The Royal Basin lies between the great Harthalian Woods to the West and the Tradewind Sea to the East and South. The Razorback mountains form the Northern border of the Great Basin punctuated by the various passes into the Tribe Lands. The Royal Basin is split into six Duchies; The Western Marches, The Wooded Ways, The Ferns, The Bitter Vale, The Golden lands and Ironstone Bay.
The Western Marches are the province of the king and the largest of the Duchies, it borders the Harthalian Woods to the West, The Razorbacks to the North, The Wooded Ways to the South and The Bitter Vale to the East. Duke Sirius commands the Wooded ways and they border the Barrowbroke hills and the Koren Pass to the West, the Kingdom of Pardetion to the South, the Ferns to the East and the Western Marches to the North.
The Ferns is the smallest Duchy and is the province of Duke Benjin, it borders the Wooded Ways to the West, The Bitter Vale and the Golden Lands to the North and the Tradewind Sea to the East and the South. The Bitter Vale is the province of Duke Dazak bordering the razorbacks to the North, the Golden Lands to the East, the Western Marches to the West and the Ferns to the South.
The Golden Lands are ruled by Duke Dieron and border the Razorbacks to the North, Ironstone Bay to the East, The Bitter Vale to the West and The Ferns to the South. Ironstone bay meanwhile is bordered by the Tradewind sea to the East, the Ferns to the South the Golden Lands to the West and the Razorbacks to the North.
The basin is generally a temperate land becoming colder the further North that you travel; the predominant portion of the basin suffers from an abundance of rain throughout all of the seasons. It has long hot summers and bitterly cold but relatively short winters which are not short on snow and chill winds. The gentle spring and autumn lead to bountiful harvests and verdant countryside through the cooler months. The Bitter Vale is an exception to this maintaining the crisp chill of winter almost permanently year in and year out due to the magical fall out of the Ice Sceptre which has been housed in this area for many decades. Fog and mists are common along the coastline and the mountains or throughout the basin during the autumn.
Much of the basin was forested millennia ago and populated by the tribes of the Northlands; expansion and growth of the civilised folks of the Basin pushed the tribes North and the land gave way to generations of farming and clearing leaving several small woodlands of no consequence and only four major Forests: The Harthalian Woods borders the West of the Kingdom and is a culture in its own right; the province of the Druids and wildlings that once held power throughout the region. The Harthalian woods are rumoured to hold many Fae portals that are still active despite the current political tension. The denser potions of the Harthalian are extremely dangerous; ancient creatures dwell in its shadow and lost tribes of old still camp beneath its trees.
The more central Gamthan Woods was once the home of various monstrous creatures that have long since been defeated and it is the Gamthan Woods that now supplies the basin with ample timber and game overseen by the authority of the Crown. The Vollisian Woods stand in what was the Steelheart Duchy; now passed over, in the North West of the The Ferns. It is a dark and dangerous woodland that holds the ruins of the villages that were once governed by the Steelheart family but were destroyed by the sedition of the Daemon Lord Orbolom. Recently the Duke Jarmak Steelheart has begun a project to cleanse these woods of evil and restore them to their former Glory.
Finally on the Southern Coast is Dreff Wood; although technically a part of the basin the King has never been foolhardy enough to claim its governance. The most hostile place in the basin is home to an elite cadre of Druids and Rangers under the leadership of the Druid Moss. They have fought for centuries against the dark curse that holds sway over Dreff Wood and the evils that have sprung up from it over those long years including the Kaytaar and Sarkith himself.
There are many rivers running through the great Basin some large, some small but almost all that can accommodate a vessel are hubs of trade. The largest and most important river is the Aplar River which runs from the Razorback mountains all the way to Malierunne on the Southern Coast. The Aplar runs along side the Gamthan woods and passes through Maryat, Strabain, Baden, Zerith and St Mundensburg. Towards the Eastern coast of the Basin flows the River Derith from the Foothills of the Golden lands down to Rendrith on the coast, a large number of major roads cross the Derith providing important trade links into Ironstone Bay. Finally the Scourge runs through the Western Marches supplying the Kings land with invaluable trade opportunities with the Rice Empire; its Source flows from those lands. It flows far to the South where it spills into the lake of Diamonds by the Gamthan Woods besides the Salt Road.
