The first empires were those of the Tieflings-- the devil-men-- & the Dragonborn. Well, there were empires before that-- but those were the first empires with people, not monsters. Those were both a long, long time ago, long since fallen to legend & myth. Then came the empires of the Dwarves & the Elves. They split the world-- half & half, with the Dwarves taking the bottom half & the Elves taking the top-- or so at least the legends go. Those empires dwindled, too. Now is the time of Humans & Orcs. The Humans have had a high king once already-- a Caesar, they called him-- but his empire has toppled, as they all do. The Caesar's empire sprung up while the Dwarven & Elven empires were still thriving-- he made alliances with the Elves & the Orcs that were cemented by marriage bonds, leading to the birth of Half-Elves & Half-Orcs. His empire too has fallen.
You live on a chain of mountains called The Spine of the World with a frozen glacier at its heart. Along the east is the Ocean. To the north are the Orcs in many scatted tribes & the Black Forest. To the south are the Humans, with cities dotting the wilderness & the Glass Desert. The world is in the grip of a Dark Age; there is no great civilization, & creatures roam the night. The heights of the mountains still stretch into Faerieland, & the Eladrin still dwell there, living in a dream between this world & the next. Lower down the slopes are the Elves. Under the mountain thrive the Dwarves, & beneath the very peaks-- which of course touch Faerieland as well-- are the cunning Gnomes. In the foothills are villages where every kind of race can be found-- Humans, Tieflings, Dragonborn, & stranger folk beside like reincarnated swamis, people raised by wolves, half-giants, that sort of thing. Through it all are caravans of wandering Halflings, tinkers & thieves in wagon trains.
The monarchy of the mountains live in Fairyland-- the Feywild, Faerie, whatever you choose to call it. It is a world apart from the mortal world, another dimension, where the Seelie Fey-- frolicking fauns & wise dryads & charming princes-- vie against the Unseelie-- evil-eyed giants & wicked stepmothers & murderous bogeymen. Three kingdoms have allied together-- the Kingdom of Spring, ruled by the Green Maid (in her glass slippers); the Kingdom of Night ruled by the Black Crone (wearing red-hot iron slippers); & the Kingdom of Twilight ruled by the Red Queen (in her ruby slippers). Each faeryland kingdom is accessible from a different mountain peak-- but in the faerie world they all share borders.
Among the Elves & Eladrin & their allies, the most commonly worshiped gods are Corelleon (god of beauty & magic) & his consort Sehanine (goddess of trickery & love) with Lolth (goddess of treachery & spiders) as the Adversary. Humans often worship Pelor (god of sun & goodness) as the father of the gods & in the larger settlements Erathis (goddess of civilization) is often venerated as a patron, as is Bane (the god of tyranny & war). Dwarves are almost monotheistic in their worship of Moradin (the god of smiths). Every Halfling caravan has a wagon left empty, set aside for Avandra (goddess of luck & travel). The Orcs of the north are drawn to Kord (god of strength & storms) as well as Gruumsh (god of slaughter). People everywhere reverse & fear the Raven Queen (goddess of death) but her worship is generally centered around funerals & graveyards, though she does have priests. Ioun (goddess of knowledge) & Bahamut (god of justice) have zealous adherents that often live cloistered away in library-monasteries or in questing orders of knights. Shrines to Melora (goddess of the wilderness) can be found in the wilderness, usually spartan & left to become overgrown. Temples to any god can be found among any race, however, though few of the evil gods are openly venerated.
After work I met up with ranai, came home, ditched her, & then went to the gym. My shoulder isn't bugging me, but I didn't want to lift any weights-- better safe than sorry-- so I just did a load of cardio & leg work outs, with just a twinge of abdominal stuff. Funny how much you use your shoulder-- you don't think about it until you avoid it, I guess. Hands, huh? I came home & Jenny made some tasty stew-- steak, potatoes, carrots, onions, a dash of habanero (note: not "habañero"), crème fraiche & parsley with bread to sop up the juice. We watched Castle, & it was a pretty great episode. Castle got to be a tough guy-- which reminded me both of Mal from Firefly & the dad from Veronica Mars-- & they did a steampunk episode, which cracked me up. I like when there are "sub-culture" episodes; "gothic" is the boring typical one, but believe it or not I've never seen a steampunk one. Jenny made fun of me-- she always does, saying I'm like Castle. Which- duh! I realized she's like Beckett! We are the episode of Moonlighting where they get together & live happily ever after. Castle ended the episode with a Stephen Cannell tribute, using the "writer tears a sheet of paper from his typewriter" cliche his production company created-- I thought that was very respectful. Today at work I was super swamped but I managed to go to lunch with Tom; we went to the Madison Square Market & in the name of Lion Pinball Players nostalgia I ate some Pies N Thighs. That coleslaw is pretty great, I'll admit.