Maps of Tan'et
Decided it was best to make one post for all the maps rather than giving them each their own. A brief discussion of my world.
The world functions much the same as earth. It has the same size, tilt, seasons, days, and temperatures. The known world centers around the southern hemisphere around the Ocean of Fire. The south-eastern continent of Bremen is the most populated and explored. The Kingdom of Du'Lar is the most powerful and prominent kingdom on that continent. The other know continents are the land of Lliira in the west and Merahna in the north. Trade across the ocean is common but not as prominent as trade amongst the eastern kingdoms.
Since the time of the Collapse, the connection between the planes has been sealed by the gods, prohibiting denizens from other planes to cross into the material world. Few have even seen a denizen from another plane and they have been relegated to stories of myth and legend. Only the darkest magic, outlawed on pain of death for any of its practitioners, is said to be able to breach the seals and force creatures from other planes into this world. As such, Summoner’s are the worst of criminals and hunted wherever they go. Even the common folk will burn a summoner at the stake if they are found in town.
So, with that been said, we begin with the Island Region.
There is little in the way on politics in Ladera. The kingdom is ruled by an anonymous Council who elect new members to join there ranks from within the Local government and church. Their word is law and the laws are followed. Crime is very uncommon as the punishments generally outweigh the crime. The phrase “penalty of death” is a commonly found in the books of laws. The citizens here are taken care of by the government and there is no movement or advancement within the rigid class system. What you are born is what you stay. The class system divides the populace into three groups. The first and upper class is the aristocracy. They are the leaders, the decision makers, the nobles. There are rich histories for each family and great pride attached to what family you are from. The second group is the middle class or tradesmen and craftsmen. They are generally well off, if not exactly wealthy. They supply all the goods to the rest of the kingdom and are responsible for trade, both in- and external. The final class is the poor, the working class. They are the backbone of society and drive the economy through their labors. Unlike most class based systems, the poor are not mistreated, or at least not often mistreated, as the other classes see them as a vital part of the whole system. The church, unlike most human lands, is that of St. Cuthbert, fitting the countries lawful alignment. Clerics also have a rigid rank system and advancement is oft sought after. The highest ranking of the church can be considered for the Council though a high rank in the church does not guarantee a place among their ranks. The church is also the law enforcement of the kingdom. The clerics are empowered to spread the word of St. Cuthbert and dole out his justice.
The economy of Ladera is sturdy but not nearly as robust and profitable as that of the eastern kingdoms. Trade is mainly done though proxy companies that are owned secretly by the Council. Even companies that have resisted the Councils reach may have agents of the Council among their ranks. Being rather centrally located between Bremen and Lliira, much trade goes through the port towns and taxes are levied on any ship that makes port in Ladera. Many mercantile companies have sought a way around the troublesome taxes, either through subterfuge or by avoiding the Laderan ports, but all have proved more troublesome than the taxes.
Magic is strictly controlled and forbidden for most. Only government appointed mages, under the control of the church, are allowed to cast spells on the isles. Both Arcane and Divine magic are controlled by the church but unlawful use of either provokes its own response. Arcane casters are detained and most often executed for their transgressions. A very few are forced into servitude by the church. Divine casters are taken to the church to determine their source. If it is proved that the caster is empowered by St. Cuthbert or another strictly lawful deity, they are often absorbed into the church, whether against their will or no. If their power is from a neutral source, the caster is often warned and then banished on a second transgression. If their power is from a chaotic source, they are declared agents of chaos and executed.
Relan is not a country, rather a loose collection of tribes that, when threatened, join forces only long enough to drive off the threat and then turn on each other once more. This same political structure is found amongst the Orcs of the Kham'Sher plains. The main tribes that control the majority of the region are the Svartvinge(Blackwing, Blue), the Tordneflokk(Thundering Herd, Red), the Storjeger(Great Hunters, Green),and the Hvetsti(White Path, Yellow). Of all these tribes, successful contact has been made only with the Svartvinge. They are a shamanistic and patriarchal culture, each tribe is governed by a Jarl. Leadership of the tribe is based solely on who is the best in melee combat. When power changes hands, the former Jarl and his family are allowed to stay in humiliation if they wish but often they depart in disgrace and disappear into the frozen south.
