A Light in Darkness
Domains of the Core
Up until about five years ago, the Core continent was politically and economically stable. Trade flowed between various lands and war was infrequent and short lived. All of this has changed now. The complete destruction of the Il Aluk, which turned Darkon into Necropolis is but the latest blow. Though oppressive, King Azalin was one of the oldest Lords in the Core and served as a stabilizing influence. Political assassinations and the disappearance of two nations (Markovia and G’Henna) during the Grand Conjunction as well as the loss of trade routes to the newly created Shadow Rift that divides much of the continent have thrust stability into chaos. The people of Tepest blame foul magic and “fairy folk” for the loss of their neighbors and the Grand Conjunction itself. Non-humans and magic users are no longer safe there. The despot Malocchio Aderre has seized control of Invidia bringing a rabid hatred of Vistani. Even now his blood thirsty cut throats raid neighboring lands hunting Vistani and risking a full scale war.
The Core is the most densely populated and well-traveled region in the Land of Mists. There are more known domains within the Core than there are beyond it, lending weight to its standing as the center of the world. It is a rugged, temperate land characterized by both bustling villages and trackless wilderness. The Balinok Mountains are the principal geographic feature of the Core, running north to south across the center of the continent. The mysterious Shadow Rift, a yawning chasm filled with black fog, interrupts the Balinoks near the center of the Core. The Core’s frontiers are defined to the north and south by the Mists, to the east by the Nocturnal Sea and to the west by the Sea of Sorrows.
Although the landscape varies from domain to domain, some generalizations about the continent as a whole can be made. To the wesd of the Balinoks, densely forested river valleys and floodplains dominate, with most waterways flowing toward the Sea of Sorrows. East of the mountains, sweeping grasslands stretch out on an upland plateau to the shores of the Nocturnal Sea. The temperate climate has a regular cycle of seasons, though weather extremes are common in many domains. The Core is a region of both prosperity and misery, where a host of tyrants skulk in their dark manses and plot endlessly against one another. The villages hum with thriving commerce and intrigue, while cunning predators, both natural and aberrant, stalk the wilds.