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The Sere Coast
The northeastern shores of Aduria are known as the Duor Gaen (DEW-oar Gain), or the Sere Coast. Arid grassland and brown, rocky hills march for hundreds of miles from Baerghos Island, scoured by a surprisingly dry easterly wind. In the summer months, plumes of dust stand for miles out to sea, coating the decks of passing ships with fine red grit. In winter, the winds shift to the north and pound the coastal hills with the endless storms for which the Miere Rhuann is named.
The Sere Coast is largely uninhabited. In fact, it has never been settled by civilized folk, although a few scattered copper mines sponsored by Anuirean and Brecht guilds huddle along the coastline. The interior is dry steppe, haunted by great bands of nomadic gnolls and a handful of fierce human tribesmen.
The Gold Coast
Running south from Mieres for some 1,200 miles is the desolate coastline known as the Gold Coast, named for the sandy deserts and dry grassland that stretch as far as the eye can see. Like the more northerly Sere Coast, this region was scoured by the energies released during the destruction of the ancient gods at Mount Deismaar when once lush grasslands turned into desert. Some regions have recovered in the proceeding years, but the land still suffers.
Four small city-states dominate the majority of trade along the Gold Coast. They were once under the control of the Anuirean Empire, but broke away as that empire fell and have since chartered their own course. Unlike the older colonies to the west, few traces of Anuirean rule remain and the states of the Gold Coast are now more influenced by the southern empire of Nehalim than they are by Anuire.
The Anuirean Colonies
A collection of city-states, kingdoms, and empires that are still influenced by their former Anuirean masters, the Anuirean Colonies cover a vast area, testimony to the Anuirean Empire’s wide reach. First conquered about seven centuries after Deismaar, when the Empire was at its height, the Colonies include land that was once home to the Brecht, Andu, Rjuven, and Masetian peoples. Of the five tribes driven out of Aduria by Azrai, only the Vos, who originated further to the southeast, did not come from this region.
Oeried, the first major settlement along the northern coast west of Cerilia, once lay at the heart of the Masetian Empire, before they were conquered and expelled from their land by Azrai during his great war. Azrai gave the conquered territory to Naizad, one of his greatest generals, these lands later became the Naizad Empire, which survived until the death of Azrai at Deismaar when it collapsed into chaos. Nearly seven centuries later, Anuire conquered this ancient city and took control of not only the city, but also the rich grasslands to the south.
To the west of Oeried lies Rhandel, a rocky peninsula jutting out into cold waters of the Miere Rhuann. Once home to the Brecht people, it fell to Azrai along with the rest of the northlands and was given to Naizad along with Oeried, Lurech, and much of the rest of far northern Aduria. Following Azrai’s death, a rebellion toppled the Naizad governor and for a short time, the small state was ruled by a popular line of kings. In the seventh century after Deismaar, an Anuirean invasion successfully conquered Rhandel, and installed a Lord-Governor who reported to Anuire. This system survived until nearly four centuries after the fall of the Anuirean Empire and today a hereditary Overking rules the peninsula.
Rich in both ore and wood, especially large forests of tall ceder trees, which give the nation its common name of The Ceder Kingdom, Rhandel is a rich nation supplying weapons, wood, ore and skilled mercenaries to surrounding nations. Many of the old Anuirean guilds have a presence here and in many places, the merchant class has replaced the old nobility. These merchant-princes truly rule Rhandel, although they are rarely united on anything and constant feud amongst themselves, only ever united to bring down an Overking who is overstepping his authority.
West of Rhandel is a second great peninsula, this one a rocky spine that arrows straight into the setting sun for nearly five hundred miles. Riven by deep fjords, its rugged mountains make any landward approach nearly impossible. For more than a thousand years, this land has been known as Lurech — a loose kingdom of feuding lords, divided by racial strife but undaunted by any foreign power. Lurech’s people are composed of two distinct cultures: the Luren, descended from the old Rjuven stock, and the Duatha, invaders from the isles of Mor Atha who carved a foothold in this land three hundred years ago.
South of all these nations is the empire of Alitaene, which includes the ancient Hurimar empire and land that was originally home to the Andu people. At the height of the Anuirean Empire, this land was its most important colony, and even today, it remains a rich and powerful nation. Great castles dominate the hilltops and the elite still keep their Anuirean links and titles. Many of the old Anuirean families have ties in Alitaene, as it was the practice of many of the noble families during the Anuirean Empire, for the nobility to send their second or third sons off to Alitaene to fight against Hurim rebels. Today, the Hurim are second-class citizens, ruled over by an Anuirean elite, who controls virtually all of the empire. It is a simmering hotbed of rebellion and racial hatred, and this is not aided by the constant threat of war with Lucitia to the south, or raids by pirates sailing from Mor Atha and the pirate Isles.
