Tyburn, The Thrull Capital, is a harbour city that lies upon the island of Holgar. The capital city of the Thrull provonce Is controlled by the largest tribe, Clan Volgr, with the Rune and Sýr clans also maintaining a presence in the city as well. Tyburn holds the central port for the Thrull's raiding longships, with the large Volgr tribe of devoted warriors being the muscle of the Prismatic Circle and responsible for raiding. Clan Syr is most adept at forging and supplying weapons to the Thrull army and the powerful magics of Clan Rune keep their enemies at bay.
P. 154 (CG), 22 (PG)
Borgund, a mining town, is built on the tundra landscape that is common within the Thrull province. Built within the foothills of the surrounding mountains, Borgund is constantly abuzz with noises of relentless clinging and clanging from the abundant number of mines and forges throughout the day. However, at night the nearby winds that come off the Sea of Turmoil can be heard howling above as they whistle through the neighbouring peaks and valleys.
COLD IRON KEEP
Found within the Kandar province high up in the Jakkan mountain range, Cold Iron Keep is currently under the control of the Limgri tribe. Whilst first raised from the surrounding mountainous stone by the evil mage Mordu to carry out mass sacrifices to otherworldly being, heroes have long cleared the mage from his stronghold. Years after the leaders of Kandar turned the once magic castle into a prison for their most powerful enemies.
P. 158, 161 (CG)
Hrist is the capital city of both the Mithran tribe and the Kandar province and holds the court for the Kandar war efforts. Queen Andrea Helsing currently holds the reins of power as the Kandar War Chief, selected to be the single leader during war time, however, the leaders of the individual tribes bicker over almost everything. Currently the leaders of the Kandar tribes are arguing at how best to deal with the Thrull incursion and how much help they should accept from the Bürach Empire in their war efforts, if at all.
P. 158 (CG)
Solheim started as a small fishing town that was only marked on a map due to being en-route to Fort Kentigern from Hrist. However, over the decades Solheim has grown to become newly bustling harbour town due to receiving all of Kandar's trade and import incoming from the Great Eastern Sea.
There was once a forest north of Solheim; now it is just a garden of tree-shaped ice. This jungle of icy spires is a reminder to all who gaze upon it the ever looming threat of coldfire.
P. 23 (PG)
At the edge of the ice bridge that links Volgen to the mainland is the fortress of the Order of Kentigern. What once was a monastery is now a high keep built to withstand a siege, with tall towers and parapets equipped with burning oil. But these defenses were not built against any mortal siege. Indeed, no army has dared to attack the fort in hundreds of years. Rather, the Order of Kentigern is Grarjord’s first line of defense against the encroaching coldfire menace from Volgen.
P. 162 (CG)
Due to large swaths of arable land being so scarce within Grarjord the clans have all agreed that towns built upon it are considered off limits to raids or occupation and are not under control of either province regardless of location. Skarfanes is one such neutral town that bustles with agricultural trade. Additionally, due to this towns location it is also the primary trading location for all trade coming from the Emerald Sea. However, due to the Thrull's raiding nature, it would be unwise to do so without the appropriate writ or coughing up a sizable donation to the Thrull province that constantly raid the surrounding seas.
Whilst raiding and occupying the town directly by either province goes against both of their customs, this does not stop the Thrull from raiding or setting up a toll on the nearby roads that enter or exit the town. However, with the Kandar province already spread as thin as it is, they do not have the soldiers to spare to put a stop to the banditry tactic.
Halsfjord is a fishing town within the Thrull province. Due to having mountains to the north and forests to the east, Halsfjord is easily defensible from land assaults. Additionally, Due to the easily defensible long bodies of land that stretch out towards the Emerald Sea called The Teeth, the town has become a prime location to fortify and stage raids from.
Summerhelm is another town that is prosperous purely due to its location on the main trading artery that travels through Etharis on to its final destination of Hrist. Because of this Summerhelm is a highly fortified for a town fi its size with a sizable guard to protect itself and the roads clear of bandits and Thrull raiders trying to pillage and loot merchants and travellers alike. Due to being the only viable way into the heart of Grarjord via land, the Kandar province understands that this is their first defence against the Bürach Empire is the event of an invasion.
Runeheim, like the other towns built in arable land in Garjord, is considered a neutral zone from all fighting and raids by the other clans. However, the trade agreement between the Bürach Empire and the Kandar province has created a steady stream of low costing grain and produce, and the inaccessibility to the Thrull province, has left the town in solitude and rather forgotten. Because of this the cultist group known as the Blood Daggers had been unopposed for numerous years until a new gang called the Grey Rogues appeared and are currently wrestling for control of Runeheim's underbelly.
P. 236 (CG)
Castalore is the capital of the Raevo province, a spiralling fort like city built on the top of a cliff, coiling like a snake up to the summit and beyond. At the base of the towering fortifications are the golem guards by the 10 foot high portcullis gate, ready to rebuff any attempts at a siege from their neighbours to the south. The higher one travels up the spiralling city, the more affluent the locale. At the very top of the city lies the Nightingale Tower, the magocracy's seat of power.
