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Durraine is somewhere between a large island and a small continent. The land stretches from the Mourning Mountains to the cliffs of the Silver Coast, with everything from the ancient trees of the Elderwood to the inhospitable Kingdom of Glass in between. Though it has no world power on its shores, Durraine is (in)famous as the birthplace of most current gods. Durraine has had a turbulent half-millenium, from the War of Ascension nearly five centuries past, to the Year of Black Rain in 488 AR, to now.
It is spring of 499 AR. This, the Year of Last Breaths, is the final year named by the Tome of Five Centuries. War between Dominion and Omskirk is in full swing, and has killed tens of thousands. Battles take place almost every day; most are small but brutal skirmishes between small groups of partisan fighters, but their casualties add up. The legendary wyrm Abathor, who defied a pair of gods, is going blind from age. One of the Runelords has gone rogue, a stranger in a strange land as her own people hunt her down. Ships of iron alight on the shores, the integrity of magic crumbling in their wake.
There are only a few true power players on Durraine.
- Dominion is the closest thing Durraine has to a superpower. It stretches from the foothills of the Mourning Mountains to the edges of the Kingdom of Glass, although its coverage is spotty, and there are a number of protectorates and free cities fracturing its borders. Dominion’s diabolic heritage cannot be ignored; a slight majority of its families are stained with the blood of one devil or another.
- Omskirk derives its name from “Church of the Dragon,” a fitting etymology for the old Dragonborn Empire. Omskirk is notable both for its size—its wings spread from the far Eastern coast to the Kingdom of Glass—and for being one of two theocracies on the surface world. Ceros Kor and Iska grant divine right to the rulers.
- Dusk is not the original name for the theocracy that lies from Elsir Vale to the southern Underdark entrances, but the one that has stuck. Dusk has the smallest footprint of all the main powers of Dominion, but boasts a network of trading posts and towns on other planes of existence, and even the great Astral Dreadnought, on which Lucien, the Collector resides. Dusk makes heavy use of undead as laborers, improving its quality of life at the cost of relations with most other nations.
- The Hundred Nations is somewhat of a misnomer, but denotes the tangled network of alliances and trade agreements that links a diverse network of city-states, counties and other odds and ends together. There is no unifying government, and many of the parties involved would be at each other’s throats over territorial and other disputes, were they not aware that any perceived weak links in the chain will be inevitably snapped up by Dominion, which lays at the center with the Hundred at its fringes.
- The Mountain Kings rule within the Mourning Mountains, sovereigns of miners and deep-dwellers. Most have been and remain in a long, slow burning war with Dominion since before Dominion even existed; the old Holy Moradin Empire held fast against the legions of Mahelmuth until it was fractured by the death of Moradin. Many of its constituent cities have held their gates stubbornly fast for nearly half a millennium since then. For the most part, Dominion has given up on assaulting any of the Mountain Kings’ strongholds, choosing to keep them surrounded and isolated until they can be dealt with, if ever.
- The Mendozians hold no land on Durraine itself, but this human nation (?) deserves a mention regardless. Mendozian ships of iron sail against the winds, bringing fantastic riches from afar to trade. Yet, their arrival is a double edged sword, as their very presence seems to slowly erode the power of magic. Besides this, precious little is known of them.