The people of Andermark are a stubborn, straightforward and often dour folk. Their nation is one of thick woodlands that divides communities - forests within which lurk all manner of evil. Beastkin and wild elves, creatures of myth and legend that will hunt and kill those who enter their territory roam the Anderian woods. Even in the modern day there are those who will not enter the dark trees, and villages live often in isolated fear. The towns and cities themselves are more solid places, urban Andermen accustomed to strong rulership and decent commerce. Before the Fall they were regarded either as bumpkins living in terror in the woodlands, or traders, engineers, and artisans living in cities renowned for universities of great learning or birthing great alchemists and shipwrights. Andermark is also the birthplace of the United Church, the Holy Quadrimvurate of the Gods of humanity, and Anderman are often serious, quietly religious people.
Damryn was home of the High Kings of the Realm. Once a splintered, tribal people, they banded together under a man who professed to be a son of the God Aethon, and thus was the kingdom formed. Theirs is a land steeped in mysticism and power, full of rolling fields and thick woods and a great natural beauty. The people are hardy, proud, and honourable, in their own way. They are accustomed to magic, both from the creatures in the woodlands and from human spellcasters, but above all expect their people to be strong in arm and noble in battle. Their almost fanatical devotion to the High King was shattered upon his death and the collapse of Damryn in the Fall. Now they continue to play a vital role in the military of the Alliance who serve in Andermark, but many of them have either lost their pride, or are desperate to reclaim it by retaking the royal seat of Caer Brennan.
The kingdom of Lancereaux is often called the birthplace of chivalry. It was a land of great contrast, for a man was either a lord or knight serving his country in wealth and comfort, or a peasant tilling the field in a backbreaking life with little in return. Lords lived in great castles, knights hunted dragons and fought for fame and fortune in tournaments, ladies were beautiful, and none of them cared one jot for the peasants who provided them with this wealth. In turn, the peasantry never knew anything different, considering it their place to serve. Since the Fall the Lancesians remain proud in the court of King Constantin of Andermark, eager for their voices to be heard - and their peasants have adapted best of all, for backbreaking conditions in Andermark or backbreaking conditions in the valley of Lancereaux remain much the same to them.
Calavria was once an old Empire stretching along the western coast of the Narrow Sea. But ravaged by war and plague, it lost its power - and grew to a new height. The plague left the population low, and thus resources were more plentiful. Competition for a limited workforce led to a better fed, educated, and better treated yeoman class. In the face of adversity the Calavrians turned to trade and commerce to plunder the riches of the islands of the Narrow Sea. They would become an economic powerhouse, the nobleborn of the kingdom becoming irrelevant compared to the bankers, the businessmen, and the guildmasters. The Colleges of Magic would flourish as they took on those with talent regardless of payment - and enjoyed sponsorship from companies and families keen to recruit a mage, especially the valuable necromancers. Calavria turned the magic of reanimating corpses, first a necessity in the Great Pestilence, to a means of securing a workforce who would do the unpalatable tasks the yeomanry would not. But come the Fall, these sophisticated people have suffered amongst the most. They were the first kingdom to fall before the Legion, and in Andermark they no longer have their wealth, or their resources, or their connections. A Calavrian remains valuable only if they have their magic to hand, have clung somehow to wealth, or if the canny means by which they made themselves useful in Calavria remain sound tactics of being useful in the rebuilding kingdom of Andermark.
Ibarran is the southernmost kingdom of the Realm, and most of the land is semi-arid scrubland. Communities were isolated and close-knit, huddled around pockets of water, and only the threat of the Sahradian goblins to the south brought them together. But the invasion from such heathens made them a nation devoted to the Gods of humanity, for fighting the enemy became not just a matter of survival, but a holy duty. A nation forged in blood more than others, from rebellions to liberations, they lived practically and sensibly over the centuries before the Fall. They were one of the last nations hit, holding the Legion off in their inhospitable land with hit-and-run tactics, relying on their skills in archery and swift horsemanship to harry the greater and more powerful numbers. Since then they have made the most of their situation. They work hard in their settlements in Andermark, and have clung, if possible, even more ardently to their faith to keep them safe and secure in these troubled times.
