Author Topic: The Splintered Kingdoms  (Read 2797 times)

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Offline Sable Wyvern

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The Splintered Kingdoms
« on: June 07, 2017, 03:44:12 AM »
I'm bored, and this forum is too quiet. Have some world background.

A Brief History of the Splintered Kingdoms and Surrounding Lands
Primitive humans have lived in the region for longer than anyone can recall. Some say the Sprikkas had an empire here even before then but, if so, there is no record of it left anywhere.

At some point, maybe a thousand years ago, the elder men came to the shores of the Parshenian Ocean and formed their first colonies. Some claim the very first colony was at Xamiqand, others that it was Myarfin. Whatever the case, they came in numbers, and kept coming for hundreds of years.

With them, they brought written language and the first secrets of metal work, agriculture, architecture and sailing, which were all unknown to that point by the native humans. The elder men soon ruled a great empire, known as Nar Darsurion, that encompassed what is now Vegatis, Saragenta, the Splintered Kingdoms and Parshenia, but they owed allegiance to a homeland somewhere far across the vast oceans.

Eventually, however, ships from their homeland ceased to arrive, and those who sailed away never returned. It is said that, after years of isolation, King Alnemenoris built the Armada, a thousand fine ships, and a full fifth of the elder men set sail to discover what had happened to the homeland.

Three years later, with no ship of the Armada returned to report, another fleet was raised, this one consisting of only one hundred vessels, grouped into Flotillas of five vessels, with each Flotilla given a different destination, seeking news from any other land.

Every year thereafter, another Flotilla departed, but no fleet or flotilla or ship returned. Eventually, the Flotillas that departed each year became four ships, then three, and then one lone vessel per year until, perhaps one hundred years after the Armada had left, a single ship from that original, vast fleet sailed silently into the harbour at Larmercel.

The Glory of Melicinia, she was, and of her crew the only sign was in the sails, which were now made of human skin, and the captain’s freshly flayed body as a figurehead upon the prow. It is said that she reeked of death and loss and doom, and with her arrival the elder men knew that their own doom was upon them.

From that point on, their numbers dwindled. A few, boldest of heart, still set out to find their lost home, but no longer did the people sponsor an annual ship, and none held any real hope of learning what fate had befallen their kin across the seas.

Intrigue, infighting and betrayals thinned their numbers and, in the south, an outright rebellion of the desert tribes saw the great Bey Mohemis overthrow the ruling lords and name himself Parshenshah of Xamirqand and all Parshenia.

Eventually, those few elder men that were left had their ancient, noble bloodline slowly thinned, until the Last True Emperor, Naurinelian, who barely claimed any elder blood himself, was betrayed and murdered by his grand-nephew Arlex, leading to a confusing and complex civil war.

Eventually, the north stabilised into a new order, with the Emperor ruling from Lamercel, but with little real authority over the various Kings and Princes that became known as his Vassals. There was, however, relative peace and stability for several generations, a period that came to be known as the Peace of Arlex (conveniently ignoring the fact that Arlex instigated the brutal, widespread bloodshed preceding the peace).

Then, maybe one hundred years later, around three centuries before the present day, the region experienced its greatest upheaval since the original arrival of the elder men, as a vast horde of hobgoblins, boggarts and goblins appeared without warning in the far north. They emerged from the Great Boundary Range, despite the fact that all efforts to penetrate those great peaks had proven them to be utterly impassable, and they spread across the lands with shocking rapidity.

The northern regions of Nar Darsurion were overrun within a matter of months, and by the time the southern cities had raised armies to counter the invasion, the sarag armies had already begun to consolidate their positions. After three years of constant conflict, it became clear that the hobgoblins would not be driven back, but also that they seemed satisfied with holding the land they had taken.

Just as the situation settled into an uneasy peace, the invaders were afflicted by a terrible plague. As word of the internal chaos reached south, new armies were raised to march north once more, However, the armies of Chelt and Irus marched east instead, besieging Raul and Eisir while their own armies were in the field.

The Emperor declared this betrayal treason, and called upon the other lords to come to the aid of Raul and Eisir – then used the proclamation to march his own armies west in an attempt to secure more territory from lands of the Prince of Eisir.

With the southern part of the empire suddenly embroiled in civil war, the opportunity to seize back the northern lands slipped away, and the hobgoblins were able to maintain control of the lands they had taken. They were no longer united, however – separate hobgoblin kingdoms eventually emerged to the east and west, while Olvar became an independent city that eventually shared government between human and sarag.

The former heartland of the empire no longer retained even a semblance of unity, and became knowns as the Splintered Kingdoms. Although the Emperor of Lamercel continues to this day to claim all the lands of Nar Darsurion, including even Parshenia, no other city or kingdom acknowledges the claim.

The Elder Men
The last of the true elder men have been gone from the lands for five hundred years, and much of what people believe about them is bound up in myth and legend. This makes the truth hard to determine at times.

They are said to have been taller, stronger and more pleasing of appearance than common men, wise and cunning, with knowledge of magic and gods and demons that was unknown before their arrival.
The statues of their kings and heroes certainly show them to have often stood nearly seven feet tall and broad of shoulder but, on the other hand, it is a conceit of the rich and powerful to this day to have statues of themselves or their ancestors made to similar sizes, and doing so does not actually make the subjects taller.

It is generally believed that they were a bronze age culture when they first arrived, and that the secrets of steel arrived on these shores only a century later, developed in the homeland or elsewhere. This certainly explains the early importance of Chelt, with its nearby tin mines, and thus is generally accepted as fact.

They worshipped a number of gods, exalting a sun god above others, a tradition continued by the Aharzab Ahaz. Most of the gods followed by the cults of the Splintered Kingdoms were inherited from the elder men, although the Elemental Cults only became established during the reign of Arlex.

They are said to have feared the night and the darkness, and made great efforts to light their homes and palaces. They are also thought to have been extremely long lived, generally fit and hale into their eighties and regularly living well beyond a hundred.

Their funerary customs were elaborate and sophisticated. In the south, they practiced embalming and mummification, which some of Parshenian nobles still do, while in the north they were often laid to rest in great barrows. Considerable wealth was regularly buried with them, and although many of their barrows and tombs have been raided, many more are thought to still lie lost and hidden beneath sand and earth.

