Friday, February 27, 2009

The Complete Guide to Giam Part 2

So for this part I am going to walk through the map of Giam. I drew this map in high school. Most of Giam took shape in high school during study halls. Most people slept, and I either read sci-fi/fantasy books or created my own little world in my head. During my Senior year, I even created my own Role Playing Game system based in Giam called New Legends (and despite my best efforts to look multiple times I could not find the file anywhere). As I explain the various places in Giam, I will be explaining them as they are in what I previously referred to as the "time of legends." I apologize about the size of the map, it will probably be hard to read.

Starting on the western side of the continent is the city of Gull. After the fall of the dark lord Gull was reduced to a city-state, but the city has begun to reestablish itself as a proper kingdom. Even though Gull is on the edge of the known world, it is where the world comes together. Goods from the Northern lands come to Gull as do exotic goods from the south. A steady trickle of traveling merchants bring goods from the rest of Giam down the great road. Thus, the market of Gull is something of a wonder of the world. Gull is essentially ruled by an oligarchy. The throne of Gull has been vacated since the height of the dark age, and there are several noble families who want it for themselves. They are always trying to earn favor and position. Every decade a new steward is elected from the noble families to sit on the throne. This election is often corrupt, and the noble courts of Gull are a place of much intrigue and back-stabbing.

To the North of Gull are the Northern Lands. These lands are controlled by a vast array of barbarian tribes. Think Conan the Barbarian with a healthy dose of Braveheart and you get the idea. Each tribe no matter how small has their own territorial land. The only place not controlled by a tribe is the city of Noroun. Noroun is essentially the "United Nations" of the Barbarians. Each tribe has representatives, and diplomacy is done here. Of course, Barbarian diplomacy often inolves duels and tests of might.

To the south of Gull is the Aran Desert. I have never thought to much about what is there. South of that is the Henten Jungle. On the outskirts of the jungle there are human settlements of tree dwellers. Deep in the jungle one of only two elf civilizations still exist. The plague of the dark lord was especially harsh on the elves, as was the resulting anarchy. In response the elves became insular and extremely xenophobic. Elven culture has degenerated into almost savagery. Yet they, still remember stories of the golden age, but they have forgotten how the fall from that age was led by them. Thus, the elves are prideful and mean. East of the jungle is the Southland mountains. It is in these mountains that the greatest of the Dwarven kingdoms lie. South of that is the wasteland. A Desert of Rock, tar pits, and other unpleasantnesses. Wastelanders, which are essentially orcs, roam this area. There is a haven of decency and verdant civilization carved out of the wasteland though and that is Fanastia. Here elves and humans have intermingled to create the world's only half-elf civilization. Fanastia is very prosperous and very remote, thus most of Giam thinks the place is a legend. In the ocean is the island of Vesterou. This is an evil place that is eternally terrorized and ruled by a vampire. Vampires in this world are people who have made deals with demons. In exchange for eternal life they have to exist on the blood of others.

Going Back to Gull and heading East there is the great road. During the golden age this road ran from Gull to Valaxen, but that last leg from Bren to Valaxen has been swallowed by time. The great road is what keeps Giam still unified as information and goods travel between the two great kingdoms of Gull and Bren. Along the great road there are multiple small kingdoms, commonwealths, and free towns. There are only a few parts of the road that are wild and truly dangerous to travel. North of the Great Road and East of the North lands are lots of hills that slowly become more steeper as they grow into the Draglok mountains. There are human settlements in these hills, but these hills are one of the only place in Giam where the gnomes live. These gnomes are the "travelocity" variety. They are whimsical, peace loving creatures. In the steeper hills live the Dark Dwarfs. These dwarfs have skin that is a very dark gray in color. Dark Dwarfs are opportunists and are consumed with greed. In the Draglok mountains, dragons can be found as well as the lesser Dwarf kingdoms.

In the middle of the world is Meduka, which has you gathered is now a place of evil. Essentially if there is a monster it comes from Meduka. The areas immediately surrounding Meduka are home to evil civilizations. To the east are savage gnomes. To the North-west Cyclopeans, To the North East Centaurs, and to the North are the Wyerms. Further north of Meduka are the shirelands. This area is essentially like Germany in the late middle ages before unification, a patch work of small duchies (or in this case shires). Of these two free cities have emerged, Vasten and Lakeshire, which are slowly developing into proper kingdoms. East of Meduka is the Great Plain and this is home to the Three Peoples: The Sucroi, Yenoi, and Bedoi. The Three peoples all have Native American influences. The Sucroi are more or less akin to a Native American plains tribe. The Yenoi are a mix of Native Americans and Japanese, while the Bedoi are more like Bedouins.

South of the Great Plain is Bren. Bren is the premier kingdom in Giam. During the dark ages the throne was not lost and the same blood line that has always ruled still sits on the throne. Bren is both the high point of Giam civilization and its protector, as the Eastern areas of Bren are mostly uncivilized. Sout of Bren is the City State of Ravensport. Ravensport is Bren's constant rival despite being dwarfed by the kingdom. Ravensport is also a place with dark secrets. Black Magic is readily practiced in its alleyways and many of the aristocrat families have long standing deals with devils.

The Eastern part of Giam is mostly uncivilized wilderness. The biggest standing city in this part of Giam is Keysmit, which is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The peninsula of Seaina is very much haunted and it also is where tribes of people who are more beast than human in their demeanor live. North of Keysmit. There are a few bright spots of goodness in the form of all small cities and their protectorate, but most of this area is the domain of petty warlords and aggressive warrior tribes. One of these tribes has taken up residence in the ruined city of Valaxen, and they essentially function as land based Vikings. North of Valaxen is a great forest. Deep in this forest is where the former elves of Valaxen reside. Like the elves of the jungle these elves are insular, prideful xenophobes. The forest is also home to intelligent wolves who can speak like humans and minotaurs. To the west of this forest is a mountain range that is more like the Appalachian mountains than the Rockies. At the heart of these mountains is a series of big valleys connected by passes. This area is home to the Hidden Kingdom. The Hidden Kingdom has always been a secluded place where Dwarfs and humans live in mutual peace. During the anarchy that followed the fall of the dark lord the hidden kingdom shut itself from outsiders so that now the outside world has all but forgotten about it, and the hidden kingdom has all but forgotten about the outside world.

So that is the world of Giam. The only thing left to talk about is how magic work in Giam, because all good fantasy worlds have to have some sort of magic.


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