Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Culture Overview: Pre-Breaking

So, after having roughly hand drawn some maps, I have a basic idea of what the world looked like before the breaking. I then drew borders and started coming up with ideas for different nations and states. So, going from the most North-western and spiralling around, here is an overview of the continent of Thenaria (working title only) prior to the Deity War (working title). These are all just small bites of what is to be developed

To save time, just assume any names are working titles for now.

Hastrix: Freshly independent form the Astorina Imperium, this small nation consists of one of the two peninsulas called "The Horns of the world", as well as some small adjoining islands. Having been conquered centuries ago by the Imperium, they never truly cowed. They once again broke free, and have heavily fortified their borders. The dominant language is Hastran, but Imperial is still spoken by almost all the population. (Language: Hastran, Imperial. Culture: Hastran. Government: Monarchy)

The Astorina Imperium: Once the dominant nation of the continent, the cradle of human civilisation, the Imperium has been in a state of decay and decline for centuries. Now, whilst still powerful, they have lost half of their former territories as successor nations have been birthed from wars of secession. Ruled for over a millennium by the Astori Royal Family, the empire is ordered and ruled by tradition. Their language, Imperial, is the dominant human tongue. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Imperial. Government: Absolute Monarchy)

The Unified Duchies of Aexe: A grouping of united but independant Duchies. A civil war between two Astori heirs centuries ago gave birth to two separate empires. When the heir, Aexe, that controlled these lands was looking at inheritance, he split the nation between his 8 sons and daughters, naming each Duchy after them. A high Duke or Duchess is elected for a 10 year term from amongst the rulers of each Duchy. (Language: Imperial. Culture: Aexen. Government: Monarchic Oligarchy)

The Duchies are:
The Serene Duchy of Yole: The central duchy is bordered on all sides by others, and has never been involved in any conflict. Resource poor, but culturally rich, its main export is art and culture.

The Glittering Duchy of Seme: The largest and north,western Duchy is known for its valuable gold fields in the northern hills and the crystal blue waters of lake Seme.

The Anchored Duchy of Lize: This north eastern Duchy has the most highly trained and well supplied navy in the world. Its people are well known for being grounded and sensible.

The Iron Duchy of Bule: This eastern Duchy holds the Bule mountains, rich in iron and other useful ores, and gems. Bule successfully stopped the expansion of the neighbouring kingdom of Zynos 40 years before.

The Verdant Duchy of Zene: Containing the Forest of Zene, and bordered by the Neyrwood forest, this Eastern Duchy exports Lumber and wood products throughout the continent.

The Divine Duchy of Kile: Founded by the most pious of Aexe's children, this south eastern Duchy has many glorious cathedrals, none of which are more wondrous than the Cathedral Divine, Which has shrines and holy relics from all deities worshipped by humans.

The Unbroken Duchy of Nove: Over the centuries, this south western Duchy has successfully resisted any and all attempts of aggression from the neighbouring Astorina Imperium and the Caliphate of Bax. The Duchie practises mandatory conscription for all citizens for a term of no less than 3 years, making the nation a formidable force.

The Uniting Duchy of Dake: Containing the city of Highseat, the chair of the United Duchies, this Duchy was founded by the eldest son of Aexe, who took the smallest duchy to show he believed in a united, but independent set of states.

The Kingdom of Zynos: A nation that can trace its origins as far back as Astorina, this nation is made of lands ceded by the Ophiduans millennia ago. The Dozanyi Mountain range, and the Gorge of Zozun dominate the centre of this nation. The Zynos are an insular people, and prefer to keep contact with other nations to a minimum. (Language: Zynan Culture: Zynan. Government: Monarchy)

Sytheria: The Ophiduans maintain that once, the entire continent was Sytheria. But over several millenia, they have ceded more and more lands to other more fecund and shorter lived races. Sytheria is now a large nation of tropical jungles in the north western corner of Thenaria, and is even more insular than neighbouring Zynos. (Language Sisthassian. Culture: Ophiduan. Government: Meritocracy)

Republic of Mynar: This fledgeling nation broke away from Zynos just over a century ago, and is experimenting with a new form of government, Democracy. Only human land owners have the vote, and elections are held every 7 years to form a council. Recently, Councillors have started to band together into ideological alliances, bringing some level of stability to the Council. (Language: Zynan. Culture: Zynan. Government: Democracy)

Quesaras: The homeland of the elves, it mostly consists of the towering Quesar mountains and the surrounding forest on the western side of the continent between Sytheria and Tecnocticlan. Though the elves have never been expansionists, they fiercely defend their borders.

Tecnocticlan: This south-eastern nation is a strict Theocracy dedicated to Numar the Sun god. The humans here are in constant fear o being selected for "Ascension", which is a form of ritual sacrifice where the organs are removed magically, leaving the husk to rot in the sun. (Language: Honichtic. Culture: Tecnichtic. Government: Theocracy.)

The Hordelands:  this barren and unhospitable wilderness houses tribes of goblinoids and other monsters. No unifying form of government exists in this wild land.

Thehn: Also known as "The walled lands of the Dwarves", this nation is surrounded on all sides by high and unassailable dwarven walls. Inside, the dwarves live in insular clans that hold grudges for centuries for even the most minor of slights. Outsiders are not welcome, and are thrown over the tops of the wall to their deaths. (Culture: Dwarven. Language: Dwarven. Government: Loosely aligned Clans.)

Army of Maryx: Once the most westerly part of the hordelands, this fledgeling nation of Hobgoblins is expansionist and ruthless. However, with the walled lands of Thehn to the north and the powerful Empire of Northire to the west, chances for expansion are limited. It is ruled by a chief, who rules by right of combat. (Culture: Horde. Language: Goblin. Government: Military Dictatorship.

Arcane Empire of Northire: A large empire spreading over the south-western continent, this nation was once a vassal to the Astorina imperium, but is now self governing again. It is ruled by mages, and arcane power is the only way to advance in this society. Mages wield such power here, that slaughtering a "mundane" is not illegal. Though sparsely populated, its arcane might allows it to defend its borders. (Culture: Northirian. Language: Northir. Government: Magocracy.

The Wastes: A large desert on the central south western section of the continent, no nation claims it as part of its domain, except for a northern section which falls under the dominion of the Caliphate of Bax. The Dromite Hive city is contained deep in the inhospitable dunes, and the Dromite hive mind is happy to be left as warden of the wastes.

Caliphate of Bax: The four great oases in the northern part of the wastes have allowed this small nation of humans to survive. It is a dual culture of desert nomads and walled cities ruled by Caliphs. Though there is no central or unified government, the Caliphs tend to lend support to each other in times of need. (Culture: Baxish. Language: Arasac. Government: Allied Monarchies and tribes)

So there it is, a VERY brief overview of the continent of Thenaria PRE-breaking. These will be expanded in future, but this is a good starting point.

At some point, I hope to upload more complete beta versions of the maps i have created as well.


  1. Interesting mix of cultures.
    It looks like the impending global disaster could push a few in different directions (although the holy and arcane places we know are not going to be happy with the process!).
    I can also see a lot of potential to flesh them out if pre-disaster looks like an interesting option to explore.
    Pygmy hippos like swamps and forests - I can't see any inherently swampy places... throw in a swampy, Bayou-esque place. Crocs, shacks on stilts, undergrowth that looks overgrown, crustaceans, large trees emerging from the water, people who say "yah-up". And pygmy hippos. Lots of pygmy hippos.

  2. Sytheria has swamps and jungles... perhaps your precious pygmy hippos exist there?

  3. Is he still in Gabon?
    But seriously, sounds very diverse. I would like to see talking monkeys or a mysterious place with ancient ruins with like a disease or something. Like that place in GOT where all the people with grey scale go.