Coldforged: Regions of Tysis

Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week, I’m going to talk about cultural and significant regions on the island.

The Regions

Tysis is the name of the continent that the players of my games adventure on, and while there are some commonalities that linger around the Island, there are also a vast variety of peoples, cultures and technology levels across the continent. While there are dozens of sub cultures and over a hundred different groups of people, they can be generalized into but a few overarching regions.

The map below showcases the regions on the continent

Killbarum

One a proud mageocracy, the Killbarum Republic has fallen apart following the razing of their capital. Smaller areas are ruled by warlords, each vying to wrest control of more territory from their neighbors and enemies. There is, thankfully, hope for those willing to take risks, as the exiled Archmagus Numer has conquered a number of cities and declared the Republic of Nova Killbarum.

Killbarum has a strong mix of different people. Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, Thraxians, and Humans are all prominent, with humans the greatest part of the population, but not the majority. Half-giants and Dragonkin are rare and are often military leaders, advisers, and priests when they have not been granted Arcane talents, though Dragonkin’s powerful affinity for sorcery is always a welcome boon to whichever College they choose to attend. Magespawn are looked down upon as sorry and disgraceful beings but are tolerated as long as they don’t aspire to high degrees of power. Godtouched are just as rare here as elsewhere but often rise to prominence, having been gifted some bit of control over the elemental magic that infuses the world.

Killbarans attempt to infuse magic with the martial and political at every opportunity and they often develop vast and complicated magical theories around the application and practice of those infusions.

Killbarans Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Usually Lawful or Neutral, sometimes Evil
Suggested Race: Human, Elf, Dragonkin, Gnome
Suggested Subclasses: Clerics of Knowledge,  Eldrich Knight, Arcane Trickster, Fiend Pact, School of Enchantment, School of Evocation,  School of Illusion, Arcane Archer, and War Mage

Levisha

Levisha – The Levishans once were ruled by the Council of the Seasons, the elder Elven Matriarchs and Patriarchs of the vast forest. In recent decades, though, having retreated from the world via the Great Declaration, knowledge of the world beyond their borders has grown sparse, as no one that ventures into the forest returns, and scarce few are leaving. Those that do leave report a great sickness striking the forest, but knowledge leaves little to collaborate the rumors

Even when the Levishan borders were open, they were not a particularly diverse land. Elves are the vast preponderance of the Kingdoms population, with a smattering of Gnomes, Halflings, and the extremely rare Half Giant or Human. Dragonkin, Godtouched, Magespawn, and Dwarves are nearly unheard of within the great wilds of the northern forest.

The Levishans practice a life of harmony with the natural world, speaking for and defending the plants and animals of the great woods. They tap into primal magic more often than not while defending their groves, circles, and great forests.

Levishan Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Usually Chaotic, rarely Evil, often Good
Suggested Race: Elf, Gnome, Halfling
Suggested Subclasses: Cleric of Nature, Cleric of the Tempest, Circle of the Land, Circle of the Moon, Oath of the Ancients, Beast Master, Hunter, School of Conjuration, School or Transmutation, Storm Herald, Circle of the Shepard, Scout.

Hrondring

Hrondring is the broad term for a group of shapeshifting barbarian cultures that live at and around the Valley of Hrond in northwestern Tysis. They live, with quite a bit of tension, in Killbar, Tyndaria, and Levisha, but also occupy the Hrondring hills between the two great human lands, as well as southerly almost clearly to the Great Swamp. They are not ruled by any single body or king, though multiple great chieftains have hailed themselves as king of the Hrondring, attempting to unit great bands of warriors and raiding or warring against the nearest Kingdom. Aside from those rare individuals, the Hrondring are a loose collection of clans in a constant state of shifting peace and war among each other and the Kingdoms they exist in.

While Hrondring refers to the specific people of a specific culture in various parts of the outlying wilderness that is ostensibly controlled by other kingdoms, they do not reject outsiders who wish to abandon their old lives and join the clans. While almost the entirety of the population of the Hrondring are Hrondring, there is almost always an outsider within a tribe.

Hrondring Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Usually Chaotic, sometimes Neutral
Suggested Race: Human, Hrondring, Thraxian
Suggested Subclasses: Cleric of the Life, Circle of the Moon, Horizon Walker, Samurai, College of Swords,

Alora

While Alora may no longer be their own Kingdom, and haven’t been for centuries, they still maintain a strong pride in their heritage and history. Known for a great civilization that centered in the great plains, around the Capital of Alors, prior to whatever calamity befell it ages ago. These people hold tight to their ancient practices, holding to ancient pacts and long lost bloodlines. Though they were long assimilated into the Tyndarian Kingdom through marriage, their will and culture maintains enough relevance to be its own region.

