The South

Near the shore of the Inner Sea, the southern lands are Mediterranean, blending slowly into tropical forests to the east. Near the shore rain is frequent, though the land is not brutal or water-scoured. Farther south, the rain becomes less frequent and the olive trees and give way to scrub and tumbleweeds and then to cacti and yucca trees. The desert in the south is a classic badlands, full of narrow canyons, arroyos and wadis. Continuing south, the badland gives way to sand and stone outcroppings, where rain never falls. The air is oven hot in the daytime, but temperatures at night drop to sub-freezing. Even further south, the sun provides only light, and the heat from the Elemental Pole of Fire continues unabated day and night.

The cities of the south are are hereditary autocracies supported by an oppressed agricultural class. Civilization ends abruptly at the edge of the badlands.

Southern cities

Gem

The city of Gem is built into the side of a dormant volcano. The name comes from the large number of precious stones which are mined here, or gathered from the sands to the south. The city is nominally a tributary of the Realm but in reality uses its wealth to buy freedom.

Paragon

Paragon is ruled and completely controlled by its god-king, the Prefect. It is a safe and honest city, however all citizens are bound by magical oath to the Prefect. Those who violate his rules die writhing in agony. Paragon is a loyal ally of the Realm.

Chiaroscuro

Built on the ruins of a First Age city, Chiaroscuro is the largest southern city. The city is ruled by a formerly nomadic people who settled here after the Great Contagion. The ruler of the city, the Tri-Khan, is rumored to have close ties to the Guild. Chiaroscuro pays only lip-service to the Realm.

Yane

Located in the southeast, Yane is capital of the Varang city-states. The Varang follow a complex caste system based on astrology. The rulers of Varang believe in the destiny of the Realm and are its staunch allies.

The Lap

Far to the west of the other cities in the south, The Lap is, like Gem, built into the side of a mountain. Unlike the underground city, the Lap is a honeycomb of clay-brick buildings ascending the side of the mountain. The city gained its name from the location it was built – during the First Age, the mountain was carved to resemble a meditating hermit and the city was built in the figure’s lap. The Lap is an agricultural center providing foodstuffs to the Realm. The Lap is a tributary of the Realm.

The South

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