A terrifying, haunted forest filled with unseelie fey, druidic cults, barbarians, gnolls, and horrifying super predators like the Great Wolves. For 40,000 years this forest covered the world.
The Gods’ Shield
The Gods’ Shield is a titanic mountain range that reaches from the bottom of the continent to nearly the top, cutting off more than a thousand mile wide and far longer section of coast from the rest of the continent. This area is called the shieldlands
The vast majority of Frankenfinder takes place in a large coastal area known as the shieldlands. This region is separated into three regions: The Northlands, the Southlands and the Midlands. The northlands is a relatively cold place, being somewhere between England and Scandinavia in climate. They get warmer and warmer the further south you get until you hit the midlands which have a fairly meditteranean climate. Finally the southlands range from tropical to desert.
Evalmera is the largest realm in the north, a massive joining of five kingdoms under the Evalmeran High King. Its people are descendent from a population of people from the Wolfwood that migrated to the coast just before the Gods’ Return. They are a group of barbarians who only chose to wear the costume of civilization in the last 1,000 years. As such, while they do build cities, mine for minerals, and farm like their cousins to the south, their language often seems rough and savage to outsiders and even their nobles seem like fur-clad ruffians to the folk of warmer lands. Humans are the most common race in these lands, but orcs and gloamings are not an uncommon sight, and the amount of greatfolk births is higher here than anywhere else in the world. The land itself is varied, though it is dominated by expansive forests and rolling hills. Rainfall occurs very regularly. Since its government is feudal in nature, its military consists of knights, men-at-arms and conscripts under the various kings and lords of the realm. As such, its military is often very varied and takes a long time to muster. Technologically, Evalmera sits in the high middle ages, just before the renaissance. Most knights are clad in fullplate and many blacksmiths can now turn iron into steel.
Note: In the current timeline it has been a vassal state of the Artenesian Empire for about 20 years.
The Republic of Ostari:
This Republic is largest nation of the Midlands, and according to them, they are the oldest nation that exists today. They are descendent of the population that dwelt on the coast during the entirety of the Age of Wolves. They pride themselves on their heritage and their resilience, and many of the educated middle and upper classes can recite not only the history (no matter how true or not) of each coastal kingdom that rose and fell before them but also how their own families influenced the kingdoms of the past. They are technologically advanced, possessing a military outfitted with fine muskets and cannons in their battalions, castles and warships. Armor is starting to fall out of favor. The army is professional, national and controlled by the state. The state is run by a council of elected officials. As such, the noble families largely fill a ceremonial role now. Something that many are bitter about. Ostari’s navy is very strong, second only to the Great Dwarven Empire’s. Ostari is closest in theme to high renaissance Italy. The populace here is perhaps the most varied in all the Shieldlands, considering that it is where both the North and South come together in a unique climate that most of the coastal races can thrive in.
Note: In the current time line, this has been a vassal state of the Artenesian Empire for 25 years.
The Vale of Magi
A small territory to the south of the republic, this is a tiny state set in a vale less than 20 miles wide. The main feature of the valley is the Mages’ Sanctum, a massive stone fortress built by Thedon and Caris, the high priests of Melakar and Laurahasa respectively. Its purpose was to spread the teachings of magic freely to all who chose to make the journey and dedicate themselves. While it originally started as simply an academy, the sanctum gradually grew in power and attracted more and more outsiders who sought to live in the valley and enjoy the security that having a thousand mages in a fortress nearby provides. With time, the various villages began to seek out the mages to settle disputes and paid tribute for their help and protection. So, the Mages’ Sanctum became the rulers of the region, becoming the continent’s only true magocracy. Their rule is very informal however, and they only step in to declare edicts when a dispute absolutely cannot be resolved. While the vale technically has access to Ostari-level technology, wonders such as guns usually don’t find their way here. A final note, the Mageguard built a fortress here about 100 years after the Sanctum was created. While they do not directly oppose the mages or their rule, they are extremely vigilant, always on the look out for any signs of Old Magic or Fey influence.
Note: In the current timeline, this has been a vassal state of the Artenesian Empire for 30 years.
This is a land of grassy plains, forests, jungles and a small bit of desert that is based off of Egypt, Kush and some of the ancient African kingdoms and empires. One of the lushest lands on the coast, Yahar is home to a wide range of races and beasts. Technologically, the land varies greatly. While the cities enjoy gunpowder, fine steel weapons and tools, and crafted stone buildings, many villages and nomadic plains-tribes make do with bronze or in some cases stone weapons and equipment. That being said, Yahar has a tradition of medicine that predates the return of the gods, combining scientific knowledge of anatomy with an expansive knowledge of herbal and mystic remedies. The government of Yahar, while technically a monarchy, is more controlled by a council of the great merchant princes than by any single ruler. Most of the upper class says that it won’t be long before all pretenses are thrown to the wind and the King is cast down to make way for the merchant princes to rule in an official capacity. Most spices, herbs and exotic fruits found in the Shieldlands are found here.
