Shard Ridighess Description

Shards of Syndarrah: Ridighess

Ridighess is one of the largest known shards. It is primarily one landmass with with several hundred miles of ocean coast along the northern end. A human kingdom called the Midlands controls over half of the shard and is located centrally. A small elven kingdom rules a forested valley to the north. Several dwarf clans claim some of the mountains surrounding the Midlands. There are scattered communities of the small folk around as well. To the far south wild tribes of beast men dominate.

The Midlands

A human kingdom, Acromar is the capital city and Lysium is the the great castle the Morantia family rules from. The head of The Morantia's has held the title of High King for just over 500 years, most scholars living in Shard Ridighess restarted their calenders from year zero at this time. In current times the Midlands is made up of about 20 lesser kingdoms, the greatest of which is the Morantia homeland. Each lesser kingdom is further subdivided and managed by several strata of nobility. There are a handful of "free cities" and "free city states" that do not fall under the rule of local lords and have arrangements directly with House Morantia. The Midlands have luke-warm relations with the people of Elfheim, and solid relationships with the two small dwarven kingdoms. The midlands are at constant war with the tribes from Skiggan. There are roughly two dozen well documented portals to other shards, most of them are in use as part of trade routes. Several have been sealed off.

Acromar is the capital of the The Midlands and home to the Morantia family. It is a city of close to 1 million subjects. Housed within The Silver Tower, the tallest structure in the castle, are two extremely powerful Remnants. One creates an energy field called The Primary Barrier. It protects Lysium and a small part of the city directly around the castle. It has a variety of properties that only magic users would know. The second Remnant creates a larger but weaker protective shield called The Field Barrier. It reaches out to approximately a 100 mile radius around the silver tower. It is commonly believed that with both Remnants active, portals and rifts cannot open near or within the city. It is also believed that truly evil beings are weakened within the area of effect. An entire order of knights and a branch of The Royal Wizards Academy are dedicated solely to the protection of The Silver Tower, the two barrier Remnats, and the tower’s other contents.

The Three Keeps are walled fortresses that span The Neck. They protect the southern marches of The Midlands and buffer any large scale offensive actions from Skiggan.

The Neck is a broad plain that is the only rout a large army can move into The Midlands from the south.

Tylweleth: Elfheim

Royal family thought to possess several remnants allowing for the control of weather and the growth of the forest within the borders of their country. It is rumored that one of their remnants is "alive", a living and growing tree-like artifact that sheds leaves and seeds which themselves are objects of great power.

The vast majority of elves of this region are Niwlsetheen (pronounced Nool-Se-Theen). The Niwlsetheen claim descent from a proto-elvish people referred to in their histories as The Mist-Striders. The Mist-Striders originated from a land on the borders between the Land of Fairy and the Land of Dreams in a time before the myriad planes were isolated and distinct, a time before the modern gods tampered with creation. The Mist-Striders had the ability to alter their environment with thought and word and had a particular mastery over weather. It is also said that they were near-immortal. However, these creation tales of their people reach back so far through time their accuracy is often questioned. As a people, the Mist-Striders migrated from their primordial homeland to Syndarrah. There they discovered that this world was made up of many constants and was much less reactive to sentient minds. Syndarrah was stable and safe relative to their homeland. Here they discovered metal. With new tools they built the first cities and reshaped the land. In an effort to maintain their fading power over their environment they created the first iteration of "modern magic". Each generation on Syndarrah was shorter lived than the previous until only the rarest of individuals would reach 500 years of age.

The most common decorative motifs used by the Niwlsetheen include a variety of trees with rain drops, clouds, birds, and occasionally figures that mix birds with elves. Motifs rarely or never used include the sun, moon, and stars, as it is said that the sky of the Mist-Striders primordial home was an eternal twilight of amorphous light and darkness.

Immediately after The Shattering, the elves and humans joined forces in their efforts to force the beast-men tribes to the most southern regions of Ridighess. In the beginning, both groups were considered equal partners, but as the series of battles progressed, the elves found themselves having greater losses. This in addition to the slow birth rate of elves and the length of this conflict (over a hundred years), the human population grew while the elves dwindled even further. When it was over and the two peoples had time to divvy up land and other resources and begin building and recovering from The Shattering, they were considered the lesser of the two partners. Many elves consider the distribution of land and the distribution of Remnants to be extremely unfair after the sacrifices their people made during war-time. There has never been open war between the two people, but their has been spying and espionage.

With the exception of a few brave adventurers, explorers, and the odd outcast, elves are rarely seen outside of their forest and mountains.

Skiggan The Beast Lands

Occupying the south-eastern corner of the shard and surround by mountains, Skiggan is difficult to enter and difficult to leave. It is home to and breading grounds of a host of beast-man and giant-kin tribes and clans. Many primitive and barbaric cultures rise and fall within the borders of Skiggan. Occasionally a great an powerful leader will rise to unite many of the smaller groups. During these times Skiggan poses the greatest threat to The Midlands. Some cultural groups have built crude but vast stone cities that sprawl across the landscape. The greatest structure is Stridig The Black Fortress. Its foundation and the caverns beneath date to before the Shattering. History has lost the details of who the original builders were and why. Since the Shattering, the orcs with the assistance of both ogres and giants built a fortress atop the old foundation. It is now home to a mixed army of orcs, orgres and Giants. A new leader has risen from within this army, both powerful and terrible. His might will soon be felt by The Midlands.

The Wastes

Mile after mile of stony hills and canyons span this no-mans land. When viewed from higher ground, jagged canyons run across this expanse making it look like a pane of shattered glass. Occasionally powerful beasts or the odd hermit will wander out of this region.

Morgrop

It is a landmark that lies on the border between The Wastes and Star Sands. It is a great pit many miles across and a mile or more deep. The pit is shaped like one of the gods dug a mountain out of the ground and lifted it away. The canyon-like walls of the pit are dotted with uncountable caves.

Star Sands

This desert is so named for two reasons. The first is that the ever-changing wind in this region shapes the great dunes of the deeper desert like stars, rather than crescents. The second reason is that during a certain time of year meteor showers can be seen over the desert, and occasionally a shooting star will impact. The adventurers brave enough to hunt for the remains of these stars are called Star-Hunters.

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