Their artwork, sculpture and architecture is still evident throughout the lands, as are many of their great works, such as aqueducts, the Great Tombs of Xamiqand and the remaining High Roads. Their written works are harder to find, although private libraries in Lamercel, Myarfin and Xamiqand are said to still hold many important works of poetry, history, science, myth and magic.

The elder men are frequently held in myth and legend as exemplars that were in every way superior to the common men and the hobgoblins of today, but there are a number of scholars that suggest modern cultures have in fact surpassed the achievements of the elder men, pointing to such thing as the great modern smiths who are able to work white and black alloys, or the mighty Asharak constructs of Saragan.

As to where they originally came from, or what happened to their homeland, the Armada or the Flotillas, we are left with nothing but wild supposition –  although, stories purporting to tell the truth of the fall of the elder men are as numerous as there are bards and tale tellers.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2017, 03:46:57 AM »
The Sarag Kingdoms
Saragenta and Vegatis, the two northern nations, are each ruled by a small but firmly entrenched aristocracy of hobgoblins, the remnants of the armies that invaded the region several centuries ago with their armies of boggarts and goblins.

The sarag armies initially secured the entire region as one empire but, just as their invasion was nearing completion and they had begun to consolidate their power, a plague struck, slaughtering two in three of their number.

Their human subjects, who were not afflicted by this disease, took the opportunity to rise up against their would-be conquerors. In the end, two separate sarag factions each ended up securing one portion of the region, each claiming to be the rightful rulers of the entire realm.

The Eastern and Western Kingdoms have diverged culturally since that time, and are locked in a perpetual state of near-conflict that occasionally rises to the level of full-scale warfare.
Both nations retain a strongly militarised and religious aristocracy and make use of soldier-slaves for a reasonable proportion of their military forces.

Each udun sarag is allocated to one of three castes upon reaching adolescence – military, religious or ruling. While their parent’s caste affects this decision, the individual’s skills and potential is carefully considered, and allocation to a caste is by no means hereditary. Movement between castes is also possible after this point.
Hobgoblin society is extremely meritorious, with advancement based to
a significant extent on proven ability, although nepotism is not completely unknown. Some capable humans are admitted to the military and religious castes, although advancing in authority is extremely difficult for them, and they can expect to be forever excluded from the highest echelons of power.

In the Western Kingdom, there are few moral strictures on relationships, but strict guidelines on breeding, which is limited to unions between a member of the ruling caste with a partner from the religious or military caste. Breeding within one’s own caste is strictly forbidden, as are breeding unions between the religious and military castes. Conversely, for the Eastern Kingdom, both breeding and relationships are allowed only within one’s caste. Illicit relationships are not unknown in the East, but are a cause for shame and controversy if attention is brought to them. Illicit breeding is a serious crime in both regions.

In the East, relationships tend towards monogamy, and homosexuality (while not strictly forbidden) is considered distasteful at best. In the West, where emotional relationships and breeding are not typically associated with each other, both polyamory and homosexuality are far more accepted.

Both regions have considerable numbers of boggarts, goblins and humans, who make up the lower classes, the military slaves, the farmers, the artisans and all those who ensure the day-to-day chores of society are carried out. These individuals, if skilled and/or fortunate, can live fairly prosperous lives, but may not own land and are ultimately at the mercy of the udun castes for their lifestyle. Common law provides free men with a number of basic rights, but these exist primarily to keep the peace and prevent cause for rebellion. Any udun sarag can do what they will to the lesser castes, being answerable only to their own kind. If an udun (or a human of the military or religious castes) can show just cause to their peers, no action taken against the lower classes is illegal. In general, however, most individuals can feel safe that their rights under common law are unlikely to be impinged without consequence.

The northern mountains are home to number of tribal societies, primarily consisting of boggarts and goblins, with a number of hobgoblins amongst them. These tribes claim independence from the Sarag kingdoms, and mostly date back to the period of the great plague and the immediate aftermath thereof. They are fiercely independent, and enjoy raiding south into civilised lands.

Climate and Terrain
The Sarag Kingdoms have cold climates with long winters in the north, warming to a cool temperate norm in the south. The northernmost regions are wide areas of coniferous forest, with fertile farmlands further to the south.

In the far north lies the Great Boundary Range, a massive mountain range running thousands of miles from east to west, filled with sheer cliffs, year-round snow and numerous active volcanoes. A number of sarag tribes live along the southern edge of the range, raiding down in to civilised lands as the mood takes them.

Towns and cities lie primarily along the rivers and High Roads, with large expanses of semi-wilderness outside these civilised belts.

More details on each of Saragenta and Vegatis still a work in progress.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2017, 03:50:28 AM »
The Splintered Kingdoms
The Splintered Kingdoms were once the heartland of Nar Darsurion, before Parshenia was lost to rebellion and the northern reaches to the sarag invasion.

Now, they consist of seven independent city states (or eight, if still counting Fallen Irus), separated by hundreds of miles, with each city maintaining real control over little more than a hundred miles in any direction.

Between the city states, there are still towns and villages and farmland, but also trolls, giants, dragons, beasts, bandits, ruins, haunted tombs and secretive sorcerers.

With the decline of Nar Darsurion and the elder men, the lands were ravaged by war, famine and disease. While the great cities retained their lore and technology, the countryside fell slowly into wilderness. Many migrated to the cities, seeking protection and stability, but many hardy souls rejoiced in the absence of lords and taxes, and set about working and protecting their land.

Along the High Roads and the trade rivers, small villages and hamlets still dot the landscape here and there but, within a day’s ride of such thoroughfares, one finds true wilderness.

Wars between the cities rarely reach each other’s walls – to assault or besiege another city would require a great muster, leaving one’s home undefended. Instead, military conflict generally involves raiding into enemy farmland, looting and burning crops, pillaging the smaller outlying towns and then attempting to return to safety before the enemy can muster forces in defence.

The greatest damage in such conflicts is often done to the independent villages between the cities, whose fields are taken for forage and women for soldiers’ pleasure. The easiest way for villages to limit the damage is send their able-bodied folk along with the army, bolstering numbers in return for having a township to return to.

Small raiding parties are more common than whole armies, and cities in conflict also like to fund banditry close their enemies. Of course, once paid, bandits have little incentive to actually carry out their employer’s wishes, and may choose at any time to move on to a location where they suspect they can find easier prey.

