Land of Lost Souls
Geography Of Krynn
Geography and nations of the “Land of Lost Souls” (mostly from AD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance):
Abanasinia is a frontier nation in southwestern Ansalon. The region’s indigenous population are the Abanasinian Plainsmen, who are based off of real-world Great Plains Native Americans (such as the Sioux). They are united under chieftians and united into a confederation after the War of the Lance to better protect their numbers. The realm also boasts a sizable community of settlers and their descendants, ranging from Ergoth to Solamnia and lands beyond. Settler cities are relatively autonomous, each having their own distinct forms of government, with the village of Solace being the most iconic.
In fact, Solace gets the largest write-up by far. In the original Chronicles, it was where the Heroes of the Lance began their adventure, at the cozy Inn of the Last Home just as the Dragon armies came to invade. Solace is a city of trees, houses positioned in the safety of massive branches which can be easily traversed so that you never have to set foot on the ground. Solace has a huge refugee population outside its borders, of people fleeing the tyranny of the Dark Knights and Dragon Overlords.
Balifor is a region at the western end of Goodlund, and now encompasses The Desolation. The Red Dragon Overlord Malystryx transformed it into a volcanic wasteland of horrors, with only the most desperate and tough individuals remaining. The majority of its population are monsters such as ogres, dragonspawn, and draconians, but there are two small population centers, Port Balifor and Flotsam, on its extremities. Unlike the other Dragon Overlords who died, the region is not returning to its normal self, which greatly worries people.
The Blood Sea Isles dominated Ansalon’s eastern end, and include the four isles of Saifhum, Karthay, Kothas, and Mithas. Its human inhabitants are the descendants of Istarians who found themselves stranded on islands after the Cataclysm, and adopted to sea life. A huge red storm the size of a small country known as the Maelstrom used to encompass the majority of open water, stifling trade, although it suddenly disappeared after the War of Souls.
Saifhum is inhabited by human mariners and pirates. It is a rocky island with little vegetation, and an extensive network of windsail-powered carts is used as a mode of travel. Mithas and Kothas are part of the Minotaur nation, who are a martial culture who decides most major events through ritual combat. They sail to Flotsam for supplies now and then, but prefer to raid Saifhum ships instead. The island of Karthay is an uninhabited land of hot, barren plains and tall mountains with rainforests at the top. It is home to the mysterous Kyrie, a race of winged humanoids who keep to themselves.
Estwilde is a forested, swampy nation in north-central Ansalon, to the west of Neraka and south of Nordmaar. It is a rural region, with most inhabitants living in tribal hunter-gatherer societies, and three powerful dragons claimed vast reaches of the realm for themselves.
The 3 most common tribes are the Lor-Tai, who are good-hearted and peaceful, yet have an intricate system of taboos which prevents them from even speaking to outsiders or interacting with them in any significant fashion.
The Lahutians live in the Lahue Forest, and practice cannibalism on outsiders; they are Chaotic Evil and view non Lahutians as no better than cattle to be eaten.
The Mountain Barbarians are supposed to be bad guys, too, but the book poorly describes why they’re bad. They’re “surly and treacherous,” trade with goblins and ogres, hate and fear the “strong-hearted” nation of Solamnia, and “lack the imagination to believe they need anything more than what their squalid lives offer.” If anything they sound xenophobic more than anything.
Goodlund is the rest of the Desolation, and doesn’t really have much more info than what Balifor provided. The major settlements are underground in ancient goblin catacombs, and includes a town of afflicted kender who make commando raids against Malystryx’s remaining forces.
Hylo is a Kender nation in the forested northern reaches of Northern Ergoth. Its natural terrain makes it a well-defended locale, with a mountain range to the west, open ocean to the east, empty wasteland to the north, and inhospitable desert to the south.
The kender lived a trouble-free existence for centuries, being unaffected by the Cataclysm (yet saddened by the disappearance of the Gods). A huge population of afflicted kender refugees moved in and were accepted to the region, causing tension and strife between them and the “true” kender. The afflicted kender are distrustful and insist on shoring up Hylo’s defenses, while the true kender believe them to be cursed (yet are still too good-hearted to oppress them).
Interesting locations include the tree-city of Lookit, and a mysterious obsidian structure known only as “the Tower” which a bunch of true kender live inside. A magical sentience lives within the Tower, and nobody knows its true origins, but the “true” kender regard it as their best friend.
Icereach is less a nation than a region encompassing the far southern reaches of Ansalon. Composed entirely of arctic tundra, it remains mostly unexplored and is home to human nomads known as the Ice Folk, and evil walrus-men known as the thanoi. The two have warred against each other since the Cataclysm, and neither side is willing to give up; it’s pretty much a way of life by now.
