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Nalunara

The core narrative of Nalunara is one that all children know and can understand: there are the good guys in the south, and in the north the bad guys who want to kill and possibly eat all the good guys. Alas, reality is rarely so straightforward.
— Toran Medazak, "The Nations of Nalunara"
Nalunara is the largest continent on Calcerun, with a diverse climate. The far north is covered in snow for half the year, and the far south has an equatorial climate, but most of the continent is broadly temperate. Nalunara boasts a large number of large lakes and inland seas. Lush fields and vibrant forests cover much of the continent, and overall it is a pleasant and bountiful place to live. Nalunara is divided in conflict, both martial and philosophical, between the Kwal Dominion in the north and the Grand Alliance of Free Peoples in the south.

Factions

Two primary factions dominate Nalunara, and have done so for hundreds of years: the Kwal Dominion, and the Grand Alliance of Free Peoples. The two factions are bitter rivals, their enmity nourished by centuries of wars. Both seek to eliminate the other, and assert complete control of the continent. The Dominion has been historically more successful in this, and over many decades has slowly pushed the Alliance's borders further and further south, conquering entire nations along the way.
The Kwal Dominion
The Dominion, occupying the central and northern part of the continent, is composed of a large group of factions of different races, most notably orcs, goblinoids, kobolds, gnolls, trolls, ogres and harpies. It is under the unquestioned control of the medusae, who make their home on the island of Kwal. The medusae direct the various components of the Dominion, managing the frequent infighting with a deft hand, and direct the Dominion's attention south. The Dominion's stated aim is to eradicate the Grand Alliance and establish rule over the entire continent. The Dominion's inhabitants are often disparaged as the 'Savage Races' by the Alliance.
The Grand Alliance of Free Peoples
The Grand Alliance grew from a mutual defence pact between the nations of Esé-Nal l and Sindal, which later expanded to include most of the southern nations. The Alliance's goal is to establish lines of communication, and agreements of mutual aid, between the southern nations, that together they can resist the Dominion's advance and ultimately push them back entirely. The Alliance has no formal leaders, as few of the nations were willing to give up sovereignty, but it does ease the communications between its member nations and helps them to coordinate their efforts.

Nations

Grand Alliance

Bresseris
A nation of seafarers, Bresseris is the name given to a nation formed of a fourteen islands off the west coast of Nalunara. The islands are relatively poor and under-developed compared to the other Alliance nations, and are reliant on the Alliance for many war-making essentials. The Bresae are, however, excellent sailors, and have used their knowledge of the sea to fight back effectively against the Dominion navy.
Cabyra
The Republic of Cabyra is a small cosmopolitan state. It only boasts a single city, Cabyra, but has a moderately prosperous economy thanks to the material wealth in the surrounding lands. The Republic prides itself on being tolerant and forward-thinking, and welcomes people of any race or origin. The Republic has allowed its army to decline somewhat, now that it has New Tarania as a buffer against and distraction to the Dominion.
The Dhar
The region now called the Dhar was once territory held by Khazarak, until the inhabitants of that region followed the example set by Independent Vekril and declared independence. The Dhar joined the Grand Alliance following its secession, and continues to hold its section of the border. The split from Khazarak was as amicable as such things can be, and the Dhar remains on good terms with its 'parent' nation.
Escana
Not really a nation so much as people who happen to live close to each other, the Escana Union is a loose coalition of tribes and townships in the enormous Escana Forest. Wood elves, forest gnomes and firbolgs make up the bulk of the tribes forming the Union. Although they are disorganised, they have resisted Dominion attacks thanks to the forest itself. The Escana Forest is thick with vegetation, hilly, and generally very difficult to fight in if you don't know it well.
Esé-Nal
The oldest nation on the continent, the Principality of Esé-Nal is a predominately elven nation. Elves make up the overwhelming majority of its population, and all of its rulers are elves. One of the founding members of the Grand Alliance, Esé-Nal is a realm dedicated to the war against the Dominion, and its soldiers can be found wherever help is needed along the entire border.
Gundumunz
At the eastern tip of the mountain range between Sindal and the Wescuan League, buried beneath the surface of the mountains, sits the dwarven city-state of Gundumunz. Its commanding position on the most direct trade route between the League and Sindal (the hub of trade in the Alliance) has made Gundumunz rich, and established its position as a mercantile power.
Iadren
A broken remnant of its former glory, Iadren now is only half the size it used to be. Before the Taranians arrived in Nalunara, the Dominion had conquered the northern half of Iadren, forcing the Iadain (the bearfolk) to cower behind the mountains that had once run across the middle of their kingdom but now marked its border. Iadren has only slowly begun to recover from its losses, and was in no position to contest the Taranians settlement of what used to be northern Iadren - something the Iadain resent bitterly.
Khazarak
A predominately dwarven realm, the Queendom of Khazarak is the most prosperous nation in the Alliance. Its economy is very strong, and its standard of living high. Khazarak's border with the Dominion is protected by the Unbreakable Wall, lessening the pressure the queendom faces from the north. Khazarak has had to develop a strong navy to counter naval assaults from the Dominion off its western shore.
New Tarania
Formed by the few humans who escaped the conquest of Tarania by Vecna and his necromantic forces, New Tarania is still in its infancy, and relatively weak. A recent invasion of Dominion forces broke through the New Taranian army, reached the capital of Meresford, and slew the king before they were repulsed. The only surviving member of the royal family is a six-year-old boy, and the lack of clear leadership is not making the country's already-shaky footing any more stable.
Sindal
Sindal is one of the founding members of the Grand Alliance. It is the hub of much trade in the continent, and also home to the keenest minds. In times gone past Sindal was inhabited primarily by gnomes, but its open trade routes and increasing pressure from the Dominion have led more and more people to settle within its borders, making it quite a melting pot of races. Sindal's northern border with the Dominion is defended primarily by a dazzling array of traps and illusions.
Yol
A land of sweeping planes, Yol is home to the nomadic halfling caravans. They travel across the plains, following game and tending to their herds. Halfling cavalry patrols the northern border ceaselessly, always on the lookout for Dominion intruders. Some members of other races, most notably Kenku, make their home here too, either mixed in or forming their own caravans. In the last few decades a few permanent settlements have even been established, though they remain small for now.

Kwal Dominion

Kwal
The island home of the medusa race, Kwal is shrouded in mystery. The Dominion navy patrol the seas around it fiercely, and bound leviathans wait beneath the waves for any intruders who make it past the ships. Kwal is known to be a swampy island, with little in the way of material wealth. Most of the medusa spend their time elsewhere in the Dominion, managing their subjects, but their highest leaders and the centre of their culture remain on Kwal.
Dominion Territory
The northern-half of Nalunara is almost-exclusively controlled by the Dominion. Such a large area boasts a wide range of climates, from bountiful grasslands and forests at its southern edge, verging towards tundra at its northernmost tip. The land is inhabited by the various client races of the Dominion, such as orcs, goblinoids and kobolds. The various races maintain their own territory and groupings, though all ultimately owe fealty to Kwal.

