Lands of Samuria

Text © 2002 Myrystryr, some text, html and images © 2002 - 2004  Drhoz


Much of the world of Aura is, quite simply, a wreck. What wasn't ruined by holy war or extra-dimensional incursion was despoiled by the greedy and unscrupulous. No major roads survive, and few settlements are capable of supporting a large population. And if it wasn't bad enough that the landscape is a jumble of inhospitable (and occasionally, thanks to the Aura Storm, incongruous) terrain types, there are many terrible monsters out in the howling wilderness.

That's not to say the world is clear of beauty - far from it. There are few sights more wondrous than the moon reflected in a still mountain lake, flowers waving in the wind upon rolling hills, or the first rays of dawn picking out the glimmer of an ancient temple amid a sweeping desert. But the most beautiful thing of all is the laughter of playing children; fresh bread made from grain grown within walking distance of where you sit to rest; excited chatter in the marketplace erected where once there was only dust. These things have been bought with blood, sweat and tears; they must be protected, or the world will fall back into darkness and chaos.

The focal area for campaigns set on Aura is the land of Samuria. Fallen empires and untamed wilderness make up much of this subtropical region. The common tongue is Samurian. Significant areas are described below. Most natives have but a rough idea of the lay of the land, so maps are more general than specific in nature.

Unless otherwise noted, all settlements have a population of approximately 1,000. Buildings are generally constructed of mud bricks or woven reeds, depending on local resources. Civic leaders form councils of Elders led by a Chieftain or Vizier. A number of villages of 50-200 inhabitants cling to life across the rugged wasteland between the two river networks; these are too small to appear on the map.

Samuria Map
Aura and Samuria

More Maps and Pictures

Working left to right across the maps

Oppidum Veto - the Forbidden City : Ruined and cult-infested remains of an ancient well-hidden metropolis. Surrounded by a hundred miles of uncharted and deadly jungle

Lacus Elysium - Garden Lake: Certain flowers, which grow only on the banks of this lake, are said to have special magical and medicinal properties. Giant floating plants, some large enough to support the weight of a human being, drift across the surface of the lake.

Lustrum Iridium - The Rainbow Jungle: The jungle is home to numerous Human and Elven tribes, as well as many strange and wonderful creatures. When not at war with each other or other jungle inhabitants, the savage tribes will form a loose alliance once every generation or so and raid beyond Thunder River. Unexplored jungle extends for hundreds of miles to the west. A city of snake-worshippers is said to lie deep within the jungle..

Fluvium Ebur - Ivory River: This river is named for the ivory trade flowing out of Serpent Savannah and The Rainbow Jungle and down through Pelusia to Hieropolis. The source of Ivory River lies hundreds of miles away, far to the unexplored west.

Kentyris: This is the gathering site for human tribes of The Rainbow Jungle. It is effectively a small town. Elves and Wemics come here to trade. The grove is a truce area for the tribes, and shamans punish any infractions with inventive cruelty.

Planus Anguis - Serpent Savannah: This vast plain, which stretches hundreds of miles to the south and west of the map, is the Wemic homeland. The name is taken from the profusion of snakes, dinosaurs and reptilian creatures that roam the savannah.

Palus Mosaic - The Broken Swamp: This swamp is home to numerous small communities of Lizard Men, as well as a wide variety of aquatic life. Much of the swamp consists of shallow, winding streams connecting murky pools and lined with overhanging trees.

This is a thriving trading post, populated by Humans, Gnolls and Lizard Men. Its buildings are built on wooden platforms and connected by rope bridges. The only dry ground in Pelusia is the hill on which the marketplace lies.

Fluvium Brontes - Thunder River: The banks of this river are lined with abandoned settlements, ruined in raids by jungle savages and now overgrown. Monsters of all descriptions now lair in many of these ruins, posing a continuing problem for settlers in the region.

Necropolis: Giant animated statues of sphinxes guard this abandoned temple complex, which includes the largest pyramid in the region. Before the Aura Storm, countless generations were laid to rest here. The tombs of great rulers and mighty heroes are said to hold the wealth of ages, protected by traps and magic.

