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Dr. E.J. Cain Posts

Ularin: An Overview

The continent of Ularin is home to the many cultures and peoples of Enelis. As I stated in a previous article, the continent is shaped somewhat like the Americas.

The continent of Ularin

This at first allows someone familiar with the Americas to make some assumptions about the land and the even the cultures that reside there.  However, this is simply a fallacy.  First of all, Ularin is about three times larger than North America.  So the assumed distances are actually quite greater than they seem.  This has the consequence of allowing much more space for sprawling kingdoms and empires between the eastern coast of the Erean Ocean and the looming mountains.

The mountains separate the Free Coast from the Aegis Forest.  There are two mountain ranges: the southern range of the Hullepsie Mountains and the northern range of the Eriasha Peaks and the Kalavarian Mountains.

The Free Coast is the land of the humans. The rolling land between the mountains and the coast is governed by a constantly rotating command of kingdoms and city-states. Each sovereignty trying to reclaim the former glory and power of the fallen Nomen Empire (more about that in a future article).  These lands are primarily governed by tentative hierarchies and oppressive feudal systems.  The city of Aureusurbis, or Goldwall as it is commonly known, is the only exception. The sprawling metropolis is the former seat of the Nomen Empire and is the primary trading hub on the Free Coast. The city is capable of defending itself from the lawlessness that surrounds it, but the city’s democratically-elected ruling council has no interest in expansion.

The land of Eshlien is the land between the gap between the northern and southern mountain ranges. It’s eastern border is the Moon Lake and its western border the Aegis Forest.  During the timeline of the novels, Eshlien also suffers from much of the same instability as the Free Coast. Eshlien is the hub of trade between the humans of the coasts and the elves of the forest.  While humans dominate the composition of Eshlien’s residents, there are quite a number of eshmar, or those with mixed elven-human ancestry, who live among them.

North of Eshlien, is the Kingdoms of Kalavar. The seven city-states of the dwarf lords are hidden in the high valleys and rocky peaks of the mountains. The dwarves, many of which are master craftsmen of stone and metal, do much trade with the humans of the coasts, especially in Eshlien and the city of Goldwall. With the exception of Kalgorret, their cities are extensive underground fortress-cities built deep into the mountains.  Many dwarves live their whole lives never seeing the sky.

Enaarvis is the kingdom of the elves. The Demon-Wars trilogy takes place primarily in this elven kingdom. The elven kingdom guards the gap of Eshlien and tries to prevent human expansion into the wild, untouched Aegis Forest. They still trade with the eshmar of Eshlien, sending much finely-crafted wares down the Mareleien River to the Moon Lake’s trading ports. Unfortunately, the monarchy of Enaarvis, along with the elves in general, is in decline.  Each year the humans of Eshlien push their way deeper into the forest with their extensive hunting, logging, and clearing for farmland. The elven kingdom’s ruling monarchy and aristocracy live lavishly in the capital city of Elienspar and seems to care little for what goes on on their eastern border.

That’s the brief overview of the eastern portion of Ularin. In future articles we’ll dive deeper and explore the regions and cultures in greater detail.

Origins of Enelis

The World of Enelis has long been a special place for me. It is a world shaped by my experiences, given life and momentum with each turning point in my own life. Enelis was originally created as a fantasy backdrop for my Dungeons and Dragons games. I had been the game-master of our games since the beginning of high school. My friends and I had played our numerous adventures in a myriad of other game settings and I had slowly begun to collect bits and pieces of these worlds with my own ideas.  I wanted a world that was truly my own, where I could shape and alter its history without worrying about disrupting official canon or be argued with by a player who had read a particular setting book that I hadn’t. In the early days of college, when my friends and I were playing fantasy role-playing games quite frequently, we started playing in a world I was tentatively calling Enelis.

I drew a crude map of the world and described a few of the prominent cultures and nations.  Being somewhat in-artistic at the time, I traced a map of something I was familiar with, North America.  I added some changes here and there, but ultimately the map I presented was the Americas I grew up in with the areas replaced with fantasy nations and cultures.

One of the first crude maps of the Ularin continent on Enelis.

The world was still mostly amorphous and ill-defined, but it sufficed for the adventures and explorations of those early days.  When I went to graduate school, my time for fantasy role-playing diminished and Enelis was put on hiatus.

Years later, near the end of my graduate tenure, some friends convinced me to run another game, since they had never played a fantasy role-playing game before.  So, I ran them on a basic adventure with a generic fantasy backdrop in no particular setting.  After the first adventure, many of them were hooked.  So we extended it out into a longer campaign.  Naturally, I reached for Enelis to provide the setting of that campaign world.  Over the course of the campaign, Enelis got more defined and I began putting together more of the details of the world.

A newer map of the Ularin continent on Enelis.

Enelis is the name of a world, a planet for those with a broader celestial mindset. It has at least two known continents of significant size, Ularin and Alarus.  Ularin is the continent where everyone in my stories lives and breathes (the one shaped like North America). Alarus has greatly shaped the history of the people of Ularin, but the continent itself is shrouded in legend and mystery (more on that in a future post).  The Erean Ocean separates the two continents and every attempt to cross the dangerous ocean has seemingly failed.

Next time I’ll discuss more about the continent of Ularin and possibly some of its history.