The World of Praemal
Two moons hang in the night sky. Lunas is a large blue-white orb, and Rogue is smaller and more erratic. Most people are aware that the world is round and that the moons orbit around it while it in turn circles the sun. Learned sages know that the world is made up of matter and energy, the essence of which can be categorized as air, earth, fire, and water.
Most people know that the Ethereal Sea is a magical place that shares the same space as the physical world but remains separate from it – out of phase, so to speak. It is commonly accepted that the elements draw their power from elemental planes. The Heavens, also known as the Upper Realms, the Upper Planes, or the Celestial Realm, are where angelic beings originate and where good people go where they die. Most do not believe that this is where the gods reside, however. They are to be found in hidden place in the world or the sky. The Hells, also known as the Pit, the Abyss, the Dark Realms, the Lower Planes, or the Nether Realms, are where demons and devils reside and where evil folk go when they die. The fact that demons and angels exist in the world is evidence enough for the existence of these places, though no living mortal has ever visited them. In fact, there is no recorded case, even in legend, of anyone visiting other planes of existence (except for the Ethereal Sea).
The Empire of Tarsis
For more than seven hundred years, the Empire of Tarsis has ruled most of the known world. Even though the empire is now in decline, all of the lands here listed are at least nominally under its control.
Mountainous Cherubar lies far to the west and is a mysterious place of isolated settlements. The humans of this land live among the winged Cherubim elves and are menaced by savage tribes of giants. The folk here consort with spirits of the air and are said to have veins flowing with cold winds rather than blood. The high Cherubar Mountains cut the rest of Cherubar off from lands to the east.
The Cold Desert
Surrounding the mysterious shaft known as Mrathrach’s Pit, the Cold Desert is bone dry, a dead wasteland. No civilized folk live in the desert, though orcs, hobgoblins, and more monstrous things can occasionally be found here.
The Eastern Hordes
The barbarian tribes that live east of the Gray Mountains were long considered of no consequence. Of late, however, they have united under a single king who led them to great victories against the forces of the empire. Eleven years ago, his horde sacked the imperial capital of Tarsis. They did not remain there long, returning to their native lands within a few years.
Kem is a shadowy land of ruins and scarred landscapes. Legends tell of a magical conflagration that destroyed the proud civilization that once stood here. Few natural plants or animals can survive for long in its tainted soil. It is a land of ghosts and forgotten peoples. There are a few cities that manage to survive in the wilderness, and they boast a larger than average population of assarai, gnomes, and Harrow elves.
Said to be the land of the “first men,” Nall is a cold, rough forested land that extends north between the Dragonsbirth and Gray Mountains all the way to the Endless Sea of Ice. The only people in this land are nomadic barbarian tribes.
Palastan is a land of verdant rolling hills and fields. The people are mainly farmers and herders, though there is a large fishing industry on the coast of the Whitewind Sea. A force of rangers independent of any government known as the Viridian Lords patrols the countryside, and most of the populace looks to them for leadership in times of trouble. The people of Palastan tend to be simple, rugged folk who tolerate the idea of the Empire of Tarsis so long as it does not interfere with their day to day business. In addition to humans, many Shoal elves, aram, and Stonelost dwarves live in Palastan. Most of the elven population lives in the Moonsilver Forest. The forest is steeped in sylvan magic and is not safe for non-elves off the maintained roads.
About a year ago, the Imperial Governor of Palastan died, setting the torch to the simmering political unrest of the region’s capital in Trolone. Anathais, the exiled heir to Palastan’s hereditary monarchy took control of the capital “until the empire appoints a new governor.” Since that seems unlikely to happen any time soon, King Anathais and Queen Miaga are the de facto rulers of Palastan. Ptolus, technically within the bounds of Palastan, has maintained its independence from the monarchy.
The Plains of Panish
The flood plains of the River Sorenth hold miles upon miles of fertile fields occupied by nomadic tribes of humans and litorians. At the river’s mouth lies Tarsis, capital of the empire that shares its name.
The Prustan Peninsula
The Prustan Peninsula is home to many humans and Grailwarden dwarves. The people of Tarsis and the ruling families of the empire were originally Prustan. This land is surprisingly cold for being on the Southern Sea. Some blame the low temperatures and strong winds on the magical contamination of neighboring Kem.
Ruined cities dot the plains of Ren Tehoth, but the Morn Woods along the coast of the Bay of Ptolus hold several thriving elven settlements.
The Plains of Rhoth are known for farmland and vast herds of horses and other livestock. The native humans tend to be tall, fair of skin, and friendly. Halfling caravans make their way from one town to the next. There are few members of other races, however, and the natives like it that way. Rhoth is best known in Ptolus for being the site of the Gnoll War three decades back.
The Sea Kingdoms
A collection of mercantile city states on the Southern Sea, the Sea Kingdoms have a reputation for piracy and bloody politics. They are also wealthy and beautiful, some saying that gold and silk flow like water. The most prosperous of the Sea Kingdoms is Dohrinthas, the Golden City. Empress Addares XXXIV, one of three claimants to the Lion-Guarded Throne, hails from Dohrinthas and has declared it the empire’s new capital.
The imperial capital of Tarsis is slowly rebuilding after the barbarian invasion of a decade ago. Segaci Fellisti, a long-time advisor to emperors past, has claimed the throne for himself and directs the repairs.
Uraq and the Distant South
Uraq is a wealthy desert kingdom across the Southern Sea from the rest of the empire. Most citizens of the empire know it for its spices, silk, and other exotic goods. There are lands even farther south past the Scorched Peaks, but only a very few know anything about them.