The Sung Lands
Sing a song of sixpenny
Pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish
To set before the king?
- Ashurian urchins' rhyme
Three generations ago, the final war among the arcane Cantori reshaped the land, destroying the mighty kingdom of Ashur, and leaving behind ruin and desolation. The final act of that war, the Baneful Chorus, sunk the island of Atoll Antish and raised a new mountain range that sundered much of the continent from the sea. In the shadow of these mountains, the lands became largely desert, and the sands began to claim the shattered cities of Ashur.
This growing desert country, now called the Sung Lands, is filled with terrible monstrosities and abominations that were created by the Cantori in their long and ruinous war, made to bring terror upon one another. Now, with their masters mostly obliterated in the flood and fires that broke Atol Antish, the monsters roam freely, seeking to kill and consume whomever they can find and catch.
The Sung Lands are a dangerous and desolate place, but not yet deserted or done for. There is much to be made from the still-fertile places, and treasures yet to be found in the fallen cities and fortresses of Ashur and the Cantori themselves.
There are still dozens of oases where cities thrive and people of all kinds make their way while living close to sheltering walls. The hardy Duarif people still live among the hills and smaller mountains throughout the lands, while the Quarterlings move from town to town facilitating trade.
To the West, the ancient kingdoms of Uruq and Parsha still thrive, and far beyond them stands Toorh. In the North, the Ulvai haunt the frozen and enchanted forests of Glamourn. East is the lands of the Orgish Empire, a cultured militaristic people who are now the rising power in the world. They vie with their neighbors, the human country of Indahl. In the South, a few remnants of Ashur still cling to life among the ruins. They have established Free Cities in the Shadow if the Mountain, attracting the lawless and desperate from many lands.
There is one true bright spot in the Sung Lands, a small community living near and within the old fortress known as Equanimity on the western border of the Sung Lands. Even before the final war reached its fevered pitch, the philosopher monks of Equanimity sought out those who would need shelter in the coming tumult and ruin. Today they hold true, offering a place of refuge and hope for future times.
Welcome to the Sung Lands.