Welcome to the pre-game update. If you take a look at the “Map” tab, you’ll ll see a hand-drawn map of our kingdom, Charatol, and its surrounding lands. We’re going to start the campaign at the Dragon’s Claw Tavern in the city of Alisterra, but your characters can be from anywhere on this map. Here are some descriptions you may find useful when putting together a character background. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to write a novel – though you can, Carl – I just want to make sure you have a basic idea of who your character is and where he or she has been before you try to play them.)
Charatol Kingdom – the main country of our adventures, this is a prosperous land full of merchants. Only the largest cities are shown here, but if you prefer you can come to me with an idea for your hometown or city.
Charatol’s political structure is headed by a monarch, Queen Elianna, who heads a High Counsel of merchants and guild leaders. Although the Queen has the ultimate say in the foreign policy of her land and unilateral authority during emergencies, she must have a majority counsel vote for most domestic policy.
The kingdom itself relies on swords, bows and magic for war – gunpowder and electricity is not yet known to these people, though it is easily replaced by their many spellcasters.
Kaverton – A small northern city known for the stunning dyes it produces from the plants that are native to their region. Although it is the last large city on the King’s Highway, it is an important stop for any merchant who works with textiles. North of Kaverton most towns and villages revolve around farming and the dye industry, but almost all residents of this northern region are moderately skilled in fighting, as they live near the Tevarda Plains and must often defend their homes from northern raiders.
Taderan – An important stop on the Merchant Highway and the King’s Highway, this is the first major market for the silks, magical items and paper goods imported from the west. A great Wizard’s school is located here, and so many magic users tend to live here.
Osterra – Nestled between two rivers and directly on the King’s Highway, almost all imports come through this city at one point or another. As a result, this city holds many factories where raw materials are converted to final products. Guilds such as the Weaver’s Guild and the Blacksmith Guild have their headquarters here and are known to throw lavish parties all year round. Since this is the most industrious city in the kingdom, it is also the most well educated, and all but the poorest members of the population are literate.
Alisterra – A trade city ruled by the Alistair family. It is a main stop for merchants bearing elven wares, and has the highest population of elves and half-elves in Charatol.
Eskarn City – The capital city of Charatol, it also has a major port for trade. It’s a major stop on any trade route to or from the Aldrak Islands, and therefore has a surplus of exotic wares at any time. The nobility here are known for their ostentatious outfits and constant fashion changes, with traditional outfits from foreign lands going in and out of fashion sometimes within the span of a month. The population here tends to have a higher quality of life than in any other city, as most of the kingdom’s biggest universities are located here, including a large healer’s college, several seminaries for clerics of various religions, and a wizard school.
Since so many travel to Eskarn by sea, this city has the lowest percentage of humans at any time, as all races tend to mix together for trade.
Aldrak Islands – A fierce ally of Charatol, they will often lend their superior marines to a fight on the sea, with the understanding that Charatol will send cavalry if they ever need to fight on land.
Aldrakis the homeland of the gnomes, and is still populated mostly by their kind. Humans have a hard time living on the islands for long, as most dwellings tend to be too small for them unless they’re specially made. The gnomes here are known both for their tinkering and for their skills at traveling the sea.
Tevarda Plains – the northern plains are perfectly suited for the nomadic human clans that live there, mainly herding sheep and cattle and foraging for edible vegetation. Despite their desire for a peaceful lifestyle, these nomads are fierce warriors, because they share their home with orc warrior tribes. The two races have been at war for their territory for centuries, and humans from this region tend to despise orcs and half-orcs almost instinctually.
Harrvenn Mountains – the ancient homeland of the dwarves, this range is still home to several dwarf clans, though several have immigrated into Charatol and now use their skills as smiths across the kingdom. Most dwarves still in the mountains are miners, though many smiths and fighters remain as well. The caverns beneath the mountains are still home to vast citadels, and the remaining clans diligently care for each one of them, hoping their brethren decide to move back to the mountains.
Pengarat Forests – An old growth forest to the west of Charatol, this place is avoided by most travelers because it is known to be the home of many magical beasts. Only the most skilled trappers and hunters know this forest well, but those who do are able to make small fortunes selling their catches to fur traders and wizards in need of magical components.
Dalana Plains – This is the traditional homeland of the elves. Although allies, not much is known about the geography of the region because elves are incredibly secretive about their homeland. Outsiders are only allowed to travel the Merchant’s Highway, and their only stop is Stellair, the trading city of the elves.
Stellair – the elves’ only trading city, this is the source of some of the most rare and beautiful cloth and jewelry on the continent. Merchants are always welcome here, though they are not allowed anywhere else in the Dalana Plains, and many adventurous young elves come here to join a merchant caravan before venturing out of their homeland.