by Max Barry

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by The Free Lands of Vancouvia. . 3,741 reads.

Map and Description of Vancouvia

Vancouvia is an island nation with a cold climate. Much of Vancouvia is below 60 F all year round, except for the extreme southern regions. There are three main mountain chains in the interior, that together with the Grand Vancouvian Rail, serve to separate the mainland into two parts: the north and the south. The north is the main source of raw materials and resources, which then flow south through the main three cities, "The Trio," where they are typically refined, until finally they are shipped south out of usually either Port Thomas, Greenview, or Vesuvius.

The north of the island is colder, poorer, sparsely populated, and more industrialized. The northern border with the sea is mostly cliffs and jagged rocks, especially in The Claw, which is famous for its harsh yet picturesque landscape. Thantana Heights is the largest city and is heavily industrialized, playing a crucial role in manufacturing. The north also has many small islands and island chains, including The Shavings, Colossus Isle, and Hokkaido. Almost all of Vancouvia's offshore drilling is conducted in the north, and Graniteville and the surrounding area is the hub of the mining industry.

The Grand Vancouvian Rail, a high-speed rail-line running the length of the country, serves as the main artery of Vancouvia, connecting The Trio cities: Vesuvius, Lexington, and Yorkford. Vesuvius is the capital, largest city, and economic center. Most national businesses are headquartered here, and many international businesses make Vesuvius home. Vesuvius is also a major port city, conducting roughly a fourth of all sea exports. Lexington is the country's agricultural capital, a sprawling city in the shadow of the Augustas mountains. It is, in many ways, the hub of Vancouvia, located centrally and with a large mix of cultures. Yorkford, located east, serves as Vancouvia's military headquarters and contains a high percentage of the country's universities and cultural centers. Yorkford is considered new, progressive, and growing; it is Vancouvia's rising star and one of the most expensive cities to live in.

The south is warmer, richer, highly populated, and more agrarian. The Old Sands peninsula is home to Summerland, Vancouvia's relaxation hot spot. Summerland and the surrounding area contains three amusement parks, the nation's most famous beaches, and a thriving international art and culture scene. Across Summer's Shores lies Geo Beach, home to many of Vancouvia's ecological and environmental organizations. Close by is The Sands, home to some of the wealthiest Vancouvians, and also most retirees. Port Thomas and Greenview make up the south's largest cities, each with substantial ports. Further east is the Four Harbors region, which is heavily involved in the fishing industry. Although fish farming has begun to accelerate, classical fishing still maintains a strong foothold in this area. The south also contains the nation's only two national parks, Bovine and Reading's. Whereas Bovine is mostly focused on ecological preservation, especially for the nation's wild cows, Reading's is one of the few areas of Vancouvia that is completely forested, and thus serves as a prime hiking and biking getaway spot.

The cattle basin, nestled between the Augustas and Thessalonic mountains, is where over 60% of farming on the island takes place. Vacala International, Vancouvia's most notable company, operates millions of acres of ranches and farms in the area, producing enough food to feed all of Vancouvia and still export a sizable surplus.

Vancouvia holds many outward islands. Independence Island is almost completely unpopulated save High Fork and Low Fork. Most of the island is hilly and forested, and therefore serves as a prime training grounds for the military. Bronze, Silvery, and Mercury isles are also largely unpopulated, although they are favored spots for hunters and amateur fishermen.

Vancouvia maintains a number of military bases throughout the island. North Yorkford is the home port of the navy, and also serves as the main training base for the Vancouvian Special Forces recruits. Breckenridge, across the channel, is a major training post for the VSF, wherein most forest, mountainous, and war games training exercises are conducted. Bastille, located along the Grand Vancouvian Rail, is the Vancouvian National Army's headquarters, where most land equipment and planes are stored when not deployed. Coldbrook, in the west, has over the recent years become mostly civilian, with most civilian contractors and businesses operating there, including Winter Robotics. Fort Brighton is the least notable base, wherein the bulk of outdated equipment and delinquent personnel are stationed.

Although all cities are linked by highways or country roads, the bulk of travel and commuting is done via railroad. Mass transportation in cities is also heavily emphasized, especially in the form of subways. The Trio cities host international airports, while most other cities with at least a population of 100,000 have smaller national airports. Ferries provide routes from Vesuvius to Summerland, and Yorkford to High Fork.

The Free Lands of Vancouvia