Topographical map of Myr'seros showing the locations of well-known landmarks.
Myrseros is the fifth planet in of the binary star system Vahrsykr. Being relatively far from its two suns, Myr'seros is a frigid, icy planet whose surface is covered in snow and ice for many months of the year. However, greenhouse gas-driven climate change has warmed the planet considerably, leading to increasingly large losses in snow cover and rising sea levels.
The main landmass of Myr'seros is the supercontinent Tahr'rihc, which is dominated by the Zyrsitian Range and its surrounding highlands; lowland areas only exist at the coasts and the far western regions. In the pre-industrial era, the world ocean had been ice-capped year-round, with equitorial regions having patches of ice-free water that expanded during the summer. Nowadays, the equatorial ocean is completely ice-free, even in the winter, leading to acute sea level rises. Much of the coast has already disappeared under the rising seas, pushing many species further inland.
A wide variety of organisms live in the various terrestrial and oceanic biomes on Myr'seros. The most prolific and dominant of the Serosian species are the Ferah-saar, a group of bipedal repitilian humanoids that can be found in most, if not all, terrestrial regions. Previously, the Vaelyk-saar had been the only species who could be found in all terrestrial regions, but their range has been drastically reduced because of over-hunting and habitat loss. Overall, Serosian biodiversity is on a steep decline - as much as 60-65% of all species on Myr'seros have gone extinct in the past few centuries and many others are considered vulnerable or endangered.
Named after the Zyrsit, the highest deity of Sa'haar'syk, the Zyrsitian Peaks are a great mountain range that encompasses most of eastern and southern Tahr'rihc. Many of the mighty rivers that flow throughout the land, such as the Eternal River, originate from the meltwaters of the Zyrsitian Range. The ancient temple of Zyrsit is said to be located somewhere in the Artesian Crown region, but the exact location is still unknown. Despite the large area the Zyrsitian Peaks cover, only about 50% of the range has been mapped or explored. The unforgiving slopes, covered with hidten crevasses and sheer drops, have killed many brave explorers and deterred hundreds more.
The Ferah-saar evolved on the western highlands of the Zyrsitian Peaks and many still feel a deep spiritual connection to these mountains. The Vaelyk-saar evolved on the eastern coastal slopes of the Zyrsitian Peaks, and what remains of their population can still be found there.
The Artesian Crown is a region in the central Zyrsitian Peaks where most of the rivers of Myr'seros originate. Snow and ice accumulate in the region during the winter and melt during the spring, creating the headwaters that will fuel the Serosian rivers until the next year's ice melt. Water that comes directly from the Artesian Crown is sold at a premium, as traveling there involves hiking for days in the Zyrsitian Peaks.
Ferah-saar, regardless of their religious beliefs, consider the region sacred, for life on Myr'seros would perish without the rivers that flow from the Artesian Crown. However, the volume of the ice sheets in the area has heavily decreased in recent years, leading many to worry that the rivers may dry up for the first time in recorded history.
The Observatory is the highest mountain on Myr'seros, whose original name has been lost to history. It is located in Tahr'saar'rihc's Spine region of the Zyrsitian Peaks, but it is rarely seen due to the storm clouds that frequently form in the area. On clear days, some Ferah-saar report seeing a strange structure near the summit. It is said that Vahrtiis, deity of stars and light, resides at the very top of the mountain, where ze can be closest to the cosmos.
The Observatory has never been scaled before due to its steepness, unpredictable weather, and thin air; even the Vaelyk-saar avoid flying near its slopes. It is considered taboo to depict the summit in images or to take photos of it.
The Winding Scar is a vast canyon system carved into the Wekr Plateau by the Eternal River. Legends state that Zyrsit created the Winding Scar during zer battle with Faetrihc, zer claws digging into the earth to prove the dominion of water and ice over rock. The rim of the canyon is almost two miles higher than the base, resulting in the emergence of several distinct biomes based on altitude. It used to be a rite of passage for Ferah-saar living near the Winding Scar to descend and ascend the entire height of the canyon, but nowadays the trails are only walked by those seeking a physical challenge.
