- Julian M Armstrong
About Tala 3 - Main lands and Cities
Before the Great Wars, Tala was dominated by the Seven Magic Kingdoms, based in the north of the land. By the time Kankarion and his forces were driven out of Tala, the Kingdoms had been devastated. Those of Vrangelya had fled Tala, whereas those of Samaria, Workum and Elbasan were massacred, leaving no survivors. A handful of those of Matochkin fled to the mountains, whereas Dubros retreated to an inhospitable island off the northern coast, where they live in isolation from the rest of Tala.
The seventh Kingdom, Lerwichamian, remained intact however, although the line of Kings were overthrown in the aftermath of the war. It is now one of the four key cities and lands of Tala, where it sits on the shores of the great Lake Vankarem. The influence it once held has waned, but it is still the most powerful of the lands in Tala.
The other three great cities are all ports and trading towns and lie on the shore of the Salatine Sea. Engleford is the largest, but is also a venal, treacherous place where the only God is money and where those that have, hoard their wealth and leave the less fortunate to starve. Further up the coast is the land of Dillstane, with its main city, Thoras. The contrast between Engleford is stark; although not all inhabitants live without fear, disease or poverty, efforts are made to help those less fortunate, whilst still allowing merchants to turn a tidy profit. The final great city is Bandahar, which is also the seat of the Guild of Assassins. They are the de facto rulers of the land and city and so long as merchants and traders recognise their authority and pay tribute, the land is remarkably free of danger. Questioning their authority however, would not be wise.
There are of course, many other lands, fiefdoms and dukedoms, but many remain empty and in many cases ungoverned after the losses in the wars. Lands such as Kachin, Shugden and Zalamea, are havens for bandits with most of the villages ruined with just a few hardy outposts clinging on. More details on the other lands of Tala, are in the Glossary and Index that accompanies Book 1, The Southren Road. Some of these lands are rarely visited and vary from havens of peace and harmony, to dangerous, wild places, ruled by violent overlords who consider their own needs first and last.