The Domain:

Ergosia is divided into two halves.  Northern Ergosia is settled by the four primary races of the domain, and—while far from civilized—vastly different from the lawless southern half of the continent.  In the north, men, elves, dwarves and halflings live in an uneasy peace.  South, human bandits and devil worshipers have made an inhospitable land their own. 

The divide between north and south was made tangible as the Division Wall was constructed to keep the worst of the bandit king’s minions safely away.  While this wall is useless to keep individual bandits at bay, it serves as reassurance (on both sides) that no army will easily march across the lands it bars.

Ergosia is bounded on the east by the great ocean, and on the west by the Great Wall Mountains and, beyond that, the desert known only as the Waste.  Few have ever crossed the Great Wall; the only individuals who do so willingly are those who would follow the path of magecraft.  In the Waste stands the proud Academy, where the masters of the arcane arts hold court and accept the occasional apprentice.

 

 

 

 

Governance:

Ergosia is governed by five rulers.  From King William in Castle Whitestone, the respective kings of the elves, dwarves and halflings.  Furthermore, no honest review of the power players in Ergosia could overlook the Bandit King, who reigns south of the Division Wall in the Palace of Banditry.

Of all of these, only the kingdoms of men stretch beyond the individual control of the chief sovereign.  King William delegates his power through dukes, such as the Duke of Tradecenter, allowing these men to issue commands and collect taxes as his proxy. 

The people of Ergosia rarely have reason to fear the law.  In most regions of the continent, the emissaries of the local lord or ruler are a welcome sight, most often racing in to drive off bandits or other marauders.  Only in the south, where the Bandit King rules, is a lord’s banner enough to instill fear.

 

 

 

 

Folk:

            Dwarves:

            As old as the earth in which they live, the dwarves are the only race native to Northern Ergosia.  Because of this, and their strong sense of racial kinship, this race is believed to hold a limitless store of knowledge.  Unfortunately, they have fled the surface world as quickly as men have spread across it.  Now, nearly the entire race dwells in the extensive fortress known as Deephold in the Great Wall Mountains.

            Limited trade carries on between the dwarves and a select few merchants, but most who impose their presence upon these reclusive folk do not return.

 

            Halflings:

            Arriving just before men, the halflings settled the hills at the southern foot of the Great Wall Mountains.  These are business-like folk who live for no other reason than to buy, barter, connive, swindle or trade.

            They were the only race to welcome the humans upon their arrival centuries earlier.  Primarily a peace-loving race, the halflings have not threatened or been threatened by the other chief races of the domain.

 

            Elves:

            A migratory race always seeking newer, more beautiful landscapes, the elves found northern Ergosia centuries before men learned to sail.  They were content here until the arrival of men, for the dwarves and elves lived beyond their forest homes.  Men, who cut down the forests to make their homes, brought conflict to the elves.

            War ensued, and only recently ended with a feeble truce between the Duke of Tradecenter and the elves of fabled Twin Oaks.  In the name of this peace, some elves have embraced humanity.  They have even given up the elfin faith in Correllon Larethian in favor of the human deity.  Likewise, some few students of elfin descent have been accepted for study of the eldritch arts at the human Academy beyond the Great Wall.

 

            Men:

            For seven and a half centuries, mankind has slashed and burned his way across the continent, bringing government and cobblestone roads with him.  Men are ruled from Whitestone Castle, where presides the King of Whitestone, the Royal Sage Hodynrex, and the High Patriarch Salon.

            Men are renowned as a brash, warlike race, often too interest in planned rewards to temper their actions with wisdom.  Usually, it is too late when men realize that caution would have prevailed.  Still, the race is quick to adapt, and they manage to not only survive but also thrive.

 

 

 

 

Faith:

Humans predominantly worship the faith of the Father, a deity of light, life and forgiveness.  His iconography and ethos are little different from those of Delios, the Morninglord, and it is most likely that the people of Ergosia worship this same deity by a different name.  The High Patriarch, Salon, dwells with King William in Whitestone Castle.  Several archibishops oversee the governance of the church, most prominently the Archibishop of Tradecenter, Ergosia’s largest city.

Men in the south are much feared for their unabashed worship of devils, including Tiamat and Asmodeus.  Many driven out of the relative comfort of the north are accused devil worshipers.  Many of these sinister individuals gather together on the southern island known as Fire Island, where it is said that an open portal to the Nine Hells exists.