Strong thunderstorms plague the Winding Scar during the summer, often forming quickly and without warning. These storms and the precipitation they bring often leads to flash flooding inside the canyon and further downstream. Those seeking to visit the bottom of the Winding Scar typically go during the spring and fall to avoid the storms.
The Enlightened Depths is an underwater trench system located north of the Lyvtiil Islands and the deepest known area on the surface of Myr'seros. The maximum depth point, estimated to be somewhere in the eastern portion of the trench, is known as Seitziil's Illumination. Some Ferah-saar believe that there is a vast library hidden in the Depths, which contains all the knowledge that Seitziil has accumulated from the Void.
Not much is known about the biomes and organisms that exist within the Depths. The thick surface ice and the crushing pressures below make it excruciatingly difficult to send observation probes down far enough to reach the bottom; however, scientists are certain that unique life forms subsist in some form down in the Depths.
Fahlarxhae is a volcanic island to the southeast of Tahr’rhic and the largest island of Faetahran Archipelago. Unlike the other islands of the Archipelago, Fahlarxhae is largely uninhabitable due to the constant eruptions of its main volcano, Faetrihc’s Rage. Those who have explored the island have described it as a "scorching hellscape" due to the unrelenting heat and pervasive lava flows. Not even the sea life is entirely safe either, as the ocean temperatures are near boiling where the lava meets the water.
Despite the dangers associated with its tectonic activity, Fahlarxhae remains a popular tourist destination due to its unique black sand beaches and complete lack of snow. Visitors are advised to keep close to the shore and to carry ice packs in case of heat exhaustion.
Saar's Rest is a giant boneyard nestled in the southwestern Wekr Foothills. For whatever reason, the creatures of the Wildwoods all flock there to die, leaving behind carcasses in various states of decay. Scientists believe that the secluded nature of Saar's Rest makes animals feel safer, but the constant presence of dead organisms seems to counter that idea. Special types of "corpse plants" grow throughout Saar's Rest, presumably due to the nutrient-enriched soil.
Saar's Rest is a heaven for anyone interested in bones, as well-preserved skeletons are often available for the taking. An entire industry for cleaned bones has sprung up in the area, and a vast majority of the Xheiyeran-themed accessories being sold throughout Myr'seros originate in some way from Saar's Rest.
Map of Myr'seros showing the six geographical regions and some of their subdivisions.
Myr'seros can be split into 6 general geographic regions based on topography, climate, and ecosystems. These general regions can then be further subdivided into smaller, more well-defined geographical locales.
- Zyrsitian Peaks
Biomes: Alpine tundra, taiga, montane grasslands, alpine lakes
The Zyrsitian Peaks refers to the high-altitude mountainous regions on and around the main mountain range in the east of Tahr'rhic. It is the largest geographic region of Myr'seros, due to the large amount of land area that is taken up by the mountains. Many unique biomes exist in the Zyrsitian Peaks, though they are hard to study because of how difficult they are to reach.
- Tahr'saar'rihc's Spine
Biomes: Alpine tundra
Common organisms: ???
Tahr'saar'rihc's Spine refers to the set of ultra-high mountain peaks in the mid-northern region of the Zyrsitian Peaks. The summits of these mountains are the highest terrestrial points on Myr'seros. The low oxygen, low temperature, and high radiation environment ensures that only microscopic and near-microscopic organisms can survive here.
- Shattered Coast
Biomes: Cold desert, zeric shrublands
The Shattered Coast refers the southeastern coast of the Tahr'rihc, which is characterized by steep cliffs that rise thousands of feet into the air and drop suddenly into valleys or directly into the ocean. Due to the rain shadow cast by the mountains to the west, the Shattered Coast receives little precipitation. Organisms living in the area generally have to travel to the ocean to obtain sustenance and many have evolved flying or gliding capabilities to make the journey easier.
