Regions are mentioned throughout the Bestiary as a means of tying the flavor of various creatures to places around the world that the players may find themselves. There are a few defined regions whose descriptions are below. The narrator is free to determine which (if any) region the PCs find themselves in, and can use this to set a visual stage, and also as a means to keep threatening encounters thematically anchored.
A traveler will know when they have entered a kingdom by the steep increase in civilized population, and by the telling feature of a castle. Kingdoms across the land vary, but each includes a castle, and all within its walls. Some kingdoms extend to populated townships just outside the walls, and possibly as far as the next large town across the river or on the other side of the valley. In all cases, if you cannot see the castle, certainly, you are not in the kingdom.
Kingdoms are civilized areas – the roads are cobbled or paved, the buildings largely made of stone. All manners of folk call a kingdom home, and with them come access to most goods and services. A steady stream of activity and military guard keep most monstrous creatures out of the kingdom.
The most common region in Xan’rius, a countryside region is also the most varied, and showcases Xan'rius best: fields, rolling hills, rivers, light woods, mountains and valleys, villages, hamlets, and more. If you are unsure of where you are, you are probably in the countryside!
Countryside regions tend not to have access to esoteric or high-end goods and services, and the traveler will often find vast stretches of land between civilization, although much of the countryside will be interconnected by paths and trails if not actual roads. The countryside can be a dangerous place, as it typically borders the wilder regions, and all manner of creatures can wander in.
Travelers are hereby advised that entering a deep woods is a dangerous, and often deadly experience. Deep woods are notable from the woods that make up the countryside – they have an ominous, near chilling look and feel. Light seems to be swallowed up only a few feet beyond the perimeter.
Deep woods are made of the truly old growth; trees and vines that reach for the skies, overgrown with countless vegetation and hiding untold horrors. They are vast places, with little to no natural light. Witches and large beasts are known to call the deep woods home.
As the traveler crosses the countryside, they may notice the land squelch beneath their boots. The earth becomes moist, the sky darkens, and a misty fog lifts from the ground. They have found themselves in the moors, a dark, foggy, wet stretch of land that spreads for vast distances. Raised paths and roads cross most moors, although more sparsely than would be found in the countryside.
The land is dotted with low trees and rotted stumps. Visibility is hindered, but the sound of life can be heard all around. Throughout the moors, and particularly near the border of the countryside, krakaw roosts will dot the land. Small huts built on top of the short trees, sometimes connected by rope bridges, other times not. Krakaw lead solitary lives, but welcome travelers for a short time – the lights from their hearths are often a relief to those journeying through the moors – a sign that they will soon escape the dreary world they find themselves in.
Upon entering a twinkling swamp, the traveler will immediately feel the weight of the air – heavy with rot, humid, and stagnant. The spores and dust that float through the air cast disorienting lights and shadows, dimming the land in a confusing haze. Movement is challenging, and all manner of sounds and maddening visions are experienced.
Some twinkling swamps have raised trails through them, but straying from such paths invites all manner of evil to the traveler’s side. Twisted and nightmarish creatures native to Xan’rius can be found lurking the depths of the swamp, and if these creatures are not enough of a match, even the plants can be deadly.
Known across the land, revels are areas surrounding the ancient stone circles where celebrants and worshipers gather to give praise or give thanks to the world or a particular patron, and to celebrate the passage of time. In some areas, revels are started as a religious observance, while others use them as an annual celebration akin to a harvest festival. In religious usages, some sacrifices (typically breads or vegetables, rarely animals) are used, while non-religious revels tend not to have any such symbolism.
On occasion, a great revel may be sparked – a yearlong feast of merriment and depravity that will attract the attention of traveling merchants, performers, fortune tellers, and more. Due to the high amount of activity, and importantly, fire, monstrous creatures are naturally averse to revels, although they may lurk nearby, awaiting a careless wanderer.
The exact nature of any given revel will depend on the pagan god – a revel to Bathemos will evoke a chaotic and carefree nature in an endless display of drinking and hedonism, as the revelgoers dance around an enormous central bonfire. A revel to Artemix will be an unending cycle of hunts and feasts, with the spirits of the prey thanked at each opportunity. Iluna's revels tend to be moonlit ceremonies of dancing and symbolic releasing of the spirit – a cleansing of one's mortal troubles.
The fascinating mobile townscapes of the bobbin can be found most often in the foothills and mountains of the countryside. Burgs are mobile towns, consisting of seemingly haphazardly shaped constructions that can be packed up and relocated in the blink of an eye. A bobbin burg appears to be a ramshackle settlement, full of wooden apparatuses, tents, crisscrossed roping, and more. When the chieftain of a bobbin tribe, known as the big bobbin, declares, the entire town will be deconstructed, and packed up for transport.
Burgs are muddy, noisy, and hazardous places where a sort of agreed-upon lawlessness is overruled only by the whims of the bobbin social and political structures. Common markets exist in all burgs, and as they tend to travel about on the fringes of other civilization, strange objects and rarer materials can sometimes be found as well.
Alleys can often be found as part of a kingdom, and occasionally in the countryside as well. They are dense with civilization, featuring cobbled streets winding through tall, cantilevered buildings. Not known for their cleanliness, or their safety, a variety of esoteric goods and service, particularly illegal ones, can be secured in the alleys.
Wandering down an alley during the day may be largely considered a safe experience – shopkeepers may appear pushier than in other markets, and more than one suspicious character may watch you, but by and large, good folk will be going about their business. At night however, the alleys become silent, dark, and deadly – hold your purse close, and keep your eyes and wits about you.
At the edges of the world lie the ruins of the spires; far from most kingdoms, the collapsed monuments to an ancient age remain. These crumbled edifices once pierced the sky - throughout the world, few remain still standing.
Most spires lie abandoned by mortals; full of dangerous mechanisms and haunted by the proverbial ghosts of the past, they are often avoided. Some enterprising individuals may scour them for treasures to sell, but more of then than not, they do not return. The spires were enormous constructions, and many also had vast underground labyrinths. The experimental labs of the ancient Sh'thani left spiretech, creatures, traps, and more behind for those brave enough to find.