Gazetteer of Arcem

Arcem, The Realm Beneath the Throne

Some say that Arcem means “Sanctuary” in one of the ancient languages from before the Last War. Today, it is simply the name that people give their world, a fallen and diminished realm adrift in the Eternal Night. While many lands were once known to the people of Arcem—distant continents with kingdoms of their own—today only a single continent and a few large islands remain of that vibrant tapestry. Sail too far away from land, and a traveler finds himself sailing beyond the Edge of Night—and into the darkness.

Even the humblest peasant knows that their world was greater once, that it was part of a vast and wondrous world with unnumbered marvels and unimaginable delights. But that was long ago, before the Shattering, and now the seas pour away in the darkness beyond the horizon and the people of Arcem are only a remnant of what was once great.

For most natives, this is thing for philosophical regret. Most are too busy living their lives to concern themselves with the disasters of a thousand years ago. Do their nations not thrive in the present day? The technological marvels of the Bright Republic, the magnificent poetry of Vissio, the grand architecture of Patria and the timeless culture of Dulimbai to the south… are these not wonders enough for any man? The past is good for salvaging, for the ancient ruins have many treasures and wonders, but the present is best for living.

Of course, things could always be better. True, there are stories of disasters in the hinterlands, of strange beasts creeping up from dark places, of curdled magic and vile wonders coming to pass in the cities of men, but there are more important things to concern the rulers than the talk of frightened peasants. What of the endless war between Patria and Dulimbai, or the depredations of the necromantic raiders of Ulstang, or the monstrous collapse of Ancalia and their doubtless-culpable magical experiments? These are the things that the rulers know and can see, and so these are the things that concern them.

Yet the common people see what the great do not yet admit. Things are changing in Arcem, and not for the better. Every year there are more monsters emerging from the shadows, every year there are more inexplicable magical disasters and natural calamities. The celestial engines are running down, and if they collapse, Arcem will fall with them.

Nations of Arcem

Ancalia: A kingdom fallen in on itself after a calamitous otherworldly invasion, plagued by warlords and worse.

Atheocracy of Lom: A land embittered by the Shattering, ruled by the fearsome priests of True Reason and their sorcery.

Bleak Reach: A ruined exile-land where the refugees and outcasts have scratched out a hard, unlucky existence.

Bright Republic: The last bastion of advanced science in the realm, threatened by the decay of its vital technology.

Howlers: Nomadic raiders of a lost empire who plunder neighbors and guard the poisonous words of their sires.

Kasirutan Archipelago: Pirates and traders of the hot southeastern islands, the finest sailors in all the realm.

Nezdohva: A nation of serfs, artificers and quarreling golem-nobles under the rule of the mechanical Iron Tsar.

Oasis States: Pyramid-dwelling inhabitants of the desert grow much under the mad eye of the God-Pharaohs.

Patrian Empire: A martial state long locked in combat with Dulimbai, dependent on heavy infantry and slave labor.

Raktine Confederacy: A patchwork of city-states and rural domains with dark, potent wizards and a ferocious independence.

Regency of Dulimbai: Vanguard of an ancient invasion, proud of its erudition and art and convinced of its right to rule all.

The Thousand Gods: A god-plagued land of countless tribes who wield ancient theotechnical magic in service to their deities.

Toba Plains: Proud riders who serve the holy monks of their ancestor-monasteries and the armies of Dulimbai.

Ulstang Skerries: Witch-viking raiders from cold northern isles who enslave the dead to drive their bone-prowed ships.

Vissio: Former Patrian colonies turned independent city-states of merchants, artists, poisoners, and poets.

The Realm of Arcem

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Gazetteer of Arcem

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