Ancient Shades of Sunrise
Islands of the Kaltorei
The Kaltorei people live in clan structure, spread over great regions. They are farmers, hunters, and cattlemen, with fishing villages along the inhabitable coast. In leaner times, they raid their neighbouring clans. Rivalries run deep, so do alliances, but against outlanders, every Kaltorei will band together. So far, this has only happened twice – the first time, during the great Drake Flight 300 years ago, saw hundreds of dragon-like creatures landing on the shores of Alband, burning and devouring everything they came across. Heroes from all across the four islands banded together, initiated by the giant Calaburn, to lead a vast army of men, women, and even children against the creatures. The second time, a concerted colonization effort by Northwights was repelled by all the clans of Marvein and most of the eastern clans of Alband. Amongst the Kaltorei, gift-giving is a very serious business, with protocols for propriety of gifts, reciprocation, and even timing.
Lands of the Northwight
The harsh lands of the Northwight are the worst enemy of the people who live there. It has fostered an extraordinary sense of cooperation and instinctual leadership in those who choose to live there. Life is a test, and only those who face it head on deserve the eternal rewards of the gods. Consequently, it is skill and ability that determine a person’s worth, not popularity, not money, not even family. There is a pecking order of skill that is usually determined in an hour of introductions, with those of higher skill assuming leadership in their area of expertise, while those of lesser skill are assumed to automatically follow those leaders. A master warrior will acquiesce immediately to the frailest magician if a matter of Power comes up; he will also expect the magician to follow orders in the heat of battle without question. In this land, race matters nothing.
Kingdom of Targus Murees
The Boy King they call him, though not often to his face, 19 year old King Targus Murees began his career as a simple Hobgoblin warrior defending a small village. From there he forged the nearby villages into a small army. Moving upward to Warlord status, he took his people onward and built a large Kingdom at the edge of the Wild. His subjects have learned secret ways of keeping the Wild at bay and guard those secrets with their lives. All people are welcome to land under King Targus, but they must be willing to defend that land with their lives – whether from outlander raiders, Wild creatures, or foreign armies. King Targus has built his power upon the backs of people whose loyalty is purchased with freedom. He does not tax his people, enslave them, nor ask more than they are willing to give for anything.
Sultanate of Alawo Ekberi
The lands of his supreme excellency, the Sultan of Alawo Ekberi, Mollah Radguelz ibn Ba’ir. The position of Sultan is an inherited one, but must be contended for by all of the previous Sultan’s children in a great game of strategy, skill, and luck, taking place in an semi-underwater ruin named Tulay, on the shores of the Grand Metero Lake. Generally, there are three classes of people in the Sultanate. The royal class, consisting of a number of Beys and Emirs and their various entourages as well as the Sultan and his immediate family. The merchant class, made of great and myriad families dealing in everything from lamp oil to stone to contracted mercenaries to farm goods. Finally, the slave class, including all outsiders not officially recognized as ambassadors from other nations. While they are slaves, there are laws regarding the rights, treatment, and legal sale of slaves so as to protect them from certain injustices. Tread lightly in the Sultanate, as justice is generally violent and swift.
Philot is a loose confederation of mixed racial tribes spread amongst a near-perfect (climate-wise) archipelago. Natives of both sexes tend to wear broad-bordered tunics in the winter, and usually just a belt and sandals in the summer. They are mainly a coastal people, and never stray far out of sight of the sea, though they allow their cattle free range of the larger islands. The Philotians have recently rebuilt the hundreds of tayots surrounding their islands; a system of ancient, defensible towers with signal fires and bronze mirrors able to alert the entire confederacy in less than an hour of any approaching threats. Their oral history counts the Gettin as the single best event to happen to the Philotians. They say that a great armada of warriors from the Sultanate was within moments of landing upon the islands when the skies opened up raining fire and pure white light upon them. The price of the Philotian salvation was high, and many of their own were spontaneously consumed by either fire or light mere minutes after the invaders were destroyed.
Borgo is a rocky length of an island, with a coastline of high cliffs with hidden bays and inlets. It is divided into three Kingdoms, each ruled by a hereditary Judge, who makes decisions with the help of advisors from among the people, called the Corona. Borgo fared better than most any other land after the Gettin, the landscape and climate aided the local cultures in keeping their ways, even after losing almost 80% of their population to the blinding, disintegrating lights. Borgo would have been able to retain a lot more of their ways and history, but in the aftermath of the Gettin, the survivors turned on one another with blade and fire and many libraries, religious centers, and such became battlegrounds. It did not take long before the fighting ceased and cooler heads prevailed. Still, there are said to be ruins among the mountains and forests that are untouched.
Democracy of Aktaeon
The Democracy Aktaeon is a loose confederation of individual city-states and their surrounding territories. It is a mountainous region filled with trade routes, wild areas, and a plethora of islands. Each city-state governs itself under the Grand Precepts of Democracy, a document drawn up over 300 years ago when the Rowan Empire, allied with pirates from Morogeria, invaded and took almost half the country before the city-states banded together to repel the incursion – a task that took nearly half a century to complete. The Grand Precepts of Democracy give the right to all full citizens of Aktaeon a right to vote. Importantly, full citizenship is only given to landowners. In nearly every city-state, this means non-magical humans only.
A land populated by dark fleshed varieties of the various races, Morogeria is more of a region defined by its lack of definition. Much like the Wild Edge, this land is filled with many different creatures and life. Scrub, deserts, and mountains make up most of the geography of the land, its people either semi-nomadic clans led by self-styled Sultans, or coastal fishing villages with piratical tendencies.
The Wild Edge
Here there be dragons…or lizardmen…or chimera…or beasts of destruction. These lands have been explored to some extent, but are filled with creatures of such varied strangeness, plants, animals, elementals, and who knows what. Only the War King Targus Murees has been able to expand his lands with any success, and fights a constant battle against these creatures. Oddly, these things have sharply defined their boundaries and neither seek to expand nor willingly give any land beyond those borders.