Excerpt from the World of the Wilderlands
Western Karak is divided into two broad regions, the northern hills and steppes and the southern peninsula of mountains, forests, and rolling hills. The north is dominated by the verdant steppes of Pathrakhia and the Horsehead Highlands; there originated the savage horse nomads who conquered and were subsequently assimilated by the riverine peoples of the east and the hill peoples of the south, becoming the Karakhans. Today the Karakhans are a strange mix of barbaric and decadent; valuing both their ancient traditions of the horse nomad and their modern arcane-based culture, the lords and princes of Karak are renowned for sorcerous savagery. To the west of the ancient heartland stands the Takhla Govin, the great waste that separates Karak from the Glowworm Steppes. In the southwest across the Ironwood Hills are the Karzulun lands, one of the few peoples that remain unconquered by the Karakhans (at least, during the prior three dynasties). In the crook between the mainland and the peninsula, separating the Bay of Bones from the Silver Sea, stands the Isle of 10,000 Sails, the home of the seafaring Karakhan tribes known as the Mengkhan.
Along the southern coast stands the city of Populva, long ago the capital of the current dynasty, today merely a backwater port for scoundrels and exiles. Here begins the Way of the King, the greatest road in all of Rhadamanthia, which traverses the entire length of the Kingdom of Karak. The Way covers more than 1,300 miles, from Populva in the west, along the Sverkka Firth to Neupokrantil, the City of Thunder, across the Haunted Hills to Tiian, the City of Scales, over the Spice Plains to the ancient capital at Kaijing (known as the City of Coins to sages of the west), and over the Wild Mane Plains to Huijian, the ancient center of sword-making on the shore of the Tempest Ocean. North of the road are the debatable lands, loyal to the Emperor in name and scrupulously up to date on their tribute, but otherwise independent in all things; to the south upon the peninsula are the countless slave-driven plantations and villas of the noble lords of Karak. A hundred tongues are said to be spoken by the dozens of races of slaves and serfs of the Telanghata Peninsula. Only in the far south, beyond the Kale Kala Peaks, do men and other races live in freedom from Karakhan dominion; unfortunately Chaos reigns there, in the lands of Demonwrack Bay and the Goblin Coast, and some would view the servitude of the Karakhans as a greater mercy…