Mana Vortices

Mana vortices are areas where the essence of the material plane has gone haywire. Some speculate that they are violent open gates to the elemental planes, but none whom have tested this theory have returned to validate it. They appear as storms, whirlpools, rolling explosions, and rumbling sinkholes. They are constantly churning and raging but seldom move from their position. Some disappear randomly to reappear days, months, or even years later, but always in the same spot. Mana vortices exist for each of the primal elements; earth air fire and water. But their origins have nothing to do with the areas in which they manifest. Fire vortices have been known to manifest in large bodies of water, creating boiling lakes or hot-spots in the oceans. Water vortices have been found on land in the form of roiling whirlpools of mud and stone. Size can vary from that of a house to that of a city.

Perhaps the most famous vortex on the face of Atroa exists around Akanul, the genasi city state. Some call it the Gate, others call it the Maelstrom, but names do little to describe this force of primordial power. The Maelstrom is a vortex that has all four elemental properties manifesting at once. Spires of stone rise and fall at breakneck speed whilst spinning in a whirlpool of boiling water. Winds so strong and sudden that they have been witnessed slicing through the stone spires, and storms that put the gods to shame. Volcanoes rise from the waters to spew ash and lava, then collapse just as suddenly. It sits in the middle of the Sea of Io surrounding the floating city of Akanul and it spans for miles. The eye of the Maelstrom is a relatively calm tropical utopia of earth motes islands and waterfalls; Akanul. The genasi worship this phenomena to an extent, but are completely cautious and even fearful of it. It provides Akanul with no small degree of protection at the cost of frequent and violent storms. One gap exists in wall of the Maelstrom, but the genasi have fortified it, and use it as a trading port-city as well as a point of departure to the rest of Atroa.

The capitol city of Ckalle, Ebn, sits on another exceptional vortex. It manifests both earth and fire, creating a constant flow of lava. The evil powers of that nation have used this to their advantage in the fortification of their capitol city. The many nefarious beings that inhabit the city are used to the punishing heat, if not naturally immune to fire.

Aranholm houses a fairly tame vortex that sits in a verdant earthmote above the city. This water vortex spews forth a constant flow of fresh water which falls into the oasis at the city's center.

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