Rindherol consists of five large continents, spaced more or less equidistant from each other. The largest, Auchas, sits more or less on the equator. The smallest, Plaiton, is closest to the southern pole. Each have distinct geographic, political, and historic features to them. Due to the nature of the Great Prophecy, and the nature of how cities and nations may rise and fall over the course of ages, some of these may only exist in the First Age.
This continent stretches for over five thousand miles in a straight line from its eastern coast to its western one, though it's north-south breadth is only a third of that. It's by far the most populous continent and home to a number of significant cities, as well as historical sites, geographic features, and Stranger Lairs.
• Oriabury (Capital City/Major Port) - Crowning the Bay of Oriab in the southwestern corner of the continent, Oriabury has long dominated the carrying trade for other coastal cities, as well as providing a well equipped port to help move goods into the interior.
• The Cenotaph of The First Oracle (Historic Site) - Near the precise center of Auchas sits what can only be described as a temple complex. At its heart is a cenotaph. Yet, instead of the names of the dead, it bears the words of the Great Prophecy as revealed by the First Oracle. The walls of the complex tell a rather abridged version of the coming of The Strangers and the creation of The Hundred Champions by The Pantheon. It does not mention Orubrus or the bargain it struck with The Pantheon.
• The Unholy Tree (Stranger Lair) - One of The Strangers is believed to be laired (or possibly entombed) underneath a massive tree measuring almost a quarter of a mile across at the base. The tree does provide shade, but whatever eldrtich energies have caused it to grow to its present size have also choked out all other plant life within a mile or so of its branches.
North-northwest of Auchas, Auphai could easily be considered as being broken off from Auchas, a truth which will not become known until many ages deep into the cycle. While it is a distinct continental mass, it's size (2100 miles across) and proximity will cause it to be mistaken as an extension of Auchas for many centuries.
• Iclens (Major City) - Nestled in the heights of the Leifrav Mountains, Iclens boasts some of the oldest observatories in the world, as well as some of the oldest deposits of sulfur, niter, and other chemical compounds. Most of this can be attributed to the various hot springs which dot the glacial valley which Iclens sits in.
• The Adaenira (Historic Site) - One of many temple sites to The Pantheon, the Adaenira is best thought of as a massive musical instrument. Raised during the Age of Myths, it is effectively an engineered "Aeolian harp," where wind, water, and even plant and animal life combine to produce musical effects. Its acoustic properties and architecture will be studied for centuries, but rarely if ever duplicated, and never surpassed.
• The Grove of Agony (Stranger Lair) - This particular expanse of forest, although relatively small compared to the breadth of the continent, holds the dubious distinction of being the most deadly woodland in the world. Animal life is rare, but what creatures do live there are extraordinarily aggressive, equipped with mutations which only serve to enhance their lethality compared to their "normal" cousins. Plant life is invariably carnivorous or poisonous (and in many cases both). Fungi are universally toxic and death is the typical end result of either casual contact, ingestion, or inhalation of spores. Many have theorized that the Grove is not a typical biome, but is some bizarre form of biological gestalt, a super-organism which is defending its particular patch of territory with unfettered hostility.
To the northeast of Auchas sits Cacith, a modestly sized continent (1500 miles across) which is dominated by the ring of mountain ranges almost entirely circumvalleting it. Its residents generally either make their homes on the thin fringe of coastal lands at the seaward feet of the mountains or within the mountains themselves. Cacith will be referred to at various times as "The Sanctuary Isle," owing to the effect of the mountains creating an almost entirely undeveloped interior.
• Ukhada (Small Town) - Referred to as "The Garden Gate" by coastal residents of Cacith, Ukhada sits in the middle of the narrow valley between the Tiverterel and Kirwaki Ranges. Guides for expeditions into the interior of the continent are generally hired here, and the townsfolk seem to be the best local source for information about what lays beyond the far end of the valley.
• The Pearl Graves (Historic Site) - The western coast of Cacith holds perhaps one of the strangest burial grounds ever seen. In a semi-submerged grotto, the skulls of particularly courageous mariners are given to a bed of giant clams, causing a pearl to form around the skull. Each skull is wound with a special burial cord to help identify them, which slowly unwinds as part of the pearl formation process. After a decade or so, the clams eject the pearls. The pearls are then recovered and placed in niches with the name of the mariner and the date of their death carved below them. Stealing even one of these pearls is a deeply held taboo, and grave robbers are dealt with most harshly.
• Sanctum of Regret (Stranger Lair) - This small and oddly shaped structure sitting deep within the interior of the continent holds a deeply confounding labyrinth which none have ever successfully navigated. By all accounts, it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside by a couple orders of magnitude. Few have ever escaped it.
Roughly the same size as Cacith (1600 miles across), Vistrath sits west-southwest of Auchas, enjoying a more tropical climate than most other locales. Because of this, it's the most sparsely populated of the five continents, more so even than Cacith. Its jungles and its few high deserts make for harsh living for most people, though The Strangers don't seem terribly bothered by the conditions.
• Eyrosa (Capital City/Major City) - Situated near the Vonsevain Massif and Sinval River, Eyrosa is a gateway to the jungle highlands and mountainous deserts further west. Its position leads to generations of riverine naval domination, material development (from various nearby ore seams), and engineering expertise (from building bridges and early efforts at water-based power generation).
