An summary of the major cultures and political bodies in the Earthwound.
A wealthy Hobna ruled empire of the Twilight Desert region of the lower strata. The capital of Bukara, brass-clad Tarn is the crux of trade across the lower strata, and so their pantheon has become widely influential, recognised not just in their region but also in communities all the way up the trade roads. The Ossa church of Bahamut is popular enough, for instance, to see a presence on even the upper strata.
Wild nomadic raiding tribes of the cliffs and badlands of the lower scarps that border Tarn (which began as part of their culture), predominantly Tiefling and Goblinoid. Unique in the Earthwound, Karaash claims roots from before the great cataclysm. Karaash a closed culture to outsiders, but their epic myth cycle has been adapted into the religion of Tarn, and so on and up through the trade routes to the upper world.
A hungry and progressive human-dominated kingdom of the middle strata, in the midst of a technological revolution (they produce mechanical artifacts the likes of which are seen nowhere else). The capital of Falxany, Akrea straddles one of the busiest trade routes of the Earthwound, and hosts travellers from all the corners of the world and, more than anywhere else, from all the faiths of the world. The most influential religions are the Temple of Erathis (Falxany’s patron deity), the Church of the Divided Light (ancient imports from the upper strata which operate as a united folk religion, and whose festivals are particularly popular holy days), the Sed Ossa (a comparatively recent arrival, with a militant missionary element).
An empire of the middle and upper strata, ruled by an aggressive eladrin government. Currently in a state of burgeoning hostilities with Falxany, fuelled by disputes over trade interests in colonial provinces (these hostilities haven’t escalated past a couple of quick skirmishes yet, though a cold war is seeming likely at this stage). With the hard-nosed Oras Ioun firmly in place as the official state religion, Enderly can be a difficult place for worshippers of different faiths.
A gypsy nation, really a diaspora spread through the middle strata, which accounts for the largest population of elves in the Earthwound. The Athanas prefer to live in characteristic house-barges, remaining mobile through lakes, rivers and canals. Some of their number will settle in established towns, adapting to the local culture as needed, while still keeping their own separate community. Though they keep relatively few settlements, there are a few villages made up entirely of Athanas – mostly set out in the remotest parts of marshes and fens, and often populated by elders of the community.
A scattered mountain nation of the upper strata, mostly composed self-sufficient commensal communities. There are several large settlements though, ruled by powerful, fractious and fiercely independent dwarf chiefs, and the largest of these is Galreach, the fortified city of the High King of Dornland. Dornland’s settlements are the only places to view stars from, and their light-worshipping superstitions incorporate the stars as guides and oracles.
A savage animist society from the perfumed jungles of the lower strata, slowly losing territory and people to the expanding empires of Akrea and Enderly (who see Savan as primitive, and ripe for exploitation). Given it is claimed as the homelands of the shifters, it is no suprise that animal totems are the basis for social division in Savan, with each clan’s totem holding a specified ritual role, and political competition being rife for the order of precedence amongst the totems.