The country of Grythania is a beautiful country of rolling hills and silvery mountains, cut through with clear, blue rivers. The fertile valleys carved out by the rivers are home to great herds of wild horses and goats, but these animals live beneath the shadows of the country's apex predator and namesake – griffons.
Four immense, curved mountain peaks surround the country, such as to make it appear on maps as though the whole of the kingdom rests in the grip of a mighty griffon's talon. These peaks are Alegaran to the north, home of the Winterwing flight of griffons; Tomorast to the northeast, home of the Cinderglow flight; Lashonna overlooking the capital in the east and aerie to the Kingfisher flight; and Xavener in the southwest, where the Starcoats fly.
Humans are relatively new to Grythania, the colony ships only making landfall a scant three hundred years ago. Grythania had always belonged to the natural world before humans came to settle it, and the elves made no attempt to tame it, choosing instead to coexist in their natural cities among the trees. The arrival of humans was foretold by the elven prophet, Maeora, and when the first ships reached shore, the elves fragmented into three groups: elves who chose to accept the arrival of the humans, even living among then, and continue their philosophy of coexistence; elves that chose to retreat deeper into the forests and swamps to live xenophobic lives apart from the short-lived but aggressive newcomers; the final faction of elves rally under the banner of Ebonhawk the Unyielding in his guerilla war against the humans.
Elves in Grythania are like the weather – sporadic, intense, and unpredictable. Capricious by their very nature, elves are capable of searing avarice, deepest melancholy, and riotous jubilation, their moods often changing at a moment's notice.
It was King Aethelwulf of Drosaeris who sent the ships to colonize the land and expand his empire, and for one hundred years, Grythania served the monarch faithfully. Likely, Grythania would still be a Drosae colony to this day, but imperial ships stopped arriving, and all attempts to contact their sovereign nation failed. Ships were sent to Drosaeris that never returned and magical transportation always resulted in failure, and so it came to pass that the first Skylord – Godric Wintermantle – became ruler of Grythania. Today, Skyking Rathwyn Zephyrinus rules the land, his four skylords working to enforce his rule in each region.
Magic users are not regulated in Grythania (though there is a group known as the Knights of the Steel Path who are trained in hunting wizards), but they are encouraged to attend, or at least register with Imaxiam's Academy of Wizardy.
Facts and Foibles of Grythania:
There are no snakes in Grythania.
The mountains and forest of Grythania are home to many terrible creatures, but there are no orcs to be found on the continent.
It is considered bad luck to throw water out the window without first yelling a warning. Every small village has a story of a specter or spirit who was enraged after having scalding bath water dumped over it.
When the wind blows hard enough to whip dead leaves into great spirals, that indicates that a number of faeries are fighting somewhere nearby.
Grythania's many hills, cliffs, and streams make it difficult to find enough space to raise cattle. As such, sheep, goat, and seafood are the primary meats.