Capital: Dana (Xar Zanth) Candu City (Confederacy)
Population: 1,092,642 (Humans 71%, mixed aquatic, swamp and mountain elves 18%, mountain dwarves 5%, Hill Dwarves 5%, other 1%)
Government: Republic (Xar Zanth), Magocracy (Confederacy)
Religions: House of the Five, Shattered Pantheon
Major Imports: Wine, Coal, Silver, Pipe weed, Oil, Silk, Olives
Major Exports: Cloth, Furs, Armor, Weapons
Currency: Bents. Gold, silver and copper coins minted in Dana. Sometimes cut in half. Confederacy Bents are minted in Candu City.
Life and Society: The people of Xar Zanth known as Zanthians, hail from one of two major regions within the Southwestern section of Tharstelding. To the east lay the Republic States of Xar Zanth, which are comprised of Trideep, Diamond Lake, Rindark, Sodden Mark and the Brinemantle Common Wealth, these states are granted a moderate level of independence and representation within the senate’s House of Commons located in the massive city of Dana which serves as the Republic’s central seat of government.
To the west lay the rebel states known as the West Glade Confederacy. These states succeeded from the Republic following the murder of Kenbril Lentar in 2304 CM, a widely popular advocate in favor of Xar Zanth returning to its magocracy roots. These states include East and West Candu, Kirkanvol and Digmar.
These two regions are currently engaged in a violent and costly civil war centered near the region east of the Bramblemoor and west of Slogtongue Slough.
To the south, across the Clouded Sea, sits the wild elven kingdom of Far Leaf. While generally considered part of the Xar Zanth region this kingdom is in fact its own sovereign nation.
While the confederacy states in the west are waging war to return to their magocracy roots, the remaining Xar Zanth republic states in the east cling to the regions modern traditions of democracy. Over two thousand years ago the entire region from the Heman Dal Mountains to the Eldross Ocean was a vast thriving magocracy. In 307 CM, heated debate between two of the nation’s most powerful arcane leaders escalated into full blown civil war. High Mage Randal Resstin believed that the Zanthians should be given power to govern themselves. High Mage Quinton believed in tradition and was not willing to set the mantle of power aside. The remaining wizard lords of rank were utterly divided on the issue, flocking to both sides and splintering the Zanthian ruling class neatly in half. The result of these differing camps ultimately led to what is known as the first Great War. Xar Zanth’s first civil war began on the first Oathday of The Falling 307 CM and ended on the Second Drawing of the Three Wars 309 CM. Thousands of civilians and arcane casters alike died for a chance at freedom or to retain their power. In the end Randal Resstin was the decisive victor. The remaining supporters of magocracy fled to the west in exile. Shortly after their freedom, a statue of Randal Resstin was erected in the center of Dana, standing 150' from base to head, with a broken pair of manacles in his hands. The people of the Republic’s modern age see Randal as the father of freedom.
Over the centuries the various states within the Republic and Confederacy have developed significant cultural differences, with more emphasis placed on independent governments and less federal control. More information regarding each state can be found in either the Republic of Xar Zanth or West Glade Confederate State sections.
Major Geographic Features:
Diamond Lake: The Diamond Lake is a large fresh water lake fed by many tributaries at the junction of the Heman Dal and Calemil Mountains. It is the largest fresh water lake on the surface of Tharstelding covering approximately 9100 square miles. The depth of the lake is known to reach around 2400 feet and is mostly unexplored by surface dwellers. The lake houses several aquatic cities beneath its surface, and is home to countless species of cold water fish. The story behind the large lakes creation is common folklore for the region. It is said that the Diamond Lake used to be a powerful elven nation called Tir Missia. The elves of old Tir Missia escaped a deadly airborne disease that threatened their extinction by sinking their cities beneath the waves, the few surface dwellers that have visited the great cities of the aquatic elves speak of amazing architecture and the lake floor littered in marble ruins. Tales of old Tir Missia have worked their way into folklore, with local fishermen commonly saying that if you anger the elves of the lake they can release the old disease upon you.
