Blood and Magic
The Kingdom of Avalon is all you really know in the world. You may have heard stories from the merchants coming in on the ships, or from wanderers passing through, however, this kingdom is all you know of the world.
Avalon is a temperate kingdom protected on three sides by the Greyhawk Mountains and bordered on the fourth by the Great Ocean. It is built on an older, dwarven kingdom that has since fallen into the annals of history. The population is mostly human and dwarf. The eladrin city of Sylvan, deep within the Witchwood to the south doesn’t consider itself part of the human kingdom; However, it is on friendly terms with the kingdom. The Elves of the land are a nomadic people that follow the hunt north and south throughout the year. Representatives of both of these races can also be found living among the humans and dwarves in the capital city of Thaco.
The entire kingdom is ruled by the half-elf Queen Regent Tatiana. Tatiana rules for her eight year old son, Crowned King Obberon, from the Palace of Flamekeep in Thaco. The kingdoms’s army, the Dragonlancers, are mounted troops that can be found throughout Avalon.
Chief trade of Avalon is wood, furs, and precious metals mined from the Greyhawk Mountains. Thaco is the center of commerce and Avalon’s only true port.
Beyond the Greyhawk Mountains are miles and miles of badlands and tundra known as the Hordelands. This dangerous area is a breeding ground for orcs, trolls, and all kind of nasties. Occasionally a few of these monsters assemble armies and attempt to attack Avalon, however, the only mountain pass large enough to accommodate an army is Raven’s Pass, which is defended by an impenetrable fortress of dwarves and Dragonlancers at Raven’s Bluff. So far, any monstrous armies have met with only death.
Small villages and towns dot the kingdom, with their largest concentration around the Bay of Tears, a few days travel from Thaco, but there are several fishing villages along the coast of the ocean, as well. Mining communities also exist among the foothills of the mountains. The high moor to the north is virtually uninhabitable, but a few toughs, eking an existence out of animal husbandry, have even settled these lands. The Witchwood is almost completely under the control of the eladrin, and only one human village, known as Haven, exists in its northwest corner (although human is an overstatement, since most of the population is half-elf and more urban eladrin).
The baseline economy of the world matches the coins and prices outlined in the Player’s Handbook.
Formal schooling is the exception rather than the rule. Only the children of the wealthy receive any real education, and true scholarly learning is mainly the preserve of scribes and the clergy. As a result, the “unlearned masses” are only literate enough to read the holy texts of The Platinum Flame, if even that, and can only speak Common; the language of the Flame, and the only spoken language used throughout Avalon.
Hard work is the common way of life, and a day’s work might earn a single silver piece. Days off are few and far between, with most workers only getting a respite on festival days. Most people work nine days out of ten, and life for a typical peasant is hard and short. Lucky for you, you’re about to become adventurers, and will escape this drudgery.