Amazonia, the Great subcontinent of the East

TO CALL Amazonia a province of the Western Empire of Aristasia is almost misleading, although it is literally true. Amazonia is larger than the rest of the Empire combined, and many of its Eastward parts are scarcely aware of the Western world. "Amazonia" (a name unrecognised in much of the East) contains not only its own Provinces, but its own Empires within it. Nominally the main powers of the East recognise the historical necessity of Western predominance and give nominal fealty to Abolraihir as many of them term the Western Empire, however the East is certainly not in any real sense governed by the West.

Perhaps the most salient characteristic of Amazonia is that it is cut off from the West by the fact that the very laws of nature subtly differ. Many of the technical inventions of the Western world are simply ineffective in the East while magic, which is relatively powerless in the West is highly potent in the further reaches of Amazonia. The matter has been explained as follows:

If you travel Eastward through Vintesse and into the great sub-continent known in the West as Amazonia and in the East under more than one name depending upon the language and customs of the locality, you will find the laws of life subtly changing.

For example, if you are travelling by motor-car you will find that you have increasing difficulty with your conveyance as you proceed East. This is not merely because of the roughness of the roads or the absence of petrol garages, although both contribute to the problem. It is because the preponderance of material and mechanics is becoming ever less as the setting sun falls behind you and the rising sun draws more nigh.

In those worlds, conjectured by some to exist, where time rather than place marks these great distinctions, it is held by the dwellers of the later times (equivalent to the Western World in Aristasia) that the laws of the world were always and everywhere the same, and that if earlier times had not so great a facility with mechanical technics, that is because their minds did not tend that way or even, in the case of the more arrogant latter-temporalists, because they were less intelligent or “advanced” (there are certain worlds where this view is more aggressively held than others). They are unaware, because their “Eastern World”, as it were, exists purely in the past and is no longer accessible to them, that the very conditions of existence have subtly changed, creating a world far more amenable to technical manipulation and far less open to many other kinds of activity.

Of course, no world is purely spatial or purely temporal. In our world, while the primary distinction is between East and West, it is certainly true that the technics and specific character of the West have developed only in the latter days, while in more temporal worlds it is always true that such developments affect their Western parts sooner and more thoroughly; the opening of the furthest-Western extremities of those worlds happening only in the latter days, and the dwellers of those extremities carrying the late developments to their ultimate manifestations.

But to return to our hypothetical motor-journey. As you proceed East, the conveyance develops increasingly frequent difficulties, until in the end you find it more convenient to abandon it and hire whatever catrionette or covered-chariot you find available. You will perhaps, being something of a Western skeptic, put the matter down to your own bad luck, although the same fate has overtaken all who have attempted to penetrate the sub-continent by internal combustion, and no aeroplane pilotte alive would be so mad as to fly East beyond a certain longitude.

From "A Child of the Wind" in The District Governess

The more Westerly parts of Amazonia are more closely connected