Erlefort is the capital city of the Nordenland province within the Bürach Empire and is ruled by the Arch-Duchess. The city, located in the western portion of the province, is home to and known for its various colleges devoted to each branch of magic. Due to these colleges, any mage who aspires to make a name for themselves in the Bürach Empire goes to Erlefurt in order to gain mastery at one of the famed Great Colleges there. Norden mages are renowned for their skill and intellect, and remain in high demand throughout the Empire, and with no established magical college in Grajord, throughout the Valikan Clans as well.
P. 119 (CG), 31 (PG)
Landhaus, once a small village, has turned into a bustling town purely due to its location. Being founded on the crossroads of the main training artery on the western side of the grey spine mountains and the only river that connects the capital of the Bürach Empire, Altenheim to Gräffendam, this town gets a lot of through traffic. With three times the number of taverns and merchants than an average town of its size, Landhaus is constantly abuzz with the sound of music, bartering and trade, and of news and rumors from all over Etharis.
Nestled within a plunging valley sits a vast man-made dam. Spanning the breadth of the valley, Gräffendam exists today as one of the most impressive feats of engineering Etharis has ever seen. The majority of the dam appears to be carved from obsidian-black granite, yet how the dam was initially constructed remains a mystery. Prior to maintenance undertaken by the current Bürach Empire, it is believed that Gräffendam was built by the Grebenstein dwarves.
The upper classes take their social status literally, residing on the domed roof of the dam. Called the Gildreath, the aristocracy have constructed a perpetual winter wonderland. Gildreath teems with villas and evergreen gardens draped in magical lights. However, the base of Gräffendam is a hive of crime and poverty, with the growing population establishing a vast ghetto of rickety high-rises sloping up the outer wall of the dam.
P. 124 (CG)
Malkovia is an Independent city within the Ostoyan Empire. Whilst being neutral in the conflicts between Soma and Raevo, Malkovia has much closer ties to Raevo due to its close proximity to the city of Castalore. With every passing day, the City inches ever so closer to joining the province of Raevo due to the ever increasing threat of the Soma province, and is rumored to currently be in the final processes of joining the Raevo province. However, this rumor gets spread ever few years.
Walstein, once a large city within the Bürach Empire, has long since been reduced to ash. Due to having been overridden with the Tears of Hunger, a condition that is spread via blood contact such as a bite or scratch, the Thaumaturge declared the situation to be too much of a risk to the rest of the lands of Etharis. In a rare public conjugation of the archmages, a spell was cast that left nothing but smoke and ash to linger in a deep crater that was once known as the city of Walstein.
P. 220 (CG)
Duesenberg Is a large town that is renowned for its carpenters, whittlers, cabinetmakers, and any other occupation that you can think of that uses lumber. being built on the large river network that travels through the Bürach Empire, the lumber harvested from the surrounding forest is easily transported to its destination.
Ulstenburg, much like the rest of Unterland, is mostly surrounded by marshland. Due to not having much arable land, the city relies on trade for most of its grain and the use of its renowned hunters for its meat. The people of Ulstenburg have made warfare the main profession, with both men and women training and working to create a more efficient and ruthless killing force through both its soldiers and its strategists.
Grabenstein, once a dwarven city before the Expansion War, is now devoted to mining and smithing for the war effort. Even though the original city is in ruins, a fort has been created and is now controlled by the Bürach Empire, with only a few smithy buildings of the old city being restored along with the mines. The populous of non-military folk at Grabenstein is largely dominated by Dwarves, not wanting their mines to be mutilated by savage Bürach hands. The Fort has large walls to the east blocking the only pass that rival that of the capital Altenheim, and houses enough artillery to make even the dwarves at Stehlenwald green with envy. This is the nexus point for the majority of the Bürach Empires military might, in an effort to both fend off the advances of the Ostoyan Empire at the only known path through the Grey Spine Mountains large enough for an army to pass. It also acts as a starting point to stage their own raids into the traitorous rebels that long ago left the glory of the Bürach Empire behind.
P. 6 (CG)
Fallowheart is the town turned primary garrison that defends the Ostoyan Empire from the raiding parties of the Bürach Empire and is one of the few locations that the armies of both Raevo and Soma meet in a somewhat uneasy peace.
Little is known of the Ravencourt Sanctuary, and the mages who return from it will not be drawn into discussing it. All that historians have gleaned is that the Sanctuary is an academy and haven for mages and that a permanent blanket of fog called the Mistwall obscures the horizon. This is the first line of defence of the island that holds the Ravencourt Sanctuary.
P. 137 (CG)
Crowsbend is a small independent city that freely trades with all that wish to. Whilst widely considered to favour with the Soma province, they have made no formal declaration of fealty to the province.
The capital city of Altenheim is the largest city in the Bürach Empire. As the saying goes, “All roads lead to Altenheim.” Trade routes eventually find their way here, some from as far away as Grarjord. It is also the safest location in all of the Empire, as Altenheim is known for its high walls and towers that make a siege unlikely to succeed.
