The Continent of Cardinia
Cardinia used to be the seat of power for a globe-spanning empire. Now it is the smallest country on the continent that bears its name. The people of Cardinia know little of their history, the first act of the new government after the fall of the Forgotten Empire was to ban, under pain of death, picking through the corpse of their former home. In the 531 years since, most of the wonders and marvels of the fallen nation have been lost or forgotten. Farmers tend fields where great cities once stood and run cattle across pastures that were once vast hunting refuges.
A city-state on an island in the middle of the Mastic River. Lisell is a bustling trading hub along the Merchant’s road, a trading route which runs from Marropen to Bogden in Lakan. It serves as one of two river crossings that give travelers coming from Hefarn access to Cardinia. If it can be bought for gold, traded, or stolen, it can be had in Lisell. Common, Hefaran, and Lakanni are most frequently spoken in Lissell.
Hefarn is a country on the Ballar Plains whose borders extend from the Mastic River east to the shores of the Taeroth Ocean. Hefarn is rich and prosperous because of their expansive farmlands and trade in the Taeroth Ocean. The people there speak Herfaran, a gutteral and harsh language, and have, despite their relative comfort, an attitude to match. They have riches, but little to do with them, which has led to a society that is bored and testy.
West of the Northern Tormad range, the desert nation of Quath is vast. The rugged, indifferent people speak Quathi, a terse language full of hard consonants. The capital, Arrek, holds the majority of the population, but there are many bandits, monsters, and cults in the deserts beyond the walls.
The Forests of Arris
To call Arris a country would be a stretch. It is more accurately described as a loose confederation of tribes and clans with the occasional city that all speak a common language. Arreg is a lyrical language similar to birdsong interspersed with occasional clicks and pops. Most of Arris lies within a massive forest and the people there are quite resourceful.
The Jungles of Särpak
Säpak lies southwest of the Tormad Mountains on a slice of land created by the range’s slight eastern turn. The population is low because of the natural predators in the region, but the tribes and clans who do thrive are fierce. Most of them speak Särpa, a tonal language that is difficult for outsiders to learn.
Petra is as far north as you can get and still have soil beneath your feet. The island is home to the largest percentage of fugitives of any place in the world, but it is not a violent place. The diverse people who live there are private and protective of what is theirs. Bounty hunters leave frustrated, if they leave at all, because the one thing the people of Petra have in common is loyalty to their neighbors.
The traders of Vaul are welcome in every port. Their strange and exotic wares are highly sought after across the continent of Cardinia and often fetch a high price. The small, cold island they’re from is home to gemstone and precious metal mines that nations would go to war to control. That is if the Vaulish navy wasn’t the most feared armada in the Taeroth Ocean. The people of Vaul are tall and pale and speak Vaulish, a sloppy, drunken language comprised mostly of vowels.
Deep in the Saxet marshlands lies Lakan. It was founded by refugees of the Forgotten Empire who feared for their safety and fled to the swamps. Great effort has been made to make the marshes leading to the capital city of Roth as unwelcoming and dangerous as possible. The people are suspicious of outsiders, especially those hailing from Cardinia. Lakanni is a hypnotic, rhythmic language where almost all syllables contain a single consonant and vowel pair. Magic of any kind (including magic items) is outlawed in Lakan and the punishment varies. Imprisonment, exile, or execution are the most common forms of punishment for use of magic within the borders of Lakan.
Lundergarte is home to the Dragon in the Mountains, Lundergardt. She is an ancient red dragon, one of the oldest mortals in existence. Many scholars, sorcerers, and historians travel to her citadel in the mountains hoping to glean knowledge but are met with bureaucracy.
Krysdamala sits on a large island in Magkris Bay. The people there are fishermen and sailors who trade pearls and smoked redfin with Hefarn, Lakan, and Vaul. Their language, Krysdamelen, is a constructed language created by an ancient king who united the scattered tribes of Krysdamala by giving them a common tongue.
The plains on the northern peninsula of Valenor is home to Marropen. The coastline is protected by a chain of islands that form a natural breakwater. The people of Marropen speak a mixture of Common, Khrysdamalen, Vaulish, and Arreg. Marropen began as a trading outpost of Hefarni merchants but declared their independence after the Hefarni Parliament began taxing their goods as they would other imports. A brief war for independence was fought and the Marropa won with the assistance of the Vaulish Navy.
Every child has heard tales of Sauv. A vast plane full of heroes and warriors fighting to be the one to claim the power the gods locked away there. But opening the vault is not easy feat, a warrior must first defeat the Wardens protecting it. Originally there were twenty-one but constant assault from armies and empires over the millennia has reduced their number to thirteen.