Why is the climate in Numeria so much different than the surrounding lands?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


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From what I can tell, it's mostly desert, whereas the neighboring countries are mostly forest. Why is this?


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I would imagine that it is both the devastation from the initial crash as well as contaminants from the ships.


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A spaceship - more than one, actually - smashed into the region from space. An impact like that is going to devastate the land, and we know that chemicals have been leaking from the wreckage ever since. Thousands of years of radiation and toxic waste after what was functionally a meteor strike are going to leave an impact.

Grand Lodge

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Global warming :-)

Radiant Oath

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I always thought it was more grasslands and stuff than desert; sort of like my homeland of southern Minnesota (with neighboring Mendev more resembling the northerly places like Duluth, and the Lake of Mists and Veils kind of like Avistan's very own Lake Superior)

Liberty's Edge

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The entire region was absolutely bombarded by fallen space debris, toxic chemicals, and then generations of roving tribes that undertook the efforts of covering it all up with dirt the good old-fashioned way that would have stripped the land of any real hardy plantlife.

I would also imagine the initial fall probably caused one heck of a forest fire across the whole of the region that would one day become Numeria and with the soil being so contaminated it would have been impossible for a quick recovery.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Numeria: Land of Fallen Stars describes Numeria as:
"Numeria is a land of extremes. The environment is harsh and barely sustains life, and what life it does sustain is often mutated into twisted parodies of Golarion's natives species, or else transplanted here from far, alien reaches."
"Since [the day of Fallen Stars] the Numerian countryside has been exposed to strange energies and alien substances that have mutated much of the local fauna and flora."
Not only does the land have pollution from leakage from crashed spaceships, back 3116 years before Absolom Reckoning one of the spaceships blew up in a nuclear explosion and poisoned the area with radiation.

The book divides Numeria into four regions: the Felldales, the Numerian Plains, the Sellen Hills, and Sovereign's Reach.

The Felldales in the west are a hazardous wasteland haunted by robots. "A thin strip of arable lands clings to the West Sellen River." Witchlight Vale, the still-glowing site of the nuclear explosion, is in the Felldales.

The Numerian Plains in the south are a fertile region that supports most of the agriculture in Numeria. Its populace mostly lives in small villages, but the smelting town of Torch is the 3rd largest settlement in Numeria.

The Sellen Hills in the east are a harsh hill country that barely supports life. The more rugged parts in the east have spine dragons and other monsters, so I guess they have something to eat, but the only humans and orcs willing to live in the hills are nomadic barbarians. The Sellen River supports enough trade that Chesed on it is the largest city in Numeria.

The northern dry, barren flatlands of Sovereign's Reach are dotted with a few isolated mountains. The capital city Starfall is that the base of one of those mountains, Silver Mount, named for the mile-long metallic spaceship half-buried at its top. Like the Sellen Hills, its humanoid inhabitants are barbarian tribes, but the monsters tend toward giants.

In summary, the north and east are dry with poor soil, so they do not support agriculture but do support enough wildlife to feed monsters. The west is poisoned with radiation. And the south is fine. Given that the east is adjacent to the Lake of Mists and Veils, I have trouble imagining it as dry, but the winds must blow in the wrong direction.


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A nuclear explosion 3000 years ago would hardly have any effect on the environment except some background radiation, but nature would have recovered by then.
Just look at how Prypjat/Tchernobyl looks now.
Mutations also would not mean a collapse of the ecology for 3000 years, but rather mean that by now some plants and animals which could adapt in that environment would have evolved by now.


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Environment stress can cause other physical and ecological problems that greatly slow recovery. For example, deforestation in Haiti centuries ago led to flooding and soil erosion. Economics due to the poor soil and bad government pushed farmers into monoculture cash crops, such as coffee, rather than agriculture that could restore the soil, so Haiti is much worse off than the Dominican Republic on the same island.

We could handwave a similar excuse for Numeria. The poisons and radiation led to deforestation. The deforestation led to flooding and soil erosion. The bad soil favored mutations and monsters rather than a sustainable ecosystem. Without a stable ecosystem the soil was not rebuilt.