Alorans tend to be Human, and this fairly rural area tends to be the most human portion of the continent and they hold a slim majority. Dwarves and Thraxians populate the area in pockets, as well as being solid minorities in most towns and cities. Elves are slightly less common, being thought of as great rangers, wilderness guides, and hunters. Magespawn, Godtouched, Dragonkin, Gnomes and Halflings are all exceptionally rare, and while a gnome or halfling will often bring no more than a raised eyebrow, the others are looked upon with skeptisism.

Aloran Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Often Neutral, rarely Good
Suggested Race: Human, Dwarven, Elven, Thraxian
Suggested Subclasses: Cleric of War, Cleric of Death, College of Valor, Battlemaster, Brute, School of Conjuration, School of Necromancy, Assassin, Inquisitive, Shadow Sorcerer, Hexblade, Fiend Pact.

Tyndaria

The Great Kingdom of Tyndaria is descended from Killbaran refugees fleeing a civil war long ago who settled in the small town of Tyndars Grove that grew over the centuries into a massive Kingdom that has now fractured into the Ten Kingdoms, through the actions of a brutal and ruthless monarch taking hold in the capital. These ten southern Tyndarian Kingdoms share a very similar culture, having split only recently from the greater whole. An absolute monarch rules alongside a council that advises them and are appointed by the monarch from among the many and varied noble houses that are all vying for power and prestige both in the capital and abroad. The Ten Kingdoms are the most urban of the regions, having built up trading towns, ports and urban centers at every opportinity. Tyndaria and Killbar fought numerous, terrible, wars prior to the current era, and the Tyndarians still harbor a bit of resentment towards many Killbarans that they meet.

Tyndaria is the most diverse of all the regions, with no specific group holding a majority strong enough to claim primacy. Elves, Dwarves, Thraxians, Humans, and Dragonkin populate many of the cities and towns, who also welcome the stocky Half-Giants and diminutive Halflings with a smile and a nod. Only Godtouched and Magespawn even draw a look, but that is only long enough to determine who or what they are before returning to work.

Tyndarian Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Often Neutral, Rarely Chaotic
Suggested Race: Any
Suggested Subclasses: College of Lore, Cleric of KNowledge, Cleric of Trickery, Cleric of War, Battlemaster, Way of the Shadow, Oath of Devotion, Thier, School of Abjuration, School of Evocation, College of Whispers, Forge Clerics, Cavalier, Kensai, Monster Slayer, Swashbuckler, Inquisitive, Assassin

Thrax

Thrax is the end result of a long and unifying work started ages ago by the god Takannas in order to unite and strengthen his long-estranged children. here, behind their great wooden palisades within their dirt and timber fortresses, the wild children of Thrax thrive. Orc, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Thraxian, Half-Giant and Hill Giants all live together in a similar harmony to the urban south. It is a mirror civilization with many of the amenities of a Tyndarian or Killbarum city, just in a rougher and more rustic manner. The Thraxians live as they did before, in great clans that claim swaths of forest and open fields and continuously war against each other for glory, honor, power, and land. They are considered a threat by the Levishans and Alorans, but otherwise are generally left to their own, bloody devices.

Few non-Thraxians live within the region, and most of them by their own choice. That said, there are enclaves of Humans and Dragonkin that live within the land and the clans, making themselves both useful allies and dangerous enemies. The godtouched and the magespawn are both looked upon as favored children of the gods and are generally given status of great primacy within the clan. Elves, Halfling, Gnomes, and Dwarves are rarely seen and generally held with suspicion when it happens. Thraxians, in general, are supremely in touch with the spirit realm and their ancestors, delving for guidance and wisdom among the knowledge of the dead and spirits of the land itself.

Thraxian Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Often Chaotic, sometimes Evil, rarely Good
Suggested Race: Thraxian, Half-Giant, Dragonkin, Godtouched
Suggested Subclasses: Totem Warrior, Cleric of Life, Cleric of Death, Cleric of Nature, Archfey Pact, School of Conjuration, Ancestral Guardian, College of Glamour, Cleric of The Grave, Circle of Dreams, Horizon Walker, Scout, Gloom Stalker

Drimmak

Thought the Drimmak was once the home of the Dwarves, the massive mountains are now populated by Dragons, Giants and their kin, who have inhabited the vast halls and great keeps of the exiled Drim. There is little here left of civilization, with Giants and Dragons battling over the spoils still all these years later. There are rumors of small holdouts of Dwarves and Humans, but everyone expects that these are rumors spread by the dwarves to stoke fires of rage at the invaders of their land.

