REGIONS OF ARNSMUL
Arnsmul is the name of the continent on which the stories takes place. It is divided among 3 separate, distinct human kingdoms, 1 elven nation and a large, unclaimed region roughly in the center.
1. Weyre, the westernmost kingdom and the largest by far. It is ruled by an hereditary king, and it takes two months to travel by horse from the eastern borders all the way to the west coast. Its population is rather sparse and spread out, though some of the cities are quite large. It is a prosperous nation and covers a wide variety of terrains and ecosystems, from the mountainous, frigid north to the warm, tropical south, and from the coastal west to the rolling plains in the east. Its eastern border is defined by a line of fort towns. These regions are habitually raided by the more aggressive orc tribes and goblin hordes. There are numerous hob homesteads scattered throughout Weyre, more heavily concentrated around the eastern plains. The hobs do not swear fealty to the human king, but they do attempt to abide by human laws when they do not contradict their own traditions.
2. Arwei, the southernmost kingdom, is a long and narrow region running along the southern coast. It is a trade route between Weyre and the elven nation of Edann in the far east. Its northern border is defined by the edge of the Black Hills, and this border is in a constant state of flux as it is contested with the orc tribes. Arwei is rather infamous for its massive shipping ports along the coast, as the kingdom is notoriously lenient in dealing with pirates.
3. Norric, the northernmost kingdom, is defined by the Norrician Mountain Range in the south, which separates it from the Black Hills Region and from Weyre. The plains and rugged steppes that lie north of these mountains, reaching all the way to the North Sea, are as unforgivingly rugged as the Norrician people. Norricians have a reputation among the other nations for being stubborn and harsh, though they consider themselves cultured and orderly. They have a very large, strong and disciplined military, which is important when a nation shares a border with brutal and organized orc tribes.
The Elven Nation of Edann
Little is known about this nation. It is heavily forested over most of its area, save for a few human-like cities in the south. The elves who live outside of the cities do not welcome foreign visitors and actively discourage exploration. The few cities in the south are the main centers of trade with Arwei and Weyre. They share a border with the Black Hills, but the orcs typically refuse to enter elven forests out of a deeply-ingrained sense of superstitious dread. Neither side contests this border, and there is an uneasy truce between Edann and the Black Hills. The elves do very little trading with Norric, and what little they do is by sea as the two nations are separated by a great bay. Little is known about elven culture beyond the trade cities, though the cities themselves are wondrous to behold.
The Black Hills
This very large region lies at the heart of Arnsmul. Parts of it are rugged and barren, largely uninhabitable by any except the hardiest orc tribes and the opportunistic goblin hordes. Other regions are lightly forested, and much of the center is dominated by a vast and pleasant savannah with craggy hills and valleys. Some call this area the ancestral home of the hobs. Indeed, a great many hob homesteads exist here. There are no towns or cities of any kind; only groupings of family farms and sprawling settlements too sparse to be called proper villages. Hob homesteads are the same everywhere, but they are more numerous here. The hobs live in a longstanding, easy truce with the orc tribes in the regions that they share, even trading with them from time to time. The Black Hills has no centralized government of any kind; each settlement is independently ruled, be it by orcish tribal law or hobbish family custom.