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Located in the northeast, Ortesia is the largest of Empyria's continents. Most of it is covered in flat grassland or shrubland, suitable for agriculture and construction, but the background mana field over it produces a variety of weather anomalies. As a result, it suffers from harsh unpredictable winds, and much of its land is difficult to use.
The mountain range in the north is named Salamander's Teeth for its tall but thin peaks.
Notable Landmarks: Sylph's Shrine, Valefar Academy
Valefar City and its surrounding plains are the territory of the Great Spirit Sylph, who takes an uncommon interest in the affairs of humans and defends the city against monsters and human invasions. As such, Valefar enjoys the distinction of being the largest city in the world, as well as the only city without defensive walls.
Owing to its status as a safe neutral zone, many people move to Valefar to start a new life or hide from their pasts. Plenty of smuggling and shady deals happen behind the scenes, but Sylph draws the line at violence, so if you try to murder someone within city bounds be prepared for a couple magic pigeons to beat the shit out of you.
Valefar Academy, whose sprawling campus takes up the entire west quarter of the city, is one of the most prestigious mage academies on the planet. Many rich Orlisians send their children to Valefar to get a proper education, contributing to the already wide variety of humans that can be found here.
Notable Landmarks: Salamander's Shrine, Phenex Tech
Phenex suffers from the worst of Ortesia's infamous weather anomalies: although located in the middle of an icy mountain range, temperatures in Phenex are warm to boiling the whole year round. Approaching travelers will be blasted by a wave of heat about 2km before reaching the city, comparable to stepping out of an air-conditioned house on a summer day, and things just get worse from there.
The mountains near Phenex are rich in magesilver, making it an excellent location for the production and manufacturing of magitech. The city's skyline is packed with factories and obscured by smoke. Salamander has taken a great interest in magitech as well, and had a personal hand in the founding of Phenex Tech, a highly exclusive mage academy.
Notable Landmarks: Orlis Royal Palace
Leraye is the capital and crown jewel of the Orlis Empire. A planned city designed to awe travelers, its architecture is all imposing arches and stained glass. The royal family and their most trusted noble advisors live here.
Although formerly a small trade port, Aym Harbour flourished after the war and has now become a bustling resort town. It fills up with tourists during the summers, many of them students of nearby academies looking for something to do during summer breaks.
Located in the southwest, Milluria is a continent completely under Wywick's rule. About half of it is covered in thick forest, with dungeons hidden in the depths. It is the only inhabited continent that has not been fully explored: although the mountains in the north are Wywick territory in theory, they are poorly mapped out in practice since they are infested by both native monsters and ones that migrated south from the nearby Endlands.
The Teale River winds its way from northwest to southeast, across almost the entire continent. It is very spiritually and agriculturally important to the people of Milluria.
Notable Landmarks: Gnome's Shrine, Ronwe Coliseum
Ronwe is a historied city. It was built over the ruins of a First Age city a few decades after the Cataclysm, and there are families in Ronwe who can trace their heritage all the way to that beginning. Today, it is mostly known for its festivals - some with historic origins, some brought by travelers, and some just plain invented for the sake of it. There's some big party or parade practically every week of the year.
The landscape around Ronwe is rugged and mountainous; in fact, most of Ronwe's buildings and walkways are carved directly out of the rock face. The city sits practically on top of a fault line and earthquakes are a common occurrence. Mysterious First Age machines buried deep below the city used to stabilize it and protect the city from the worst disasters, but most of them have ceased to function, and today Gnome takes that role from within her underground shrine.
Notable Landmarks: Undine's Shrine, Waterfall Palace
The capital of Wywick. Situated in a valley on the bank of the Teale River, Kimaris is a beautiful city surrounded by lush vegetation. The nearby hills have been converted into multicoloured rice terraces, producing plenty of food to be exported to the rest of the kingdom.
It was chosen to be the capital based on its proximity to Undine's Shrine; the Great Spirit of water's presence lends a certain credibility to the royal family's claims of being chosen by the spirits. Undine herself rarely gets involved in human politics, though, preferring to let them just sort it out themselves.
Aurnica is a small continent in the southeast. Although in present day it is scarce in useful resources and mostly composed of unusably marshy land, 1000 years ago Aurnica was the heart of the Telos civilization. There are more First Age ruins in Aurnica than Ortesia and Milluria combined. In recent years, there have been several wars over the ownership of these ruins and the valuable artifacts within.
Barnett was a small Wywish town located in the forests on the west side of Aurnica. It was a small farming community, wholly unremarkable other than its proximity to a large underground First Age ruin. The latest Orlis-Wywick war sprung from a territory dispute over said ruin and its surroundings, including Barnett. The conflicts escalated until Orlis deployed an experimental new war machine in Barnett, leveling the town and instantly killing everyone within it. The site where Barnett used to stand remains a virulent magic wasteland to this day.
While it is sadly common for Aurnican towns to suffer in conflicts over First Age ruins, Barnett is the only town to ever be destroyed during such a conflict. Livable cities are a valuable resource in Empyria, and both major countries are usually quite careful to capture cities without doing major damage. Thus, it has posthumously qualified for this notable city list.
Located in the northwest, the Endlands are an inhospitable wasteland with the densest mana background field on the entire planet. The land generates so many monsters that it would be completely impossible to settle it, and even sailing through the North Sea can be perilous as flying and swimming monsters from the Endlands often drift south and accost travelers. Most scholars believe this is because the Endlands were the site of the Cataclysm, and the potent magical energy from the event lingers there to this day.
Scouts who have sailed near the Endlands report seeing First Age ruins on the horizon, confirming that the Telos civilization spanned all four known continents. It is far too dangerous to mount a long-term expedition to study these ruins, though, so they remain untouched.