A region of rich and mysterious history, Auldelia was a realm once ruled by mages bent on ruling the multiverse. The ancient Auldelians are but a memory; their few descendants scattered. Sometime during the era of King Atreli of Meithannon (apx MR 7600) the empire was torn asunder and most settlements were razed to the ground as part of a mysterious cataclysm. Historians have been able to piece together that the supremacy of the mage kings was challenged by a powerful religious revival venerating Ashaneron. The new order eventually overpowered and outlawed the mages but were themselves destroyed shortly thereafter.
Ravinien was one of the few living ancient Auldelians to in modern times. He was a follower of Ashaneron and was imprisoned in a recamia gem prior to the cataclysm. After his time with the Worldrunners he wrote in his memoirs suggesting that the the cataclysm was doubtlessly the result of the work of the mages. His perspective is, of course, necessarily biased.
Geographically, Auldelia was once twice its present size; the southern portion of the nation was swallowed in the Lonic Sea, presumably during the cataclysm, and the region of Jiptala was caught under the desert curse. The climate ranges from warm to temperate.
Sites and Features
The Empty is a curious feature in northern Auldelia. The empty is a circular region of flat arid plain devoid of fauna and home to only low grass stunted shrubs and sandy dirt. Travelers in the Empty find the silence of the open wasteland disconcerting in the extreme, and few are able to spend more than a week in the realm. Those who try to reside in the region in the long term find it difficult to do so due to lack of reliable sources of water, and many simply vanish. No explanations have been found for the Empty—magical or otherwise—however, theories about its origins are myriad. One of the most popular is that the Empty was the result of a failed Auldelan experiment which leveled the surrounding mountains and left the land forever desolate
Rumored to be the capital of theocratic ancient Auldelia, Ashlantin is now a vague destination on the south-eastern coast. A city ravaged by time and swarming with monsters and demons. Few have journeyed there and lived, and even fewer have returned in their right minds.
Skyhold is a small settlement atop a waterfall the foothills of the Eradrilus mountain range. The modern Skyhold is built on the foundations of an ancient Auldelan site of the same name.
Rittenratch was, up until recently, a small gangrel settlement known as Dregis, close to the shadow of Auralan. Recently, a gnomish hertic named Klockentob built an ingenious perpetual motion machine which he is using to power a rapidly growing industrial hub. Rittenratch is a cornerstone of the trading community in Auldelia. It's markets and bazzars are well loved and attract travelers from distant lands.
Auralan is one of the most iconic features of Auldelia: a floating island of unknown origin. The island is held aloft by a field of inverted gravity many miles in diameter.
In the midst of a vast stretch of dry grasses and hot winds sits a quasi-oasis of barely-alive, gnarled trees. Beneath these trees, a gangrel tribe has erected a tent-city they call Oergryth. Here the gangrel live contentedly sheltered lives raising livestock and coaxing up limited crops; treasuring their self-sufficiency. The gangrel of Oergryth, while not outwardly hostile, are invariably suspicious of outsiders and offer little to no hospitality to their rare visitors, who scarcely do more than pass through. Oergryth's inhabitants enjoy close family ties and lively social functions, reveling in music and dances by bonfire nearly nightly. Small gangrel children enjoy frolicking in the surrounding tall grasses, playing games of hide-and-seek that would put youngsters of other species to shame.
Central Auldelia is dominated by the great Thornwood forest. Legends hold that ages ago Auldelian mage-emperors and nobles hunted here. The woods provided enough deer, hares, and other game to feed the empire. The Auldelians entrusted this vital resource to the strange forest folk who call themselves drughu. To this day they guard and attend to the forest; nurturing its growth, working to preserve the delicate balance of nature, and defending the woods from gnolls, malevolent magical beasts and rogue goblinoids. Most drughu in addition to their own language, still speak a conservative form of Lonic, in which their ancestors once communicated with the Auldelians, with whom they often dealt. Nowadays, instead of Auldelian aristocracy, panthers and foxes stalk prey in the forest. The drughu still seasonally graze their goats, swine, and ponies in the woods. Most newcomers to Auldelia know very little about the drughu, and so far there have been few interactions between them. As such, many people are convinced the woods are haunted, frightened by its odd denizens and their strange abilities. Stories abound about strange people appearing and disappearing in the woods, and frightening totems carved in the woods that are there one day and gone the next.
Scattered randomly across Thornwood are drughu "villages", which are less formally villages as much as they are loosely proximate strings of homesteads through the woods and heaths. The most notable of these is Oakcrest, built along a prominent ridge in the mid-northeast of the forest.
The Thornwood is primarily an oak forest, but also populated by cedars, junipers, and many varieties of heathers, from large arbutus to small berry-producing shrubs. Orange and lime trees hold significant populations as well. Heather and fern meadows are interspersed between the more densely wooded areas throughout the forest. Some of these heathery meadows are in fact treacherous bogs, fed by the myriad of springs scattered about Thornwood. Many an inattentive traveler has on a bright and sunny day slipped beneath the mire never to be seen again; even on seemingly sturdy hillsides.
