Water Road Wednesday: Altreria & Altrerians

In the universe of The Water Road the name “Altreria” carries several responsibilities.

For one thing, Altreria is the name of the land in which the story takes place, by which I mean all of it. It is that world’s equivalent to “Earth,” for lack of a better comparison.

Altreria also refers to the world’s only major landmass. It’s a continent that runs roughly north to south (think of Australia turned on its side and twisted a bit) and sits in the southern hemisphere, so traditional American/European directional notions (north is cold, south is warm) are reversed. There’s also a chain of islands, the Slaisal Islands, off the northeast coast. The Water Road itself runs from west to east – from Great Basin Lake to the Bay of Sins – across its width about two-third’s of the way down the continent. To the north live Altrerians, with Neldathis to the south. More of them later, of course.

Altreria also refers to the land north of the Water Road – hence the reason those who live there are called Altrerians (if you’re noticing that they seem to control the vocabulary of geography in this world, you’re right). That land’s most obvious distinguishing features are two other rivers, the River Innis and the River Adon, that run north to south through the middle third of the continent. North of the source of those rivers are the Badlands – a dry, dusty, and hot region with very little in it.

Those rivers also help define the political landscape of Altreria. To the east, between the River Adon and the coast, is the Kingdom of Telebria (fully the “Bonded Realms of Greater & Lesser Telebria” – they’re a bit picky about it). Southern Telebria is home to the Endless Hills, which lend their name to the second book of the trilogy. To the west, between the River Innis and the coast, are the United Guilds of Altreria. In between is a dense forest known as the Arbor, which consists of numerous city states gathered together in a confederation. Again, more of those later.

Altreria has several major cities of note. In Telebria, on the east coast is Sermont on the Sea, the kingdom’s capital. In the west, Innisport, the largest of the Guilder cities, lays at the confluence of the River Innis and the Water Road. Finally, there’s Tolenor, a fairly recent settlement, a planned city built on an island in the Bay of Sins. It’s home to the Triumvirate, of which – yet again – more later!

As for the inhabitants of Altreria, they’re not human. No one in The Water Road is. They’re bald humanoids, a bit smaller than we are with skin that’s green, of one hue or another. Generally those born deep in the Arbor have dark green skin, while those born closer to the Water Road wind up nearly white, with just hints of light green. They’re not particularly strong, but they’re quick, cunning, and good strategists.

That’s not all (obviously!), of course, but that gives you a taste of the world of The Water Road. Or at least the lay of the land, so to speak.

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