Of the other major races, the elves and dwarves cleave to their respective, age-old faiths, while the halflings willingly embrace the worship of the Father.  While elves and dwarves each worship Nature, they do so in their own ways. 

Elfin shamen seek to harness and bend the will of Nature, co-existing with the green in a symbiotic harmony.  Dwarves, on the other hand, call out to the power of rock, sculpting it in ways that fortify both the earth itself and the dwarves who dwell within it.  While elves are known to use magicks that bewitch the mind, the dwarves are said to be powerful manipulators of time dweomers.

 

 

 

 

History:

In the beginning there were the dwarves, the only race of humanoids indigenous to Ergosia.  They were a sturdy mountain race who believed in hard work and harder play.  Their society ranged through the mountains that men would later dub the Great Wall.  It was in the reign of King Vladimir Axerock that the elves came on their white ships.

With the elves came new customs and a way with which Nature could be harnessed that the dwarven witchdoctors could not fathom.  The great elfin shamen amazed and concerned the dwarves, but the new race came in peace.  Treaties were quickly forged that allowed for the two peoples to live without conflict; the dwarves in the mountains and the elves in the forests that occupied the majority of the remainder of the continent.  This crude truce between two unwarlike nations lasted for a century or more before the halflings arrived.

These commercial folk were welcomed by both races, and they settled in the grassy hills between the forests and the Great Wall.  The land processed in a near utopia for another century or more, until the beginning of the first year of the human calendar.

Over the next seven centuries, men fought war after war with the races who at first viewed them with caution.  Generations of blood spilled from the forests into great ocean, and on more than one occasion the kings of Whitestone Castle sent legions smashing against the impenetrable fortifications of Deephold.

By the time of the present day, the domain has fallen into an uneasy peace.  From the Duke of Tradecenter’s shaky truce with Twin Oaks to the armistice with the dwarves, men are slowly turning their interest to business.  The old military supply lines are gradually becoming important trade routes.  Though the memories of demi-humans are long, they are beginning to consider that men may have finally learned their lesson.  Peace may have a chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Ergosia:

The seat of culture in the north is Whitestone Castle, though the walled ports of Haven and Northport are known for their playhouses, clockworks and other refined industries.  Traveling west, though, the domain quickly becomes rugged. 

In the heart of the domain, the walled city of Tradecenter rises from the sprawling landscape.  It is the largest human settlement in all of Ergosia, ruled over by a secular duke and also the Archbishop of Tradecenter.  It is said that all roads lead through Tradecenter, and with the construction of the Division Wall that has become truth.

Western Ergosia is dominated by the great desert known as the Waste, separated from the rest of the domain only by the Great Wall Mountains, where the dwarven settlement of Deephold lies.

The southwest foothills are the realm of the halfling king, whose people dwell in the forested slopes below the dwarves.

While elves live in nearly all the forests of Ergosia, the elfin nation has largely retreated to the north, around their elusive capital of Twin Oaks.  No creature not of elfin descent has ever seen Twin Oaks, and it is said that the elves’ power over the green allows the entire city to move when enemies draw near.

 

 

 

 

Southern Ergosia:

The south is not settled, though not for lack of trying.  The Ruins of Southing Reach are one such attempt, where northern men sent an excursion south…only lose all contact with the brave pioneers.  Farther east stand Fire Island, with its Mount of Flame, and the Palace of Banditry, where the Bandit King holds court over the dead Salt Sea and the lifeless Plains of Bone.

One final landmark of the south is the dreaded Fell Keep.  There, an entire garrison out of Whitestone Castle was lost to insidious devil worshipers.  It is said that the castellan still patrols the walls as a death knight, order his troops on ceaseless patrols under the guidance of some unseen devil.

 

 

 

 

The Academy:

The Academy is the seat of learning for mages in northern Ergosia.  It is located a week’s ride from the trade route, a journey involving passage through the Great Wall Mountains and the desert known as the Waste.  If a student survives this arduous trek, he is permitted to undergo a test both physically and mentally taxing.  Those who fail are teleported to Whitestone, where they invariably need some manner of healing.  From there, these individuals are given fare to journey home in failure.

Those who pass the test, however, are admitted as students to the Academy.  There they spend the next seven years in study.  Upon completion of these studies, the young mage is sent into the world as a Journeyman.  Each Journeyman is given a robe sewn with a mystic rune, signifying his status as a mage.  Each is also given a personal quest.

