The Holy Empire of Alleria is said to be the oldest, if not greatest, of all human nations. Founded before the godfall, the people of Alleria rose from the ashes to create the largest empire the world had ever seen. By establishing exceptional transportation and resource extraction systems, ancient Alleria secured itself in a time of great hardship. By unifying adjacent kingdoms under one banner of faith, they expanded their reach across most of the western continent.
Today it boasts the largest population in the world, and is the homeland of the world's dominant religion: The Blessed Church of Deliverance. Their great wealth springs from international trade, namely ores and precious stones. The Dragontooth Mountain’s bountiful mines produce over half of the world's supply of precious metal and gems, all of top quality.
Alleria's massive labour force and high standard of living is mostly thanks to their ethics of mercy towards criminals. Instead of jails, wrongdoers are made into ‘servants’ who are spend their sentence in service of the virtuous. Punishment for crimes can span generations, esuring that there is no shortage of workers.
The land is split into grasslands with stands of forests scattered along the mountains and coast, especially the south. The northern and southern territories are seasonal tundras. Most lumber is imported from the rich forests of Northern Freelands or Nerianosa. Their vast stretches of plainland have allowed their agriculture to flourish during the short summers, and allow for large herds of livestock.
The Dragontooth Mountains run through the centre of Alleria, though have been carved through to make engenius subterranean roads. These ancient structures have been used for transport through the mountains since before the Godfall. Modern builders have yet to recreate the masterful architecture, the knowledge of which seems to have died out along with the original builders.
✽Both Allerian and Nerian citizens are preparing for conflict as tensions rise between the two nations over the death of the Queen.
✽The king has been in mourning after the death of his wife and is not taking visitors or responding to the public. With the Nerian troops gathering, they are restless and worried. Riots have broken out.
✽Rumor has it that the demon cultists are active once more and seek revenge for the death of one of their leaders.
Compared to Alleria, Nerionosa is often considered to be its scrappy sibling. It has hardly half the population of Alleria and only a fraction of the wealth. While their lands are vast, people are spread out thinly and concentrated to the most habitable areas in favour of safety. Poverty is a huge and ever increasing issue, with bandits and organized crime circles running rampant. Many cases of thievery and lowly crimes are concentrated along the Allerian border, making relations between the two nations tense.
The Nerian people are no strangers to conflict; the kingdom was created after the Godfall and during the collapse of several ancient kingdoms. As the Allerian empire expanded across the western continent, the Nerian resistance sprung up in opposition. In the end, a stalemate was reached and the two sides of the war eventually settled on a new border and two new nations. While a tenuous peace was made, the constant conflict with raiders from the freeland and dragon-cultists from the east have made the habitants of Nerianosa battle-hardened, something evident in their practical, gothic architecture.
The land is mostly marsh,swamp and craggy plainlands, with strips of gloomy forest towards the mountains and northern coast. Rain and fog are all too common, only adding to the gloomy reputation of the nation. They are known for trading peat, fine meats, and fish, but rely on trade with other nations for lumber and many other essential resources. Their forests used to rival the freelands, but deforestation have left behind barren soil.
To the north is a dried up lake, Tarzo, and to the south is a tundra, broken by the largest of the dragontooth mountains, The Watcher, which acts as the border to the Freelands.
Culture and History
Nerianosa emerged as a kingdom to resist the Allerian Empire's expansion across the continent. Out of desperation, perhaps spite even, bloodlines who had been at eachother's throats decided to form one unified force. After a grueling war, Alleria eventually settled with a new border and gave up on the fruitless conquest.
While the sovereign of Nerianosa is the head of state, five noble houses -- each representing the independent kingdoms before the war -- also hold sway over the nation's endeavors. When decisions are to be made, these houses may vote for or against the decision. Beneath them are the aristocrats, families or individuals of enough wealth and status to earn the ear of the noble houses.
Nerian society promotes resourcefulness, grit, and ambition... for the underside of this noble system is an enormous class of impoverished civilians. The gap between wealth and poverty is vast, and organized crime has become an enormous issue. Many Nerian people are arrested on the border of Alleria, and it is rumored there are those who willingly become slaves in Alleria rather than live on the streets of Nerianosa.
✽Both Allerian and Nerian citizens are preparing for conflict as tensions rise between the two nations over the capture and imprisonment of a Nerian noble.
✽Organized crime is at an all time high in the nation, with a large group situated in the nation's capital itself.
✽Rumor has it that there's been a plague of lycans. One town was completely emptied out and infected. Rural residents are uneasy and some have fled to cities.
Located in the shadow of the tallest mountain, The Watcher, The Freelands is a land of thick arboreal forests and vast expanses of ice and snow. Often seen as more primitive, or perhaps brutish compared to the shining cities of Alleria, the Freefolk live as clans and tribes. Contrary to belief, they have constructed cities and holds, some built into the ice itself.
The inhabitants are a resilient and proud people, though have the lowest population on the western continent. They get most of their food from hunting, fishing, and trading lumber with the northern nations. Additionally, the Freelands is renowned for its rich deposits of magical crystals, potent for use in arcane arts. Surprisingly, the Freelands has a low amount of mages, mostly due to magic crystals being exchanged for essential supplies. As the world warms, the bones of ice-buried dragons are slowly coming to light.
In harsh years, some freelanders resort to raiding villages in neighbouring kingdoms, and there are some clans that actively attack parts of southern Nerianosa and Alleria in hopes of reclaiming their ancestral sites that were lost in the invasions following the Long Dark.