Population: 28,000
Averius: 7,200
Other outlying population: 52,000
Human: 85%   Goblin: 8%   Boggart: 4%   Hobgoblin: 3%

Chelt was initially established due to the tin found in the nearby Chalrasi Hills. Some tin is still mined in the area, along with silver, gold, iron and a number of precious gems, although the largest export is now porcelain and pottery.  Although no longer required for tools and weapons, the city has maintained a tradition of quality bronze work, and exports tin to Raul in exchange for copper.

Most citizens have farmland north of the city, with families allocating some time to the land and some to their crafts. Further north, more farmland is serviced by outlying towns and villages. Sheep, wheat and rye and are the primary agricultural products, along with fish from the Colchest.

Chelt is ruled by a hereditary King, but the monarch has only token authority, and most of the real power is invested in a council made up of half-a-dozen aristocratic merchant lords and a dozen more representatives elected by the citizenry of merchants, tradesmen and freeholders. The right to vote or stand for election is open only to those who have served in the military or in a select few other public roles.

Large parts of the city have running water, supplied by aqueduct from Lake Chelt to the north, with an extensive sewage system as well. Traditionally, the richer houses, built on higher ground, required water tanks filled partly by rainwater but predominantly by the constant labour of servants, but many of them are now serviced by the Mintivalus pump (aka, ram pump).

Standing near the southern edge of the Chalrasi Hills, the city has impressive natural fortifications, reinforced by stone walls. Massive ballistae line the ramparts, for there is a constant fear that the Dragon of Irus may turn its attention towards Chelt at any moment.

Chelt also controls the important port town of Averius, which straddles the Colchest River eighty miles to the west, where merchants can make use of river boats instead of the old High Road.

With the fall of Irus, Chelt now stands at the western edge of civilised lands, and is the last place of safety and rest for those planning to head west to explore the Wildwoods and other regions beyond the frontier. Bandits, trolls and other threats to civilisation roam freely in the west, preying on those unable or unwilling to migrate eastwards, and the local authorities are happy for treasure seekers and adventurers to thin their numbers. However, it is illegal for anyone within the territory controlled by Chelt to make plans or conspire to attempt to slay the Dragon of Irus, thanks to the fear that it may seek revenge for any failed attempt.

Very few crimes in Chelt carry a death sentence; instead, almost all serious crimes result in hard labour in the mines. Minework is also available to the poorest and most desperate and, despite the dangers, there is rarely a wont for workers.

Relationships with the local Daveshti tribes are generally good and, given the distance to the nearest neighbouring cities of Raul, Samara and Eisir, Chelt rarely has to deal with any external threats other than banditry.

The Cult of the Nameless Dark operates openly in Chelt, and the Patrician Demankate, one of the hereditary members of the City Council and owner of city’s largest mines, is a high-ranking member of the cult. Although slavery is illegal in Chelt, it is an open secret that much of his workforce are impressed labourers, and that he is more than willing to pay those who can bring him more. The cult at least conducts their human sacrifices behind closed doors, except on their celebration of the autumnal solstice, when a victim is publicly flayed before the front of the temple.

Senior members of the cult are generally of high standing in the community, although quite a few members keep their identity secret, wearing black masks when appearing in public in their robes. Common citizens and foreigners are also welcomed, but many who join are never seen again.

Beserion and Telserius also have strong followings and large temples in the city, while Maukus and dozens of smaller cults have their own small temples and shrines. Only the cultists of Beserion dare to speak loudly against the Nameless Dark, although the cultists of Telserius also have no love for servants of the Darkness.

The Oracle is situated to the southwest, where she acts as high priestess to small cult of virgin priestesses in service to the goddess Illiniria. Many visit the Oracle in the hope of guidance, wisdom and knowledge of the future; many believe that the Oracle is the most potent astrologer in all the lands. The priestesses are guarded by a number of eunuchs, with the priestesses and the eunuchs all taken in as orphans.

The Elemental Cults are well represented in the city, with Earth, Ice and Light the strongest in the city.

Chelt boasts no universities or schools of magic; instead, almost all spell users are either members of a cult or are apprenticed to masters. A number of informal societies do exist, where given professions lean on each other for support and assistance.

Arcane magic is illegal, as it is most places, although Chelt is not known to have any significant resources dedicated to the hunting of Arcanists.

Both the Western and Parshenian Schools of martial arts are well represented by a number of dojos.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2017, 04:01:13 AM »
Population: 36,000
Eserus: 5,200
Meska: 4,800
Other outlying population: 86,000
Human: 92%   Goblin: 5%   Boggart: 2%   Hobgoblin: 1%

Eisir sits at the junction of the Colchest River and the High Road linking Chelt and Irus to the coastal cities of Lamercel and Myarfin.
The triangle of land between the Colchest and the River Raul further north is one of the most fertile regions in the Splintered Kingdoms, and the source of much of Eisir’s wealth. Barley, rye, wheat and hemp are the main crops, and the area is also known for its honey.

The Sorrows just to the south provide ample lumber, and the river banks of the Chelt provide clay; Eisir is lacking in little other than raw mineral wealth.

Eisir also controls the smaller fortified cities of Eserus and Meska that straddle the Colchest, enabling them to tax merchants heading to or coming from the north along the Raul, and providing a buffer against any armies marching from Lamercel or Myarfin.

The city is ruled by the Eternal Sorcerer King Venarius, a former member of the triumvirate of ruling princes, who murdered his fellow triumvirs when seizing absolute power nearly eighty years ago.

The Sorcerer King has rarely been seen for the past twenty years, appearing only occasionally on the grand balcony of his palace, and admitting almost no one into his presence. The day-to-day tasks of managing the city are left to the Royal Chamberlain, Orifelle Nairus, a mentalist of significant power, who heads the city council and speaks with the full authority of Vernarius.

Of equal stature to Orifelle is Traiger, the Royal Blade, who is thought to be a magent. Traiger commands the Eisir Guard, a group of mute, elite soldiers raised from infancy as a personal and palace guard for the Sorcerer King. The Royal Blade is responsible for rooting out treason and maintaining the Sorcerer King’s security.

Rumour upon rumour can be found regarding the unspeakable things that go on deep within the royal palace, of the sacrifice of infants, of demons and fouler things stalking the halls, and of the dark rites and rituals that have enabled Venarius to find such longevity, and how Traiger, also, does not appear to have aged a day in the last decade. Such rumours are spoken about only in hushed tones, however, ever with furtive glances about, lest the Royal Blade’s many ears overhear.

