Under Feet of Clay
Calopius takes its name from the eldest of The Muses, Calliope. A collection of hilly islands and peninsulas, Calopius encompasses the whole of the civilized world. While a variety of languages are spoken here, it is Calopene, the Common Tongue, that dominates trade, politics, religion, and literature. If the Sages are to be believed, Calopene is the language of the gods themselves, and all others sprang first from Gaia’s hordes. It is a point of pride in Calopius to be a gifted rhetorician and writer, while the study of other languages is often looked down upon as frivolous and unnecessary.
To the north, the Dark Forest of Chaos fences in the tamed wild. Home to elder trees, horrors both old and new, and uncharted leagues, only the bravest heroes dare enter the woods for long. An unnatural mist clings to the place once the first mile of the trees is passed, and gradually all light fades from above. Beasts and monsters of twisted, hybrid form stalk the woods, hunting whatever will slake their endless bloodlust. To the far north, tales tell of the Urpan Mountains, great peaks that scrape the floors of heaven. Here, tyrant dragons rule kingdoms of beasts and kidnapped mortal slaves. Only Aedikles saw these peaks with mortal eyes, but entered the fold of the Anthrotheon before he could return.
The main peninsula of Calopius is home to three cities: Pittacae to the south, Dikethaleos on the western bank of the Archon Bay, and Biasophoros to the far east on the Straights of Nestor. Between the Archon Bay and Amphora Gulf is the isthmus where Cleobonomos proudly stands. On the land mass beyond, Solonos watches over the Charidian Sea, and Periandropolis keeps vigil over the Bay of Selene. Across the Mosolos Channel is lonely Chilones, the only city on an island of the seven, far across the Winedark Sea from its closest ally, Pittacae. West of this peninsula, the Sophiomachus Sea stretches to the horizon.
Across the Charidian Sea are the mysterious Barbarian Lands, home of the race of Tieflings. Entire countries here embrace the wild and uncultured ways the Chaos Mother, Gaia, and they hate little more than the free and proud Calopions. Their various countries all serve under a mysterious king who proclaims himself a living god, and demands the title King of Kings. Biasophoros is the closest city to these dangerous neighbors, and scout ships often patrol the enemy coastline for signs of impending attack.
In general, the roads of Callopius are safe from bandits, save where mountains and foothills can shelter groups of brigands and outlaws. Even then, such groups are relatively rare. Piracy along the coast is a more common threat to merchants and travelers. Monsters stalk the wild, and must be avoided by the average traveler. For those who experience a life of travel, the Common Hazards of the road are fairly familiar.