Drimmak Characters
Suggested Alignment: Often Neutral, usually Evil.
Suggested Race: Half-Giant, Dragonkin, Dwarf
Suggested Subclasses: Way of the Four elements, Draconic Bloodline, School of Evocation, Storm Herald, Storm Sorcerer, Cleric of the Tempest, Gloom Stalker, Scout

Aldashir

Aldashir Citadel is a once human fortress on the edge of the Drimmak Lands and was the first location that the Dwarven exiles found that offered succor from the brutal world they were trudging through. Now, with their Exiled Hierarchs holding court here, they call out to the exiled dwarves of the world to come and join them, to reclaim their homeland and prepare for war. In the meantime, the Hierarchs gather the funds to launch their expedition into the Drimmak Mountains, mostly by selling the skills of their highly trained and highly motivated dwarven warriors to those willing to pay the price for a force of one of the best soldiers on the continent.

Aldashir is almost exclusivly Dwarven, though they are willing to accept assistance from others, including the few fellow gnome and half-giant refugees from Drim. Being a theocratic institution, the Godtouched are also a common sight and revered as the gods voice of pleasure with a specific clan.

Aldashiri Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Often Lawful, Sometimes good
Suggested Race: Dwarven, Gnome, Half-Giant, Godtouched
Suggested Subclasses: Way of the Four elements, School of Evocation, Cleric of Life, Cleric of War, School of Divination, Zealot, Sun Soul, Divine Soul, Celestial Pack, Monster Slayer, Hunter, Brute, Champion

Brokensail

When Killbar invaded and destroyed Jeslith in the closing years of the last age, many Halflings fled the destruction the only way they could – via sea. While some went north to live in Levisha prior to the Great Declaration, most went south, looking for safe harbor beyond Killbarum. After days of sailing, the weary captains beached many of their vessels on a small island at the edge of the great swamp. While they knew they were trespassing on the lands of the Great Dragon Jet, they were willing to take their chances. After a few days, fearless and proactive, they sent out scouting parties seeking the dragon. Jet was curious and offered them a deal. They were to provide him with a steady stream of treasure, and he would, in turn, not consume them. With little choice, they agreed. Without any treasure of their own to speak of, a number of them took to raiding Killbaran ships. Years later, they are a band of hardened pirates and raiders, the scourge of the coasts and the rivers, always seeking gold for their demanding master

The City, though with humble beginnings as a mass of beached ships, has become a multi-island affair within a short time. Though the majority of the population is halflings, and they rule the city, there is a sizeable population of ne’er do wells from all over the island that have come to participate in the cities great trade. The junks piloted by the halflings tend to be small affiairs, so most of the pirates are of smaller folk – Halfings, Gnomes, and dwarves, but there are a few Captians that have taken on bigger ships, bigger crews, and in their eyes, bigger opportunities.

Brokensail Characters:
Suggested Alignment: Often Chaotic, Mostly Neutral
Suggested Race: Halfling, Dwarf, Human
Suggested Subclasses: Cleric of the Tempest, Storm Sorcerer, Storm Herald, Champion, Battlemaster, Swashbuckler, College of Swords, School of Illusion, Mastermind, Inquisitive

The Great Swamp

The home of many lizardfolk and other reptilian monstrosities as well as some few barbarian groups, Brokensail, and a smattering of Hrondring, the Great Swamp is not only a hostile environment, it is the home of the islands lone, true dragon, Jet. There is little to truly unite the people of the swamp, the few that exist, and it is a region that is regularly steered clear of. Both Killbarum and Tyndaria have both laid claim to the entire swamp at points in time, but neither group ever pressed their claim to that specific land.

The Deadlands (name TBD)

In the far Northern lands that comprise of Tyndarian, Killbarum, Levishan, and Hrondring land a recent catastrophe took place. On a day of great celestial alignment, some 25 ziggurats and their surrounding cities emerged from their underground stasis in order to resurrect their dead god and patron. Their ploy failed, but the ancient Dwarven civilization, one which enslaves humans and openly practices necromancy, remains. Now, they occupy these lands, some 14 kings and queens, each with their own independent city-state, yet still united behind their common Modresto name, and though they quarrel among each other, they scheme and plan to take back their old empire at the expense of those who now occupy the lands.