"The world is grown out of the Chaos that lies beyond its fringes, under the power of Concordance that lies at its heart. Without Chaos, there would be no creation. Without Concordance, creation would not be shaped."
"Our world is flat, for how else would it be? There is a slight curvature away from the centre, and this can be shown by the shadows cast by two sticks, one hundred miles apart...."
"Fire and Heat are Chaotic Energy, Air and Cold are Concordant Energy. The inner regions of the world are cool, and at its centre lies the Great Glacier where the very air is crystallised. As one moves towards the edge of the world it gets hotter. At the very fringes of the mortal realm is the Boiling Ocean where no-one can survive."
"Land and Earth are Concordant Form, Sea and Water are Chaotic Form. The Great Glacier is surrounded by a vast continent that we call Perfection of Concordance. Around Perfection is the sea upon which lie many islands. Near the continent the islands are large enough for many nations, but as one moves outwards towards the Boiling Ocean the islands become smaller and smaller until there is just sea."
Teshnuvar I (v).
Who is Teshnuvar?
Perhaps the greatest natural philosopher of the Empire of Splendour, he lived over five hundred years ago. His thirty seven scroll treatise "On the Workings of the Universe" is considered an essential part of education in the Empire. Although he may not necessarily be correct in all things, his concepts are the most influential and wide-spread.
Why is the world this shape?
Flexibility. The never-ending possibilities of Chaos mean that there is no limit to what can and can't exist. Even the most way-out ideas can be given an island somewhere. But if you don't like way-out and prefer more stable and recognisable cultures, then the Continent of Perfection and the inner islands are for you. There is plenty of room for all manner of additions.
Is that the final map?
By no means! The image you see is based upon one drawn by Teshnuvar and its accuracy is doubtful. It merely serves as a guide to the overall shape of the world. There may even be more than one continent out there....
What sort of scale are we talking here?
It's fairly fluid at this point, to allow for the insertion of new nations wherever they are needed. As a rough guide, Perfection of Concordance is probably about the size of Asia all told. The larger islands would be about the size of New Zealand, perhaps bigger, so there is plenty of scope for neighbouring countries. The world of Conclave is not defined by "one island, one nation".