If ever a new world were arising upon the ruins of the old it is in the Southlands. Here two great empires have failed, and a kingdom of wonders has fallen to curses and shadows. Here the land is more divided, more diverse, than anywhere else in the world. Here the scars of the sundering are still bleeding wounds, and the steady decay of land is ongoing. Mountains fall, dynasties fail, learning destroys, and heroes betray. And yet in the blasted crucible of such adversity new orders, new ways have risen. Coin and not blood prove might, and a man can name himself lord over whatever he can hold. The Southlands hand out opportunity with one hand, and dole destruction with the other. But if there is a future for Allornus, it is emerging here.

Physical Geography

The Southlands stretch in a ragged line in a northeasterly direction, wrapping around the Aruman Sea and up the Khoper Coast, from the southern coast of the Battlewaite and the unknown lands beyond, up to the Bair of Suirene, where they share the busy waters with Haedrasia and the kingdoms of the old Irian Empire. Like all of southern Allornus the coastline here is young, forged by the sundering over months of apocalyptic violence where the land was dragged into the sea, mountains crumbled, and even the skies were torn to pieces. But of all of southern Allornus, the Khoper Coast remains closest to its original coastline, receding less than a hundred miles from where the old coast once was around Sandour. By contrast the Aruman Sea, and the southern coast of Arumthar were roughly a thousand miles inland. It was along this stretch of land that the sundering began to take its greatest toll, and it is here that the memory of that devastation is still starkly present.

In the far west the slate-grey slabs of the Shoulders of the World squat fatly along the horizon, dividing the Southlands from the cold, dusty stretches of the battle wastes that mark the end of the world. Only in the highlands of Sudar is there a pass, and even the Sudarese Way is an elevated, rocky pass, choked with dust and debris. The warmer climes of the south mean that snow, even on the highest peaks, is a rarity, happening only in the coldest of winters, perhaps once every couple of decades. But low cloud does tend to hang around the peaks of the shoulders, and squally storms surge down over the lands below when westerlies blow. The plains below are mostly made up of rocky foothills that rise and fall all the way to the River Eris on the borders of Taurvann. Not rich land, it is prone to hardy grasslands and prairie, howling wind and occasional patches of bare bone-white sand or muddy bogs seemingly scattered at random.

The central grasslands of Taurvann stretch from the shored of the Inner Sea all the way down to the Eresfell Downs and the northern Crowyn-Hai Flatlands. This rich savannah is green and tranquil, with the gales of the west dull to a gentle, cool breeze, and the soil here is rich and black. The plains play host to wildflowers in the spring, turning the lush green into an explosion of colour. With little intrusion by civilization, the rich blues of rivers and lakes and greens of vegetation are scarcely broken by more than the trail of the wild mustangs of the region, and the painted-horse herds of the Kai gypsies. Occasional clearing made by the painted wagons of the nomadic Goblyns often turn into clearings where travellers routinely stop, to avoid the ever-present danger of small wedge-headed grass-adders.

Miles of unstable coastland is still in the centuries-long process of falling into the Aruman Sea, and cracks and rifts can open up almost overnight, and over months or even years widen, deepen, fill with water and either become roaring rivers or else topple into the ravenous ocean depths, taking whatever sits atop for the ride. For this reason the coast is ever changing, and those few who ply the waters here must be wary, because collapsed stone might rest just below the surface. Known as the fallen lands, this region is sparsely settled, and those few who do brave the hazards of the fallen lands are always ready to pick up all that they own and head inland at a moment's notice.

In the nor-east the coast changes, along the Khoper Coast, and around the Sandow Arm into the western coasts of the Bair of Suirene. This coastline is shallower, more stable, still new but somewhat gentler. Though the storms can be violent, and the too-frequent inky, ragged-violet clouds rolling in from the south herald destruction and chaos, the ports of the Khoper Coast weather these storms, and the long beaches, though stripped to bare stone, soon regain their rich golden-brown sands. Cities rise here on firm bedrock - confident, proud, defiant in the face of the sea's deadly reclamation, and even islands, blasted smooth by white-crowned waves rise, glistening, like the backs of massive animals from out of the water.

