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Thulea is marked by a series of largely interconnected great lakes, and is the source of much of the continent's great river systems. Impressive trade routes spanned across Thulea during the colonial period, plied by men skilled in navigating rivers by canoes. As in Erythrea and Azanea, the region continues to see epic migrations of herds of herbivores in its interior plains, many of the megafauna having survived the Ice Age. Of all the animals, the bison is the most critical species to natives and settlers alike, being a staple source of meat in the region.

In the northeastern fringe, Norwegians closed the circle of human migration when they arrived in Grenland, being the first peoples from Ecumina to arrive in Crucea. The harsh climate of Thulea thwarted major colonization attempts by Europeans. Apart from New France, which became Manitoba and Canada, native peoples here were roped into a company-state arrangement, and major settlements grew out of trading posts, resulting in much of the interior and northern lands to remain outside of the reach of European settlers.


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Ethnocentrism has always dogged geographers. Atlas Altera is written in English for those of the Anglosphere, who have generally inherited neighbouring European traditions. Here, countries and regions are rendered as if it is the tradition most familiar and accepted in practical usage by native English-speakers in Altera. Thus, the political map of Altera is rendered with exonyms, and the atlas draws deep from situated knowledges while simultaneously attempting to push the boundaries of those knowledges.

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The names of earth’s landmasses, continents, regions, and toponyms in Libya, Asea, and Erythrea were normalized by Venetian cartographers, who readily brought west maps of the south and east via their contact with the Grecians in Constantinople, a critical nexus point for trafficking things and knowledges across Borealea and Africa until the Age of Discovery. Toponyms of western continental Europea, generally corresponding to historically European Catholic areas, are derived from the naming conventions of the Dieppe school, which was influential until becoming eclipsed by the mapmakers of Antwerp. The Antwerp School made places of the Arctic and Norway known to the rest of Europea. Thus, the -ny, -land, and -ia suffixes generally correspond to these three schools of cartography influential to the English tradition.

The Dieppe School also began to incorporate the less systemic toponyms of the Spanish and Portuguese, which came out of early conquests in Septentrea and Crucea, most of which broke from the practice of naming places after native inhabitants but instead came from the Doctrine of Discovery. The Antwerp School fully normalized the practice of transliterating foreign toponyms through the lens of the regional hegemons in places where there was closer power parity between Europeans and natives, especially in Indea, Serica, and in the parts of Septentrea and Crucea that retained autonomy. The transliterations made in this time preserve the local pronunciations in the 18th and 19th centuries and may now be quite distant to the modern endonyms.

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