Age of Ascension
- Emerwald is a valley that borders the Empire, through which lie the central and Eastern part of the continent. Heavily forested, it is home to people with free and adventurous spirits. They are also marked for their introverted nature, keeping most people at arm’s length. In general, they are slightly shorter than Avencians, fair skinned, and may have slightly pointed ears, belying distant elven blood… Emerwald was the shelter of the elves as they dwindled to extinction, and a full eigth of the population is considered half-elven.
- Ospria is Avencia’s nearest competitor, as a highly civilized and predominately human kingdom on the border. Though much smaller in size, Ospria is noted for its strong cultural heritage. Usually sporting a healthy tan and broad black or brown mustaches, most men of Ospria are possessed of a certain level of machismo and guile, while most women are expected to stay at home. Ospria has converted almost completely to the New Faith, partly owing to its existing distrust and disencouragement of magi. Though not as technologically advanced as Avencia, Ospria is famed for its fine gunsmithies.
- Lockholte borders the Empire, but a range of high mountains seperates them… a fact for which the Locksmen are thankful, because the pristine and largely untouched land would otherwise have been annexed already. Lockholte is said to be the land of legends, untouched by industry or science. Famous for its knightly orders and covens of witches said to be living in the mountains, it’s the setting of as many trashy Avencian romance tales as children’s stories.
- Mercovea lay across the great inner sea that borders Avencia on the Eastern side, which Valcora overlooks. Though the sea seperates them, the great many ships travelling between these West and East between Mercovean and Avencian ports makes it worth mention. Once a divided land of small conflicting baronies, its prime positioning for import and export between the Empire and the East has turned it into an economic powerhouse… around which most of the city-baronies have set aside their difference to form a loose republic of merchant-kings. Most Mercoveans are merchants or sailors. Olive and bronze complexions are most common, along with dark hair and green or hazel eyes.
- The inhospitable deserts of Naj’hara are much of the reason the empire ceased its rapid Westward expansion. In a land that gives so little and hoards nothing, permanent settlements are few and far between; most Naj’har live in nomadic caraven-tribes. The disparity between wealthy and poor has tempted many tribes to move East into the Avencian lowlands in search of better lives, maintaining their caravan mentality. Dark-skinned and possessed of either black, white, or silver hair the Naj’har are distrusted for their purported affinity for the arcane and reverance of the dead. Most are mentally acute, determined, and fearless.
- The ancient iron dwarven city of Krein lies at the heart of the Worldshatter mountains, with only a few entrances, one of which is within County Cromwell. Krein survives from the golden age of the dwarves, before the entombment of the deep dwarves or even the sharp decline in population that left so many holds abandoned over the centuries. The iron dwarves allow no admittance to citizens of the Empire, even insisting upon meeting with diplomats and ambassadors from the empire at ground level. Unlike the bronze dwarves of Eastiron, Krein’s master craftsmen frown on the finer crafts, instead concentrating their efforts on steel and stone. It’s accepted fact that the iron dwarves produce the pinnacle of arms and armor, if you can afford their price. Just how deep and wide the ancient stone kingdom might be is a mystery.
- Tamora is the nation of halflings, who underwent mass migration almost three hundred years ago, crossing the Worldshatter mountains from their rural villages in the foothills of the Heartlands. The entire country is of lightly wooded hills, save for the naturally defensible mesas on which the towns are built, and the fishing villages along the coastal cliffs. An efficient matriarchal government and a socially forgiving economy have kept this new nation strong and stable. In the interest of preserving that stability, they avoid all political contact with the Empire, their presence little more than trivia to the average Avencian citizen.
- The tropical jungles of Kesh are a mystery to everyone. The deep rainforests go one for miles, and if any humans ever lived here, they’ve long since died out. Predators of all sizes inhabit this strange and dangerous landscape, and the danger of poisoning or disease from any number of plants or animals has effectively quashed any attempt at sending Imperial expeditions through. Perhaps the greatest mysteries of Kesh are its inhabitants; lizardmen, hailing from a place called Sutulak, the reborn city. Possessed of much greater intelligence and a well-developed cultural heritage, some Avencian tacticians believe the lizardmen pose the greatest threat to Imperial borders of anyone.