Nevertheless, I agree with Inqui. Nine thousand years is more than enough time to recover. Nature can grind down structures and wash away poisons and fill ecological niches. Thus, when I ran Iron Gods, I shortened the timeline and put the crash of the Divinity fleet at nine hundred years ago rather than nine thousand years ago. (Casanadlee's timeline was unchanged.) That let to some problems with history, since the wizard Karamoss used technology from Numeria in the siege of Absalom in 3637 AR, which was 1077 years before the Iron Gods adventure. I should have put the crash at 1200 years ago and the nuclear explosion at 900 years ago.


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Nanomachines, son!

Liberty's Edge

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I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.


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They are also likely not all emitting radiation in the typical spectrum we are familiar with. Pathfinder is at least partly pulp-inspired, back when radiation was the new thing, or at least the new-ish thing; it stands to reason the game would take liberties with how it behaves. Most radioactive things don't actually glow, for example, but that doesn't stop Witchlight Vale from doing it anyway.


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The Raven Black wrote:
I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.

So is Chernobyl, but the area around that is no wasteland devoid of vegetation and life either. Quite the opposite actually.

And if it emitted "super special harmful radiation", how could humans live right next to it for 700 years?


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Inqui wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.

So is Chernobyl, but the area around that is no wasteland devoid of vegetation and life either. Quite the opposite actually.

And if it emitted "super special harmful radiation", how could humans live right next to it for 700 years?

It’s a setting with magic and alien robots. I don’t know that scientific rigor is going to get us anywhere here.


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keftiu wrote:
Inqui wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.

So is Chernobyl, but the area around that is no wasteland devoid of vegetation and life either. Quite the opposite actually.

And if it emitted "super special harmful radiation", how could humans live right next to it for 700 years?
It’s a setting with magic and alien robots. I don’t know that scientific rigor is going to get us anywhere here.

The players in my Iron Gods campaign liked scientific rigor: Iron Gods among Scientists.

I mentioned this discussion to my wife, one of those players. She reminded me of the thin soil in our native state Michigan. Ten thousand years ago, Michigan was beneath a mile-thick layers of ice, which carved out the basins for the Great Lakes and many smaller lakes (we live near the glacial Finger Lakes in upstate New York these days). When the glaciers melted, the terrain they left was ground up sand and rocks called moraine. Hardy plant life grew on the moraine and created soil that could support richer plant life. But in many places--former sand bars and sand dunes--the soil is only a few inches deep. A major mishap, such as a fire or flood or dune blowout, can strip it back to bare sand. Then the process has to start over.

Numeria is sufficiently far north that its terrain could be moraine. It could even have been under glaciers during the Time of Darkness 10,000 years ago. The Rain of Stars happened mere centuries after the Time of Darkness, so it could have disrupted the conversion of barren moraine to fertile soil.

Liberty's Edge

Inqui wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.

So is Chernobyl, but the area around that is no wasteland devoid of vegetation and life either. Quite the opposite actually.

And if it emitted "super special harmful radiation", how could humans live right next to it for 700 years?

Now, this could be a mystery worth examining. What makes these areas barren when, by all rights, they should not be ?

Are there engines around that slowly draw their energy from plant life ?

Other weirder alien explanations ?

The curse of an alien deity ?


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The Raven Black wrote:
Inqui wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I think the wrecked spaceships are still emitting dangerous radiations. It's not a once and be done thing.

So is Chernobyl, but the area around that is no wasteland devoid of vegetation and life either. Quite the opposite actually.

And if it emitted "super special harmful radiation", how could humans live right next to it for 700 years?

Now, this could be a mystery worth examining. What makes these areas barren when, by all rights, they should not be ?

Are there engines around that slowly draw their energy from plant life ?

Other weirder alien explanations ?

The curse of an alien deity ?

Did the plants get up and walk somewhere nicer?

Liberty's Edge

Most sensible explanation. Likely they migrated to the Ethereal plane, or maybe the First World.

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