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Shadowthorn is an area of a much larger continent. This area, for whatever reason, was more or less untouched by the civilized forces of the rest of the continent. Barbarian clans of humans, deep dwarven mining operations, elven glades and faerry-haunted fens did exist; but human cities and towns, with kings, queens, lords and ladies, as well as all the codified laws and social expectations were non-existent. That balance lasted for centuries until a magic-user of great power arrived. His name was Shadowthorn.

West, Middle and Eastern Lands

The West, Middle and Eastern lands are represented by three maps. The West and Middle lands are full size, and the East is half size. Each of those is divided into three ‘sections’; top (represented by Northerners), middle (represented by Midlanders), and bottom (represented by Southerners, or sometimes Sea Folk for the ones who live on islands).

Overview of Social Structure
There are no definitive “country boarders” in Shadowthorn. The true Seat of Power lies in the city of the lands name, Shadowthorn. It has a long history, and is, for all intents and purposes, the ‘birthplace’ of all the civilized towns, cities, keeps and castles found on any of the maps. There are Kings, Queens, Lords, Ladies and all of the normal titles of nobility, but these are all self-proclaimed and remain so only by not dieing or otherwise being deposed. The “true” sovereign of all of Shadowthorn takes the title “Emperor”. That said, there hasn’t been an Emperor for almost 200 years (…or was that 100?…maybe it was 1,000…fact is, nobody can be absolutely certain; see the section on “Shadowthorn, City of” for details).

Rulers claim territory for themselves by natural boundaries. This leads to many skirmishes, battles and sometimes even war between two neighboring rulers. Constant fighting is normal, but large-scale war wherein one ruler brings his entire army to bare against another, is quite rare. In truth, under the Imperial Edicts (the “law of the land”), only the Emperor can grant title and permanent land to someone who wishes to rule. The Rule of Domain covers those who only wish to live a life for themselves and family. This Rule indicates that as long as one can hold his/her own land without that land being specifically granted by the Emperor, it is theirs to do with as they please. This Rule of Domain, and the desire for current “rulers” (kings, queens, etc) to claim rulership over everyone in ‘their’ kingdom is a constant point of contention. For example, a woodsman may try to raise his family at the edge of a nice, small river. One day, along come a group of armed men bearing the sigil of some nearby king. These men demand “taxation for the King”. The woodcutter, a learned fellow, informs them that there are no true kings and that he is living by the Rule of Domain. Technically, the law is on the woodcutters side…but several armed and armored men are on the kings. So, contention.

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Shadowthorn Denakhan