Ateon & the Wastes
First, let's get a broad idea of what Ateon is, where it is and what it's major parts are. As stated above, Ateon literally means "as far as anyone has returned". That means that the term Ateon, while typically applied to the whole world, is more an area comprising the known world. We do not know the nature of the world itself- it may be a planet, it may be a plane, it may be a mobius strip filled with endless adventure and amazement (but that's not really relevant to any of this). We do know that there are places beyond Ateon, but we have no idea what they are or what they are like. There is some suggestion in server lore that the world grows more hostile the further that one finds oneself from Templehelm and it is these uncharted, hostile lands that we call The Wastes. The Wastes may be massive empty oceans, or massive empty landmasses, but buy and large they're vast and inhospitable.
In terms of Ateon, the known world, we can describe it as two major regions: The Jurrian Ocean and The Supercontinent. Within the Jurrian Ocean, there are a number of archipelagos, islands, oceanic civilizations and continents, none of which are well connected to the Setlian socio-economic system or well-analyzed within Templehelm itself. The Supercontinent, which goes nameless (for why would its residents require a name for what they consider to be the whole world?), contains all of the civilizations of Ateon that have a significant influence on Templehelm (for it is within the Supercontinent that Templehelm sits). The Supercontinent itself ends in the south and east where it meets the Jurrian Ocean; however, no end has been found to the north and west where the wastes of the Cold North, the Orci Desert and the Tuskas Mesa may stretch forever. The Setlian Sea rests within the Supercontinent and is joined to the Jurrian Ocean by a long, slim water passage to the sound, which marks the boundary between the Great East and the Free Land.
Below we'll take a look at nine major regions of Ateon, the 6 Rim Regions (Cold North, Orci Desert, Tuskas Mesa, Arcai Forest, Great East and Far East), the Setlian Sea, its coast, and the above-mentioned Jurrian Ocean.
The Jurrian Ocean is not a well-connected, singular, socio-political region by any means. Livable places in the Jurrian are few and far between and interaction between the peoples that reside there is negligible or nonexistent. The racial makeup of the Jurrian is predominantly Mannish, Merfolk, and Ichthy- the lot of them separated into innumerable states and city-states across the vast ocean. There is little to no contact between the peoples of the Jurrian and the Supercontinent, let alone Templehelm itself.
The Setlian Sea is a highly-trafficked trade highway; however, voyages universally stick to the coasts due to the very real fear of being lost to the mysterious center of the sea (where we know that Templehelm lies). Within the Setlian, there are a number of island nations and peoples and residents of these places range from Mannish, to Orkish, to Fae and Beastmen. Different peoples interact to varying degrees with their island neighbors and the people of the mainland. Templehelm is completely isolated from these places politically; however, many that end up in Templehelm are drawn from these islands.
The Setlian Coast is a temperate region that overlaps with the 6 Rim Regions of the Setlian Sea. It is defined by a number of cosmopolitan merchant states and other maritime settlements. The population of the Setlian Coast is the most diverse of the entire Supercontinent, with peoples coming in from the interior Setlian islands as well as from the wilder places further from the sea. Many rich and great empires do much of their conquering, trading, and other activities along the Setlian Coast; however, we will address those forces in their respective regions. Piracy is a major issue in this region.
The Cold North- a mountainous land of conifers and tundra is thought by some to be the birthplace of the Mannish races, though this is purely conjecture. It was once the seat of the Emeraldite Empire and it is the claimed homeland of the Dwarves; however, it has fallen into ruin since its ancient days of prosperity. The current population consists of Dwarves, Humans, and Kobolds for the most part. Mostly dominated by barbarian kingdoms and tribes, there are a few small states that play at the idea of empire from their backwater of the world. Telaar, Old Setlis, and some of the city-states of Shoth are known for these claims. Clan and tribe warfare as well as the hostile elements make the Cold North inhospitable to most.
The Orci Desert, the homeland of the orks, is the largest desert of the Supercontinent and lies to the west of the Cold North. It was once a vast, fertile plain; however, the glories of the Orcish empires that once ruled that agricultural paradise are now buried under meters of sand. The population is predominantly Orkish, speckled with Mannish races, Goblins and Kobolds. The only political structures of note are the Caravaneers of the inner desert, who trade with interior salt-miners, craftsmen and other luxury-producers of the sands in order to sell their goods to the Merchant Citadels of the coast. As a result of this, the Orci Desert is an economic power-house in the Setlian; however, most of their wealth and power is centered in the highly stratified citadels and controlled by Merchant Princes. The desert itself is deadly to all but the most experienced caravaneers and even ancient settlements can disappear when the wind brings down a great haboob. Further, place close to the edges of the region risk Setlian piracy, barbarians from the mountain ranges of the Cold North, and desperate Tuskan war-bands.
