|Realm||Kingdom of the Silver Moon|
Escuralan is a mysterious region in the Kingdom of the Silver Moon.
The region was the site of a brief war between the Kingdom of the Silver Moon and Ash-Kingdom of Maur during the late fifth century as both sent troops into the region to attempt to claim it. The result of a misunderstanding during which communication between both parties was poor, the war was a decisive defeat for the Ash-Kingdom and saw the Dragon-Queen captured. She was later released, but suffered a loss of influence and forced the kingdom to turn its eyes to the west.
Escuralan, the land of the Meteor, is an isolated region sandwiched between the great lakes and small seas on the western continent. The boundaries to the region are largely defined by these coasts in the north, west and eastern extremes. In the southwest the foothills of the Alzeroth mountains define the border, while the south east of the region eventually degrades into fens and swamps, an area called the Bragana, which is difficult to penetrate without good maps.
The people pay little attention to the fringes of their territory, and cluster around a large crater in the centre, the Enfonil. Nearly two hundred miles across, this is the heartland of the region. It was here that the great Meteor, which the locals call the Limpaire, is believed to have struck long ago.
Watering the Enfonil and its surrounding areas are a number of rivers and streams which empty into the surrounding seas. It is common for these to flood in spring, except within the territory of the Enfonil itself, which is one reason the people live mostly within it. The plain outside the Enfonil is known as the Allial, where crops are grown and livestock grazed while the rivers permit.
The people are called the Ombranan. They are a quiet and insular people, living and labouring under the sun, with a culture largely centred around the Meteor itself. Most of their settlements are built around larger fragments of the Meteor, with the largest, Fogal, in the centre of the Enfonil. The people are mostly farmers and herders, with a largely feudal government. Small areas of the land are governed by a Senher, and the Senhers answer to the Cerier based in Fogal.
The Ombranan are a strong folk, with a relatively fair, but slightly bronzed skin tone. Their obsession with the Meteor has not been without its costs, however. Prolonged exposure to the odd materials recovered from it has transformed them into something no longer human, if indeed they ever were. Their limbs are longer and more gangly; their facial features have a pronounced sharpness; on closer examination an observer would find they had two rows of teeth (and it is rumoured they do not possess teeth solely in their mouths); polydactyly is the norm. And their eyes are black.
The Ombranan follow a religion centred on the Meteor, which descended from the moons in ancient times to save them from some heinous power. It destroyed everything in its path, obliterating all records of what that entity was, but in doing so created the land in which the Ombranan now flourish. Now, centuries or millennia later, it serves as their guardian, against the return of whatever or whoever it was that the Meteor destroyed.
Many of the people, especially the more devout, believe the Meteor calls to them and whispers to them in the night. They have little to no interest in spreading their faith; the further from the site of the impact, the less important the Meteor is expected to become.
Although the lands are fertile and well watered by rivers, the sole resource the Ombranan are interested in is the Meteor itself. Its impact shattered it into thousands of pieces, scattered across the land.
The pieces of the Meteor are dark and heavy, and appear to have the properties of a metal. They can be worked, and make an excellent material for building, weaponsmithing or toolmaking. But they have other properties which have been harder for people to determine. Shards of the Meteor are oddly hard to see, even in clear sunlight; people say the light moves in strange ways around it, and even that they will kill a light if left with one for too long.
What's more they seem to have an effect on anyone who spends too long around them. People develop not only an obsession with the shards, but sometimes begin to change physically. While the Ombranan on the whole seem to have been altered over a period of centuries due to constant low-level exposure, those who spend a lot of time around the shards, or around particularly large concentrations of them, can be changed more profoundly and in unpredictable ways. There are stories of more than one person being driven mad, or their bodies destroyed completely, by the Meteor.
However, stories of people gaining great power, wisdom or even supernatural abilities from the Meteor outnumber them sufficiently that many Ombranan are more than willing to take the risk, and a number are known for experimenting on the Meteor to unlock its secrets.
The shards are sufficiently common that they are available for trade.