Several other bodies of inland water exist as well as the lake of Diamonds although the Lake of Diamonds is the most populated; its links with the Rice Empire and the Great Desert make it popular. The Scourge brings all manner of trade from the Rice Empire whilst the Salt Road carries it back through the Great Desert. Lake Ash is huge Sliver of water that covers as much of the Bitter Vale as it does the Golden Lands; though populated it is fed by underground rivers and often home to fell creatures. Finally Lake Primus which is nestled in on the Derith between Rendrith and the Coast; Primus acts as a shipping Port and building yard for the city of Rendrith. Many ships prefer to anchor in Lake Primus away from piratical attacks and the threat of any storms that notoriously take place on the cape.
The Razorback mountains basically surround the basin, running as they do from the Eastern coast sweeping across the land until they turn south to bisect the Harthalian Woods, eventually coming to rest upon the Southern Coast. However geographers agree that the mountain range is effectively split into three definable sections: The true razorbacks, containing the tallest peak in Vaklam (the Razorback), separate the Basin from the Tribelands in the North. They are a cold and bitter place prone to heavy snowfall and blizzards and only the hardiest communities dwell there. Rolling down into the Harthalian Woods where the mountains turn to foothills hidden by the great Forests they are collectively known as the Sleeping Men. Rumour indicates that they are the tombs of great Kings long since passed but the truth is another matter.
Finally the Barrowbroke hills that extend past the Harthalian and down to the Coast; they are the site of a great many wizards towers that are left over from the ancient Remyrukh wars. The Barrowbroke hills contain the Koren Pass through which the Salt Road runs, a great many wars have been fought over the control of this pass over the years and many ancient battle sites litter its rolling fern covered hills.
These two places of ancient evil are found on the Southern coast of the basin and have long been perceived as the most dangerous and unwholesome areas of the Kingdom. Over the years Dreff wood has been used for nefarious purposes by almost all of the major villains who have threatened the freedom of the basin over the years. The old Southern Kingdom of Palurn once found its heart in Dreff Wood before the dark times came and even now Palurns castle; Azilir still slumbers somewhere near its heart. The woods are made somewhat safer by the presence of the Druidic Grove governed by Moss; a Trollish Druid and his guardian Menrick. In spite of the dangers lawless men use the fringes of the wood as a base for raids on passing commerce.
The Marsh of Zalen is a treacherous and un-scouted place; local legend indicate that the marsh was once the seat of a powerful sea-faring nation but local records don’t seem to stretch back far enough. Nonetheless there have been a large number of reports over the years of incredible buildings and ruins that are located somewhere within the confines of the marsh. There are tales of strange vessels and odd twists of metal and glass as strong as any sword blade for example. However no expedition that has entered the swamp has either made it far enough in to discover anything or come back at all; the swamp is the home to a number of diseases and plagues that have stumped even the more advanced healers of Yarrianne. Many believe that the ruined lighthouse that stands along the coast a few miles away had its origins in the Marsh of Zalen but no proof has ever been found.
Long ago Koren pass belonged to the Flame Elven Nation of the Great Desert and served as one of their outposts for many decades. When the Remyrukh wars broke out the Koren and the pass became one of the Major battlegrounds. It was eventually taken by Kingdom forces and has remained a Royal City to this day. However the Remyrukh wars did not end when the city was taken, instead the Flame Elves chose to create several bastions in and around the Koren Pass. Now the area is littered with forgotten towers, hidden caches of weapons and most notably dangerous labs and magically defended outposts. Careless wanderers and members of the adventuring community have been setting off these defences or accidentally blowing themselves up with these long forgotten defences for many years.
