Friday, August 29, 2014
The vast distance between the continent of Anador and the rest of Eldreon has hindered exploration and settlement. The elves, sailing far and wide in their golden age, discovered the land and established a foothold there. This initial outpost grew into the modern elven kingdom of Anador from which the rest of the continent takes its name - though even the claimed borders of the kingdom are only a tiny portion of the land.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
[Map Coming Soonish]
Verrath is a harsh and savage land. It has no teeming cities and no rolling farmlands. What few humanoid towns exist either cling to the coast as trade outposts or shelter inland under the direct protection of Verrath's true masters - the dragons. Dragons exist throughout Eldreon, but it is here that they are most common, and where the teeming, ceaseless numbers of the lesser races have never grown great enough to rival the wyrms as they have in other lands. Dragons, however, have their own squabbles, and Verrath is far from peaceful.
Verrath's geography is dominated by southlands which are by turns temperate and barren, the tundras and glaciers, and the lush and extensive Drau Kosh Jungle that breaks the tundra's hold in between large mountain ranges dotted by volcanoes - a location many scholars believe cannot be entirely natural.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The subcontinent of Durnauc is remote, cut off from much of the rest of civilized Eldreon due to distance and the barrier of the Kadeshi desert. Trade ships still make the voyage largely for the rich gem mines found in the region as well as the export of rare animals and the materials they provide.With large stretches of uninhabited land sheltering pirates and marauding gnoll bands even along the coast, civilization clings tenuously to the larger settlements and those areas they can protect. This wild and largely lawless land has attracted many adventurers and fortune-seekers, helped by the legends of fabulous and wealthy ruins left by a long-fallen ancient civilization somewhere in the wastelands.
CathuiliThe lone outpost of the elves in Durnauc, this city has survived largely on the strength of its location. It is the last truly hospitable deep water port before the larger cities of Golapoor, and thus sees a vast amount of trade traffic sailing in both directions. The elves here have grown rather fond of the stark, spare beauty they see in Durauc, and often cooperate militarily with the Sendron settlements to fight off the ever-threatening gnolls.
SendronA coalition of sovereign settlements in western Durnauc, these towns and cities cling tenaciously to their tough existence. Known for the commonly cynical and independent inhabitants, these peoples live in constant skirmish warfare with the gnoll nations and tribes to the north. Halflings are surprisingly common in these settlements, though they tend to be more taciturn and reserved than their kin in greater Eldreon.
Groak and TezzenThe anarchic nations of Groak and Tezzen are not popular with their neighbors due to the prevalence of piracy as an occupation. In reality, the tribal structure of society has pushed the more marginalized tribes to this way of living, while the best farmlands are monopolized by the wealthier peoples.
GahelA despotic kingdom with a large deal of internal political strife, nonetheless the Gahelians see themselves as the most cosmopolitan of Durnauc's inhabitants and have the arrogance to match it. The rich river valley that forms the heartland of Gahel has made them prosperous and the nation is more densely populated than any other area in the subcontinent. Despite (or perhaps, because of) this large population, certain factions of the Gahelians also engage in the piracy that is so common in the local sea lanes.
EzlenEzlen sits atop the richest deposits of rare gems in Eldreon, and their wealth and strength is built upon their many mines. Slave labor is still widely exploited here to pull the riches up from the earth, and mercenaries are hired from the world over to enforce the tyrannical rule of the Jeweled Princes and to defend Ezlen from outside interests - whether they be gnolls from the north or the settled peoples from the south and west, seeking control of some of the lucrative mines for themselves. In turn Ezlen desires control of a port city and invasions and schemes by the Jeweled Princes are not uncommon. Only to the east does Ezlen find anything approaching stable relations, as Dusai and Jerai are their primary trading partners, exchanging gems for slaves.
