City of the Giants
Iridia: The human kingdom where you live, which has been at the center of the conflict with the Warlock Lord since the beginning. They are a fairly standard-issue medieval kingdom, with a powerful centralized church, the Triune Dawn, that doesn’t really approve of druids and elves, or the lingering Old Faith which venerates them. That said, the old gods have friends in high places, and the Inquisition isn’t powerful enough to enforce their will on the population at large. The day to day affairs of the kingdom are run by the seven Great Houses of nobles and the bards and wizards of the Royal Academy. There are lots of halflings living here too, especially in the cities.
Anwin: A barren wasteland of rocky hills northwest of Iridia, haunted by great beasts and bandits. The Warlock Lord’s armies bivouac here in the off-season, and for the last two decades, he himself has lain low in the center of the barrens, in the vast subterranean complex beneath the City of the Giants. Giant monsters, prehistoric ruins, armies of evil, vast dungeons, lost treasures – this right here is where the action is.
Khorogrim: Khorogrim is a dwarven mountainhome between Jotunsmarch and the northern border of the Waste of Anwin. It is ruled by the Mantlevaynes, a clan of warrior kings, pyromancers, and runesmiths famous for their sky-faring fire chariots. The slave-priests of the mountain dwarves are said to know the secrets of the black iron kalshok that even dragonfire cannot touch. They are slow to befriend outsiders at all, and they loathe the frost giants with a hatred centuries old.
Jotunsmarch: Jotunsmarch lies far to the north, a cold archipelago inhabited by Viking raiders descended from the frost giants of Niefelheim. They stand 6-8 feet tall and know only the taste of stolen bread. Yes, you can play one. Their traditions of magic are disorganized, but they often practice shamanic magic, skin-changing, and the way of the baresark. There are a lot of dwarves here too, along with a few actual frost-giants, and they hate each other ferociously.
Dragons’ Reach: Southwest of Iridia, the cliffs of Dragon’s Reach are home to a proud race of human fishermen, whalers, mariners, and merchants. Their nobles have dragon blood and are powerful sorcerers. Attempts to keep the magic bloodlines strong in the noble houses result in a lot of inbreeding and the occasional child born as a Dragonborn throwback. You see a lot of gnomes and hill dwarves here.
Solanacea: Solanacea is a decadent human empire west of Dragon’s Reach, run by a shockingly benevolent cult of necromancers. Its citizens live in patrician leisure, supported by the toil of undead slaves. Their Legions are among the best soldiers in the world, but have been so endlessly ground down by the Thirteen that most of the outlying provinces are lost. They never liked Iridia in the first place, but especially not after the stunt the Iridians pulled in Mayfair a decade or so back.
Mayfair Province: Just west of Iridia, and north of Dragons’ Reach, Mayfair Province used to be a province of Solanacea until the Thirteen swarmed the province and killed just about everyone there. Seeing a chance to found a real homeland, the halflings of Iridia moved into the smoldering wreckage of the Solanaceans’ temple-tombs to found colonies. The resulting shires are a little bit hillbilly, a little bit Indiana Jones, and a little bit zombie movie.
Utiqua: Utiqua is a city-state that dominates the inland sea east of Iridia. It is ruled by dark-skinned human and tiefling traders, explorers, and pirates, who have colonies all along the southern isles. They are a strict and honorable people, and the word of a Utiquan is their bond. In addition to the teeming chaos of merchants, slavers, blood sorcerers, diabolists, and mystery cults, Utiquan territory is covered in dozens of competing schools for kung-fu monks.
Kalendra: Kalendra is Iridia’s neighbor to the north. A human kingdom of forests, cliffs and high moors, they are culturally something like Arthurian Britain. They worship the fey spirits of the forest. The yeomen have kind of a Robin Hood thing going on, and the aristocrats’ favorite things are paladins, nobility, dragonslaying, and paladins who nobly slay dragons. You occasionally run into gnomes and elves in the woods, but they keep to themselves.
Veil: North of Kalendra on the flank of Elenost the elven-wood, Veil is barbarian territory. The inhabitants are humans with a lot of elvish blood. Almost all of them dwell in grotto-cities, buried under great earthen mounds in the forest. They are a shamanistic people, ruled by half-elves, ancient mound druids, earth sorcerers, shape-shifting barbarians, and ranger commandos in camouflage cloaks.
Elenost: Far north of Kalendra and Iridia is the forest of the wood elves. It is ruled by the xenophobic Horned King from his citadel in the branches of the massive Heart Tree. Elenost is wound tightly with mazing spells that cause most intruders to get lost and starve to death. The elves are in decline, and many portions of the wood are wild or cursed. The elves keep gnomes, satyrs, dryads, centaurs, and other forest creatures as allies.
Athenspire: This is the last surviving kingdom of the High Elves, who invented wizardry at the dawn of time. The city’s location is one of the world’s great mysteries. Any mortal who discovers it is never permitted to leave again. Athenspire is ruled by the High Queen of the Elves, a sorceress who led the elves into exile from beyond the veil of worlds. They say she longs to collect the last of her wayward kindred and abandon the mortal world forever.