The Fifth Age (Present) – Year 5-3998

The current age of Shard is one of reasonably easy truce between The Nine Realms. Although borders occasionally shift, there has been no great conquest since the dividing of the Realms after the fall of Xarallidion. There has also been a common, uniting force, The Light Watch, drawing in recruits from all across Shard, made of both conscripts and volunteers.

The council of the wise rules of Githridion, trusting the rule of its smaller holds and baronies to the local leaders, mostly noble families. As a nation, it enforces much of the peace across all of Shard, often handling disputes between smaller Realms and providing forces to keep the peace where necessary in regions where strife begins to bubble. Not all of the inhabitants of the other Realms see this police keeping as welcome, though it is an understood fact.

Dis-Urquharat is a prosperous nation whose trade is based on mining and the production of machinery. Some rumour that their tunnels and mines encompass all of Shard, via a network of tunnels that run through all of the mountains of Shia’Na’Turuk. Dis-Urquharat sits in a position of the untouchable, as the second wealthiest nation and provider of arms to many of the other Realms, it is said on Shard that “Githridion may dictate who may go to war, but Dis-Urquharat decides who will win”.

New Minead and Uth’Karahad follow after the two great Realms, acting as trading nations and conduits from one side of the central sea to the other. New Minead is now the new seat of mages on Shard, although many of the most powerful still come from The Knowing Bastion in Githridion, the majority of scholarly practice into the arcane can be traced to The Halls of the Wondering in New Minead. It is famed for its exploration into Magic and the arcane and supplies much of the arcane implements used across the face of Shard. Nearly everyone in New Minead has some form of magic in them and most of the daily tasks are magically curated. Uth’Karahad, in stark contrast, is a far more mundane and industrious nation. The ancestral home of the clay people is a place of great tradition. Torn between the wildness of their beginnings and also their duty to curtail the selfishness of others, many traditionalist Karakin keep up the simple lives of farmers. As a result, Uth’Karahad is known as a reasonably dour place, that supplies mainly food and textiles to other Realms upon Shard. They keep an uneasy peace with their neighbours in Dis-Urquharat, whom they distrust for their flair and their obsession with ironwork and machinery.

Landreath, which was annexed by Githridion in 5-665, declared independence from Githridion in the civic uprising of the Year 5-2097 and now functions as a relatively poor, but proud realm. It is a sparsely populated land, with much of its civilised areas clustered towards the border with Githridion. Sharing one of its borders with The Chasm has led to large areas of the Realm being nearly completely uninhabited, though there are still those who cling desperately to life on the Dark-Edge. Landreath is also home to the bastions of The Light Watch. There are multiple outposts along Dark-Edge and The Shining Minaret, ancestral home of The Light Watch, sits at the border between Landreath and The Wild Lands. Many of the pirates who haunt the Central Sea take advantage of the lack of law-enforcement and population in Landreath and the central massif of the Realm marks a line between the civilised populace and bandit country.

Kildarn, the last and smallest of The Nine Realms is split into two; the small portion of it that sits nestled between Uth’Karahad and Dis-Urquharat is known as The Jaw and the island that sits out in the Central Sea is known as The Heart. Both are named after the parts of Shia’Na’Turuk that were said to have fallen there. The Jaw and The Heart were given to the horned-ones and the dragon folk originally, as a gift to thank them for their service against Xarallidion. Although dragon folk and horned ones are well integrated into the wider societies of Shard, their population is far more dense in the two portions of Kildarn. The place stands as a peculiar cultural enclave on Shard, with the ancestral buildings of the horned ones and dragon folk differing wildly from the accepted architectural norms of the previous surface-dwelling races. The great respect for the horned ones and the dragon folk has led to Kildarn being left unscathed despite its positioning between two uneasy nations and the nation mainly makes its wealth by trade of spices, precious metals and peculiar fabrics that emerge from the queer island of The Heart.

For now, at least, there seems to be peace on Shard, though the members of The Light Watch are kept constantly busy by the threat of what may next emerge from The Chasm and their fight for the safety of all Shard.