Sample Region: The Warlands
The War-Torn West, The Bloody Battlefields,
The Thousand Nations

No one is quite sure who first called this chaotic, ever-shifting political landscape the Warlands, but the name stuck, and for the last millennia — perhaps longer — it has been this way.

While the eastern half of the continent was slowly building, the Warlands seem to have always been in conflict. Desperate for resources, the Warlands originated as an area of many nomadic tribes, similar to the current situation in the far north. The tribes followed the seasonal resources, clashing when herds of deer or cattle crossed significant geographical bottlenecks such as fords or passes through the many hills.

These battles would become almost predictable, as the spring and fall brought the tribes against one another again and again in the same places each time. The only thing that changed were the tribes themselves, as harsh weather to the north and south would drive other groups into the lands west of the Primea Mountains, and so more groups found themselves thrown into the mix.

Eventually, some tribes found a balance between chasing down their food and capturing it from passing nomads. However, few of these settlements lasted, as word of a village would draw raiding parties.

This endless cycle of violence did see rare breaks when long, mild summers gave way to gentle winters, and the movement of tribes slowed for years at a time. In the middle of these quiet periods, the first citadels were started. Built over decades by one conquering clan after another, the fortresses became sprawling behemoths. The citadels were much sought after as strategic prizes by warlords and became some of the few locations in the Warlands that existed long enough for cartographers to include on their maps.

The first great citadel was Keshek Kel, built on top of a volcanic plug near the western coast. It stood high above the surrounding hills and plains. The mount was 300 ft. high, and the keep atop was solidly built. Getting to the top was difficult, and many tribes broke apart upon its walls.

First built by two orc-led tribes who had united to combine their slave labor, Keshek Kel could have been held almost indefinitely against outsiders. However, the tribes squabbled and rowed, eventually destroying one another from within. The citadel was empty for just days before a human tribe moved in and held the keep for more than 10 years.

Keshek Kel may have been the first great citadel, but in the century since its building, there have been several more. A half dozen survived until the Night of Fire: Keshek Kel, Methyn’s Keep, Lor Taril, Hammer Hold, Last Bastion and Castle Theign. They acted as the central points of what passed as civilization in this bitter land.

Other than the great citadels, there were no real political borders in the Warlands. The vast expanse of land between the citadels, which ranged from plains to great forest, from steppes to swamps, was a bad place to be. It was generally a devastated landscape alive with battles or dying with their aftermath. Villages were routinely raised and razed. Nomads still traveled it in the Before, following game and rival clans as they had for centuries.
But the citadels were not immune to the Warlands’ turmoil. Quite often, a sudden coup or sneak attack from a rising warlord could change leaders and topple the city-states overnight. Like vultures, waves of tribes flew into the power vacuum, snapping and grabbing for territory and resources.

The West was in constant flux. It was just as common to see an orc Shaman and a human mercenary fighting side-by-side as it was to see them fighting against each other. It was said that there are no civilians in the Warlands, only warriors and people who haven’t started fighting yet.


Playing a Warlander

You’ve had to fight to survive in the Warlands, even if you don’t call yourself a warrior. Laws were few and far between, and only the strong or cunning survived in the West. Now that the Apocalypse has wiped out the barriers to the east, you may find yourself in a raiding party headed that way — whether you like it or not. The Warlands also churned out some of the most skilled horsemen in Scondera, who struck fast and escaped faster. Nomadic tribes of mongrels were also common in the forests and plains of the West.

You are accustomed to capitalizing on every opportunity that comes your way, making the most of the always-shifting political winds. The GM may reward you with a Style point whenever your cultural background causes trouble for you or your party.

Common Archetypes: Primalist, Sorcerer, Criminal, Merchant, Warrior, Blacksmith, Scoundrel



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