Locations of Athalan
One of several continents of Asea, it is the most civilized by human standards. Athalan has a long history of war, but things have been relatively calm in the last half-century. However, with cultures as diverse as those found on the continent, tensions are always present, and war is never far off.
The countries were divided over two thousand years ago, and while some borders have shifted, the names have remained as have the primary inhabitants. Here is a brief description of each country:
Gallia is the richest nation on Athalan. It is the leader in agriculture, famous for it’s cattle, but the primary export is wheat. Despite Quarnin and Arigol having more forests, Gallia also leads in lumber exports. The elves of Quiarnin refuse to cut down trees for profit and few are brave enough to enter into Arigol’s swamps despite the quality and high value of the trees there.
Gallia is also holds the primary temples to two of Athalan’s more popular gods, Erastil (God of farming, hunting, trade, family) and Iomedae (Goddess of valor, rulership, justice, honor). The power of these religions have been used to sway favor for Gallia numerous times in the past.
The capital of Gallia is Khedesh. The saying goes, “If you’re not from Khedesh, you might as well not exist.” This is used both by those living in the city and by those who don’t, but they don’t mean the same thing by it. Khedesh is known for it’s beauty and immenseness, both in the size of the buildings and the population. Though it is primarily a human city, there are communities of elves, gnomes, and halflings. It is here that the nations of Athalan meet once a year for what is known as the Unified Peace Talks. This title seems not to fit give the amount of violent debate, and near cataclysmic results of some of these meetings.
In year 140 according to the Yurick Calendar (-580 on the Draconic) elven ships began to arrive on the untamed east coast of what is now Quiarnin. Where they came from and why they left there is a different story. The elves decided to make Quiarnin their home. The land was lush with a number of forests, two large lakes and a mountain range. Construction started right away on Arwen’el Pasa, which is now considered one of Athalan’s greatest treasures.
The elves of Quiarnin typically worship Desna, though they pay homage to the other gods as well. Observatories are built in Desna’s honor throughout the land. Among some of the elves, and many of the non-elven creatures in Quiarnin(foremost amongst them are centaurs), Gozreh is followed. Groves are maintained as temples to this god in Styrewood and near Lunas.
Quiarnin benefits from two major seaports. The capital Arewen’el Pasa is one of the largest trading ports on Athalan. Vrist, to the South, is the only city in Quiarnin not ruled by elves. Though it falls under Quiarnin’s jurisdiction, most consider it a free city. Indeed it has its own democratic government and is the most diverse city on the continent, with nearly all of the races represented in some number.
Min’Tol belongs to the orcs and whatever entity presumes to dominate them in any given century. Currently, the leader of this nation is an orcish high chief named Vrogash, who is fourth in line of a dynasty of orcish leaders that began their reign at the end of the War of Iron. While his predecessors held true to the Min’Tol-Gallia treaty, enforced by the stone giants of Hepheal, Vrogash is a more aggressive and the bonds of this treaty chaff him. Rumor has it that he is training an army, hidden in the glacial wasteland of Isafjordur.
Religion varies throughout Min’Tol. Many orcs claim no deity. Others worship various archdemons, especially Szuriel. The human population of Alduin Par primarily worship Abadar. In fact, the largest temple dedicated to this god is in the human quarter of this city.
The terrain of Min’Tol starts of in the south with rolling hills and light forests. Further north the hills turn to mountains and the only forests consist of ancient, very hardy evergreens. At the northernmost point of Athalan is Isafjordur, an immense glacier. It is said to be the home of frost giants and white dragons. Few travel there, and those that do have no expectation to return.
Yeevan is more of a collective of woodland creatures, wild elves and druids than it is an official country. Most of it is covered in dense forests populated by all manner of beings. There is no official government, per se. If you are in the wild elves region, then you are under the jurisdiction of the elvish chief. If you are amongst the druids, then it is their leader you must pay heed to. Likewise goes for centaurs, dryads, treants, etc.
Senegha, the largest city in Yeevan by far, has its own political structure. The ruler of this city-state, a human named Hugo, also lays claim to the land within 50 miles of the Senegha, but he rarely enforces any law beyond 10 miles out. The other towns in Yeevan are trading posts that are fairly isolated from each other since overland travel in this country is limited at best.