The Tuskas Mesa lies to the south of the Orci Desert (west of Templehelm), and is inhabited by Orks and Goblins. Trade, diplomacy and other pursuits of peace-time are unheard of in the Tuskas, for its people know only war. Whereas their neighbors to the north are a mercantile society, the Tuskas is governed by the will of the strong. The only resources worth protecting there are fresh water and beasts of war and burden. Power is constantly shifting across a network of nomadic clans and the closest things the Tuskans have to settlements are the ruins of the original Orcish colonies hewn into the canyons of the mesa and the mobile fortresses built atop the backs of massive, horned war-beasts called Gargants. The interior of the mesa is more stable than the exterior, as it is controlled by the strongest clans of the longest lineages. The borders, on the other hand, are where weaker clans are forced out to by the stable ones and it is these weaker clans who succumb to cannibalism, blood-rage and the general madness that outsiders often witness at the borders.
The Arcai Forest is a vast jungle south of the Tuskas that wavers between temperate and tropical. It is dominated by Sylvan Elves, other Fae creatures, and Beastmen. It is separated from the Tuskas by a massive canyon known as The Great Divide. The forest itself has a life of its own and it's near-impossible to settle, given the rate at which the vegetation recovers. Tribes of Beasts and Fae vie for local power in parts of the Arcai; however, there is little rule of law across the whole of the realm. Fauna of the Arcai is also quite evolved and many of the warbeasts used by the Tuskans are stolen away from their homes in the Arcai.
The Great East is a densely populated temperate zone ravaged by politics and separated into a countless number of states and dominions. It lies to the east of the Arcai Forest, separated by the Setlian-Jurrian connection. Most of the major civilizations of Ateon can be found here. The population is largely Mannish, with some Orks, Fae, and other, minor races. It is the demands of the aristocracies of the Great East that drives commerce across the Setlian. Organized war, famine, plague, and conquest are constant threats in the Great East.
North of the Great East, and south of the Cold North, lies the Far East. This region is composed of both marshes and deserts and is largely uninhabited. There have been any number of large-scale settlement attempts in the past; however, all have come to foul ends by plague, drought, or other maladies of nature. The only peoples that have been able to live there with any measure of success are the Slimes- a race of golems constructed by ancient Dwarves- and the Testificates- an odd large-nosed mannish people that live in small farming communities across the region.
Across Ateon there are a few major factions that have played any role of significance in the politics of Templehelm. They will be listed here in assumed order of importance. I will disclaim here, though, that none of these factions has a dominant role over the entirety of the Setlian, or even over a majority of their own region. Each of the major regions should be considered at a scale exceeding that which an ordinary people can subjugate.
The Carcass Legion of Lesh is a constant force across all of the Setlian (and perhaps all of Ateon or beyond). They do not claim dominion, but travel from land to land in their endless conquest. There was a time that the campaign made its way to Templehelm's shores; however, they now find themselves out and about terrorizing the wider world once more.
Apparently these guys are dead ^
The Iron Empire
The Iron Empire is perhaps the greatest maritime state of the Great East. At one point, it even laid claims to lands within the borders of Templehelm- though it is debatable how legitimate claims are which the main body of the claimant cannot access, does not know the existence thereof, and does not interact with. Regardless, the military might of the Iron Empire is not to be understated and it certainly plays the role of Hegemon in its corner of the Great East. It is believed that the Iron Empire is a force capable of mounting a defense against the Carcass Legion.
The Free Land
At the eastern edge of the Arcai Forest, there is a temperate kingdom of Men, Orks and Elves. Once called Lorknadan, now its denizens name it "The Free Land". The people of this land are unified in their religion- an organized, monotheistic tradition that rejects the polytheistic traditions of wider Ateon as the worship of demons. Their god, Claude, is believed to be the only true divinity and they have mustered an excellent corps of soldiers and evangelists which travel abroad in order to spread the word of Claude- both peacefully and violently. Many waves of missionaries have come from this place to Templehelm and Claude has left an indelible mark on Helmian history. It is believed that the Free Land is a force capable of mounting a defense against the Carcass Legion.
The Tuskas Clan
The preeminent clan of the Tuskas Mesa is the namesake of the land itself. The fiercest warriors, greatest gargants, and most horrific strategies are employed by the Tuskas in order to maintain their control over water access and what limited trade exists in the Tuskas Mesa (usually trade in beasts, goblins, etc). There is a bit of a pecking order in the mesa and, in times of crisis, smaller clans have sworn fealty to larger ones if they risk destruction. It is believed that the Tuskas Clan is a force capable of mounting a defense against the Carcass Legion.
The Genteel League
A collective of nobility, merchant princes and maritime republics that loosely network in order to combat piracy and promote free trade in the Setlian. It enlists privateers from the associated citizenry and networks its various navies in order to fulfil these ends; however, many believe it is bogged down by bureaucracy and corruption.
A mannish kingdom of the Great East, Fellonrath is one of the older powers of that place. It has declined from its days of glory; however, it still wields significant power in its corner of the region.
One of the only non-mannish kingdoms of the Great East, Oranthil is a haven for drow, orks and other beastlier races. It is as widely feared as it is respected in the East.
One or more shadowy organizations that pushes the scourge of Rot across the Great East and abroad. Officially, the drug is discouraged; however, more and more kingdoms are turning to its production and sale as a countermeasure to the ever-present drain of wealth from inland states to the coastal trading giants.
A mysterious monastic order of the Far East which enforces order across the small hamlets of Testificates. It is unknown what exactly their purpose is, or what the extent of their role in government and law enforcement is in those lands.
PS. Hmu if you have another faction you think should be on here.