Terraneus is a world of powerful and ancient magics that lie in the remote forgotten corners of the maps. The Wyrdwinds blow from the Mistlands, bringing with them unexplainable phenomena as they reach the Shimmering Sea. The Mistwalkers ride these winds, strange and alien beings to the natives of Terraneus. The Wyrdwinds seem drawn to pockets of Terraneus, often locations marked by near impassable terrain, where the Wyrdwinds cycle like a storm. The scholars of Terraneus name these pockets "Wyrdholds", and they are often avoided by those with sense.
The Iron Empire has brought many of the once free nations of Ceralus to kneel before their Empress, a sorceress renowned for her power and beauty, but also her iron will and merciless efficiency. It is said that she is immortal, for she has ruled for generations and those fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate) enough to gaze upon her say she has not aged in all these years. The Iron Empire stretches from the Bloody Plains to the Iron Spine Mountains to the western and northern banks of the Shimmering Sea. Only the Convocation of Five, a republic of five neighboring cities on the Peninsula of the Stormwatcher, retains any semblance of independence within the Iron Empire, for they provide a service to the Empress in trade with the rest of Terraneus, but they walk a narrow rope to retain this independence, as fragile as it is. The Broken Crown often lurk and travel through the Convocation in their efforts to overthrow the Empress.
In the jungles of Kar'ack, the Peoples of Sun and River war upon each other for dominance and to earn the favor of their gods. They build their cities along the Great Scar, a long and deep river that reaches all the way to the Shimmering Sea, to the port city of Scarmouth, once the domain of the Shadowlord, a sorcerer king who was said to have an army of the dead. The Shadowlord was defeated by the Empress's legions and now Scarmouth sits as the most eastern settlement of the Iron Empire. The Shadowlord's name was stricken from history, and those who were found to utter it were publicly executed in terrible ways. Now, a generation since, most have forgotten all but his title. Yet the Empress' Legate, the new ruler of Scarmouth, is quick to reward those who bring him information of any of the Shadowlord's remaining agents or spies.
The Jeweled Cities stand proudly along the Gold Coast. These free cities do not bend the knee to the Iron Empire but that does not mean they are enemies of the Empress. Opal, Ruby, Jade, Beryl, Pearl, Garnet, and Moonstone are each fortresses in their own right, made wealthy by the rich and fertile lands of the Gold Coast. The Jeweled Cities often compete against one another as the Princes march their forces to battle for glory in a complicated game of alliances and treachery. Yet all the Princes are wary of ceding too much influence to the Iron Empire, even if they will freely deal with it should it give them an advantage over their rivals.