Frazeel, the Spiral World, the Ribbonlands
Legend says that Frazeel and her two tiny daughter-moons once drifted serenely around the bright sun god Xaxil. During it’s globular infancy, Frazeel was a prominent trophy for the pantheon of its gods. The divine embodiments of good and evil fought over its continued existance. In the end, the unexpected happened...evil won.
Some say that foolish mortal mages unleashed the energies that cored Frazeel like an apple. Other’s say it was wicked Bnumil’s scimitar that carved poor Frazeel to her molten heart. The various clergies say a whole godwar caused the apocalypse. First the mortal wounding of Xaxil. Then mighty Quagorthax’s chase of the fell wyrm Shisthith the Bladedrake (since it said it knew Xaxil’s attackers) which tightened its razorsharp coils around fair Frazeel. With the eminent collapse of the gods mortal creation, the enigmatic Stormlord and Seamaster Ke Make pulled the broken Frazeel into the plane of Water.
And there she now dwells, an enormous corkscrew of earth and rock upon which many mortal races now dwell. She spins eternally through the liquid plane, an ethereal and fragile beauty. Surrounding her is the Twisting Sea, a turbulent and frightful monstrosity of an ocean. It collapse’s into one with the plane of Water many leagues from the Spiral World. Dead Xaxil’s mighty blade, Jacelle the Starshard, protects and warms her broken body. Its constant parries against Bnumi’s brothers, Wiaboku and the One Who Cannot Be Named causes the cycle of seasons.
Frazeel measures, roughly, 55,000 miles from Cold Tip to the Salt Sands. Its widest dry land point, on the Central Level, is over 7,500 miles across. If the Spiral was seen as a twisted ribbon, the thickness of the ribbon would be 2,500 miles. The distance between the bottom of one ribbon and the top of the one below it would be 5,000 miles. No being has ever walked or sailed from Cold Tip to the Salt Sands, although some dragons claim to make the trip regularly.
Navigation on Frazeel is difficult but not impossible. There is no North, South, East or West. Nor a magnetic “pole” (this may have lead to the extinction of several migratory birds). The four “points” of the compass are, in haggletongue (a rough trade talk, like Common), "col’Jacelle" (toward Jacelle), "shuk’Jacelle" (away from Jacelle), "Vesh" (the way you would hike to get to Cold Tip), "Gunhai" (the way you would hike to get to the Salt Sands). In order to get your position, you must measure two angles and know the approximate day of the year. Using the angle wedge defined by Jacelle’s thickness and the day of the year, the distance from the axis of Frazeel’s rotation can be found. Then using the angle from your position to the “intersection” of two spiral layers (land or more roughly using the sea) you can figure the level you are on. Combining this information tells you roughly how far from the center and using some aproximation, the band you are sitting on. To find your actual position you must again use Jacelle the Starshard. Since Jacelle is in fact a gigantic sword, one side of which is covered with runes “Jacelle”. And it rotates with the same speed as the Spiral. A navigator can use a specially tinted lens to find the rune side, middle of the blade. This is measured as 0°. A circle has 360°, so your position is easy to find. It turns out that at night when, Jacelle extinguishes itself, the runes are readily visble to those with infravision. This makes most position taking convenient at daybreak and nightfall.
State of the Spiral
Frazeel has reached, despite hardship, a golden age of reason. Firearms are the weapons of practicality for ranged warfare, although sword and lance are still mighty on the battlefield. Magic has reached a new level, the glorious synthesis of art and science—greatly more powerful and feared. For all its tortured history, Frazeel has still grown. It has advanced while great mysteries have still been left unsolved. Although, reaching toward an Earth-like modern society it is still, supremely dangerous, choatic and confusing.
The First Under Layer is also the home of great woe. From the remnants of Oelhilmaj’s fall and the Priestwars rose the Undead Clans. They rule their home with an iron skeletal fist, their living population cattle to their dark hungers and their vast armies. Warriors the Undead Clans throw hordes off Lessers to crush their foes. No good being is welcome in the domains of the Undead Clans.
The Spiral’s dominate race is by far the fell neraf “the cursed followers of the Unnamed”. They are a barbaric collection of hideous humanoids—cold, brutal and evil. The neraf are the ultimate destroyers, the perfect fighters and a great threat. The Republic of Rakorkai stretches from Cold Tip to the Central Level, a huge spartan organism that lives by conquest and pillage. However, the neraf are not limited to that area. They can be found all through the Spiral, including its seas. But their home is the brutal .Vesh-lands of the Republic of Rakorkai.
Trapped between the great military state of Rakorkai and the Undead Clans lies Oelhilmaj, the Broken Empire. It collapsed over three hundred years ago. And the remnants are a motley collection of governments and states. Some noble, some allies, some fallen.
Oelhilmaj the Broken Empire
Oelhilmaj was a large empire carved out of most of the Central Level and some of the First Under Level. It collapsed over three hundred years ago. The remaining states of Oelhilmaj have changed greatly since then. Much knowledge was lost and much was gained. The Church-state of Maeldu owned portion of the twin city Malai’ian. This is the second thrust of Jacelle (second year) since the beginning of the Broken Empire Wars. Inside Maeldu, a religous civil war broke out. The established church of the twin godessess Frazeel, life mother, and Vi’lai, death sister was challenged by the newer teachings of the mysterious Frazeel’s Hands. These rebels, backed by the Gnome King’s might fight a bitter war. Maeldu is also at war with the tiny mountain barony of Gorthanshim, who in turn faces the oppressive neraf forces of the Higher Warlord.
The Winding Sea
The two moons, pulled closer to Frazeel’s twisted body have been exploited by the Ribbon’s denizens. The first sea-moon, Gepras, pokes forth from the bottom of the Lower Twisting Sea. This is the exotic and rich domain of the Gnome Kings. Many rogues and pirates have coveted the Kings’ treasure but few have even lived to tell of Gepras’ gnomes. Gepras’ larger twin Gesh is a hemispherical island in the Central Twisting Sea. One sailor in a thousand has seen its strange verdant shores. Of those one in a hundred is still alive. The sea-moon Gesh and its mysteries are best left alone.