Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Regions: Western Zenninfal

Summary: The kingdoms of Western Zenninfal like to consider themselves the pinnacles of Human civilization. They are industrious, technological, organized and capitalist. In truth, the poverty gap in this region is more of a chasm than a gap. Those who live in the large cities tend to have an excess of gold, treasures, magic and technology. Those who live on the farms and in the viliages of the region are very poor off, with precious little education, sanitation or hygiene. This makes the small towns and farms of Western Zenninfal a veritable breeding ground for adventurers, who are desperate enough for money to go out and adventure, but poorly educated enough to not know any better.

Local Religion: Western Zenninfal's religions are haphazard. Agnosticism and secularism are tolerated beliefs, but raving cults who believe in gods who do not even exist are similarly tolerated. Most gods worshiped (or rather acknowledged) by the majority of people tend to be industrious and materialistic.

Naming Styles: When people and places in this region tend to have names from earth, the names are typically English, Gaelic, Germanic and North American. The exception is the cities from the Shanbar Province of Cerenbaun, which were named after Earth's European countries by demons who settled there 7000 years ago.

Major Political Faction: Cerenbaun is the largest kingdom of Western Zenninfal, and arguably the world's greatest political power. It is ostensibly run by a seldom-seen royal family who share the name of the kingdom. Day to day business is carried out by a group of Dukes who are overseen by an Archduke. The dukes do not directly represent any regions or groups of people, but set government policy all the same. Ruling alongside these Dukes and the Archduke are three governors, who run Cerenbaun's three large Provinces; Shanbar, Denenga, and Querris.

History: Cerenbaun exists in the area that was the seat of the Jerol Empire, which collapsed 250 years ago, and the nation itself is 174 years old. The Jerol Empire Encompassed the entirety of Western Zenninfal, the islands of the Yesshan trade route, and the northern jungles of Yessha. The people who live in these areas still speak the Jerolan language because of this influence.

Magical Styles: In Cerenbaun, magic is an industry. Potions are mass produced, scrolls are sold by the dozen, and a middle-income home will tend to have at least 12 magical appliances and tools. Magical lanterns and street lights are common as well. With so much magic however, comes magical regulation. Cerenbaun has some of the strictest laws in Aarn about what spells can and can't be cast. Soul-linking with anything other than an animal is strictly forbidden. Necromancy and biomancy are both strictly regulated. Non-government experiments to develop new models and styles of necromantic undead and monsters are illegal. Transmutational magicks that change the size and shape of something are somewhat legal, but effects that can change one material into another are strictly illegal, as are experiments with souls or immortality. Animancers, however, are encouraged to perform experiments, provided they stick to using wood, metal and stone as their raw materials.

Major Conflicts: Most conflicts in Cerenbaun are internal. Crime is a large problem in all the kingdoms; despite the laws against magical experimentation, they are poorly enforced, and criminal syndicates run much of the region. There is currently one war being waged in Western Zenninfal; two nations in the north of the continent are fighting over a large, resource-rich offshore island. A second war is brewing, but not yet being waged, between Cerenbaun and a kingdom that is further west. This kingdom has been refusing to patrol or police its side of the Shanbar border. Cerenbaun has recently sent soldiers in to occupy the area, and that particular kingdom is less than pleased at Cerenbaun's apparent territory grab.

Points of Interest:

Attanan Mountains: These mountains separate the kingdom of Cerenbaun in the south with the less developed northern kingdoms. Savage, wild Harpies live in this region, making travel difficult.

Isles of Treddis: These northern islands are positively infested with undead. It is ruled over by a Nercomancer Lich who serves Nektos. The locals are impoverished farmers who prevent the bleak landscape from affecting their sanity by partying at the drop of a hat. They are famous for their wakes and their all-night revelries which celebrate life in their islands of undeath. The Isles of Treddis are also the first stop along the Yesshan Trade Route, with several ports controlled by Cerenbaun politics.

Lake Anessis: This is the second largest inland body of water in Aarn, and the largest in the northern continents. It lies in the dead center of Cerenbaun's Querris Province, and what makes it noteworthy is that the sleeping god K'tellos lies at the bottom. Most of Querris's economy is driven by trade and shipping across this lake.

Great Barrier Sea: This sea lies to the south of Western Zenninfal, and separates Zenninfal from Yessha. Ship-travel across this sea is impossible; The Merfolk race make this sea their home, and they mercilessly destroy any and all ships that attempt to cross it. Instead, those from Western Zenninfal who wish to trade with Yessha are forced to travel through Rothysia to the east, or to take the Yesshan Trade Route to the west.

Native Godtouched: Anthromorphs, Theromorphs, Swamp Ardlins, City Ardlins, Forest Ardlins, Mountain Ardlins, Life Dragons, Humans (Primarily Jerolans), Harpies, Merfolk, Satyrs, Sphinxes, Orchaein, Unicorns, Vampires and other undead.

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