Vegetation and weather of Verun

Verun is relatively large, spanning an area equivalent to 400 kilometres squared. Each year is split into sixteen Periods, with Periods 7 to 10 being the winter season. Snow covers Northern Verun, and parts of Bosei during this time, with occasional hail and snowstorms.

In the summer season, it is relatively mild in the north, and is nearly unbearable in the south. The Great Desert of Gen encounters relatively little rainfall, with around 8 days of rain per year. Temperature fluctuates wildly between day and night, and only the toughest people could make a living there. Scattered amongst sand dunes are oases, where most of the Vajrans, the desert natives, live in. Plants are scarce, with most being different species of cacti. One of these cacti is widely used by the Vajrans, known locally as the Bag, as many Vajrans use the tough, waterproof rinds of these cacti for storage of food and water on long journeys. Many non-Vajrans tend to receive severe sunburns especially during summer Periods.

The temperate forests in the north, the home of the Duma, become barren in the winter Periods. The Dumans, expert hunter-gatherers, may suffer from famine as food becomes scarce, crops fail in the extreme weather, and prey hibernate. They organise raiding parties, usually against the resource-rich Bosei in the center of Verun, to supplement their failing supplies. In the summer Periods, food is aplenty, and raids cease. The Dumans process a psychedelic drug from Aspir trees, a tall white tree with sharp needle-like leaves, and smuggle it throughout Verun. This drug, known colloquially as Frost, infuses great strength and wisdom in the users, but causes great addiction, shivers, weakness to cold, and hallucinations in those who consume it, and hence the name.

To the west of Verun lies a mountainous belt, known as the Devil’s Backbone. Home to the cursed Abaddon, the region is harsh, with sharp drops over a thousand metres in height. The peak of the mountain, the tallest point in Verun, is over thirteen thousand metres above sea level, with some Abaddon tribes using the climbing of the summit as a rite of passage for their young. Near the foot of the mountains lie a tree belt, with trees and shrubs being more bent and short as the elevation gets higher. Popular with local witch doctors, herbs and poisonous plants are abundant in the lower regions, where there are temperate forested areas similar to the northern areas. Wood from this area is well-known for its sturdiness and strange resistance to fire, and Abaddon woodworkers have been commissioned regularly by the Bosei to build furniture, sculpture and even entire buildings for the Bosei royalty out of this wood. The climate is generally cold due to the elevation even in summer Periods, but the Abaddon do not need thicker garments as they are naturally resistant to the elements.

The eastern area of Verun is flanked by a open span of water. No one knows what is on the other side of this sea, as none that have ventured out for exploration have returned. The sea flourishes with fish and other wildlife, and there have been occasional clashes between different factions over the ownership of this sea. The Bosei claim sole ownership, and have the largest number of fishermen guarded by large fleets of warships in the area. Occasionally squalls at sea blow inland, especially during the summer Periods, causing damage to Eastern Bosei, where most of the poor stay, and is not a concern to the Bosei royalty.

Verun generally encounters average amounts of rain, with the exception of Katra. Due to the Bosei grand mages’ influence over cloud cover, and to an extent local weather, Katra is overcast daily, with frequent showers. Lightning storms can be devastating due to the immense magical powers of the magi, causing large amounts of damage and casualties. This frequent rainfall causes most crop in Katra to fail, and results in a lack of food for the local populace. Streets are almost always flooded, with rural areas to the west being more affected. Occasional lack of concentration from the Bosei magi may cause interesting weather phenomenon to occur, such as hail in the summer, or even letting sunlight through parts of the cloud cover.