The Free City of Riverhold
In addition to Riverhold and its territories, the civilized world includes the following regions.
This crumbling nation once held sway over most of the mainland. Centuries of corruption and mismanagement, coupled with the ruling family’s tendency towards mental illness, eventually saw the end of a once sprawling and glorious empire, While some areas of the old empire remain more-or-less intact, it is a sad shadow of its former self.
Aside from the heart of The Empire, areas still under Imperial control include:
- Brydia: This mostly agricultural society remains a somewhat tentative part of The Empire. This has put them on delicate terms with some of the other nations, but their Imperial ties, coupled with the fact that they have seen comparatively little warfare and bloodshed in recent times, has kept their economy and social order mostly intact. The land itself is mostly flat, with small clusters of forested areas, broken up by wide and lazy rivers.
The Southern Kingdoms
Formerly part of the old empire. in recent times, plague and war have torn many of these nations asunder. Gaining independence proved costly for the people of The Southern Kingdoms, and the constant disputes between these newly formed feudal nations have put an even greater strain on the land and the commoners.
Notable nations of the south include:
- Agrir is the largest and most powerful of The Southern Kingdoms, having incorporated many smaller territories under its rule. Relations between Agrir and The Empire are still very tense, despite the independence treaties that were put into effect.
- Midland was one of The Empire’s first holdings in the southern lands, wrested away from the simple farming folk who once inhabited the region. Strongholds were quickly built to secure The Empire’s new borders, and the area served a s a a launching point for further Imperial expansion in the south. Midland was one of the last of The Southern Kingdoms to gain its independence, and many of its citizens remain secretively loyal to the old ways.
- Dunsvale is a land of low valleys and marshy coastal flats. The land here is somewhat poor and lightly populated, but the people of Dunsvale make a decent living as fishermen and river traders. The people of Dunsvale suffered unduly under Imperial rule and still bear great resentment and hostility towards The Empire. * No official independence was ever rganted to Dunsvale, and their sovereignty remains unrecognized by both The Empire or Midland,
Voldia is a heavily forested, mountainous region full of hardy, fair skinned folk. Its southernmost portions are blessed with year-round agriculture, but bitter winters and meager resources are the norm in the northern provinces. Except for short occupations during its early history, Voldia has never been under Imperial rule, and in fact the nation has proved to be a constant enemy to The Empire and its holdings. A recent treaty has temporarily put an end to their feud, but groups of Voldian brigands still trouble imperial lands.
The island nations of Koras have a fiercely independent and also quite decadent culture. Their longstanding trade relations with the mainland have always provided generously for not only their upper classes and nobility, but for the majority of their common folk as well. They are one of the few cultures in which slavery is a common and legal practice, and their disdain for foreigners is no secret. Koras has been an eternal thorn in the side of The Southern Kingdoms and The Empire. When they have not been officially waging war against the mainland they have kept themselves busy through smuggling, raiding, and slave trading. Riverhold, however, has always managed to maintain good relations with these southern isles, providing Koras with their only trade link to the mainland.
The Northern Reach
The region known as The Northern Reach is mostly uninhabited, save for scattered tribal groups. These people have lived in this part of the world for countless centuries, and have little contact with outsiders. During the spring and summer, the land is lush with a wide abundance of game and resources. The winters, however, are cold and brutal. The people who live here have adapted to this pattern, and have established semi-migratory villages far away from foreign eyes. To the visitor, there are no permanent, hospitable settlements in The Northern Reach, save for a few meager hunting and trading outposts, usually peopled by explorers and settlers from more civilized area along the southern border.