My World: Terra Ursa
Terra Ursa is truly "my" world. It is the world in which the games I create and run are done in.
It now contains two "continents" in it. The main or first one I have named "Amerago" as it is based roughly on North america. Another sort of "sub"-continent and the newest place is Croc Island which is not an Island at all but that is what the people call it.
The Dwarven Kingdom
The Kingdom of the Dwarves lies within the Powder Mountain. It is called Powder Mountain because it's resources are mostly not large, solid treasures like iron, coal or diamonds.
Instead, it has, deep, seemingly unending reserves of boom dust, diamond powder and literally a river of molten gold. Perhaps it’s greatest treasure though is it’s unlimited supply of powdered Mithril. Easy to smelt and form into a variety of uses.
The export of Mithril items is the dwarves primary work and base of their economy.
The centuries old treaty made it so the humans in the valley kingdom guarded the main entry to the dwarves kingdom under the mountain. Also, the humans received a very large supply of Mithril items in return for acting as the marketplace to the rest of the world.
The nature of the mountains resources make it of little value for anyone to steal them in the raw. Only the dwarves know how to gather and work them into usable products.
The Dwarves are ruled by King Thurgar. Thurgar’s line has been King for nearly 3,000 years.
It is a kingdom that is not ruled by might alone. There are a number (16) of clan chiefs representing Dwarven cities all throughout the mountain and while each is beneath Thurgar, together they equal him and so he must always be prepared to negotiate.
The Elven Kingdom
The elves of the forest kingdom have relied on the treaties for both protection from the outside world, provided by the humans and access to the products of the Dwarven kingdom by providing food and other resources to the dwarves.
In return for keeping the world largely at bay and supplies of crops and other provisions from the humans the elves provide magic items and permission to hunt in the woods as desired.
The elves are ruled by Aroth’kin. He himself is 3,000 years old and was one of the original treaty signors.
Aroth’kin is preparing to retire soon. While elves are very long lived, they are not immortal. His rule as king of elves is absolute. He is the head, they are the body. So the saying goes.
Whenever he does retire, a new king or queen will be chosen by the chief god of the elves.
The new ruler will be given a token of the gods as a sign of their rule. This could take the form of nearly any object and usually represents the greatest strength of the new ruler.
The Human Kingdom
As mentioned, the humans act as a marketplace, source of farm crops and as a barrier or guardian to the Dwarven and Elven kingdoms.
The human population is much more prolific than those of the Dwarves and elves combined.
Where the elves and dwarves excel in skill and experience due to their much longer lifespans, humans make up for with numbers and enthusiasm.
The current populations show there are about 100 humans for each elf and 200 humans for each dwarf.
The treaties have created a singular opportunity for coexistence in this region than anywhere else.
The humans have no actual king though they refer to their land as the human kingdom.
There is a leader elected by the people to lead for 10 years at a time. There is also a council made up of those nominated to be leader. The current leader is Derrick Blackhoof. He is a blacksmith by family trade but was elected 2 years ago based on his widely known and respected even temperment, sound judgement and good humor.
There are few actual rules and laws among the people. Freedom and liberty are highly prized and what government there is exists to carry out the business of the people as a whole.
The Sand Walkers
The Sand Walkers have recently arrived from across the ocean. None of the other 3 kingdoms has been even aware of their presence the past 3 years as they arrived on the north-west beach and into the desert.
Underground water sources emerging as lakes and oasis have become the centerpiece of Sand Walker villages. Some of the villages are just now growing to become small cities.
The Powder Mountain Boys
I like to inject humor into my game world.
As I am getting Croc Island up to speed, I want to add a troupe of gnomes that live essentially as hillbillies in the gentler slopes on the West side of the Powder Mountains.
They refer to their entire, scattered about population as the Powder Mountain Boys and will invariably be found working and singing and playing bluegrass.
The Powder Mountain Boys don't engage in any real industry. They mostly hunt, fish, garden some, trap animals for skins and make a special, very strong alcoholic drink they call "Mountain Dew".
Where most Gnomes are industrious miners, the Powder Mountain Boys are moreso burrowers. They "mine" homes into the mountains and have tunnels linking one burrow to another creating a network of gnome sized tunnels that allows them to virtually disappear and escape attacks, bad weather or anything they don't feel like dealing with.
One rather wise and helpful member and one of the elders of the Powder Mountain Boys is "Uncle Jed". An NPC that will show up from time to time in some of our future adventures. Yes, there will be a Jethro, how'd you guess?
The whole land could be considered a “sub-continent”. It is completely surrounded by the Blue Ocean.
On the east side of the land, the Powder Mountain runs north to South from the ocean to nearly one third of the land.
The place is called Croc Island because from the air, the mountain range looks like a crocodile stretching out on the east side.
There is about a mile of rocky beach on the east side of the land, running from the ocean to the actual mountain. This beach sprawls to the north and south of the land.
The Dwarves live inside the mountains but other creatures are known to live at the surface, especially on the East side.
There are large forests that begin from the west side of the mountains taking up nearly the middle third of the land. The light forest is on the north and the dark forest is to the south.
The forests are bisected nearly at the middle from the mountains going west. The forests sweep away to the north and south creating a valley or plain that fills in the central part of the land.
At the west third of the land, where the forest and plain end, the Golden Desert begins and stretches west to the ocean.
People will cross the desert for purposes of fishing and sea travel to other lands, but by and large, the desert is empty of people.
While the treaty between the 3 kingdoms has kept the peace between elves, humans and dwarves, there are other creatures who will not be held to any treaty. This largely refers to the Orcs living on the east side of the mountains as well as the Stone Giants living at the tops of the mountains in great cave cities.
On the west side of the mountains and in the forests can be found all manner of creatures that while friendly or unfriendly, do not want to upset the elves in the forest.
There are countries which are mostly "free lands", meaning the people are not enslaved or live in serf-doms, etc...
There are also countries in which monarchies and dictatorships exist.
I use a modified blank map of the continental United States as the "world" map of Terra Ursa. Each state is a different country.
"Special" places are Poe-land (a land where all adventures are based on E.A. Poe stories and poems) and Providence, a land where all adventures are based on H.P. Lovecraft stories.
Map of Amerago