Gazetteer.   Posted by Aenarion.Group: 0
 GM, 24 posts
Wed 21 Nov 2018
at 09:38
The large continent of Lorannon has four major regions at its edges that serve as natural borders, with the metropolis of Cyriath standing in the very center, serving as the main civilization hub for the people. Cyriath is the oldest city of Lorannon, standing on a raised plateau in the Plains of Dawn for a millennia now, the only place of a long bygone age that is still standing nowadays.

There are several other smaller and larger counties, duchies, baronies, and city-states scattered all throughout the lands, but no real country exists worth the name. Each ruler fiercely protects what area they can control, usually managing to retain a peaceful and save environment for their citizens. But as soon as one leaves the carefully patrolled zones, things turn around and grow dangerous fast.

The lands between each populated area is for the most part untamed wilderness, with only a few roads and streets connecting the various towns and cities with each other. You don’t have to look for before you find the first of many roaming hordes of orcs, goblinoids, giants, or worse. Monstrous beasts of often immense size stalk the woodlands, foul aberrations of distant realms call the underground caves their home, the restless undead roam the countless ruins that lie half-buried all across the realm. The only way for trade to exist at all, is by employing heavily guarded caravans that stick to the more well-travelled routes, but even those run afoul complications more often than not. A few cities are fortunate enough to have developed alternative means of transportation, but those are rare indeed.

With the realm itself being dangerous enough already, there has not been a real war for centuries now. Minor skirmishes between neighboring rulers are common, but most do not want to risk the majority of their well-trained forces in a large-scale campaign and leave their lands unprotected. Everyone loses if a monstrous army takes advantage of such a conflict and swoops in to overwhelm the weakened forces and take control of the region. Orcs and goblins have tried numerous times to assault the civilized places in the past, but after suffering often devastating losses, they seem to have learned their lesson and keep to the wilderness instead. At least for now.

Lorannon is bordered to the west by the Sea of Mist, a vast expanse of stormy waters. Close to shore, plenty of fish swim its depths and the hunt is always bountiful, with several smaller islands taking advantage of this fact. Once you get some three hundred miles out, you encounter an unnatural barrier made out of towering, swirling fog. Each soul who has tried to enter and explore what may lie within or beyond, has not returned to tell its tale. Rumor even has it that the fog bank slowly but inexorably rolls closer to land with each passing year…

To the south lies the endless green hell that is the Jungle of Tch’azzar. A place of sweltering heat, where tiny insects transfer deadly diseases, cannibalistic tribes wait for their next human sacrifice, and even the plant life itself tries its best to devour any intruders. Paths that are cut through the vegetation are usually reclaimed by nature only days later, leaving foolish explorers stranded with no easy way out. A few lucky individuals managed to reach one of the many sunken ruins within the jungle and came back rich beyond imagination, prompting new excursions to be started year after year, despite the high risk.

To the east is the Great Desolation, an immense stretch of barren wasteland that stretches to the horizon and beyond. What exactly caused it is still unknown and a hotly debated topic to this day, with the prevailing theory being that a cataclysmic war between dozens of archmages was the reason. Lingering magical effects run unchecked across the Desolation to this day, lending credence to this assumption. The origin of the many black pyramids that dot the landscape every now and then is still an unsolved mystery, with no one having been able to enter even one of them so far. The damned ghosts of former armies roam many a region of the wasteland, always eager to vent their unrelenting anger on the living, preventing anyone from getting to far into exploring this area.

Far to the north stands the impenetrable wall of mountains that are called Heaven’s Ire, with peaks reaching 35.000 feet and more. There are no natural passes through this barrier, making it completely impossible for a larger group of people to cross it. Hurricane-force winds constantly howl in the upper reaches of the place, smashing flying creatures against the cold rock of the steep slopes without mercy. Hardy tribes of insular mountain folk populate the initial parts of the lower regions, using the many caverns to stay at least somewhat safe and warm, but even they do not dare to move even further north, as numerous savage ice beasts quickly claim the lives of anyone who attempts this.

This has been the state of things for a long, long time now. The civilized folk of Lorannon keeping to their well-protected homes, trying to live their lives as best they can, with only the more curious sorts always wondering what may lie beyond the borders of the realm. Maybe there will come a time when a band of brave adventurers will succeed in this grand task and bring news to the people of what wonders and dangers await one out there…