P. 116 (CG)
The Burrowfell Mines are the largest, and one of the only, sources of ore throughout the Ostoyan Empire. Under the control of the Soma province, the entrance to the valuable mine is as heavily guarded as the front gates of the capital city of Nov Ostoya itself. Though few outsiders have ever seen the insides of the mine, those that have say that the architecture doesn't resemble that of any culture they have ever seen.
The city of Riven sits on the edge of the Black Mire in Eastern Soma, tucked within a curve of the Black River that empties directly into the Great Eastern Sea. Built atop the muck and mud, the city’s foundation is as unstable as it comes. The buildings slowly but inexorably sink into the ground, are abandoned, and then, once the building has completely submerged in the sludge, new construction is built atop it. The townsfolk have taken to building their homes on stilts, to give themselves that much longer before their house is swallowed by the mire, but some eschew this and instead construct their homes and quickly and cheaply as possible, making it all the easier to abandon later. Centuries worth of homes and other structures lie beneath the current city, and chimneys and rooftops can be seen emerging from the soil in places, especially on the outskirts of the town.
Decades after the Gods’ End, an enormous palace of shining, opalescent towers and silken banners appeared atop a mountain overlooking Abendland. The castle’s owner is the archmage Martorius. He claimed that he had lived on this land before the Bürach Empire even existed, but had spent the intervening years traveling between dimensions in pursuit of his magical research. Now, he assured the Unterfolk, he had no interest but to observe developments in the Empire as they unfold.
P. 125 (CG)
Vollendorf is another town that has grown to its size purely due to its location. Built on the main trading artery of western Etharis and at the cross roads to the city of Stehlenwald.
Nestled in the wide gulf called Bite Bay north of the Charneault Kingdom, the citystate of Liesech deploys its dense web of channels and ditches in a constant fight against the sea. On the city’s eastern side, an impressive fortification system relying on water once protected the city against the Bürach Empire’s ambition. On the west side, a giant harbour and arsenal face the sea.
P. 179 (CG)
The marvelous tiered city of Stehlenwald resembles a celestial stairway carved from granite and marble and adorned with statues—a feat of architecture and engineering unrivalled throughout the land. The Quartz Palace at the topmost level of Stehlenwald remains one of the wonders of the Bürach Empire. Being the only city within the Bürach Empire that is not wholly influenced by humans, the city has a large mix or non-human races seeking refuge within. Stehlenwald is home to not only the dwarves that founded it, but also the gnomes that fled there during the expansion war and the ancient race of the dreamers, which were discovered after digging too deep into the Rock-Teeth Mountains.
P. 6, 10, 121 (CG), 14 (PG)
Besion is a city that boarders both the Charneault Kingdom and the Bürach Empire. Because of this the city is constantly under threat of occupation from one army or another. Currently, the Charneault Kingdom has claimed the city and has fortified it against the inevitable assault from the Bürach Empire. Both civilizations desire control over the city due to the strategic control it grants, being the only viable passage by land for armies and merchant caravans to pass from the Bürach Empire to the Charneault Kingdom and vice versa.
The town of Lunsk is built mostly from the timber harvested from the Stillborn Forest around it. Tightly-packed rowhouses line muddy streets, lit by red glass lamps. Lunsk is not free from the rule of the vampires, though none make their home in the city itself. It’s far too backwater for any of the vampire lords to deign to set foot here. Instead, they send thralls or vampires of lower rank to the town monthly to collect taxes and maintain the vampire lords’ interests. The arrival of such officials from Nov Ostoya is always met with a smile in public, but most citizens—including the mayor—grumble about when in trusted company and behind tightly closed doors.
Unlike Riven and Lunsk, Voyd has its walls to protect the populace, so is less concerned with attracting creatures, meaning they utilize regular lamplight, torchlight, and fires. Voyd is the most cosmopolitan of all three of the towns, due to its geography (it lacks the wilds of Lunsk and the muck of Riven), and gives the characters a glimpse of the situations they may find themselves in when they get to Nov Ostoya. Though not as large as the capital city, Voyd is nonetheless walled, with cobbled streets and stone houses, full of well-dressed nobles that aren’t quite rich enough to make their way to Nov Ostoya (but are always looking for ways to change their fates). This town primarily subsists on commerce and trading, through there are farmers who herd sheep, cattle, and other animals in the rolling fields outside of the city. A risky job, they are often well-armed and on high alert for bandits or beasts.
Nov Ostoya is the capital city of the Soma province and depending where your fealties lie, the capital of all Ostoya. Founded by the Volker noble family after fleeing from the Bürach Empire, Nov Ostoya started as a hub for sea trading, fishing, and whaling due to its natural harbor. However, having been built over the bones of an ancient metropolis that had sunk beneath the earth ages ago, when the land shook and the fissures opened throughout Soma these cracks also split into the capital. With this came the immense amount of necrotic energy that darkened the skies through most of Ostoya. Even to this day the skies remain dark and overcast, with the younger generations not having ever seen the sun.
