It was a roughly boot-shaped expanse of land that divided the Yellow Sea from the Eastern Sea. It began northeast of the Ama Basin and circled around the northern shore of the Yellow Sea before extending southwards. The Koryo Peninsula was a rough land with a great mountainous spine running its full length. On either side, between the mountains and the seas, the forests that began in the Ama Basin grew all the way down the peninsula.
At the very southern end, the peninsula divided into two prongs, one short, one long, giving the shape of a boot. This area was dominated and defined by the Vorkani Mountains. Between these prongs lay Kang Bay and the Kanko volcano.
Breaking away from the end of the Koryo Peninsula were a series of rugged islands formed from extinct volcanoes. The biggest were Kozakura and Wa, while the island of Saishu lay north of the "toe" of the peninsula. These archipelagoes continued southward back towards central Kara-Tur.
The southern part of the peninsula was home to several small kingdoms. The most prominent were those of Choson, the land at the very southern-most tip; Koguryo, Saishu, and Silla were later welded into the larger kingdom of Koryo.[note 2]
In the northlands beyond Koryo there were "wild tribes" who oft invaded the southern kingdoms.
Somewhere in the wilds of Koryo was reportedly a tribe of powerful but barbaric, dark-skinned wizards. They enjoyed watching prisoners and monsters battle in arenas. Surrounded by stands of seating, battles took place inside huge crystal cylinders, 30 feet (9 m) wide and 50 feet (15 m) high and several feet thick, with small holes piercing the ceiling to permit air. The walls were translucent; a captive could barely see out, but spectators could see in easily enough. The wizards would even take krakentua buds, and force newly hatched krakentua spawn to fight. A krakentua related these events via dreams to adventurers in the Fochu Peninsula in Wa in 1358 DR.[note 3]
According to Shou Lung legend, the Second Emperor Chin of the Ho Dynasty of Shou Lung (crowned −620 DR) used a magic ring to enslave a family of enormous giants from the wilds of Koryo. He set them to work raising the massive stone blocks of the Fortress of Kuai. When he died, he had the giants place a huge stone block to seal his body inside the fortress, along with his treasure and enchanted ring.[note 4]
- ↑ Apart from Koryo and some maps, the Koryo Peninsula is a huge section of land that is almost completely unknown and undetailed, but a few vague references are assumed to be placed here and included in this article. This article concentrates on the greater peninsula; see the Koryo article for details specific to that area.
- ↑ Oriental Adventures only mentions "several petty kingdoms", while the later Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms only defines three, those that comprise Koryo. It is unknown if there are any more realms on the peninsula.
- ↑ Taking place in dreams constructed by the krakentua, it is not clear if these events are real or true, but two other dreams are plausible, and the krakentua suggests these are real events.
- ↑ Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms: Volume I page 4 and Test of the Samurai page 60 both mention "the wilds of Koryo", but these lands' exact location and how they relate to the kingdoms of Koryo are unknown. Since Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms: Volume II page 117 refers to "wild tribes of the northlands" beyond Koryo, the "wilds of Koryo" are presumed to lie north of Koryo on the Koryo Peninsula.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), pp. 13, 19. ISBN 978-0880388573.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Maps). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 136. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 James Wyatt (January 2004). “Kara-Tur: Ancestor Feats and Martial Arts Styles”. In Chris Thomasson ed. Dragon #315 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 63.
- ↑ Rick Swan (1989). Test of the Samurai. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 0-88038-775-0.
- ↑ Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- ↑ Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.