So I've introduced the central 'empire' in my campaign world, here, but this is a little too light to form a framework, or skeleton for actually running adventures in.
And in a few brief moments of great inspiration, I jotted down some ideas for each province, or Duchy of the land. Just enough to give a basis for geography, settlement patterns and dominant economics, that can be expanded on when players get close.
Kheldaria's lands are fertile and temperate, and agriculture has been continuous for millennia, with the Provinces of Task, Corst and Tarath famed for their expansive grainfields and fruit orchards. Casten and Lormon are more associated with vegetable farming and livestock. Forests and wetlands still abound, with some guarded by noble decree for hunting or as a preserve, and others forsaken and feared as monster rich wilderness areas. With the Great Plague just over 300 years ago, much formerly farmed lands were depopulated and villages abandoned, and the wilds have reclaimed what they once owned...
There is a map, but it's hand-drawn, in pencil, mostly, and has so many annotations and scribbles from past groups, it makes little sense ot anyone else. Maybe one day...
Formerly the Capital, under the previous royal line, this area is dominated by the junction of the Brythyn and Khelari Rivers, and city with the same name as the Province on the northern point where they meet. The Brythyn river is navigable up to the current Capital, Tarath, and most trade between the Empire and Southern Lands passes here, as the Kalari River is the major waterway defining the eastern edge of the Kheldarian Basin. The province extends from the City to the wide sloping plain on the banks of the Brythyn River, which is partitioned into many small, well defended holdings and manor houses, where high value animals and plants are cultivated. Keywords; Rich; Politics; Secrets.
A fertile and well watered flat land to the east and north of Brythyn that is dominated by farming. In summer, vast quantities of grain float up and down the Kalari River. Discrete areas of grapevine also allow the production of famed sweet wine wines. Although there are numerous towns and villages dotted through the landscape, wild forests, scrublands and moors hold many abandoned villages and keeps, and some of these are hideouts for bandits or worse. Keywords; Rural; Ruins; Wine
Known mostly for the production of vegetables, herbs and peat and coal from the swampy moorlands, Lormon is north of Helvain and a lot damper. Thunder Pass is the main route across the Titan Mountain Range that separates Kheldaria from the eastern coastal cities, and many caravans and travellers pass through this province. As a result, the people are quite friendly, and there are many inns and hostels on the main highway. However, there are also many villages scattered through the woods and swamps, joined only by tenuous trails across the wilderness, where strangers are often lost. Keywords; Herbs; Swamps; Cults
Situated along the northern border of Kheldaria, just to the west of the Free City of Gesdyn, City of the Vampire Lord, which overlooks the lake of the same name, Tordath is known for its military forces, and the open warfare that erupts between nobles on occasion. Bordering Gesdyn, and the clan holdings of the Carodin, the Horse Lords, and even the frozen tundra of the northern lands of Komesh, the people of this province have a long history of martial tradition. Tordath armour and blades are dependable and strong, forged from Lormon coal and Ironholm ore, and are favoured throughout the Empire and beyond. There is also a large honey industry, and potions and salves for healing are made and exported. The population is robust, healthy and somewhat argumentative. Keywords; Battles; Industry; Guards
This expansive golden sandstone city towers over the surrounding grain and cornfields, in almost the dead centre of Kheldaria. The Duke rules with an iron hand, and the many travellers and traders that pass through will see the many indentured serfs toiling in the fields in the hot sun. Most of the land based trade of the Empire passes through here, and all goods can be brought and sold in the many shops in the ancient catacombs below the city. A great amount of politicking and economic manoeuvring occurs in the upper reaches of the city as well. Keywords; Guards; Money; Power
The current Capital of the Empire, and seat of the Royal Family. It consists of fertile cropland, many bustling towns and Griffin Valley, sacred to the Royal Line. The Royal Court, and the centralised political power of the Realm is based here, along with much of the specialised and technical industry and foreign influence in the land. Keywords; Real Power; Politics; Sophistication
So far, two groups have adventured around Helvain, and one ended up travelling to the Eastern Coastal Cities and then looping around the north to end up in some intrigue in Tordath, before settling in Brythyn. The other headed south and were lost in Elven ruins, never seen again. The current group in far to the west of the Empire, but is headed in that direction.