Despite this, Eisir is in many ways an enlightened city, where knowledge and science is encouraged. The city’s university teaches magic of many kinds, and encourages the study of magic, philosophy, science and the arts. Students that question the status quo and who can create cogent arguments in favour of alternative ideas are encouraged and are provided with opportunities to advance their studies, regardless their financial or social status. All citizens have access to at least basic education, and foreign, fee-paying students are welcomed as well.

In alignment with this open attitude, Eisir is the only city of the Splintered Kingdoms where Arcane magic is not explicitly forbidden, although there are still no open practitioners of the Arcane arts, and rumours circulate that students who ask the wrong sorts of questions about Arcane magic tend to disappear.

The city is also open to any and all religious beliefs. The Elemental Cults flourish in Eisir, as they do across the Splintered Kingdoms, and both the Nameless Dark and Beserion have large temples in the city.

A multitude of other cults are also well represented, and almost every day is a holy day to some god or another. Every street corner in the marketplaces has a priest ready to sacrifice to some god or demon in order to bring about prosperity, or revenge, or love … for a fee, of course. Shrines dot the streets, and the Great Temple of All is home to one hundred and twenty-one shrines to various entities.

The darker cults are allowed to conduct human sacrifice, but are required to pay a fee to the Registrar of Cults when they do so, and need to be at least somewhat careful in those they choose for their rituals. The standard practice is to find those who do not have influential friends, to bring them into the fold through various forms of manipulation, and then, when it is clear to all that they are there willingly, to drug them and have them agree to their own murder before neutral and respected witnesses.

Fifteen years ago, Malrean, high priest of the Cult of the Nameless Dark at the time, chose to ignore the accepted norms of sacrifice, and ritually murdered thirty virgins in the square before the temple in a display of power.

The following day, the Sorcerer King, in his enclosed palanquin, proceeded inside the temple, where many believed he was going to kneel to Malrean and cede power to the cult. A short while later, members of the Eisir Guard, who had waited outside, proceeded within, and then emerged with the corpses of the high priest and other senior officials of the cult, who were hung from the ceiling of the narthex, and hang there still to this day, for the Sorcerer King has forbidden their removal.

Dojos of all three major schools of martial arts can  be found in the city.

About thirty miles south of the city, within the Sorrows, lies a large clearing in which stands a squat, circular, stone bunker three hundred feet across, known as the Citadel in Sorrow. Within this structure lie the breeding pits where the Sorcerer King spawns his war trolls. It is thought that the initial experiments were conducted on forest trolls captured deeper within the Sorrows, but Venarius soon moved on to working with hardier breeds. Those who can bring him live specimens are still paid well for their services – 5gp for a stone troll, 10gp for a hill troll and 30gp for a mountain troll. Currently, Eisir has about sixty adult war trolls, half of which guard the Citadel in Sorrow and the remainder of which are stationed in the city itself.

Overall, the Sorcerer King actually rules Eisir with something of a light touch. There are few laws, and little is explicitly forbidden. However, those who cause significant disturbances to the peace are typically dealt with swiftly and savagely, creating a clear example for others as to what is and is not acceptable behaviour. Petty theft and the odd murder or ritual sacrifice is overlooked. Burning down stalls in the marketplace, gangs or cults brawling regularly in the streets, or a demagogue trying to raise a riotous mob, is something else entirely.

The Sorcerer King can call upon his war trolls, the Eisir guard or the Royal Blade to deal with most serious threats, or the city watch for lesser ones. He also maintains the White Guard; a small, secretive cadre of warrior mages, mentalists and magents, and some say this group also contains a few wizards and mage hunters. These various assets rarely need to be deployed however. A quiet word from the Royal Blade or one of his adjutants, or a functionary speaking on behalf of the Royal Chamberlain, is normally more than sufficient to make any cult or society rethink any plan to stir up unwanted trouble.

Theories about the true nature of the Sorcerer King are nearly endless, and are fed by the fact that he has not been seen in public for decades, other than distant glimpses from his Royal Balcony, where he always appears in heavy robes and a deep cowl.

It has been suggested that he is a vampire or a liche, or that he is simply a human spell user of great power that has found a way to extend his lifespan unnaturally. Others suggest he was never human at all, and is instead a demon or other alien entity from realms far beyond our own. Some have suggested he is the Nameless Dark incarnate. Others claim he died decades ago, and that either the Royal Chamberlain or the Royal Blade, or both together, are the real rulers. Others suggest that he died and has been replaced by a demon or other alien entity from realms far beyond our own. The truth, however, remains a mystery.

Offline Hurin

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2017, 11:12:26 AM »
Sounds fun. I often wish I could play in the campaigns of some of our forum posters; the worlds sound great.
'Last of all, Húrin stood alone. Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed'. --J.R.R. Tolkien

'Every party needs at least one insane person.'  --Aspen of the Jade Isle

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2017, 07:24:32 AM »
Glad you like.  :)

Fallen Irus
Population: ~6,000
Other outlying population: ~18,000
Human: 88%   Goblin: 5%   Boggart: 3%   Troll: 3%
Hobgoblin: 1% Araneneid: <1%

Irus was formed as a western outpost, a fortress standing at the furthest reaches of Nar Darsurion to guard against any threat that might emerge from the Wildwoods, and whatever lies further west.

Remote and originally of little political importance, things changed when iron, and then gold, were found in the muck and waters of the Erthus marshland to the south. Irus was Nar Darsurion’s largest source of iron for nearly a hundred years, until more advanced mining techniques were developed, and remained one of the richest sources of gold until it’s fall.

Fifteen years ago, the armsmaster Danvellus and his Companions set out from Irus to investigate rumours of an ancient, lost settlement of the elder men at the headwaters of the Marthei; now, so they believed, the lair of a nether drake.

It would seem that the rumours they followed were at least partially correct for, a few months later, Irus was rocked by a great earthquake late at night and, moments later, the enraged and wounded dragon Auvorithrax descended to lay the city to waste.

Even as the inhabitants, in confusion and fear, were beginning to muster their forces in defence, an army of trolls – some say a thousand, although most reliable accounts put the numbers at no more than a hundred – attacked from the west.

Although the earthquake seemed to have no aftershocks, buildings continued to collapse, while stone and flesh was consumed by gouts of nether and trolls ran amok in the chaos. Had the citizenry and soldiers stood firm, perhaps they could have fought the dragon off, but they were unable to manage any sort of coordinated defence, and soon the entire city was reduced to a single, inchoate mass of panic and terror.