Bramblemoor: Commonly called the "Land of the Salty Grave". This large swamp is the result of the regions low elevation, its proximity to the Calemil Mountains and its large deposits of clay that prevent the swamp from draining. High concentrations of minerals in the Calemil Mountains give the water of the Bramblemoor a high salinity, allowing only the heartiest of plant life to grow within its borders. The Bramblemoor is home to many exotic species of plants and reptiles. Some birds and a few mammals make the dank swampland home as well. People that venture into the heart of the wetland sometimes come back and tell tales of dancing lights that skitter around at night. And un-comprehendible chanting from deep within hollowed out trees and earthen caves. Most folk, unless their income demands it, stay away from the Bramblemoor and label it a cursed land.
Calemil Mountains: A young and jagged range of volcanic mountains, the Calemils are capped in snow for most of the year. Many passes wind around or through the mountains, some of which are heated by geothermal vents remaining warm and snow free throughout the seasons. The great dwarven keep of Dull’marr is heated by a series of these vents deep within the mountains. Goblins, Orcs, Gnolls and Giants are a constant threat from the Calemil Mountains.
Chittercap Mountains: The Chittercaps are located at the southern end of the Heman Dal Mountain range. These steep and jagged peaks are cloaked in snow and deep glaciers year round. The youngest mountains of the Heman Dal range, the Chittercaps rise some 12,000 feet above sea level. Home to a brood of vicious white dragons and several nomadic tribes of mountain elves, these wild mountains lay mostly untamed and unexplored. The ruins of several old cyclopean cities litter the range’s various peaks, and draw the attention of treasure hunters from nearby Rindark and Barony of Eldath.
Tachlock Hills: These low rocky hills dominate the lands north of the Bramblemoor, they are abundant with wild game and rich in natural resources. Stretching nearly 600 miles from the shores of Eldross Ocean to the peaks of the Heman Dal Mountains, the Tachlock hills are separated into three zones. The central region of the Tachlocks is dry and cold, with high winds and lightning storms commonplace throughout the year. The eastern half of the Tachlocks are cold and wet, cloaked with snow throughout most of the year. The western section of the Tachlocks near the Eldross Ocean, are lightly forested with distinct seasons and a temperate coastal climate. The region is famous for its mysterious totems that litter the hills. These large stone fetishes typically resemble headless torsos and large birds of prey. Scholars debate the origins of the Tachlock totems however all agree that these erratics are hundreds if not thousands of years old. The hills are overrun with tribal orcs, goblins, gnolls, hobgoblins, bugbears, owlbears, griffons, hippogriffs and giant eagles.
The Clouded Sea: The narrow Clouded Sea spans the distance between the isolated island kingdom of Far Leaf and the southwest shores of Tharstelding. These waters are cold and calm, clouded throughout the year in light to dense fog from which the region earns its name. Rife with whales, giant octopus, schools of salmon and swarms of jellyfish this sea is also famous for its massive pearls. Large cold water reefs riddle the region, and make sailing through the fog choked sea a perilous endeavor. Dozens of merchant vessels have been lost in the Clouded Sea, drawing treasure seekers to its dangerous waters.
Slack Tide Bay: Located directly south of Digmar, and west of the Hag’s Tooth, this deep bay was carved out over several millennia by the Slogtongue Slough. Named aptly for its gentle tides Slack Tide Bay is a major economic thoroughfare for the region. Merchandise flows from the interior of Xar Zanth down along the Slogtongue Slough and out into the bay for distribution throughout the continent. The depths of Slack Tide Bay are home to nefarious sea creatures, and are rumored to be the resting place of an aged elven kingdom washed away eons ago.
Salt Mire: The Salt Mire is a large bay located east of the Hag’s Tooth. This shallow body of water garners its name from a high concentration of minerals deposited into it from the nearby Heman Dal and Chittercap Mountains, causing the water of the Salt Mire to be repulsively saltier than other oceans and seas. This large bay contains hundreds of small uncharted islands, which house a high population of pirates and other unsavory folk. Giant sea turtles, massive squid, pods of whales and countless shore birds call this region home. The area is also well known to be the breeding ground of dragon turtles, commonly mistaken for islands, which have been the undoing of many seafarers and merchant vessels.
The Hag’s Tooth: The Hag’s Tooth is a large peninsula located at the southern end of Xar Zanth, flanked by the Salt Mire to the east and slack tide bay to the west. These lands were aptly named due to the peninsulas irregular shape, which faintly resembles a wicked tooth. Dotted with stubby trees, rocks and strewn with sea shells, these lands enjoy some of the mildest weather throughout Xar Zanth. Home to several territorial hags including the Fell Eye Coven, this triad of sorcerous sea hags is notorious for eating sailors and travelers and is the topic of many a bedtime tale throughout the south.
Slogtongue Slough: Stretching nearly five hundred and fifty miles, the Slogtonge Slough slowly skitters from the Diamond Lake in the northeast to Slack Tide Bay in the south. A major artery for trade and travel within the Republic, this deep and wide river has recently been converted into a hotly contested war zone between several bordering states. These days the number of trade vessels and ferries has slowed to a trickle replaced by the frequent sight of bloated corpses on the shores or drifting slowly to the south. The waters of the Slogtonge are teeming with smelt, freshwater lobster and cat fish.
Dana: (Metropolis 148,589): "The Seat of Freedom" Dana is by far the largest city in Tharstelding and is the capital of the Republic of Xar Zanth. The birth place of Randal Resstin, called the father of freedom. Dana is also the seat of the High Senate, located in an elaborate pillared structure called the Commons. The Commons are where elected representatives from each member state meet to vote and debate on issues pertaining to the Republic. Dana’s vast civil quarter rests near the center of the city and houses all of the nation’s public offices. Traditionally the senate has thirty eight members and a High Seat held by the leader of the nation’s famed Knights of Dana, currently Grand Commander Byrick Silverbeard (LG). The High Seat has no supreme power over the other senate members, but if the issue at hand involves the use of the military, the High Seat maintains a traditional veto power. Otherwise the High Seat presides over senate hearings and sessions, only voting when a matter or bill is split 19 to 19. Almost anything a mind or body desires can be found within the towering white walls of Dana, it is said that a man can shop everyday his life and never visit the same place twice.
Waybury: (Metropolis 48,589): The three ringed port of Waybury rests along the shores of the Clouded Sea in the confederate state of East Candu. This major port consists of three ring walls that extend into the water and onto land, so that each wall rests half in the sea and half on shore. The city is famous for its towering light houses, that direct ships safely through the mist choked waters to its merchant wharfs. Waybury is in a constant state of hustle and commerce day and night, its streets illuminated by arcane lanterns and strip lights. Waybury is ruled by the Arcanist party, and governed by Archwizards Keven and Lobis Voltain, twin brothers who also serve the state government as elected members of the privy council. The cities vast mercantile success draws the attention of criminals and rogues. As a result Waybury has a high volume of organized crime, with several large criminal organizations of note, including; The Kindled Knives, a secretive band of assassins for hire. The Talons of Mar, a religious cult dedicated to the art of smuggling and the Forty Shades, a powerful gang of racketeers and money launderers.
Ui Xar: (Large Town 2,530): The town of Ui Xar is a popular trading post and frontier station for those that chose to scratch out a living in the wild Tachlock Hills and Calemil Mountains. Headquarters of an infamous cartographer’s guild and archeologist society called the Mapwrights, these adventurous explorers seek to uncover the mysteries of distant lands and civilizations. The town is administered on behalf of the Arcanist party by Archwizard Yawndar Den’Far, an Archwizard of the 4th Dhan. Ui Xar is also home to one of the most popular roadside inns within Kirkanvol, the Twisted Frog. This establishment is the largest structure within the town, can house over 200 guests, and is a common gathering place for adventurers and travelers.
Faynaught (See map of Tirmordane): (Large City 11,891): Faynaught is located at the eastern border of Shield’s End at the feet of the Heman Dal Mountains. This Zanthian colony is allowed to operate and exist under the supervision and authority of Shield King Forn Karakason. Faynaught serves as a Zanthian colony, embassy and advance outpost. While the city is not permitted to maintain an army, it is allowed to train militia and guards. A melting pot of Zanthian and Mordanian culture, the stone walled city of Faynaught is a popular meeting place for merchants and diplomats from these two nations.
Kayble (See map of Tirmordane): (Village 823): Although countless villages and small hamlets dot the face of Tharstelding, the deep mountain village of Kayble is famous for its gaping portal that stretches under the Thunderpeak Mountains and into the ruins of an old and forgotten kingdom. Hundreds of adventurers travel to Kayble each year for supplies and lodging before delving deep under the mountains. A Zanthian village, located just inside the borders of Shield’s End, the small village of Kayble is often left to its own devices for survival.
Cribus: (Metropolis 39,661): The recently captured City of Cribus lays on the Cribus delta at the mouth of the Slogtongue Slough. Cribus owes much of its past success to its strategic location along the river, being a focal point of trade for goods and services throughout the southwest region of Tharstelding. The city has no walls, and instead uses the natural branches of the delta and a series of draw bridges for its defense, a tactic that has served the city well until recently, when confederate soldiers utilized Arcanist casters to create magical bridges across the natural moats. The city is heavily garrisoned by confederate soldiers, and under blockade by Blue Fleet navy vessels seeking to recapture the city. In peace time the town is famous for its music that involves unique seashells and flutes. Many bards and entertainers travel to Cribus to hear its unique music and eat its famous seafood.
Candu City: (Metropolis 46,551) The capital of the West Glade Confederate States, Candu City sprawls along the coast of the Eldross Ocean. The most striking feature of this coastal metropolis is its unique architecture. The majority of the cities structures are built on deep anchored stilts to allow for coastal surges and dramatic tides that wash through the streets regularly. At the center of Candu City rests the Seat of the Arcanist Party, the Tower of Kelcausis. This massive structure is etched in arcane wards and stretches into the sky nearly 900 feet, making it the largest single structure west of the Heman Dal Mountains.
Valenstar: (Large City 17,821): The tribal city of Valenstar is located along the eastern coast of Far Leaf along the edge of the Clouded Sea. Built within and around a massive grove of white leaf maple trees, Valenstar is the largest settlement located on Far Leaf. The seat of Khan Ectar Pendross, chief of chiefs, and lord of Far Leaf, can be found here among the whitewood halls and driftwood huts that lay haphazardly around the city. What few people have visited this region and returned to tell tales speak of large whitewood totems, masked women and scarred warriors.
Brill Wash: (Large City 18,210): The sea city of Brill Wash is located in the Commonwealth of Brinemantle, built deep within a sandstone cliff. Brill Wash is the capital city of the small island vassal state and seat of Salt King Alexiom Crust. An integrated series of levers, elevators and pulleys make the otherwise isolated city a smooth running port and popular trade town for merchant vessels traveling along the southern coast of Tharstelding.
Theen: (Metropolis 50,111): Known for its exotic shops, elaborate inns and state of the art ship yards the city of scales, Theen, is a merchant metropolis run by the Azure Consortium from their fortress warehouse the Eltroxian Heights. Its blue slate roofs rise from the center of the Hag’s Tooth peninsula. The city sits like a wagon wheel, with smooth cobbled roads stretching east and west to nearby port stations along the Salt Mire and Slack Tide Bay that fuel Theen like a massive beating heart of commerce.
