This is home to the Holy Roman Empire, and very much human centric. The ruler claims descent as a child of the gods, one which in many cases is hotly disputed by those who know it is a complete lie and a fabrication. Those in power merely use it as a way to appease the masses and keep them in favour. Their soldiers are some of the finest and most disciplined in the world, their ability to hold formation amidst chaos is legendary.
Those animal races that live within their boundaries are brave, stubborn, or foolhardy – possibly harbouring traits of all. They are barely tolerated and treated as second class citizens, quite often the only way to earn money being front line soldiers, most are not well trained, in comparison with the human troops, and rarely survive past two or three campaigns. Any that do have sympathies are them are called ‘animal lovers’ and are scorned and ridiculed. Any that indulge in inter-species relations are quite often killed out of spite and believing it to be unnatural.
A land full of beautiful pagodas and fantastic silks but the golden road is not as beautiful as those would believe. Beneath the façade lies a web of drugs, slave trafficking and far, far worse. Samurai march the streets maintaining order for the Lords of the Land; many are outright bullies, enjoying the power they wield over others. Away from the cities lie the monasteries and those who dwell within concentrating on inner purity, or some other martial pursuit like the Shao-Lin masters.
In secret a monastery of renegade monks have turned away from their spiritual ways totally dissatisfied with the Imperial Palace, so instead of sitting idly by they have taken a slightly more proactive approach. Not content to sit by and watch has begun hiring themselves out as assassins, trying to locate allies and find information that can benefit them in the hopes of ascertaining a way to topple the current regime – knowing it to be corrupt and evil. The Imperial Court has of late had to quell the odd rebellion, many have been killed. Many Essence Mages, Sword Saints, Assassins, Monks – and their families have fled deep into Khitai forest where none have ever emerged from again. It is also famous for having the strongest and the sharpest blade known.
Many view this as a land of spirits, or nightmare for within reside the canine races, the Coyles, Kankoran and the Wolfen – their true names unpronounceable to most tongues. Generally left to themselves many live in small villages scattered throughout their land, there is only one large city called Angkhor which lies slightly inland from the port.
Unlike the canine races that are more prone to living wild, the feline races aren’t. Consequently they have made several large cities for themselves where they live with High Elves. Together they have created large thriving units capable of producing most of their needs – which as a whole are relatively few.
They view mankind as a savage race one they would stamp out, were they not so numerous, but this is more out of fear for both have been heavily hunted by man. Elf and feline are reasonably swift in chasing off any aggressors, suspicious of any who are merely travelling for that is why they chose this land, it leads to nowhere but the sea.
This is home to many a giant race like the Cyclops, Titan, or the Aesir. Some of the smallest ones are not much taller than some of the largest feline and canine races, measuring at about twelve feet tall – others are far larger and know that they cannot fit in within normal society so they have built their own away from prying ‘tiny’ eyes.
To ensure privacy a Cyclops long dead created many rumours, some were that they boiled any alive, ate them, or just used them for other nefarious purposes. As a result of this massive PR tactic very few dare to travel into the Giant Lands.
It is a place of sands and mysteries. It is also where dark pharaohs rule the land by exploiting those less fortunate. By maintaining a firm hand on their slaves they live in abject luxury by comparison – every whim taken care of, any passion fulfilled. It is this absolute power that has made most rulers abominations to those beneath but lacking the ability to revolt have no choice but to follow.
All are dark skinned, their bodies adapting to the unrelenting heat over the millennia. The two dozen pyramids rise as a testament to their ingenuity and ability to build, but no one, not even the pharaohs that remain are aware of their actual purpose.
Those that die are left out far into the desert as food for the carrion eaters, or for the sand to bury for all time. It is rumoured one pharaoh, Rameses, still ruling is actually the same one from a thousand years ago. Many dismiss this as legend.
Shem / Stygia
Are both lands that have broken free of the pharaohs but they remain primarily under the control of the Taheen, and the Children of the Sphinx. Very few human reside here it being a primarily non-human population. It is a land of great mystery about which little is known.
It is one of the largest unexplored regions of the world, populated by tribes, human or otherwise. Any species that find themselves shunned quite often reside here, many a tribe of Beastmen, or Werewolves has been known to prowl this forest. But the same is true for the feline races, who by their very nature wish to be left alone.
Other even rarer races exist like the living bushes known as Cotati, and the giant moving trees known as ‘Treemen,’ or Ents which many mages believe is their species name. At least those who had been mad enough to attempt conversations with trees.
This is ruled by tribal rule where might makes right, and the weakest either die, or become subordinate. The generic name given to these are Celts which is human or non-human, the so-called civilised do not distinguish between the two, treating them as inferiors and outcasts. Among the humans there are Orc tribes that interact, trade is too strong a term, barter would be more appropriate as there is no currency involved merely the exchange of worldly goods, sheep for rice.
They are savage in the extreme only the foolhardy venture here for unlike their Steppes cousins they are known for their wide use of horses meaning many a wise traveller can outrun them.
A heavily contested land between the Romans and Corinthian’s both requiring the extra area for agriculture and wood.
Corinthia / Zamora
Prone to butting heads and even sometimes open conflict with the Romans as they contest over territory. As a result of mining the mountains for the metals required for metalworking they have found many veins of gold, gems or other precious minerals and as such are a very wealthy nation, but they know it cannot remain like that indefinitely.
