Alyssa’s World Notes

Author’s Note: Please be aware that this page will likely contain spoilers up to the latest chapter in the main story.

What a strange world I’ve found myself in. Not exactly a pleasant world either. It’s missing so many modern luxuries. As far as I can tell, it’s a completely medieval society. They apparently have magic, but it either isn’t real or isn’t prevalent. I’m leaning toward the latter given that I’m in an entirely new world and was brought here thanks to an evil angel.

Ugh, got a bit distracted there. Anyway, I’m in a whole new world and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to go home for a while. Because of that, I’ve decided that learning about this world and how it works is a pretty high priority. I don’t have much to go on just yet, but I did get to see a map of the lands thanks to a nice young boy named Aziz.


It uhh… looks pretty rough. I’m not sure I would trust the cartographer to draw anything with a steady hand. It must have been a cheap map. But it does give me a general idea of main locales and their relation to one another, even if the map isn’t even drawn to scale. Teneville (and my house) are down in the lower right corner on that little peninsula. The biggest city in all the land (or so I’ve heard) is straight north. Far to the west is some fortress that supposedly protects this land from monsters. There is a desert north of the city and the desert south of the fortress, so it isn’t a complete map of the entire world. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good idea of the entire world just yet. I don’t even know if such a map exists.

But I’ll keep a lookout and make sure to add to this note if I discover anything new that seems noteworthy.

Now if only it had labels.

Places I’ve Visited

Notable Cities, Landmarks, and what have you


Tenebrael’s Hubris, more like

Teneville is a… village? Population is somewhere between one and three hundred people. I really shouldn’t judge cities in this world based on Earth, but it seemed so small yet acted like it was a larger settlement. As it turns out, Teneville is actually relatively large. But more on that later.

The buildings around Teneville are mostly wood and stone, most being only a single room. There are two primary exceptions. The Inn, run by a somewhat grumpy yet still kind man who goes by Yzhemal. It’s two stories, with the ground floor acting like a tavern. The second exception is Tenebrael’s Temple. A massive structure that towers over the single-story buildings that make up most of the settlement. The gothic-cathedral-esque temple looks like it had been carved straight from a mound of black marble that had been sitting in the middle of the town. It creates quite an eerie contrast to the surrounding village. The expansive graveyard surrounding it doesn’t help matters.

The temple is where Teneville gets its name from. That angel is an egomaniac of the highest degree. Not only does she have the people worshiping her and sacrificing themselves to her, but she has to go create monuments to herself—and she definitely created it, or so said Lazhar, the man who acts as her priest and something like the mayor of the town.

But, ignoring that eyesore, the surrounding area is really quite beautiful. I’d always liked the outdoors. I’m not some super camper or hunter like my brother and father, but I enjoy an occasional camp out. And the land is pristine for camping. They have rocky mountains nearby and forests not far from their open plains where they get most of their building materials. A river flows through right on the edge of the town, providing fresh water.

For the majority of the year, Teneville is just a small farming village. They grow a variety of crops, mostly grains and mint. Their mint gets exported to Lyria, but they also use it around their buildings to help ward off the stench of medieval life—which is quite foul. Their grains, where they aren’t eaten, are put to use making alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. Not particularly good alcohol, but the people don’t seem to care.

A small part of the year is dedicated to a festival. A festival in honor of Tenebrael. People show up in droves. Most are just there to party and have fun, but a small handful show up to… kill themselves, effectively. It’s a great big ceremony at the end of the festival where they sit around in front of the crowd and drink poison. Ugh… I don’t even want to think about it. I had to witness it. Tenebrael showed up and stole their souls…

Never mind. There are probably traditions just as bad back on Earth, though how many are still practiced is a question for historians, not me.

If I ignore the unpleasant festival, the people there are all quite nice. Very welcoming bunch. Somewhat sycophantic toward Tenebrael, which did make me a little nervous on occasion. All in all, if I were forced to pick a permanent home in this world, Teneville wouldn’t be the worst choice. It has food, water, and a decent amount of people, despite my earlier complaints on the population.

Leaving Teneville and heading northward to the ‘grandest city in all the land’ has given me a new perspective on population. I passed through several villages which don’t deserve their own entries. Most were small farming communities like Teneville, but if their populations reached one hundred, I would be surprised. Their village priests provided shelter on my travels, but I don’t think I’d be interested in staying in any one for any length of time.

Anyway, that’s getting far from Teneville, so I’ll stop rambling about it. There is something a little bigger to ramble about, though maybe I should explore it a bit before I write down much.


The Grand City

First impressions? I admit, I’m impressed. It’s no New York City, but after those tiny towns on the way to Lyria, I had been expecting something barely bigger than Teneville.

It’s not.

