Campaign Setting in Progress
The World as we know it
In antiquity, there were hundreds of distinct cultural groups, all of which had rich mythologies and histories. However, these societies all fell, bit by bit, as the march of armies and time did them away. In our modern era, the land has been split into three major Regions: The mountainous Koloss Region to the North; the expansive grasslands of Sene-kah; and the forests and snow of the Holy Empire of Mara. Each of these Regions has their own lists of lost societies and peoples, but the dominant Nations each have their own cultural clues.
The Koloss Region
The land of Koloss is believed to be the birthplace of all humanity. In antiquity, the ancient Dragon Cults worshipped legendary creatures that ruled the skies and the elements. The forts and castles built into the sides of the region’s mountains were marvels of engineering, mixtures of powerful magic and clever architecture that defied the rules of the world.
Catastrophe befell the people of Koloss when a necromancer resurrected the first dragon god. This bone creature destroyed the cities and burned the land many times over before its destruction, and the disappearance of intelligent dragons altogether. The great Dragon Cults vanished, leaving a destroyed civilization to descend into squabbling tribes with a lost culture. If one were to visit the Koloss region today, they would find the mountains full of isolated groups with no taste for outsiders. The once mighty castles and fortresses have decayed, their ruins held together with nothing but the remnants of great magics. Floating stones, towers, and rooms are common. The dragons, once sapient and intelligent beings, have been replaced by drakes, a pale imitation with only a physical similarity to the godlike beings that once ruled the world.
There is no feasible method of actually taking a census of the people that live in the Koloss Region today. One can only rely on rough estimates and hearsay from biased rumors. The closest guess anybody can make to the population of Koloss is around 12 million people, in somewhere near 13,000 scattered tribes.
With the Backbone Mountains to the North, the Charyb Mountains to the South, and endless oceans to the East and West, the flatlands of Sene-kah are isolated from other societies by virtue of geography. To outsiders, it is all too easy to see the moutain villages in the South, and the great clans of riders in the plains, and assume that the Sene People are homogeneous in their culture. In reality, there is little further from the truth.
“Sene” as an identifier, refers to the 9 million people that worship the stars above, and speak the language of Zapoch-Tona, the “Words of the Sun.” Even with that conceit, however, there are over 400 unique Sene groups in Sene-kah, each with their own wildly different ways of life. War is never formally declared between them, but small skirmishes and raids are common between competing societies. The Sene’s group boundaries are as mutable as water for the most part, with few clans remaining in place for extended periods of time.
The land of Sene-kah is home to around 9.5 million people, including immigrants and missionaries from the South. The land is home to an incredible range of creatures, from the massive herds of Gozayn Bison, to the Tree Ferrets, which often are less than one foot long. Outside of the land’s mountainous borders, its remarkable flatness is such that stories tell of days when a person could see from one coastline to the other.
The Holy Empire of Mara
The Holy Empire of Mara rules the lands South of the Charyb Mountains. In antiquity, what they call the “Pre-Empire-Period,” there were the 8 Nations, engaged in the political Cold Game. The religion of Mara overtook all facets of culture in these Southlands in less than three hundred years, growing an empire that rules over the largest population in the known world. The Great Saint and the Choir of Law lead their people in a lifetime spent preventing the end of the world, as their religious texts state.
The remnants of Pre-Maraite culture are seen in the cities outside of the Maraite Foundation, its 29 major cities of worship. These small pockets of ideology are hidden from the prying eye of the religious heads of government. People who worship other gods are not persecuted, but still treated as lesser people, oddities in a theocracy.
The heavily forested Southlands are home to beasts of great variety, and the people of the Empire rely on government-funded groups of mercenaries and hunters to keep the roads and more rural areas safe. In the populated cities and areas that can afford the patronage of magic, the sky trolleys and waypoints of the nation give avoidance enough when travel is required. The 20 million inhabitants of the Holy Empire of Mara are eventually protected, whether it be by work, or by money.
The Island nation of Ciaeifi was founded less than two hundred years ago. A group of disgruntled Maraite nobles, wanting to live with their own property and ideas, took their employees, slaves, and whatever other followers, and sailed across the Eastern Ocean to a large island, uninhabited by man and ruled by beasts. The noblemen then founded their own language, “Rosiger,” a rigid caste system, and named their island “Ciaeifi.”
The island is heavily forested and tropical, with several strange and unique creatures that exist nowhere else in the world. The land is uneven and ragged, with jutting mountains, plunging valleys, deep caves, and a central mesa that rises higher than any peak on the mainland. The 1.6 million Ciaeifieans live in densely constructed cities, their society dominated by rich architects and inventors, a technological marvel with borders closed tighter than any other place in the world.