The Whisperer in Darkness
The Volcanic Plains
These immense fertile plains span tens of thousands of square miles in central Isalfyrne, and usually refer to the areas outside of Alban control. In addition to the rolling hills, semi-active volcanoes and lush grassland that most associate with this region, there are also a variety of other environments. These include incredible forests, hundreds of great rivers and lakes, small deserts, beautiful frozen wastelands dotted with crumbling mountains, mysterious swamps and treacherous rocky plateaus.
The Volcanic Plains are home to every known race of the world. Technically, the whole region is one great No Man’s land, for the numerous powers that vie for its domination have not power enough to tame such a wild and unpredictable expanse. There are ambitious ex-Alban human settlements, ornate elven towns in the west that are visited by roaming elven villages, goliaths in the mountains, tribes of nomadic dwarf barbarians and organised, merciless Beantann farmers in the north. There are even lively halfling colonies in the east. Borders change and shift constantly, for thousands of families and factions contest against each other for land and power.
In the midst of all this are the monsters. The great plains contain more strange and powerful creatures than can be found in the rest of Isalfyrne combined. Cocky warriors that travel from the safe realms north and south die here in scores every year. In this dangerous frontier, mystery is a reliable companion. The wild forces of nature and magic here run amok, creating abominations and miracles both. Unnatural evil forces rise up from their dark places to destroy small princedoms and duchies, but new civilisations are often patched together from the old, creating tiny nations where any mix of race you can imagine have banded together to make a free life in the wilds.
The faction that is presently closest to conquering the Volcanic Plains is the Kingdom of Alba. In its 158th year Alba won its first great war against the goliaths of the Gol mountain range, who until then had confined them to their south-eastern highlands. Since then the kingdom has slowly expanded its borders into the Plains, first conquering the dry goliath lands (now the counties of Cameroon, Somnia and Aridin) by their 201st year, and then winning a second great war against the four regal Elven countries (now the counties of Belonia, Scrimsley, Arkbolt and Amorn) by their 277th.
After that the country’s expansion slowed, as controlling unknown foreign lands far from home turned out to be much more difficult than expected. In some decades one or two colonies every Season would be wiped out by vicious monsters or other civilisations. Still, Alba’s population count and military might continued to grow, and its present borders were established in the kingdom’s 395th year. In the two hundred years since, the kingdom has made the areas under its control very stable, though certainly not entirely safe. The counties along Alba’s borders are visited regularly by dangerous beasts, strange tales and odd circumstances from the untamed plains beyond.