Rise of the Dreamer
The continent of Khorva is vast and full of treasures. Rich in sun and water, her dry seasons are survivable and her wet seasons glorious. The continent is in the shape of a yam, with a crooked northern bend that almost completely encloses an inland sea but for one narrow passage on the western edge. It is at the eastern edge of this sea that Alam lies, in the shadow of Khorva’s Peak, an active volcano said to be the final resting place of the great dragon for whom the continent is named. The volcano has not erupted in living memory, but is the source of many hot springs and geysers.
West of Alam, the Emerald Wilds cover the land, a thick jungle populated by primitive tribes and ravenous dinosaurs. Reclusive Khori elves, the continent’s ancient first inhabitants, are still said to live within the Wilds’ depth. The tip of the Emerald peninsula is home to the Shipwright’s Warren, a ramshackle city of privateers and merchants who deal with anyone and anything.
East of Alam lies the Golden Waste, an accurate name for a desert of deadly renown and stark beauty. Huge worms and brown dragons swim the sands like water, and nomadic tribes of not-quite human sandraiders prey on any caravan foolish or desperate enough to take the land route through. Every so often a prophet appears and unites the tribes, leading them to war against Alam or the nations of the south, but these are infrequent and quickly put down. The nomads harbor a deep resentment of Alam and those who benefit from its riches, and will take prisoners for torture before ransom.
South of the inland sea lie a constantly shifting assortment of nations. Clans form, split and combine almost overnight, forming nations outlived by dogs. Even so, there are some places where order rules. Along the eastern coast beneath lie a coalition of city-states known as the Free Kingdoms, where trade groups and merchant-kings hold power. In the deep south, cradled in misty valleys and frozen peaks lie the Paxu, ancient cave cities populated by lizardfolk, dwarves and elves who follow the Living Light, a neutral energy that grants divine power to those who follow its path, and due south of Alam lies the newly founded Countless Clans, a so-called republic of monstrous humanoids and goblinkin led by Durga War, an Ork fighter of great renown and immense skill.
Last are the two true nations of the western coast: Cahokia and Banwe. Cahokia’s northern border stretches to the inland sea, culminating in the port city of Yakil. Led by the winged aasimar king Voskelos, the Cahokians are proud and skilled in the martial arts, routinely sending ships to bring down privateer fleets or skirmish with the Banwe. Their capitol Helos is a place of divine pilgrimage and philosophical debate to rival Alam’s great temples and universities, though scholars who visit may find themselves locked up if they debate the wrong subject or pray to an improper god.
Banwe is a far more tolerant society, reveling in wide savannas and vast tracts of subtropical jungle that give way high mountain peaks in the far south. Seminomadic, the vast majority of the populace follows the migration of herds and water with the seasons, while a chosen minority live sedentary lives in a handful of walled cities, researching and trading and preparing for wars. The capitol Starfall is an invader’s nightmare — the city lies within a massive caldera, large enough to house a lake, forest and land for farming. Only two gates allow passage through the sheer cliffs, towering stone artifacts enchanted millennia ago by the now-gone dwarves who made the fallen star their home.
Deep in the south, on the continents horn, lie the lands of the Paxu. A mix of kin, lizardfolk and the inevitable yuan-ti have formed a religious society that follows the path of the Living Light, a neutral force that guides the world. The Paxu are generally self-sufficient, and only trade in rarities, but their priests and monks can be found ranging the world round.