This turned out longer than expected, especially for something that has so few distinctive markers on the map as of yet. Or maybe it’s because of that. I had hardly anything to work with so I had to work extra hard to think up what Haven is actually like and a lot came out in the process. Whatever the reason, I’ve realized more actively than before that the maps – especially those of the South – are really in need of an update. That is something for the future, though. For now let’s continue sculpting. ^_^
Sculpting the World
Landscape: Extending nearly 700 km from East to West and over 1,000 km from North to South, Haven was the first of the three islands in the region to be colonized and currently the most densely populated one. Much of the Northern part of the island – the North-West in particular – consists vast outstretched flat grassland. As the land is the most fertile and habitable many of the small cities, going in a trail from the Northern to the Southern haven, are located here. Many of the cities are surrounded by farmlands and pastures. More to the East the island is less densely inhabited. Here it becomes more hilly and eventually, close to the Southern coast, mountainous. A mountain range runs along the Eastern coast and splits in two about 200 km from the Southernmost coast. From there one part goes further along the Western coast, continuing into a high cliffside at the South-Easternmost point. The other part bends Westward, creating a coastal valley where most Southern of the cities of Men and their military training camps lie. The Southern haven forms the only land entrance into this valley. Forests are mostly present in the North where the colonization is less prominent. Small remnants of once larger forests can be found across the island, but in most places they have made way for the colonial cities.
Climate: With its dry summer oceanic climate Haven has clearly distinctive seasons. The summers are warm and dry while the winters are cold and wet. Precipitation comes in regular but not tremendously common rainfall all year through and during the more cold winters snowfall can be witnessed. Throughout the year both temperatures and precipitation rarely reach extremes, but when they do, however, they can make living difficult and hazardous for the colonists. The most common results of this are drought and fires during the summers and flooding, snowstorms and freezing during the winters.
Flora & Fauna: Most of Haven’s natural flora can be found in the North, with the grasses there, both short and tall, being the most common. In addition to this there are the oak forests, fairly dense in the Northern parts but more uncommon the further South one goes. Shrubs – some growing fruits and berries – ferns and mosses can be found in all of these. Much of the Plant life on the island is cultivated by the colonists and found in the form of fruit and vegetable crops on their farmlands.
The indigenous animals of the island live both in the forests and the grasslands. The oak forests are inhabited mostly by mammalian species like deer, foxes, boars and mice as well various bird and insect species. Though rarely spotted the island has a small population of brown bears. Some live in the forests, but most have fled the encroaching cities of Men and now inhabit the mountains. The most common wild inhabitant of the grassland are wild horses. As with plant life the colonists of Haven have a strong influence on the animals living there. In addition to indigenous horses they tamed they have also brought with them animals from home. These include cattle and livestock, like pigs, cows and chickens as well as pets like dogs and cats.