock Kerr which freezes solid in the winter time, with the lower foothills being shielded from the worse of the weather. The mountains house a small series of caves which can offer stranded Fawnlings a safe haven if caught in a storm on the exposed mountainside, with an underground limestone system the perfect home for harvesting important medicines and tinctures.
The Ridgeback River runs along the spine of the range and down into The Needle; a scrubby, rocky cape with the tail of the Ridgeback Range plummeting into deep gorges and crevices. The landscape flattens out to coastal dunes, windswept and devoid of treelife and battered by northern storms. Whitewater Cape and Sharktooth Bay are frequented by seals, and their hunters, sharks, however in the winter when storms are frequent many of both species are dashed against sharp rocks and their teeth litter the beach in spring.
The kingdom is well wooded as a whole and many of its reaches offer excellent year round grazing. There are no natural predators on land save for the eagles in the upper reaches of the mountains, with most of the animal population being small birds and mammals. Red squirrels are the most common of these, followed by a great many owl species that live among the boughs of the great forests. At the centre of the Glenwood there is a giant oak tree that the Fawnlings congregate around and worship.
Most like Siberia / Russia
Though not the smallest of the five kingdoms, much of Blackwood is highly mountainous, separated from the other territories by immense mountain ranges. The main grazing area is the enormous continuous wood that goes by the same name, hidden away in the deep wide valley between the Whitepeak and Ridgeback Ranges. The wood is made up almost entirely of dense pines, blotting out most of the light even during the day and giving the forest its name. The Red River and Redwater run along the northern border and lie in the foothills of the Ridgeback Ranges. The terrain is notoriously confusing and there are many blind corners, combined with the blanketing effect on sound from the canopy leaves a haunted feeling about the place.
Of all the territories, Blackwood has the richest supply of medicines and fungi with special properties, many that do not grow in any of the other kingdoms. These are found in all reaches of the kingdom, from the wood itself to more rare and coveted species around The Red River, Widow’s Hollow, Whitepeak and the mountains above the Sandy Coast. Widow’s Hollow is thought to be a haunted place and few venture there, for even for the non-superstitious the country is shaly and perilous with sharp drops and steep inclines among deep valleys. Whitepeak and the Whitepeak Ranges are the tallest mountains in the Western Isles, and have snow on their tops all year round, becoming completely blanketed in winter, as does most of Blackwood. Skylake feeds the Whiteriver which runs down into the wood, and is thought to have special properties, and is fed in turn by a large glacier near the summit. The eastern coast, known as the Sandy Shore is a barren place with little life to speak of, and is quite bleak despite its name.
There is very little wildlife to speak of at all in Blackwood, besides the Fawnlings who live there, with more of the animals residing on the mountains around it. Wolves are known to live in the Whitepeak Ranges, and there are rumours of a mountain lion prowling Widow’s Hollow. A very few owls visit the wood, and more frequently in winter where the deep valley offers shelter from the wind. In the mountains nimble footed goats with shaggy coats and dull eyes keep many of the predators away from the fleeter Fawnlings. Ice bears are also known to dwell in the highest peaks, coming down to hunt when food is scarce.
Most like Africa / Grassy Woodland
Second largest of the kingdoms, Silverthorn has the most varied terrain of the five territories. Extending from the Whitepeak Ranges, the territory encompasses the mountains south of Skylake and extends to the southernmost point of the island chain. The main grazing areas are Silverwood, a great oak and ash forest, and Silver Vale, a wide sloping plain that extends all the way to the Southern Coast. Thought to be some of the most habitable and beautiful territory in the Western Kingdoms, the climate is milder than in Blackwood and is sheltered from northern winds in the winter, where Fawnling gather in the glades and valleys.
To the east lie the Iron Hills, so called for their grey granite peaks and silverbarked birch forests. The higher peaks of these hills are dotted with pines and sparse vegetation, however the ravines offer protection from the elements and good grazing, if poor lighting from above. In the west the Ash Plains are a great open savannah, cleared long ago by fire, that offers miles and miles of long grass to feast upon, if little cover from predators. On its northern edge lies the Black Lake, whose waters are very deep and ice cold, and are said to have subterranean tunnels leading to the ocean. South of Silverwood lies Ironbark Peak and The Grey Lake, a strange almost tropical forest outpost in contrast to the rest of the southern island.
Unlike most of the other kingdoms, Silverthorne does have a considerable predator population; red foxes prowl the Iron Hills along with snow leopards and mountain lions. On the Ash Plains, they are hunted by spotted servals and tuft-eared caracals. However usually the predators leave the Fawnlings unharmed, only going after fawns, as adults are notorious for being difficult to bring down and are capable of killing predators with their horns.
Most like subtropical rainforest (Queesland's rainforests (Australia), New Zealand's rainforests)
Oakfern is by far the smallest of the Western Kingdoms with the most defined boundary - the Rabbit River which intersects the countryside. The Warren is a mountain system barring entry into the territory via direct means with crumbly slopes and plunging cliffs. The mountain ridge got its name from the warren-like system of caves and tunnels that runs beneath and through the earth, extending into the three neighboring territories and creating an underground labyrinth. Without guidance, the cave and tunnel system is so confusing and complex that almost all who enter face starvation save for sheer dumb luck. The Rabbit River runs underground through many of the tunnels, which can become dangerous and flooded after rain. The moist, damp conditions are a perfect breeding ground for many types of glowing fungi, whose iridescence provides light in the subterranean world as well as powerful medicines.
Despite the semi-tropical forests south of The Warren being completely habitable, few of the Fawnlings venture into this part of their territory in fear of predation by jaguars. The east coast is quite barren and windswept, with the Shoals just offshore. The northern half of Oakfern is quite swampy with a number of peat bogs and steaming springs, however offers good plants for medicine and magic, as well as valuable warmth in winter time if there are problems with the underground springs.