Dusai and JeraiThe oldest realms in Durnauc, Dusai and Jerai commonly raid other lands for slaves, as well as enslaving people within their own society for a variety of crimes - unpaid debt, theft, murder, etc. They use a mixture of drugs and subtle mental charms to make the majority of their slaves more pliant. There are also a number of different classes of slave, some of which are for life, others for a certain amount of time, and beyond. The rules and laws surrounding the institution are old and complex. The lowest classes of slave are often sold to Ezlen as laborers for the mines.
Friday, July 11, 2014
The Nations of Southern Golm
Elven ThanduilinThe elves came to Golm before human memory (in fact, before elven memory as well) from far over the eastern sea. They crossed half the continent to find Thanduilin, a high mountain vale. There they built their first city-in-exile which eventually became the heart of elven culture in Eldreon. They have since spread through much of the forests, jungles, and plains to the west, and all this land was absorbed into the traditional elven territory and is now also called Thanduilin.
Politically, there are a number of traditionally "royal" houses amongst the elves. A High King rules over Thranduilin Vale itself and delineates the various lesser kingdoms, of which there are currently five. However, the borders of these kingdoms are not fixed, as cities and settlements are relatively free to associate with whichever King they please according to a multitude of customs and traditions. The only exceptions to this are the Crown cities where the five kings have their thrones.
KadeshThe home of the first great human civilization, the Kadeshi Empire, is now split into two independent nations: Inner and Outer Kadesh. Both nations possess governments and institutions in mimicry of the old empire, though by mutual agreement neither claims the Imperial title - a highly stratified society of class and caste divides the people into a rigid hierarchy. Kadesh is a great center of learning both magical and mundane - especially for the arcane school of Necromancy, which while still viewed with caution is not illegal.
The region known as the Kadeshi desert stretches across the entire continent, forming a natural barrier between Golm proper and the subcontinent of Durnauc. Far from being a homogenous region, there are patches of vast dunes as well as more firm ground upon which a modicum of life scratches out a niche. Rich oases dot the expanse, providing shelters for towns and even entire cities.
MiremA culture founded by and still very similar to Kadesh, Mirem long ago achieved independence in both practice and name. Now they have wealth and prestige of their own, and the Miremese cities are a byword in luxury and excess of every kind.
Haljuk and BrinA pair of kingdoms created by ancient Kadesh out of a multitude of warring clans, Haljuk and Brin ceased to have any political unity as soon as Kadesh ceased to enforce and maintain it. Stuck in the mountains and highlands between Kadesh and Golapor, the clans of Haljuk and Brin have always been marginalized, looked down on as thieves and raiders even as they were stolen from and raided by their richer neighbors. This has bred a tough, independent streak into them, and the hillfighters are often convinced by the relative poverty of their homelands to travel the world.
GolaporA land of dense jungles, most of the heavily populated areas of Golapor have been hacked out near the coast. Set apart from its neighbors by the mountains and jungles, the region has always been regarded as a whole, despite never having known political unity in known history. Due to their geographic isolation the land and its peoples tend to have few dealings with the outside world beyond the coastal port cities and few overland trade routes through Haljuk. Recent rumors speak of monstrosities that are crawling out of the dense inner jungles.
The Arkandren SteppesThough there are several semi-permanent power structures within the steppes, the borders themselves are constantly shifting and so western geographers rarely attempt to delineate individual nations. Lands ruled by humans, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, and even gnoll from the desert exist in the steppes, as well as lands where they all manage to coexist in uneasy terms under the rule of powerful warlords.
The Eastern ShoreIndependent city-states survive on the far side of Golm, mostly inhabited by humans. Notable exceptions include Ultuwen in the south, which is a haven of elven mariners searching for their long-lost homeland, and Inzeldrab in the north, which is a semi-barbaric state most notable for being under the direct rule of an ancient and powerful dragon.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The Nations of Northern Golm
The Auchtland NationsIn the far north, beyond the imposing Aulgrodd mountain chain, lie the lands collectively called "Auchtland." Attempting to put a single label upon them is misleading, however, as the many human peoples there are staunchly independant and rarely will more than one clan acknowledge the same leader. This rule is broken only in the land of Ansgef, where there is a elected High Chieftan and the political landscape is more stable than the norm.
