Valinar – The City of the Elders
Nestled between the Crystal Shore Lake and Mount Xerim in the west, this once beautiful city of hanging gardens and high towers, magical fountains and huge parks, lays completely abandoned by the civilized people when the magics protecting the city fell. Dangerous creatures started appearing from deep below the city when the magic enchanting the city began to fail. It’s likely these creatures were kept in stasis by the Elder, though why is mired deeply in conjecture.
Austershal – The capital of the Austershalin Kingdom
The most powerful human settlement, ruled by King Willam. Located in the northern plains, the majority of this city is contained on an ait (an island in the middle of a river). High walls protect the older parts of the city, and two bridges to each side provide access to the other parts. A score and four years ago, the city was attacked en masse and the outer city was burned to the ground by the citizens before they retreated over the bridges and into the older city. The siege came to a rather abrupt halt when hundreds of catapults and ballista lining the walls started raining into the burning husk, decimating the attacking forces. The outer city has since been rebuilt and has seen no such organized attack since. Hostile forces still roam the plains, but Willam has organized regular patrols to help ensure the safety of his people.
Illar – The home of the dwarves and drow
A safe haven under the Ardwen mountains of the northwest, this city is the last stronghold of an uneasy alliance. Function more than form, as with most dwarven architecture, this dwarven fortress’ walls are thick, interlocking stone, mortared together and sealed by dragon’s fire. The city has never fallen, and its nigh impenetrable defenses make it a fitting throne for the dwarven people. Faced with the orcish war machine from the topside and the beasts and dark forces of Dorr’ym from below, the dwarven and drow forces have negotiated a treaty and the drow have been allowed to enter the dwarven stronghold for the first time in a thousand years. These once bitter enemies now fight for each others very survival, though tensions still run high. The drow grudgingly accept rule of law from High Queen Gilna Steelbreaker, their first loyalty is to their boy-prince, Vostro. Vostro is the sole survivor of the ruling family but has vowed not to take his father’s title as king until he has reclaimed Neredar for his people, freed his parents from their curse, and can sit once more in the throne of his ancestors.
Neredar – The fallen drow city
Neredar’s fall was a harsh blow to the proud drow nation. The city was nearly surrounded by an unlikely menagerie of monsters. Spires of obsidian provided watch points from the corner of a large vacant magma chamber, and a network of caves give habitation and a natural retreat. King Lanos and Queen Aina died in the defense of their city, but with her last breath, the queen cast a powerful curse over the city, raising the fallen drow warriors to eternally battle to free the fallen city. As she died, she was taken by the curse’s power and turned from wisened sorceress to powerful lich. Her mind lost and her only thoughts now of freeing the city from its attackers, she turned on her husband and protectors, slaughtering them, thus granting them eternal unlife as well. Fearful of their former queen, the drow fled the city, stealing the young prince from his chambers.
Milanar – The kingdom of the Eladrin
High on the plateaus of the southwestern mountains, the eladrin make a city of low stone buildings and large temples. Isolated from the world, they farm the steppes of the mountains and have little contact with the outside world. Their largest trouble is with dragons and giants poaching their larger livestock. Eladrin’s ability to teleport some distance is believed to be granted to them by their patron goddess, Milandra, whom their city is named for and is useful for traversing the steppes and plateaus near their homes.
Tannimar – Elves
Nestled in the high branches of the trees, Elves are protected from most of the dangerous predators that also make their homes in the forests of Aydin. Rope bridges and ladders connect the terraces and make up the ‘streets’ of their city. Long ago, the Elders imbued the trees with magical runes to protect them from fire and pestilence. The runes are slowly fading, and the goblins that infest the jungle have been seen testing the strength of the runes with their fire oils. The elven queen, Alinantha, has a standing bounty for goblin ears.