P. 129 (CG)
Nestled among the southern foothills of the Rock-Teeth Mountains, the most ancient elven city of Etharis stands as a monument to a proud race. Here, one can see elven architecture that predates even the Bürach Empire. It’s impossible to tell precisely how long the city has been standing, as the archives of Tol Leyemil are closed to non-elves. However, elves of all origins and subraces are welcomed and accepted here, like wandering children returning to their ancestral home. Thus, Tol Leyemil has been called the Last Free Elven City, the final stronghold of the Fair Folk.
P. 27 (PG)
The most famous of the castles within the Charneault Kingdom is Castle Lamesdhonneur, the capital of the kingdom, built between huge waterfalls. The capital holds the seat of government and residence of the current king, Thibault de Sauveterre.
P. 146 (CG), 27 (PG)
Camont, residing on the edge of the Thousand Rivers, makes use of bountiful harvests the land provides with its near magical vigor that is not seen elsewhere within the Kingdom. The word around the local farms is that a knight of old made an oath with a local spirit and ever since the land has not only never had a bad harvest, but the crops grow fast, strong, and full of flavour.
Voros, the most eastern castle within the Charneault Kingdom, is most well known for containing the headquarters for the Company of the Free Swords, an ancient and elite organisation dedicated to mercenary work.
P. 184 (CG)
To the southeast of the Charneault Kingdom is a cursed place that no one approaches: Tol Kerdwyl, the Dead City. Here, skeletal trees feed off of poisoned waters, corrupted nature spirits are at their strongest, and the Dark Mist prevails over all. Tol Kerdwyl is the bastion of Thaelkinei, the Lich Princess.
P. 28 (PG)
This large village is the primary human settlement in the area. Situated on a sloping hill on the south side of the lake, it is almost entirely surrounded by water. Bonneseaux is under the jurisdiction of the larger town Vertechutes, situated two days’ walk to the northeast. The reeve Lucius Balder is in charge of enforcing the kingdom’s law in the west area of Vertechutes’ jurisdiction, which includes several villages in addition to Bonneseaux. However, of late rumor has been going around that a red figure that emerges from the mists has been slaughtering merchants and villages in the area.
P. 247 (CG)
Renowned for its work with tapestries, all of the knightly orders commission the great deeds and oaths of their knights through Houiville. The castle of Houiville also contains the in-depth details and stories of all of the tapestries along with a copy of the tapestry in case the original needs to be recreated.
The only people capable of locating the Temple of Mists without guidance are the elven shamans that regularly perform rituals there. These Elves promised to help in appeasing the Spirits of Nature, responsible for strange and supernatural manifestations, wherever they happened. To put their words into action, they created the Circle of Bondmakers, a community of elven shamans who reside within the temple of mist and regularly wander the Kingdom to restore or strengthen their bond with the spirits, wherever they might cause trouble.
P. 141 (CG)
MONT DE LANCEY
Mont De Lancey is famously known for the squires that they produce. What makes the stand out from all of the other schools is that they take anyone who can pass their entrance exam, regardless of whether they are of noble or peasant origin.
THE SHADED HAVEN
Settled by Kainen Alabaster, the Shaded Haven is a small lakeside village that serves as a sanctuary to many lycanthropes who have recently turned. The settlement boasts thriving fishing and agriculture, but export is limited to the neighbouring towns and villages within the Charneault Kingdom. It is also known to have one of the greatest herb depositories throughout all of Etharis.
P. 151 (CG)
In the center of an immense lagoon on the southern coast of the continent, the city-state of Morencia occupies a central place between the Charneault Kingdom and the Castinella Provinces. With an affinity for navigation, combined with a rigorous and perfectionist mentality, allowed Morencia to develop the fastest and most reliable ships ever built. In time, the Morencians also revealed themselves to be risk-management experts, which further established Morencia’s reputation as an inevitable trade hub.
P. 174 (CG)
The seat of government for the Castinellan theocracy, the province of Toletum is the nation’s military nerve point. Toletum possesses a proud military tradition, one that matches Bürach’s own province of Unterland, with various military schools have been established outside of the city, each one competing in annual games to gain prestige and attract more students. Supporting this militaristic stance is a highly developed smithing industry. It is said that the fires of the Ember Forge never go out, not with the continuous flow of coal and ore from the nearby Corova Mountains.
P. 24 (PG)
Visitors entering the Castinellan Provinces by sea most likely enter through Faro. Located at the fork of the Salves River, the harbor city of Faro projects their naval power not just in the Castinellan Provinces but across the whole continent. As the economic powerhouse of Castinella, Faro provides an enormous food supply for the Provinces, largely sourced from a superbly fertile land called the Blessing. With the fine produce from the Blessing’s farms, the bountiful fish from the Salves, and the presence of wild game from the surrounding forests, Faro has more than enough to feed its citizens and trade with other nations.
