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Leirune - World Building

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I'm working on the world for Other Realms. I have a good starting point, with shapeable blobs, but it's missing the breath of life. It needs personalization. I don't see anything that really tells readers this is a unique, neat, fantasy world. There's no floating trees, or cool descriptions. I'm wondering if people can read my the world for my game and throw out the inspirations they're hit with.

Emas

Emas’ population is majority human with mixed races— the strongest of realms forged out of Leirune. Alm stands as its bustling capitol, a beacon for the rest of the country. Mixed feelings brew within the borders; the elves of Uel are taxed under human rulership, and the nomads of Tardide were forced to treatise their territory after the 47 years war. The pirates of Portscape would prefer business outside the reach of The Royal Army, and foster resentment in their struggle to cloak their nefarious seafaring.

Alm sits northwest of the nation’s center. Roads run northeast, into Tardide Desert, and southward through Guardwood to Uel. Major roads travel east to Kudrait and west, forking to Portscape and Girkmire. Alm’s placement was crucial to its survival. She is hidden from mainland borders and surrounded by powerful city states. The combined forces of each royal army makes up a single division known as The Royal Army. People of Leirune travel far and wide to extend their studies in the prestigious University of Alm. Eager scholars can advance their education in many practical courses.

Guardwood supplies wood to the realm, but only enough to appease the monarchy. Eleven scrutiny pushed the government’s heart away from the precious elven resource, towards collecting from the smaller forests scattered throughout the country. Uel sits far in the southern reaches of the forest. Beautiful elven buildings sit nestled among the silver, gold, and orange foliage of the forest. Blue tinted metals and precious silvers were widely used in construction. Homes and shops sprawl along the ground below, some built of wood, others built directly into the trees.

Portscape is like a second heart to the nation. The water pounded docks stretch for miles along the rocky coast. Ships sail beyond the horizon to bring in a bounty of the sea. Occasionally racked by storms, Portscape is a heaven for those looking to get away from the bustle of the outside world. The seedy underbelly is distasteful for many, leaving Alm as the only choice between the two. Pirates, smugglers, and thieves, make the cracks and crevasses of Portscape their haven. Smuggling and other illicit activity are a constant struggle for The Royal Army.

White sand blows across the surface of Tardide, as dozens of hooves fall at the lead of merchant caravans passing through the breadth of the desert. Heavy dunes lay scattered on either side, their rippled texture formed by blowing winds. The carts carry a prized load of glass— each pane hand made in Tardide. Topaz waters sparkle across the surface of the oasis; ships sailing from the docks. White sand-stone homes dot the land around the waters, and sprawl out into the desert for several miles on either side.

Girkmire swamp sits to the far north of Alm. It’s misty waters have become a haven to Draconian kind. Small villages of ransacked hut-like homes sprinkle the surface of the muddy waters. Wood and rope bridges create a network of pathways connecting stilted structures. Girkmire is not for the fast-paced, and is dwarfed only by Golmire, found near the eastern border of Glauzitath

Glauzitath

The Mountains of Glauzitath create a foreboding backdrop in the northern reaches of the country. Purplish-black mist lingers among the peaks, where most dare not venture. Helmhold— sometimes called iron death— lies within a walled section of the mountains. Iron and other precious metals are shared between Emas, the dwarves of Glauzitath, and the remaining realms. Seeds of jealousy grow in the hearts of Kudrait's rulers over the precious metals and the power they supply.

A sprawl of iron structures stretch like teeth across the dark rocky face of the mountains. A massive stone wall stretches for miles to the east, with a single guarded entrance opening way to the main road. A wide mouthed shaft leads deep into the dwarven halls, where eight main shafts dig deep into ore rich deposits. Helmhold, sits at the heart of the main shaft.

Many valuable ores are pulled from the mines. Iron, copper, lead, zinc, tin, and aluminum are mined from the eastern tunnels. Silver, gold, mythril, and other precious metals are found in the shorter western shafts. Two large deposits of gems have been found in the recent years, sparking an even greater rivalry with Kudrait. The ores are smelted in Helmhold and shipped out via guarded caravans.

Lamplight— a sleepy little mining village— enjoys the protection of Helmhold, as it lies within the eastern portion of the wall. Its small economy is fueled by what little ore it pulls from the mountains behind it. The miners have enjoyed the mines for years, while enjoying the haunting mist filled mountains behind them a little less. Lamplight is not without its legends of ghouls and haunted souls stalking the depths of the unknown mists.

