Let's keep this going! More detail means a deeper more cohesive world, yet loose enough for any GM out there to make it their own. Let's start at the north and work our way down from installment to installment.
I will try to keep it rules agnostic, even though the tags list Swords and Wizardry. It will end up having some S&W info, but most of it will easily be usable to anyone who needs a setting to explore.
Regional Population: Estimated 50,000 sentients. 50% Orcish, 35% Human, 15% other.
Main Population Center: Ak Vihana, a walled town of 28,000.
Ak Vihana is the main town of the Seplet Desert region. Made mostly of stone and any other materials that can hold back the desert sands, it provides a midway point between the El Vahz Oasis and Lake Vihana, which is the source of the Drinak River. Founded 42 years ago by Orc nomads tired of endless travel and dealing with human raiders, they found building a settlement next to the Cobra Fang's Canyon the ideal spot both defensively, and due to the small wells they were able to dig within it.
The economy is based on light mining, tourism, and mercenary pursuits. Orc nomad patrols are paid by trading caravans and explorers to escort them safely through the desert, and to the two ruin sites in the north and northeastern coasts of the continent. A small military outpost and supply depot has been founded at the Oasis itself, (roughly 400 people overall), and 2 smaller outposts by the ruin sites. (Roughly 100 people at each outpost.)
The main town itself is run by the ruling Orc class, with fighting in the town being illegal. Everyone is generally welcome to visit and trade at the town, though criminals tend to be attacked first, and questions asked later. If any of them survive the overzealous city watch, most lawbreakers are kicked out of the town and banned from re entering it. Most non Orcs are considered to be lower class citizens, though they are not specifically harassed or kept from having the same rights and chances to succeed as the Orcs themselves.
Politically the Orcs themselves have a ruling council based on the wealthiest members, most of whom made their fortunes as mercenary companies. A few Goblins are on the council due to their heavy influence on merchant and trading concerns (much of which is rumored to be thanks to that race's tendency for organized crime. One Ogre is on the council given that race's heavy interest in construction. A few Human councillors are mostly token voices whose complaints about their areas of the town's poor conditions is barely given lipservice.
Near the canyons and wandering the hills are a number of human nomad groups, who tend to prey on travelers and form raiding parties on a regular basis. It is rumored they have found a number of forgotten tombs that predate even the Teknikan Wars which is giving them additional drive to raid and attack.
The Ruins: The two ruin sites are currently being investigated by interested groups both from Ak Vihana, and elsewhere. Some are looking for forgotten technologies, others for historical knowledge, and others to turn these places back into centers of trade.
Aron Stewart Says:
Ak Vihana is a pretty strict place, but Orcs are no nonsense and expect everyone else to be the same. Its not too bad if you keep your mouth shut and your nose clean though. Just look out for the Goblins who will shank you for a silver, and their own mothers for a gold! The low town area is mostly a miserable slum. The Orcs just don't care about anyone who can't help themselves. They figure everyone is as hard and tough as they are, and as driven to succeed. Its a rough region, and some folks just had some bad luck. It takes money to make money, and the Orcs have most of the money. The Goblins can steal it, and the Ogres are always in demand for construction projects, but stranded travelers or folks who got jumped by the human raiders in the desert just don't have the money to get a foothold!
The desert itself is a rough place, and the canyon is full of snakes, scorpions, and other nasty monsters. I've heard rumors of mummies and forgotten races being dug back up. The ruin sites are a tricky place. Between folks fighting for scraps, and some of the scraps being big nasty horrors, its just not a good place to be. Your best bet is to stop over at the Oasis, move quickly to Ak V, then get on the river and get out of the area!
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