Blood and Thunder
Zandor is the rotten remnant of what was once the flower of the eastern Iron Empire. Before the Valk Invasion, Jalizar, its capital, was the biggest city in the world, rivaling Faberterra in beauty and riches. During the Empire, the Governor of Jalizar had a power greater than that of most kings.
Then the Valk arrived and destroyed everything.
The immense region of Zandor — once full of prosperous towns, rich villages and well tended fields — is now a mass of crumbling ruins, inhabited only by coyotes and by the unholy beasts summoned by the Valkyries. The fields have reverted to forests and rocky plains, only good as pastures for the Valk’s herds, and twisted trees grow in the deserted palaces.
At the death of Dhaar, the Valk warlord, the clans faithful to Juggu, Dhaar’s second son, remained here, believing they could conquer the whole land in a few months. But Juggu wasn’t a lucky man. He died after three months of an infected wound and the various clans, driven by age-old rivalries, soon lost their short-lived unity.
Today, the Zandorian Valk are too divided to conquer the whole region, but they are strong enough to be a constant threat, so control over the land is virtually shared. The Zandorians live in isolated, independent settlements, with a strong militia and draconian laws, and they can only protect the nearby territories. The Valk, instead, wander the region freely, following their nomadic customs.
In truth, nobody is capable of ruling over Zandor.
Jalizar, City of Thieves.
The city Jalizar was the best at withstanding the Valk invasion. Its mighty walls stopped the nomads, but its citizens suffered greatly. Famine, theft and all types of crimes were common during the three-year siege.
Today the situation isn’t much better. The city has undoubtedly recovered some of its order and still is the major trading center of the northeast. Heavily guarded caravans arrive from and depart for Faberterra and Ekul weekly, while massive ships transport their cargo across the Drowned King Sea. But the wealth isn’t evenly distributed: the immensely rich merchants control all the revenues from trade, while the masses starve. Even the King of Jalizar, nicknamed the Ragamuffin King, is forced to beg the merchants for gold to preserve a semblance of order in the city.
Besides the merchants, the major force in the city is the thieves. At least three major guilds of criminals exist, and they exert strong control over the territory. Even the merchant houses are forced to do business with them. Life in Jalizar is corrupt and almost everything, love and faith included, is for sale. But it is also a place of great opportunities for those with a sharp mind and a quick sword.
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657