The woods are also rich in rarer herbs, roots, and medicinal plants, though these are not always easily found to an untrained eye. In fact, Thornwood has a diversity in plants, animals, and insects that is unmatched in all of Auldelia, perhaps even on the continent of Karalon.
Sheltered within a circle of rocky mountains is a low, sandy valley dotted with mineral-rich lakes known as the Healing Pools. For centuries travelers have come from all over Karalon to experience the natural healing properties of these ancient pools. The accompanying city of Brithiel, nearly as ancient as the mineral lakes, was hewn out of solid stone at some unknown period in history and stretches up the side of a mountain. Brithiel has become a haven for humans, dwarves, and occasionally members of other species who prefer the naturally-occurring healing properties of the earth's riches to magical healing. Everyone is welcome to experience Brithiel and the Healing Pools; however, individuals found to be practicing magical means of healing within the area are likely to be asked to leave. This is mainly in the interests of protecting the reputation of the pools; its advocates wish to avoid harmful accusations that the healing powers of the pools are a mere scam to atract visitors. However, Brithiel earns its prosperity not only from its thriving tourist industry, but also from mining. The mountains hold vast quantities of valuable minerals, which are used in the production of various medicinal and cosmetic products. These products, as well as the raw minerals, are sold within Brithiel and also exported throughout the continent of Karalon.
This cratered region of southern Auldelia experiences a much higher than normal concentration of shooting stars. Prospectors for adamantine, and dragons from the north occasionally come up with large chunks of the material left in craters where the stars hammer into the ground. Many strange and powerful beasts lurk here making the realm highly dangerous to seasoned treasure hunters and wyrms alike.
Erudhrin is a small wood elf settlement located in the Tarsan Forest. Most inhabitants claim to be native to the region, although some of the elders have been heard to claim all wood elf family lines in Auldelia can be traced back to Aire. This forest region is cooler in temperature than most of Auldelia and boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna. Both the elves and the local wildlife relish the soothing shade of the region's ancient oaks and cedars and its refreshing streams. The wood elves treasure these natural features and can be hostile toward those who threaten the forest in any way. They have built an elaborate network of treehouses, which are elegant and enchanting in appearance despite their ruggedness. The elves of Erudhrin entertain few visitors, most of these being volanti, who find the elven treehouses to be comfortable and familiar accommodations.
The city of Landsbreak, so named for the ancient cataclysm that wrought havoc on the land, is the primary present day Auldelan sea port. It is not a large port by world standards, but by Auldelian standards, Landsbreak is a busy and bustling town. Humans make up the largest proportion of residents, but individuals representing a wide variety of races can be found here. Landsbreak is often considered a dangerous place by outsiders; indeed, the local law enforcement is kept busy. Conditions can be squalid in some places and dark alleys tend to attract crime. However, there is plenty of legitimate business conducted in Landsbreak and many entrepreneurs have found success starting small businesses here. Taverns and eateries are particularly popular.
The Gingerbark forest is a large forest in south western Auldelia adjacent to Rittenratch and Auralan.
An ancient Auldelian city now half submerged.
Dolgeris is a spur of the Worldcrest mountain range.
A small town on the western edge of Audelia.
This town is inhabited largely by refugees from Jiptala.
The Nosdevod range is a perilous mountain range in central Auldelia known also as Ashlantin's shield.
The Humming Plains
These plains on the eastern edge of the Empty have forever fueled the fear and imagination of those unlucky enough to look upon them. They get their name from a peculiar humming sound that can be heard from miles in the distance, but the true horror of this desolate plain manifests itself only when you come close. The flat parched ground is studded with smoky, opaque, branching crystals the size and shape of angular trees. The humming noise seems to come from inside the very crystals themselves, and they seem to be vibrating on their own, as each "tree" appears to have its own distinct frequency. If shards can be broken off, they cease humming after a couple of days. Electrical storms regularly sweep the area, but rain is very rare. Rumors abound regardig the structures, but two of the most common say the "trees" are the remains of a mighty crystal palace or that they are the souls of an invading army, trapped like in amber.
This small port is at the thinnest part of the peninsula between Landsbreak and Grenvier. This is a small community that exists only at certain times of the year, at the whims of the wealthiest families of the two larger ports. They arrive by boat from their various cities usually during the calm between the stormy seasons, and open their houses for a few weeks at a time as a resort. This is the place where deals are made between gentlemen of leisure, and fortunes are won or lost at a throw of the dice. (Read "Monte Carlo"). The timing of these congregations of the rich are very tightly held secrets, and the community is extremely selective. There are almost no races other than Human represented that are not slaves or servants. The community is entirely supported by boats from the other cities, and the lands around the houses are filled with game courts beautiful walks, not fields and vegetable gardens. It's location on the peninsula means that it is nigh inaccessible in rough seas, and a permanent group of 'peace officers' paid by the families keep the peninsula free from maurauders.