Hyrkania is not only home to strange beings, but it also sports wondrous features and fantastic scenery. Some of these are natural, others created, and still others are after effects of cataclysms, earthly or otherwise.
Earthmotes (not to be confused with World Shells are free-floating bits of landscape that defy gravity to hover in the sky. Despite their appearance, these islands in the sky are as stable and durable as if they rested on the ground. Earthmotes are very common in Hyrkania due to countless magic induced cataclysms over the eons.
Two or more Earthmotes tend be found together and Earthmotes floating above another larger Earthmotes are common. Because of these phenomenon, it is not surprising that inhabitants of the larger Earthmote think that they’re not on an Earthmote.
Earthmotes vary widely in size and altitude. Earthmotes can be so large that they can hold a few continents and some are just small enough to support a small house. Most are level on top, like ledges atop sheer cliffs, and taper to a point underneath so that they resemble upside down mountain peaks. Thus, climbing to the top of a mote is difficult.
A few Earthmotes move like clouds across Hyrkania but most are stationary. They usually hang between 15km – 30km above the landscape. However, some motes hover low or even abut an earthbound feature. Disruptions, whether natural or magical, on or near an Earthmote have no apparent effect on its ability to float.
Be that as it may, there have been recorded incidents of Earthmotes losing their ability to float and crashes down to the ground. Thankfully, such incidents are indeed rare.
Nearly all Earthmotes supports life and seem to reflect the natural landscape over or through which they float. Smaller motes are often named according to the type of terrain they support – forestmotes, hillmotes, junglemotes and prairiemotes are most common. Sometimes spectacular cataracts pour from watermotes. These falls never run dry, suggesting a connection with the Elemental Chaos. Certainly, similar features exist on that plane.
Some Earthmotes are settled. They are highly defensible and often rich in resources, making them highly sought after. Like any valuable territory, motes are sometimes the objects of war and conquests. Because of the similarity of the ecology between the Earthmotes and on conventional land, it is very common for inhabitants on larger Earthmotes to not be aware that they are on a mote themselves.