P. 25 (PG)
Therpena is known for three things: expensive fine wines, elite cavalry, and the Arcanist Inquisition. Therpena’s vineyards, located in Sante Viegre, dot the temperate mountain slopes. Sante Viegre wines are prized everywhere, but the Castinellan theocracy has a monopoly on its industry. A black market for Sante Viegre wines bustles away from the Inquisition’s watchful glare. Therpena is also home to the High Cavalry School, making Therpenan riders, renowned for their racing and mounted combat. The province also holds the Ember Cairn, the ancestral home of the dragonborn and current headquarters of the Arcanist Inquisition.
P. 25 (PG)
After uncountable years of wandering, the Dragonborn finally returned to their ancestral home of Ember Cairn after being driven from it during the expansion wars. Thanks to the generosity of Sagrado Valieda, they were able to reconstruct their city destroyed eons ago during the Era of Expansion. The ember Cairn now also holds the Cathedral of Embers, the headquarters of the Arcanist Inquisition.
P. 169, 172 (CG)
THE SEA OF TURMOIL
The Sea of Turmoil is named such due to its rough and unwieldly nature. Currently only foolish Thrull raiders looking for a stealthy approach into Kandar sail through these waters.
The Cindergast, a group of volcanic islands, lie to the northeast of the mainland and serve to imprison a host of fire elementals. Of late, however, It there have been reports of these fire elementals testing the boundaries of the weakening magic that holds them there, searching for a way off the islands.
P. 161 (CG)
Far to the northeast, where blizzards rage and the aurora blankets the night sky, lies an icy wasteland where the coldfire rages unchecked. Volgen is a jagged peninsular that is said to be the resting place of Gormadraug’s heart. Volgen has few distinct landmarks. The land is covered entirely in jagged ice spires and outcroppings. Ice floes float on the surrounding ocean, making it treacherous for wooden ships. Those who have returned report seeing mysterious figures roaming the icy wastes. If it is true, how they could have survived in Volgen is a great mystery, nearly as much as the question of what they are doing there to begin with.
P. 161 (CG)
Within western Grarjord lies the land of Thrull, a forbidding land dotted with icy peaks and frozen forests. While the land shows hints of green from afar, its soil is of poor quality for farming. Thus those who live there feed themselves the only way they can—by taking from other lands. Upon the island of Holgar lies their capital, the harbor city of Tyburn, a central port for longships. Three clans settled on the island of Holgar: the Rune, who embody elemental magic best; the Sýr, great metalsmiths; and the Völgr, a warrior society. Though the three feuded time and again over land and grazing rights, they generally maintained cooperative ties with each other.
P. 154 (CG)
On the western edge of the great tundra is a perpetually frozen lake, at the heart of which stands a great fortress of ice. This is Frostmere, the stronghold of the Melwarg, evil frost giants led by King Olag. The Melwarg are not natives to Grarjord, but exiles from across the western sea who searched for lands to claim as their own. From Frostmere, they raid Kandar and have been known on occasion to join Thrull war parties. Unlike the elementals, the Melwarg do not wish for the return of the Gormadraug and do anything in their power to suppress its worship. They have declared themselves mortal enemies of the Cult of the Great Wyrm and attack its members on sight.
P. 161 (CG)
Grarjord, the northernmost section of Etharis, is a land of pines, tundras, glaciers, and the forbidding cold. To survive, the warring Valikans must fight not just each other but the unforgiving environment, rampaging elementals, and the ongoing threat of coldfire. Since the Schism, the six Valikan Clans have been divided into two provinces: Thrull and Kandar. Both of these factions are in a deadlock for control of Grarjord.
P. 22 (PG)
With the threat posed by Thrull, the remaining clans of Mithra, Limri, and Morgong banded together to defend themselves against wicked incursions. The nation of Kandar opposes the barbaric tenets of the Prismatic Circle and embraces a progressive approach to other nations. Unfortunately, Kandar does not possess the same fervent unity of Thrull; the leaders tend to bicker over everything, including how to best handle the matter of survival. Kandar’s capital of Hrist lies in the center of Valikan lands. Despite the strategic benefit this provides, Kandar fights battles on many fronts. In the west, they must deal with incursions from Thrull; to the east, they must contend with coldfire emanating from across the sea. Now that the Bürach Empire is making offers of protection in exchange for some Kandar’s sovereignty, a bitter argument has arisen among the clan leaders— surrender part of their freedom for an alliance, or forge ahead on their own?
P. 23 (PG)
SHADOW STORM GULF
This calm and placid gulf is aptly named the Shadow Storm Gulf due to its rare but spontaneous storms that seem to appear out of nowhere.
The Teeth is a collection of long and narrow slithers of land that protrude from southern Grarjord and northern Nordenland. This area is heavily patrolled by the Thull's longships.