The Dwarven HomelandsIn the distant past, the First Ancestors of the dwarves awoke in deep caverns beneath the peaks of the Aulgrodd mountains. They carved the original hold of Braeburgh (often called Deephaven by the rest of the world), and over many generations spread out through the mountains. For a long time they stayed within the deep places of the world, only venturing to the surface when absolutely necessary. Thus they remained secret from the other races - save for the goblins, who also dwell in caverns and tunnels and are the dwarves' most ancient enemy.
Braeburgh is the oldest and largest (though no longer the most prosperous) of the dwarven holds and is the seat of the High King, though that throne has been vacant for hundreds of years. Each Great Hold is technically an independent realm of its own, ruled by a Thane and a council of elders. Some especially large and powerful holds manage to exert hegemony over their neighbors, but this is never formalized. Most Great Holds also establish a number of lesser holds to serve as mining towns, trade posts, and fill other specialized roles.
Kulmar and its Client KingdomsUntil the fall of the Obanese Empire, Kulmar existed as a powerful kingdom swearing allegiance to the emperor. Now, it is possibly the most powerful single nation in Golm. Two neighboring kingdoms now bend the knee to the Kulmaran monarch, though said ruler has not yet taken to styling himself an emperor.
Daily life in Kulmar is heavily influenced by the Faith of the Father, which acknowledges, worships, and seeks to further the teachings of The One True God of all humankind. Through their energetic preaching, their church has spread into the Obansul, Liria, and parts of the Auchtland tribes - though the more it grows, the more other religions became wary and even downright hostile. Faith is of great importance in Kulmar and while not technically a theocracy, in practice the King must often contend with the Patriarch for political control.
The ObansulThe original provinces which formed the Obanese Empire were restored to independence when it fell.
KholvendalAs the northernmost of the provinces, Kholvendal escaped much of the destruction from the war. It is now the most powerful of the Obansul, with a population bolstered by the many refugees it absorbed and whom never returned home after the elves departed. The many powerful nobles of the Obanese Senate, whose authority had long been reduced to ceremonial under the Emperor, revived their old practices and now rule Kholvendal in truth after the old custom of Oban.
ObandalIn direct contrast to Kholvendal stands Obandal, the original heartland of the Empire. The people of this province fought bitterly to turn aside the elvish armies, but were unsuccessful in the end - leaving the homeland shattered and depopulated. The elves utterly destroyed the capital city of Nerenth and now it stands as a vast ruin in the center of an abandoned region. In the east the province has begun to recover, but there the population are threatened by raids from the Valsarian peoples. Obandal is ruled over by its Archduke, but his ability to offer aid and protection to his people is still severely limited.
VokrendalVokrendal received the second-worst treatment in the fall of the Empire, though it has recovered far faster than Obandal and has even managed to quietly annex some lands from its neighboring province. Various factions of the Senate also tried to flee to Vokrendal, but the Archduke cleverly applied propaganda and convinced the populace that the war (or at least, the fact that the Empire lost) was the fault of the senate. As a result, the authority of the Archducal throne is firm.
Though Iskendal was the site of many of the early battles of the war, this was before it grew grim and bitter and thus the long-term effects were minor. Iskendal's nobles adopted a policy of appeasement towards the elves and their southern border is now peaceful, if tense. This did not endear them to the other provinces, though, and the nation has few political allies, leaving it in a precarious position.
AnzendalLargely ignored by the elves on their march to destroy Nerenth, Anzendal came out of the war little the worse for wear. However, it was never the richest of the imperial provinces due to its landlocked status and somewhat poor soil. Only in Anzendal has the traditional Obanese power structure of Archduke and Senate remained intact, with neither one having managed to marginalize the other - yet.
