In Arcanum, players are able to explore an expansion of vast land that varies across the land of Arcanum - which consists of a continental mainland and three islands. The continental mainland is broken up into five segments: the Glimmering Forest, the Grey Mountains, the Morbihan Plains, the Stonewall Range, and the Vendigroth Wastes.
- The Stonewall Range actually has a somewhat misleading name as it is the only one to posses any traversable passes. The range extends from the southwestern tip of Arcanum to the Glimmering Forest in the Northwest making it the longer of Arcanum's two mountain ranges. The Stonewall range also acts as home for most of Arcanum's dwarven clans and as the starting point for the game.
- The Grey Mountains range is the taller and more imposing of the two ranges. It begins in the west where the Stonewall range ends and extends to the Vendigroth Wastes in the East. The dwarves of the Wheel Clan are the only people to call the home. Although the range has no passes, it does have a gap along the far East coast that can be used as a North-South passage when using the local map view.
Comprising most of the land to the south of the Grey Mountains and east of the Stonewall Range, the Morbihan Plains are a vast area of sparsely populated grasslands. The plains are bisected by a large river flowing south out of the Grey Mountains and a long, narrow bay at the river's mouth. Most of the large population centers found in this region are along the plains' coast lines. The Morbihan Plains serve as the setting for much of the early game as the player crisscrosses them completing quests and gaining their bearings. It used to be known as the Morbihan Forest until Tarantian lumberers cut it down.
The Glimmering Forest is the largest and oldest forest in Arcanum, located in a large area of the continent’s Northwestern corner. The forest is home to much of Arcanum's Elven population as both of the Elven capitals are located therein. This area is only accessible to the player initially via one of The Stonwall Range's passes near where the two ranges meet.
The Vendigroth Wastes are an area of arid desert located near Arcanum's Northeastern corner, and are only accessible via a bridge across the river that separates the wastes from the rest of the continent. Vengigroth was once home to an extremely advanced civilization that has since vanished as of the game's time period. Now the only significant inhabitants of the wastes are a band of reclusive wizards.
There are four noteworthy islands near Arcanum's mainland:
- the Isle of Despair - a desert island located south of the Vendigroth Wastes, used as a prison colony,
- Thanatos - a jungle island found far to the south of the mainland’s southeastern tip, the largest of the islands and believed to be the final resting place of Nasrudin,
- Half Ogre Island - an island immediately west of Thanatos,
- Cattan - an island just east of the mainland's southwestern tip,
- a small unnamed island south-west to the Isle of Despair.
Nations, Cities, and Places of Interest
Shrouded Hills is a small town surrounded by two small rivers near the Stonewall range which sits on the border of Cumbria and The Unified Kingdom. The town has a few small shops, an inn, a temple, a bank, and a haunted mine. The town is unique both because it has recently seceded from Cumbria in order to join The Unified Kingdom and for its close proximity to one of Panarii religion's sacred places. This is the first town the player will visit after surviving the zeppelin crash at said sacred site in the beginning of the game.
The Kindom of Cumbria is a nation in rapid decline which can be found on the southern tip of Arcanum, east of the Stonewall Mountain Range. Cumbria still clings to its traditional monarch while most of Arcanum is moving towards more democratic systems. Unfortunately, King Praetor (the current ruler of Cumbria ) refuses to allow any technology or science to be used or possessed within his borders. For this reason the industrial revolution (and its accompanying economic boom) currently in progress has passed the nation by. As one side quest depicts, even scientific advancements in medicine have been shunned as heretical. The capital of Cumbria is the dilapidated city of Dernholm.
The Unified Kingdom is, as its name implies, roughly analogous to the real world United Kingdom circa the Industrial Revolution and Victorian Era. It is a hugely prosperous industrialized nation that dominates most of the Morbihan Plains. It is the only nation to have a functioning railroad network and contains most of the large human cities in Arcanum. Much of its success could likely be attributed to the fact that the technological revolution started in, and was quickly embraced by, the UK's capital city, Tarant. It should also be noted that the UK is not technically a Kingdom, as it is no longer a monarchy but instead ruled by an elected council (though the particulars of who is allowed to vote aren't entirely clear).
Arland is similar to Cumbria in that it is another small monarchy on the southern tip of Arcanum, west of the Stonewall range; however, Arland's rulers have chosen to embrace technology and benefited for it. Arland is prosperous and has a thriving economy thanks in part to its open trade routs with The Unified Kingdom. Indeed, Arland's relations with the UK are so good that Arland is actually petitioning for membership in the UK as of the the time period of the game. The capital city of Arland, Caladon, is also host to the Panarii religion's largest church attracting devout followers of the religion to pilgrimages to the site.
The Elven Capitals
The elves of Arcanum experienced a schism in their distant past and so now have two separate capitals (one for each group), both located within the Glimmering Forest.
- Qintarra, located in the heart of the Glimmering forest, is home to most of the elves of Arcanum, if not in fact then in spirit. it is a large city of skyways and platforms built high up in the forest's canopy. The city is home to the leader of the elves, The Silver Lady, who has the gift of prophecy. Few outsiders ever visit the city as its location is generally kept a secret. The elves of Qintarra reject technology believing it to be harmful to their forest but will not kill to stop its spread.
- Tsen-Ang, found in the northern reaches of the Glimmering Forest, is the home of Arcanum's Dark Elves. The city is widely believed to be a myth by many and rarely spoken of by the elves of Qintarra. The city is largely a dark mirror image of Qintarra being built similarly in the forest canopy. The elves of Tsen-Ang have also rejected technology but are willing, and at times eager, to kill to stop its spread.
The Dwarven Clans
The dwarves of Arcanum live primarily in underground clan cities dug under the two mountain ranges of Arcanum. A loose mutual benefit alliance exists between the clans, but they could not be considered to be a unified people. Many of the events of the game's main quest center around the recent disappearance of one of these dwarven clans, the Stonecutters. The dwarves are not strictly opposed to technology, they do use some of it in their cities, but generally prefer to use tried-and-true tradition methods.
List of Arcanums Towns and Cities
- Ashbury, predominantly human Town
- Black Root, predominantly human Town
- Black Mountain Clan, abandoned dwarven City
- Caladon, predominantly human City
- Dernholm, predominantly human Town, dilapidated, magick-oriented capital of Cumbria
- Qintarra, elven City, entirely magick-oriented
- Roseborough, predominantly human Village
- Shrouded Hills, predominantly human Village
- Stillwater, predominantly human Village
- Tarant, Arcanum's greatest metropolis, predominantly human and generally technology-oriented
- Tsen'Ang, Dark Elven City, entirely magick-oriented
- Tulla, predominantly human College of mages
- Vendigroth Ruins, predominantly human abandoned City, entirely technology-oriented
- Vooriden, predominantly human Hamlet
- Wheel Clan, dwarven City
There is a total of 81 explorable landmark locations on the map: