Orondor (or-on-door) is known as the Cursed Kingdom, or Land of the Dead. It is a place where once a kingdom of humans stood, but now little but the undead corpses of what remains of that kingdom stalk the land; a result of a mighty demon – a cha'karth – being summoned. In the resulting conflict the country was reduced to ruin and, though the cha'karth was slain, it's curse persists even centuries later, and Oronodr is a shunned and abandoned place where only the mad, righteous, or coerced travel to.
Orondor was first formed when people fled northwards when the land which was to become Rune was invaded by both gilth and ghreal armies simultaneously. While the alliances which fought off those invasions led to the formation of Rune, the people who fled north away from the fighting formed a different empire – Orondor.
Orondor was a powerful kingdom in its own right. It traded with the ferians to the north and, later, with Rune to the south, supplying peat, timbre and livestock. The lands were cold and ill suited for farming, but the
people of Orondor became great hunters and gatherers, and built a healthy respect for the land to which they came to call home.
Orondor is a harsher land than Rune; its climate colder, its soils thinner, its snows thicker. Perhaps because of this, the Orondorians developed a far more liberal view towards magical “short-cuts” than their neighbours in Rune. If they could manifest sunlight to aid their plants to grow, or create magical fire to set alight damp firewood, then all the better. The Orondorians, therefore, attracted mages to within their borders, and their services were highly valued; more-so than those within Rune. Because of this, many magic users came to Orondor to ply their trade and make their way in life. Many were honest, and were there only to fulfil whatever contracts they could get and make their way in the world. Others, though, saw Orondor as an ideal place to conduct experiments and studies which would have seen them driven off, or killed, in Rune.
It is little surprise, then, that Orondor's collapse came about due to the Black Arc. Perhaps slightly more surprising, though, was that the event was not the manifestation of a great necromancer, or adept demonologist, who sought to wreak havoc on the lands, but instead the result of a bumbling amateur.
Regardless of the cause, the result was one of the cha'karth being drawn forth from Inferis. The demon took but a year to destroy the entire country, bringing about ruin and destruction wherever it went. Having no time to gather and army of demons to its cause, the cha'karth instead used its knowledge of the Black Arc to weave a devastating necromantic spell, drawing forth the dead to do its bidding in the war.
Even though the cha'karth was eventually slain, Orondor never recovered from the war and the incantations which it brought with it. Still to this day, two centuries after the cha'karth was slain, the dead do not rest easy, and the land has been transformed into a place of walking nightmares.
Rune has closed its northern borders, building the fortress of Viracur to protect itself from the things lurking within Orondor, lest they wander too far south. The undead mindlessly roam the land; packs of skeletons and zombies meander across the countryside, ghouls haunt graveyards and the sites of battlefields. The land itself has become sentient and wicked.
The majority of people from Orondor who were not slain in the collapse of their country fled, either into the north to find solace with the ferians, or south towards Rune. Some, however, stayed behind. Those who did now live in isolated, fortified groups, forever under siege from the death which stalks their land. Some aim to rid Orondor of the curse which has befallen it, striving to end all of the undead monsters and revive the county. A vain hope, considering the momentous and nigh impossible task that is, yet it shows as a testament to the engrained respect the Orondorians have for their country, many generations on. Others just try to live, and maintain some sense of normality on the soil that their ancestors called home, and others still use these settlements as bases from where they can find more of Orondors heritage, launching dangerous expeditions into the old cities and towns to find the ancient books and artefacts which belonged to the Orondor which once was.
Mishrak was once the capital of Orondor. It was a centre of trade, lying deep within a thick forest which provided both food and fuel for its inhabitants. Its walls were made of a strange black rock, mined in the north from the mountains of the same name, which give it a dark, oppressive feel. Modern day Mishrak builds on that foundation. Many of the buildings within its walls lay in ruin, and the forest has begun to re-claim the land for itself with trees and mosses growing within the walls.
In the heart of the city lies the Necropolis; a giant, ramshackle tower where powerful mages, necromancers, and liches convene to study and experiment with the Black Arc. It is a structure built upon the foundations of the royal palace and governing buildings of Orondor, and arches high into the sky many hundreds of feet. It is constantly being added to, as necromancers within command their undead servants to add chambers and towers to further expand their working areas. It sprawls like a twisted tree; the manifestation of hundreds of twisted souls and their quest for knowledge and power. The Necropolis emits a sickly green glow from its windows, especially at night, and is filled with macabre libraries, sacrificial chambers, and halls filled with the undead and other monstrous creations.
Port Ironclad was once a busy but corrupt port within Orondor. Fed from iron mines from the hinterland and ships from the south, Port Ironclad was a major thoroughfare for Orondor for both trade and people. However, its citizens were oppressed and its streets unclean thanks to the greed of those ruling over it. It is perhaps little surprise that this is where the cha'karth was summoned forth, and where the curse which would sweep over the lands began.
In modern-day Iiosia Ironclad is a shell; the insides of the city literally ripped out from some awesome shock-wave of terrible power. All that remains of the place are the wrecked walls of the city and a few scant buildings which survived the damage. The place is largely abandoned, yet people to seek to come here – wicked, missguided people who seek the Black Arc and the cha'karth, and look for the place where its summoning took place so they can gleam some of the power which remains. Such people either leave disappointed or are mysteriously never seen again.
Hendakk is the last human city within Orondor. It is a ramshackle and lawless place as it is a city split in two, for it serves as an ideal refuge for criminals fleeing from Rune, and at the same time is home to many Orondorians who would use it as a base from which they would recover their homeland. Thus the city is in constant turmoil within itself, and the Orondorians within spend more of their energies on street skirmishes within the city against criminal gangs, slavers, and smugglers as they do fighting the undead outside it.
Paravon was once a great mining colony. Set on the borders of the Icebite Marches, the people of Paravon dug peat from the surrounding lands, and became fearce warriors and hunters as they hunted and fought the beasts of the marches.
Modern-day Iiosia, however, sees Paravon as a blackened shell. The events which led to the collapse of the country also affected Paravon, despite its isolated location far to the north. The entire city was gutted in a ferocious fire which erupted when the peat stores caught ablaze. While the fire within the city has long since abated, the marshes around it burn, with smoke forever rising from the ground, as the fire still smoulders away deep underground.
Lombay was once a mighty city which stood on the shores of the Sea of Stars. It was the subject of a huge siege of ferians in the year 639 which almost gutted the entire city, and was only partially re-built before the fall of the entire country. Because of this the work was never completed, and the city was abandoned shortly after.
Fort Brax is the most northerly bastion of human occupation in Iiosia. Though it was partially destroyed in the ferian invasion of 639, enough remained intact so that the fort could function in a practical manor. It is a bleak, cold place, yet people persist here still, reluctant to release their grip on this part of the world and let the fortress fall into the hands of the maundering undead.