The Balkiri Continent was truly a prodigiously large area of land. Within its long shorelines, it held uncountable numbers of forests, plains, mountains, swamps, rivers, and every other sort of natural environment. Beneath the surface, leylines of spiritual energy twisted everywhere like the veins of an enormous dragon, crossing and flaring up seemingly at random. And wherever the spiritual energy became particularly strong, humans would gather like bees to honey.
It wasn’t that humans could directly interact with spiritual energy — only a few esoteric monstrous beasts could manage such a feat — but high concentrations could greatly affect the efficiency of a human’s cultivation, literally bringing twice the results for half the effort. And so over the course of time humans would seek out the leyline nexi, and build their homes and palaces, towns and cities, where the benefits to them would be the strongest.
Of course, not every area with great spiritual energy would be fit for human habitation. For every mighty forest citadel raised by human hands, there was a deep black jungle that would devour any mortal foolish enough to step within; for every grand mountain aerie where ancient experts meditated in peace, there would be a frozen highland of ice and death; for every verdant plain nurturing ten or even a hundred villages, there would be a vast, endless swamp filled with monstrous beasts and poison. Continue reading