In the past, The Freelands was part of the Allerian Empire, during its age of expansion over most of the western continent. After the godfall and the demise of the dragons, the snows fell heavily on the Freelands. While its inhabitants struggled to adapt, the Allerian Empire cut its way south, claiming lands with the richest resources and forgiving climate.
At this time, the Freelands was dominated by independent tribes, each having long histories of conflict with one another. Divided, they were easy prey for the Holy Empire’s conquest, and were either converted, eliminated, or driven further south or into the mountains. It wasn’t until Bjørn the Stormborn united the remaining tribes that they managed to set aside their differences and drive back the Allerians. Bjørn was slain in the final battle, but the Freelanders honoured his sacrifice by holding peace between the surviving clans.
Ambitious and adaptable, humans are the most numerous and widespread race found in Aegisea. They were one of the few races that seemed to benefit from the Godfall and Long-Dark that came after, and were quick to adapt and spread out across the continents. Diverse as they are numerous, humans range in size, looks, and ability.
They are considered to be the most 'average' of all races, possessing neither inherent supernatural abilities, nor any significant pull towards any type of magic. However, it is because of this blank slate that is why the human race is defined by individual ambition. Their natural disadvantage is countered by their large population and ability to branch out into any doctrine. Some of the greatest warriors and mages to have ever lived were human, perhaps driven by an intense will to rise above and beyond their limitations.
Graceful and delicately featured, elves are a race best known for their wisdom and strong connection to magic. On average, they live roughly twice the lifespan of a human, with mages living almost half a century longer than their peers.
They are widespread throughout the world and well assimilated into almost every culture. A handful of ancestral courts still exist, though merely a shadow of a once great civilization. Little more than castles and groves scattered across the land, elvish sanctuaries are divided into winter, summer, autumnal, and spring courts. While once the locations of cities, they now serve as sanctums of elvish custom and history. Any elvish curator will assure you that their libraries were the first in the world, and that elves were the first race created by the now dead gods.
Descendants of the legendary giants, half-giants are imposing figures known for their physical might and resilience. On average, they stand at 7-8 ft and have a unique muscle structure, capable of reaching physical power beyond that of any other race in the world. Their high metabolism means they are quick to recover from wounds and poisons, but also means they require more food and have a shorter lifespan. In the Long Dark, when food was scarce, their population was reduced and the clans living in the Freelands turned to raiding and piracy to get by. Because of this, Half-giants have a brutish and aggressive reputation.
Their skin colours can range anywhere between dark brown, ash, to a green depending on their environment. Mutations are quick to catch on in their population, making half-giants of the north almost completely different from their cousins in the western desert. They have slightly pointed ears, like elves, and two large tusks growing from their bottom jaw.
Strikingly similar to humans, Xerishi can often be mistaken for their sister-race if not for a few distinct characteristics. Most obvious is their pale skin and hair, along with silver or golden eyes. Xerishi are all capable of absorbing light, be it from flames or strong sunlight. When it is stored within themselves, their eyes take on a white-gold glow, which can sometimes spread to their skin and hair. When trained, this energy can be used to both heal and harm. As part of their racial curse, if they do not get enough light, they will become twisted creatures of darkness. They live exceptionally long lives, and have few children.
The Xerishi are remnants of an ancient, highly advanced civilization, the ruins of which still stand to this day. The wonders of this civilization, and the knowledge used to create them have all been lost to time and the curse of darkness that claimed it.
While ethereal looking, they are generally despised for their role in the Godfall, and Long-Dark. It is said that the Xerishi betrayed and killed their god, drinking its blood to gain their power. It changed them, turning their skin and hair white, and giving them a hunger for light. For their betrayal, they were cursed to become mindless monstrosities should they not get enough light. Because of this, they are banished from most nations and held with fear and hate. In the past they were even hunted.
Once creatures bred and moulded into servants of the dragons, the drakenblood are a race that has always struggled for acceptance and a sense of belonging within mortal society. Despite the dragons having long fallen into extinction, they are often discriminated against and seen as lesser creatures in many cultures. While they are found in all the nations, they are most concentrated within their homeland of Tarzonia.
They are known for their skin of ash, red, or violet, and purebloods are distinguished by the unique horns that grow from their crown or temples. Their eyes are cat-like with slit pupils and their canine teeth are large and sharp. They are naturally gifted at fire magic, and can resist large amounts of heat.
Descendants of failed or lowly breeding stock, once used as mindless fodder for the dragon's armies. Unlike the drakenblood, who have fanned out over the centuries to choose other religions and callings, the dragonsworn worship the dead dragons and claim that one day they will return as the rightful rulers of the land. They blame the Long-Dark on the other races and gods, who murdered the dragons and snuffed out the fire of this world.
Their eyes are cat-like, and their skin ash, ebony, or an off-red. They are known to carve magic runes into their flesh (a unique art call Drakenrunes), and use dragon bones as weapons and magical foci. They are found almost exclusively in Tarzonia and are unwelcoming of other races (except drakenblood) and will kill or capture all others. They are constantly at conflict with Yunctan and North-eastern Nerianosa.
Beastfolk are a humanoid race known for their variety of animal-like features, including tails, ears, claws, and teeth, depending on their lineage and mutations. They come in the widest variety of forms out of all races, ranging wildly in size and shape. Their capabilities are also dependant on their unique animal traits, with feline beastfolk possessing unusual agility, and those with aquatic animal traits possessing an affinity for swimming and water magic.
They are common throughout the nations and have a taste for exploration and trade, making them quite successful in human-dominated nations. Like humans, their adaptability was key to their success in the harsh centuries of the Long-Dark. Out of all races, they have the deepest connection to nature and can easily pick up magics relating to it.