Cathas is a large, rugged island whose coastline is dominated in most places by high limestone cliffs. Windswept grassland quickly turns into thick deciduous forest after a few miles. This forest, Kalihi, is considered forbidden for all save the Aspects who visit the Goddess’ Glade to commune with their deities. This forest is largely considered too dangerous for normal folk and the domain of the Shining Ones, the mysterious entities that are whispered to haunt the darkened forest.
The largest island in Camarath, Cathas about 110 miles long from tip-to-tip and 19 miles wide at its narrowest point (between Spot Bay and Camar’s Sound). In total the island is ~2,625 square miles of windswept hills and plains and deep, deciduous forest. Unlike the smaller islands of the Aether, Cathas is large enough that the warmth of the sea does not protect it from the effects of winter, which means that much of the island can become blanketed by snow. Permanent fauna and flora of the island must also be able to withstand cold temperatures and so much of the permanent wildlife is not tropical like the majority of the other islands.
The hilly headland, like most of the coast, is perched high upon limestone cliffs. The Headlands are a promenade of land that sticks out into the north Aether and the Sankrals like the head of a spear from the body of Cathas. Dominated by rugged, prairie hills and sunken moors that are swept by strong winds coming down from the stormy north. This is one of the few areas that metal has been found in quantities for metalwork, often in small rocks and veins revealed during rock slides or through the Camari’s limited mining.
The famed coppersmith clan, the Waihi, of Waihi Village live in the headland and maintain two separate “lower villages” in the cliffs on the east and west side of the Headland where they maintain small ports for trade and fishing.
The Three Sisters
Three small mountains (and their accompanying foothills) that form a “belt” or girdle separating Kalihi Forest and lower 3/4ths of the island from the Headland. The Kalihi forest runs up their southern slopes like a cloak and in winter they are often snow-covered.
The Kalihi is no place for Men, or so the stories say. By day the forest can be beautiful, peaceful and filled with the songs of birds but as night falls, they say, it becomes the domain of something else entirely: spirits, the Shining Ones, the Kalihi Forest becomes a haunted place best avoided by goodly folks. The Aspects do come through the Kalihi, though only enroute to the Goddesses’ Glade.
Within the bounds of the Kalihi forest stands a lonely, tottering stone tower that juts straight from what may once have been a granite hill or knoll. The tower rises, surrounded by a perfect circle of the sundered remains of the hill. The forest maintains its vigil outside this circle of boulders but not a single plant grows within the circular clearing surrounding the bound by the stones around the tower.
This ancient, ruined tower is whispered by many to be the haunt of a coven of witches who toy with evil spirits like Kikokiko. Some desperate souls have approached the tower, seeking some boon or service from the rumored witches.
The Goddesses’ Glade
In the center of Cathas lies the Goddesses’ Glade, a sacred place. Beneath two gargantuan female colossi is a large clearing in the Kalihi Forest centered around a large, clear lake filled with all manner of sea life and whose waters are said to contain great healing powers.
The two colossi reach toward each other from opposite ends of the lake with one hand, and in the other clutch ornaments of power. In one’s hand, a staff – in the other, a spear. These two female figures are identical otherwise and, most impressively, each stone colossus stands more than half a mile tall.
Within the waters of the Glade many wondrous things can be found, including: vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and dolphin pods playing in the pure fresh water, and other things found only in the open seas. Additionally, the darkness that inhabits the Kalihi Forest at night, and the many predators that stalk its darkened paths, seem to avoid the Glade, reinforcing its reputation as a holy place.
Home to the capital of all Camarath, throne of the Camari Queen and her court, Saerun’s Bay is a large fjord carved into Cathas and dotted by smaller, rocky islets. Camar’s Hold, the massive fortress-palace of the Queen rests atop a large pinnacle rock island a few hundred feet off the coast of Cathas. Camar’s Rest, the floating city that sprawls out around the Hold rests on the bones of a sunken city swallowed up whenever the Sound was first formed.
The bayis about 5 miles long and ranges between less than 1 mile to almost 4 miles wide. It’s entrance is guarded by Channel Isle which marks the Bay’s merger with the sea.
Shark Bay is famous for the number of sharks that congregate each summer within its boundaries. Approximately 13 miles wide and 10 miles long, Shark Bay is home to many vibrant Camari settlements built on a wide sandy strip at the base of Cathas’ high cliffs.