Religion is as varied as the creatures that live in Yeevan. Druids and many centaur primarily follow Gozreh, while Desna is favored by dryads and treants. In Senegha there is no official deity. Many follow Erastil because of his affinity with nature, but small temples to numerous gods are peppered throughout the city.
Lizardfolk are the primary occupants of Arigol. There are estimated to be over a hundred tribes within the swamps of this country. For the most part, they live peaceably with their human and elvish neighbors, so long as everyone agrees to stay out of each other’s territory.
Sparrowight is the most civilized place on Arigol, but few would choose to visit. Temple leaders (of Pharasma or Urathoa) are the only form of government. Crime is rampant here. The docks are rarely used except by pirates and smugglers. The only reason the city continues to thrive is the enormous black market.
Dragon worship is the primary religion in Arigol. A number of black dragons inhabit the swamps, and use the lizardfolk as servants and minions to their cause. There are a few half-dragon hybrids within the swamps as well that have also attracted a number of followers. In the city of Sparrowight there are temples to Pharasma and Urathoa. The tension this causes is palpable. The number of worshipers of both gods are fairly balanced, which has kept each side in check for over a century. It would not take much of a spark to cause this powder keg to explode however.
The inhabitants of L’Gaaren claim that the goddess Sarenrae paid particular attention to their country when creating Athalan. There is a good amount of beauty to be had here, with majestic mountains, vast plains ripe for farmland, plush forests of maple and birch, and to the south beautiful beaches along the coasts. Nobles who can afford to travel often make their way to Sundol and Caleb’s Point to relax and take in the view of the crystal clear waters in these areas.
Due to their affection for Sarenrae, the majority of L’Gaaren’s citizens worship her above all other gods. Illinas holds several temples in her honor, and it is said that Sundol was built to celebrate her glory. The dwarves of Rockdale worship Torag, but also pay heed to Sarenrae since they host many humans.
L’Gaaren is known for being the bedrock of civilizations. Citizens consider themselves an age ahead of the rest of Athalan. Technology and innovation are key components of L’Gaaren’s economy. Their ports are the best on the continent, and the shipwrights here are the only ones building trans-oceanic vessels. Gunpowder has come into favor here, and weapon smiths develop smaller and more accurate firearms year after year.
Kittos holds an interesting mix of races. A large number of dwarves live within the Grisost Mountains. Halflings live in the hills east of those mountains. Humans inhabit Alaspar and the surrounding farmland, and elves live with the forest near the capitol city. This diverse population, as well as the mélange of terrain makes Kittos somewhat self-contained. They trade with Gallia and L’Gaaren, but they need very little to sustain themselves beyond what is within their borders.
Relgion is as varied as the races found here. Dwarves worship Torag; the elves pay heed to Desna. Humans worship Sarenrae and Shelyn primarily, but the other gods have temples throughout the land. Halflings tend towards Chaldira Zuzaristan.
For the most, part the inhabitants of Kittos live together peaceably. Disputes are typically handled diplomatically. Alaspar is considered a democratic city. Though they have an active queen, she mostly serves as a figure head and advisor to an elected body that form the Senate. The halfling towns of Shri Nelanos and Aleine are also democratic. They elect mayors every four years and have a circle of elders to help make important decisions.
The current peace on Athalan can be attributed to the stone giants and cloud giants that reside in Hepheal. In the history of the continent, these beings have not exerted much authority, but the end of the War of Iron was brought on by their involvement. The giants also keep the orcs of Min’Tol in check (though the current high chief of the orcs may seek to challenge this).
The giants serve as absentee governors of Hepheal. Humans and other races in the country live without much impact from the giants, however so do venture to the mountains to make requests or seek guidance. While they have little to do with the other races, the giants presence can never be denied. Huge floating citadels can be seen even as far away as Erikhol.
The stone giants of Hepheal primarily worship Ancestral Spirits, though some follow Fandara as well. Amongst the humans here Kurgess has found quite a lot of favor along with Sarenrae, Shelyn, and Korada.
Similar to Sengha, though less independent, Erikhol has its own political structure outside of the influence of the giants. The humans that rule it do pay heed to the giants when necessary, but they enjoy a lot of freedom. There is a contingency of orcs within the city that handle trade with orcs from Min’tol.