Part One: Chaos and Concordance
It was the Imperial sage Teshnuvar, during the reign of Emperor Bringing Prosperity, who wrote the first unified theory concerning the nature of the World of Conclave, and this theory has endured for over two thousand years since his death.
Teshnuvar opened his classic On The Workings Of The Universe with the line 'Our world is flat, for how else would it be?' He goes on, however, to cite observations that refute this bold statement. In fact, Conclave is like a droplet of water on a mirror. It has a convex curvature to the surface (and hence a horizon) and it has a reflection (but more on that later).
Conclave is formed, or driven, by the interplay of two equal and opposite cosmic forces - Concordance and Chaos. As Teshnuvar says:
'The world is grown out of the Chaos that lies beyond its fringes, under the power of Concordance that lies at its heart. Without Chaos, there would be no creation. Without Concordance, creation would not be shaped.'
Concordance is like a distaff that spins the world from the stuff of Chaos. Concordance at the centre, Chaos at the edge, the two forces impose themselves on the matter and energy of the world.
'Air and Cold are Concordant Energy. Land and Earth are Concordant form. Around the centre of the world lies the great continent Perfection of Concordance where the weather is temperate and calm. At the very centre of the world lies the Great Glacier, where, so it is said, the very air and even time itself become frozen.'
'Fire and Heat are Chaotic Energy. Sea and Water are Chaotic form. Looking outwards from Perfection, the landmasses become smaller. At first they are large enough for many nations, then they diminish to where they can support one small nation each, until they become rocks barely capable of supporting life. The weather becomes warmer and less predictable. At the edge of the world is the Boiling Ocean where no mortal can survive.'
This is the overview of Conclave. At the centre, the Inner Continent of Perfection, home to large, old, organised and potentially stagnating nations. Beyond, the Inner Islands, still large, more vigourous than the old lands of the Inner Continent, rising powers in the world. Further still, the Outer Islands, each one too small to exert much influence beyond its own shores. Due to the greater strength of Chaos the Outer Islands are weird and magical places, some only existing transiently like brief dreams.