• Orubrus' Garden (Historic Site) - This region holds a number of tall buttes thrusting up from the jungles below. The tops of these buttes contain unique micro-ecosystems, completely isolated from the creatures below.
• Vault of The Last Dream (Stranger Lair) - Near the center of the Raleche Wastes is a cyclopean structure, its angles and lines completely unnatural to most eyes. Beyond a massive door of gray-green stone is a maze of corridors and stairways. It's unknown how far down the passages go, though there have been reports of explorers experiencing strange dreams of a second door down at the very bottom.
At a little under 800 miles across, Plaiton is the smallest continent, southeast of Auchas. It bears the most Stranger Lairs of any of the five continents and more battlefields dot its cool grassy plains than almost anywhere else in the world. Most who hail from the nations of Plaiton are known for a general surliness and coldness of demeanor, though the almost constant engagement against The Strangers' minions may have something to do with this.
• Ensgend (Major City) - Cut into the base of Milgath Peak, Ensgend is less a metropolitan complex and more of a sprawling military reservation. There are more weapon makers and designers per capita here than anywhere else in the world. It is quite possibly the pre-eminent locale for martial theory, tactics, logistics, and training. For all of that, it also boasts incredible capacity for refugees and is likely one of the few cities in the world which is almost entirely self-sufficient for the length of an entire cycle.
• The Tomb of Qynjir (Historic Site) - A plain near Ensgend holds a site dating back to the early days of the Age of Myths. Qynjir was a hero of the region, and even today, a large number of Ensgendi will claim to be distantly descended from him. Each year, large numbers gather near the tomb to mark the day of Qynjir's death, traditionally reported to be on the spring equinox.
• Fane of The Deamageris (Stranger Lair) - The highest peak in Plaiton is Mount Saulaver, rising over twenty thousand feet above sea level, and upon this peak sits the Fane of The Deamageris. During the Age of Myths, it was a monastery for an order of mystics. During the Time of Contempt, The Strangers seized the mountain and slaughtered the monks to the last man before corrupting the site. Many have theorized that the Fane serves The Strangers in much the same way Ensgend serves mortals.
Player Character Classes
A player will undertake many roles during the cycle, living many lifetimes, performing many deeds in many different ways. While the Hundred Champions may become any one of these, deep and subtle metaphysical systems ensure that they are always evenly distributed, a score of champions to each continent, and an evenly divided number among the four types. And while each type may have favored weapons and armor, it's always possible for one of the Hundred to bring experience from one role into another. Each type has an elemental "affinity," a spiritual precept rather than an actual preference for certain elements in magical terms.
These are the frontline warriors of the Hundred. Their elemental affinity is Earth. They are the rocks upon which the tides of evil break and are confounded. Their strength and endurance are phenomenal, and they serve as natural leaders in the crush of battle. They know that to endure is to buy the most precious resource of any battle: time. Their favored weapons are two-handed blades and two-handed bludgeons. They favor the heaviest armors and shields.
These are the guerrillas and assassins of the Hundred. Their elemental affinity is Water. They are constantly in motion, shifting effortlessly from target to target, or from hotspot to hotspot. Theirs is the patience, and the speed, and sometimes the shocking force of the rivers and the oceans. For them, victory lies in the attack, and they are always on the attack. Their favored weapons are one-handed blades along with bows and other ranged weapons. They favor light armor and shields.
These are the magi and sorcerers of the Hundred. Their elemental affinity is Fire. They bring forth power from the mundane, unleashing the inherent energies of the world upon The Strangers and their ilk. In doing so, they must also be scholars and strategists, determining where best to strike and how to make the enemy come to ground of their choosing. Their favored weapons are wands and foci. They cannot wear armor (unless they have brought a trait from a previous incarnation into their current one).
These are the priests and healers of the Hundred. Their elemental affinity is Air. Life begins with a breath and ends with one. It is their role to preserve life, to soothe the pain of the injured both physically and spiritually. They are all-encompassing, able to restore those who are spent, or to lend support to those are flagging. But they can also be terrible to behold in battle, the first blast of a storm, or even the storm itself. Their favored weapons are one-handed bludgeons and icons. They favor medium armor and shields.
Many of The Strangers will be generated as the ages roll on, and The Pantheon is out of reach. That said, there may be a couple of constants.
Many have had visions of Orubrus, sometimes as they're on the brink of death, and sometimes even after they've died but before being restored to life by well timed interventions. He often appears as a titanic serpent, always with a serpentine smile on his face as he chides the subject for carelessly dying. Occasionally he'll appear in a more humanoid form, though even there, serpentine motifs and a reptilian cast to his features will be common. He has no great love of The Strangers and genuinely wants to be rid of them, but at the same time, he's rather pleased by the fact he's the only divine being in the world. Orubrus knows sooner or later, The Pantheon will be released and the party will be over. But until then, he'll enjoy it while it lasts. Some have speculated he knows exactly how many times the cycle of ages has reset, but if he does, he's not telling.
There are many titles this being has earned, many aliases been granted to avoid speaking its true name. Among The Pantheon, it is known as "The First Stranger" or "The Grand Unknown." Its motives are inscrutable. Its powers beyond mortal ken. Even the divinities of The Pantheon are unable to fathom the true level of its abilities or the ultimate objective it works towards. Yet for some reason, it cannot or will not manifest itself within the world. It may not be accessible from the world of mortals. And even if some of The Hundred did make it through, there's no guarantee it will die.