Being a primal and tribal society, there is not a lot of economics of which to speak. Each town or village takes care of itself, only relying on the other towns of the tribe in need of defense. Very simple trade has started to take place between the Svartvinge and the eastern kingdoms but there is not much of worth in the region of Relan to entice traders from the east. Trade is restricted to pelts and trinkets. All traders that have attempted to initiate trade with any of the other tribes have not returned.
To such primitive cultures, magic is revered. Those with arcane or divine power are considered agents of the gods and worshiped. The only casters found from the tribes themselves are shamans or sjaman, and are always the adviser to the Jarl. The shamans guard their place jealously and have been known to convince their tribe that other spell casters are avatars of evil deities sent to destroy the tribe. Each tribe has is own style shamans, each drawing power from the forbidding landscape. The Hvetsti shamans draw power from the arctic winds and are know to be devious and cunning. The shamans of the Tordneflokk tribe draw power from the earth and are as violent and direct as as earthquake. The Storjeger tribe has the frost shamans, shamans who draw their power from the extreme temperatures are reflect this in their lack of empathy or emotion. The Svartvinge tribe once had shamans of the waters but no more. Fewer and fewer of the tribe has shown potential in recent years and when the last hopeful was murdered on the way to her trials, the tribe lost much of their way. Many believe that this loss was what drove the tribe to reach out the eastern kingdoms for trade.
The isle of Elrythe lies directly in the path of the year round trade routes from the eastern kingdoms to the west. Though many have tried to colonize the wild isle in an attempt to circumvent the Laderan taxes, no settlement has lasted very long. Strange disasters plague those that land on the isle. Every colony has been driven off by disease, berserk animals attacking, or strange and dangerous weather. The last such settlement established a port town on the northeastern side of the isle. It lasted almost a year. Every ship that made port there was struck by disastrous and out of season storms in the Ocean of Fire. After almost a year, with no merchant or sailor daring to make port there, the settlement was suddenly lost. No one who was living there was ever heard from again and no one as of yet has dared to return to the ill fated town to discover the cause.
The island of Melnar is known as the home of the Elves. It is said that Corellion brought forth the first of his children in the emerald glades of that isle. There, the Elves keep there holy city, Ard Craobh, the Great Tree, and suffer few outside their race to walk the white shores. When once there was a tight bond between the human lands and the Elves, that bond has been slowly weakened over time. With generations and generations of humans coming and going, the friendship of the Elves has been forgotten and replaced with mistrust and fear. The Elves retreated from the human lands as this shift became apparent to them and hid themselves away on their sacred isle. They can still be found in select human cities but their kind is getting harder and harder to find.
On to Du'Lar. (This map was already posted so if a mod wants to do his/her thing with it, feel free)
The world is falling to corruption and gluttony. Comfort and power are the most valuable commodities. Rumors abound about the depravities of the royals. About infighting and posturing for power over the new king of Du'Lar. A young boy, the king is spoiled by his life of pleasures and cares little for the state of the kingdom, leaving it in the hands of his nobles. Taxes are heavy and the peasants and farmers bear the brunt of the nobles greed. Even the Mage's Guild has grown used to their influence. They declare magic users that refuse to join them a danger to society and make them “disappear”. The Church of Pelor, the predominant religion of the eastern kingdoms, has become more concerned with their political power, which is extensive, than with taking care of the people they serve. The Lord High Archbishop is second only to the king in the power that he wields.
The kingdom of Du'Lar is flush with wealth, though it is only evident when you consider the upper class. The wealthy have everything and everyone else has little to nothing. Trade is booming for importers as the upper crust demands many foreign goods and delicacies. Exports are down to an all time low as most of what can be made by the common folk is taken by the upper class or used to help the commoners survive. Tensions run high in human lands and many rumors circulate that the other races of Tan'et are responsible for the current state of affairs. As a result, racism is prevalent.
