Overview (Age of Peace)
The land of Temir is a lush river valley on the northern edge of the Lankaeran Sea, a part of the Madjan Krugtoje. Once the site of immense kingdoms which stretched beyond the mountains that frame the valley, and home to beautiful cathedrals and cities whose spires rose hopeful into the night sky, it has long been reclaimed by the forest, spires crumbled and kingdoms buried. At its heart stands the last city of the Madjan, called Tachros by outsiders, an ancient word which has long since lost its meaning, and called Jadoch, meaning sundered city, by those who dwell in Scything Crag. Long ago it was the centre of that great empire, a city which has stood for as long as anyone can remember, a hub of trade on the sea and a haven for travelers from all points on the compass.
The Age of Prophecy is over. After centuries of war, it is the Age of Peace, and it is tense. Temir is divided into large territories that grate against each other's edges. It's a more civilized age, the exchange of hostages and diplomats replacing the constant march of armies. The great city of Tachros has made it clear that others must fend for themselves, and keeps to itself, a monolith on the coast. The cities of Isard, Malkara, and Volos struggle to form the Western Alliance, while in the east, Satu Mare has expanded its territory to include several border forts to form the Ksatta Sang Empire. The Demon Kingdom makes its home in the north, around Balefire Citadel and the now ironically named Keeper's Hope, and several freeholds have united under the Stormgate banner. Scything Crag is, as ever, a looming spectre in the north.
For all the talk of alliances, the frontier is wilder than ever. The Witching Wood is home to strange creatures never seen before, the few homesteaders there influenced by mystical disturbances. Therengrad has been gone more than fifty years, the breadbasket of Temir now little more than a wasteland, home to twisted aberrations and ancient constructs.
Temir has seen many changes in its organizations in the past several centuries.
- The Taer’sulei, rangers of the frontier, are no longer the military force they once were. Their members patrol the edge of the frontier, reaching out to settlers and keeping them safe from its many dangers. They maintain the waystations, deliver the mail, and are the voice of the frontier. Their signal can be heard all along the edges of civilization, reading letters and missives, and reminding people they are not alone.
- The Rilador, the pirates' guild who rule Volos, maintain a balance of savagery and respectability. Fierce sea reavers, they also serve as the navy of the Western Alliance, safeguarding their ships from Ksatta Sang privateers.
- The Aecha Ostai, called the Wizards on the Coast, maintain their university in Isard. With the fall of the Therengrad Spellbinders Ring, they have become the singular authority on the exercise of magic in the region. This authority extends beyond education and into legislation. Mages around the sea and in the freeholds must be licensed within the guilds and restricted to areas of operation, to prevent the rise of powerful cabals that can threaten the security of the people.
- Temple of the Ivory Throne draws its strength from dominions who love order over goodness in Tachros and Satu Mare, their Inquisition expanded into a bureaucratic enterprise while other regions fall into schism and paganism.
Several locations of note have come up, and deserve their own space.
- Tachros remains the largest city in the world, though it takes little interest in affairs beyond its walls.
- The Western Alliance is made up of the city-states of Malkara, Volos, and Isard, coastal towns who rely on each other's might in an uncertain world.
- The Demon Kingdom stretches from the Grimweald to the southern edge of the Steel Cup, and is home to courts of wealthy and powerful patrons with an insatiable appetite for novelty.
- The Eastern Freeholds of Athtia, Angwarom, Se'Dath, and Vorasund Keep united after witnessing the conquest of several freeholds by the Ksatta Sang Empire and the Demon Kingdom, as well as the destruction of several through other conflicts.
- The Ksatta Sang Empire is ruled from the Rhiast, the seat of power in Satu Mare, and stretches from the city to the edge of the Five Lakes.
- The Witching Wood is a mysterious place, reputedly ruled by the Prince of Witches. Its residents carry strange gifts with them out into the world, and it's said that no one who enters leaves quite the same.
- Scything Crag is an ancient fortress in the mountains to the northwest of the sea, surrounded by dangerous territory. It is ruled by the Four Lords, leaders of the races most in ascendance, and home to many more races besides that. Illithid, dwarves, stone giants, the Goblin Republic, gnolls, the Shatterskull ogres, and deep Imaskari are known to dwell there, enjoying shelter from the wilds without, but always wary of the beasts within.
- The 5 Lakes Tribes are tribes of plainsrunners who dwell in the southeast, chiefly human, centaur, and minotaur, though the humans maintain most of the villages, slowly giving up their nomadic ways in the face of foreign trade.