Alongside the dangers of old Flame Elven reliquaries; the pass has been the site of literally untold numbers of battles that have raged through the pass and spilt over into the Barrowbroke hills and the Harthalian woods. Long forgotten battlefields and numerous unmarked graves spot the landscape and not allof the dead are as restful as they should be. In short the many twists and turns of Korens canyons and caves despite the best efforts of the Church of Tiberius to clear them out over the years. In the best cases the souls are seeking rest in the worst they are seeking more bloodshed and death. Many fabled weapons, armour, shields and other such magical artefacts are rumoured to have been lost in the battles of Koren Pass although many believe that most of them have been recovered by looters.
In recent years the Kingdom has made the choice to rebuild an ancient Fort called Fort Northman that sits at the Desert end of the pass and keeps a vigil on the ever shifting sands of the Great Desert. Legend tells us that Fort Northman is watched over by the Ghost of its greatest hero who stalks the battlements and steps up to help defend the Fort against the Kingdoms foes. The Fort has recently been put into action as a staging ground for a group of adventurers called the Silver Brotherhood who have been pushing their way out to fight terrible evil that dwells at the heart of the desert.
Once the capital of the Royal basin, Maryat is no longer the flower of the Kingdom that it once was: Lying on Aplar River it contained not only most of the major guild headquarters but each religion had its seat of power within its walls. Also to be found there were such wonders as the hall of founding and the Council of Magic buildings and gardens. Maryat fell to the Warlord Gabrak in the second Gabrak Wars and was turned into his first Necropolis. Thousands of civilians were put to death and turned into the Undead to fuel his desire for power. When the armies of the then Emperor liberated the basin Maryat remained a huge bastion for the Undead and a massive wall was constructed around it to keep them and their more powerful masters in check.
Almost twenty years after Gabraks defeat the City of Maryat was cleansed of its impurity by the same Silver brotherhood that work out of Fort Northman. During this time the city was attacked by the first Dragon to have been seen in Vaklam for many an age, the devastation was extreme. Since that time various forays have been made into the ruins of Maryat but the presence of the Undead is still in evidence under the remains of the city. Recent reports also indicate that Mandragoran activity has been detected in the city amongst other such horrendous creatures.
Despite the dangers adventuring parties are often dispatched to Maryat or simply go there in search of danger and reward; the remains house many great treasures that were left behind in the wake of the evacuation and many would pay a great price to own them. Maryat has generally been left to decay slowly as a mark of respect to the thousands upon thousands who died there, hopefully their spirits will find rest one day.
Originally a part of the Kingdom Pardetion was originally the Barony of Garchester on the South Western Coast; a fetid swampland whose inhabitants drew a living from what little farming and mining they could eke out on the poor soil of the land. During the Mandragoran incident Garchester was passed to the Half-Orc race by the then Emperor Joshua in return for great service rendered to the Basin by a Half-Orc. The land was renamed Pardetion which means guidance in the old tongue and the Half-Orcs began settling there in great numbers. Originally the Half Orcs were leaderless and acted very much as an autonomous collective without any particular thought for their future or their past. Being a hardier species then men they prospered in the area and managed to drain large areas of the swamp making it habitable and viable for building.
During the Tribal Wars the being known as Ithylran was released from his long imprisonment at the hands of the Daemon Lord Sarkith. Claiming to be the true King of the basin he swiftly took control of Pardetion; claiming to be the true King and promising the Half Orcs not only more freedom and recognition but also spoils and reward for those who followed him, he gained the throne. Since then he has had little impact on the land, his Half-Orc nation has sat idle taking no real part in the wars that have taken place but nor have they attempted invasion or raiding. Pardetion is strictly off limits to the adventuring community; the Half-Orcs there may see adventuring interference as an act of war.
Farms are the underlying strength of the Kingdom as well as the primary shaping force of its topography. Farming is responsible for reducing the Basins forest land. Indeed, the land between The Gamthan Woods and the Vollisian Woods was once completely tree covered. Now the land is primarily farms and pastures.