Three towers, each taller than Tenebrael’s temple, are stationed around the city. A central building, even taller than the towers, sits in the center. It must be some royal palace. It probably has thirty or forty floors. The overall shape of the palace is a triangular pyramid, though instead of flat sides, they bend inward. It would probably look like the Mercedes-Benz logo from above.

A wall surrounds the entire city, separating the buildings within from the outside world. Outside the wall, there were more buildings. Almost like miniature villages that latched onto the sides of the city. Beyond that, fields of various crops as far as the eye can see. Well, not quite. The lush fields fade away north of the city, turning to a dirt and sagebrush desert.

Great aqueducts carry water from a nearby river to the fields and the city itself. They are higher than the ground and higher than the river. There must be some magic getting water up to their conduits.

Speaking of magic, they city uses it up near the gates! Actual magic! I admit, it was a bit fun to see the little jars filled with glowing light. They were like lamp posts, set around so that travelers can see their way into the city during the night. Or, more likely, so that guards are able to spot approaching threats.

Anyway, that’s just first impressions from outside the city. There will probably be a number of locations inside such a large place, so I’ll leave some room for further notes as I come across interesting landmarks.

The Northern Desert

I spy something beginning with brown

The city of Lyria is built right on the border of a desert. South of the city, the land is green. Rolling hills of grass and forests. But, after crossing north through the farmlands that surround the city, the land quickly dries out. The brown dirt gains a red hue and plants drop to small bushes with the occasional tree dotted about.

By far the most striking feature of the desert are the rock formations. Large buttes and columns jut high above the landscape. Some are small, narrow pillars that look like they could be pushed over by leaning against them in the wrong way. Others are wide and long, taking several minutes to pass by even mounted on draken. A few of the rock formations are large enough to support decently sized caves.

I assume that most of the rock is sandstone. Without having taken a course on geology let alone being a geologist, I can’t say for certain, but the rock has all the trademarks I can think of. It’s reddish, like the dirt of the desert, with definite lines. Layers? Probably layers. While some parts are smoother, the texture is generally rough to the touch.

What few plants there are around are generally unremarkable. Sagebrush, for the most part. No cacti that I’ve seen, but I have to say that I haven’t been paying too much attention. The desert is visually interesting with the buttes, but it quickly becomes repetitive after the first few hours. I have monsters, traveling companions, and life or death situations to worry over. Not plants.

Speaking of monsters, I had been worried that there would be ticks out here. I’ve checked myself over on occasion while traveling and haven’t seen any blood suckers sucking my blood. The lack of parasites had me thinking: What if there aren’t any ticks because ticks here aren’t tiny, but are giant monstrous ticks! The thought of meeting a human-sized tick actually made me tremble! I can only hope that I never come across one.

On the topic of blood sucking monsters, I don’t particularly want to meet a vampire either. They are so prevalent in Earth myths and movies that I can easily believe they’re real here. I don’t know if they would be the friendly neighborhood vampire type or the true stalker of the night, but I’ll be happy if I never find out.

But I digress. The desert is hardly a hospitable place despite the lack of blood sucking creatures. I’ve been traveling at night. It’s hot, but not so much that it is unbearable. More like a warm summer day. The story is completely different while the sun is up. The heat alone makes me wonder how what little plants there are haven’t shriveled up into dried husks.

Apparently, that is due to rain. I haven’t seen it myself, but my guild companions insist that torrential deluges of water can cascade over the desert at a moment’s notice. Flash flooding is a legitimate worry when traveling through the desert. We’ve had to make our camps high up on the mounds of dirt that tend to surround the buttes.

The rain probably explains how the plants survive.

Flora aside, there isn’t much fauna either. I’ve personally hardly seen anything worth noting. Except for one thing. Ants. Not little tiny ants. Because of course not little tiny ants. The monster species that stole the name of our tiny Earth creatures live in massive hives that match the surrounding buttes. I’m not sure if they hollowed one out and moved in or if they built it somehow, but the one hive I saw looked almost like a modern city’s skyline. Several tall towers all grouped together, covered in holes for exit and entry. According to Irulon, they could have a population up to a million strong. How a population so large could support themselves off a land so sparse was a mystery even to her.

Besides the ants, apparently a species of lizard people called the desert a home as well. I haven’t seen any, but if I do, I’ll try to remember to update this note.

I don’t have a map of the area, though some exist, but I don’t know how much really needs to be mapped. It is a expansive area without much in the way of landmarks. Aside from the buttes, that is, but they all look the same to my untrained eye. My compass still points the way back to my house, so I can’t get permanently lost as long as I keep it safe.

For fun, I took a quick panorama of the landscape at one of our camps.

You might wonder why I haven’t attached a picture of Lyria to the above section. Well I just haven’t, alright? Lyria is really hard for me to photograph.


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