War of Fire and Ice
Lands of the Burning Sky
- Gate Pass: “What pride and passion burned/ Greater than any torch lit sky?/ How a people did a people drive the Devil from their Gates/ So that all here sons were safe?”
The Free City of Gate Pass lies in the Barrier Peaks, located in the pass which separates two hostile nations — Ragesia and Shahalesti. The pass is a major trade route, control of it is vital. Gate Pass has been neutral since the end of their last war. It is the only city to successfully rebel against the Ragesian Empire. Gate Pass is a very tolerant trading city. The population is predominately human, but there are enclaves of elves, dwarves, and halflings a well as orcs in the city. Representatives of just about any race can be found. The melting pot of Gate Pass may be further stirred by the rumor of “gates” of a more mystical kind, leading to to fare off locations in Neradia, even to alternate dimensions, realities, and planes of existence, although it is rarely mentioned in polite company. News does tend to travel to and from Gate Pass with preternatural speed.
Important sites include Gabal’s War School of Wizardry (Gabal the Evocative is a notorious nationalist), and the House of Mercy (A shrine of Paladine that was the inspiration of the rebellion and now houses the Order of the Aquiline Heart). The city is defended by a professional guard of 300, an aerial cavalry of griffin riders (lead by Sir Brocepherus the Nice), and an enthusiastic civilian militia. However, the city’s greatest defense is the steep mountain slopes that soar above to the north and south. The current Head Councilor of Gate Pass, Merrick the Hurt, is of orcish descent.
- Shahalesti: “Shining Land of Endless Splendor/ Does it exist even still in this world?/ Or every other?”
On the far side of the mountains that mark Ragesia’s eastern border spreads the Shining Land of Shahalesti, ruled by decadent Eladrin from the city of Asgulan. They are known for their arrogance and disregard for less civilized peoples. Despite this, an uneasy peace exists with Ragesia.
- Ragesia: “Spawn of Danzig/ So the Fire follows Ice/ Ever hungering/ That which was without is now/ Within Ouroborous”
Ragesia is the largest nation in the region, and four other nations commonly interact with it. It is well organized and ruled in a militaristic manner by the orcish officers corps. The two generals of the army are General Magdus, of the First Ragesian Army, and General Danava, of Ragesian Second Army.
- Emperor Drakus Coaltongue has ruled Ragesia for decades, slowly expanding its borders through cunning and conquest. He was rumored to be immortal, a melancholy genius sometimes moved by wonders of art and theater. He wields the Torch of the Burning Sky.
- The Inquisitors: Dressed in bear skins, their faces concealed by bearskull masks, inquisitors are the feared blade of Ragesia, expert in cutting out those who resist its rule. The inquisitors hunt for dangerous magic, and magician who are not loyal to the Ragesian crown. They are known for stopping rebuking the spells of mages and sorcerers. Many inquisitors are skilled interrogators, and they use their steel claw gauntlets to cut the wrists of prisoners, forcing the prisoner to answer quickly. They are lead by Supreme Inquisitor Leska: One of Coaltongue’s closest advisors, the aged witch has trained and commanded a mighty force of anti-magic Inquisitors.