As the ships sail in from the surrounding islands and encroach upon Eyr’s sandy shores, a few may notice a slight change in the breeze. For those who have found themselves adventuring forth to this mysterious land they say the island is not like others, having a rather unique environment unparalleled to any other. For non-natives, the ecology is far out of the norm.
The Seasons in Eyr
Eyr has four seasons, much like Mystara, but these seasons are not typical snowfall and summer fun. During the winter for instance, the weather is cool and the island is often shrouded in dense mist that cascades from down the mountaintops at dawn and dusk. And though relatively little rain falls in the winter compared to monsoon season, the rivers are flush with water due to the accumulation of mist in the mountains peaks. Ocean waters run cooler as well, with higher wave peaks caused by stronger tradewinds which often erode away the beaches.
Springtime is warm and idyllic as the jungle is teeming with wildlife during this reproductive season. Natives will spot the soft bloom of vibrant plants this time of year too as the forest looks just a little greener than normal. Spring does have daily rains, though flooding is rare, making the inhabitants of the island breathe just a little easier in this season.
As summer approaches, monsoon season begins. Heavy rain pummels the jungle and flash floods are a common occurrence, along with rising river water levels. Squalls happen daily, and the ocean temperatures rise, wave peaks reduce in size, building the eroded beaches back up.
Finally, autumn is known as the start of the dry season. Rivers begin to recede due to lack of rain water, temperatures get quite hot, and the humidity drops to an all time low. Unfortunately the bad luck doesn't stop there as this time of year is also dubbed "typoon season", and they are always in full effect.
The island is known to be quite harsh in regards to terrain, often leaving people lost and stranded in certain spots unable to get to a destination they desire. The island's center stands impassable with vertical mountain ridges that are steep and difficult to traverse, or impossible in some areas. This accounts for the inaccessibility of Shalan’ti from the Moei Asing village. Eyr Mountains stand very tall, the tallest on the island soaring beyond 10,000 feet at highest elevation. Eyr is also an island of volcanic activity with magma rivers deep beneath the surface of the island waiting to erupt at any time, and also providing geothermic heat for vents and multiple hot springs that dot the isle.
The jungle itself which blanket the island are dense, deadly, and impossible to go into without a hacking knife at your disposal. The ground of the jungle is covered in mostly decaying leaf matter and thick tangles of roots, vines, ferns and carnivorous plants, all posing potential danger.
There are some mineral deposits worthy of mining within Eyr as well but as a whole, the island is not all that rich in metal despite the many layers that encompass the island beneath its surface. At the top, there is the loamy porous soil with bedrock of limestone ( the stone from which the ivory city of Shalan’ti is made). In pockets, hidden beneath layers of leaf matter are unseen quicksand lakes, some large enough to swallow an elephant. In the deepest layers of the island you find basalt rock and magma. At the coastline you come to sandy soil, home to coastal trees like mangrove and palm.
To those that look towards the open ocean, they will see it is clear and very deep and has massive amounts of volcanic activity that vents deep beneath the surface. Coastal oceans are shallow to a depth of around 50 feet and outward 1000 yards, surrounding the entire island and incircled by tropical reefs. This makes it extremely difficult or impossible to dock deep-bellied boats who must drop anchor off the coast and paddle upriver on dinghies.Lastly you have the waterways that wind through the island like snakes. The Kuvari river is the primary river in Eyr and used to transport goods via canoes and small flat-bottomed boats primarily because the river is shallow and too narrow to hold deep-hulled shipping vessels. The main river is also very wide, muddy, silt-filled, slow moving, and brackish; home to sharks and other large river fish in its depths as well. The Kuvari river is fed by natural springs that start at the mountain tops, and all waterways become increasingly fresh the further south one travels. All waterfalls are said to be cold, fresh, and refreshing to the tired adventurer.
Eyr is a gorgeous and ancient island who seems to be frozen in time. With its high mountain peaks to its low boggy swamps and lush green jungles, there is never an ungodly sight to be seen in this wonderful ecosystem.