THE VALIKAN CLANS
Far to the north, at the frozen edge of the continent, lies Grarjord, the homeland of the Valikan. Each day, the hardy folk who dwell there face the dangers of the elements, the harshness of their faiths, and numerous wars fought in the name of their beliefs. Life is short among the Great Clans. The six largest clans are the Rune, Sýr, VölgrMirthra, Limgri, and Morgöng. These six Clans are split into two warring provinces that have completely differing ideals and cultures.
P. 152 (CG)
Long been named as the focal point of magical studies in the Empire, Nordenland is politically split down its center. West Nordenland has declared itself loyal to the Bürach Empire, while East Nordenland has taken advantage of the Empire’s distraction and declared itself an independent state. Two capital cities exist: Erlefurt in the West, and Ulmirac in the East. While an uneasy truce reigns between the two factions, the schism remains as deep as ever, with both sides maintaining troops at their borders. Travellers, and especially adventurers, have trouble crossing the border between East and West, as both sides are quick to suspect strangers of spying for the other side.
West Nordenland specializes in arcane magic. The city of Erlefurt began as a mage college, training wizards for many years before growing into a city. A total of eight wizard schools have since arisen in Nordenland, and while graduating from one is considered a great honor, Erlefurt’s Magister College is considered the foremost institution for arcane magic, rivalled only by the Ravencourt Sanctuary in Ostoya. Meanwhile, East Nordenland draws magic entirely from the natural world. The capital city of Ulmirac houses the Order of the Golden Bough, the most powerful druid sect in the Empire. Nearly everything worth learning about nature can be found in their Library of Trees.
P. 18 (PG)
The only active volcano in the Bürach Empire, Mt. Vengeance was thought to have been extinct for centuries before the Gods’ End. The energies caused by the war between the gods seem to have ignited its fires once more. That said, something else seems to be happening deep in the bowels of the volcano. Powerful magical energies ripple from the crater, and some scholars of magic speculate that this is due to the presence of an imperial artifact. Since these rumours started, many adventurers have tried to investigate the volcano. The few that returned bore horrific burn wounds and tales of creatures made of flame and shadow. As for the artifact, if it is there, none have seen it yet.
P. 125 (CG)
Far to the north lies Soma’s rival for control of all of Ostoya. Raevo is a province ruled by wizards, a magocracy that fights to abolish the Soman nobility and find a way to end the undead supremacy. A delicate balance of power exists between the two provinces. While the Raevans are technically at war with the Somans, they are sometimes forced to work together to repel the Bürach Empire. Thus, both are incapable of destroying the other while their common enemy exists. Raevans built their city of Castalore with incredible foresight—they knew that they would one day be besieged, whether by an invading Bürach force or by their own countrymen, so they built their city as a fortress from its inception. Castalore sits atop a cliff and is shaped like a snake coiling upwards. High stone walls and a ten-ton steel portcullis protect the lower city. The higher one goes up the spiral, the more affluent the neighbourhood; at the very top sits Nightingale Tower, the magocracy’s seat of power. Raevo openly supports the Order of Dawn in their bid to fight the Crimson Court. Whether this support is entirely benevolent or merely pragmatic remains to be seen.
P. 134 (CG)
Abendland is the region where Aurelia, Goddess of Healing, Hearth, and Home, perished. A part of her celestial body rests within the province, where it still radiates a small part of her sacred magic. The capital city of this region is Altenheim, the largest city in the Bürach Empire and also its capital.
P. 122 (CG)
THE BÜRACH EMPIRE
Nestled in the northern region of Etharis, the Bürach Empire presides over its domain like an old lion ravaged by illness. Once a beacon for grand civilisations everywhere, it is now a shattered nation, a nest of corrupt nobility seeking to revive old glories, lurking monsters that prey on the unwary, and desperate common folk trying to survive both.
Though it is still viewed by most of its neighbours as the political, military, and economic superpower of Etharis, those within the Bürach Empire live each day with the sense that the end is near. Whether that end comes by war, cults of strange gods, rebellion, economic collapse, or the otherworldly threat of the Beast, the Empire is seeing its last days.
P. 113 (CG)
THE GREY SPINE
The Grey Spine is a massive mountainous range that splits the middle of the Etharis landmass from north to south in two, separating the Bürach Empire and the Ostoyan Empire. The foothills of the Grey Spine mountain range provide a source of iron and precious gems. A major volcano, Mt. Vengeance, lies near the north of the mountain range.
THE OSTOYAN EMPIRE
Ostoya was founded centuries ago by Bürach secessionists—migrants who fled the fledgling 129 The Bürach Empire The Ostoyan Bürach Empire’s tumultuous early days to find a more peaceful country. East of Grey Spine Mountains, surrounded by forests of pine and cold, pale mists, Ostoya stands in challenge against the Bürach Empire. It’s a testament to the magnitude of the Ostoyan threat that despite the Empire’s extensive military, they are reluctant to wage a full-scale invasion against their neighbor. Ostoya is a haunted nation, steeped in necromancy and secret, unholy pacts. Beneath the surface of the land lies a vast sunken metropolis, the City Below, through which untold hordes of undead roam and often reach the surface. This undead plague has created the Crimson Court, the vampire aristocracy that now rules the southern province of Soma, and have thus far held all challengers to their power at bay.