The Sundering

Nowhere is the sundering more evident than along the southern shores of the Southlands. Even today, millennia after that cataclysm, the coastal lands are still slowly crumbling into the hungry waters of the Aruman Sea. Beaches are forced back in the incessant storms, and violent currents, to expose rocky headlands. In turn these headlands are attacked by the sea, caves are hollowed out, until they are joined to the mainland by mere bridges, then they are isolated altogether as teetering islands, before crashing into the hungry waves, and the process begins again. From month to month, even from storm to storm, the coast changes. Meanwhile earthquakes are a near weekly occurrence, and though most are benign tremors, at least once or twice a year a substantial shake feels yet more land into the waves, and raises new hills, opens new rifts, and lowers the mountains. Because of this many call the lands along the Aruman Sea the 'Shifting Coast' or the 'Uncharted Sea'. No men could truly claim to be able to navigate these waters safely, and very few try. But for those that do, glimpses of the tops of sunken cities, strange islands of jagged ruins gone by the time they are revisited, and ghost-lights beneath the water are a common and haunting sight. Truly those who bear witness to such things find their faith in, or fear of, the Divh rekindled tenfold.

Setting Trait (3): Scars of the Sundering In many places the land of the Southlands is still crumbling - still settling into its new trait - and this constant geographic reminder of the Sundering has a profound impact on the folk of the south. An impact that the fall of prideful and careless Arumthar only reinforces. While the rest of the world comes to love the Divh, here there is only fear. The Divh are not givers of favour or patrons, they are to be appeased and adored unquestioningly, and people tend not to be so exclusive in their religious convictions, or so ready to discuss them because of this. Southlanders can be very quick to take offence in religious matters, and vigorously intolerant of new ideas, but they know to fear and respect an ordained servant of the Divh.

Spirit of the Land


Political Geography

The Southlands are split into dozens of tiny kingdoms, each vying to found a lasting dynasty. Most of them scarcely last a few generations, some don't even manage to make it past a decade. In short the political structure of the Southlands is utter chaos. Borders seem to change monthly and no cartographer could truly complete an accurate picture of the region before the map he was working on became obsolete. But out of all this chaos the one constant of the politics of the south is the six great guilds.

After the dramatic fall of Arumthar, last great nation of the Kelorn Empire, there was a time when the domains of the Southlands, and their various rulers struggled to restore some semblance of the power, grandeur, and majesty that they once possessed. And in doing so they turned to many craftsmen and men of wealth and means who had managed to prosper during these political upheavals, and demanded their aid. Slowly the rulers of the nations began to accrue debt, and quickly the men whose labour and lending formed the thrust of this reformation realized that they would be sucked dry so that a land that dominated their forefathers, and ground them down with tributes and laws, could arise. And these men came together and determined that it was a time for change. From this grew the great guilds - six enormous militarized merchant cartels, even one of whose influence dwarfs that of the noble lords of the Southlands combined. Each controls a number of monopolies in each nation, and each holds massive debts over the heads of the hereditary lords. When nations go to war they hire guild mercenaries, and after a token battle the victor is decided, not in combat, but over the council table. They are truly immense and complex machines built to generate wealth and influence.


By contrast the kingdoms of the Kelorns are small, scattered, poor and weak (though to the common man they could hardly conceive such). Those that resist guild influence face military occupation, or lawful execution at the hands of a guild mandated assassin. And what hope does a mere monarch have against men who can legalize murder? Racially and culturally dispirit, the individual nations have grown to have very much their own unique cultures, political systems, and identities as the various ruling classes found ways to reinvent themselves, or else gave way to those with the vision to do so. Almost universally they are small lands of limited means, whose greatest influence is wielded in back room politics, where the most cunning and ruthless thrive, and the weak are swept by the wayside.

The Shoulders of the World are also the ancestral home of the Goblyns, but despite this they and their nations are completely outnumbered by the teeming race of men, even here in their place of origin. In many nations, especially in the east, man and Goblyn rub shoulders in the sprawling towns and cities, but for the most part the Goblyns keep their own nations under their own shahs. Goblyn nations have violently resisted guild influence - their mamluk culture simply does not mesh well with the idea of a power greater than lordship, and their influential priests have been able to paint outside influence as evil, making most Goblyn lands isolationist. While no land has too much to fear from a Goblyn neighbour (save perhaps those around Qilkur) they are quick and ruthless in repelling any attempt to, even mistakenly, cross into their lands uninvited. All save for the nomadic Kai of the Taurvann. While they are not seen as ruling that vast grassland, it is left to them, but they care not who comes and goes - they have no concept that land can be owned by anyone, and welcome visitors, so long as they are not interfered with. Of course the roving clanless outcasts, descendent of Kai bandits and criminals, are quite another story.

