Red Mark

Not all dragons in Shatterlands are evil, not even red dragons. This is proven by the existence of the territory of Red Mark, settled around the southeast part of the continent, for the ruler of the Red Mark is a neutral-aligned great wyrm red dragon named Raasarikisht, though most call her the Crimson Queen. Though she is slowing down in her old age, the Crimson Queen is noted for taking primarily gold dragons as consorts, with the occasional bronze or copper dragon thrown in for variety. The Red Mark is her territory, and she generally rules it with a loose talon, provided that all her subjects behave themselves, more or less. Once things start to get out of control, or outside forces threaten, then the Crimson Queen rises in terrible fury indeed, and with her consorts by her side, she is nigh-unstoppable, and her rule nigh-absolute. The Crimson Queen demands regular taxation from her subjects, and a decent level of order, within reason, but otherwise lets them do as they please, which suits most inhabitants of the Red Mark just fine.

Overall, the Red Mark is not really very large, with only two cities of significant note, and several smaller villages both underground and aboveground. However, in a realm dominated by the rule of chaos, where most parcels of land are held only by the strength of arms of those who squat on it, a place, however small, where a creature powerful enough to actually protect her people and maintain order is a rare and precious thing. Because of this, the Red Mark is one of the few bastions of civilization that travellers might run across in the Shatterlands, a last stop for supplies before the long haul back to their homes.

Major Races: Kobolds; Dragonfolk (half-dragons, dracotaurs and dragonkin mostly); Humans; Dwarves; Beastfolk.

Government: Relaxed Monstrous Monarchy.

Nation Alignment: Neutral.

Major Cities:
Ghenna: Just beyond the Dragonrend mountains, in the shadow of the high mountain where the Crimson Queen overlooks her subjects, is one of the many deep fissures into the earth that dot the Shatterlands, on the southeastern side of those mountains. In this fissure is the entrance to the underground city of Ghenna. Primarily populated and dominated by kobolds, with one of the Crimson Queen's half-dragon children as a mayor, Ghenna is a fairly open community, though there is a strong preference for those with draconic blood, and prejudice against those who lack it. Nevertheless, humans, dwarves, and beastfolk are often drawn here (especially dwarves) by the lure of the great mining in the deeper areas of Ghenna. There is, however, a constant danger of searing hot gasses and sometimes magma rushing up from the depths, as well as the danger of the occasional earthquake, and so all dwellings in Ghenna are made with stone or metal coverings, and have several ventillation shafts linking them to the surface. Ghenna also has a system of artificial, underground canals that links it to the sea, allowing trade and travel, especially with Heaven's Tear. Besides regular and vital imports of food from Arqua, the primary source of nourishment for the inhabitants of Ghenna comes from fungus farms, fertilized by the waste of the community and the products of the geologic upheavals in the region.

Arqua: Near the woodlands south of Ghenna is the rich, fertile land of Arqua. Just far enough from the volcanic Dragonrend Mountain Range to avoid the worst of their emissions, though occasional earthquakes still shake the area, the city of Arqua acts as the central point for the breadbasket of the Red Mark. Its major exports of foodstuffs are a vital commodity on Shatterlands, and are traded all over the continent. In a land of such ferocity of both land and inhabitants, Arqua is a refreshing change, an almost sylvan place where mostly humans and beastfolk live and work and mostly govern themselves in their local farmstead communities, with a council of kobolds loyal to the Crimson Queen acting to ensure coordination of food supplies, and regulating the sale and transportation of goods to and from these communities.