Once, hundreds of years ago, the Golems held dominion over the races, enslaving them to do their bidding. The first people, known as the Prima, fought their captors and with the aid of Usion, the Sun God, defeated them and pushed them back to their northern homeland. Today the mark of the Golems is still everywhere on the land, from the arcane-wrought metal road leading to Leron’s Pit, to the Black Road which is the main trade route between the north and south; all the way to the frozen deathly tower of Frostpeak. For the most part the Golems have remained in the north and the Lands of the Five Cities have endured centuries of relative peace.
All of the land from the deserts of the Sea of Sand to the barren tundra that lies below the Vale of Scars is claimed by the four remaining races that have descended from the Prima. The land south of the Braiden Hills is the domain of King Leron and known as the Kingdom of Five, that being the lands controlled by the Five Cities that pay fealty unto the throne. It is bounded by the Western Ocean in the west and the Verge Mountains in the east. Beyond these the savage world stretches in all directions. The far north is a place where no-one ventures, for beyond the Vale of Scars lies the land of the Golems.
Many attempts have been made to circumnavigate Ternoa. Teams of explorers over the centuries have journeyed to the east, hoping to find some mystical city or ancient treasure. Some few have even attempted to cross the Western Sea and find the homeland of the Golems and their once Titan King. Those that have returned have provided the somewhat limited information known about the wider world. Most of this is fanciful hearsay and bawdy sailor stories, yet within each tall tale exist a kernel of truth. The libraries in Ondsmouth and Satoria hold shelves of tomes, diaries and journals dedicated to the wonders found in the other regions of Ternoa. From the land itself to the strange plants and creatures found there, scholars across the Lands of the Five Cities debate to this day their forms and origin.
It is not known just how wide Ternoa is, with the Land around the Five Cities being the only area that has been extensively (or accurately) charted and mapped. Beyond the Verge Mountains the land seems to continue forever stretching away from the peaks for hundreds if not thousands of miles. However the land from the Braiden Hills to the edge of the Sea of Sand has been measured to be roughly 1000 miles. Some naval exploration has led to the description of the southern coast of the continent, but not much further than the Jilahn Badlands. Other sorties have crossed the mountains to explore the land beyond. Together this gathered information gives scholars an indication of the size and scale of Ternoa.
The lands explored by the civilised races are of greatly varied climates and geographies. The far north past the Vale of Scars and Frostpeak is a mix of tundra and arctic wasteland. Arboreal and arctic conditions prevail in the North and across the Verge Mountains nearly all the way to Sky’s Edge Pass. The western coast of Ternoa, known as the Lands of the Five Cities, is a largely temperate environment with warmer lands to the south around Satoria. This corresponds to the large part of the Endless Forest in the east and the Verung Steppe. Further south and the lands begin to dry out as the sun burns brighter in the sky. The Sea of Sand, Jilahn Badlands and the south seas are arid and dangerous environments where many an explorer has expired in the heat.
In our Five Cities D&D 5e actual play our band of heroes is exploring the Ondu Region, the lands sworn to Ondsmouth that lie around the River Ondu, shown here.