The largest of an archipelago of rocky islands stretching for hundreds of miles west of Aduria, Mor Atha is home to the Duatha, a race at home on the sea as the ancient Masetians, and perhaps the only tribe in Aduria to successfully resist Azrai’s armies. Unmatched on the ocean, the fleets of Mor Atha travel across much of the known world, both as traders and when the need arises, merciless pirates and raiders.
Home to perhaps half a million people, Mor Atha itself is a large rocky island nearly five hundred miles long, and a hundred wide. Forested mountains cover much of the north of the island, while in the south the forests are replaced by farmland, grazing land and civilisation. Duathan, the capital of Mor Atha is a deep-water harbor dominated by the masts of heavy warships and the swift raiders that have made the Duatha so feared.
Ruled over by a High Captain, Mor Atha is a nation always poised on the edge of rebellion. The High Captain always controls the largest fleet, and with the loyalties of Mor Atha’s captains a fickle as the summer winds, the leadership of the nation changes often.
The ancient homeland of the Vos, the Beastlands is where most of Azrai’s armies ended up following Deismaar. Cast out by the newly freed peoples of the great empires, the legions of Azrai were driven into this land of barren mountains and swampland. It was hoped by the human empires that these vile beings would die out due to their constant in fighting and thus end forever the threat of Azrai. Instead they have thrived, dominating the region and posing an ever-growing threat. Raids by Beast-men into surrounding territories are a growing problem, and rumors coming out of the Beastlands now speak of a new ruler. This being of power has somehow managed to overcome the traditionally violent and chaotic natures of the Beast-men and is forging them into a new army of the like that has not been seen since the days of the Shadow War.
Empire of Nehalim
One of the six great empires of ancient times, Nehalim is a vast empire on the eastern coast of Aduria. A land of desert and dry grasslands, it is home to a hundred different ethnic tribes and ethnic groups, the most prominent of which is the Neha. Although small in number, the Neha somehow managed to conquer the entire region, and have ruled it now for nearly three thousand years. The northern half of the empire is divided into small rebellious nation-states who owe allegiance to Nehalim, but in practice are virtually independent, allowed to make their own way in the world as long as they pay the taxes demanded by the empire. These states are rich in resources and grow almost all of Nehalim’s foodstuffs.
Nehalim, the great city that it capital to the empire sits at the mouth of a long river, surrounded by desert and desolate grasslands. The largest city in the known world, it is home to hundreds of thousands of men and woman from across the empire. A great trading city and port, it was briefly conquered by the Anuirean Empire about eight hundred years ago, but was held for less than a decade, before an alliance of tribe drove out the Anuireans. Bad blood between the two empires continues to this day, and many Nehalim merchants will refuse to even deal with Anuirean traders.
During the War of the Shadow, Nehalim fought bravely against the legions of Azrai, but was eventually undermined as Azrai bought the allegiance of each individual tribe in turn until only the Neha and their staunches allies remained. Following their defeat, the majority of Neha tribe were enslaved, and forced to fight at the front of Azrai’s armies, while the Empire was given over to those tribes who has supported Azrai. The entire race was almost exterminated during the centuries of war that followed, but somehow a few survived to Deismaar, switching sides to fight alongside the six tribes. Those few that survived Deismaar returned home to their empire as blooded scions and soon overthrew the emperor installed by Azrai and reclaimed the throne.
Empire of Lucitia
Dominating central Aduria, this large empire was the first to be seduced by Azrai’s dark promises. Seven hundred years before Deismaar, Lucitia was little more than a loose alliance of waring city-states, but that was before the coming of Azrai. The worship of the dark god spread through the corrupt states of Lucitia and soon the fires of war had erupted across the region. The old rulers were overthrown and before long all of Lucitia was controlled by a single leader, the first chosen of Azrai, Emperor Xalin I. The new emperor did not waste time, and within a decade, Lucitian armies spread out across the continent, conquering any who resisted. The legacy of nearly two thousand years of almost constant warfare can still be seen today and several regions of once fertile land are now nothing more than desert.
Today, Lucitia is an empire in name only. Following Deismaar, the people overthrew their monstrous rulers, but new evil powers were quick to fill the void created by the fall of Azrai and the disappearance of his most powerful generals. Shadow-mages, Awnsheghlien, Beast-men, all plague the land. The ancient capital, Azraidin, once the heart of Azrai’s empire is now a blasted ruin, the site of a seemingly never-ending war between the various city-states whose leaders seek to claim the lost power of the old emperor. For nearly a century after the death of Azrai, the empire held together, dominated by a need for the people to atone for the death and destruction caused under Azrai. The legions of Beast-men and their followers were driven out and for a few decades it looks like the empire would survive the fall of Azrai intact, but the lure of power drew sorcerers, awnsheghlien, generals and even a dragon to Azraidin, the old capital, and soon war had broken out. Each of the ancient city-states is now ruled over by one of these dark powers, although a few on the fringes of the empire have resisted the corruption and lure of power. The Lucitian civil war is now into its second millennia and shows no sign of ending. Those who have not fled have now been enslaved to work the land and feed the hungry armies of the city-states.
