The World (Sfartalheim Supplement)
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Vast open flat expanses with some trees cover the lands in the eastern parts of the Continent. Great dark forests holding sacred groves fill the middle of the known world and these aging tall trees still whisper secrets to those that dwell near them. The north has harsh snowy regions where only the fittest survive for those that value isolation or strength. In the west, the Continent touches the waters of Titanicus Oceanus, which seems to stretch out infinitely beyond the horizon. To the south lay the sea traditionally called Unzer Meer and the fertile lands that would snake around the currents. Just the fact the Continent has more than enough impassable mountain ranges, grand grasslands, and disputed borders make it hard for the law to be present in some places. Ancient ruins from the time of the Elven Empire or older, litter the former provinces of the continent-spanning empire and luring scavengers, artist, adventures, and madmen alike. Unnatural landscapes or buried artifacts still cover much of the different realms most people inhabit.
With the death of the last dragon marks a time when the realms have now started forming into vast empires. Where the lust for gold sent people to explore and faith in religions started conflicts. When states started to force mages to become state servants. Nobles ruthlessly try to expand their power as the realms centralize. Along the edges of civilizations comes the last charge of the barbarous to bring ruin to soft that kind.
In the north exist the sub-continent of Skanza where the native Snow Elves and Nordlings dwell. The Helgola mountain chain exists running parallel to the northern coastline making the migration to directly north or south in the peninsula impossible. People would have to track their way hugging along the sea to reach the other side of the land after crossing the Solso River. For those that are near the Holtzen mountain chain, their lives very much depend on the Balto River keeping them feed while much of the north is either swamps or woods. It also comes as no surprise that the Skanzen market relies upon the lumber and mineral exports to prosper, whereas the other parts of the known world lack in the sheer quantity that the northern realms can provide. During the summer, the climate changes to be more suitable for farming unless the land becomes marshy. In winter, practically all of the lands north of the Holtzen Chain becomes a frozen ice sculpture.
In the east is said to be the shield of the Continent, the lands were known as Osterland or the Steppes. On the far east side exists the Ungan mountain chain, often used as the natural defenses against invaders from beyond the known world. Both locals and foreigners have avoided the Diniper Marsh that is a huge obstacle right in the middle of the sub-continent, for all intents and purposes, those swamps are a deathtrap for most people. Many of the urban centers exist along the Belo River in the south and two big cities near the Rus River in the north. Nomadic tribes still roam the northern grasslands as the soil isn't fertile enough unlike the south, near the Caser mountain chain. It is commonly thought that Osterland starts north of the Caser Chain and east of the Diniper River. What is infamous to outsiders is that everywhere north of the Belo River is where the weather can be as hot as Southron then get hit with a blizzard from Skanza.
Everything east of the Leeon and Rheen Rivers, south of the Holtzen Chain, north of Hochpine Chain, and west of the Diniper River is known as Sentra. This place is the center of the known world and has the both the highest urban centers and forest reservations. The people here either use the Leeon, Rheen, Danu, Kasper River for farming in much of the realms. That means many of the cities are also located along these rivers as well. Deep dark forests where Elves dwell also exist all over the realms of Sentra, non-Elves should be careful when venturing these places as the locals might have a kill-first-ask-later policy. It is also important to know that the only major overland trade routes into Vesterland and Skanza run right through Sentra. The fact that so many cities exist in a dense manner relative to the rest of the Continent means the highest craftsmen production is also located in the central realms. Sentra's location also means that it has the most different amount of cultures and races as well, especially considering that the Humans tribes migrated from the east while some Elves moved in from the north and Gnomish mountain tribes were displaced in the south.
The land located west of the Rheen and Leeon River is known as Vesterland, with the irrelevant island of Eier with its Themes River included as well. Much of the coastal north, east of the Naferra River and the Seth Chain, are known to have lowlands where many Gnomish peoples inhabit. Everywhere along the Rheen, Leeon, Argonon, and Schvib River known to have the most fertile lands in all of the known world. It wouldn't come as a surprise that Vesterland also has the highest farmland to a person per capita in all of the Continent. The Seth Chain and Naferra River exist as natural barriers separating the sub-continent into two halves. The Bask Chain is most famous for being where Halfling tribes once lived before the Elven Empire colonized the lands. The Schvib River is named as such after the first Human tribe of Schvabe that settled there. More recently, the realms of Vesterland have expanded their military and merchant fleets with imported lumber from Skanza and Sentra, following their attempts to explore the world.