Two white dragons, Cryonisis and Frisindia (both female wyrms) are the closest thing the land has to a superpower, and both claim western and eastern terrain as their domain. A few interesting places include the abandoned city of Frozen Past, the ruins of the huldrefolk (the first and oldest fey on Krynn), and the ruins of Icewall Castle (once home to Feal-Thas, the dark elf White Dragon Highlord of the Dragon Empire in the War of the Lance).
Kharolis is a nation of southwestern Ansalon which was once claimed by the Green Dragon Overlord Beryllinthranox. In recent years the Knights of Neraka took over the region and know rule the land under an iron fist. They hire ogre mercenaries to patrol the southern border along Icereach to keep back the Thanoi, but unbeknownst to them the two monstrous races plan on overthrowing them. They are also aided by human rebels who plan on killing them once they overthrow the Dark Knights.
The Tower of Wayreth lies in the magical forest in the northern section of the nation, and the Thorn Knights built outposts in the wilderness and towns in search of the Tower. The Tower has yet to be found, and is not admitting any visitors (even other Wizards of High Sorcery).
Khur is a nation located in eastern Ansalon, to the west of Balifor and to the north of Silvanesti. It is home to the Khur people, who are based off of real-world Arabs and arranged into seven different tribes. Their nation is no stranger to foreign influence; back during the War of the Lance, the Green Dragonarmy of the Dragon Empire invaded the nation before being driven out.
In recent years the Dark Knights have established alliances with certain tribes and cities, and an influx of refugee elves from Silvanesti has made life interesting. After recovering from being under the baleful eye of Malystryx, the region is undergoing a sense of unity, as Khurish tribes seek to put aside old hatreds in face of more pressing foreign influences. In addition to native Khurs, many citizens of the cities are the descendents of Dragonarmy officers, and so there’s a sizable Nerakan minority in the nation.
Neraka is an inhospitable mountain nation in eastern Ansalon. It is a very old nation with close ties to Evil, first formed by travellers guided by visions from Takhisis to a fabled lost city. There they found the magically relocated Temple of Istar, originally under the ocean of the Blood Sea. The Foundation Stone inside it allowed the goddess to communicate with these travelers and grant them the gift of divine magic. Along with her favored children, the chromatic dragons, she formed a massive army out of these forces and set about conquering much of Krynn as the Dragon Empire.
Even after the temple’s explosion and the end of the War of the Lance, the region was still a stronghold of those swearing fealty to the Dark Queen, and the Knights of Neraka are a major presence her (in fact, they changed their name from Knights of Takhisis to this because it was their base of power on Ansalon).
The capital city, Neraka, is a shadow of its former glory, its once-great temple filled with unknowable evils which keep even the Knights at bay. The nation’s cities are filled with monsters who traditionally served in the Dragonarmies, from goblins to ogres to draconians, and as such is a more accepting climate for these groups.
Nightlund was formerly an eastern province of Solamnia. Once a fertile and peaceful region, it was cursed with twilight and gloom when its ruler, Lord Soth, failed to stop the Kingpriest and instead killed his wife on suspicion of infidelity. Cursed to be a death knight, he found himself the ruler of a nightmarish realm filled with undead in a godless world.
The nation has remained this way until the War of Souls, after which the curse was lifted when Soth rejected Mina’s offer to join the One God’s army and was killed for it. It is now a fertile and bright land, but people still avoid it for its sinister reputation. One of the Towers of High Sorcery, the Tower of Palanthas, is located here (after being teleported away from the city of the same name), filled with undead guardians.
Nordmaar is a tropical nation in Ansalon’s far north. It is a feudal kingdom of highland horsemen and home to great stone cities in its rainforests. Its people are known for valiantly fighting off enemy invasions, from the Red Dragonarmy during the War of the Lance, shadow wights during the Chaos War, and most recently a black dragon wyrm named Mohrlex who also rules a portion of Estwilde to the south.
Nordmaarians are organized into tribes who are all ruled by a single king, and they have good relations with the nation of Solamnia to the west. Interesting locations in the region include a great giant rock shaped like a man riding a horse in the northeastern jungles, and a legendary shrine to Habbakuk known as the Fountain of Renewal in the swamplands (which is sought after by Mohrlex’s forces).
Northern Ergoth is the oldest human nation located on an island off the coast of western Ansalon. Formed during the Age of Dreams, its empire once occupied almost all of western Ansalon before the Cataclysm flooded most of it. Despite these losses, Ergoth remained a relatively stable feudal nation.