Thousands fled, while thousands more cowered in their homes and prayed for the lives. Just before dawn, the dragon alighted atop the temple of Teleserius, and the mighty mountain troll Brugthak, ascending the stairs of the temple, stood above the city square and declared Auvorithrax the Lord and Ruler of Irus.

Since that time, most of the population has fled, leaving Irus a husk of its former self. More than half the buildings lay empty, others in half-melted rubble, and those citizens that remain have no law or authority, other than the whim of Auvorithrax and his lieutenant Brugthak.

The city is now home to around two hundred trolls, who answer to Brugthak, and a few dozen araneneid have also taken up residence. Auvorithrax often sleeps for months at a time, leaving Brugthak in charge while he rests. As long as he is fed and has a bed of plunder upon which to sleep, the dragon cares little about what goes on in his city, and Brugthak’s interests are no more refined -- safety within Irus is only found in a strong sword arm and stalwart allies.

Those that remain, in the city or in the outlying farms and villages, are there because they are either too poor or stubborn to depart, or because they have sought to find advantage in the lawlessness that has come with the dragon’s rule.

The trolls occasionally raid villages for livestock or people to feed the dragon and, sometimes, when the mood strikes him, Auvorithrax hunts for his own meals.

Auvorithrax occasionally accepts audiences with those seeking an exchange of knowledge, or willing to trade for his secrets, but most admitted to the dragon’s presence end up as dinner.

The occasionally bold merchant still makes their way to Irus, looking to trade luxuries and tools in return for gold or bog iron. A few prospectors still work the Erthus, although most of the larger operations have fallen into disrepair.

There is a semblance of civilisation, but most locals are distrustful of outsiders, wary of those seeking profit from the weak in a lawless land. And always, there are regular glances to the sky, wondering if a vast, black dragon will be seen, swooping down …

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2017, 10:31:41 PM »
Population: 22,000
Other outlying population: 36,000
Human: 81%   Goblin: 10%   Boggart: 6%   Hobgoblin: 3%

Gelt is a city of merchants and craftsmen on the edge of the Gurshweer Steppes, established as a trading post and a bulwark guarding the Tomarikand River crossing.

The bulk of the city, and the farmland, lies on the western side of the river, and the great stone bridge spanning the Tomarikand is heavily fortified. The major crops are wheat, barley, flax and hemp.

Gelt maintains a small navy of river boats, and the bulk of its military consists of light and medium cavalry, including many mounted warriors drawn from the Gurshweeri. The permanent, professional army and the navy is supplemented by a well-drilled militia drawn from the guilds.

Many of the best horses in the Splintered Kingdoms are drawn from the breeders of Gelt, who provide both fast, durable mares from Gurshweeri stock and the larger stallions preferred for use as heavy cavalry.

In addition to horses, the city is well known for its glassblowers and perfumiers.

Gelt is ruled by a council of six hereditary City Councillors, six Guild Councillors and a High Priest of Telserius. The guilds with representatives are the Perfumiers and Apothecaries, the Alchemists, the Merchants, the Boatwrights, the Gaffers, and the Smiths and Jewellers. The lesser guilds, without direct representation, typically ally themselves with one or more the representative guilds.

Beserion, the Elemental Cults and a number of lesser cults have a reasonable following in the city, but limited political influence. As with the lesser guilds, these organisations need to lobby or ally themselves with representative guilds of City Councillors in order to have their voices heard.

Arcane magic is illegal, but Gelt is not known to have any organisation dedicated to enforcement of the prohibition.
There are a number of dojos practicing Eastern martial arts, but Parshenian and Western arts are mostly absent.

Gurshweeri traders sometimes make their way to Gelt, but most of the merchants here desiring to trade with the Gurshweeri travel to Gurshara in order to do so. In addition to the High Road between Gurshara and the Splintered Kingdoms, the Tomarikand links Bayarus in the far north of Vegatis with the port town of Eskandi.

Population: 53,000
Gatvercel: 9,200
Eskandi: 4,400
Emervis: 3,100
Tormen: 3,400
Other outlying population: 112,000
Human: 95.5%   Goblin: 3%   Boggart: 1%   Hobgoblin: 0.5%

While Lamercel’s Emperor may no longer be recognised as the ruler of an empire, the city is still the richest and most powerful in the Splintered Kingdoms.

It great port is second only to Xamirqand with respect to size and traffic, and merchants from Parshenia, Manotep and more distant locations are a common site. The city’s standing army is supplemented by a citizen militia, and a thousand warrior-constructs maintained by the Guild of Alchemists and Artisans.

The Emperor is elected by the Princes of the High Table, a group of eight high noble families who claim to be able to trace their lineage back to the elder men. The Emperor is a position held for life, although five Princes, acting in unison, can depose the sitting Emperor.

The Emperor is usually drawn from amongst the Princes, although other high officials with a proven record of wisdom and loyalty the city have also risen to rule. At the last election, eight years ago, the Princes could not find a local figure that they all agreed upon, and they eventually reached out Lavarius, cousin to the current God-Queen of Raul, who agreed to take the throne. Lavarius took the name Emersi III, and has proven an able ruler.

The cults of Berserion, Maukus and Telserius all have major temples in Lamercel, and all six of the Elemental Cults are strong here. The cult of the sun god Tynamun is also extremely powerful, although most of the cult’s functions revolve around supporting and facilitating the bureaucracy and administration of the city. Many bureaucratic positions require indoctrination into the cult as lay priests, and the Emperor is also anointed as a high priest as part of his coronation.

A number of schools and universities can be found in the city, including those teaching magic. The Imperial Academy is open to the most gifted, and is also used to train the city’s battle mages, warrior mages, royal alchemists and the like.

The Grey Brotherhood is an elite organisation tasked with dealing with magical threats and the supernatural, from simple drunk magicians, through to demons, hauntings and those who meddle in arcane magic.

Lamercel is situated in rugged, but low coastal mountains, known as the Lamet highlands. Farmland is spread through the valleys, and shepherds herd flocks of goats and sheep through the region.

Water is supplied by a number of dams located throughout the Lamet Highlands, as well as a dozen major aqueducts fed directly from mountain springs. The city’s major cisterns are supplemented by a fresh rainfall, with a number of dedicated catchment areas. Richer homes have private toilets leading to the extensive sewer system, and public toilets are common for use by tenement residents or those out doing business in the city. As in Chelt, many houses in wealthier areas have access to running water, usually taken from private fountains, although a number of houses have internal taps.

