Merhulneo, Desert World of Mystics
Merhulneo is Fels' third largest continent. It has the distinction of wrapping itself around Fels' south pole and extends from the Eastern Hemisphere to the Western Hemisphere. The etymology of the name Merhulneo is long lost; though it was believed that is was a portmanteau word composed of several acronyms. Like each of Fels' continents, its character is unique; it is primarily desert. Desert as in bleak unrelenting sandy desert, not like the arid stoniness of Tamarudhe.
Only the northern marge of the continent is inhabitable. A good comparison exists with Earth's African continent, where the Atlas Mountains gives the Mahgreb region some arability as opposed to the dry vastness of the Sahara to the south. Merhulneo, in the Western Hemisphere, is bounded to the west by the Equatic Ocean, the east by Oceanicus, to the north by an unnamed tract of water which eventually becomes the Fairge. In the Eastern Hemisphere, it is bounded to the north by the Strait of New Corinth, over which the Monarchial Renaissance constructed a vast bridge leading to Tronapt.
Here it is bounded to the north-east by the Equatic Ocean and the Sea of Tronapt and Fernesce and to the west by Oceanicus. Merhulneo was the first locale on Fels settled by the founders. They set up shop at Garth, named after one of the founder members favourite dogs. For what it is worth, this dog is nowadays remembered inadvertently by the lingua franca, Gartha, spoken over much of the Three Rivers continent.
The founders chose a location on a sheltered harbour near a permanent spring on the north-eastern coast of the continent. Garth became their base of operations until Kyxx supplanted it some years later. In the pre-Collision days, Garth held universities, several spaceports and machine workshops and mined the ores from the nearby Tirfantis Mountains.
Even in this early age, it was apparent that the dry and windy city would engender philosophy and mystical thinking. After Kyxx's rise in pre-eminence as Fels' de facto capital, Garth was left to itself and the universities prospered in the fields of theosophy and arcanum. After the devastation caused by the Collision, the influx of odylicism was seen as a justification of all this study and the pursuit of learning odylic ways became near-obsessive.
Unlike Tronapt and other highly industrialised places on Fels, by the time of the Collision, Garth, and Merhulneo in general, had reverted to a mediaevalist way and suffered little. As adumbrated in the Timeline the folk of Merhulneo had decided the remainder of Fels too narrow-minded and boorish, and folk wandered off to found retreats where their particular organon could be followed and embraced with no outside interference. It was this way that the cult of Darklove found the island of Isume, off Merhulneo's western coast. In time, however, the arid climate and the isolation finally became too much for the sparse population of this huge and barren land and most set sail north for the Three Rivers across infamously stormy waters.
The most famous of these migrants are the Attuned Wind who first settled on Forosth, then later, Grifne in the Arosd Archipelago. People still live in Merhulneo today, eking out an existence from the sandy land, hanging on to oases and waterholes. Nobody ventures to Merhulneo any more; most are unaware it even exists. Occasionally, a game traveller will cross between Merhulneo and Isume, or Merhulneo to Luwedne, but Merhulneo, like a lot of other places on Fels, has become forgotten in its neglected history.