- Religion: The Ivory Throne venerates law over goodness, and holds sway in Tachros and the Ksatta Sang Empire. The cities of the Western Alliance each show devotion to a patron deity. Volos reveres Gulnur, god of travelers, Isard Almaz, goddess of community, and Malkara Serik, the god of justice and lord of the Golden Throne. The Eastern Freeholds, and many other areas, have lapsed into heathenism, returning to the worship of the old dream gods, abandoning the sacred for druid circles, or finding it in demon worship. The Demon Kingdom, despite its name, maintains that "Religion is a private matter."
- Communication: the Frontier Rangers largest enterprise is carrying mail from nation to nation, fulfilling their ancient compacts. However, they've also become the guardians of the Signal. Their transmissions from Asaro Citadel are relayed and received by enchanted music boxes across the frontier. Along with the communications relay in Bovi, the Signal transmits vital information, reads letters and prayers, and provides hope and guidance to homesteads and cities alike.
- Diplomacy: with nations divided as they are, the realm is overrun with ambassadors and diplomatic missions, hostage exchanges and alliance arrangements. The Age of Peace requires a delicate balance, and has created a new class of citizen dedicated to maintaining it...or profiting from it.
Races of Temir:
There are too many races living in cosmopolitan Temir to list them all, but here is the perspective of some.
- Dwarves: Forgemasters of Scything Crag, the dwarves craft deadly blades and stalwart armor…For a price. Feared as merchants of death, the dwarves have proven themselves formidable warriors, securing a position in the Four Lords.
- Elves: Savagery and valour have always been the hallmarks of the elves. A century ago the Shadow Elves, witch-gifted teleporters, returned to Scything Crag and claimed a place among the Four Lords. Their Lirasi cousins from the West enjoy the comfort of cities as always, though more and more settle in the Demon Kingdom. Finally there are a few tribes of Ashkel, the original exile elves, remaining in the wilds, though they're still hunted by the freeholds and cities.
- Gnomes: The gnomes of Temir were once travellers and exiles from their southern homeland, but over centuries have made their home anew in what they regard as a land rich with secrets and stories.
- Halflings: The Shoal Halflings dwell in the town of Malkara, strong allies of Tachros since their war with the now banished Kuo-Toa. Primarily traders and merchants, they are best known for their great quarries beneath the sea.
- Goblins: The great Goblin Republic stands at the base of Scything Crag, proudly defending itself against the frontier while serving the smallest among it. The tribes of goblins outside the Republic are chiefly peaceful hunters, who want little more than to worship and thrive in the wastes.
- Minotaurs: Sailors and explorers, the Nirmala have long sailed the Lankaeran Sea. They trade with the coastal towns, and are present in the warlike faction of Tachros, as well as having a longstanding relationship with their colony in the 5 lakes.
- Orcs: Dashing pirates, fishermen, and pistoliers, the orcs dwell in Volos, far from Tachros. The orcs of Volos are renowned warriors, and their valiant defense of their town during the last war is the subject of many songs.
- Kalashtari: Founders of Tachros, the Kalashtari are a broken race. Once there were millions of them living in comfort, but the mindplague whittled them down to barely a hundred, and many of those have emigrated to the Kalashtari lands in Nafaanra, far to the West. The dream of Tachros is over for the Kalashtari, but a few still remain, seeing it through to the bitter end.
- Deep Imaskari: The Deep Imaskari are a variety of humans who came east from Nafaanra a few centuries ago, quickly establishing their magical dominance in Scything Crag, and securing a position among the Four Lords from the sorcerers of the Ushemoi. No one knows why they came, but they seem to be here to stay.
- Goliaths: Oldest of the races of Tachros, the Goliath are ancient allies of the Kalashtari, slow to move, but hard to stop. Distant kin to the stone giants of Scything Crag, what few goliaths there are speak for the isolationist senate faction in Tachros. The world will attend to itself, after all.
- Humans: Humans are everywhere, from the southern freeholds to the farthest homesteads. The world is lousy with them.
- Tieflings: mysterious in origin, the great Tiefling Houses make their way in almost every area of society, all working toward their own goals.
- Warforged: more and more of these ancient constructs have been turning up in the past few centuries. The secret of their construction lost to time, a small colony of warforged make their home in a neighborhood in Isard, keeping to themselves as the world goes by.
- Dragonborn: Servants of dragons and longstanding participants in the Great Game, the ten houses of Dragonborn maintain themselves close to the masters they idolize. Their loyalties are always suspect to outsiders, as they place their draconic duties above all.
In this land of ancient ruins, feuds, mysteries, and opportunities, there’s plenty of room for an ambitious adventurer like yourself.