To the south of the Hochpine and Caser Chain is where Suthron exists. Once a very fertile place, now, the only places for farming are either in the north near the Black and Silber River. Although the Tygerus and Eufratis River in the far south-east still keep cities alive, the lands around it aren't fertile at all as it once was. The Parthean Chain also there as the marking point to delay invaders from the south. Right in the center of Suthron is the Erg Desert which is left largely unmapped by both the foreigners and locals alike. The Ionian and Lydian River are both named after the ancient Dwarven cities of Lydia and Ionia which can no longer be found. Just to the east of these rivers is the Pont River where much of the marine trade pass through before reaching the rest of the Continent. Those traveling into the Oceanus or along the coast down south often use the Pont River as a rest-stop before going further. It shouldn't also be too surprising that the north-western coast of Suthron is littered with merchant republics.
The lands of the north are known for its cock shaped peninsular and snow. Eternal arctic winters, spring forests, and fair summer seas hold the place indefinitely. The native fauna is that of tough stock which can withstand the yearly period of solar starvation and harsh winds. The Holtzen mountain chain is the geographical landmark that divides Skanza from the rest of the Continent, along with being Jutmark's natural border with the DEH. The naming of the southern mountains could be of the Sentran Gnomeisch explorer that mapped out much of the south with the last name of "Holts". There has been another recent theory from studying ancient records that suggest that one of the old Dwarf clans named "Hult" migrated along to settle in modern Jutmark.
Much of the fertile farming land exist either along the Balto River or along the Solso. The western Balto River have long been more plentiful than its eastern counterpart, letting much of the Skanzen breadbasket exist in the Kingdom of Jutmark. It would be no surprise that the Jutisch also have the largest state population in Skanza prior to the Union's formation. That is the reason why the city of Kapanhag was built recently to move from the old capital that was more inland, closer to the sea to trade with and the river which provides its food. Shipping mainly commercial goods and food up and down this river is the reason why the Jutisch government was able to effectively govern vast tracts of land with huge amounts of subjects. The Skanii Elven city of Balsinga was also built next to the river, although it was in the water's end, far from the sea. Not to mention much of the mineral deposits located in the Kapan Delta would be absorbed closer to the sea, pretty much letting the Skanii use the leftover diluted mineral for interior farming soil like that of the Solso River.
In the east is the much smaller river of Solso which the former capital of Nordium, now the Skanzen Union's capital, the city of Solso was built next to. Called officially "Solso City" but more commonly called just Solso or Solsoborg, it sits right next to the river which provides much of the domestic food production for the Norden population. It would serve as the natural border, before the Norden invaded that is, between the former Provinces of Nordium and the Droukranz Rike. The peoples of the Norden's east are their rebellious cousins called the Geatisch who have formed their own realm. Literally translating their kingdom's name as "Three-Crowns Realm", the original Geatisch believed that the name sounded majestic compared to the utilitarian Jutmark or Nordium, meaning "Jutisch claimed lands" and "land of the Norden" respectively.
Moving up north is the Helgola mountains which used to separate the Norden and Geatisch territory. It has both perfectly normal rocky mountains and active volcanos which are very hazardous to one's lungs, making mass migration through these mountain passes impossible. This would also explain why most of the population lives and travel along the southern coastline near the Solso River, with the city of Geatholm, meaning "Geatisch hearth", being the only exception as it was deliberately built to be far from Solso. The city was founded in mind that if the Norden ever invaded it would allow the Geatisch the time to amass their armies to defend their capital in time, that worked in all the invasions in the past until the latest war.
Going further in the north which not even trees grow is the vast cold desert the comprises most of the Skanii lands. By far, the Skanzen Elves have the largest part of the useless frozen deathtrap that they call home. Although they have their fair share of trees like the other realms, most of the native homeland is either unsuitable for farming or just plain unhabitable for anything larger than villages. The southern Skanii lands are where most of the Snow Elves live and it is where both migrants and soldiers alike have trampled to reach either Jutmark or Nordium.
The first of the western states to exist in Vesterland is the Kingdom of Occiton, which literally translate "Westerners". This kingdom is famed for the wine and knights with an air of majesty that even lowly peasants have. It used the natural borders of the Rheen and Leeon River and some of the hill lands to mark the frontier between Occitonia and the DEH. There is also a bordering Elven reservation on the Imperial side which is used to smuggle goods across the border if one was avoiding tariffs or moving contrabands. Both the Leeon and Rheen River have many smaller rivers branching off of it provide a constant supply of mineral-rich soil for fertile farming. That also allows the Occiton to have a population boom back 400 years ago when their realm was stabilizing. The Seth mountain chain also existed within Occiton borders to act as the natural barrier to the Grand-Duchy of Mustallyon. Over on their western border exist the Naferra and Argonon River, which also acts as the natural boundaries between the Occiton and the Lyonese. These rivers also provide even more farmland for the kingdom to exploit in the form of additional taxpayers in the borderlands. Ill-di-Occiton is the capital region of Occitonia where one of its ever-shifting capitals are located. As you see, every time the monarch dies, the heir usually moves the capital to a new city within that region. Now, the entire region has become interconnected cities where all of them were the capital at some point in history. Marsail, on the other hand, is a much older city which was founded then abandoned then inhabited again for more than 2000 years.
More to the west is the Grand-Duchy of Mustallyon formed from the Duchy of Mustel and the Duchy of Lyon. It has a rather high amount of Elves what with it having the only two full forest reservations in all of Vesterland, which the Elves have migrated from. The Naferra and Argonon River provide the main source of food for the realm, although the Schvib River to the east runs along the desert and can't be used for farming. The old capital city of Austuris, named after King Austrur the Great, sits next to the Schvib River to allow shipping to the sea. Barcerlon, named after the Elven family of the Barcers who colonized the lands, is a much older city which has been inhabited since 1700 years ago at its foundation. This coastal city is an important trade center in the Unzer Meer and serves as the launching point for many explorers. After the unification of the two duchies, the city of Hispanen was built as the halfway point between the old capitals of Austruris and Barcerlon, while still being far enough away from the drylands. Unlike Occiton, which have fair weather most of the year with heavy rain to sustain the crops, the Lyonese have to make due to the fact that half of their realm is a desert. Only in the south with the Elven reservations and the east near the rivers can grass actually grow. Everything north and far east of the bordering rivers are drylands where only Humans live in. Although there is the far northern reservation where it isn't entirely dry that is the exception rather than the norm, it is also home to not only Elves but also to border disputes between the Wood Elves, Lyonese, and the Voolonen.
Off to the east is the United Provinces of Onterland en Voolon, or more simply known as Voolon to the uneducated foreigner. It has the Bask mountain chain which is used as the natural borders between Mustallyon and Voolon, the mountains were also home to the Halflings before their genocide. The capital city of Anhofen is actually pronounced like "Enhovin" and is far enough away from the sea to be safe from flooding but is connected via canals. Everything east of the Bask mountains is considered traditional Voolonen homeland making up the Voolon part. The Onterlands are a series of provinces located just north of the Bask mountains which are all under the sea level and have a great risk of flooding if not for magic, artificial islands, and dams. The lands to the west of Bask are in dispute between the Ontisch and Lyonese after their recent revolt then defection to Voolonen integration. Lacking in the natural resource of lumber or crops, the Voolonen main exports are the minerals in Bask and imported exotic goods from beyond the known world.
The northern island near the shore of the mainland is the Kingdom of Eier which have unified the bickering Dwarven clans into a respectable state. It was made into one whole after three waves of invasions from the Human Entisch tribes from modern DEH, Gnome Ontisch tribes, and Dwarven Bask clans from Voolon. Being surrounded by water does make these invasions end more peacefully than in total extermination of the native Dwarven Clans, as the invaders have the problem of trickling in what with the shortage of ships to transport entire tribes. Eier would then integrate these invaders into their native Eierisch culture. It is also the only place where the Imperial Elves cooperated in freeing the slaves as the Elven colonial garrisons evacuated to fend off the barbaric invaders in Osterland. This allowed the Elves to be treated to be as equals amongst the former slaves instead of being forced to live in reservations like on the mainland and prevent the Dwarves from trying to exterminate all the Elves on the island. Plentiful with fishes around the coast, the Eierisch are known for being fishers, shepherds, and drunk idiots. One has to understand that the Alimanscher within the DEH is often called "mainlander Eierisch" as a derogatory term by foreigners for seeing them as drunk disorganized barbarians. The river Themes is located in the south and serves to supply the main source of water for farms, with the grazing animals being found in the midland. Built on top of the ancient Elven city of Lundium, Lochester is the capital along with being the trade hub of all of Eier. For the most part, this irrelevant island stays quiet on the Continental political stage except for that one time they tried to claim the throne of Voolon and an invasion of Suthron.
The lands of Sentra is made up of only two states, those very states also both happen to be empires as well. The northern half has the Divine Elven Hegemony while the south is ruled by the Ar'suaton Empire. The Holtzen mountains in the far north effectively separate the DEH from Jutmark as the natural borders. The eastern border is marked with the Diniper River and would mean entering marsh territory beyond it. To the west is the border with Occitonia where the Rheen and Leeon River along with the hill lands make up the borders with the Hegemony. Entisch Human tribes would found the city of Enwarp which now sits along this eastern border with marshes all around it. The southern border seems like an arbitrary line drawn on a map unless one remembers that many Dragonborn peoples settled along the Danu River after migrating from the east. Helion-en-der-Meer is also located near both the eastern and western border as it is the only southern coastal city within the DEH. Strategically placed to be a trading hub, the original Elven founders had in mind to ship goods to Barcerlon and beyond, this also means both the Occiton or Tsunon have tried to take Helion-en-der-Meer before.
In the south exist the Elven Elector-Duchy of Reiland which also serves as a forest reservation. Their wooded fortress city of Reier have never been touched by invaders and it was for that reason the local Wood Elves demanded to become an elector territory. Just outside of Reiland is the Elector-City of Sudofer, which was built after many Occiton heretics fled into Imperial lands, and the reigning Emperor Augoost decided to round up these heretics to live in modern Sudofer. That is the reason why the natives used an "S" instead of a "Z" naming the city. Granting the Sudoferisch the privilege to vote for secession if they commit more than 3/4 of their fighting population for Augoost's wars to conquer the Rheen marshlands and Entwarp.
Frank-onder-Rheen was the original capital founded by Emperor Franken back when it was known as the Rheenisch Empire. It served to be a cultural center of both the Human Alimanisch and Gnome Rheenisch for a long time, that is the reason why it was granted the power to vote in the Imperial election. The new capital was moved further inland to make it harder for Occiton invasions to reach it in the city of Nurrenborg. Nurrenborg became the administrative center of the Hegemony and was naturally also given the power to vote in the Imperial election. The new capital also has many Hill Dwarves that moved away from the Occiton border and apparently makes piss ale.
Kollstein is given the nickname "Fussmatt vom Nord" as many migrants pass through this city before entering Skanza or Jutmark. Don't be surprised that Dwarves also make up the majority in this place as they and their families all live near the northern mountains. It was given the power to vote after the city's mayor, Yulia Jokumdotor, saved Empress Austrina in a freak market cart accident while she toured the Hegemony. The only other nearest city to Kollstein is the very large city of Magenborg located at the end of the Kasper River. Originally, one of many fortress-cities, it attracted many people when it announced it would renovate the farms surrounding the city and pay for peasants leaving their farms. It also tried to attract many minorities in the Hegemony like heretics, infidels, Tiefling, Dragonborn, and Half-Elves.
Holtschin-onder-Kasper is also founded by Gnomes down the Kasper River and was once prosperous like Magenborg. After a series of floodings and wars with the Wood Elves or Tsunon, this left it a shadow of its former self. Infamous for roaming monster, Orcs, and bandits, life in Holtschin is not pleasant to the say the least. Yet, due to the fact it was one of the first allies of the Rheenisch Empire, it was given the power to vote in the Imperial election. At the opposite side of the realm is the Elector-City of Klammsbruck, meaning "clam bridge" due to it importing clams found it the east and being built next to a bridge. It is pretty insignificant other than the fact Emperor Augustin was born in that city and insisted that the city should be given the power to vote just because he was born there. Unlike in other cities, Klammsbruck is also one of a few places where Dwarves don't massacre the Elves. Many consider Kranzborg and the two Elven reservations to not truly be Hegemonic lands because of the linguistic differences in being thought to be too far east. Never the less, the city is given Elector status when asked to be a voter as it was the only administrative in the far east. That was including the fact that Kranzborg was the only thing that prevented the Wood Elves from rebelling near the Osterland provinces.
The Dragonborn tribes from the east would migrate to conquer then settle along the Danu River. Using the rich farming provinces near this river, they were able to found the city of Eisenstadt with the natural iron deposits to supply the local troops and sell the surplus. The entire idea to create the city was a sales pitch from Princess Fianna to her mother to move the capital from Lienz. Along down the river is the old capital of Lienz, that the Dragonborn tribes took from the native Humans and Gnomes. The southern Mountain Dwarves offered token support to help Lienz and was next in line to be conquered by the invaders. The city exists as the historical center of the empire as it was founded from the time of the Elven Empire, although people know not when it was exactly built.
To understand Osterland, one must where the name of this place comes from. Oster is broken down from Alimanisch of "Ost" meaning east and "er" attached to people of a land. The word "Ost" comes from an older word of "Ast" which also means east, but more importantly, it comes from the word "Astaz" meaning branch in Althochalimanisch. For it is believed that the Humans broke off into separate branches when they first invaded Osterland. Some settled in the east while most either went north or kept migrating west.
The far eastern mountain chain is named after the Ungan, a tribe of nomadic Centaur raiders that first migrated pass the Elven border to start looting the colonies. Although the ancient forts built into the mountains could be used to fend off invaders, it is better used as a delaying barrier to allow the natives to amass a force for a counter-attack. In the north is the arctic wasteland on both sides of the mountains which makes it practically impossible for a large group of people to travel through, much less an army. But somehow the Snow Elves did first encounter Continental Elves after passing through this frozen desert.
On the southern part of the Ungan region is the Kazar Desert where the roaming tribes of Dwarves have settled after freeing themselves from Elven bondage. These group of tribes is known to the rest of the world as the "Karzaks" which have a unique wagon and chariot based lifestyle unlike any other type of Dwarf. One has to understand that the Kazar Desert is more like the flat drylands of Mustallyon than the shifting dunes of the Erg Desert. It also just so happens to have merchant caravans traveling along trade routes through Kazar from both the south and east to Sentra. Karzak Dwarves have found it to be more profitable to raid these groups rather than taking up the plow and hoe.
The southernmost mountain chain is called the Caser Range and was named after the Imperial Elf military governor, Caser Lementis, who subjugated the Gnomes and Dwarves who live in this region. He would go on to establish a series of client states just south of these mountains who would act as buffers. The climate south of this place is very hot compared to the lands north of the old ice caps. Belograd is located in this northern "Lower" Caser region next to the Belo River, which the city is named after, and has some of the most productive farms in all of Osterland around it. Both the Kazar and Lower Caser region is collectively known as "The Stepps", although this makes little sense when considering that Belogradie lands are the same as Sentran lands. The city itself was an Elven colony which slowly freed the local enslaved population over time while hiring some Dragonborn and Human tribes as protection from the other invading tribes. It would later thrive after the Fall of Alfenheim as it shipped trading goods from both the east and west while being surrounded by vast tracts of profitable farms.
In the north is the great grasslands and forest which exist along the Rus River that is connected the Skanzen Sea. There are the two cities of Murminsk and Kiev built along the river to their benefit. Murminsk is a trading city founded by fleeing Elves from the more eastern colonies as the barbarian tribal invaders moved in from the east. It would go on to pay off the invaders to ignore the city while expanding its influence over the lands around it. Kiev, on the other hand, was only sacked once when a tribe of Humans knowns as the Vapes attacked this fortress city. Even that turned out to be in the Imperial Elves' favor when these Humans asked to live peacefully as equals within the city after the sacking as if the locals could refuse. The Kievan Elves would go on to free their local slaves as well after the Pentarchy spread through their lands like wildfire.
To the east of both Kiev and Murminsk is the Diniper Marshes making up most of the center of Osterland. These places are a natural deathtrap for most people except for the natives who dwell there like some Humans, Elves, and Gnomes. Of course, the marshes isn't a good place for farming or for much anything else that matters. That also means that the local population is always low compared to the rest Osterland not counting the northern Ungan lands. But if one keeps going further west there is plenty of farming land to exploit outside of the marshes. The bordering lands between Belogradie Kiev and the D.E.H are marked with the natural line of the Diniper River dividing the two realms. In fact, most of the bordering lands along the Diniper was once an independent kingdom called "Tallia" until both the Imperials and Kivens cut the realm in two recently.
For the most part, most of Suthron is made up of a sandy desert which almost nobody lives in except for a few Dragonborn tribes. This place is known as the Erg Desert, and it stretches from the Parthean mountains all the way to the border of one of the Sudergothic states. There are deadly monsters or grand natural depressions which would kill even most experienced native, that is why even the local tribes don't venture deep into the dunes.
The lands south of the Caser Range mountains are known as "Upper Caser region" is known to be one of only two places for fertile farming lands, as it is located along the Black River that has materials making it look pitch black. Not too surprising that the ancient Dragonborn Partheans and the Imperial Elves fought many times to try to subjugate the land. Each time simply allowing the locals to switch sides if it suits them.
To the south of Upper Caser region is the Parthean Mountains which have long served as a shield for the Partheans from Imperial Elven offensive campaigns to sack Tisifon. For both the life-giving rivers of Tygerus and Eufratis run down south away from the mountains as they are used for either farming to feed the capital city of Tisifon or for transporting goods into the sea down south.
West of Upper Caser region is the lands south of the Hochpine Chain, where trees are plentiful and the grass greener than green. There are a great many Wood Elves who fled from the empire after the fall into this forest. Later on, however, others like Dwarves, Humans, and Dragonborn have settled along the Silber River to start up agrarian societies. For example, what was left of the Dragonborn Tusunon tribes from Sentra would go on to also settle near the river to start building the city of Vrcossar, meaning the "peak of horse riders".
In the sandy lands south of the Silber River is commonly thought to be useless and irrelevant until the city of Medis unified the warring desert city-states to conquer what would become the modern Abbynid Empire lands. These cities built on oasis would exploit the technologically inferior tribes along the Silber River, the 2nd Parthean Civil War, and the disunified petty kingdoms along the Holy Coast.
Going along the coast to the west of the Silber region is what is commonly known as the Holy Coast. It was once filled with ancient cities from even before the time of the Elven Empire, like Ionis, Lydia, and Inteoch. Although now only Inteoch stands as the rest have been either abandoned following the fall of Alfenheim or were razed by the conquering Imperial Elves. The reason why it is known as a holy place is due to the fact both the Prophet Kronus of the Pentarchy and Prophet Muhadien the Elashii have wondered these lands then died there. Thus, both the Pentarchy and Elash religion see these ancient ruins and Inteoch as holy sites. Both the Lydian and Ionian River is named after the ancient ruin cities.
The Sudergoder was one of the original Human tribe which would go on to split from the Ostergoders that stayed in Osterland. These Humans would go on to migrate until they reached modern Godia and build (or rebuilt) the cities of Palmarbo, Saminil, and Buxintum. Eventually, the odd bunch of merchant republics, magaocrcies, theocracies, and kingdoms would be united into the Sudergoder States to fend off the invading Abbynids. The Pont River, named after the old Sudergodic word for harbor, provides for both Palmaro and Saminil. The local Imperial Elves were driven by the Sudergoders into the forests and fought a series of wars to exterminate each other until an agreement was reached to live in peace as long as they can enforce their own law within their own realm. Palmaro was built by Gnomes and Humans to act as a natural trading hub to make a lot of money over time. Saminil was an old Dwarven ruined city that the Imperial Elves razed until it was rebuilt by the freed Dwarves to be used as a resupply point to launch punitive expeditions into the woods. Buxintum is an important Elven fortress-city used by both the Elven Empire and Sudergoders to fend off ambitious Dragonborn raids from the east.