Dugugrog is a network of stone homes and nest-like dwellings of draconian build. Despite draconian rulership they hold peace with the rest of the realm, even aiding the allied armies in the current war. Some of the residents hold disdain for the other races, and carry it with them in their personal life. Dugugrog is not so much governed by official establishment as it is by the strongest arm in the city.

Golmire lies to the east, between Mekbiess to the north, and Kudrait to the south. It’s the largest swamp in Leirune, and home to the draconian city of Golmire. Wood bridges connect the huts and homes, while boating lanes serve as a primary method of travel. Higher tiers of structures— built on raised platforms and decks— are accessible by ladders and pulley elevators. Golmire boasts a 20% population of mixed races serving, making it bearable for those without scales.

Mekbiess

Moha stands just beyond the Sabasa Plains. Angled streets divide golden coffee colored homes into odd shaped city blocks. Red imbrex roofs cap most of the buildings, but ornate gold domes crown imperial and government buildings. Round and square towers stand in various locations, some reaching several hundred meters into the air. Large balconies stretch the upper floors, offering a view over the higher portions of the city. Networks of well paved roads run through the lower streets, each sided with shallow stone walls.

Wood Airships travel the skies above, some ascending higher into the floating city of Lutia. Lutia Air offers flights from the heart of the city. The Sky Elevator docks at the back of Lutia Air. The massive platform ascends up into Lutia via massive steel tracks. The ornate loading area is known as one of the wonders of Leirune. Roughly sixty residents can travel the elevator at one time.

Lutia is shrouded by a blanket of billowing clouds. Gold colored buildings line the central island. Similar buildings speckle smaller islands on the eastern and western sky coast. Long bridgeways connect the smaller land masses, each paved, with lush green gardens drooping off the sides.

Near the back of Lutia, a massive university sits atop a floating hunk of stone. Four ornate towers, with flaming braziers jut up from the corners. A large purple crystal sits in a crescent shaped portal gate in the center of the roof. The glowing gem harvests power for a large portal reaching into the ethereal planes. The portal itself can be accessed from the inner chambers of the university.

Kudrait

Logos is a massive walled city. Old streets divide greyed homes into a hodgepodge of misshapen burrows. weathered decks create a camp-like feel around the plank homes. Planted flowers can be seen in the eves of windows, in others freshly cooked baked goods cooling. The front steps are often muddied by boot prints and splattered soil. Plumes of smoke rise from brick chimneys, as farmers heat their homes with wood cut from the surrounding forests. Rocking chairs still sway on weathered decks, where residents mingled over drink and conversation. 

Small garden homes built of washed out brick, lean lazily with crooked walls. Some lean against the muddy mounds they’re build along. Bits of grass grow on the banks. Fenced garden plots grow enough for a single family, and to earn a coin or two on the side. 

A market in the center of the city offers a variety of goods from the outer countries. Mud splattered stalls and tarp covered carts line the central area, where the scent of cooking and spices compete with the earthen smells of the surrounding ground. Sluggard Inn And Tavern sits to the east, a well known establishment to the city folk, while the barracks looms several meters to the west. The courtyard is visible, but the training inside is shrouded by the brick walls.

Castle Logos looms in the back of the city, it's greystone walls offering protection from invasion. An iron toothed portcullis can be dropped in case of emergency. Bow towers jut up from the corners, some with shot enough to reach the outer field. Dim glows of torchlight illuminate the windows just enough to prove life inside. The nicest buildings surround the castles inner wall. Most are crafted of stone, and offer lodging to officials, lawyers, knights, and diplomats.

Kudrait has little going for it, except food and wood. The lush fields produce enough crop to keep the kingdom and surrounding towns fed at a sustainable level. Despite it’s own bitter resentments producing tension between neighboring countries, Kudrait wages war along the northern and western borders in hopes of expanding their region. The kingdom has lusted after the power produced by the mines of Helmhold for decades, and refuses to negotiate total peace.

Edited by EeksGames

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This all sounds absolutely amazing. If your problem is personalization, then its a tiny problem. I say add things you want.

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This makes for a wonderfully scenic backdrop.  Humans, elves, dwarves, ghoules, creepy forests, castles, villages, swamps, etc, etc.. I don't see anything that doesn't say fantasy world.  Unique, maybe not yet, still very Tolkien..  But I think that's what everybody expects as the starting point for most fantasy these days anyhow.   I guess I generally don't expect things to get "personalized" until there are characters and a plot myself...  You've certainly created enough interesting territory for that to develop in any corner of the landscape.  I guess it all boils down to where the uniqueness stems from, I don't generally care how unique the world itself is, as long as the story is a good one. ;) 

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