The Elysian Continent was divided into two halves. The Humans controlled the north, while the Dwarves ruled the south. As for the Giants and Gnomes, they usually intermingled with the Humans and Dwarves.
At the very south and north, there were mountainous areas that were practically uninhabitable. While the very center of the continent was a barren desert. There were enormous rivers, huge bays and there were even seas scattered across the terrain.
One third of the planet was covered by land, so that singular continent was nearly sixty-million square miles in area. The shape was rather messy, with what could have originally been nine separate continents, smashed into a single asymmetrical oval. There were jagged edges everywhere and incongruities, but the overall shape was indeed similar to an egg.
Although the rest of the world was covered with water, there were plenty of islands scattered around and the elevation of the ocean floor wasn’t the same everywhere. On some of those islands, there were a few surviving Beastkin and Orcish races.
However, it was virtually impossible to traverse the oceans of Elysium. At least, not with the meager naval technology available to them. Crossing large rivers and lakes was already a challenge, while the internal seas were even more difficult. There was far too much to do on land, so no one ever bothered worrying about exploring the oceans.
There were several pseudo continents, which were totally blocked off by enormous jagged mountain ranges. Yet, it was still possible to travel across the coast or through the central desert in order to reach most of them. There were temperate regions, jungles, rainforests, plains, savannas, wastelands, regular forests and all sorts of other climates scattered across the supercontinent.
Northland was a pure human territory, at the very northernmost part of the continent. Although most of the population lived within the plains to the south, small villages and towns were scattered throughout the wilderness. Supposedly, Giants, Dwarves and Gnomes gathered in the mountains and within the underground tunnels. However, most of them had already been exterminated by the Northland Crusaders.
The Kingdom was a great place to live, as long as you were a ‘pure-blooded’ human. Of course, their idea of purity only included the descendants of the Goddess Sariel. On Earth, they would be considered ‘Asian’, but on Elysium, they were known as Northerners or Northlanders. There were plenty of other variations of the human genome spread throughout the Elysian Continent, but most of them had similar prejudices against each other.
Thus, even though the enemy of humanity as a whole, were the Dwarves, humans spent most of their time fighting amongst themselves.
Within the plains, nearly a hundred miles to the south of the wilderness where Azra and Yuri were born, there was an enormous metropolis. Obviously they lacked the technology required to build skyscrapers, but there were quite a few multi-story stone and brick structures in the capital of Northland.
There was a colossal ancient citadel at the very center, which doubled as the royal palace. It had gothic architecture and many large grey spires. At the bottom of the small mountain that it was built upon, there were all sorts of buildings spread out and even a few parks. Some structures resembled huge cathedrals, while there were also a few small fortresses.
Then there was a pentagonal wall, made out of limestone. The walls were nearly sixty meters high, while the watchtowers were a hundred meters beyond that. It was truly an impregnable defense… Which begged the question “What were they built to defend against?”
The greatest siege weapons that were available were catapults and trebuchets, but there were similar devices placed on the walls and watchtowers. It would be impossible for an enemy army to set up their own siege weapons outside of the castle’s reach.
Even the tallest Giants only reached nine meters, while the majority were roughly six meters on average. In other words, they wouldn’t have been able to scale or destroy a sixty-meter tall and five meter thick wall.
However, much like on Earth, humanoid creatures weren’t the largest, nor the strongest in terms of physique. There were several variations of gargantuan pachyderms that lived within the plains of Northland. The wooly mammoths, rhinos and even various types of oversized lizards were able to be domesticated by the Giants… At least, that was the case until a few hundred years ago.
Norfolk Castle was once the only bastion of humanity within Northland. The Giants ruled the plains for ages before then, but they became complacent. Unlike the humans, who banded together and stood united, the Giants were split up into many Clans and constantly at war with each other.
The Northlanders slowly and methodically exterminated most of the Giants. In the process of their genocide, they also caused hundreds of species like the Elysian Wooly Mammoth, to go extinct. Of course, in return, they were able to make the plains safe… For pure-blooded Northlanders at least. Everyone else was enslaved or annihilated.
Now, the noble houses and many guilds have all become so powerful that they’ve been able to develop their own cities and territories beyond the reach of the royal family. Although they were united against the other nations to their south, it was nearly impossible for armies to traverse the winding mountains that isolated Northland from the rest of the continent.
They were already on the verge of civil war as it was, not to mention all of the slave rebellions that constantly cropped up. Then, something that no one could have prepared for, suddenly occurred…