Seven Realms: Drawing the Map
I’ve talked a bit about the Seven realms in abstract and concrete terms. I’ve listed the reasons why certain fantasy staples are rare or nonexistent in my world. Now I’m going to talk about the countries somewhat, draw back the curtain if you will, and explain what themes govern the nations of the campaign. Here I’m not going to talk about internal logic or verisimilitude. I had certain goals and I set out to fulfill them.
There is a part of Arn for nearly every taste of fantasy gamer. The continent, which stretches mostly East to West, is divided into multiple regions or subregions. The East is the Old World analogue, a region with ancient city-states, grand nations, and barbarian tribes. It is dominated by the theme Savagery opposite History. The greatest city in the region is Andramaar, one of the oldest city-states on the continent, and certainly the only one of great importance to pre-date the founding of the Veralon Empire. It has a Tolkeinesque tone of great cities, great heroes, and great hardships.
The Midlands is immediately west of the East and is based on the themes of Empire Building and Decline. Veralon dominates this region, and just like Rome has brought much to the peoples of the continent in terms of knowledge, civilization and protection. It also partially collapsed in the turmoil of several hundred years ago and gave up much of its influence and holdings. It is the region housing power-hungry Thelos, mystical Elkenara, and Gran Cimbar Kingdom of Heroes. This region is for those who want to war on battlefields and in throne rooms, who want to change maps and policy.
To the west of the Midlands is the Rosenmark, a region of plenty which has traditionally resisted being conquered since it found its way a few thousand years ago. The old powers here maintain their influence through trade more than military might and they have grown culturally and technologically because of it. The best goods are made in Floren and Eridania, and find their way across the continent because of Floren’s ceaseless trade travel. There is also Galtana, the nation of knights, and their chief exports of altruism and protection. The entire region has a theme of Enlightenment and Change, resembling the Renaissance and the time of the great explorers. The Rosenmark is bounded by a huge mountain range in the west.
South of the mountain range we reach the Southern Lands, universally warmer than the other regions and with cultures that were not influenced by the east-central nations. Here we have desert Erisia, developed Seboria, the Free City of Ind, the nonhuman nation of Ilba-Cera, insular Naim and ancient Darpat. The bias here is on making a life in a harsh environment while carving out a legend, either with a scimitar or political acumen. It is modern Egypt wrapped up in the trappings of the tales of the Arabian Nights, with some other myths added in for spice.
Across the mountains or around the southern horn lies the West, a land with multiple climates, an archipelago, and diverse cultures spread out north to south. There are nations here with great influence, as well as upstart rivals and recently founded colonies. The otterkin are only found here, and what other nonhumans exist are very unusual, such as the dragonmen, subterranean serpentmen, and western variants of the dunfolk.
North of the Rosenmark lie the Sanguine Lands, a harsh region populated by the highest concentration of separate barbarian tribes in the continent, civilized nonhumans led by ogren behind the walls of Jath, legions of teeming walking corpses, and Kereth, a civilized human nation dedicated to the destruction of said undead, or anything else supernatural which offends their god. Meant to evoke Robert E Howard, the Sanguine Lands are rough, harsh and deadly, and that has little to do with the environment. Life is cheap, but it is bought with whatever coin one can find.
The High Ones are a mountain range which exists north of the Midlands and the East. There are two nations here, but mystery juxtaposed with survival is the theme. There is An-Teriga, a tibetan analogue, and the nation of Kammur, a hidden land in a secret valley amidst the snowy peaks. If you travel further in that direction however, you will eventually reach the frozen lands of the North. The fierce Vyrkanan people contend with trolls, inhuman barbarians known as the greche and other terrors in a land which ranges from barely tolerable to frigid depending on time of year and location. They raid and struggle against the Njord, a nation of similar peoples along the eastern coast. To the far north lies Laksha the magical kingdom.