CAVEMASTER DEMO PARTY
Tula: A Pleasant Peninsula
Ancient legends speak of a lush land that sank beneath the sea. It was called Thoula, Tile, or Thule. It was said to be in the far north, at the edge of the known world. After it vanished, what took its place was said to be a soft thick misty mass through which boats could not travel, too soft to walk upon.
We know from geologist’s data that between what is today Denmark and England, there was once a large land mass. 10,000 years ago, it was inhabited by humans. Around 8500 years ago, it sank beneath the sea in a great cataclysm. Afterwards, the vast gap held some of the richest fishing in Europe. A traditional Dutch fishing boat, the ‘dogge’, gave its name to the Dogger Sandbar in this area of open water. Archaeologists dubbed the submerged land “Doggerland”.
In the world of Cavemaster, we shall refer to it as Tula. At the time of our adventures, the glaciers have retreated. A forest has been thriving for several generations. On its western side is a large beautiful freshwater lake edged by rich swampland and moors known as Shining Lake.
These are deposits of large jumbled and broke stones. The blocks of rock range from sand and pebbles to mammoth-sized. A few scrappy plants grow in the cracks but overall, the morraines bare barren. They are unattractive to most herbivores. There are gaps usable as shelter but the stones are unstable and dangerous. This doesn’t discourage scavengers and predators from living on and around them.
The glaciers scrubbed the land down to bedrock. There’s little topsoil here. For most of the year, the bits of plant growth that manage are lichens. The main herbivores are reindeer, who prefer those lichens to anything else. Underneath the tundra is permafrost: a layer of frozen ground that, even when the summer air is balmy and mosquito-loaded, remains hard and cold.
Since 40,000 years ago, glacier and tundra have softened to lush green areas criss-crossed by fresh rivers and lakes. Mammoths and horses thrive here. At the time of the campaign, Something (the Younger Dryas event) happened some generations ago, and rainfall has become erratic. The grasslands are now dotted with small trees.
These are large lakes with wide marshy boarders. Heathers, mosses, bog-cotton, and other boggy plants dominate. Giant deer and aurochs enjoy munching the heather; mammoths and wild sheep love it too. In most areas they are constantly washed by a thin flow of water. Where the water is still, there are peat bogs developing. In some spots, where the plant growth is thickest, a bad smell lingers, from anaerobic fermentation. Odd fungal glows may appear, adding to a spooky atmosphere.
At the time of our story, the forests are a recent addition, possible because of the drainage of the land combined with a slowing in the rainfall. The trees are finally large enough to be used as large timbers. (See ‘Plants’ under Biology)
At a number of locations, naturally heated water bubbles up from the ground. About a dozen are located in what is today the southern part of Great Britain.