The dams and aqueducts are also used to irrigate the farmland, and there is plenty of seasonal work available to poorer citizens. Major crops include barley, rye, wheat and olives. Fish is a staple of the local diet, with nearly a thousand vessels plying Lamet Bay and the waters of Eskandi and Evaris.

The fortified cities of Gatvercel, Emervis and Tormen guard the main approaches to Lamercel, while the city of Eskandi sits at the mouth of the Tomarikand, providing Lamercel with a port with river access to Vetagis.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 09:08:53 AM »
Population: 33,000
Other outlying population: 56,000
Human: 90%   Goblin: 6%   Boggart: 2%   Hobgoblin: 1%

Myarfin is the second major port city in the Splintered Kingdoms, and has the added advantage of being situated at the mouth of the Colchest, providing routes for goods to travel further inland, or for exports to arrive, via river traffic.

There is great competition between Myarfin and Lamercel, and Lamercel really only holds its position as the pre-eminent port because it was chosen by the elder men to be their capital. Given the larger amounts of fertile, open land and the strategic advantages of the river at Myarfin, many believe that Lamercel was only selected over Myarfin due to some similarity to the Homeland. Tariffs on goods passing through are higher than in Lamercel, but for those seeking the advantage of river transport, the price is often worth paying.

Built on relatively flat ground, and with ample access to free-flowing water, Myarfin does not require the feats of engineering found in Lamercel, although much of it is built on formerly swampy ground, and some areas of the city are prone to flooding.

A number of canals run through the city, mainly to deal with the flooding, but they also serve as large, open sewers, resulting in a foul smell over many stretches of the city.

Canals and aqueducts dedicated to the supply of fresh water also cross the city, and dumping waste in these is a serious offence.

The city is ruled by a pair of Consuls elected by the senate, which in turn consists mainly of representatives of various highborn families, numbering about a thousand when all are in attendance. Twelve tribunes are elected from amongst the common citizens, and speak on their behalf. Although the tribunes are unable to vote on legislation, they have the same power as senators to propose and debate legislation, and a quorum of ten tribunes may veto any senate vote except an election of Consuls. Common citizens may also call upon a tribune to intervene in the decision of a magistrate. By law, no citizen eligible to stand as a senator may be elected to the position of tribune.

When in agreement, the Consuls are issue decrees as they see fit, within the constraints of law. When they are in disagreement, they may place a motion before the Senate to vote on legislation or a course of action. Consuls hold office for one year before consular elections are held again.

Primary crops in the region are wheat and barley, with rice and blueberries grown in the wetlands. As with Lamercel, fish make up a substantial part of the diet, and city is renowned for its whalers, who provide meat, oil and bone.

Myarfin is renowned for its soaps, candles and oils, sourced from whales, as well as ambergris perfumes.

Religion in the city is dominated by the cult of Maukus, with this god’s great temple dominating the skyline. Berserion and Telserius have smaller temples here, as do a number of lesser local cults. The Element Cults are well represented, with the Earth, Air, Light and Water cults predominating.

The army and navy are jointly commanded by the Consuls, although they may choose to place a Ducal Senator in command of part or all the military. In an effort to ensure that there are sufficient, trained personal to draw upon in the event of a significant conflict, citizens are encouraged to enlist for a period of three years, in which time they mix military drill with public engineering works, such as maintaining the roads and canals. For those born in the towns and countryside outside the city, or for immigrants, this is also the simplest path to citizenship.

Most magic is taught via apprenticeship, although the senate does sponsor the city’s university, which provides basic education to all citizens, and which offers more advanced studies, including magic, to those with money to pay the fees, or sufficient skill to attract a patron.

The city watch (Urban Cohort) is maintained by a department of the senate known as the Senate Vigilant. Within the Senate Vigilant, a single Magos Senator is responsible for the city’s defences against magic and the Arcane. This is a position of significant power and secrecy, and blood is sometimes shed when the position needs to be filled, or where the confidence or trust is lost in the current Magos.

Dojos of the Parshenian school are reasonably common in the city, and the Eastern school is also well represented.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2017, 10:57:39 PM »
Population: 38,000
Other outlying population: 62,000
Human: 52%   Goblin: 25%   Boggart: 16%   Hobgoblin: 7%

Olvar was conquered by the invading Sarag armies, but was not subsumed into Vegatis after the Great Plague, instead becoming an independent city state.

A heavily fortified city, it is now ruled jointly by a Prince elected from the human population, and a Warlord elected from amongst the hobgoblins. Elections are held simultaneously ever three years. The way the joint rulers interact is complex but, in simple terms, the Warlord is responsible for foreign policy, while the Prince is primarily responsible for domestic policy and the day-to-day running of the city.

The senate advises and elects the Prince and Warlorld. Most udun-citizens are members of the Senate, and vote for the election of the Warlord, while approximately fifteen hundred patrician males make up the human members of the Senate and vote for the Prince.

In the early days following the conquest, rebellion and reconquest of the city by hobgoblins, the Warlord held all real authority, with the position of Prince existing predominantly as a figurehead, a concession that allowed the native humans to submit to udun authority. However, some three-score years ago, Prince Urwentus, over the course of fifteen years, slowly accumulated real power, culminating in a significant increase in the size and effectiveness of the Urban Cohort, responsible for the defence of the city and policing, and answerable directly to position of Prince. This was a period of significant instability, but outright civil war was avoided, and eventually the Warlords were forced to concede more real authority to the Princes.

Scheming and jockeying for power still occurs between Prince and Warlord, but open conflict is rare, and there have been numerous examples over the last twenty years of Princes and Warlords working together for the good of the city.

Public servants running the actual mechanisms of the bureaucracy wield considerable power, as they frequently hold their positions for life, whereas the rulers rarely serve more than three consecutive terms.

Olvar’s wealth is mainly the result of extensive gold, silver, iron, copper and lead mines from the surrounding highlands. They also extract a significant number of precious gems.

The process of forging black alloy was developed in Olvar, and they boast a considerable number of master armourers and weapon smiths.

The cults of Beserion and Telserius have large temples in Olvar, and the Righteous Way also has a temple that is popular with many of the udun sarag.