The Great Desert
A vast desert covering more than 500,000 square miles, the Great Desert is the home of the Ssarak, a powerful race of snake-men sorcerers and priests who dominate the region. One of the oldest races alive, they date back to the Age of Monsters, when the dragon sorcerers ruled the skies and the cities of the giants ruled the plains and man was little more than a few hairy tribes hiding in the southern jungles. From their great fortress, The Spire, the Ssarak worship their dragon god and harvest the surrounding lands for food, slaves, and resources. In the Great Desert, none can challenge the might of the Ssarak and any who tries are destroyed. Even Azrai’s legions were defeated when they fought the Ssarak Dominion, although the Ssarak did eventually ally themselves with the dark god, but Azrai paid a very high price for their service.
Today, the Ssarak are mainly confined to the territory directly surrounding their capital and a few smaller outposts deep in the desert. A heat-loving race they are disinclined to depart their territory, but within the desert they are masters and humans must be very careful where they travel. However, some hardy human tribes do exist, moving from oasis to oasis herding goats and camels. They are forced to fight not only the Ssarak, but also tribes of gnolls and other monsters, but somehow they manage to survive. In the east, another threat can be found, the powerful M’Botan, the Wemic tribes of the grasslands. While they can be found across Aduria, in northern Ghanim and the eastern reaches of the Great Desert they have risen to dominate the land with a primitive, but powerful society or hunters and raiders.
The Ghanim Empire
Another of the ancient empire, Ghanim is a large region of mainly grassland dominated by nomadic human tribes. In ancient times, it was ruled over by a great chief, who was elected by the nomadic tribes, but during the War of the Shadow, the land was ruled by the shadow-mage Karish, a power unmatched in modern Aduria. Fortunately for the people of Ghanim, he vanished with the death of Azrai and is thought to have been destroyed at Deismaar. Today the empire lives as it did in ancient times, although in the past few centuries, the nomadic way of life of it people has been slowly ending and new cities are appearing.
The Mountain States
A mountainous region of Aduria, the mountain states once formed the ancient empire of Justminia, one of the first to pledge allegiance to Azrai. However, following the death of the empire’s last emperor, Grayconel Adriss, at Deismaar, the empire was consumed in a civil war, just as civil war claimed Lucitia. The warring states fought on and off for nearly two centuries, exhausting their treasuries, their people, and the land. Thus, the empire was easy prey for an invasion fleet from across the seas. The Huachi people from Djapar soon conquered the faltering Justminian empire and claimed this land as their own. Today, the empire no longer exists, instead the land is divided into a series of loosely aligned states spread across the mountains.
Oldest of the human empires, Žaynâni is the site of the first human civilization to arise following the end of the Age of Monsters. As the great giants fled the dragon war and the dragons slaughtered themselves by the thousands over what is now the Great Desert, the human who had hidden away in the jungles of the south slowly spread north to conquer Aduria. The oldest human city can be found here, the ancient port city of Reichmaar, built on the site of an abandoned giant city, it became a center of learning and discovery, famous for its libraries and universities. Today, Reichmaar’s great library is renowned throughout the world.
During the Shadow War, all of Žaynâni was ruled by a single emperor, based in Reichmaar, and for more than two decades, the empire held out against the invaders. But eventually it was betrayed from within and the entire empire fell quickly to Azrai. A region rich in resources, both wood, food, and metals, Žaynâni supplied Azrai’s legions throughout the final century of the War of Shadow and many of its soldiers served in Azrai’s legions. Following the fall of Azrai at Deismaar, the recriminations of those who suffered under Azrai’s rule, split the empire. It has since collapsed into a hundred or more tiny states, emirates, and kingdoms, but remains relatively peaceful when compared to the rest of the continent.
Unique to Žaynâni are a race of spirit beings known as Djinn. Rumoured to be living mebhaighl, these being can transform into humans and often live among the people of Žaynâni. Very powerful members of the Djinn race occasionally serve the princes and sultans of the region, but their price for this service is always very high.
- Richard Baker, Colin McComb (1995). Birthright Campaign Setting. TSR. ISBN 0-7869-0143-8. Atlas of Cerilia, p. 4.
- Richard Baker, Colin McComb (1995). Birthright Campaign Setting. TSR. ISBN 0-7869-0143-8. Ruins of Empire, p. 3.
- "Aduria the lost continent at Birthright Wiki". http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/index.php/Aduria_the_lost_continent. Retrieved 2008-07-20.