However there is another sort of place that goes untouched by the cloak and dagger machinations of the Southlands nobles, and the brute force of the guilds, and though not long ago these were few, now they are many. Small, isolated Haedrasian enclaves are springing up here and there on the eastern borders. Though the infiltration is not so obvious here as in the north, thanks to some undesirable lands on the border between the great empire of the immortal Divhi-Imperator and the Southlands proper, there is still considerable settlement by Haedrasians. In their enclaves they keep to their culture, their religion, and answer only to their empire. If this is a new kind of conquest, distinct from the inexorable march of legions, it seems insidious indeed.

The one place that has not seen revival, or much guild influence, is the ruin of once-great Arumthar. Superstition, fear, and danger keep its borders mostly untouched. But the ragged remains of its once great populace, and many individuals, be they criminals, outcast nobles, or men of ambition seeking freedom from the guilds, have set up colonies here. Nothing more than towns and villages. That claim sovereignty, and might eventually serve as the spark that reignites the Broken Kingdom.

The minority of the political power of the south is wielded by the two eldest races to dwell in these lands. There are as many Mhulak deepings here as in any other place in the world, equalling even the colonies of the Ironheads far to the east. And while most of them keep to the Shoulders of the World, where they can remain hidden, and withdraw from the world, the nations of Mzrad and Bethamzthac have defiantly claimed swathes of land as their own, and the Mhulak have slowly begun to emerge - though in fright of the angry skies and seas - and begin the long task of rebuilding their civilization. But for the Org there is no rebuilding. Their civilization is long forgotten, and now their wandering tribes know only war. While a band might build a crude fortress here and there in wilder lands, they truly only know violence now, violence without goal or cause, and wherever they have penetrated - and in the Southlands they have penetrated as deep as Arumthar and Taurvann - eradication is the only defence against these marauding barbarians.

Setting Trait (2): The New Guard The nations of the Southlands have failed. Arumthar fell, from a combination of its own pride and reliance on magic, and the guilds of the Southlands represent a sort of militant nouveau riche. They are the craftsmen who make the land work, united together to set their prices and control currency, dominating what was once the domain of nations - armies.

Social Geography

Society in the Southlands is nearly as chaotic as mish-mash as the political picture. It is the most culturally-varied region of Allornus by far, and with little centralized culture, the mixture of language, race, custom, dress, religion and society, even in a given city, is astounding. Many travellers are overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of the largest centres, where Kelorn citizens and Gippans mingle with Irian traders and shipmasters, old Aruman gentry, Haedrasian warriors, Hobgoblyn huntsmen and furriers, Goblyn noblemen, Kai horsemen, Kenu scholars, occasional Braymen tribesmen, Oarkûn chitin-workers, Mhulak master-craftsmen and even the occasional hulking Org bodyguard. And within this a plethora of different national costumes, languages, dialects, goods and faith exist amongst the Kelorns and Goblyns alone. But somehow the people have found sense in the overbearing cacophony that is Southlander culture.

As a result of this racial and cultural melange, people frequently can't work out comparative rank or social standing. Some cultures value priests more highly than their kings, others elevate the warrior class, the guilds celebrate wealth and skill trades, and these differing outlooks have led to an often quite egalitarian society in many places, though wealth and influence are concentrated on only a few, while the vast majority are hopelessly struggling against poverty. But at least they are not doomed to the status of their birth, allowing some truly exceptional individuals to rise to the top. Even within the guilds, however, privilege of birth is a far greater gift than natural talent, and hereditary power is already fostering fledgling dynasties. The fingerprints of Irian influence, from the hints of their language (and in places the language itself) to thee trappings of their society, their mercantile leanings, and their meritocratic sensibilities, are everywhere. And it seems almost inevitable that irinos form the core of the wealthy districts of every major city.

But while the culture of the Kelorn landsmen might be in flux, the inheritors of the Org, the Goblyns find themselves at their peak. Powerful shahs and their pampered mamluk slaves simply do not mesh with the new guard of the landsman world, and so they have grown apart. Goblyns who go to landsmen lands - and there are many - adopt landemen ways, while few men volunteer themselves to the servitude of a Goblyn overlord (though those that prove themselves worthy quickly learn the benefits of honoured servitude). Goblyns keep their mamluk slaves like kings, shahs often forgoing luxury themselves to reward their warriors. Goblyn priests command enough respect that they are next unto their divh themselves to the Goblyn mind. But the labourers who feed the warriors, though free, are little more than beasts of burden to their warlike overlords.