The secretive Order of the Strands is another significant religious organisation in the city. The Order claims to have been gifted complete knowledge of fate and access to every hidden secret, and preaches that a great Apocalypse is approaching. Indoctrination into the Order of the Strands as a lay follower provides access to a network of friends and allies in the city, but only the higher echelons of ordained priests have access to the cult’s great secrets. Much of the cults supposed knowledge is said have come from an artefact recovered from the Wildwoods around a hundred years ago.

All the Elemental Cults can be found in Olvar, although only the Earth, Water and Ice cults wield any significant power. The Water Cult has significant official backing, as it is the Scourge of Fire, which cult holds sway in Raul.

Rumour also has it that the Vermillion Society, a secret organisation of Arcanists, has its headquarters in the city. However, whether the Society even exists is the subject of some debate.

Olvar has no public universities or schools. Instead, the Guild of Magic, Philosophy and Science provides private tuition to those able to pay the guild-scheduled fees.
Most of the city’s water is supplied by the Variak Lakes – two natural and one artificial bodies of water in the Herani hills, with a number of canals and aqueducts running into the city.

As with most cities of the Splintered Kingdoms, farms are worked by labourers who reside within the city or the small townships in the vicinity, travelling out to the fields daily. Some areas are artificially irrigated from the Variak Lakes.

Invagitun Monastery lies a few miles northeast of the city, and is home to thirty or forty monks and warrior monks of the Eastern school. A number of Eastern dojos are also found in the city, as well as a handful of practitioners of the Western arts.

A lengthy war with Raul a dozen years ago has left these two cities extremely wary of each other, and occasional raids between the two are not uncommon. Olvari raiders occasionally also cross the Herani Hills to loot and pillage into Saragenta. This behaviour precipitated the last major engagement between Saragenta and Vegatis, five years ago, when a Saragentan army marched on Olvar, and Vegatis sent forces south to the city’s aid.

Offline Sable Wyvern

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2017, 10:58:49 PM »
Population: 41,000
Other outlying population: 72,000
Human: 66%   Goblin: 20%   Boggart: 10%   Hobgoblin: 4%

Raul lies at the southern tip of Silverlake, cradled between the Daveshti Hills to the west and the Herani Hills to the east. This is the mouth of the River Raul, and the gateway to the Kingdom of Saragenta.

Most of the city’s farmland lies in the fertile, well-irrigated lands between the Herani Hills and the lake, and small farming and fishing communities can be found along the eastern banks of the lake.

There is a significant silver mine to the south of the city, in the Daveshti Hills, but relations with the local tribesfolk are frequently strained, with the hillfolk demanding payment for access to their traditional lands. Whenever one side or the other seeks to renegotiate terms, some tribes inevitably begin raiding the mines or random passing merchant caravans and riverboats to help press their case.

Ogres, hill trolls and the occasional hill giant occasionally raid down from the Herani Hills into the farmland, but over the years campaigns of eradication have gradually driven these creatures deeper into the eastern highlands.
Relations with Olvar are strained, but conflict is primarily limited to small raids intended to disrupt each other’s trade and farming. A detachment of cavalry is permanently situated in a fortress as the southern foot of the Herani Hills to respond promptly to any enemy troops raiding into Raulish farmland.

In addition to silver, the city is known for its freshwater pearls and shellfish. Raul also produces some of the finest dyes in the Splintered Kingdoms, and its coloured cloths are a valuable export. It is also the primary source of silk outside of Parshenia, producing both traditional silk and the extremely rare and valuable lakesilk (also referred to as Raulish wool), obtained from a particular freshwater mollusc unique to the southern waters of Silverlake.

The city is ruled by a God-King or God-Queen selected by the Cult of Raul, a religious institution that is deeply embedded within the bureaucracy of the city. Priests of the cult act as advisors or functionaries in every public department, and anyone holding a public office has a temporary priestly position for the duration of their term.

While the cult can select anyone for King, for the last forty years the position has been held by a member of the Eminarii family, wealthy land-holders and merchants who developed extensive secular power and popularity by funding a series of public works, including improvements to sewer system, construction of the Amphitheatre, refurbishment of the Temple of Raul, dredging and widening of the Raul to improve river traffic, and a successful campaign to enforce stricter guidelines on the flour-content of bread. Questions as to how the family paid these endeavours without access to public funds have never been satisfactorily answered, but the results speak for themselves.

The reigning King holds their position for life, and has supreme power within the constraints of law. High-ranking members of the clergy served as advisors, and although the King speaks with the voice of Raul itself, the cult has significant power to influence decisions.

Each year, a public Peoples’ Forum is held, where elected magistrates speak on behalf of their wards. The Forum has no ability to dictate policy, but magistrates are free to voice concerns and suggestions. The magistrates also function as judges of law throughout the year, managing cases within their ward.

Policing is managed by magistrates, from ward to ward, with the Urban Cohort responsible only for military defence of the city and for maintaining order at significant public events. The Holy Cohort is responsible for the protection of the Temple of Raul, the clergy and the God-King himself, and also deals with magical threats.

The Cult of Maukus has a large temple in Raul, and a diluted form of the Cult of the Eternal Duumvirate can also be found here, although paladins of the cult and Priests of Lutisus are unwelcome. Beserion is also popular amongst many of the people. All of the Elemental Cults are present, but only the Fire Cult has significant power in the city.

Although it has no public temple of its own, the Cult of Nameless Dark also operates in Raul without any great secrecy, with a number of public figures open devotees of the cult. There is an informal understanding that, as long as the darker cults keep their fouler rituals and sacrifices behind closed doors and do not cause any dramatic incidents, the authorities will not persecute them. However, there is a fear that the Nameless Dark will one day push too far, and the result will be open warfare between cults in the streets.

While a formally ordained, professional priest of the Cult of Raul is unlikely to also hold a position in another cult, lay priests of Raul holding public office are free to pursue their own religious observances, as long as it does not interfere with the discharge of their public duties.

There are a number of schools sponsored by the Cult of Raul, open to all citizens, and the Fire Cult has its own university that teaches a variety of subjects not limited to elemental magic.

Dojos favour the Western school of martial arts, although some Eastern arts are also practiced.

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2017, 11:00:32 PM »
Other Locations of Interest
The Daveshti Hills are a claw, extending from the border of Saragenta in three arms, south through Chelt, south-east through mostly unsettled regions, and east past Raul and into the Whitewood. They run north as well, eventually becoming the inhospitable Eltafath Mountains.

