What adventure is complete without maps? Growing up, I delighted in books that would have them included in their artwork, on the pastedown and flyleaf, or within the first few leaves. It speaks to me. I’m assured that this is a book for me. However, that doesn’t mean maps are for everyone who likes the science fiction or fantasy genres. Not everyone needs them or feels an affinity for maps. Still, I’m often compelled to include them in books, and if I don’t, you can bet that I used them to write the narrative. For instance, both OP-DEC and Blue Honor required maps to keep maneuvers accurate. Accuracy is exactly the point. Some readers are able to keep things straight in their heads while others aren’t all that concerned with these details.
In the Trailokya series, there are two maps that apply to the narrative. These maps lay out the basic area of each of those worlds:
The Map of Zion
In ancient folklore, waterways were interconnected to each other as well as mystical places. In the map, you can see the khajala, like a cloud ringing the Urva Sea. This khajala is a barrier that helps protect Zion from any infiltration via the Domdaniel in Jahannam. That helps explain why it’s not ringing all the water ways. If you look at the map of Jahannam, you’ll see that the Domdaniel (their version of a sea) is much smaller.
Zion is made of four continents: Elysion, Eden, Arcadia and Zion Provence. There are four major waterways: Pison, Tigris, Euphrates, and Gihon. There is no arctic radius in all of Zion, although some of the areas exist in snow either in perpetuity or seasonally. The orders of Fenrir and Odin are an example of seasonal winters. The climate throughout Zion is mostly idyllic, but most types are represented. The terrain varies equally as much, and it remains prominent despite the mass development in the north.
Mount Zion is located on a peak over the most northern point of Zion. It is from here that the Perptual Light reaches from the tip of the mountain out into space. Around the mountain is built the vast White City. Beyond the borders of the city is the province of Zion that is largely suburban. Arcadia, parted from the cardinal content by the Gihon River, contains the other three major rivers in Zion. Many of the orders spoken of in the trilogy exist in this area. The land is not as crowded as the far north. Next, one will see Eden. Much like it’s name implies, this area is rural, with farms and gardens and sparse but ample housing for those who wish to reside there. Lastly is the wild area of Elysion, which remains largely undeveloped. It is preferred by souls who like minimal augmentation on the natural world. Elysion caps the southern end of Zion.
The Urva is the only ocean in all of Zion. It is an enormous body of water that splits Eden and Elysion from the rest of Zion. This helps to keep those areas less developed than the north. Development below the depths of the ocean has taken place behind the borders of the khajala, which can be observed below the waves much the same as above. Crossing the khajala can be undertaken, but most souls will find themselves lost and turned around, away from the possible dangers beyond. Gates to the Domdaniel are located at the barrier, but are only operated by Watchers and those assigned to a mission that requires their use.
Map of Jahannam
Jahannam mirrors Zion to a great extent. Instead of having four continents and four major tributaries, along with one ocean, this world has only two continents which are marked by five tributaries and its ocean. The foremost city is located in the far south, wrapped in a deep winter like the poles of Earth. It’s northern point, however, is a temperate zone wrapped in an unabated fog. This world exists beneath the surface of an unbroken mantle of rock. Fissures have formed through the millennia, but only let in a minimum of light, of which the source is unknown but could be related to the Perpetual Light of Zion. These cracks are not big enough to pass through and cannot be widened. The stone ceiling is out of reach of the inhabitants, even in flying contraptions, due to a barrier like the khajala.
The main continent of Jahannam is broken into 8 principalities: Sheol, Erebus, Tophet, Gehenna, Acheron, Abaddon and Cocytus. The five rivers are: Cocytus (Cocytus), Phlegethon (Tophet, Gehenna, Erebus, and Sheol), Acheron (Acheron and Sheol), Lethe (Erebus and Sheol), and Styx (Abaddon, Erebus, and Sheol). These rivers, however, do not flow with water, though most resemble the liquid. Their substances are unknown and quite dangerous.
The climate of Jahannam, outside of Cocytus, is dessert. Nothing grows there, being it is dust and rock. The minimal light is enduring throughout the Jahannam year, and there is only one season. The terrain of Jahannam shifts from sands to rocky stretches. Gorges and canyons crack the surface. Some areas boast serrated and splintering mountains. Other places are caverns beneath the ground, complete with stalagmites and stalactites, as well as pillars.
The Domdaniel is the only ocean in all of Jahannam. It is a highly saline body of water. One would not want to enter the water for a few reasons. It’s polluted by the rotting souls that have been imprisoned in its depths. Those souls behave like ravenous fish, feeding on unfortunates that may fall in. Near the mouth of the Lethe is a massive statue that faces South. It is rumored that a seraphim kept watch in the statue, like a tower, over Jahannam, on behalf of Zion. The inhabitants of the land were dangerous enemies and had lost the war they started with Zion eons ago. In those days, the statue wept tears in honor of the souls that these agitators had brought harm to. The depths of the Domdaniel were substantially lower as well. Since, the sea has risen and the flow of tears has become a waterfall. The entrance of the tower is lost far below the waves. Contact with the watcher in the statue was lost many centuries ago, and it is unknown if he still keeps watch, or has been reduced to nothing because of the things that reside below the water and feed on atman. Rescues were given up when the parties continued to disappear.