Faerion, however, would never be the same: the green, lush world had been leeched of life, and in its place was a hot, forbidding desert, the face of the world had been torn, casting up earthmotes and dust, and the races of the world had largely died out, the last remnants of civilization clinging to life in the barren wasteland.
So the gods withdrew themselves in sorrow, vowing never to return to Faerion or tamper with creation again. The Races of Faerion, however, still clung to life; the elven races, in fact, found that they were better suited to the harsh climate then the others and promptly began to conquer the new desert world. As their empire finally fell after more than a thousand years, new gods came to help the struggling world in exchange for the worship of the people.
Faerion in the modern age is a harsh world where the last shreds of civilization contest for resources and bandits prowl the wasteland, terrorizing caravans and settlements of nomads.
Gilidrana was once a proud nation ruled by the elves, but that pride proved their undoing. Torn apart by interior conflicts, the elven empire fell into decay, leaving behind eighteen semi-united cities and a single highway.
Now most elves live in one of the eighteen Gilidranan cities or roam as nomads or bandits in the Dune Sea.
The eighteen cities of Gilidrana are under the law of the elven empire: punishments are severe and almost never questioned, and trials are short and rare. Each city is ruled by an elven baron or baroness who oversees all happenings in the city.
The most well-known cities are:
Located in the east near the forest of thorns, Beleron is the least tyrannical of the Gilidranan cities and is ruled by the benevolent duke Talon Darksand.
Ruled by the tyrant Grandra Elfstar, who some believe to be a disguised doppelganger, this city is located on the south bank of the Tears of the Desert and controls most of the trade routes.
Also known as the city of decay, Ghijer is a city that relies on its glassmakers and stone cutters to support its small economy. It is ruled by Talon Stormcrow.
The people of Faerion use the elven calendar of Elesar.
Each 365 day year is divided into 12 months alternating between 30 and 29 days in length. The New Year is celebrated by a week of festivities, and four festival days fall every three months. Every four years a leap day, which isn't numbered as a day of the week, will be added to New Year's Week. Each year is given a number in Elesar Reckoning (ER). The current year is 1345 ER.
New Year's Week
Festival of the soaring sun
Festival of the highest sun
Festival of the cooling sun
Festival of the lowest sun
When the Gilidrana conquered all of Faerion, it suppressed all the racial cultures that it came into contact with. Its culture became dominant, and its customs became common. While most of the races have begun to regain their cultural identity, some have retained the traits of elven culture.
Branches of Society
Their are branches seven of elven society: noble, divine, martial, scholar, artisan, common, and slave. Although slavery is uncommon and most slave owners treat their slaves well, in some drow-ruled cities slavery is still common. Their is no arcane branch, and arcane magic is quite rare.
Elven cities are typically set up in a slight basin and are often multilevel affairs more akin to giant castles than cities. They are arranged with the noble area in the middle, with the divine, martial, and scholar areas forming a ripple affect outwards and the artisan and common areas surrounding the central street and the outskirts.
All of the elven races worship the Elven Trinity of Corellon, Sehanine, and Lolth. But by the end of the thousand year dominance of Gilidrana, the rest of the younger gods were becoming more accepted into elven society.
Treatment of women
Probably the most peculiar custom of elven society during the imperial years and even now is that of cloistering the women in separate areas of a branch division. No one is very sure why it is done, and almost no one can remember a time when it was not done: it is a fact of life.
The women's quarters are always more ornate and spacious, and they often contain the only gardens in the city. They are usually situated towards the center of a branch division, and there are normally halls or tunnels connecting all of the women's quarters in the city.
In some cities, there are such unfair practices as women-only slaves and the like, but more often than not the treatment of women is very polite.
Nerath is the name of an ancient human empire that fell sometime in the dim past. It currently claims five cities ruled by humans or tieflings.
The Dune Sea
The vast majority of Faerion is covered by the Dune Sea, a harsh, treacherous waste dotted with precious few oases - often centered around earthmotes - and wells, and scoured by bandits and monsters. It is actually made up of different parts. Below is a listing of the main parts of the Dune Sea and their important features.
The Swirling Dunes
The main part of the Dune Sea is called the Swirling Dunes. Named due to the vicious winds that sweep through it, the Swirling Dunes are treacherous to those who do not know how to navigate them. For this reason, many caravans hire adventurers to guide these barren wastes.
The Tears of the Desert
The only known river in the Dune Sea runs through the center of that wasteland. It is plied by trade vessels and mainly run by a group of raft-dwelling halflings.
A small number of dry/seasonal rivers and stream beds scattered up and down the Tears of the Desert. They generally contain small settlements.
The Imperial Highway
The last of the old elven roads, the Imperial Highway stretches across the desert from the far east to the west. It is well marked, with stone borders, and in relatively good condition.
A series of salt flats that rise in steps as they approach the east. They are capped by:
The Thorn Forest
A forest composed mainly of thorns but also of regular trees, the Thorn Forest is home to fifteen tribes of halflings. Some of the tribes are cannibalistic.
The badlands are not actually separate from the rest of the Dune Sea, but actually scattered within it: there are badlands in the salt flats and around the dunes themselves. During the Spring rainy season, they often fill with water and are known for their impressive flash-floods. They are often the strongholds of thieves and bandits.