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Near the northwest corner of the continent, the ice of the St. Elias Range leaves its high birthing fields and flows nearly four miles down to the ocean shore. In this cloud-shrouded refuge, ice and sea continue to sculpt the land as they have for untold thousands of years. The mark of their ancient work extends more than a thousand miles to the south: in the tangle of fjords and islands of the Alaskan panhandle, in the wide turbulent ocean entrances, teeming with life, separating the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Haida Gwaii, from the rain-lashed coast, and in the sinuous route of the Inside Passage between Vancouver Island and the rugged mainland. This is the world of Raven, powerful and immense, resplendent in sunlight, but more often hidden in mist and shadowed by gigantic forests.
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To the south, where the Fraser River surges into the Gulf of Georgia, the land assumes a gentler cast. Strong rivers exit their mountain fastnesses and wind through a lowland plain before emptying into the great, rich estuary known as Puget Sound. Here it only seems to be as rainy as it is further north: the Olympic rampart catches most of the precipitation on its western slope, leaving the country in its shadow relatively dry. Before they were cut away, the lowland forests were also immense, but intermingled with them were open areas covered with ferns and grasses and spangled with wildflowers. This is the land of the Changer, the Star Child who descended from the heavens to the fertile earth and, as Moon, married a daughter of the Salmon people, ensuring his human kin happiness and plenty if they would respect the family of his bride.