Its people are known throughout the continent as skilled mariners, and Ergothian merchants are a common sight through much of Ansalon. In recent years of the Fifth Age it’s becoming the continent’s preeminent cultural center, home to a fabled bardic college and a flourishing university and library in the capital city of Gwynned.
Mina’s crusade under the One God’s banner never touched Ergothian shores, and its people welcomed the return of the deities along with mysticism, and the two groups put aside theological differences to support the empire. The nation’s southern region of Sikket’hul is home to several towns of non-evil goblins, who keep to themselves but have some trade with the humans.
The Plains of Dust are a hot, arid region of south-central Ansalon which was traditionally a cold, arid region due to the disappearance of the Maelstrom. Traditionally nomadic humans related to the Abanasinians lived here along with centaurs, but a recent influx of refugee elves of both Qualinesti and Silvanesti put a significant strain on the region’s resources. The elves, meanwhile, are disorganized and grouped into varying factions.
Gilthas, a half-elf Qualinesti noble, does his best to settle disputes, but the more bigoted factions do not respect the word of a half-human. Some elves want to reclaim their homelands by force, while others desire aid from human cities and establish ties and favors with their peoples’ skills.
During the Fifth Age, two dragons from the same realm the Overlords came from ruled over much of the eastern Plains, and a group of centaurs and humans formed the nation of Duntollik to counter their threat. After the dragons’ death, they are now the preeminent political group in the region.
Qualinesti is a forested nation in southwestern Ansalon, the traditional homeland of the Qualinesti elves. In the Age of Dreams a faction of Silvanesti elves were tired of their peoples’ rigid society and created a more tolerant and progressive nation in the forests to the west. They maintained good relations with humans and dwarves during the Age of Might, but their society underwent significant hardship in the Age of Despair. They had to flee their homes during the War of the Lance, when the Red Dragonarmy invaded.
During the Age of Dreams their nation was conquered by the Green Dragon Overlord Beryllanthranox. Eventually they were provided information that the dragon was planning on killing them all, and some dwarves and sympathetic Dark Knights helped smuggle elves out before she could destroy them, leaving the warriors among them behind to lead a joint attack on the Overlord in the capital city.
The battle resulted in the dragons’ death, but her massive formed crashed into the tunnels below and causing the nearby rivers to fill up a new lake. The northern reaches of the land are claimed by opportunistic human bandits, with a never-before-seen alliance of goblins to the south, who are believed to be a new nation formed during the social turmoil.
Sancrist is an island nation off the coast of western Ansalon. Its eastern half is a mountain range inhabited by gnomes, their greatest city of Mt. Nevermind containing technology leagues ahead of any other on the continent.
The western section of Sancrist is home to forest and Solamnic settlers, who created the new nation of Gunthar in this region. Castle Uth Wistan is its capital, and home to the grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia.
A vicious red dragon Pyrothraxus lives among the gnomes of Mt. Nevermind, who are more than happy to pay him wealth and riches in exchange for the rare opportunity to research a living dragon.
Schallsea is an island nation off the coast of northern Abanasinia. It is home to the Wemitowuk people, who are related to the Abanasinian Plainsmen. It is home to the Citadel of Light, a preeminent center of learning for mystics, and is undergoing repair after the Green Dragon Overlord’s assault on the building grounds.
The island is home to the Garden of the Dead, a traditional place of punishment for the natives to send exiles who committed crimes against the community. The tunnel entrance became closed at the start of the Age of Mortals.
Silvanesti is the oldest elven nation and occupies a significant portion of southeast Ansalon. For the longest time it was a major superpower, with a rich magical history and valiant warriors. It has always been an isolated nation, closing itself off from the rest of the world after the Cataclysm.
The Dragon Empire viewed them as a threat and fought against them before the War of the Lance. In recent years a minotaur invasion strengthened by the presence of Dark Knights. The great cities were occupied by forces, its inhabitants forced out. The minotaurs forced out the Dark Knights shortly afterwards; despite the elves’ worst fears, the minotaurs have not destroyed or razed the cities, instead using them as new settlements for their forces.
Solamnia is a large and powerful nation covering a great portion of western Ansalon. The Knights of Solamnia served as the governing body since the Age of Dreams, but during the Age of Mortals the Blue Dragon Overlord Khellendros took over the city of Palanthas and much of northern Solamnia with the help of rogue Dark Knights. The Knights still rule Palanthas, and although society continues, some hope that one day the Knight of Solamnia drive them out.