- Kyr'xhaer Fjords
Biomes: Alpine tundra, brackish river
The Kyr'xhaer Fjords refers the southwestern "tail" of the Zyrsitian Peaks, which is characterized by long inlets bordered by high cliffs. The fjords in this area are often filled with fog, making navigation difficult to impossible. Creatures residing in this area rely equally on echolocation, magnetoreception, and sight to perceive the world around them. It is common for sensors to get jammed in the Kyr'xhaer Fjords due to the sheer amount of frequencies being broadcasted by the area's native inhabitants.
- Wekr Plateau
Biomes: Alpine tundra, taiga, montane grasslands, zeric shrublands, freshwater rivers
The Wekr Plateau refers to the flat highland region directly west of the Zyrsitian Peaks as well as the vast canyon system carved by the Eternal River. This region contains the highest number of ecosystems on Myr'seros, due to the variety of elevation-based biomes in the Winding Scar. When describing the biomes of the Wekr Plateau, it is important to designate it as either a "north" or "south" biome, as the plateau is separated into two halves by the canyon.
- Xhei Lowlands
Biomes: Montane forest, steppe, wetlands
The Xhei Lowlands refers to the mid- to low-latitude regions of far-west Tahr'rihc, which are relatively absent of mountainous terrain. Unlike the high elevation areas of the Zyrsitian Peaks, the weather in the Xhei Lowlands is much milder and more amenable to plant growth.
- Qihyr Plains
The Qihyr Plains refers to the relatively flat region located in the far west of Tahr'rihc. The flat topography makes it easier for prey and predators to see each other, resulting in the evolution of highly-detailed camouflage abilities. Organisms living in the Qihyr Plains have seasonal migrations, going southward in the fall to hibernate in the forested Xheiyran's Shroud region and going northward to the Nestuary to reproduce in the spring.
- The Nestuary
The Nestuary refers to the wetlands formed at the intersection of the Eternal River and Qihyr Bay. Semi-aquatic plants take advantage of the fertile silt here to grow as fast as they can during the summers, forming a patchy landscape dotted with competing species. Many terrestrial and aquatic organisms use the protection offered by Nestuary plants to raise their young in relative safety.
- Xheiyran's Shoud
Biomes: Montane forest, temperate forest
Xheiyran's Shroud refers to the continuous forested area that spans the low- and mid-latitudes of mid-western Tahr'rihc. The trees here grow taller than the rest of Myr'seros due to high precipitation and a lack of strong winds. Bioluminescent organisms are common in the old-growth areas where expansive tree canopies have blocked out all light. Various families of carnivorous plants are found all over Xheiyran's Shroud, the most famous being the corpse plants of Saar's Rest.
- Sea of Secrets
Biomes: Deep ocean, polar ocean
The Sea of Secrets refers to the world ocean of Myr'seros, as well as the islands that exist independent of the supercontinent (not including the Faetahran Islands). Most of the underwater biomes have not been explored or documented, though melting ice caps are giving researchers more opportunities to send ships and probes to gather data.
- Lyvtiil Islands
Biomes: Montane forest, taiga
The Lyvtiil Islands refers to the 4 volcanic islands located north of Tahr'rihc. While the volcanoes in the Lyvtiil Islands are largely dormant, geological activity still occurs regularly. The region is notable for its geothermal features, such as hot springs, steam vents, and mudpots, which foster unique microbial lifeforms that can tolerate exceedingly high temperatures and toxic fumes.
- Faetahran Archipelago
Biomes: Temperate forest, cold-water reefs
The Faetahran Archipelaog refers to the volcanic islands located to the southeast of Tahr'rihc. Each island has a slightly different terrain and biosphere, though they share similar climates. Ore deposits are abundant on the islands, leading certain organisms to evolve ways to utilize metals as a form of energy. The coasts of the older islands are surrounded by unique cold-water reefs, which harbor a large amount of biodiversity.
