The Realm of Askamar

Askamar is a magical realm linked to the mundane world of Udaris by Gateways. Some call it the Sunless Realm, as the land lies in eternal twilight. The Askamaran skies are lit by the ambient glow of magic, and it is this magic, rather than sunlight, which sustains all life in the realm.

Askamar is home to the immortal Ankaykari, who claim to have existed since the dawn of time. They say they are the only true natives of the realm, but they now share Askamar with mortal peoples, plants and creatures whose ancestors migrated through the Gateways in distant ages. Among these are the winged yuyarni, some of whom serve them while others wish only to be left in peace.

askamar

While Udaris is a globe, Askamar is a plane surrounded by an ocean called the Sea of Smoke. At its heart lies the island of Dakayathar and the Abyss. To mortals, Askamar appears unchanging. They beleive it is always winter at the Outer Reaches and always summer in the Middle-lands. However, the Ankaykari know this is untrue.

There are seasons in the Sunless Realm, each of which lasts for five hundred years. During the centuries of summer, all the skies of the realm are stained red and the lurethun trees blossom. During the centuries of winter, the deserts become grasslands and flowers unfurl from the ancient zaktas. Once Askamar was as barren as the Dimensions, but now it is teeming with mortal life.

The ‘Kingdoms’ of Askamar

Politically, Askamar is divided into nine Courts. Humans call these the nine kingdoms, for each is ruled by one of the Esu Ankaykari (who may also have lands in Udaris). However, duchy might be a more accurate translation than kingdom.

The lands of a Court are composed of the personal territory of its ruler along with the territories of their two or three Nayusuru servants. Sometimes an Esu will rise up and claim the allegiance of the others, forming a ‘Sovereignty’. The royal court is situated in their Citadel, and the other Esu serve them as vassals – at least until they are overthrown.

The Ankaykari’s great ceremonial sites are situated on the island of Maroth, which is common to all.

askamar_bwHumans in Askamar

Askamar has long been a source of fascination for humankind, but it is a perilous land. Only certain springs are safe to drink from and only certain fruits are safe to eat. Even those which are not lethal to mortals can have strange side-effects. In many cases, humans who drink the waters of Askamar gain magical powers but become trapped in the Sunless Realm, as they can no longer survive without magic to sustain them.

Some people travel to Askamar because they are seeking the magical azuhan jewels that wizards need to cast their spells. Others want to gain knowledge or earn glory.

Few remain for long, but there are those who choose to stay in the Ankaykari Citadels. They find life difficult, for they feel oppressed by the unending gloom and fall sick because they lack the nutrients found in sunlight. Ankaykari can heal most ailments, but they can do little about the depression which settles over some.

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An epic fantasy saga