Let Sleeping Gods Lie
A religious empire in the cooler, wetter western half of the continent. It is governed by an emperor and the Prelate of the One Church. Ethnically the people are all of the same background, but the eastern reaches are the traditional home of the Ledini, who have been thoroughly subjugated, and there are people of Serusi stock in the north and Orvar lineage in the south. The empire is trying to expand into the savage coast, but is also unwilling to risk a war with the Payars. Their interests to the north are less urgent, but the Sinay have also been reaching southward toward the coasts, and may just be a wild card in the power play. Merchants do traverse the mountain passes to trade in the coastal towns with Payars and others, and there are Volak outposts in the south to serve as trading centers for rare woods and spices, which they have to ship across the wild lands or around them along the coast.
Religiously, Volkreach is monocultural, and converting the infidel and destroying heresy is a paramount calling of its official religion, The One Church.
An expansionist, nationalist, xenophobic empire led by a emperor deemed a god by his subjects. The empire’s westward expansion is impeded by the Plain of Burned Glass, the Payars grew rich on seafaring trade in fish, food, metals and other valuables. The nation is mostly ethnic Payars, with minorities of Dyemesh in the north and east and Hayaren in the far east.
There is also a related tribe, the Dirgchei, in the mountains in the north, but whose culture developed independently. The Payars’ recent expansion to the east coast has tied up the country’s military resources, preventing a more aggressive stance in the Savage Coast, allowing an opening for Volkreach. The east coast is the gateway to islands and the eastern continent, where riches (supposedly) abound. They are opposed to any eastward expansion of influence by Volkreach, which is seen as a tool of the One Church.
A monarchy on the temperate northern coast, governed by a weak king and an elected senate of powerful feudal lords. Ethnically the country is mostly Sinay, although there are small minorities of Hayaren and Serusi. The nations’ interests are as varied as those of the lords in the senate. As the poorest of the three major powers, there are factions that would seek alliances with other great powers for protection and/or power.
In the meantime, border skirmishes with tribes prevents the kingdom from having much of a foreign policy. Wood is a major export product to both larger nations. Sinay’s largest trading partner, however, is the Hayaren off the northern coast. Religiously, the Sinays are similar in faith to the Volaks, but largely outside the influence of the Church (which is seen as a vehicle for Volkreach’s imperial expansism), and are therefore considered somewhat heretical.
The Savage Coast consists of independent city-states that subsist on trade and piracy. An ethnic and religious mix of Volak, Ledini, Ambar, Payar, Levenki, Droni, Sinay and others. There are no resources other than fishing and trade, the mountains are full of wild men, but there are reported riches in ancient Havens deep in the unexplored regions of the Worldspine range. Underground religions, such as the Wolf Brotherhood, find an easy home here.
Settled initially by the Hayaren people, then by the Makrebi, who are related to the Sinay, and eventually became the new ruling class. They are a kingdom of seafaring traders, more secular than most, tolerant of different religions.
Settled by Hayaren seafarers, this is a number of small principalities that originally trace their heritage back to their fallen northern kingdom. Now independent, they are of varying religions, none of them dominant. They are mostly traders and/or pirates, trafficking in rare woods and spices to the Savage Coast and Payariqum. They compete with the Payars in the shipping lanes, but are not strong enough to launch a military expedition, and are too distant for the Payars to consider them an imminent threat.
A mix of Volak, Ambar, Droni and Orvar feudal city-states located in the southern hill country between Volkreach and the Savage Coast in the north and the jungles of the south. They are a disparate bunch, under varying degrees of influence of Volkreach, the One Church, and/or splinter factions or religions. A wild land with savage peoples and beasts.
Populated by unorganized tribes of Volak, Orvar and Droni heritage, with some Payar and Sea Princes colonies and trading posts along the coasts. The region is mostly jungles, marshes, a few lost cities for good measure. This is also where the Velkonyi are most numerous.
A wild, barren and windswept land, colder than average, populated by isolated tribes of Dyemesh, Dirgchei and the Silarti. There are Hayaren outposts along the coast, and possible Havens in the mountains.
Warmed by ocean currents, under benevolent occupation by the Payars, but not completely subjugated. Offshore, Hayaren cities vie for control and influence.
Occupied by scattered Serusi tribes that practice a shamanistic religion. There’s some farming, but the land is mostly barren, and might have been the site of an old war.