The people of Norlundar have long been called ‘barbarians’ by their neighbours. They are a tribal race of limited resources and ‘civilised’ advancements. The country is one of snowy mountains and frozen valleys, and such a harsh land has bred harsh people. The tribe comes first for the Norls, though they loosely owe fealty to the high chieftain, the Ard Ulv. They are very spiritual in nature, rejecting the main human religions for other, more minor Gods. This has led to a society which values strength above anything else, alongside loyalty and perseverance. They were the last of the nations to join the Realm, doing so within living memory. Long had they been enemies of neighbouring Damryn, whom they had raided for resources and wealth in harsh times. The Alliance remained difficult even through the Fall, and the Norls have seen the most difficulty in adapting to life in Andermark. They keep to themselves, and have limited useful skills, and limited political or military importance as a whole. Individuals may persevere, however.
The Iron Empire
The High Elves of the Iron Empire are the oldest of the races and nations. They united the disparate elven races under one banner and formed the largest empire in the world. In a huge land of abundant resources they prospered. Even though territory was lost to the Realm in the long war, they eventually drove them from their shores and are counted as the victors of the War of the Narrow Sea. They are a haughty, ancient people, known for the unwavering loyalty to the throne of the Iron Tower of Leyroth and the Empire as a whole. In talents and skills they aspire to perfection in all undertakings, believing an High Elf should do nothing in half measures. They were shattered in the Fall, the first to be hit by the Legion as they came through the eastern forests. It was only when the Emperor was killed that they realised they would need the aid of the human Realm, their old enemy, but it was too late. Since then, the elves, having believed themselves invincible, scrabbled their way across the nations fleeing from the Legion. They have learned a good deal of humility since the end of the war, and have accepted that they must put aside old prides and hatreds and support the Alliance. If human nations must be recovered before the Iron Empire can be reclaimed, then so be it - the elves will be there as stalwart allies, but they will not be swept to one side.
The Kingdoms of Kordurren
There are many mountain ranges across the world which are home to dwarven civilisations. But the dwarves of Kordurren are the only who share the same continent as the humans of the Realm. An authoritarian people with a very strict social hierarchy, the nobles and priests were so highly prized that they enjoyed sprawling manses of immense architecture built on the surface, while the workers and military spent their time securing and plundering the depths of the mountains for the wealth that the dwarves are renowned for. They stayed out of the Alliance formed to fight the Legion, their lands untouched until the final campaign where the Legion swept through the mountains into Andermark. Without enough time to evacuate the surface, the military leaders gave the order for the mountains to be sealed off. Trapped, the nobility and clergy were wiped out by the Legion, destroying the elite of dwarven society. Both in a power bid and to justify the great abandonment, the military assumed control and promptly began to demonise their former masters, painting the event as a righteous revolution. Now they have become a strict and hard-working nation, all dwarves expected to have a purpose. Workers are as highly respected as soldiers, and there is a greater sense of equality even if ultimately the power lies with the military. They have reopened their doors and re-established contact with the people of Andermark, and although they are determined to keep their independence, they are equally prepared to trade and cooperate with the humans - for wealth, and to rebuild the world.
Sahradia lies across the ocean to the south-west of the Realm. An arid, desert land not yet fully charted by humans, the predominant people of the continent are the goblins of the Sahradian Caliphate. A series of splintered countries and holdings all loosely owing the Caliph their loyalty, they still succumb to internal bickering and fighting over power, resources, and for religion. They are fanatically devoted to their twin Gods, though there remain many branches of worship which can become contradictory - or wildly interpreted to justify the actions of one group of goblins above another. Their hierarchy is strictly patriarchal, women even by their Goddess seen seen as subservient and effectively owned by the men of their family. They were driven by religious fervour and greed to the shores of Ibarran, which would trigger the Crusades from the Realm. In huge, open war, humanity has often been the aggressor, marshaling their forces and setting off in large armies to devastate the goblin lands. But outside of war it is the goblins who raid shores, attack ships, and likely have caused just as many casualties and destruction from these continuous minor conflicts. The goblins were untouched by the Fall, since the Legion were stopped before they got to the western shores. Their greatest contribution was actually in aid of the Legion, as they took advantage of chaos in Ibarran to launch more raids, massively crippling the Ibarrish capacity to defend themselves. Loose contact has remained between Andermark and the various sultanates since the end of the war - little is known, but it is certain that the goblins are out there, and they are dangerous.