The World of Maxia
The vast grassy expanse lying between the Celen city-states and the Turathi Steppes is home to roaming Halfling families, a handful of small kingdoms and rich in the ruins of older kingdoms pre-dating even the empires of Arkhosia and Bael Turath. The coastline of the Flame Sea and southern plains were home to the Hobgoblins realm of Speria over three thousand years ago, and to the stranger realms of pre-human creatures such as the Tulgar and Weavers whose degenerate descendants still plague the settlers of the plains to this day.
Several hundred square miles of plains are broken up by sparse forest, in particular the haunted Blackwood and the elegantly tended Forest of Lore, home to the Eladrin realm of Mithrendain, a near mythical city which only returned to the world from the Feywild within the last generation of men.
To the east rolling hills climb up into the Fiendwall Mountains, a natural barrier between the Eralian plains and Turathi steppes. These low mountains are home to devil blooded Orc clans, the towers of many Tiefling sorcerors and warlocks and fouler creatures of the Nine Hells.
In the south the plains roll down to the coast of the Flame Sea, where a handful of rival port towns feud against one another for trade from Celene and the Crimson Desert cities, with privateers and wreckers finding plentiful work for their unscrupulous trades.
The Grass Sea is a wide swathe of tall grass and reeds run through with dozens of rivers and waterways. The Halfling families make their homes here, in barge-towns on the rivers while a handful of Shifter clans and exiled Tiefling oracles live in stilt houses amid the reeds. Tigers and Displacer Beasts are common here, along with river snakes and at least one Black Dragon, the crafty predator known as Marshmaw to the Halflings.
The city of Eralia is named for the Elven explorer who first crossed the plains from west to east and was responsible for the earliest treaty between Elves and Goblins. Though many Goblins prefer to call the region the Sperian Plains, few listen to their bitter complaints.
Eralia itself is a walled hilltop city, with a population of almost ten thousand. Among the strange relics of this ancient city are the stone platforms at the foot of the eastern hills, from which a series of rusted and ancient iron bars run straight toward the East Fall Mountains. Cobbled roads once ran to the west and north, though now they are little more than broken patchwork thanks to generations of wear and theft. Strangely, the third road running to the south and the coastal settlement of Moontide remains intact and magically resistant to erosion or theft.
Making the city even more famous are the twin wonders of deep and rich silver mines, and the fact that a Dragon governs the city.
Eralia is governed by the city’s self styled protector, the Gold Dragon Aedyl’Rystra who has lived here longer than anyone can remember. Advised by a ‘free council’ of elected officials from the city guilds. Merchants, miners, guardsmen, masons and scribes are represented on the council along with two ‘freemen’ who are citizens tied to no guild. The Dragon takes no hand in council elections, but maintains order between the squabbling guilds and serves as a staunch guardian against any outside force who would claim the city and it’s rich mines.
Despite the presence of such a powerful and noble governor, barely a year goes by without a scandal erupting related to guild or council corruption, but the folk of Eralia take such matters in their stride and consider themselves better with greedy councilmen than mad emperors or petty tyrants claiming kingship.
Hammer is the southern fortress of the Dwarf Prince Exar Shieldbreaker, the third son of the late king. Forswearing any notion of compromise of treaty with his brothers, Prince Exar has raised his banner in the Orc infest mountains and many rumours speak of dark alliances being forged in the bowels of his grim steading. Exar himself is the oldest of the brothers, a bitter and dark eyed Dwarf who looks to the old days of conquest and Dwarf imperialism with nostalgic fondness.
The largest of the southern port towns on the Flame Sea coast is the one time Celentine trade harbour of Moontide, built over the ancient ruins of the Hobgoblin city of Daka Tuth, the remnants of which can be seen in such marvels as the sea wall which stands firm against high tides and storm squalls, and the underground passages which to this day still hold lost treasures and on occasion spit forth deadly monsters to plague the town.
A trade partner to Eralia, Moontide is governed by the tough Captain Mulligan a retired explorer and adventurer, or according to his detractors, a bloody handed pirate. Mulligan is a ruthless negotiator, and has personally led the guard against wreckers, Sahuagin raids and even a small fleet out of Veritas sent to ‘pacify’ the former protectorate city of the empire.
Further down the coast lies the foetid coast town of Port Flotsam, built out of scavenged wood and wrecked ships- many of which were brought to shore by the wreckers and degenerate criminals who call this town home. A safe haven and last stop for criminals, exiles and ne’er do-wells of any sort, Port Flotsam openly touts temples to Torog, Zehir and Vecna and does a great deal of illicit trade with the Turathi steppe slavers, villains out of Gray Hill and various unscrupulous folk of the Crimson Deserts. No single force rules over this place, the town instead existing in a state of permanent ceasefire between factions who equally loathe one another.