The northern border of Ostoya is similarly formidable. Raevo is a secessionist province that has defied the Crimson Court with the help of powerful allies: the mages of the Ravencourt Sanctuary and the undead hunters of the Order of Dawn. Despite their efforts, the wilds of Ostoya still teem with undead that boil up from the City Below. Its necrotic power has covered the skies with black clouds that block sunlight. And after sunset, Ostoya is even more dangerous.
P. 128 (CG), 20 (PG)
THE BLACK MIRE
In the eastern portion of Ostoya, near the Dire Shore, a forest of aspens, willows, and oaks give way to fetid wetlands full of slow-moving, brackish water. The Black Mire has not been thoroughly explored. Most cartographers are forced to turn back due to the treacherous terrain, bad weather, illness, or swamp monsters that accost them as they travel. Many an adventurer has met their end in the swamp’s murky embrace. Stories persist that covens of hags dwell within the far reaches of the swamp, and that they are willing to make bargains with those who come searching for them. One must beware when dealing with hags, however—often the payment they demand is something one is not willing to part with.
P. 137 (CG)
Rauland is the seat of the Empire’s arms and crafts industry. People from all over the continent come to Stehlenwald in hopes of learning from its schools of architecture, woodwork, stonecraft, and most of all, smithing. The fortunate few who show talent (and the majority with good social connections) may apprentice under a maestro, eventually founding their own shop in Rauland or elsewhere. Such a craftsperson would find themselves in great demand all over the continent.
P. 19 (PG)
Unterland is a large swath of marshland and a haven for warriors. In their capital of Olstenberg, the Unters train a host of new fighters, paladins, and rangers. Students of war find a treasure trove of reading material in the Ironblood Archives, while those seeking to prove their skill and win fame may participate in wargames held at the Imperial Arena. For those from outside Unterland who aim to be warriors of great renown spend every available coin to join the famous Academy of Swords. Attendance in the Academy is free and mandatory for capable Unter citizens; each person takes two years of rigorous military training, an achievement they wear with honor.
The Unterfolk are skilled hunters and trackers, capable of living off of the wilds--a necessity given the limited arable land in the province. Their tracking skills have been sought for mercenary work, even by foreign nations. Raised by Maligant to be the most powerful of warriors, the Unterfolk have made soldiering their main profession. Such is their ability that even common foot soldiers from Unterland make good combat instructors in other provinces.
P. 124 (CG), 19 (PG)
The Rock-Teeth Mountains, known to the dwarves and gnomes as Hermansdatt, Is a natural border separating the Bürach empire, Charneault Kingdom, and Liesech from one another. Within the mountainous range one can find Stehlenwald, a city dominated by dwarves and gnomes, and Castle Martorius.
P. 120 (CG)
The stilborn forest is the main lumber source for the province of Soma and distributed form Lunsk. However, As the folk from Lunsk have discovered, the forest can be dangerous enough during the day and certain death for those that travel through it during the night.
The southernmost province is entirely under the thumb of the Crimson Court, a cabal of vampires that have ruled the land for centuries. From their capital of Nov Ostoya, the Court projects their power across its borders, backed with undead soldiers and necromancy. Soma’s wealth is concentrated in the capital; each day, the goods from farms, workshops, forges, and fishing boats wind up here, as do taxes from all provincial towns. An underground economy does exist—the Ebon Syndicate does brisk business here when it comes to smuggling and human trafficking, but even they are obligated to pay a cut to the nobility. The Court’s vampiric nature is universally known by the citizenry but never spoken of, especially not to outsiders. In fact, despite the prodigious cloud cover blanketing Ostoya, which allows vampires to walk about for short periods during the day, neither the Grand Duke nor his Crimson Court is often seen in public. Instead, the aristocrats prefer to hold lavish masked balls every few months.
P. 21 (PG)
THE EMERALD SEA
The Emerald Sea, named after the green tinge to the waters, is regularly used by merchants, raiders, sailors and all manner of monsters that live in the deep.
To the uninitiated, the nation beyond the enchanted forest called the Grove Maze seems like a promised land of magic, fairy tales, and unbounded natural beauty. Here, the Spirits of Nature can still walk in physical form and communicate with mortals. Yet darkness and corruption now grows in the Charneault Kingdom, driven by the lingering enmity between elves and men. The Charneault Kingdom covers a vast expanse of land in the southwestern portion of Etharis. Its name comes from the elvish Caer Neiada, which means “land of a thousand rivers.” The Kingdom stretches from the Grove Maze in the northeast to the Thousand Rivers to the south. The Rock-Teeth Mountains form a barrier against the Bürach Empire in the north.