The Valsarian TribesAnother attempt by scholars to put a single name upon a varied people, the many tribes of the Valsarian plains and steppes are perhaps the most defiant of easy classification. They are constantly at war with their neighbors in all directions, raiding back and forth across extremely blurred "borders." Only the dwarves to their north escape this hostility, for none of the Valsarian peoples have the ability to effectively attack the heavily fortified dwarven holds. Thus, the dwarves often trade with the tribes, even allying with them against marauding hordes of goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs that often sweep out of the far east.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
The mighty continent of Golm has been witness to much of the most sordid history of Eldreon. It is the birthplace of the dwarves, the adopted homeland of the elves, and the home of two of the most powerful human empires in history - both the oldest and the youngest. Beyond the reach of the so-called civilized peoples are vast regions ruled by nomadic human tribes, orc clans, goblin and hobgoblin kingdoms, and still more monstrous things. To the south the great Kadeshi desert dominates nearly a quarter of the continent, and beyond that lies the Durnauc subcontinent.
Due to its immense size, Golm is generally spoken of as three parts - Northern Golm, from the borders of the elven lands to the Frozen Sea; and Southern Golm, which include elven Thanduilin and all lands below; and the subcontinent of Durnauc beyond the Kadeshi desert.
Northern Golm (Main Article)Recently home to the empire of Oban, after it fractured and fell during the war with the elves it's northern province of Kulmar has become the preeminent power in the north, due in no small part to the unity provided by their devotion to the Father, a deity who claims to be the rightful god of all humankind. Oban's former heartlands (called the Obansul, or Children of Oban) have recovered greatly since the Empire's downfall several hundred years ago, though a strong anti-elven sentiment still runs through the populace.
Further north lie the Aulgrodd mountains - the sovereign realm of the dwaves - and the cold Northern Kingdoms, a deceptively unifying name for these fractious, often-warring peoples, whose blood runs so much hotter than their homelands.
Inland of the rich coastal lands, the varied Valsarian tribes are at constant war with all neighbors, whether they be Kulmar or the Obansul, elves, or hobgoblins, orcs, ogres, and still less wholesome things. Only the dwarves escape their blades, and in fact often work with them to curb invasions from hordes of aggressive humanoids.
Southern Golm (Main Article)A land of extremes, the south of the continent holds the lush jungles and plains of Thanduilin and the empty deserts of Kadesh. Kadesh itself was perhaps the first great human empire, fed from the rich waters and fertile floodplains of the Illeyn River. Kadesh's glory faded ages ago, however, and its former provinces - which comprised nearly all lands of the south - long ago ceased to pay so much as lip service to their sovereignty. Mirem's jeweled cities have pretensions of their own power, and the fierce hill fighters of Haljuk and Brin ambush Kadeshi merchants as often as each others. Beyond the mountains and southern jungle, the lands around Golapoor are concerned with their own troubles, as dark things have begun to emerge from the shadows beneath the canopy.
North of the desert and east of the elven lands lie the vast steppe regions, inhabited by all manner of creatures and constantly shifting petty kingdoms. Finally, on the eastern coast sit several cities inhabited primarily by humans, oases of sanity on a long-forgotten shore at the edge of the world.
Durnauc (Main Article)Beyond the gnoll-prowled wastes of the eastern desert, the lands of Durnauc cling to one of the more remote and inhospitable regions of civilization, kept alive as much by their own tenacity as by the steady trade for their gold and precious gemstones from more comfortable lands.
The gods of the dwarves are peculiar in that they seem devoted in particular to the dwarven race, and rarely attract the worship of others (with Childa a notable exception). Even in primeval times, before the birth of the mortal races, the dwarven gods kept largely to themselves. Largely concerned with their own matters, they ignored and were content to be ignored by the other divine beings.