The World is big, and most people in Verros have never ventured far from their homes. The map shows the extent of the world familiar to the wordly and educated in Veross.
There are two moons, Blue and Silver, with periods of 16 and 51 days. There is also a strange bright arc of glittering lights in the southern sky visible on clear nights, called the Gleaming. Truly dark nights are rare because of the gleaming. Moon Synchrony (both moons full) is uncommon and is all religions.
Verros and the surrounding lands are known for brutal winters. The Icy Bay freezes every winter, and the Misty Sea is rife with treacherous icebergs in spring.
An important geographic feature is the Devil’s Chasm, an enormous sheer gorge that separates Verros and Haanor. This canyon is a The Chasm can be crossed only at the Grey Span, a mysterious ancient bridge (highly fortified on both sides, see below).
The Kingdom of Verros was born 110 years ago when a horde of barbaric Verak tribesman migrated southward and conquered the northern province of the Bandaran Empire. The barbarians slowly adopted some of the civilized ways of their neighbors, but the rural people of Veross are still mostly an unruly bunch. Most people are serfs and earn their living as farmers or herders. A minority of the lowborn are freeman, mostly craftspeople or living in the cities of Kirinor or Jarlsport.
King Sergei Tiger-Claw rules Verros from the walled city of Kirinor. Sergei is in his seventies and has become increasingly erratic in recent years. Verros is a fuedal kingdom, comprising seven counties and many smaller demesnes. The nation maintains a standing army, including garrisons in Highgard and Elor’s Tower. In a time of war the vassals can supposedly quickly raise additional forces. There is also a rickety navy based in Jarlsport.
Culture in Verros
Some foreigners call Verros the Mushroom Kingdom. There are a bewildering array of mushrooms that grow there, and they find applications in food, drugs, poisons, and alchemy. Mycological science is very dubious, and mistakes are common.
Magic is rare and feared in Verros. Most people have never knowingly met a magician, and witch burnings (justified or not) are not unheard of.
The religion of Verros is loose and polytheistic, sharing a huge pantheon of naturalistic gods with the Verak tribes to the north. Only larger cities have proper temples, and these are not usually dedicated to any single god. Smaller communities usually have simple stone circles for worship.
Cultural events in Verros usually center around ale and sports like wrestling and ax throwing. Major holidays are Septemberfest, Mid Winter’s Eve, and Moon Synchrony, all mostly indistinguishable drunken feasts.
The language of Verros shared with the Verak tribes, although dialects differ somewhat. Haanor, Banndara, and the dwarven tribes have completely different languages.
Races in Verros
Humans are by far the most common race. Some communities of halflings are found in Verros and they are self-governing (monarchs having discovered that trying to extract tribute from haflings is not worth the trouble). Some half-orcs and dwarves live in Verros and are viewed with only minimal suspicion. Elves and gnomes are completely mythical.
Kirinor is the capital of Veross. The nation’s only university is here, offering (dubious) schooling in history, religion, and alchemy. King Sergei holds court here — the royal Court is drunken, chaotic, and often rife with scheming.
This is largest city in Veross. Many sailors and traders can be found here in the warmer months. The Verossian Armada is based here (13 ships).
Highgard is a fortified town with a large standing garrison with an eye toward the Haanorian Empire to the west. Tribesman and dwarves from the north sometimes come here to trade. The town is known for the Marching Griffon tavern, famous for good food and ale and exotic visitors.
The Grey Span
This bridge, made from mysterious and ageless metal, is the only path across a half-mile deep shear canyon separating Verros from Haanor. The construction of the span predates all known history.
The Empire of Boundless Haanor
This mysterious and nation stretches far to the west of Veross. It is an oppressive theocracy dedicated to the worship of Zon, the god of law, craft, and order. Haanorian visitors are rare in Veross, and huge gated fortresses strictly limit travelers on both sides of the Grey Span. Veross has almost no diplomatic relations with Haanor.
The Empire of Banndara
The ancient empire of Banndara extends far to the south. Verrosians think of it as a weird, decadent society built on seances, drugs, and orgies…. there is probably some truth to this. Banndara is a richer and more cosmopolitan society than Verros, and magic is less feared there. The Banndaran ambassador to Verros maintains a large and conspicuous entourage in Kirinor.