Sticks and Stones

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The sticks and stones of the northern lands are where mountain meets marsh and sands. The terrain is shaped by the extremities of the Appalachian Mountains. Rolling hills and beaten earth evince ancient glacial movements. Jagged coastline and rocky beaches surround the Bay of Fundy, subject to the whim of the tides.

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  1.   1.  Climate
  2.   2.  Geography
  3.   3.  Demographics
  4.   4.  Common Flora & Fauna
    1.   4.1  Flora
    2.   4.2  Fauna
  5.   5.  Waterways
  6.   6.  Islands
  7.   7.  Sources

1.  Climate

The northern parts of Nova Scotia are cold and typically rather windy. The brunt force of the wind carries off the bay and into these territories more often than not; this region receives frequent, heavy rains.

2.  Geography

The Sticks and Stones area consists of low, hulking hills and flat plains. Marshes and lowlands make up the majority of Drifter Bay and the Waste; these areas are more prone to flooding than others. The inland forests are lush and dotted with rivers, lakes, and other water forms. The bay coast is typical of Fundy coasts, while the Atlantic Coast of the Quartz Shoreline is extremely varied, with an innumerable amount of small islands, peninsulas, and other coastal landforms.

3.  Demographics

The Atlantic Coast was populated with fishing towns and villages of varying size, while the fertile Drifter Bay marshes were dominated by farmland.

4.  Common Flora & Fauna

4.1  Flora

  • Peppergrass: This native annual plant bears small white flowers. It prefers sunny locales with dry soil. The young leaves can be used as a potherb, sauted or used raw, such as in salads. The young seedpods can be used as a substitute black pepper.

  • Sourweed: This invasive plant favors moist soil and thrives in floodplains and marshes. Its slender and reddish green stem branches at its top; it flowers red. It is useful in food preparation; it can be used as a curdling agent for cheese. The leaves have a lemony, tangy or tart flavor.

  • Tule: Native plant, prefers freshwater marshes and shorelines. Dyed and woven, tules have been used to make baskets, bowls, mats, hats, clothing, duck decoys, and even boats.

4.2  Fauna

Abundant, despite heavy canine predation. The inland forests are well-populated by prey of varying size and shape.

A vast number of rodent and small mammal species are found here; Stoats are unique to western Sticks and Stones. Whitetail and Moose are common, while Elk are considerably rarer. Osprey and Bald Eagle are common through the inland forests, while the Harrier and Red-Tailed Hawk prefer the marshy, open areas.

5.  Waterways

Black River Reserve

Black River

The narrow Black River cuts through the Black River Reserve. It is fed by the numerous marshlands through the area. A "young" river, the Black River is deceptively deep -- and it runs very quickly, making for a somewhat dangerous river in some places. The fast-moving currents within the river carry its water out and into the Brule Bay on the Northumberland Strait.

Drifter Bay

Pictou River

The Pictou River runs over Halcyon Mountain. Cold and fresh water springs forth from somewhere deep within the mountain. During the course of its downstream travel, the river meets a sharp cliff face; it falls well over thirty feet into a deep pool below. The river continues downstream before doing the very same thing over again. This pattern repeats four times down the stretch of the mountain, with rolling and rocky cliffs on either side of the waterfall the whole way down. The lowest waterfall is the only one that is safe to jump, as the drop is a mere ten feet and the pool at the bottom is the largest, but the rest are no less picturesque for their danger.

The Pictou River cuts a swift course between the Isthmus of Chignecto and Drifter Bay, separating the two territories as it travels southward to empty into the Bay of Fundy in the Minas Channel. Due to its location, the lower parts of the river experience a severe tidal bore. The water rushes against the current for a good distance up the Pictou; the lowermost parts of the river are heavily salted and close to brackish for much of the day.

Newville Lake

This glacial lake is located in the northern part of Drifter Bay. Newville Lake nestles into a low and rolling hill, almost perfectly rounded yet created by nature and not man. At one point in time, the humans living in the Millstone Village area used this as a water supply; a rugged and ill-kept path leads from the village to this lake.

Parrsboro Harbour

Nestled close to the center of the Drifter Bay territory. It is a wide-mouthed bay, with only a gentle inward curve of land to suggest a bay. Like much of the coast of the Bay of Fundy, Parrsboro Harbour is subject to the extreme tides found throughout the area. However, it is unique in that the habour almost completely empties on low tide. One is ill-advised to travel too deep into the muck: it is very deep and very easy to get trapped, which can, of course, be fatal with an incoming tide.

The Waste

Grotto dei Avernus

The especially rainy second half of of 2009 caused extensive flooding to parts of The Waste. When the floodwaters receded, they caused some erosive damage to the land, revealing hot springs. The area is always muggy and far warmer than the surrounding areas, heated by the earth itself, and a thick fog clings around the springs themselves during the winter, and the area is remarkably humid during the summer. The waters temperature hangs at around 75°F/24°C, though it varies depending on how much rainwater pools in. This is one of only a few hotspring areas in Nova Scotia.

6.  Islands

Prince Edward Island

This northerly island is accessible only by swimming in summer. In winter, crossing the ice is possible, though quite dangerous. It has a climate similar to New Brunswick, though it suffers a coastal woe. In winter especially, the area is prone to fierce snowstorms and blizzards. Spring is slow, summers are cool, and fall is quick in this northerly island. Nonetheless, it is home to several highly desirable resources for Luperci, and is thus a frequent attraction.

The area is also home to the Wildwood Horses that were shared between Sapient the former Midnight Shores.

Malpeque Islands

Malpeque Bay in Prince Edward Island boasts a number of small islands, some of which even bore names: Mary Fraser Island, Courtin Island, Little Courtin Island, Little Rock, Big Rock, and Bird Island. More notable amongst Malpeque's islands are Lennox, formerly human-occupied; Hog Island, a barrier island forming the northern boundary of Malpeque Bay; and Fish Island, a section of Hog Island that occasionally separates/joins due to erosion and accretion.

Isthmus of Chignecto

Isle Haute

This tiny island sits off the Isthmus of Chignecto's coast. Isle Haute, as it was known in the time of humanity, is an impressive island, featuring towering bluffs on the bay side. These protect it from the fierce tides, though the mainland coast is slightly more forgiving. Swimming and boating are possible across the narrow inlet separating the island from Salsola. A steel lighthouse is the only man-made structure. Though unmanned prior to man's extinction, the light has long burned out -- unmanned does not equate unmaintained.

Drifter Bay

Five Islands

These five tiny islands sit just off the coast of The Waste on the Bay of Fundy. All of the islands support a number of Seal species.

  • Moose
    Early in the 1800s a man settled here with his family. He cleared the forest and established a modest mixed farm. Rumors circulated about his abusive tendencies; he died under violent, suspicious circumstances and the remainder of his family moved to mainland Canada, abandoning the island. Legends continued to circulate about the island in the times of humanity; it's said sometimes a light can be seen on the beach of Moose island.
  • Long
    The sea, being in the Bay of Fundy's tide reach, is 30 to 50 feet (9 to 20 m) deep at high tide and empty at low tide, so access to the island is limited each day to a four hour window, namely the high tide during daylight. When the tide is low, those on Long Island can walk or run on the sea bed for miles. The largest island, Long has a tiny "town" of three dilapidated shacks.
  • Diamond, Egg, Pinnacle
    These smaller islands were not inhabited. The larger of the pair -- Diamond and Egg -- sparse, piney forest and birds. Pinnacle, on the other hand, is little more than a bare rock jutting from the bay.

7.  Sources