The name Aeldreth is Common Speech for “the world.” Aeldreth has five continents: Aria, Belenosia, Danul, Lyrion, and Caillun. (World map to come.) Each continent is a Realm and is named for and protected by one of the five elemental deities: Arianhrod (air), Belenos (fire), Danu (earth), Lyr (water), and Caillech (spirit).
Each Realm is ruled by a High King or Queen approved by the patron god. This overlord government is called the Throne or High Court of the Realm. It is responsible for protecting the material and economic stability of its Realm including, but not limited to, raising armies, levying taxes, responding to emergencies, providing the highest level of the legal system, and managing foreign relations with other Realms. Under the aegis of the High Court of each Realm are nations which enjoy a wide variety of types of government, relations with each other, and degrees of autonomous or vassalary relationship to their High Court.
Each Realm is also served by a High Priest or Priestess who represents the Realm’s patron god at the god’s Grand Temple. The High Priest/Priestess is responsible for managing the entire Realm’s system of temples and shrines as well those in other Realms (worship of the gods is not restricted to their homelands), training and ordaining clergy, transmitting prophecies or revelations from the god to the people (though the gods will talk to whomever they please), and granting quests and blessings to those who seek to serve the gods.
Details of the Realms:
Aria. Realm of Air. Patron deity: Arianhrod, goddess of the skies. High Court: The Glimmering Throne. Royal seat: Arelaan. A mountainous, mostly high-altitude continent featuring the highest peaks in Aeldreth and the vast northern plateau of grassland and tundra known as the Plains of Esvae. The continent stretches from the north pole, called the Northern Cap, down to the equator and separates the Arian Ocean from the Azure Sea. Leading exports include minerals and ore, silk, cotton, timber, dragon and roc products.
Lyrion. Realm of Water. Patron deity: Lyr, god of the sea. High Court: The Floating Throne. Royal seat: Sesus. Most of the land of Lyrion is under water, with the settled continent consisting of a vast array of thousands of clustered islands ranging in size from as large as Greenland to as small as Vanuatu. Lyrion lies parallel to Aria and a bit more southerly and enjoys a range of climates from tropical to sub-arctic, but is mostly temperate. It separates the Arian Ocean from the Sea of Lyr. Leading exports include minerals, fertilizer, wool, and anything related to the sea, though intercontinental trade is the primary economic engine of Lyrion.
Belenosia. Realm of Fire. Patron deity: Belenos, god of fire. High Court: The Brazen Throne. Royal Seat: Halidahl. Located north of the equator, Belenosia is a mostly semi-arid to arid land and features the largest deserts in Aeldreth in the central Shetugur region, including the driest place in the world, the Kaba Desert, also called the Sea of Sands. Belenosia’s west coast is on the North Lyr and the Gulf of Rir, and its east coast faces the Azure Sea. Main exports include minerals and ore, chemicals and potions, serpent and basilisk products.
Danul. Realm of Earth. Patron deity: Danu, goddess of earth. High Court: The Oaken Throne. Royal Seat: Denair. Located on and south of the equator and sharing the Gulf of Rir and the fjord coasts of the Azure Sea with Belenosia, Danul is a mostly temperate and fertile land of varied terrain, featuring high mountains, large marshlands, and the great lakes or inland seas of its eastern region. Danul’s west coast is on the Gulf of Rir and the South Lyr, and its east coast faces the Azure Sea. Main exports include grain, livestock, timber and medicines.
Caillun. Realm of Spirit. Patron deity: Caillech, goddess of death. High Court: none. Royal Seat: none. Being the deity of death who rules directly over the Ghost Realm, which is not actually in Aeldreth at all, Caillech is mostly absent from her lands. As a result, Caillun is the only Realm lacking any central government. Most of the Wastes is entirely frozen over, except for the Five Swords Realm south of Lyrion, and the island nations known as the Hells and Gallows Isles, all of which have a cold to temperate climate. The Five Swords Realm is the leading power in Caillun. It is a confederation of Red Cap goblin tribes who war perpetually against each other when they are not at war with someone else. The seafaring spriggans of the Hells in the South Lyr and the Gallows Isles in the Azure Sea similarly prey upon other lands from their autonomous strongholds.