Seeds of Despair
Area 1: Quon Tali (GHE): the center of human civilization, a xenophobic and imperialistic society. There are a few internment camps, namely for dwarves and elves. These races are strictly second-class citizens and have no real rights. All others are considered monsters, and have been pushed west and north to the Fenn Range. The Fenn Mountains are a remote, barren area with no value, and so has been relatively ignored. The wilds inside the Empire itself have been tamed, except for bands of trolls which have remarkably hard to track down and kill. With the recent death of the Emperor there are several factions vying for control: nobility, guilds, and military. The nation is on the brink of civil war. The Vorzeen Purge, led by the famed Mage-Killers, left little remnant of magic, or at least forced practitioners into hiding, but several cults have recently sprung to light. It is a time of religious awakening and hidden holy wars. It is difficult to tell where anyone’s allegiance lies.
vs The Fenn: the defeated humanoid races all forced together into the Fenn Mountains. Inbreeding over generations has caused random genetic throwbacks and there is little uniformity even within the same family. Gnomes, Goblins, Orcs, Bugbears, Ogres, Hill Giants and others, all now just collectively known as the Fenn. They range in size, shape, temperment, strength, color. Some are monstrous fomorian mutants, while others can pass for human at first glance. Most are ignorant of their background and history. In general they are a weary and beaten, ill-equiped people separated into tribes, fighting for a meager existance with the limited resources in the barren mountains. Fenn is also the name of their common creole language. They have the tags: barbaric, scavenger, night vision.
Area 2: Seven Cities: The desert and scrub-lands, sparsely populated by nomadic tribes. Ancient civilizations, abandoned cities of antiquity. As decade-long droughts rendered the former plains into wastelands, the great cities have slowly died. Only the hardy gnolls and their hyenadon steeds have survived as the main power. The largest human settlements are actually ruled by gnolls, who keep other races as slaves, and as food. The free tribes are united under the seer Sha’ik, who has welcomed the GHE and asked their help to destroy the gnolls. So far the gnoll skirmishers harass and avoid the GHE armies rather than face them in direct battle.
Area 3: Audhum/Jhag Odhan: The slips of beach and ancient primeval woodlands are inhabited by human barbarians. They are in the beginnings of the bronze age. They have always huddled in small clan-keeps for protection from the forest-devils, but recently the forge, written language, and domestication of the bhederin ox, have given a needed edge against the darkness. Beside the threat of the forest-devils, they are also systematically raided by an advanced sea-faring culture that comes in great ships and takes away children. Inland, across the almost impassable barrier mountains, there are vast pristine grasslands, steppes, and plateaus. This area is Pleistocene, including Neanderthals, giant cave bears, smilodons, and dragons. Ogres rule the center and war across the face of the land continuously.
Area 4: High Cromlech: Bosch: The Undying Lands are a collection of ancient city-states, a once incredibly progressive and united society now fallen into decay. The city-states are ruled by liches of unknown power. In broad strokes, they’re isolationists that preserve the status quo, but who knows what goals they move towards after centures of un-life. So far their undead armies have halted the advance of the GHE. Zombies are the standard labor force, but the living in the city-states are still necessary in vital government positions and as craftsman, as the dead aren’t the quickest thinkers and are limited in creativity. There is a low caste of vampires which are strictly controlled because they feed on the limited living population, but when well-fed they are able to wield great strength as shock troops. The only paths to power are in the ranks of the necromancers, or in the fairly inept freedom movement. Show too much independence however and expect to be snuffed and recast as a zombie.
Area 5: Ampelas Rooted: Laogzed: This land was thought to be empty and the GHE settled quickly and pushed far inland with no resistance, harvesting the great forests and stripping areas for their immense farms. Little did they know that below the surface lay a seemingly endless, savage Troglodyte Nation. In one night, known as the Night of the Dying Moon, entire towns were overrun and dragged down into dank caves. Now the humans have been forced back to coastal cities overflowing with refugees, and in a few isolated inland towns that sit on solid bedrock. There has been limited contact with a group of elves that lie to the north. These Tiste Liosan elves seem strangely unaffected by the troglodyte wars.
Area 6: New Crobuzon: The Marghuul: The GHE has met another empire, also expanding outwards. This is a racially diverse empire, simply known as Tash. Demons walk among them as citizens: from slaves, to soldiers, to advisors. The rulers are a Council of 9, made up of the Great Houses who vie back and forth for power. They are known as the Demon-Lords, and their army as Soldiers of the Abyss. The lesser Houses continually push the borders of Tash further out as they look to increase in status. The conquering of nearby lands is not always done through combat, as assassination and bribery are commonplace. Tash is a carnal haven, and its said you can find whatever your heart desires within its borders. Though this is often followed by the whispered advice, it might be more likely that you end up a sacrifice in some bizarre ritual.
vs Darujhistan, the free city, greatest city in the world, and the Pannion Domin to the south.
Area 7: Korelri: Grindylow/Deep Ones: The Shattered Lands are a group of innumerable islands to the south. History notes this used to be one continent that was broken up the warring of the Gods. The local fringe population are fishermen and small pirate kingdoms. At first they fell easily before the strength of the GHE, but then their forces were supplemented by Sahaugin. The Sahaugin were thought to be a closed society that killed all outsiders on sight, so how this alliance came to be is a mystery. Most of the Empire’s naval fleet has been called together in order to try and shuttle men to the larger islands, and take control of the central land masses. However, its been hard to fight an enemy who simply dives into the sea to escape, and who can rise up from the depths anywhere at any time.
Area 8: Jakuruku/The Scar: Blasted Lands: A land of stone and ash. Out of control magicks destroyed this area and incinerated its original inhabitants. Now its features are relatively flat and grey, with howling ghost winds and acid rain. Geometrically incorrect, spatially bizarre barrows pierce outwards from the stone and cut through layers of ash. Within Jakuruku the barrier between the planes are thin and frayed. Strange, unearthly monsters populate Jakuruku, and while some quickly die off from the change in environment, others seem to thrive. There are several GHE military and research outposts here.
Particular to each continent/area. Age: Savage, Ancient, Roman Age, Dark Age, Mid-East, Oriental Culture. or Golden, Silver, Stone (old, middle, late = palaeolithic, mesolithic, neolithic), Copper, Bronze, Iron, Medieval (Early, High, Late), Dark Ages, Renaissance, Early Modern.