During the Age of Despair, many peasants blamed the Knights for failing to protect them during the Cataclysm and overthrew many of their counties. But the Knights’ respect was restored when they played a contributing factor in the War of the Lance fighting Takhisis’ forces. Bolstered by Sturm Brightblade’s examples during the War, the formerly traditionalist and hidebound order became more progressive and open over time.
Solanthus is Solamnnia’s traditional capital, but Palanthas is its greatest city (the Waterdeep, the Sharn, the Greyhawk of Dragonlance). A port town surrounded by mountains, Palanthas managed to escape the Cataclysm relatively unscathed and became the continent’s cradle of civilization.
Its Great Library is run by clerics of Gilean, led by the enigmatic Astinus who attempts to write down the collected knowledge of Krynn. It was also once home to a Tower of High Sorcery, and the High Clerist’s Tower (once a holdover from the Age of Might) was home to a pivotal battle during the War of the Lance.
A dwarven nation of Kayolin supplies Solamnia with gems and precious metals, and the two nations get along very well.
Southern Ergoth is nominally part of the Empire of Ergoth, but this once-temperate land has been occupied by the White Dragon Overlord Gellidus and reshaped into an arctic nightmare. A legion of ogres and dragonspawn enforce his will from the city of Daltigoth, and the Solamnic outpost of Castle Eastwatch entered into an alliance with elven communities to fight them.
During the War of the Lance the Qualinesti and Silvanesti elves moved here, and enslaved the native Kagonesti elves to build new communities. All three elves still live in Ergoth, not necessarily getting along but sharing a common enemy against Gellidus. The Solamnic Knights guard the Tomb of Huma, the resting place of the legendary hero. A natural pool of dragonmetal, along with the lore necessary to build the Dragonlances, gives the Solamnics an advantage against the dragonspawn.
Teyr is a new nation to the north of Neraka, formed by and for draconians. During the War of the Lance draconians were created from the eggs of good dragons in an unholy ritual. Only the male eggs were selected, both for population control and for the Dragon Empire to better control them.
A draconian general named Kang discovered the location of the female draconian eggs, and managed to capture them with the help of his regiment after the Empire’s collapse. Emboldened with the discovery that they were a true race, they found an abandoned dwarven city to form a new society. From there, Kang created a new autonomous nation for his people. And they’re non-evil, too!
Teyr is a military government overseen by civilian leaders, and military culture abounds even though draconians are adopting “civilian” occupations and adjusting to relative peace. The nation is very well-defended, with military outposts along the borders.
Thoradin is a dwarven nation located in the mountains of Neraka. Its sole city is Zhakar, which was ruled by dark dwarves who went insane from an insidious and poisonous mushroom colony.
A particularly outspoken dwarf, Severus Stonehand, disagreed with his people’s decision to seal off their kingdom from the world in light of the Dragon Overlords’ arrival. He underwent a religious pilgrimage, he returned to his homeland and mounted an insurrection against the Council of Thanes. With divine magic, he discovered a cure to the Zhakar’s mushroom plague, and through this he earned the eternal gratitude and goodwill of the people, along with a new seat in government.
He signed a trade and military agreement with the nearby Knights of Neraka, supplying them with fine dwarven weapons and armor in exchange for protection from the nearby ogre nations of Blode and Kern.
Thorbadin is a dwarven nation located in the mountains of Kharolis in southwestern Ansalon. It is the grandest of dwarven realms: eight great cities, vast expanse of warrens, fortified gates, and a cold underground sea, it is larger than many surface realms. It is governed by a council of Thanes who vote on issues, with a High Thane as the leader of them.
Traditionally there’s a thane for each dwarven clan, even the gully dwarves, but there is no Neidar Thane due to the Dwarfgate Wars 400 years ago. The dwarves bury their nobles and heroes in the Valley of the Thanes, an above-ground natural valley accessible by tunnels, and whose tombs are sealed with doors which blend into the surrounding rock.
After the War of the Lance Thorbadin opened up relations with the outside world and gained the Qualinesti elves as allies. Thorbadin’s finest soldiers were instrumental in the death of the Green Dragon Overlord.
Throtl is a buffer nation between Estwilde (to the east) and Solamnia (to the west). It is mostly plains, with some bogs impeding travel. The region is home mostly to hobgoblins, whose form of government is a system of anarchy where they live in moneyless, leaderless communes where decisions and disputes are resolved via community debates and direct democracy. Just kidding, the writer’s definition of anarchy means roving gangs of bandit leaders.
The hobgoblins do little trade with others, instead raiding nearby settlements and fighting rival tribes for territory and resources. The nation’s sole great city of Throt is unique in the region and consider the smaller tribes to the primitive savages. After the Chaos War, the primordial Gods’ creations roam the countryside, a threat to everyone.