Oh? What’s this? It’s been quite a while since my library had visitors. Years, decades even, since the last mortal came to peruse my shelves. Four of you, is it? Puts me in mind of a story, from a long long time ago. In the far off world of Kerridwell was the land of Anzalor—- what’s that? No, I don’t have any beer. I stopped keeping it after the last patron spilled all over the stacks in the section on tax law…

Who am I? You mean you don’t know? Huh…. It’s been awhile since the last time someone came here who didn’t know me. I’m the archivist. I archive. The library? Of course it’s huge. It has to be, if it’s going to contain every story ever written. Yes, every story; if you wander towards the back stacks I’m sure you’d find your story too. What’s back there? Fantasy, of course. Now stop interrupting me, I was going to tell you a story.

Ahem… The land of Anzalor, a land steeped in myths; also a land with beer, I suppose, but then I doubt anybody has ever spilled beer on their stacks. It’s a land that had always been rife with war, filled with conflict; I suppose it goes without saying that it was often soaked with blood as well. Mountains in the center of the small continent running from north to south, neatly dividing the peoples of east and west. As it always does, civilization flourished in the coastal areas of the east. Economies boomed, and with them so did the population; fortunate then, that there were so many wars to keep that sort of thing under control. The east was split into seven kingdoms, each frequently in conflict with each other, constantly shifting alliances and loyalties. Your grandfather’s enemies on the field of battle were most likely your allies.

The northernmost kingdom of Norskrr held the Hilfmen, mighty men of enormous stature who shunned magic and made the best pirates. Their agriculture was poor, and so they mastered the science of sailing in order to feed themselves. Of course, this also led to other seafaring activities of a slightly less lawful inclination.

To the east of Norskrr lay Caelyn, a land of feudal lords that was not only at war with the countries around it, but was also at unending war with itself. The Bowmen of Northern Caelyn and the Knights Southern Caelyn were locked in an unending civil war, inspired by an insult in the distant past that none could remember; this was no obstacle though, as they regularly inflict new atrocities on each other.

South of Caelyn lay the land of Coontz, a kingdom farmers and artisans. Possibly the most developed of the seven kingdoms, it also has the healthiest economy, as the farmers are given quite a bit of liberty to manage their own affairs.Of course, any country run by farmers would be known for practicality. The men at arms of the feudal kingdom guard the nation’s borders jealously, always aware of the number of enemies they might one day be surrounded by.

South of Norskrr is Dorellyon. Once ruled by the elves, it has since passed to the hands of the dwarves, who use their riches and their might to defend their borders and the peoples within (to include dwarves, gnomes and humans). Unfortunately, any who are not dwarves are looked down on and treated as second class citizens. The only exception to this rule are the industrious and clever gnomes of the red barrows, who use their ingenuity and skill to hollow out their own city in the earth. While still owing fealty (and taxes) to their dwarven leaders, the nonetheless maintain an impressive degree of independence.

South of Dorellyon is Lythellia, kingdom of the elves. After realizing that the lands to the north were lost to them, the elves of Lythellia began to exert a great deal more effort to maintain control of the lands remaining to them. Rulers of the largest forest on the continent, they tend to be isolationist in their attitudes toward the outside, only going to war when provoked beyond their ability to bear; unfortunately that tolerance is not as great as one would expect from such a long lived race. Master bowmen and mages, an elven army is a terror to behold on the battlefield.

Venturing further south, we find Sylanias. Once an elven kingdom, this too was lost not to man but to nature. Desertification is a force to be reckoned with. Despite the lack of vegetation in most of the kingdom, they are quite wealthy as they possess and enormous amount of gold. Populated by desert folk, they are perhaps the most primitive of the seven kingdoms, yet also the most mysterious. This is where you find the shamans and oddly enough, an order of ascetics, dedicated to honing their martial skills as a way to find enlightenment.

Finally, to the east of Sylanias lies Urdros. The majority of the country is plains, perfect for rearing cattle, and this is what the nation is famed for, They breed the finest horses, the finest beef, and of course, the finest sheep. In addition, their horsemen are known as the finest in the world, capable of turning the tide of a war with little more than their determination and spurs.

In all of these kingdoms the closer you get to the coast, the more crowded and civilised it becomes. It is in these more civilised areas that you will find the mages. Jealously coveting their power, the rulers of each country take steps to indoctrinate and control the arcane magics of their people, establishing academies to train their magefolk. All mages are required by their kingdoms to serve 8 years in government or military positions as payment for their educations, although this is often a point of contention among the arcane spellcasters.

Holding the heart of the people in their hands we find the churches, scattered all throughout the world. They dabble in politics, economics, agriculture, and even sometimes the arcane. As always, they are only as trustworthy as the people in charge; in other words, they’re not.

All in all, the seven kingdoms are a gorgeous land, though perilous. Though I suppose peril is necessary for a good story. And I suppose, a good story is what you’re here for.

The Seven Kingdoms of Anzalor

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