The Continent

The Continent comprises the entire known world. It's said that other lands lie across the sea, but none have reached them in living memory. Starting from the southern desert and moving clockwise, the geography of the Continent is as follows:

The Great Southern Desert is divided into two halves. The eastern half was previously known as the Kingdom of Hali-Ka, ruled primarily by Humans and Half-Elves fleeing persecution in other lands. Theirs was a stern kingdom born of the harshness of desert sands. Its two major cities, Jal in the north and Vann in the south, are now run by the Horde. Jal's ruler is the Hobgoblin Warlord Shagzot, while Vann is run by the tyrannical Bugbear chieftain Zuytush. It's rumored that Vann is among the most oppressive cities for the "civilized" races, where slaves are run through the street and hunted for sport.

The western half of the desert, formerly known as the Southern Desert Wilds, is now known to have a major city on its western edge named Ithtin. Few civilized races have seen its interior and lived; it was constructed over many years to host the invasion of both Hali-Ka across the desert and the Scattered Isles to the west.

Those isles, comprised of four large and innumerable small islands, once hosted a motley group of petty kingdoms made primarily of Humans, Gnomes, and Elves. These kingdoms struggled with each other and spawned dozens of pirate bands hiding in tiny coves and hidden harbors. They couldn't stand against the naval invasions spawned from Ithtin and the Mess, falling quickly to the invaders and now ruled by the Horde. The Resistance has heard that a number of pirate bands still survive in the islands, evading pursuit by the Horde just as they once did from the petty kingdoms.

North of the Scattered Isles lies the Mess, a huge swampy area long hostile to civilization. This area, like the other wilds, is now known to have hosted a quiet buildup of the monstrous races for many years, and the Mess played host to invasions of the kingdoms to the north. Its capitol city of Crushtovalk, deep in the swamp, now ruled by goblins and gnolls, left behind by their stronger brethren who have taken over the better lands elsewhere.

Just north of the Mess lies a wide forest once known as Tseth, ruled as a theocracy by the Dragonborn. It vied with invaders from the Mess for some time but ultimately fell when they got no reinforcements from the Dwarves or Humans to their north. The remaining Dragonborn have formed their own guerilla efforts and spurn contact with the organized Resistance. Their two great cities, Tsethlok and Tseth-Van, are now ruled by Hobgoblin leaders who have started cutting down wide swaths of forests to fuel a huge expansion effort throughout the region.

A large mountainous region north of Tseth along the coast was known as the Kingdom of Krat-Mak, ruled by Dwarves for centuries. When invaded from the Tundra to their north they fought back as long as they could, then retreated underground and sealed the gates to their great cities. The Resistance has not yet made contact with any of them, if they survived.

Just east of Krat-Mak lies a fertile grassland known as the Barrier Kingdoms. These petty kingdoms had long-standing alliances with each other to protect against bands of monstrous invaders from the Land's Spine and the Tundra Wilderness. Together, they protected the Dwarves to the west and the Dragonborn to the south for many years. They fought long and hard when the invasion came and were among the last of the civilized kingdoms to fall. Many Resistance fighters come from this area, where scattered bands hide out in the mountains and canyons to strike back at the invaders wherever possible. Weston, a major city in the west, is now ruled by Orcs who regularly send hunting parties into the mountains to try and pry the Dwarves out of their strongholds. Easten is run by a Hobgoblin warlord high in the ranks of the Cursed God.

The Tundra Wilderness has been a forbidding frontier for centuries. Many monstrous races nurtured their strength there, especially Gnolls, Trolls, and Orcs, and waves of them emerged during the great invasion. After their success they founded a new city, Vishnik, which has rapidly expanded under the watchful eye of the Orcs.

In the center of the continent a huge primeval forest has long withstood the civilized races. Known as the Central Wilds, only the monstrous races found any limited success within its awakened edges, and even they had to fight back against the fierce forces of nature that thrive there. Their capitol city, Godsmount, is founded on a large hill near its center, and patrols regularly travel the trading routes to keep them clear. Little is known of the city other than the fact that the Horde speaks of it in reverent whispers and no civilized races are known to have visited it and lived to tell the tale. The Resistance has found several refuges along the edges of the Wilds.

Further east lie the Chill Grasslands, a windy steppe where Humans and Elves once raised herds of cattle and lived a nomadic life. Today, all races of the Horde have made settlements across the area, and the large city of Platt at the eastern end has become a major trading hub run by a Hobgoblin who values his advisors of the civilized races.

The forests of the Dalibran Republic were once ruled happily by a coalition of Gnomes, Humans, and Halflings, but their cheerful glades are now run by Orcs and Hobgoblins. Roaming packs of Gnolls stalk the forest halls. A powerful Orc Lord rules Foreston at its center, and he is well known for his cruel treatment of the civilized races. Resistance bands are spread wide through the forests, relying on stealth and hidden strongholds to fight back against the invaders.

The Greenlands once hosted many peaceful farming communities of Halflings and Dwarves. They have since been resettled by Hobgoblins, Goblins, and Orcs, but the new rulers of the Greenlands have forged an uneasy peace with the civilized races here. The Hobgoblin ruler of the region rewards those who help teach his people how to farm and rule, and as a result the civilized folk have a much easier time here than they do in many other places. The Resistance has had trouble making inroads here – not only are there few places to hide, but the common folk have started making peace with the new order and are unwilling to fight back and risk the cruelty they hear of in other lands. The three major cities here, Gardenhome, Opal, and Gateway, are relatively peaceful and the invaders live in near-equality with the civilized races.

Few people – monstrous or civilized – have ever lived in the small mountain range separating these areas from the Empty Wilds, nor have those icebound regions ever had many inhabitants. Today both regions serve as refuge for Resistance bands although they barely survive the harsh winters of the region.

The Regal Isle lies off the southern coast of the Greenlands. Its northern half was once a noble kingdom of Elven and Dragonborn scholars, who lived a quiet life and studied art and philosophy. After being invaded by a wild force from the Desert of Clarity to the south, their ways were overthrown and a new order set up by Hobgoblins and Orcs who captured the ancient libraries and sent many tomes of knowledge basck to Godsmount. Pelinn remains the primary port for access to the isle, although the Orcish city of Fanghove in the desert is growing rapidly now that Gnomish slaves have been brought to build new irrigation projects to make the sands grow green. The majestic city of Ellantir was ripped from this realm in a mighty magical spell at the height of the invasion, and none now know how to reach it or if it even still exists.

The Land's Spine, the mighty mountain range at the center of the continent, harbored the monstrous races for centuries. It is riddled with caves, ancient strongholds, and places of evil, though it now plays host to the Resistance in many places as well.

The continent as it now stands:


 

The layout of the old Kingdoms:

The Continent

The Darkening levicjordan