This town is noted for a curious relic of the Aura Storm, namely a pillar of frozen flame in the market square. This pillar is cool to the touch and lights up the town at night like a bonfire. The Spawn of Tiamat, which trains all Necromancers in the region, is rumoured to rule Mordis from the shadows.

Mare Pharos - The Pharos Sea: This sea extends for many hundreds of miles to the south and east of the region. It is believed to be an inland sea, but no accurate map exists. Human and Ratkin vessels ply trade along the coastline, while sea monsters patrol the deep. Rumour holds that on the far side of the sea the Land of Vind, home of the Ratkin, might be found.

Chalbys Montes - The Steel Mountains:
This mountain range is home to the dispossessed Dwarven clans, forced to eke out their existence in caves as monsters now haunt their mines. Dwarven tattoo artists are highly skilled, and a Dwarf's tribe can be told from the jagged rune-like markings on his or her face. While not high enough to be snowcapped, rainfall striking these mountains feeds Thunder River.

Lacus Procellarum - Storm Lake: Some of the largest and tastiest fish in the region may be caught in this lake - if they don't catch the fisher first. Small Ratkin communities dot the shores.

Seribon: The inhabitants of this Human and Dwarven settlement have perfected the art of hunting and trapping a particular breed of giant catfish able to walk on land. Taking part in such a hunt is considered a rite of passage.

Fluvium Sanguis - The Blood River: The floodplain of this great river is the breadbasket of the region. Several small villages line the riverbanks, under the protection of Hieropolis. The river takes its name from a curious incident during the Aura Storm, when "the water became as blood." The source of Blood River lies far to the unexplored north.

Collis Lemure - The Lemure Hills: These hills are the Sprite homeland. They are shunned by all other folk as haunted. Few of those who enter the Lemure Hills without the express permission of the Sprite's ruling body, The Faerie Council, ever leave again.

Hieropolis: Also known as the Citadel of Hawks, this city is home to 20,000 people of all races. The walled city is built upon a low plateau at the start of the Blood River delta. The King of Hieropolis is called The Living Ra, as the royal family is descended from the gods of old. The city is protected by The Horus Guard, an elite, magically equipped army whose loyalty is to the king first and city second. The Order of Marduk is based in Hieropolis, and trains all Enchanters in the region; likewise for the Bard's College of Thoth. The Thieves Guild of Hieropolis is known as Tyche's Favoured.

The city is divided into five major areas. Isis Garden is the administrative centre, containing the palace, temples, barracks and other major buildings. Hermes Square is the shopping and mercantile district, and contains the largest marketplace in the region. Hephaestus Ward is the crafts and manufacturing district, with smithies, workshops and warehouses. Apollo Quarter is the main residential area of the city. Tefnut Dock is the waterfront, and is home to sailors, non-humans and the poor.

Insula Crepusculum - Twilight Isle: This island is home to The Sect of Druaga, who train all Conjurers in the region. Duel-by-proxy battles between summoned creatures take place in an ancient arena located at the heart of the island.

The Lost City: On this site lie the ruins of the once-great nation of Cynidicea. The place is shunned by native tribes and believed cursed by the gods of old.

Arena Anima - The Soulwind Desert: This desert extends for hundreds of miles to the north and east of the region. Its name comes from a legend that the howling of the desert wind is the combined voice of all those who died during the Aura Storm.

Collis Ater - The Fire Hills
- Volcanic range in the depths of the desert. Shunned as overly dangerous.

Phoenix Oasis: This is the main gathering site for the Gnoll and Human tribes who wander The Soulwind Desert. It is effectively a small town. The oasis takes its name from a local legend that a phoenix made its nest here during the Aura Storm.

Mons Deus - Godsmountain: Huge peak northeast of the Soulwind and Salt Deserts. Probably unclimable - nobody has ever tried.

Catal-Huyuk, Hittur, and Anat - Almost abandoned city-states. Devestated by demonic incursions.

Arena Sal - The Salt Desert. The eastern boundry of the Soulwind Desrt before it becomes the more hospitable foothills and valleys under Godsmountain

Under Godsmountain
Trade Map
Collis Ater
Samuria Closeup.jpg
Samuria Closeup
Pharos Sea.jpg
Pharos Sea