|The most recent version of the map of|
the Middle Sea world. It covers an area
about 1000 mi. east-west and
1500 mi. north-south.
Characters with a class and level are somewhat more common in the Middle Sea world than in straight AD&D 1E. Rather than 1% of the population, a full 5% have the potential to gain levels.
Some few, elite Dalings learn to bond with dragons and become Dragonlords (new character class, only available to Dalings). Dragonlords are similar to Fighters, using the Ranger experience chart, but get the advantage of having their bonded dragon present, on average, around a third of the time (varying by season and affected by circumstances). Their ability requirements are S12 I15 W15 D6 Co10 Ch10. There is about 1 Dragonlord per roughly 17,000 population of the Dales. (I first noted this in a comment on the first post in this series.)
Dalings are polytheists, and their religious life centers on worship of dragons.
The people who live in the mountains along the coast of the Kurai lands are known as Ardhrikai (ARD-hreek-eye). They are similar in many ways to the Kurai, but are insular and clannish. Similarly, the people who live on the islands are known as Ilyanai (IL-yuhn-eye), and they also keep to themselves for the most part. The people to the south (previously called "Southlanders") are known as the Dessai (DESS-eye).
The knights of the Order of St. Raphael were formed to protect pilgrims to the great mountain (I still don't know the name of it) near which their Grand Chapter Keep was erected. The mountain is a holy place to the Radiant Church, as it was the place where the Murai Prophet was granted the Golden Tablets while in his time of Exile, but also to the Tetradic Church, and is the site of several polytheist cults (who say that the peak is the home of some of the greatest gods). The knights of St. Raphael will protect any pilgrims, not just Radiant ones.
The High Keep of the Grand Chapter of the Order of St. Raphael is arranged so that sunrise on the winter solstice (or, more accurately, a couple of days after the astronomical solstice, when the sunrise is no longer moving south) is directly over the holy peak, visible through the windows behind the altar in the chapel.
The crescent of flat land to the southeast of the Kurai is forested in the west, shading to drier land in the east and south. The people who live there are known as the Banavai (BAHN-uhv-eye). They are similar to the Kurai, but have enthusiastically adopted a form of the Tetradic Church, though the religion has developed a unique form among the isolated Banavai, based around monastic centers. Despite this, the people retain a close connection to the faery peoples. (The Banavai pragmatically adopted the Tetradic faith to counter the Radiant Church to the south.) The dry dales to the north, but not those to the east or south, of the Banavai are inhabited by Dalings.
It's not currently placed on the map, but south of the Banavai is a small salt sea. The people in that area are known as the Murai. Murai baronies are called "branches".
The Tetradic Church originated among the city-states of the sorcerer-kings to the south. The Fatalist religion began on the isle of Apalach beyond the Middle Sea. The Denialists originated in the feudal kingdoms along the southeast coast of the continent. The Radiant Church began with the Prophet of the Murai, and that people are fanatical Radiants. Despite their fanaticism, they are tolerant of polytheists (including Dalings), except among the Murai themselves. That tolerance largely carries over to other Radiants, though among the Radiants outside of the Murai there is a slowly growing current of opposition to polytheism as "demon worship". Since some polytheists of the Middle Sea world do, in fact, worship demons, they sort of have a point. But because not all polytheists do, it is a form of bigotry. From the Radiant perspective, though, it is difficult to be certain, and caution is necessary. They argue that even the polytheists can't know for certain if a being claiming to be a god is actually a polymorphed demon. This attitude originates among the Fatalists, who are adamantly anti-polytheist (they are more tolerant of other Clerical religions, and even of the Denialists, however).
The southern peninsula enclosing the Long Sea is littered with buccaneer/pirate towns. The sorcerer-kings try to maintain order in the area, but a widespread attitude along the peninsula of disregard for authorities makes this difficult. For this reason, the region is often called the Wild Coast. Many famous adventurers come from the region. There are also inland villages.
The largest city of the sorcerer-kings is located on the ocean coast, just south of the Wild Coast. It is somewhat more rough-and-tumble than the other cities of the sorcerer-kings, but is certainly more ordered than the towns of the Wild Coast.
It may be possible that the Middle Sea world is actually flat. Certainly, some people think that it is.
The long island to the northwest of the Kurai is known as Dragon Isle. This is because there are a number of dragons who live on it, and it is the home of the Dragon Court. It is the most sacred place in the world to the Dalings. Humans are not allowed to live there, though a few Dalings live on the smaller island to the south of it. There are ten dragon rulers on the Dragon Isle, each unique. They are: Platinum, Chromatic, Steel, Grey, Mithril, Purple, Electrum, Yellow, Quicksilver, and Orange. Each has a name, as well, although I only know the names of the first four right now (Bahamut, Tiamat, Ahi, and Rahab).
After the ape-men, the most common nonhuman tribes are the dog-heads (gnolls).