Covering hundreds of miles, they are home to many scattered tribes of hillfolk that have little interest in abandoning their traditional lifestyles to join civilisation and submit to higher authorities.

The Daveshti tribes, while considered savages by some, are by no means primitive, and live in well organised societies that farm, herd and forge their own steel. Those living close to roads and cities sometimes raid civilised lands, while others are happy to hire on as auxiliaries and mercenaries when a city marches to war.

Those further from civilisation tend to fight or trade amongst themselves, as the mood takes them.

A number of ogres, trolls and even a few hill giants make their homes amongst the Daveshti hills, but they have been mostly eradicated from the regions closest to Raul, Chelt and Evutun Sarag.

Dunmorrow is a small, independent city of approximately fifteen hundred people, situated on the banks of Highlake, approximately two hundred miles north of Irus along the Kantril River.

Predominantly fishermen, the citizens of Dunmorrow have traditionally had little interaction with the rest of the Splintered Kingdoms, save for the occasional visiting merchant and the preserved fish they would send south. With the fall of Irus, they are almost completely cut off from the rest of the world, although it is likely that they are quite content with this situation.

Highlake itself is nearly two hundred miles north to south, and around a hundred miles at its widest from east to west. Fed by a number of rivers from the Great Boundary Range and the Eltafath Mountains, it occupies a fertile region that is, as yet, mostly unexplored wilderness.

A few, relatively primitive, tribal folk can be found scattered through region, and rumours speak of a lost settlement of the Elder Men, either to the north or somewhere near or in the Eltafaths, but for the most part, it is simply empty land.

The Elderwood, just east of Dunmorrow, is a dark, ancient forest, said to be haunted and hostile to man and sarag. Tales tell of a dark cult of the Elder Men who, driven out of civilised lands, made the place their new home and conjured up dark entities that still reside within the forest to this day.

Whitewood is one of the four great forests of the Splintered Kingdoms, consisting primarily of pine, oak, beech, elm and walnut.

It is bisected by the Raul, and the Elenver flows near the eastern edge, through the Middlethatch Marshes.

The marshes themselves are home to the Dragon of Whitewood, a great wyrm with poisonous breath, and ally of the nearby independent city of Middlethatch.
Middlethatch has a population of approximately three and a half thousand, consisting mainly of lumberjacks, trappers, charcoal burners and fishermen.
Significant portions of the city’s income come from taxing merchants that pass through – enough to keep the coffers filled, but not so high as to anger the larger city states. Middlethatchers are also known as skill boat builders, and are mildly famous for a pastry dish known as the walnut-blackberry thatch. Around two thousand additional people can be found in smaller villages and homesteads in the nearby vicinity, mostly along the banks of the river Raul.

The Middlethatchers bring the dragon annual tributes of wealth and livestock and, once a decade, a live virgin is left as a sacrifice. In return, the dragon hunts down brigands and cutthroats that might choose to make their lairs in the forest, and harries any enemy army that chooses to march on the city. Many of the local citizens believe the dragon brings them luck and prosperity with its magic.

A few Daveshti hill tribes make their homes in the south-western corner of the forest, and a Sprikkas known as the Witch Elf of Whitewood has a tall, wooden tower about sixty miles north west of Middlethatch. Other notable denizens of the area include swamp octopi in the marshes; large, three-headed scra pren snakes; giant spiders; boars; the (relatively) small black forest bear; a few forest trolls; and scattered groups of garks.

The Sorrows are the largest of the four great forests of the Splintered Kingdoms, consisting predominantly of beech and oak in the north, with beech and firs to the south.

There are scattered settlements along the banks of the Colchest, clustered most densely in proximity to Eisir, but found all along its length. River pirates have lairs in some locations, and the locals occasionally face raiding garks or forest trolls but, on the whole, are reasonably secure. Fishermen, hunters, trappers and loggers all make their homes here.

More than a few dozen miles from the Colchest, though, and the forest rapidly becomes wild and untamed.

Fell beasts and wyverns are common to the south, where the forest meets the Granmerish Peaks, and scrav hives can sometimes be encountered in this region as well. There are stories of dragons elsewhere within the forest, with a number of sightings of what may be an unwinged greater or lesser drake not more than thirty miles from Eisir in recent years.

It is said that in the deep woods, primitive human societies can be found, some of which have existed since before the coming of the Elder Men. Many a tale also speaks of powerful human or Sprikkas sorcerers and necromancers who have made their abodes there, far from civilisation.

A number of humans are said to live along the secluded Eremeni River valley, south of the eastern arm of the Sorrows, most likely descended from Parshenian nomads who crossed the Granmerish Peaks.

The Westwood is a wide forest south of Chelt and Irus, with its central and southern regions dominated by rough and broken Westwood Peaks.

Trolls, ogres and hill giants are known to populate the peaks, along with scrav hives. Forest trolls, stone trolls and garks live throughout the lowland regions.

A number of human communities can be found in the eastern extents of the forest, where a High Road passes from Chelt, through the Yelka Pass to Samara and Parshenia.

Supposedly, an aether drake lives in the Westwood Peaks, and a number of bold scholars, eager to learn its secrets, have been known to venture that way hoping to discover esoteric lore.

Yelka pass is open all year round, but travellers need to be wary of mountain giants, trolls, air drakes and land drakes that seek to take advantage of rich (and tasty) merchant caravans.

West of the Splintered Kingdoms lie the vast Wildwoods, stretching six hundred miles from the Great Boundary Range in the north to the Granmerish Peaks in the south.

The independent township of Elenfar, numbering five or six hundred woodsmen, trappers, farmers and fishermen, sits near the southern edge of the forest, and is the westernmost outpost of civilisation.

Home to garks, trolls, araneneids and any number of stranger and more dangerous creatures, the Wildwoods have long been a source of far-fetched tales and fables of lost civilisations, unspeakable cults, bloodthirsty forest spirits and ancient magics.

Adventurers seek their fortune in the Wildwoods from time to time, eager to reveal its mysteries. Many are never seen again, some return with little to show for their efforts, while others have supposedly brought back stories of forgotten human tribes, strange ruined cities and other such things.

At least one fire drake is believed to live within the Wildwood, and it is certain that a number of lesser drakes and wyverns can be found there.

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Re: The Splintered Kingdoms
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2017, 11:09:25 PM »
It's not art, but it's functional: