Xarzhani Geographic Location in Golarion | World Anvil

Xarzhani (Zar-ZHAH-nee)

Xarzhani, officially the Independent Kingdom of Xarzhani, is an island kingdom located in the northwest portion of the inland Castrovin Sea in Casmaron. The northern lands of Xarzhani are ruled by the Twilight Empire, which is centered around the capital city of Aurorathal. The empire is ruled by Empress Olina Tor'lyn, a powerful drow mage. The southern portions of Xarzhani consist mostly of badlands and ruins of what may have been cyclopean settlements. Originally believed to have been settled by travelers banned from entering the xenophobic kingdom of Kaladay, Xarzhani is now a melting pot of unlikely inhabitants such as Drow.

Geography

The Independent Kingdom of Xarzhani, nestled within the northwest portion of the inland Castrovin Sea in Casmaron, exhibits a diverse and complex geography that has shaped its history, culture, and society. This island kingdom is marked by its stark contrasts—from the mystical and darkly beautiful landscapes governed by the Twilight Empire in the north to the rugged and desolate badlands in the south.  

Northern Xarzhani: The Twilight Empire

Terrain: The northern regions of Xarzhani are characterized by lush, dense forests that gradually give way to the shadowy undergrowth, reflecting the influence of the drow-led Twilight Empire. These forests are known for their bioluminescent flora and towering trees, under which lies the entrance to many underground networks and cities, including the capital, Aurorathal. Climate: The climate here is temperate, with a permanent twilight shrouding the land due to the magical influences emanating from Aurorathal and other arcane sites. This perpetual dusk affects weather patterns, creating a unique ecosystem where nocturnal and diurnal cycles blend.

Western Coast: Sableshore and Beyond

Terrain: The western coast features rugged cliffs that abruptly meet the Castrovin Sea, interspersed with sandy, dark beaches that give Sableshore its name. The coastal area is dotted with small fishing villages and ports, with Sableshore being the largest and most significant due to its economic activities. Climate: Maritime influences moderate the climate along the coast, resulting in mild winters and cool summers, with fog being a common occurrence due to the clash of sea air with the magical twilight of the interior.

Eastern Xarzhani: The Marshlands

Terrain: The eastern territories transition into vast marshlands known as Shadowfen, a maze of bogs, rivers, and wetlands. This area is teeming with life, albeit much of it adapted to the low light and the saturated, murky environment. Climate: High humidity and frequent rainfall characterize this region, supporting a rich but treacherous biodiversity. The weather here is more volatile, with heavy mists and sudden storms being common.

Southern Xarzhani: Badlands and Ruins

Terrain: Moving southward, the landscape changes drastically, becoming arid and desolate. The badlands are a stark, barren region, with rocky outcrops and deep canyons carved by ancient rivers now long dried up. Scattered among these badlands are the ruins of Ghalnec, offering a glimpse into an ancient past. Climate: The climate is harsh, with extreme temperature fluctuations between day and night. Rainfall is scarce, making the area inhospitable for all but the hardiest of life forms and those adapted to survival in such unforgiving conditions.

The Interior Highlands

Terrain: Central Xarzhani is dominated by a series of low-lying mountains and plateaus, serving as a natural divide between the northern forests and the southern badlands. These highlands are rich in minerals and host several small mining settlements. Climate: The highlands experience a cooler climate, with snowfall common in the higher elevations during winter months. The temperature and weather patterns provide a stark contrast to the surrounding regions, contributing to Xarzhani's diverse climatic zones.

Tourism

Aurorathal

Description: The capital city and the heart of the Twilight Empire, Aurorathal is a testament to drow architectural prowess and magical might. Built into and atop a massive underground cavern, the city is a marvel of dark beauty, with towering spires, glowing fungal gardens, and intricate web-like structures. Aurorathal serves as the political and magical center of Xarzhani, where Empress Olina Tor'lyn governs with an iron fist and an unmatched arcane intellect. Significance: Aurorathal is not only the seat of power for the Twilight Empire but also a center for arcane research and development, making it a key location for adventurers seeking knowledge or hoping to influence the political landscape of Xarzhani.

Sableshore

Description: Located on the western coast of Xarzhani, Sableshore is the kingdom's primary port and gateway to the Castrovin Sea. Known for its dark sands and bustling docks, Sableshore thrives on trade and the exchange of ideas and goods between Xarzhani and the wider world. Significance: As the economic heart of Xarzhani, Sableshore is crucial for the kingdom's trade. The city is also a melting pot of cultures, where drow and surface dwellers interact, often leading to unlikely alliances and tensions alike.

Shadowfen

Description: Shadowfen is a settlement located in the marshlands of eastern Xarzhani. Known for its difficult terrain and the secretive nature of its inhabitants, it is a place where outcasts and those seeking to avoid the empire's notice often settle. Significance: The settlement is a hub for those practicing forbidden or frowned-upon magics, and it serves as a sanctuary for those persecuted by more orthodox regimes. Shadowfen's residents are fiercely independent, and the settlement is rumored to house powerful artifacts hidden from the empire's grasp.

Ruins of Ghalnec

Description: In the southern badlands of Xarzhani lie the ruins of Ghalnec, believed to be remnants of ancient cyclopean settlements. These ruins are a labyrinth of stone, filled with relics of a bygone era and the dangers that guard them. Significance: Adventurers and scholars are drawn to Ghalnec in search of ancient knowledge and treasures. The ruins are said to hold secrets predating the kingdom of Xarzhani itself, offering clues to the mysterious past of the Castrovin Sea region.

Veilgate

Description: Veilgate is a fortified settlement on the northern border of Xarzhani, serving as a buffer between the Twilight Empire and any northern threats. The city is renowned for its defensive structures and the Veil, a magical barrier that protects it from direct assault. Significance: Veilgate is a testament to the military might of the Twilight Empire and serves as a training ground for the empire's elite forces. It is a symbol of the empire's determination to defend its sovereignty and a reminder of the constant vigilance against external threats.
Included Locations
Owner/Ruler
Owning Organization