Note: In the current timeline, Yahar is at war with Artenesia. The elven offensive captured half the county, then ground to a halt halfway through. For ten years both sides have fought to push the other back but no progress either way has beem gained.
A desert land on the southernmost part of the continent, Khalik-Baal is an expansive state based on the medieval middle east. While dry on the surface, the desert actually has an expansive underground freshwater sea merely a few hundred feet below the sand. As such, there is a surprising amount of civilization and agriculture here, all supported by the underground sea. That being said, the land is very inhospitable to those that cannot reach this water source, and so the vast majority of the populace all conglomerate in massive stone cities that span for miles and miles on the surface and penetrate deep into the earth. In between these great pockets of civilization lie great sandy wastelands where only few desert nomads are found. The government of Khalik-Baal is completely controlled by the High Oracle of Sargon-Baal, and while worship of other deities is permitted, it is beyond clear that this land belongs squarely to the god of kings. Technologically, Khalik-Baal is just behind Ostari, though in some ways it is even more advanced. Khalik-Baalites pride themselves on being ship builders that are second only to the Sea Dwarves. It is common practice for travelers to sail the underground sea instead of travelling over the desert if they wish to go from one city-state to the next. Humans are the dominant race here, though goblinoids are also very abundant here and a large siren population descendant from refugees call this land home. Each city has its own army and its own navy, but the militant arm of Sargon-Baal, a holy army second in size only to that possessed by Anaxadar when he still lived, dwarfs them all. This army counts a very many warrior-clerics and summoners in its ranks. A final note, the practice of demon-calling and worship is more commonplace here than anywhere else in the world, and dark rumors suggest that such practices are rife in the upper nobility and even within the clergy itself.
Note: In the current timeline, Khalik-Baal has remained neutral in the War against the Elves. Artenesia has not made an aggressive motion toward Sargon-Baal’s land yet, and Khalik-Baal simply fortifies its defenses and remains cautious.
The Artenesian Empire
The great empire of the elves that dwell beneath the Gods’ Shield. To understand Artenesian society and history, one must understand the elves. The elves are old and immortal, but unlike most immortal creatures such as spirits and fey, they do not seem to have the mental capacity to bear the weight of all the years that their body can bear. As such, most of them are mad. Not mad in any chaotic way, but a cold, distant, pragmatic madness that prevents them from seeing short lived races as anything above animals. They readily eat and enslave sentient races, and abducted humans en masse to breed them like one would breed dogs to bring out desirable traits. This resulted in different breeds of humans that the northerners contemptuously call “skraelings”, they are savage, stupid and completely loyal to their elven masters. The elves are governed by a council of rulers known as the Old Kings to elves (and the Bane Kings to everyone else). The society only recognizes elves are “people”, though they will trade with lesser races. For many years, the elves dwelt in great underground cities, and it was rare to even see one on the surface. Then about 100 years ago, they came boiling up from beneath the earth, destroying the siren city-states that originally dotted the Gods’ Shield. Then they gathered slaves, increased their numbers and pushed into the shieldlands crushing kingdoms that did not surrender and turning the others into vassal states. Their army was larger than any other in the shieldlands and their technology was far more advanced than even Ostari’s. Soon they held most of the coast in an iron grip. However, controlling such a vast landmass is a challenge even for the slave-armies of Artenesia and they are now spread very, very thin…
The Sea dwarf empire is not located on any landmass, but rather consists of scores of city-states situated on a number of islands and coastlines and connected through a network of shipping lanes travelled by behemoth ships composed entirely of metal. As the greatest nautical power in the known world, as well as home of the greatest craftsmen in the known world, the dwarven empire has more riches than nearly all the nations of the shieldlands put together. Each of the dwarven city states is fairly independent, with each being ruled by an Overlord. Once every year, the Overlords meet in what’s called a Grand Moot, during which they – along with the High Oracle of Khazak – make decisions and policy that would affect all the city-states. Khazak and Jormgund are the two most prominent gods in dwarven culture, but worship of and respect for all the go
The fabled homeland of the Vindergar. No one knows if this place actually exists, but rumors persist that this is a land of ice and snow set at the top of the world, and sporting glorious cities constructed completely of ice. That is all anyone has to go on.
More countries: As time goes on, I’ll add more countries and I’ve left enough room for you to make up a small kingdom in any of the regions.