From the Lips of the Loremaster
“Now where did I place that scroll…
Oh, by the Essence! Hello??!! I didn’t see you skulking there. Well, what are waiting for boy? Speak up! If you have time to gawk you have time to form words and syllables explaining your business here.
By your tattered attire I presume you’re one of those adventuring types, hmmm? Looking to make a name for yourself in the world no doubt. My advice to you, boy, is forget all that. There’s nothing out there you can’t learn in here and it’s a great deal better than having your face bitten off. I know that from experience…it was amazing how chewy that beast found that dwarf. But I digress! And you still haven’t uttered a peep.
…What’s that? You want to know more about The World That Is? Well, you’ve come to the right place. It seems you’re not as simple as first I thought."
“You’ve obviously lived long enough to discover some things about Majeria but I’ve learned to never assume. Let’s review the basics shall we?
Through our people’s advanced use of magic we know of other planes of existence and other worlds altogether. But amidst this myriad of strange places, none are like Majeria. That is fact, boy. Why, you ask? Because none of these worlds possess what we do: Essence. Raw, unspoiled magic in its purest form flows like water below the ground upon which we tread. It is a part of us and vice versa. That makes this world one-of-a-kind. Never forget that.
Speaking of the literal ground, you probably haven’t traveled far enough to know just what Majeria actually looks like."
For the most part, our world is one large landmass. It spans thousands of miles. To traverse it from one end until the other would take you… well, it would take a great deal of time. There are a few notable exceptions to Majeria Proper however. To the North reside the Frozen Lands (a very inhospitable place I assure you). Little more than solid ice, unforgiving temperatures and hostile creatures, our scholars surmise the reason for its current state is due to the lack of Essence flowing there. Without the life-blood of Majeria beneath the surface the land is merely a frozen husk. To the Far East live our surly neighbors on the island of Purion. If magic is your stock in trade, pray you never come across one of those people.
Found within Majeria Proper are numerous territories with what seem like ever-changing borders (at least in recent times). Those consist of Shar and Sanguinus to the West, Maccordia in the Mideast, the Southeastern Plainslands, the forest nation of Loral’eil in the Northeast and past that the nation of Essencia. On the Eastern seaboard lies Triandur and their epic shipbuilders. Almost separated from the rest of Majeria Proper (save for a relatively thin strip of land known as Razor’s Pass) resides East and West Pinnacle at the Northeastern tip of the world; two nations continuously squabbling over the limited Essence found there. Of course there are also the uninhabited Holy Lands to the extreme West… another place you wouldn’t want to find yourself without a small army protecting you. Within these locales are sites of great renown such as Darmordir, Magehelm and our own city of Wyldshire. If you don’t know of those places, however, I would advise you retire from adventuring this very minute.
The great oddity of Majeria is its mists. Early explorers discovered that past a certain point on our seas the land is encircled by strange, magical mists. I say magical because stories going back hundreds of years recount how brave (albeit foolish) souls dared to sail into the mists never to be seen again. Worse yet, tales of horror tell of strange creatures coming through the mists into Majeria. Great resources were expelled to cull them and who knows how many managed to survive. But those are merely stories with which to scare children and numbskulled adventurers."
All shapes and sizes. That’s what we have in Majeria, boy. Elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, goblins and all other things that go bump in the night. Depending on where you are in the world, the ruling race could be any one of these. Take Maccordia for example. The strongest wizards in Wyldshire are human and therefore run the proverbial show. Head a little North, however, and you find yourself in Darmordir – an exclusively dwarven stronghold.
Regardless of with whom you’re dealing, always expect the unexpected. Our precious Essence may have dispositions to what type of magics it fuels but the people of Majeria decidedly do not. In other words, good is in the eye of the beholder and evil may not follow your definition of such. The lines between these ways of life are quite blurry. The Rebellion is the culprit as far as I’m concerned. Alas, the evils men do in the name of good… Don’t look at me like that! You should be writing all this down, boy."
We’ve got a very… diverse ecology in Majeria. And that is most certainly stating it lightly. What else could one expect with pure magical energy coursing through the earth?
First, let us address the Essence itself. Due to its very existence magical beasts, aberrations and all variations thereof reside in Majeria. You will never be at a loss for creatures with which to do battle or for which to serve as a tasty treat. Traditionally, their numbers were never too great an issue – one knew where to find them and how to avoid them if so desired. Ever since the wretched Mages stirred things up with their double-dealings the balance was shattered. These days, regular culling of some particularly troublesome critters is a necessity lest they overrun cities and their surrounding communities.
Diversity extends to the land as well. Traveling across one end of Majeria Proper to the other you will find grassy plains, towering forests and seemingly endless deserts. The denizens therein adapt well to their surrounding conditions. Many native species are found solely in certain locales (or at least expected to be found there). However, thanks to our mastery of the arcane, it is not uncommon to encounter a tropical paradise in normally frigid region. Well, perhaps not uncommon but certainly not improbable. You understand what I’m getting at, boy."
Ah, my favorite topic of all. Our history is rich, my would-be adventurer. Years upon years of development coupled with exploration of the arcane yields countless historical treasures. Now the Gods reveal themselves and even more of the blanks are filled.
I weave spells of all sorts when gathering history. I used my arcane prowess to uncover countless secrets locked away for years. Essence was my temple, my ‘higher power.’ All things came from our world’s life-blood as far as I was concerned. My hard and fast outlook on our origins shifts somewhat these days. Even with Majeria’s new found divinity I do not find myself leaning towards becoming a religious person, do not mistake me. But, one cannot deny the shared consciousness of the Gods’ return. Though absent for millennia, they unquestionably exist. Through their followers they already begin to provide access to ancient parts of our history.
Look around you, boy. These tomes contain lifetimes of work. The blood, sweat and tears of those like myself who have ventured to every corner of Majeria. How this world changes and how we grow with it is nothing short of amazing. Do you truly wish to know from where you hail? You may discover all that and more here as you ingest the lore of how we came to be."
So, it seems that you take me up on my offer. Excellent! There may be hope for you yet. Well then, set down that knapsack and lay your sword here – you won’t be needing either for some while. No need to rush of course. There will be plenty of time to have your face singed off by an irate dragon, your Essence boiled by a Mage or your brains served chilled to an illithid.
Read on, boy. There’s no harm in being a learned adventurer. You cannot get where you are going to unless you understand from where you are coming.
Besides, it does get lonely in these archives…"