Of course the Goblyns are not the only myr to make their presence felt in the Southlands. Two great nations of united deepings have leant much lore thought lost to their allies over the years. The Mhulak culture remains more enlightened than even the knowledge-hoarding Kenu, and much of what they remember has led those lands that have befriended them to great prosperity, but also seems to uncannily lead to their downfall when they inevitably turn on the elder myr. And then there are the Org. Pitiful savages. Pale shadows of a once noble race. These creatures live in extended families, centred around the warrior band. Their tattered banners, made from the cloaks of fallen foes, harken back to a time when once they were an army, not merely brutal raiders.

Major Races and Cultures

Landsmen of Kelorn and Aruman heritage, Goblyns, Irians and Mhulak are the major races here, though Haedrasians, Kenu and Hobgoblyns all have a very relevant impact, as do the Braymen of the central plains. Even the Org are an important presence here, though more as a threat in the west than a group with any tangible foothold. Kelorn landsmen are found in small, scattered nations to the east, interspersed with segregated Haedrasian and Irian communities within their lands. These domains often also host small communities of Goblyns, Hobgoblyns, Kenu, and very occasionally Oarkûn. The survivors of Arumthar, though indistinguishable from Kelorns as a race, are a very different cultural group, heavily influenced by the Magocracy, and by Kenu, where the Kelorns largely owe their cultural roots to the Irians. They tend to be less welcoming of myr, and more fearful of strangers, and especially of anything that seems magical. Though many believe the wandering Gippans to be of the same stock, that is largely unknown.

The Goblyns exist in four key groups. Vashrite and bosk Goblyns rule many small nations in the east and the west (with vashrite dominating in the west and bosk in the east). Aside from a difference in language, and the embracing of Hobgoblyns as members of their society, these groups differ little, living under powerful warlords, with an enslaved warrior elite, powerful priesthood, and downtrodden populace. The Kai, native to the Taurvann, are horse-nomads, who husband vast herds of wild mustang, and are said to breed the finest mounts in the world.

The minorities include the Mhulak, who have small deepings throughout the Shoulders of the World, but also control two major nations, where the deepings have united under a council of learned elders. While they welcome other races (should their intentions be pure) they are discouraged from staying long. Braymen have dominated a large tract of barren plainsland in the middle of the eastern kingdoms, where they fight with one another, and with their neighbours, until the guilds finally commit to wiping them out - likely when they discover something of value in the Braymen Plains. Other minorities like the scholarly and fractious Kenu live amongst the men, working at what they do best. And while Org are largely savage foes of all other races, the guilds have begun to bind a few such creatures - stolen from their bands as children - as bodyguards. Their loyalty proves ferocious in the extreme.


All dates are given in the old Kelorn Calendar which measures ages, and not all time. The first two ages comprise a full thousand years, and subsequent ages change every 500. At present the world is 145 years into the Age of Legacy. The actual placement of ages adheres to the more scholarly Kelorn Sept (KS) with the beginning of the first age (0 Creation) also being 0 KS, thought to be 5145 years ago.

176 Ascent The Magocracy collapses.

145 Legacy (5145 KS) Present Day.

Setting Trait (1): The Pale Rider The Pale Plague might be exclusive to Arumthar right now, but so terrible are the tales of its predations, and so fearful are the Southlanders of Arumthar and it's fate, that everyone is watching and waiting for signs of its spread. Especially pale-skinned individuals are persecuted, even attacked, and more and more people are beginning to fear the night, and especially on Arumthar's borders, watch travellers closely, if not turn them away entirely.

The Sprawling Southlands and the Western Kingdoms
Esterfel Sandour, Irak, Newhone, Kipir, Talrat, Verca, Lebros, Kadar, Zulgar, Qilkur, Maradahl, Azakay, Lamorand, Sipra, Eyat, Usuk, Alare, Zeytin, Braymen Plains
Saldania Ilmarrow, Doraim, Vledos, Kasharyk, Kadoc, Pelos, Bethamzthac, Balica, Karsuk
The Divide Arumthar, The Taurvann
Farland Usdai, Kimmura, Mzrad, Bulghaz, Perapos, Kayaba, Sudar, Sorâne, Hyd
Director's Miscellany Amenities, Gear, Prices, Professions, Random Encounters, Sample Characters, Series Loglines, Small Settlement Generator, Supporting Cast Generator