Mithlond is a world of men, elves, and dwarves along with countless more fantastic creatures. But it is not a world in a harmony. Wizards of the Algarond Empire upset the order of magic 1000 years ago and disrupted the very essence of magic. That event was cataclysmic causing the capital of the great empire to sink beneath the sea, the gods to abandon the world (some say they even died) and creating an inundation that drowned much of the arable land and forests. When the flood receded, the world of Mithlond now had great tides where it had previously had none. These tides regularly flood the coasts leaving much that was once fertile land, wasteland.
The Mithlond Cosmos
The world of Mithlond is shaped something like a shallow cup: the upper world where most live is a shallow basin with a rim of mountains at the edge. The basin is supported by an immense column of rock standing on a disc. The main, surface basin is 6000 miles across. Just beyond the outer rim mountains, the sun orbits Mithlond. At new years the sun orbits in a plane parallel to the plane of the basin but below the basin. On new years, therefore, the sun is entirely below rim of the mountains and there is no sunlight. As the year progresses, the plane of the sun's rotation rotates about the north-south axis so that after 360 days, the plane has made a complete revolution. Note that after 180 days, the sun is again rotating in a plane parallel to the basin but in the opposite direction that it was at New Years.
The picture on the left is a link to a map of the upper world. The diagram on the right is a schematic of the cross section of the world. Clicking on it will take you to a full size picture and some more text on the world. Note that only twice a year does the sun pass directly over the land as shown in the diagram.
The Great Inundation
When the cataclysm occurred, some of the land near the capital of Celebrent shifted sending the capital to the bottom of the sea and shattering the land in places. Additionally, the shock sent the seas hurling around the disc of the world, flooding the northern coast lands to 500 feet and the southern coasts to 200 feet above sea level. Note that this was not a sudden tsunami, rather the disc of world tilted one way and then another before recovering nearly normal equilibrium. The resulting floods occurred over several days, drowning many but also leaving many structures intact. The flood did deposit salt and sand far inland which has blighted many forests to this day.
After the Great Inundation passed, the world Mithlond was not restored to a perfect level. Instead, the world wobbles about the z-axis at one revolution per eight days resulting in one high tide and one low tide every eight days, or a high to low transition in four days. For regions around the campaign start, this works out to about an average of one foot an hour, or around 1.4 feet per hour at peak flow which is less than the rate on the Oregon coast for the higher tides. Of course the tides flow much longer and consequently flood much farther inland and leave much more of the sea bed uncovered.
Tides are twice as high near the rim and lower near the center of the world.
The Great Inundation followed by the present tides have greatly changed the coasts of the world.
|Blight||The initial Great Inundation consisted of a series of floods rising 500 feet above sea level at their highest, diminishing in height over several months until the present tidal system established. The inundation covered much of the coastal land with salt water which killed most plants except for some of the larger, hardier trees. The flood did not come as a wall of water so stouter trees and structures remained standing but that much water sloshing back and forth did erode much soil and undercut many buildings. To this day, the salt from the floods still poisons the land in most places. In some places with very heavy rains, the salt has washed back into the sea but often with most of the top soil. The lands covered by the Great Inundation have plant and animal life but the salt and soil erosion make it sparse.|
|High tide zone||From the mean sea level (roughly the old coast land) to 100 feet above sea level is the high tide zone. These lands were once safely above sea level but are now flooded every 8 days. Old forests are dead stumps and snags. Only salt marsh type plants grow here, if any grow at all.|
|Low tide zone||From mean sea level to 100 feet below sea level is the low tide zone. Much of what used to be fertile coastal waters are fairly barren as nothing but the hardier barnacles, muscles and snails survive on the exposed rocks, although most of this zone does support large tide pools where some creatures can shelter for days before the sea returns.|
The present tides are lengthy and strong resulting in very strong tidal currents. Aside from Whirlpools of spectacular dimension, coastal sea travel is quite treacherous and few perform it now. One minor benefit is that the huge tides allow for some coastal peoples to create various types of fish traps they service at low tide and allow fishing without having to travel by boat.