The Shattered Lands
The Continent of Astrid
Many years ago Athus was a lush continent lying near the equator of Astrid. Now, due to extensive and unregulated use of Defiling Magic over many years, the land has turned to ash and the oceans have spoiled. In spite of this, life goes on and even thrives in the harsh deserts of the Shattered-Lands. Each region of the continent is host to fauna as inhospitable and unforgiving as its environment.
From tip to tip Astrid is over 700 miles long and 400 miles across at its widest point. Civilization exists on the fringes of the continent where the shearing sandstorms are less frequent. A number of nomadic groups do, however, make their living off the lands in the inner continental deserts. Detailed below are the major regions of Astrid:
Located to the far north,the largest nation remaining on the Athas mainland is the Human nation of Argus, which finds its roots in tradition and stalwart militarism. Argus is home to our heroes.
Southwest of Argus lies the quaint nation of Bree. Bree is home to Drell one of the four Druidic masters who survived the wither of the lush jungle lands of Old Astrid and has nurtured the farmlands of Bree. Bree is a fledgling nation founded only two centuries ago. It was in no position to protect or preserve its outlying towns when the Collapse occurred and the nation has receded back to a scant few farming towns and it’s capital. If it were not for Drell it is likely the whole nation would not exist.
Caliban (City State)
Caliban is the largest city in Astrid and is nearly three hundred square miles in size, with a population of over one million. It is independent of any nation and is governed by Czar Mirdan and her council. It is a trade capital and produces much of the world’s technology. The great inventors of the Mage Engine are said to live here. Trade of all kinds can be found in the Caliban Bazaar. Some magic items make their way through the bazaars, if you know who to ask and have the money.
Caliban is also the number one producer of Vitrolium; a substance refined from the residual magic found in “waters” of the Blood Tar Oceans. Great pumping stations can be seen off the coast, gathering the sludge of the Oceans and pumping it to refineries in the city. Vitrolium in used to power the modern Technomantic devices. Huge clouds of smoke can be seen billowing across the city, emanating from refineries and factories powered by the new age machines.
The Durian Expanse
The Durian Expanse refers to a stretch of land in the shadow of Mount Durus. Due to the relative protection from the wind that the mountains offer, wildlife is more abundant here and many of the nomadic races reside in this region.
The Gartrum Peaks
The large ranges of mountains dominating much of the southern coast of Astrid are the Gortum Peaks. They notably house both Radak’ Gar and Radak’ Khan, the twin Dwarven city-fortresses of Astrid.
The Jagged Isthmus
The Jagged Isthmus is the mountainous land bridge connecting the north and the south. Before the reclamation of the Last Sea, trade between the North and South was limited and the presence of magic items in the north was severely restricted. Many trade caravans have perished attempting to cross.
Mount Durus is the name given to the tallest peak in the North and the small range of mountains that it belongs to.
The Last Sea
The Last Sea is the crowning achievement of the restoration efforts of the four druidic masters and the combined resources of the nations of Athas. Overseen by Master Dorik, the Last Sea has become a paradise in the desert. This stretch of coast represents the only waterside land in Astrid. It was originally set aside for farming. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the land has been developed for farming. The rest of the fertile land is in the hands of rich nobles, kings, merchants, and high-ranking national officials. Public outcry has been stifled in most nations through deceit and well-placed propaganda. It is the dream of every citizen to one day live on a waterside property.
The people of Mandera show a reverence for the land unseen elsewhere. It is for this reason that, when the druids of the inner continent withered and died with the land, the druids of Mandera survived. Two generations later, Druid Master Menhara and her children live on. Thirteen Druids (Menhara included) call Mandera their home. Together they have restored their nation to a lush savanna. Many seek to live here, but Menhara’s political sway in the world has prevented the vast majority of foreigners from settling.
The Obsidian Plains
The Obsidian Basin refer to the land surrounding the Spire. The ground is magically blackened glass. Dense Witch Woods surround the glasses planes for miles and few dare travel this close to the Spire, as those who do have never returned. It’s said that powerful and insane mages inhabit these woods.
Radak’ Gar & Radak’ Khan
Known as the Twin Cities, these Dwarven city-fortresses stand proud in the ranges of the Gortrum Peaks. These cities were settled long ago by two brothers when the Dwarves came to Athas from their ancestral home lands. More recently, the Twin Cities have become famous for the creation of magical items. This unexpected turn in Dwarven culture has made the cities very rich. Due to their longer than average life spans and unshakeable cities, knowledge of the arcane was preserved much better here then elsewhere in Athas. These magical secrets are guarded closely.
Once the throne of the Mage King Agraveld Tor , and standing over two miles tall, the Spire sits still; as lifeless as the land around it. It is said that any mages capable of mounting the throne will be elevated to the status of demigod, and when the venerable Mage King passed on, there was a great war over who would take the throne next. No attempts were successful. Since then, none have attempted to approach the Spire.
This is a general term for the uncivilized and desolate desert that covers the majority of northern Astrid.