But recently in the bazaars and markets of the coastal ports, rumors have begun to spread about a mystical land to the east. A land thought lost with strange horizons, exotic peoples, customs and mythic creatures. A land of gold, opportunity beyond measure and adventure enough for those with courage enough to try.
The lands of this forgotten continent, known only as a scholar's note skeptically scrawled in the corner of some neglected text, range from the far northern windswept, ice-locked land of Valtak through the giant forest of Sylar, across the black deserts of the Parthenian Empire and the sprawling tablelands of the Otan Plains into the fertile river valleys of Mil Tanor Realm.
Towering mountains rise above the eastern shores where the Lazan Kingdom and the Malthan Enclaves battle for control of land below the earth. Farther east lies an island where the ancient menace of the Anasar Dominion begins to stir anew.
The flat, unending grasslands of the Otan plains, tucked below the rivers of Mil Tanor, seem to stretch out to forever. Only to be broken occasionally by a winding stream or the small camp of wandering nomads. The land is as quiet and lonely as the people who live there, the nomadic Otan and the giant Centrans, both reclusive and wary of outsiders.
The massive ruins of fortresses and castles along the southern edge of the plains, in the foothills of the Kilan Mountains, bring fortune-seekers every spring. But few return from the dangers hidden in the grassland and fewer still survive the mysteries of the ruins. Those who do return, speak of it in hushed whispers and vow never to return.
The Otan plains abruptly give way to the twisted spires of Kilan mountains that tower out over the Crimson Sea. No people live in the fertile valleys and lush forests that lie snug between the peaks. Tales tell of the Lazan, a bestial race that lurks in the caves that snake below the mountains and that feed upon the blood of living creatures. Wilder tales tell of a kingdom and cities below the ground where the Lazan live and prosper, but these are clearly tales of drunken fools and madmen.
A tiny stretch of land known as the Doragon corridor is the only link between the northern and southern halves of the continent. Only one race is known to live there, the shy and elusive Doragon. Staying away from the caravans that frequently pass along the Road of Truce and Prosperity, they rarely leave their mountain home. What they do among the foothills is a mystery, and why the Parthenians fear them is a bigger mystery still.
The Parthenian Empire stretches north from the Marren corridor to the monumental forest of Sylar. A rival to the mighty empires of Talislanta, it is comprised of the Jinnan, the Talwar, the, Majaninyokawatu, the Endazi and their masters; the imperial, inhuman Parthenians. The empire is poor in good farmland but the sands of the desert and the rivers that flow down from the mountains overflow with rare metals, silver, gems and gold. The ruled races toil beneath the desert suns to fill to their masters' mighty triremes with the riches needed to sponsor their far-flung endeavors across the continent and beyond.
Desolate, cold and hard, the Ironspire mountains rake like a scar across the entire eastern coast of the northern half. Below the surface of the barren peaks lies a kingdom of hidden enclaves where mystics known as the Malthan practice their arts. Cautious allies of the Parthenians, they plot and scheme to use the secrets that they are so adept at stealing to one day usurp power for themselves.
Off the eastern coast lies a large island covered in the wastes and the ruins of an ancient war. In the giant fortresses to the south live the infamous Anasar, a race once thought dead. The former rulers of an empire that nearly encompassed the entire continent, they were pushed back to the island where they were exiled by their former subjects, of whom only the Kalt remain. On that barren island they have begun to gather their forces and rebuild the remnants of their shattered empire.
To the north of the Parthenian empire grows the mighty forests of Sylar where the Naejeeri have made their homes in the treetops. A carefree people who live off the generosity of their treetop home and whose playful natures hides a keen animal instinct and feral ferocity. Savage warriors when pressed, it is their efforts alone that have prevented the Parthenians from reducing the forest into a waste littered with house sized tree stumps.
The forest rises northward until it ends at the edge of the vast tundra that is home to the nomadic people known as the Korsalish. Born wanderers, they ride no beasts and can often be found as far south as Mil Tanor, trading in furs and other exotic northern goods.
The tundra freezes into a permanent frozen waste where the snow is piled miles deep and where the savage Valtak live. Barbarians who live any means necessary, they rarely venture south of their own free will except to raid the occasional Korsalish and Malthan settlements. Their numbers have been declining in the past few years as Parthenian slavers have captured vast numbers for use in the southern battle arenas. Their violent natures making them wholly unsuited for physical labors.
These peoples have been isolated by sea and sky from the rest of Archeaus since the days of the third millennium. Baratus sky pirates, Hydran submersibles and Mangar Corsairs preyed upon the trading ships until those left would not risk crossing into open waters.
In their isolation it escaped much of the calamity of the Great Disaster, leaving species once thought to be extinct to roam freely across the continent. It is a land of fiery deserts and fertile plains, reaching mountains and rich valleys, deadly secrets and riches beyond measure for those willing to brave the long journey to its shores and the greater dangers within.
The Sanctum Alcedon
Shigata Ga Nai High