Age of Ascension
The wide, tapering peninsula that makes up the Statelands is overlooked by Shatterhull Peak at its Eastward point. Valcora, seat of Avencian power, is built into the foot of the mountain, from deep within the rock to docks which extend far beyond the waterline. The vast majority of clear land surrounding the city is fertile and green, being largely divided into land grants or family properties, which the owners are responsible to maintain. Forests are controlled loosely by planned logging operations, which are intended to curb overgrowth without doing undue harm to the natural order. Nonetheless, the industrialization of the Empire has cost the forests dearly. Along its coasts, the Statelands boast a number of beaches as well as sharp cliffs, leading into warm, relatively clear water. Under Valcoran rule and military patrols, the Statelands are safe and orderly. A complex, but efficient system of law and taxation, along with a thriving economy, have made them a continental center of culture and commerce.
- Valcora is the capital city of the empire, a sprawling metropolis. At the end of a long peninsula that juts East into the Sea of Sorrows, it is the gateway to the West and the beating heart of the Empire. Impossible to simplify, a chapter is devoted to this storied city later.
- The Blood Coast is a name given to the entire broken coastline of the Statelands, as well as the islands surrounding, which locals call the Coins. The water is warm and relatively clear, and beyond a certain depth, the ruins of an ancient city even more sprawling than Valcora herself can be seen. The thriving town of Newport grew up around Valcoran shipbuilding facilities, and Fort Ngara is responsible for both the security of the farms and the training of new recruits for the army. Fishing villages make up the majority of other coastal settlements, but the Coins are a haven for transients, criminals, and the privateers who hunt them. The exotic Port Pyre, mired in a mangrove forest, marks the Imperial border with Kesh. Despite strategically placed Valcoran defenses, the danger of sahaugin raids persists.
- The majority of the gentle rolling hills and fertile field of the statelands are divided into estates, belonging to either the noble families they were originally granted to, or others who’ve bought them out. Heavy Valcoran patrols ensure the security of this Imperial breadbasket, which is often referred to as the Statelands Proper. They also encompass the Reserve; a protected old-growth forest from before the formation of the empire, where hunting and logging are strictly prohibited. In the low mountains, the aging town of Rivenspire lost its livelihood with the closing of the Tower of Ordulahn, a once prominent institution of magery.