The Fifth Font
Lands and Regions
There are five main explored regions in the world of Eretzé.
The arctic is an inhospitable land trapped in a cloak of darkness and in almost-constant blizzards. The further north one travels, the worse the conditions get. Massive glacial structures lie on its southern boundary where many people have carved into contained cities. Others burrowed deep into the earth to take shelter.
The arctic people are divided into two main factions: the glacial and the unbral.
The glacial people, once raiders and a barbaric culture, live in carved ice cities near the southern boundary of the arctic. They value strength, stamina, and great sagas. Long ago, might-makes-right was their code. Although it is officially not their policy anymore, there are still remnants of that attitude.
The umbral people delved deep into the permafrost and the earth to take shelter from the fearsome storms. They are a mystical culture that worships the primal darkness flowing off of the arctic font and are wildly xenophobic. Although officially at peace with the glacial people, umbral people have a long history of hatred and conflict with them that is still felt today.
The desert was once a fertile land full of bountiful life. When the desert font erupted centuries ago, the land began to wither under the powerful sun and eroded into an arid climate. Many oasis and sources are scattered around and rain does fall on many parts of the desert, but the wide expanses of shifting sand seas and mountainous dunes resist the spread of life. There are scattered and massive city-states that mine rich resources of metal and water with roaming traders, nomadic tribes, and fearsome raiders between them.
The desert can be divided into two rough groups of people: city-state citizens and wandering nomads.
Citizens live in large, walled cities that act as beacons of technology. They have mined deep into the earth to find riches and life-saving water. This is highly needed in the desert, so citizens are fairly militant and on constant alert for attacks from other cities or wild raiders.
Nomads roam ancient routes between oases and act as traders that keep the city-states thriving. They are far more spiritual than the citizens and have a deep, loving relationship with their desert home. Traditions and superstition drives nomadic lives.
The glen is a massive, continual forest that starts as a taiga in the north, transitions to a temperate forest in the middle, and is a tropical forest in the south. It has the most wildly varying wildlife and plant life in all the lands. The glen font erodes almost all man-made structures in its boundaries which limits the kinds of cities that can be formed in the glen.
The glen has two flavors of people in its borders: the shapers and the hermits.
Shapers have learned to grow plants into beneficial shapes and formed safe homes out of living trees. These isolated pockets of ‘civilization’ have formed roads connecting them and allowing travel through the glen. Shapers believe that nature can be used to the advantage of man and, through gentle living and encouragement, man can live without harming the environment.
Hermits have rejected the shapers philosophy of adapting nature to their benefit. Instead, hermits live in the wild and strive to minimize their footprint on the forest. They take what they need, are constantly on the move, and hunt for the bare essentials. Although not an imposing faction, the hermits have an incredibly deep connection to the glen’s magic.
The sea is full of islands, archipelagos, and beautiful coral reefs. Deep in the central archipelago is a massive whirlpool that is widely believed to be a gateway into the afterlife — the sea font is located in this whirlpool. The islands have many colonies that fend off pirates and establish trade to all regions. Sea weather is often difficult and the waters near the font are known for their strong currents and storms.
There are two main kinds of people in the sea region: the colonials and the cultists.
The colonials have a massive fleet of ships that protect island homes. They live on the shores of islands and control the oceans of the world with military might. Their traderoutes connect the different regions and spread culture, technology, and news across the world.
The cultists deeply revere the sea font and its afterlife. Their worship of death and its power have left a bad taste in the colonial’s mouths, so the cultists are either in hiding in the cities or deep in the island jungles. Some have even established powerfully enchanted underwater outposts in the reefs to practice their dark arts.
The empire is the only explored region that has no magical font. They are populated with almost no native magic users and their environment is the most tolerable because of it. The land is wildly varying, ranging from snow-capped mountains to rolling hills to lush forests to vibrant deserts. A powerful empire fills the region and its empress has welcomed visitors and immigrants from the magical lands to augment her economy.
There are many kinds of people in the empire. Immigrants from each of the magical lands are found everywhere and, for the most part, are welcomed. Some find the distorting power of magic concerning or even abhorrent.