Independent

Erenon
Erenon is a small city-state nestled in between Yol and Iadren. It is inhabited almost exclusively by rock gnomes, and is renowned for being isolationist and xenophobic. Few travellers are welcome or even tolerated, and the leadership generally refuse to have anything to do with the other nations of the continent.
Eternal Ramani
A fiercely independent state, Eternal Ramani has resisted being conquered by the Dominion long after every other nation in the north fell. The state is ruled by a black dragon, and is composed primarily of a roughly equal mix of lizardfolk and hobgoblins - an unusual combination, but one that has survived surprisingly well. The Ramani have no interest of working with the Alliance, or of bending the knee to the Dominion, but instead are determined to forge their own destiny.
Narakinb
In the western reaches of Dominion territory, buried beneath the ground, one can find the dwarven nation of Narakinb. A very traditional dwarven nation, it was only around the turn of the century that Narakinb began establishing control of the surface territory above it. Unfortunately this attracted the attention of the Dominion. Decades of fighting have seen Narakinb lose all of its above-ground territory, and it has begun to lose ground beneath the surface as well.
Ormir
A large island off Nalunara's southern coast, Ormir is the ancestral home of the dragonborn in Nalunara. It is governed by a loose confederation of clans. A handful of adult dragons consider Ormir under their protection, and there is usually at least one or two of them in the country at any time. The Alliance has been unsuccessful in recruiting the dragons aid against the Dominion, but some of the clans themselves do provide warriors for the fight.
Tethas & Segas
Two islands off the east coast of New Tarania, Tethas and its smaller sibling Segas are ruled by the Desmabi minotaurs. Expert seafarers, Desmabi marauders happily raid the ships and coasts of the Alliance and Dominion alike. Their rulers impose quotas on the raiders to prevent them getting too greedy, which has helped prevent either of Nalunara's superpowers making a proper effort to assault Tethas and end the marauder threat.
The Wescuan League
A coalition of city-states, the Wescuan League came into being primarily to prevent individual city-states from being snapped up by the growing Alliance. The League is historically wary of the Alliance due to its past expansionism, but has signed a formal peace treaty and is on generally reasonable terms. Officially the League is neutral in the war between the Alliance and the Dominion, but some of its individual members do contribute aid or soldiers to the Alliance for their own reasons. The League's nature as an alliance of convenience means it is frequently beset by internal conflict, as individual cities fight for dominance.
Vekril
Some fifty years ago a region of Khazarak seceded from the queendom, declaring itself as Independent Vekril. Khazarak briefly attempted to bring the rebellious province to heel, but Vekril's defenders fought well and held them at bay for long enough that Dominion pressure forced Khazarak to concede the fight. Vekril remains fiercely independent to this day, and has a reputation for secrecy and isolation. Very few individuals are allowed across its borders.

Locations

The Desolation
A blighted land, where nothing grows and the water is tainted. Strange beasts roam the area, occasionally venturing out into the surrounding nations seeking fresh prey. The Desolation runs between Esé-Nal and Yol, hindering all trade between the east and west of the Alliance. Travelling between Esé-Nal and Yol requires one of three paths: a ship along the south coast, a detour through the thick and hilly Escana Forest, or joining one of the heavily-defended caravans that risks crossing the Desolation itself.
The Dragonreach
This region is claimed by a mighty blue dragon, who does not hesitate to slay any who dare set foot in what it considers its range. If the tales are to be believed there is lots of treasure in ruined towns and forgotten vaults throughout the region, but none who venture in return to confirm the tales.
The Kwal Border
The border between the Alliance and the Dominion stretches east to west across the entire continent. It has shifted with time, almost always to the south, and exactly where it falls at any time is rather vague. Skirmishes are an everyday occurrence along its length, and full-on battles are common. The different border nations of the Alliance maintain their section of the border in a variety of different ways, as best fits their strengths and resources.
The Mistvale
Set between two mountain ranges, the Mistvale is, as the name suggests, perpetually filled with mists, no matter the time of day or year. The mists resist all known forms of scrying and divination. Most of those who try to enter the mists simply wander around blind for hours, before finding themselves emerging back outside the mists none the wiser. A rare few who enter are never seen again. Whatever secret the mists are hiding, they clearly mean to keep it.
The Spellscar
A geological remnant from the Naian Cataclysm, the Spellscar is testament to the tremendous energies unleashed on that day. A bolt of power carved its way into what would become Nalunara, forming a great gulf that remains to this day. Even after so much time, the scar is saturated with magical energy. The waters teem with magical creatures and underwater plants, promising rich rewards for those willing to dive to get them. The cliffs either side of the scar were similarly affected, and are rich in gemstones and rare magical metals such as mithril and adamantine. Khazarak, Sindal and the Wescuan League are all heavily involved in plundering the riches of the scar.
 

History

WIP


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