The Charneault Kingdom began with much promise. King Aymeric Noblecouer ended a generation-spanning war between humans and elves and brought peace across the Thousand Rivers. Aymeric forged the Pact of the Sacred Lands, which hinged on two special tasks. The elven king would bring his first daughter to the enchanted Temple of Mists, where she would learn the ways of the shamans and help keep the balance with nature. The humans would maintain order across the land through the establishment of Knight Chapters, organizations founded on honor, virtue, and a vow to vanquish evil. With this agreement in place, both sides lived in peace and prosperity. That is, until the dark elves’ curse.
P. 26 (PG)
DARK OAK GROVE
A halfling caretaker and her many companions once tended a wondrous forest of towering black oak trees on the outskirts of Tol Kerdywel. In her capable hands the grove flourished, and travelers from across the kingdom came to admire the wild sanctuary of rare and beautiful flora and fauna. However, travellers today will find no such splendour. The grove has become a place of death and decay. Its once-magnificent oaks have rotted from the inside out, spotted with mushrooms and furred tendrils. Nobody truely knows what happened here, but one thing is certain though: those who venture into Dark Oak Grove return permanently altered, as if the decay and stagnation have settled into their very being. They are plagued with dreams of death and cruelty, and often experience vivid hallucinations of being a walking corpse. Regardless of their destination, wise travellers avoid the grove at all costs.
P. 151 (CG)
THE THOUSAND RIVERS
The heart of the Charneault Kingdom is studded with hills, between which countless rivers flow. Where hills suddenly give way to a valley, rivers will converge and form a lake that remains covered in mist for most of the year. These rivers are what grants the Kingdom its great farming land that is envied by others.
P. 139 (CG)
THE GROVE MAZE
The Grove Maze is a range of wooded hills where adventurers easily get lost. It is said that the groves themselves move, while the rivers dry up or flood without warning. The Grove Maze cuts the kingdom off from the rest of Etharis to the north and in particular, the Bürach Empire and its ever growing desire to expand.
GULF OF LIONS
The Gulf of Lions is a mass of water that is constantly bustling with the flow of merchant ships traveling along well known trade routes. Currently the Gulf of Lions is dominated by the crippled Mighty Fleet, licking its wounds after suffering a crushing defeat of their attach against Morencia.
P. 169 (CG)
GREAT EASTERN SEA
The Great Eastern Sea is well known for its strong winds and high crested waves. Presently the Bürach empire has a large naval force set up in a blockade around Nov Ostoya to hinder the Ostoyan economy and limit military funding.
The mountain spine running north to south through Castinella has its foothills in Corova, the northern part of Castinella. There, many mining towns have emerged to exploit the numerous minerals available. The Watchers of the Faithful, a militant faction dedicated to serving the faith of the Arch Seraphs, have established their headquarters in Corova.
P. 164 (CG)
The southernmost nation of Etharis, the Castinellan Provinces, are found on a peninsula marked by scorching winds and dry heat, reflecting the turmoil of the citizens that live there. Castinella is composed of three main provinces: Toletum, Faro, and Therpena. Originally ancient enemies, the warlord Montego Valieda rose to power and united the warring provinces under the banner of the Arch Seraph Empyreus. Valieda proclaimed himself the Uniter, and those that defied him faced torture and death. Now a fully militaristic theocracy, Castinellans take their faith deadly seriously.
P. 24 (PG)
The Shattered Peaks are the homeland to the Dragonborn race, and origin of the original ancient city of Ember Cairn. Legends tell that the mountains themselves were shaken in the catastrophe of the Great Purge when the original city of Ember Cairn was attacked, and thus were shaped into the Shattered Peaks. Now, with the restoration of the once ruined city, the mountains contain Ember Cairn and with it, the headquarters of the Arcanist Inquisition.
P. 164 (CG)
In the southernmost part of Castinella, the mountain chain abruptly breaks up into many strange mountain protrusions called the Shattered Peaks, with the Dragonborn city of Ember Cairn in their centre. Many small rivers run between these peaks, and the area, called Sante Viegre, has become dense with vineyards. This is due to the Shattered Peaks shelter them from the strongest winds and provide shade within the blistering heat, while the peaks catch rare but strong rains that feed rivers. Such conditions are perfect for growing fruit and especially grapes, from which the thoroughful winemakers create marvels that are highly prized all over Etharis. Merchants used to come from all over Etharis for first-hand access to the best wines in the great Therpena Wine Festival, but this tradition has lost most of its vigour as the Castinellan theocracy established progressively tighter regulations on the wine market.
P. 176 (CG)
According to legend, this body of water first formed on the spot where Aurelia’s first disciple struck the ground with her spear to create a spring. The miraculous water gave life to what once was barren land. Today, the sprawling city of Altenheim sits at the edge of this lake. When the goddess Aurelia fell to Earth, most of her body was burned away by her descent. What remained was her head, which fell into Lake Osea. Today, her gigantic stone face rests at the bottom of the sacred Lake, where it can barely be seen through the murky waters.
According to legend, the water of Lake Osea was once capable of healing diseases and injuries, but no one would attempt to consume it now. The Hearthkeepers have declared it holy ground and have forbidden anyone from approaching the lake itself.
P. 124 (CG)