Magic is common, used for nearly everything. Only the most remote towns still fear it or are surprised by its use. It is also highly regulated by the Mage's Guild. They have instituted a secret police to ensure their control over the use of magic and all magic use must be sanctioned by the Guild. Divination preformed by anyone other than licensed Guild mages is outlawed as knowledge threatens the power base of the Guild.
And now, we go north, to the kingdoms of Imyria and Dramerus
Like most of the Eastern kingdoms, Imyria is a monarchy supported by a noble class. What sets the Imyrians apart is that their system is also part republic. The noble houses make up a parliament of sorts. This adds a little balance to the system, though the power is still heavily in the monarch's corner. Another departure is that the church does not have a strong presence in Imyria. Religion is much more varied and open than in the other kingdoms in the east. Pelor is still the most worshiped but the power of the churches does not extend into the government. To maintain this, the Imyrians have made laws prohibiting the nobles or the monarch from being clergy or receiving political aid from the church. This has greatly angered the Lord High Archbishop of Pelor in Du'Lar and the Archbishop has attempted many times to gain a foothold in Imyrian politics. One of the more recent ploys of the Archbishop was to coerce the Mages Guild to close their chapter houses in Imyria and recall their mages back to Du'Lar. This has greatly weakened the magical element in Imyria and as various magical systems begin to collapse and fail, the citizens of Imyria are becoming more and more restless.
Once a major economic power due to the resource rich mountains that make up the eastern edge of the kingdom, the reduction of magically ability found in the kingdom today has impoverished the kingdom. Cost have risen as it is not easy to find mages willing to cross the Guild and the ones that will charge exorbitant amounts. Many towns have been hit hard by this sanction and never every store dealing in the magical arts has closed, making magical reagents and items very valuable. This has hurt many of the merchants that call Imyria home. The Archbishop has also begun to squeeze various mercantile groups to avoid Imyria, though this has only met with marginal success.
Magic in Imyria is rapidly declining in recent years. Many of the luxuries that other kingdoms enjoy have ceased to work in Imyria now that the Guild has withdrawn back to Du'Lar. There has been much debate over what is the best course to take over this issue. Whether to cave to the Archbishop's demands in order to regain their luxuries and relieve the pressure on Imyrian society or to revert back to older, non-magical methods in the hopes that the Archbishop abandons his scheme and to maintain a status quo until such a time occurs.
The leadership of Dramerus is actually a dual system. There are always two kings or queens of Dramerus. The kings and queens can trace their history back to a time when there was a single king with two sons. When the king died, rather than tear the country into a civil war, the sons agreed to rule together. This, however, is not always an easy arrangement and many are the times that there exists a deadlock between the kings. When such a occurrence happens, it falls to the Bishop of Dramerus, vassal to the Archbishop, to mediate and draw the stalemate to a conclusion. How this is accomplished is not widely known but never has such a stalemate lasted for more then a few days.
Dramerus is geographically located in a unique position that has allowed it to accumulate a great amount of wealth. It lies directly in the most convenient route to the northern kingdom of Bashaul, a kingdom known for its exotic luxuries. Many items from there are in great demand in the eastern kingdoms and almost all of the trade with the northern kingdoms goes through Dramerus. Along with the lucrative trade, Dramerus is known for its fine horses and forests of rare trees. These combine to make Dramerus second only to Du'Lar in wealth.
Magic is very common is Dramerus, much like it is in Du'Lar. The Mages Guild has many chapter houses in the kingdom and magic flourishes in every city. The thing that sets Dramerus' magic apart from that of Du'lar is the northern influence. Spellcasters from the north occasionally make their way down to the eastern continent and many can be found in Dramerus. This exotic bent on magic gives Dramerus the special honor of playing host to the Convention of Magus every year, a meeting where spellcasters from all corners of the known world gather to share their knowledge and spy on one another.
Soon to follow are the maps for the Northern continent....