Although their troops lack the discipline of the Romans they do have an edge against their enemies, knights all of whom were fully armoured plate mail, large shields with large swords. Many are highly skilled with a variety of weapons. So they have embarked upon military actions into the more or less uninhabited Brythunia, and Nemedia.
This is a land of huge mountains and very little else. A place of coldness and desolation and the rumoured location of Shangri-La which legend has it was hidden untold years ago away from the prying eyes of the unworthy.
Other rumours say that the Yeti can encountered here and many a barbarian has gone to test their mettle never to return, whether it was cold or beast that got them no one knows, for no body has ever been found. This is a vast untapped wilderness except for Mongols who ride horses bareback having neither the luxury nor the time to change saddles.
It gets so cold and your fingers so numb it is almost impossible to undo the clasps, another reason Mongols go without. Where many other factions treat their horses shoddily, these almost revere them for without that means of travel they would die, unable to move fast enough or to capture their food.
This is largely wild territory, similar to the Picts but with one huge difference, it is full of barbarian tribes – not all of which are human. Many are beastmen, satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs and the like knowing that here they can exist here without prejudice, or harm. Here many have settled down, had families, made homes for themselves that many would die to protect.
It is their fierceness in battle and their familiarity with their territory that prevents the Romans mounting a full offensive, but they will in time and it is this thought that has begun to galvanise them – but they lack a clear and decisive leader to unite them as a whole. The other factor the Romans of Aquilonia take into account is that on more than one occasion they have managed to call on the service of one or more giant tribes to assist in repelling an invasion.
No ship has ever been successful sailing to this land, the seas too stormy many are swallowed by huge whirlpools that arise out of nowhere, or are supposedly eaten by huge sea monsters.
It is a mountain that reaches so high in the sky its summit cannot be seen even on a clear day even with the telescopes from sailing ships. At certain times of the year some would swear that lights are visible floating so high in the sky that they resemble stars, except that they move and dance. Some climbers hear distant voices but none have reached high enough to find out for themselves – some have never been seen again – but neither have their bodies.
Within this part of the world lie huge golden topped palaces. Only Eunuch warriors are allowed to work in the palace and each individually checked by the Royal Physician primarily to prevent any from interfering with the royal harem. All are loyal to the last willing to die to protect the Royal family.
This is also famous for its archers, who possess both short and long bows. They are able to shoot with such accuracy, and on horseback, that many a Mongol would be deeply envious. Many soldiers wield a huge curved sword called the kilij, weighted slightly neat the blade to allow extra cutting power, it is capable to inflicting mortal wounds on Beastmen with one swing.
Once famous for their sciences and magic it is all but a ghost town, many claim it is haunted by spirits, gods and who knows what else. Most fortunate hunters avoid the place, seeking easier finds. No one has disappeared yet, but no one has found anything of value yet either so the word is out and most seek somewhere more profitable.
Even famous Khitai is yet to take advantage of the place.
This is one of the few true dwarf havens left but the nearby mountains make it difficult for the Romans to journey to across, at least without being picked off by their black powder weapons. Most races believe it magical but they however know otherwise. Using this mix they have created basic cannons, mortals, the latter is not very accurate unless firing on large groupings of the enemy.
That is not to say that everything they create is technological, as that would also be a lie but they are the only race, even the elves have never managed to create runes that can channel essence. As a result many wear armour that is capable to absorbing huge amounts of damage, none have ever gifted this to anyone else and without an owner the magic disperses upon the wearer’s death.
Is home to the mythological Drow who are so secretive many consider them fables and bogey men, telling stories to their children late at night. Able to use the same tunnel systems as the dwarves they move about unseen able to cover huge areas of travel that most outsiders could never find, or ever hope to consider as a means of travel. Masters of the short bow, their keen night vision enables them to hit targets that even an elf would have no hope or chance of killing.
The Romans something is very wrong though, too many scouts are going missing.
A contrasting area of both forest and sand where Wood Elves and High Elves are able to live side by side, or as close
This land represents what the Romans would consider a reason for the destruction of non humans and degenerates. Desert area would seem like a reason to not have any settlement but a underwater reservoir exists there but unable to change the desert conditions. The state is ruled by a council of Warlords who represents large tribal or mercenary groups in the known world. A nation of lawlessness or land of opportunity is represented here. Trade of any kind go through here whether its basic necessities such as food or a certain living merchandise such as slaves of any kind. People here sometimes come here to escape the shackles of there empire to make something of themselves. Unfortunately often there journey ends quickly.
A mass graveyard of a war between many tribes lays here. Scavengers search through the remains of lost warriors and the generals of the individual armies. There is always a fog that covers the land there and there are rumors of spirits in the fog. Many believe it is true due to the many disappearances there usually are in the dead land.
It is rumoured to be inhabited by a joint society of elves and human mages who have founded a city somewhere deep within the arctic tundra, many believe within the mountain itself. As very little travel that way no one has yet managed to prove or disprove it, but there are large amounts of money to make to someone willing to do so.
Formerly ruled by Rome. Now it is governed by humans who desposed of the Romans through a long and bloody rebellion.
A small state ruled by a group of Dwarves holed up in a large fortress. They are isolationists who contain powerful weapons capable of breaking troop formations and destroying any attempt of siege. They are a complete mystery to most groups but rumors say they go to old ruins collecting ancient tomes and books.