The Promethean Crown
Regions of the Known World
Detailed knowledge of the world at large is limited, but a healthy trade network and relatively good ties between nations has provided most everyone with a broad impression of what the world over the hill and horizon might hold.
There are seven regions that nearly everyone is aware of. These regions represent the great political forces that shape the world – they generate the tides of influence, they consume and create vast wealth, and for good or ill purposes, they save and destroy lives.
These regions are the results of the ancient exodus and the diaspora in the new lands, and as the wagon trains and marching throngs made their way East, like-minded folk banded together and settled near to one another, developing into the powers they are now.
The Dwarven tribes and the many peoples of the mountains traveled far, seeking for new veins of ore and the slopes upon which they would build homes and halls. Today, the Min’lands lay far to the East in the foothills of the Coal Crags, a steep-faced mountain range of black rock and rich and varied ore. There is no clear political center to the Min’lands, no ruler, no high-priest commanding the masses. To the people and places of the Min’lands, only money matters.
Free Princes of Oakengrove
A number of powerful warlords of the ancient orders sought peace in the distant forests of Oak and Ash and Spruce that lay south of the Min’lands. They became the Free Princes of Oakengrove, a handful of families that continue mystical traditions said to have been taught them by the spirits of the forest.
To the North and West of the Min’lands are wide and sloping highlands, pocked by lake and stream and dotted with forests of Maple and Birch. The rivers and streams from these highlands feed the plains of the Whet’lands, and provide easy travel for goods going to and from the Min’lands and the Kingdom of Kron. Here the shattered Dukes of a forgotten empire settled, building a system of canals and collecting wealth second only to the King.
Kingdom of Kron
Between the Ferry Dukes to the North, and the Free Princes to the South, lies the Kingdom of Kron, named after the Crown that brought the people East and into the peace of a new era. Most of the diaspora settled in the rolling hills and quiet valleys of these lands. Simple groves of Oak, fields of wildflower, herds of deer, fresh springs, and abundant game all make this region idyllic at first glance. But a careful observer will see weeds of wickedness in the shadowed corners of this kingdom.
The vast plains of fertile earth are the Whet’lands, the bread-basket of the known lands. Ruled by a panoply of wealthy estate-holders, the people of the Whet’lands are subjects to regional feudalism – sometimes worked to the bone to produce a new crop for the hungry masses in the City-states of the Salt Barons or the Kingdom of Kron, and sometimes press-ganged into armies to fight in the many brief skirmishes inspired by one wealthy ego or another. Rarely, fields are cooperatively owned and farmed, protected by retired heroes or looked after by the careful application of rumor and pestilent hoax.
Kingdom of Phillip
First to settle, and furthest from the peaceful lands to the far East, lies the Kingdom of Phillip, named after the great General Phillip of the Hundred Horesemen. A rigid military dictatorship, the Kingdom of Phillip claims to be keeping untold horrors from raiding into the settled lands. Nearly religious devotion to this cause and a reputation for being among the deadliest warriors mixes with often vicious scorn from those they protect – the Soldiers of this kingdom are quiet, often philosophical individuals, and hard as steel.
The City-States of the Salt Barons
Finally, there are the City-states of the Salt Barons. These independent cities are pinpoints of civilization along the shores of a massive lake. As the major producer of salt and other spices required by the refined tastes of the wealthy in Kron, the Barons have built a loose-knit empire of greed. Trade in less refined goods is common, and the greatest cultural export are the Gladiatorial games that dictate each city’s ruler for the year to come.
Nordwood and beyond
To the North of the Whet’lands is a dark and haunted forest of Pine, Fir, and Juniper – the Nordwood. The scrub along the forest floor is a thicket that is said to swallow men whole. The shadows at night steal the souls of those who make camp, and of the few who have returned from explorations in Nordwood speak of terrible giants able to crush trees underfoot like twigs. These explorations have never found a route through, though tall mountain peaks have been glimpsed on the clearest of days, standing guard far, far to the cold North.
The Unsung Sea
South, just past the Salt Barons, lies a limitless horizon of water, an ocean upon which no boat has sailed out of sight of the coast and returned (though, one has arrived). Seemingly stirred to violence at the slightest breeze, these waters are rumored to contain all the tears of the ancient world, rumored to be where the spirits of the dead now live, and where the spawn of vengeance and spite lay in wait.
The Steel Plains and the Ancient lands to the West
An almost palpable barrier exists between the settled lands of the East and the old homes and empires of the Steel Plains. It is a cursed homeland, now abandoned to the ravages of the creatures and beasts of nightmare. Only one person has ever returned from an expedition into the Steel Plains – Ild Fenby, contracted explorer of Duke Parson, who returned with unimagined treasures, but who never once spoke of his time there beyond the veil. Rumors are widespread that the dead now rule the Steel Plains, that the sins of the forefathers have been made into wicked flesh and given purpose to simply destroy.