The Chronicles of Erdon
Geography of Archlond
Archlond is an artificial continent that lies east of Erdon’s major continent, and occupies latitudes that are far enough north of Erdon’s equator that snow falls on the northerly parts and high mountain peaks, but not so far north that jungles are unheard of. The continent has the shape of a rough lozenge whose longer axis runs parallel to Erdon’s equator; along its length, the Dragonspine Mountains (a pair of twin mountain ranges taller than any other feature on the continent) run more or less parallel to the primary (equitorial) axis, except where they bow away from the Archlond Sea, which is located between the centers of the Dragonspine Mountains. Archlond is arbitrarily divided into four major regions or lands, each ‘anchored’ at its center by one of the four major rivers; the regions are also crude lozenges, except that none of them claim any part of the Archlond Sea, nor do any of the countries in the regions. The various countries of Archlond, are known for distinct cultures, classes, crafts, or other features, and most of the countries in Archlond have some particular niche where their citizens excel. There are twelve major nations, but there is also a number of minor, independent city-states; they often lie between the other nations, but some are enclosed completely within another major country.
The Four Lands:
(W)Aschlaadt is well known as a land of paladins and clerics; it is said that not even the lowliest village lacks a grand temple or cathedral; the Great Archon Cathedral of Heironeous is one of the most famous edifices in all of Archlond. While the churches of the righteous are spread across the region, the paladin Orders maintain a special presence out in the open country, even up into the foothills of the Dragonspine Mountains. The land is also home to vast, varied, mystical forests and swamps; thanks to them, the people are not unfamiliar with the likes of barbarians, druids, and others that respect or revere Nature and Nature’s gods, including the storied rangers who guard the woodlands and their denizens.
(N)Arcona is largely inhabited by fairly reclusive people thanks to the cold and mountainous terrain; the region is known for some of the greatest monks and magicians – especially wizards, and it is most famous for its places of learning and knowledge. Mage towers, castles, and monasteries tend to be at the hearts of the sporadic enclaves that dominate the mountainscape; the sparse population has given rise to the notion that the land is preferred by non-human folk that wish to be about themselves. The eastern part however, is thought to have succumbed to barbarian influences; oddly enough, a some of the most reputable investigators have hailed from those parts. Some of the barbarians have opted to live in the sun-forsaken wastes in the northernmost parts of Archlond.
(E)Aechsto is a place of art and beauty; many great knights hearken unto this land, even some of the most famous who’ve ever lived, along with the bards who sing of their tales. Many young nobles travel here; either to one of the academies, intent on learning the ways of chivalry – or else to spectate at one of the gladatorial arenas, constantly being fed by the swelling barbarian influence. Others aim to attend one of the bardic colleges, or to visit the splendid courts and grand theatres, which are renowned across the four lands for the pinnacles of art they achieve, and for setting the dominant styles and trends. Two particularly famous examples: a clever bard by the name of Sebastian has recently performed marvels in the musical style of counterpoint; another named Jin-Vobo is resurrecting a spiritual tradition in music.
(S)Ach-Terul is a land of wilderness and ruins and darkness;powerful druids, barbarians, and sorcerers once hailed from the southern region of Archlond. Most of the wild elves are believed to live in the mountains of this region, and as many wood elves may live here as live anywhere else in Archlond. Since the Barbarian Wars, dark soldiers and their orcish minions have swarmed from the region, via the Southern Gap. Little is known about the lay of the land since the barbarians first arrived, but many expect that ancient ruins from as far back as The Barbarian Wars still exist, along with more recent testaments to the dark elf invasion.