The quest is assigned on the day of graduation, as each student walks past the High Mage of the Academy in procession.  The High Mage takes the student’s hand and whispers the stipulations of the quest, audible only to that student’s ears.  The quest is generally long and perilous; for instance, finding the Time Rock on frozen Fen Isle.  But, when the quest is completed, the student is welcomed as a graduate of the Academy.  Unrestricted access is thereby granted to the magical libraries and reservoirs of magical items.

The Academy is governed by the High Mage.  Always hooded and rarely heard speaking, this man (if he is a man indeed) is rumored to be as old as the Academy itself.  No one is known to have seen his face, and he has accepted students for over six centuries.

 

Key:

 

1.                        The Grand Library

2.                       Oasis

3.                       School of Abjuration

4.                       School of Enchantment

5.                       School of Conjuration

6.                       School of Illusion

7.                        School of Divination

8.                        School of Invocation

9.                         Dormitory

10.                    Tower of the High Mage

11.                      Graduate’s Chambers

12.                    School of Alteration

 

 

 

 

Crownholm:

Crownholm is a quiet village along the western trade route.  Little different from other such settlements, Crownholm has garnered a reputation for danger.  The mountain trail that aspiring wizards follow into the Great Wall to reach the Academy starts just west of the fields outside of town.  When wizards emerge from the Waste, they often spend their first night in civilization in the Inn of Crownholm.  Considering the causes that stir wizards from their slumber, word has spread that all adventure begins in Crownholm.

 

 

 

 

Linkshire:

Linkshire is yet another quiet village along the west trade route.  It is home to just a few dozen, as shown below:

 

William the Woodcutter and his wife Vanessa.  They are raising their ten-year-old child, William, Jr.

 

Old man Baker, the village elder.  His son, Sampson, and daughter-in-law Gloria run the store.  The elder’s grandson is, Sampson, Jr. is in his early twenties.  Furthermore, Mildred Baker, the elder’s daughter, lives with the family, raising her own one-year-old.

 

The Inn of Linkshire is run by a man in his fifties named Lawson.  His wife Maud and daughter Millie and son Lawson, Jr. run the place without help.

 

Jared Hemp runs the general store with his wife Samantha and children Jared, Jr., Penny and Little Jerred.

 

Malik the Butcher is a retired officer of the Whitestone Army.  Though he has not hefted a blade in a decade, he is much feared for his broad shoulders and steely gaze.

 

The smithy is home to Grayson Black and his family, Clarice Black and their children Grayson, Jr., Mitchell and Shawn.

 

Oliver and Crystal Weaver provide the village with clothing.

 

Finally, St. Crispin’s Temple is overseen by Father Roman and Brothers Hannes and Kyle.  Two acolytes include ten-year-old Willy Black and six-year-old Mordred, an orphaned ward of the church.

 

 

 

 

Loralon:

The village of Loralon is protected by Jonas Lance and his wife Ethyl.  Their son, Jonas, is in his twenties and has aspirations to take his father’s role when the day comes.

Thomas Baker raises his three children alone.  They are Thomas, Jr., Sara, and Little Tommy.

Ivan Workman the leatherworker lives with wife Liza and twins Matthew and Mark.

Maxwell Tor runs the general store with his son, Felix.  Felix is in his forties and a confirmed bachelor.

The man known only as Reggie runs the Golden Goblet Inn.  His daughters Lana and Heather work as barmaids, while his eight-year-old son Mitch works the stable.

Steven Gray is the local horse trader.  His hired man is Otis, a halfling who left the Shires many years ago.

Brent Smith works the smithy with his wife Melissa.  His children, Brent, Jr., and Timothy are already apprenticed to their father’s trade.

Elijah Phelps is the village elder.  He lives with his son William and his daughter Sonja, as well as nineteen-year-old granddaughter Sally.

The Widow Slim runs her own little vegetarian shoppe.  A woman in her eighties, the elderly lady hold a position of esteem in the hearts of all her people.

Finally, there is a temple in Loralon.  It is overseen by Father Davies and Brothers Mansfield and Phellps.  Two acolytes, Dane Workman and Jeffrey Baker, are also dedicated to the church.

 

 

 

 

Southford:

Southford is primarily known as the village where the trade route turns eastward towards the Shires of the halfling king.  A quiet location, the lives of these villagers is markedly superior to those of the northern settlements.  Life near the halflings has had a positive effect on the people of Southford.