Map of Myr'seros showing the eight provinces that are tied to physical locations.
The Ferah-saar government has separated Myr'seros into 9 distinct provinces for census purposes.
- Zyrsit's Grace
Zyrsit's Grace encompasses all the uninhabited regions of the Zyrsitian Peaks. While it is counted as a province for the sake of policy development and resource management by the government, no permanent residences exist here. Ferah-saar seeking to journey into Zyrsit's Grace for any reason (including research, commercial/economic, and recreational purposes) must obtain a permit from the provincial office.
- The Highlands
Other notable settlements: Kehlkwekr, Nyrvolt
The Highlands encompass the high-altitude regions of the western Zyrsitian Peaks, including the Wekr Plateau. It is the economic and political hub of Myr'seros and contains some of the largest cities on the planet. Many corporations are headquartered in the metropolitan areas of the Highlands.
- Eyes of the Deep
Other notable settlements: Seitmyrahl, Vwentros
The Eyes of the Deep, often referred to as "Seitziil's Eyelands," refers to all of the islands dispersed throughout the Sea of Secrets (not including the Faetahran Islands). Most of the population lives on the Lyvtiil Islands, a set of 4 islands to the north of Tahr'rihc. The Lyvtiil Islands are home to many institutions of higher learning and are considered a mecca for academics and scholarly types.
- Qihyr Plains
Other notable settlements: Tsaeran, Zaa'seros
The Qihyr Plains is one of the two provinces located in the Xhei Lowlands and encompasses the low-lying northwestern region of the continent. Its fertile soils, relatively flat topography, and access to water make it a prime location for agriculture and aquaculture. Most of the food produced on Myr'seros come from the farms in the Qihyr Plains.
- The Wildwoods
Other notable settlements: Ferosihc, Xheiyk
The Wildwoods is one of the two provinces located in the Xhei Lowlands and encompasses the mid-altitude southwestern region of the continent. The province is dominated by a huge, expansive forest, though the size of said forest has decreased dramatically due to legal and illegal logging and land-clearing. A culture of crafting has popped up in the area, largely in part due to the existence of Saar's Rest and its seemingly-unending supply of bones.
- Faetahran Islands
Other notable settlements: Xhyurahl, Dehvaahc
The Faetahran Islands encompasses all the islands in the Faetahran Archipelago. Due to the large amount of minerals and ores available in the area, the Faetahran Islands have emerged as the premier manufacturing and production hub of Myr'seros. Due to the high costs of shipping items overseas, many competitors have sprung up in mainland Tahr'rihc; however, since many master craftspeople and skilled workers still reside on the archipelago, the quality of goods produced on the Faetahran Islands is still vastly better than those produced elsewhere.
- Tahr'saar'rihc's Tail
Other notable settlements: Maeriin
Tahr'saar'rihc's Tail encompasses the entire southwestern region of Zyrsitian Peaks, which juts out like a tail into the Sea of Secrets. This province has the lowest population and population density of all the Serosian Provinces, due to the difficulty of navigating and communicating in the area. It is largely a tourism destination, geared at 'saar who to cut off all communication with the outside world for a while.
- The Desolation
Other notable settlements: Vyraet
The Desolation encompasses the arid southeastern coast of the Zyrsitian Peaks. All of the settlements in this province are situated on the edge of the sea. The extreme aridness of the region has facilitated the development of a special "banking" industry dedicated towards storing items in secure and hard-to-reach locations.
- Vaelyk's Refuge
Vaelyk's Refuge isn't so much a pre-defined region of Myr'seros, but rather a net-term used to refer to the colonies of eastern Tahr'rihc that still engage in saar-faets with the Vaelyk-saar. Though they technically reside in the Desolation, they are counted as a separate province due to their unique needs in relation to other settlements.