Port Idle: (Large City 19,421): The battered salt crusted walls of Port Idle rise from the shores of the Eldross Ocean in defiance to the Republic of Xar Zanth. The capital of Digmar, Port Idle, is currently under blockade by Republic warships attempting to capture the strategic port town. The Blazon Spear, a massive war college dedicated to the Battle Maiden Radiance can be found here directly next to the 1st Hall, a fortress government building that oversees the state’s operations and the West Glade’s military action near the Slogtonge Slough. Recently the ruler of Digmar has hired several bands of mercenaries in preparation for the cities defense. These small armies are encamped outside of the city gates, creating several smaller cities in their own right. The largest of which is the Denizens of Moor encampment, which encompasses some fifty acres just north of Port Idle.
Port Wenlock: (Metropolis 37,145): The coastal city of Port Wenlock rests along the eastern edge of the Clouded Sea. Its large sandstone walls protect the slate roofed mead halls, tenements and various cluttered buildings that create the city proper. Entry into the city can only be obtained by registration with the Office of Hegira. This government branch is responsible for the issuance of papers to residents and visitors alike. Outsiders without such documentation will find it practically impossible to travel throughout the city, purchase goods or obtain lodging. The cities strict governance is overseen by Archwizard Narnis Fendell and his elected members of the Prismatic Seal. This militant form of leadership has birthed a substantial black market and crime syndicate within the city walls led by the Crimson Chain, an enterprise of document forgers, assassins and smugglers that service those within the city that would rather avoid Arcanist eyes.
Frostforge: (Large City 19,241): The domed city of Frostforge appears at a distance to be a massive steaming hill with the Calemil Mountains rising up from behind, carved from glaciers and ice like white shrouded pikes. The dome of Frostforge is honeycombed, allowing for volcanic heated water to pass through and maintain a comfortable interior. Within the dome of Frostforge magical enchantments replicate day and night, courtesy of the hill dwarf priests of Shieldhearth. A large urban druidic circle, The Stone Ravens, operate within the city. Each of Kirkanvol’s sixteen noble families own private estates within Frostforge, creating sixteen districts resembling small cities in their own right.
Birchgate: (Metropolis 42,235): The windswept city of Birchgate can be found on a low plateau in the southeast corner of Rindark, and serves as the state’s capital. The white birch wood city walls and most of its buildings are shaped like arrowheads facing the harsh winds of the Heman Dal that sweep down from the northeast with a fury. The Pillared Hall of Kelistyne, the states center of government, sits at the head point of the city wall. Other buildings of note in Birchgate include Bladehold, the headquarters of the Trueblades, a government funded military order of aristocrat spies and assassins charged with defending the realm from unnatural arcane arts. And The Reed, a bardic college of skalds, this tower was erected near the center of the city and is designed to turn the regions high wind into haunting music.
Songshore: (Metropolis 30,285): Sitting on the southwest shore of Diamond Lake sprawls the metropolis of Songshore. Alternating green, red and black granite towers intermingle with twisted iron gothic spires that grant the city its name, the city of towers. The city boasts a healthy port, where goods from Dana can be unloaded for distribution to the west along the Perfumed Highway. In less turbulent times, Songshore is a bustling city of laws, commerce and politics. However the threat of invasion from the west by its neighbor Kirkanvol has slowed trade along the Perfumed Highway to a trickle, and has replaced many loitering visitors with armed militias, mercenary companies and republic soldiers. City officials have recently begun construction of a two ring wall surrounding all but the water front port in preparation for a confederate siege should the republic armies fail to hold off the advancing rebel force.
Deep Felquist: (Large City 18,671): The gilded trench city of Deep Felquist rests on the floor of Diamond Lake some two thousand feet below the surface. The vast pressure at these depths requires the aquatic inhabitants to create an artificial atmosphere around pockets of the city, primarily the market and commerce district, in order for surface dwellers to perform trade and visit comfortably. This atmosphere is maintained by the arcane and divine casters of the Crested Tabernacle, a large temple dedicated to the worship of Lenarsiz the Dripping Prince. The Owensian Guard, Diamond Lake’s elite infiltrator spies are headquartered at Hermit Hall, a massive shell converted into a quasi-military facility. The entire city is lit by arcane glass lanterns, large solid glass orbs connected to chains that glow with an eldritch white light.