The Crystal Vales
- The Crystal Fields
- Stasis Weather
- Regional Balance
- Magic & Technology
- Inter-Region Travel
- Cascade Bay
OverviewThe Crystal Vales is a large, sprawling area that takes up the southern portion of Pandora. It is bordered to the northwest by Centria and to the northeast by the Dread Wastes. It is a land right out of a fantasy novel with grand and gorgeous landscapes, stretching out as far as the eye can see. Magic is a fairly common staple in most corners of the land, though its natural density does vary by region. Some areas are high in unnatural magical phenomena and fantasy creatures, while others are far more grounded in reality where magic is an increasingly rare sight.
The Crystal Vales has the largest coastline in Pandora and has plenty of islands, some charted, many uncharted. And with Pandora's fluctuating nature, new islands may appear while old ones vanish, always keeping that sense of exploration and discovery alive. The landscape has all sorts of geographical areas, ranging from snow fields to volcanos to impossible cliffs, or even floating cities and towns or islands within seas of clouds. Like every other part of Pandora the geography seems jumbled, as if it doesn't quite fit together right. An ever-burning lava field may exist next to a snow field, and somehow it just works.
Many towns and villages dot the landscape, with a few larger cities mixed in as well. Many of the cities are independent city-states, managing their own affairs and sometimes the affairs of the smaller villages in their regions.
As for technology, the exact level of technology varies from community to community, though it can be anywhere from medieval to early steam or sometimes magitech. Magitech and early steam, however, are unlikely to be found in tiny villages or towns. How much a community relies on magic or incorporates it as a part of their daily lives also varies from place to place.
The Crystal FieldsOne very important feature are the magical Crystal Fields that are scattered across the land. These serve as a mineable source of Magitech cores that can be exported to other areas of Pandora. They are an extremely valuable resource in the Crystal Vales, as well. They also serve as magic and technology negation zones (meaning that even characters will be unable to use their personal magic or tech) due to the incredibly high magical density levels in these fields. They disrupt all other types of magic or technological power sources.
Stasis WeatherWhile weather is varied and often unpredictable due to Pandora’s nature, there is a particularly special type of fog and rain that impacts the Crystal Vales on a far more disruptive level.
They have been nicknamed Stasis Rain and Stasis Fog, and can form out of nowhere and end just as quickly. When an area is being hit by Stasis Rain, all technology more advanced than clockwork immediately breaks down and ceases functioning. While the Regional Balance impact on technology is somewhat slow, Stasis Rain is sudden and swift, able to cause damage within minutes. Stasis Fog, on the other hand, negates all magical or other unnatural phenomena in an area. Any attempt to use magic or utilize magical objects simply fizzles out uselessly, and it can be extremely dangerous for any beings who rely on magic to survive.
The effects of Stasis Rain and Fog wear off as soon as the weather passes. The impact can also be avoided by simply seeking shelter, so those who stay indoors and keep the rain and fog out will still be able to function as normal.
While Stasis Rain and Fog often appear independently of each other, there are times when they manifest together in a Stasis Storm — a terrifying and violent storm with pouring rain and swirling fog that cancels out both technology and magic at once.
Regional BalanceJust like every other region within the box, Pandora has a tendency to auto-correct the region to make sure it does not break too far from its fantasy motif. While individual characters and their personal equipment or skills are rarely impacted by the balance, there are a few things that are:
- Any technology that runs on something more advanced than steam technology will gradually break down 8 hours after entering The Crystal Vales. This includes larger transportation vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, mechs, and spaceships.
- Smaller personal technology may suffer from sporadic breakdown; not every piece will be affected, and it happens seemingly at random. i.e. You can assume NPCs deal with this inconvenience. Player characters are not required to have their personal small tech break down.
- There are no cellular signals, radio signals, satellite signals, nor other wireless networks available within the Crystal Vales.
Magic & TechnologyTechnology within the Crystal Vales is hugely varied, ranging anywhere from a lifestyle typical of medieval time periods, to clockwork, magitech, or early steam technology. There is no common thread in technological “progress” across the Crystal Vales, and seems to be entirely dependent on each individual community and its own needs or theme. The majority of smaller towns and villages are distinctly on the low-tech side, with clockwork, steam, or magitech more often found within the larger towns or cities, though there is always an exception.
Magic is a common element found throughout much of the Crystal Vales, with magic existing naturally within the land itself. This gives rise to particularly fantastical landscapes such as floating islands, ice caverns that never melt, portals to strange places, or old enchantments that are still etched into the stones. Some areas are much lower in natural magical density, however, and magical phenomena can be a rarity in these parts.
How each community views and utilizes magic and technology varies greatly from place to place. Some might welcome it with open arms and integrate it into their everyday lives, while others are strictly anti-magic or anti-tech and their city guard strives to keep anyone with so much as a watch out of their community.
TravelThe most common form of transport within the Crystal Vales is by foot. Horses and horse-drawn-carriages can also be seen going up and down the dirt-roads with rising commonality.
Other options vary greatly depending on what type of community you are departing from. But those who dabble in steam, clockwork, or magitech technology may have more unique forms of travel as well, including airships.
Inter-Region TravelIn order to travel to other regions, there are a few options available to those in the Crystal Vales. First, the borders between the Crystal Vales and their neighboring regions are open, and travelers can simply cross over. There are soldiers posted on the borders of the Dread Wastes, but only to prevent criminals exiled to the Wastes from finding a way to cross over into the Crystal Vales.
The second and swiftest option is to use the public portal found within Cascade Bay. This portal is not controlled by any organization in Cascade Bay and is free for any citizen to use. It will carry them immediately to the Portal Hub in Pandopolis, where they may then head out into the greater city or take a portal to the central city of another region.
Cascade BayLocated on the southern edge of the Crystal Vales, Cascade Bay is considered the hub city of the region and is one of the larger cities. It has direct access to Pandopolis via the portal system and is located right on the coast, the salty scent of the sea always in the air. It borrows a somewhat east Asian aesthetic. Much of the city is located on a cliff-side, but a maze of docks criss-cross in layers on top of each other, creating a network of streets and buildings, and connecting various small islands that dot the coast, allowing the city to sprawl out above the water.
Cascade Bay has the occasional magical or water-powered conveniences, though much of the city is rather old-fashioned. Oil lamps light up the streets at night, children spend much of their time outside — with few indoor entertainment options to distract themselves with — and the streets are patrolled by guards armed with swords and axes and shields.
Overall, Cascade Bay is a fairly nice and clean city and, as long as you stick to the upper docks or cliffside, a fairly safe one. However, the lower docks can be a hazard on the best of nights, and a district of slums is growing out of them.
Last edited by a moderator: