The Glory of Mhandelore
Lands around Mhandalore
THE REPUBLIC OF BEL
Bel, as a whole referred to as the Republic of Bel by those within its borders and the Belian Empire by those outside, is the greatest and most advanced nation on Windaria. It is the force for law, order, and stability in the civilized lands, with influence stretching far beyond its borders.
Bel is closely allied with the dwarven city stronghold of Forgekeep, who supply the empire with some of its more magnificent war machines such as the behemoths, large steam powered miniature fortresses of iron on wheels, and zeppelins, great airships that command fear from the skies.
Other lands have very different ties with the republic. The high elves of Valiar respect Bel’s power but do not get involved in large scale events and political influence, but do keep good trade with Bel in finery such as wine and spices. Mandalore stays out of the empire’s business but will loan out mercenary troops to communities on the fringes of the empire for a price.
The barbarian lands of Har Minyar are considered enemies to the republic and trade with them is anxious at best, but the Nation of Falloran keeps good trade from the sea to Bel. Falloran wishes to remain neutral with both Bel and Har Minyar, probably out of fear of the other side.
The people of the republic are very patriotic, for a reason. Advanced civilization and society has all but eliminated the threat of monsters and the like. Bel is one of the safest places to live, assuming you fit mold as a common citizen, fantastic races and lifestyles are something completely different.
Wizardry and magic is outlawed among the populace for the very real and logical fear of individuals attaining enough power to disrupt the balance of order and freedom. Sorcery is confined to government sanctioned guilds and people who have proven their allegiance to the republic, anyone outside of the system is dealt with harshly, with imprisonment and assimilation for only the most cooperative and execution for the rest, or banishment for the lucky powerful few.
Religion has taken a back seat to logic and politics and the old gods’ influence is rare and weak. Few of these temples allow their followers to become full clerics in their service, for divine magic is still magic, and its unrestricted use can upset the government. The only widespread religion in Bel is the Church of El, the creator of everything that exists and the only true god; all other gods are said to be otherworldly beings of great power but not truly divine. Its priests draw no obvious magical power and this is accepted as normal among the followers.
Har Minyar is known as a place of savagery, where grievous warrior priests oppress the south and uncivilized brutes terrorize the frozen north, at least that’s what people unfamiliar with it say. In actuality it is a rich and diverse culture full of passion and bravery. Religion is a part of everyday life for everyone within Har Minyar, from curiosity about the new gods to the standard and overwhelming majority worship of the old gods.
The cold northern lands of Old Rondor is the home of rugged barbarian clans who hold bravery and family in high regard. In the past they would constantly raid nearby villages and skirmish with rival clans but since the war with Bel they have begun to join together as a people, albeit temperamentally.
The people of the southern lands in and around Southgate and Gris are traditional sailors and fishermen who live by their emotions. Brawling and arguing are considered just as virtuous activities as loving and service, so long as everything is done to its fullest with bravado and heart.
Har Minyar was somewhat ruled by the war hero Volk von Dragoon until his disappearance, and not much has changed since then due to the peoples’ self-reliant nature.
THE NATION OF FALLORAN
Falloran is a rich and powerful kingdom ruled by King Sen’el, a firm and just leader presiding over the welfare of the commonwealth. The principal of law is constitutional with a king chosen by heredity or crowned by popularity to follow the word of law, written by the Council of State, until the time of his death or when he is seen as unfit to rule by health or corruption. While the king is the head of power in the nation he is still bound by the Decrees of Sovereignty, a series of laws which make up the government of Falloran.
Great commerce and industry in the coastal lands make the commonwealth a powerful nation, mostly unchallenged through the years due to its profitable trade with other lands and the naval power it holds. Falloran stays neutral in the affairs of other countries and its trade pacts with all other nations keep it from suffering from aggression. Its citizen’s freedom cast it in an inspiring light and the people of other countries can find no reason to justify any conquest or invasion.
A recent influx of travelers from Ozganith has brought much new diversity to the nation. The Valmar Armada trades regularly out of Port Killian and Comminyon is beginning to join the profit. Ovalo and the new gods have been embraced by the people of Falloran, with new temples popping up all the time. The growing base of magic on the coast is gaining influence, with strange and new sorceries from the west seeking wealth and fortune in Windaria.
The Valiar Forest is a vast expanse of temperate woodland and the domain of ancient elven societies. Fantastic and usually dangerous creatures roam free in the deepest woods.
The thick central western area is a wild, primordial forest and the home to various sylvan elf tribes who live without the restraints of civilization. Their villages are built to be one with nature, with adobe huts and massive treehouses, although even these settlements are rare. Wood elves have a general distaste for all outsiders, they tolerate their high elf cousins but others are met with forbiddance or outright hostility.
High elves inhabit the eastern woods beyond Arinel Lake and, although the forest itself isn’t as wild, the area has troubles with bugbear raids and other such menaces coming from the Barrier Mountains. They are quite tolerant of other races and peoples, not judging humans until they are given reason to. Trade and commerce is good with Bel and Falloran.
The lands of the Northern Reaches are an unforgiving environment of snow capped mountains, boreal forests, and arctic tundra. Far too cold and wild to be tamed, civilization is virtually nonexistent within most of the area. Life still exists here but it is mostly monstrous, with creatures well suited to the frigid climate thriving without any higher races trying to subdue them.
The North Barrier Mountains do have a small amount of intelligent monsters and humanoids but their societies are primitive at best. Trolls roam the southern side of the mountains and frost giants can be found to the north. Farther north into the cold woods of the Forbidden Aspens there can be found sparse monster habitats such as lycanthropes and dire animals. Only the most hardy cold climate monsters live beyond the forest in the tundra, although frost worms and remorhazes are known to prowl the frozen wastes
GREAT BARRIER MOUNTAIN RANGE
The dominating feature on the eastern region of Windaria is the Great Barrier Mountain Range, so named because its size and magnitude is such that it is nigh impassible. The North Barrier is considered a part of the same chain but the Blood Mountains to the south are separated by enough steppe and wasteland to be detached. Vast differences in climate can be felt from higher to lower latitudes, giving life on the range great diversity.
The northeast portion of the range contains dangerous creatures suited to the temperate elevations such as giants and giant eagles. Bugbear tribes dominate the areas further south and other goblinoids are known to live in the foothills. More civilized races, dwarves and gnomes, maintain control over the southern mountains.
A more predominant habitat in the Barrier is underground. Prominent natural cave systems and vast subterranean societies are found throughout the range. Most, if not all, fiercely opposed to intrusion by above worlders.
The Angor is a vast expanse of bone dry desert and flowing sand dunes. Natural life deep into the desert is virtually nonexistent where it never rains and giant sandstorms periodically sweep across the land. The edges of the Angor are far more habitable with small villages and nomadic tribes found in the Norzone Steppe and modern cities along the coastline.
Ruins of cities and temples occasionally get uncovered by the sea of sand, reminders of civilizations that existed before the desert took hold. These discoveries rarely last as the shifting dunes bury them again. Monstrous beasts are the only creatures known to live comfortably in the desert, making travel there all the more impossible.
The Norzone Steppe is a semi-arid area north of the Angor controlled by the Suna Hadim horsemen, a nomadic tribe of humans who are extremely territorial. The few villages they allow to remain in their lands are only there to be used by the nomads as places of rest and supply.
The lands to the east of the Angor are collectively known as the Beastlands, a varied landscape dominated by monster races of all kinds. Many different tribes, clans, and groups of creatures roam the broken wilderness reigning with savagery in their respective territories. Societies go from one end of the spectrum to the other; primal horrors in the Bellagor Jungle, fiendish misanthropes in the Blood Mountains, and tyrannical civilizations in the Gaunt Badlands.
The Blood Mountains are so named because of their reddish coloration caused by large amounts of hematite and ochre. Many types of monsters live in these mountains and competition between them has gotten so fierce over the centuries that personal territory has become the most important thing in their life. Rarely is a community, group, or herd of monsters seen, instead the strong individuals hold on to their little spot of the mountainside and defend it furiously.
Bellagor is a dark primordial jungle filled with unsympathetic cruelty and danger. Native species within tend towards the strange and disturbed, both in body and mind. It’s as if the jungle itself drives its inhabitants to feral madness. The creatures and aberrations of Bellagor are constantly attacking each other and any visitors. In fact, some say that explorers and adventurers who enter the jungles will eventually succumb to the same madness, but this is probably because of how violent the setting is and the only way to survive is to fight back.
The more social races live in the areas between the jungle and the mountains or desert, most of which is a broken rocky landscape known as the Gaunt Badlands. Foul and villainous species reside here out of necessity, the surrounding areas are either dominated by humans and dwarves or simply too dangerous for them. Most congregate in the bleak and stormy foothills of the Blood Mountains where the old country of Dominus is located, now humorously renamed “Ünderland” by its newest ruler.
The rainforests of the Ixtical Peninsula are a lush and feral wilderness full of dangerous beasts and savage indigenous people. The mighty Charos River dominates the landscape creating primal jungle environs completely unsuited for settlement by any civilization. Monsters and beasts thrive in the warm climate in great numbers, the sights and sounds of the jungle are overflowing with life of all kinds.
Primitive headhunters are scattered throughout the land with small family villages well hidden in the underbrush. Constantly fighting for survival, they never leave their deadly jungle even with surrounding lands being much more habitable. No communication has ever been established with these savages so their origins are completely unknown.
The Charos River is especially dangerous as deadly aquatic life is predominant in the deeper interior of the rainforest. The river is home to legendary crocodiles and serpents that are feasted on by traveling hoards of carnivorous fish.