|Realm||Kingdom of the Silver Moon|
|Resources||Witchlight Stones, Adamus|
Malkavan is, along the coast, a combination of beautiful beaches and sprawling wetlands created by the river delta of the River Cygne, which flows down from the inner hills. The city of Aralis lies within the delta, and it's canals are formed by the river itself. The interior of the regions is made up of low, rolling hills, many of which are
The Barrows, so named for the short, wide mounds that form the upper tombs of the City of Bones, lies along the northern and western borders of Malkavan. Most of these tombs have not been explored; they lack any visible entrances on the surface, and furthermore, the superstitious nature of the inhabitants of Barrow have kept most expeditions to explore the tombs from coming to fruition.
Near the river mouth of the Lis river, where it widens and shallows into a sprawling swamp, are tales of the will-o-the-wisp, a ghostly light that is the focus of many myths and legends. Some say it is a nature spirit, jealously guarding it's home by leading invaders to their deaths, while others say it is the captain of a lost treasure ship, seeking to guide visitors to the treasure. Whatever the case, none who have followed the light have returned.
Most of the people of Derrière are humans of short stature (ranging from 5'3" to 5'6" on average), with light brown hair and hazel eyes. They also possess twisted, incomplete copies of the Gray Book, at least the index of runes. Their homes are normally decorated with runes of warding, protection, and good health, while the people themselves sport jewelry and weapons marked similarly.
There are three main cities in Derrière: Aralis, by far the largest of the three, a trade city which, due to its unique position on a coastal swamp, has canals rather than conventional streets. Aralis also serves as the capital of the region, where the powerful merchant barons meet and scheme with and against one another.
Then there's the inland city known as Shaeld, a haunting city that possesses a marked difference in atmosphere. It is a city of crime and debauchery, but it's gains it eerie, almost ethereal, qualities from the City of Bones which lies directly beneath it. The City, as it is known, is an enormous mausoleum, containing more recently he bones of the inhabitants of the Barrows, but also the tombs of the first of inhabitants of Derrière: those of the city founded by the Enlightened, Derriel. The City itself is made up of passages of stone bricks, carved with demonic runes speaking of death and misery. Supposedly, the city is also home to a cabal of necromancers; the validity of this statement cannot be proven, as there are many passages that still remain uncharted and largely unexplored.
The final city, Derriel, was first founded by the Enlightened: the second, powerful race of men created by Malarial, who were believed to have diluted their power through interbreeding with other races of man, before finally their greatest city and largest store of knowledge- this very same city- was destroyed. Unfortunately, in so far the legends seem to be true. There is no sign of any remaining Enlightened, nor their famed stores of knowledge. The city itself, however, has several sections still intact- all of which seemed to be lit by that peculiar stone known as witch light. So far, we cannot find how the Enlightened shaped the stones, nor how they might have been used as something other than light, even though what texts we have found seem to suggest otherwise, that there were great machines themselves powered by witchlight.
Witchlight Stones, commonly found as replacements for lanterns in Derriel and richer homes, are a phenomenon peculiar to Derrière. They give off a clear, bright light, but dull over time. They do, however, seem to absorb sunlight, creating a peculiar phenomenon where, when placed in sunlight, the area around it dims, gradually growing brighter as the witchlight re-energizes itself. In addition, they have an innate charge to them, creating a powerful shocking sensation when touched, or a powerful explosion and burst of blinding light when destroyed. The stones are as light and as fragile as glass, and that combined with their volatile nature makes them dangerous to handle.
Adamus, a light, silvery, opaque stone, commonly appears in conjunction with deposits of witchlight. It is theorized that the adamus is actually created over time by the light of a sufficiently powerful witchlight chunk. It also seems to absorb witchlight, dulling the light- and possibly the charge- of a witchlight.
Due to the concentration of people along the coast, with a relatively smaller population inland, the region is barely able to support itself with agricultural products. The workers and merchants along the coast and concentrated in Aralis in particular seek meat products, leading to imports of cattle or goats, both for food and for sacrifice.
There are two sharply contrasting religions in Malkavan- on one hand, the inhabitants of Aralis are practical, ethical people, placing value in the corporeal world rather than spirits or gods. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Shaeld are deeply spiritual and superstitious, often carving glyphs of protection on their mantels, or of good harvest on their field gates. They even perform ritual sacrifices of sheep or cattle to appease the gods that rule their lives.