Gate of Souls
Cru’matale is the name of the island on which the game is set, more of a sub-continent really the land possesses a shocking diversity of terrain. The inhabitants of the land are likewise diverse, with numerous nations and smaller communities hosting an incredible variance of peoples and cultures. Dominating the landscape is a giant volcano known as Drakspir, and it’s numerous offshoot ridges define many of the borders in both geographic and political respects. Along its eastern edge the coastline is characterized by sharply dropping cliffs bordered by uncharted and treacherous reefs, gradually transforming into hospitable beaches to the west. Drakspir is located near the center of the eastern coast, with ridges extending westward, north and south. North and west of the great mountain lie fertile plains, steaming jungles, and primeval forest. South there is only the Oasis nation of Azil, followed by the vast expanse of desert known as the Black Waste.
A number of small states have sprung up in the fertile areas of the land, and they feud constantly over small patches of ground in petty little wars. Very seldom one nation or another has come close to conquering it’s neighbors, but always the other nations will band together to bring down the upstart. Azil has threatened their neighbors most often, but their relatively isolated location limits their ability to carry out their ambitions effectively.
The Red Hills: Less a region than a battleground, and named for the blood spilled upon them. Numerous orc tribes continuously fight against each other and their neighbors from these hills and plains. Small halfling clans also wander this area, most often avoiding the orc clans, but occasionally coming into conflict. This land is harsh, the most barren area in the region short of the Black Waste which borders it. Whenever Azil wishes to launch a larger attack against the other nations they must send their forces through the red hills, and battles always ensue between them and the locals. It is fortunate for the other nations that the Orcish tribes consider them to be too weak for a real challenge, and are inclined to vent the wrath only on those that invade their lands. That, combined with the presence of the Bleeding Forest, keeps conflicts to a minimum.
The Broken Reach: A long stretch of inhospitable coastline stretches along the eastern edge of Cru’Matale, almost entirely formed of broken volcanic stone rising in steep cliffs. Some small villages exist but no city-state, and the water is filled with reefs and shoals, essentially impassable to anyone not familiar with the seas here. In addition the ocean is teeming with dangerous aquatic life, both monstrous creatures and thinking but unfriendly peoples.
The Black Waste: The massive desert that stretches like a shadow from the base of Drakspir, shockingly close to the lush northern regions as it covers the whole southern section of the land. Rain does not visit here, and what little water is present sinks into the ground with shocking quickness, as every river that travels into that waste disappears. Exactly how the nomads that wander these barren lands survive is a mystery to most other peoples, but survive they do, and guard their territory viciously from any who would even step foot there.