Sanction of the Athar
Koar is the local name for land mass upon which the Sanction of the Athar campaign takes place. In practice, it is often also used to refer to the world itself, as Koar is the plane’s only known, settled continent, but this lack of distinction is a recent development in historical terms. During The Imperial Epoch the world was called Augus’Kohr – which translates literally to Corner Stone – but the term has been corrupted and misused over time. In The Modern Era the derivation of the term is appreciated only by scholars.
The continent of Koar is composed of two sub-continents, separated by the New Sea between east and west, but this was not always the case. Prior to The Betrayal and the end of the Imperial Epoch, the continent was a single land mass, with a large inland see stretching from what is now The Old Sea in the west across the present day En’Akar Straights.
The area that now lies under the New Sea was the great Imperial heartland, home to vast cities, farmland, and industry. The events immediately following the Betrayal – specifically, the divine counter-stroke which followed – shattered the continent in an entirely literal sense. The Empire’s heartland was destroyed utterly, taking the civilization which had developed there with it into oblivion.
The eastern subcontinent – considered a hinterland by the Empire – was least effected by these events, and as the world at large began to recover, it quickly became the center of civilized life. The borders and nations of the east shifted many times during The Age of the Dead, and many cities came and went, but the civilization as a whole continued steadfastly on.
Modern day Plecia, Exony, Brend, and even Dalthep’Amnor have grown and thrived on the trade around The Eran Sea. To the east, on the coast of The Garan Sea, both the dwarven nation of Silverheim and Aderus, dominion of the Yuan’ti, have outlived any of the Eran Sea states.
The western subcontinent was wracked and ruined by the events surrounding the Betrayal, and it was more than a thousand years before any new civilization arose there. In the extreme southwest, the so-called Buandazi Empire was the first to spring up – ostensibly a revivalist state, hearkening back to the great Empire of Sul’Amon – and over the following centuries civilization returned to the land.
By far the newest comer to the western subcontinent is New Silverheim. The area within New Silverheim’s domain was long held to be part of Buandazi territory, but the Buandar lacked the political means to govern it for centuries. A largely undeveloped frontier, the Empire sold their claim to the region off to Dwarven interests who have since developed it into an enviably prosperous state.
Exactly where the divide between the eastern and western sub-continents lies is a matter of scholarly debate, but most agree that it lies to one side or the other of the kingdom of Nenoria. Nenoria is considered the solitary civilization of the north by most, with the prevailing view being that the northern reaches of the continent are a wild, exotic place full of either threat, or potential profit.
The Convergence to the extreme northwest certainly qualifies as the former, but most of the rest – Everen, The Brightlands, and especially the recently accessible Compact of Paet – fit nicely into the later. The lone exception to both ways of thinking is Gondeth, the ancient homeland of the Trul since before the Imperial Epoch. The Trul’s exceedingly long view of history tends to separate them from global society.
Beyond the Known World
Koar is the world’s only known, civilized continent, but there are other parts of the globe to be seen by those who dare. Among these, the only significant land mass is the southern polar ice, which is accessible across the Sea of Frost. This frozen wasteland is considered entirely uninhabitable, and the only civilization of any kind are a series of ancient Imperial light houses that ward passing ships away from the shifting ice of The Knife and through The Straights of the Edge.
Three months good sailing to the west of the continent, amidst the waves of The Bladewind Ocean a vast continental atoll marks the boundary of the explored world in that direction. Thousands upon thousands of islands, ranging in size from bare rocks to miles across, fill a semi-tropical sea that is subject to virtually daily storms. Whole islands appear and disappear with the tides, and between this shifting and the weather, the entire mass is considered unnavigable and not worth settling.
East of Koar lies the ocean so aptly named The Everreach. The works of cartographers and explorers from the Imperial Epoch record that there is no land within a year’s sail of the continent’s eastern shore, and the Everreach is notorious for lost ships, discouraging further exploration. Arcane investigation since the fall of The Seal has revealed that the area is rife with planar thin spots which can send even experienced sailors on an unexpected trip into the Elemental Chaos.
To the continent’s north, The Great Sea stretches out into the distance. For much of recorded history, the Great Sea was considered every bit as unnavigable as the Everreach, In recent years this has begun to change. Scholars who have studied the geometry of the world, and attempted to approximate it’s size and shape, suggest that there is more of the world to the north of Koar than east, west and south together. Lately, explorers have set out to confirm this notion, but none have yet returned.