Children of Avalon
The only body of land in Caerim large enough to be rightly called a continent, Leviathan stretches one thousand miles from southwest to northeast, and three hundred miles from southeast to northwest at its widest point.
The western part of the continent is dominated by two great mountain ranges. The smaller of the two, the Gold Mountains, lies on the southwest part of the continent. The tallest peaks of this range rise 6,000 feet above the sea. The area to the range’s west is known as the Gold Coast, and it is known for the dwarves who live there, mining the precious metal from the hearts of the mountains. To the north, Leviathan rises into the immense White Mountains. Standing at their northern end, the summit of San-Terack exceeds 25,000 feet. This forbidding height blocks weather from reaching the mountains’ western slopes, resulting in a blistering, arid desert, known as the Rattlesnake Coast.
Though mostly characterized by scattered small settlements and independent kingdoms, several cities remain large and wealthy. The greatest among these is Freehold, on the shores of the Inner Sea. Maintaining healthy diplomatic and trade relationships with all of the other proper races, in the eyes of many it is the last vestige of the greatness of men. 70 miles north of Freehold is Calahad. This city has grown out of the ruins of Aurelia, and its kings claim to be direct descendants of Riothamus himself. Though not nearly as large as Freehold, enduring respect for the Aurelian Empire ensures that Calahad remains diplomatically influential, if not financially so.
Men have long called Leviathan home, setting out across the continent for thousands of years, climbing the highest peaks and settling even the most remote and inhospitable plains and deserts.
In the Classical Period, during the reign of Riothamus, the disparate kingdoms of the realm were united into a great empire, encompassing the entire continent. This empire, forged by Riothamus and sustained by the glory of its heroes, was called Aurelia.
Despite its great strength, once its supreme king had departed, the empire of Aurelia would prove ephemeral. The fall of the empire will always be debated by scholars and historians, fretted upon by kings and diplomats, and used as evidence for the weakness of men, but its true cause cannot rightly be known. In the time since Riothamus’ departure, the empire has fallen to ruin, and over the centuries Leviathan has once again become home to a host of small city-states and kingdoms existing in constant tension.