Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Lands of Averlorn

Most major kingdoms found in the world of Averlorn sit on top of volcanic plateaus that rise above the level of the scourge which surrounds them.  The scourge was once a vast inland sea that was turned into a great lifeless and uninhabitable wasteland long ago during the wars between the gods and the titans much to the dismay of Poseidon.  This lifeless and barren land consists of vast salt flats that surround the lands of Thebos, Chalcyx, Manthinea, Ertris, and fallen Leutra in the distant Northern Reaches.

The World of Averlorn Map by Scadgrad - Work in Progress

Lykaedia - The Anvil of the GodsThe Anvil of the Gods is the higher plateau that sits upon the lower plateau of Thebos.  It includes mountains, hills, a valley and its largest cities are Ptoleph and Medea’s Gate.  There is rumored to be a mysterious tribe of xenophobic barbarian dwarves who live in the mountains west of Ptoleph but not much is know about them. 

The Archipelago - On the seas of the Archipelago, the Thugee often find themselves at odds with the sea elf culture and the Volkyr (human culture of the Archipelago). Currently, there is no state of war, but that's primarily because the Thugee are so disorganized and lack a central governing body.  Throw in the occasional pirate ship along with the vicious sea devils and you can see that the seas of the Archipelago are quite lawless.  The Thugee's chief antagonists are the sea elves, and occasionally, mountain elf raiders (sky wolves) who see themselves as the masters of the sky.

There are a few relatively large and xenophobic Elven communities in the Archipelago.  These realms are feudal and ruled by a monarchy chosen from one of the castes (they have a rotating monarchy not unlike what you see in Brusts' work). In that society, a Sun Elf would be seen as a soldier or perhaps a minor noble.

Chalcyx – The lands of this distant kingdom are surrounded by the Scourge.

Ertris – This City State is the principle rival of Grand Oryx.  Though considerably smaller in populace than Thebos, the Adroisian city state of Ertris wields surprising military might.  The superior natural resources of Ertris which exists in spite of her relatively small geographical area, allows the Ertrisians to field a formidable fleet of dragonships.  Tensions between the Ertris and Grand Oryx are always high and the occasional conflicts occur typically in the skies over the Scourge.

Fallen Leutra – This land is in the distant Northern Reaches and its primary inhabitants are the Thugee tribes of Leutra, the Northmen of Averlorn.  In the distant past, the Serpent Men Empire in Leutra stretched over much of the known world. Their greatest cities and temples were swallowed up by the vastness of the Scourge long ago but many ruins of their once great empire remain in the region of Leutra along with scattered populations of serpent men and lizard men.

Kingdom of Erythros in the Trench
The Gorgon’s Trench – The Trench is a low area of rough scrubby hills to the south of the settled lands of Thebos (off the campaign map to the south).  It is populated by the men of the trench or trenchmen (a small but hardy breed of humans), dwarves, some elves and many tribes of humandoids.

The Gorgon's Trench is roughly defined as that land that lies below the Anvil and Pangaeus, so not necessarily to the South. It is decidedly lower in altitude. The four ridges that run in a southwardly fashion and fall away into the Scourge are what most would consider the Trench. In the ancient past, it was divided into 3 kingdoms and those boundaries yet remain. Cephasos is a large landmass established by the Kuoros River to the west and the Maiden's Crossing in the North. There is an active king there now as you've seen, but it's not much of a kingdom really. The remaining two realms are Enea and Thonaxos neither of which have an acknowledged King as the Dukes in those regions are quite hostile to one another. Kephi lies in the realm known as Enea and the Duke is actually the Duke of Erythros, not The King of Enea as he claims to be, not yet anyways. 

The land around the rivers at the level of the Scourge is a series of deep canyons with terrain much like what we see in the American Southwest. There is life there, but no communities. The Scourge is all but lifeless as far as civilized life, or at least that is a commonly held belief. There are no doubt strange life forms that exist there. Think Death Valley.

The Great Banks – These savage jungle islands start east of the Archipelago.

ManthineaThis distant kingdom lies far to the west and borders on the Scourge.

The Pangaeus – The City of Grand Oryx lies on the southern fringes of what is known as the Pangaeus.  This region is far more civilized than the lands of the Anvil but possesses less quality land being mostly flat and open plains and grasslands but it is well suited for herding and agricultural pursuits.  The plainsmen of the Pangaeus were originally tribal nomadic people before their current civilizations arose and are noted for their equestrian traditions including riding and horse breeding.  The warriors of the plains of the Pangaeus are known for their light cavalry armed with spears, shields and their excellent short composite bows.  These warriors are the source and inspiration for the fine light cavalry fielded by Grand Oryx and Thebos and are reputed to be the best horse warriors in the land.

The Northern Reaches – The ancestral lands of the Thugee raiders who make up for their primitive ships through shear numbers and tenacity.  The Thugee (norse-like culture) are raiders, not invaders (which assumes that they make a camp and stay in a land grab a la the late vikings of our world). Their dragonships are not as advanced as the other races, though their naval power is quite potent, though not focused in any groups larger than a clan squadron.  There are other inhabitants in the Northern reaches besides the Thugee tribes including other humans and demi humans.

Thebos – Ancient Thebos is the country that sits on the volcanic plateau that rises above the scourge.  The Theban plateau includes the great City State of Grand Oryx and the planes of the Pangaeus to the north, and Lykaedia (the Anvil) and and the Gorgon's Trench to the south.

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