Achaea

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Achaea is the heartland of the West and birthplace of the mighty Achaean Empire. It is full of rich, fertile soil and blessed by a temperate climate, making it a more ideal home for mankind than its northern and southern neighbors. Civilization has flourished there.

History

The Golden Age

The earliest ages of Man are shrouded in myth and mystery. Extremely little is known for certain about this time, as mankind fought to secure its dominion after the downfall of the Shifters. It is said that, at first, all men lived together in harmony, their alliances holding strong. There were no wars, according to the Achaeans - only great hunts against the beastfolk and other monsters. The young gods walked the earth on a regular basis, mingling with their followers. The Golden Age began to crumble when wars broke out between various peoples and gods. The dwarves began to seal shut their mountain-halls, the elves to retreat more fully into the forest, and men began to build walls to close off their cities.

The Silver Age

The Achaeans sometimes refer to this early period of strife as the Silver Age, or the Age of Heroes. This was the age of their most treasured stories, like the stories of Akhilles and Herakles, when the world was full of demigods and monsters. The name 'Achaeans' comes from these tales, which are surrounded by myth and legend, long glorified as the true dawn of the Achaean culture, though the Empire itself did not truly arise until much later.

Some say that the influence of the Demons and their sinning ways (pride, greed, sloth, etc.) brought about the end of this age, as their influence on the mortal realm grew with the increasing chaos.

The Age of Bronze

The first age of which reasonably accurate historical records still exist. At this time, Achaea was composed of many feuding city-states and small kingdoms. This period of history is dominated by the Red War, when two major alliances of city-states fought for supremacy in Achaea, led by the cities of Templaria and Lakedaemon, the Red City. The Red Army won the war, and might have been the founders of the Empire had not King Exar I of Coria swept down from the north with his mighty legions and stolen their chance.

The history of the Empire founded by Exar and his son can be found in the Achaean Empire article.

Geography

Achaea is divided into several major regions, each ruled by a semi-sovereign government that answers to the Emperor.

The Kingdom of Northrim - The newest kingdom of the Empire, actually comprising only a small section of Northrim north of Coldstone Wall. See the article about its capital, Rimegard.

The Northwestern Kingdom - The second newest kingdom of the Empire, just south of Coldstone Wall. It is a wild land, dominated by the Plains of Illikon, many thick forests, and mountains to the north and east. This makes it a prime source of raw materials. For more information, see the article about its capital, Illikon.

The Riverlands - The kingdom south of Illikon's realm, ruled over by the city of Deltalund. Its territory stretches along the river, and much of it is covered in marshlands. Smaller cities include Stonebridge, Woodshadow Village, and the Moor.

The Blackrock Foothills - A small region east of the Riverlands, governed from Pluton Hold. Named for its many black stones, since it rests at the feet of Vulcan's Forge, an enormous volcano in the Jagged Edge. This region has the largest dwarf population in Achaea.

The Golden Kingdom - The breadbasket of the Empire, this region takes its name from its many rich farmlands and their golden fields. It is goverened by the city of Caltha, where the Grand Championship of the gladiator games is held every year. The second largest city is the Crossroads.

The Heartland - Seat of the Imperial government, a large region dominated by the Imperial capital of Coronaria and, across the farmlands to the south, the venerable Red City of Lakedaemon. Also includes Stormcliff Keep.

Old Achaea - Sometimes called the Silver Shore, this region is considered by some to be the birthplace of Achaean culture. It is ruled by the grand city of Templaria, and also includes Olympia.

The Straits - Sometimes called the Free Coast, since its capital, ???, is a republic rather than a monarchy. An extremely wealthy trade hub often full of exotic people, giving it a reputation of sin and lawlessness that is only partially deserved.

The Southern Empire - The southernmost region of Achaea, governed by the unbreakable City of Justice, ???.

(this part of the article is under construction)

Areas Outside Imperial Dominion

The Empire does not govern quite all of Achaea. These regions lie outside of its control.

The Southwestern Wilds - A peninsula jutting out of the Achaean southwest, this untamed land is ruled by beastfolk and Amazons. For more information, see the article Southwestern Wilds.

The Black March - The part of the Jagged Edge that lies east of Achaea is sometimes called the Black March. It is ruled by the Chaos Races from their monstrous city of Dhuum.