East America is a continent directly south of Africa which oddly enough was uninhabited by mankind until the arrivial of Italian explorer Cristobal Colombo (better known as Christopher Columbus) sailed for the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in search of a direct route across Oceania Grande ("the great ocean," but always retaining its Spanish name on maps worldwide) to the islands off the western coast of Asia. It is the smaller of the two continents of the Southern Hemisphere, being linked to West America by an icy antarctic land bridge. To its west is the southwestern Oceania Grande, spotted with sparse antarctic islands. To its east is the island continent of Magalhasia named for Fernão de Magalhães, a Portuguese explorer known better by his Spanish name, Fernando Megellan, who discovered the island east of a line the pope had determined was for Portuguese domain. South of the continent is the vast Pacific Ocean that covers the bottom of the world.


Age of Exploration 1 (SE)

Columbus' first voyage

For centuries Europe had depended upon the overland across Asia, with all the dangers entailed, for the spices and silk that was found there. If Columbus was right, the islands would be just a little past the southern tip of Africa. A Portuguese explore by the name of Bartolomeu Dias had reported finding "Asia" by sailing northeast around the bottom of Africa. Columbus knew by the maps returned from Asia that the islands were far into the sea off the coast of Northwest Asia.

However, Dias was wrong. Seeking to cut straight over to the islands off India, Columbus' three ships cast off their last port of call at Africa's tip bearing due east. However, equatorial winds stirred up and blew them off course. Traveling almost due south, the ships came upon a vast land of temperate forests much like those of northern Europe. On October 12, 1492, they set foot on the land that would one day be called by his name -- Colombia. They would find that it was indeed a new continent as they returned two more times to gather specimens of local wildlife and fruit. They were convinced that it was not the mainland of Southern Asia because there was absolutely no sign of human life anywhere in the hundreds of miles of coastland they explored. Some time later explorers would continue around Africa's long coast to find that Dias had actually discovered the far end of that continent. A perilous trip over icy seas would indeed reach the shores of India and the islands beyond. However, the discovery of Colombia, and the continent that became known as East America, had removed all interest in that trade route. The untouched riches of the new world beckoned.

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