A map of the thirteen Kingdoms
The Kingdoms of the Sun are a small archipelago comprised of fourteen islands, and the only known landmasses on the world of Aether. The endless sea that surrounds them is named Cyr
. The Kingdoms are arranged in a vague ring, with the island of Solis resting near its center. Surrounding Solis and the center of the ring is a giant, unending wall of storms, variously dubbed the Maelstrom, the Dragonsbane, the Wrath of Hydraex. The Maelstrom prevents any ship from crossing across the center of the ring, forcing ships to cross the greater distance of the ring's circumference.
The Kingdoms can be divided into two groups: the seven elemental islands that are the final resting places of the Dragons, and the six remaining outer kingdoms. The elemental islands are distinguished by the sheer force of Mana surrounding them; the raw power of the Dragons continues to affect their terrain, long after their death. As numbered on the map:
- 0. Solis - the heart of the Kingdoms, and the capital of the Lircon Empire. Protected from the rest of the world by the Maelstrom, it is rumored by inhabitants of the other islands that Solis is a paradise that has never known war and boasts technology far surpassing that of the other Kingdoms. The truth is uncertain; the only beings who leave Solis are the Imperial officials and officers that maintain the Empire.
- 1. Ignis - the resting place of the Dragon of Fire. Its most notable feature is the dormant volcano near the center of the island; the shrine to the Fire Dragon stands within its caldera. Ignis is mostly rural; it has no large cities, and supports mostly farming communities. As such, though it is one of the seven elemental islands, it is considered a backwater, and Imperial influence is very low. It is rumored to be the home of the Moonfall Rebellion.
- 2. Terrae - the resting place of the Dragon of Earth. It is rocky and mountainous, and most of its inhabitants live near the shores of the island. The srhine of the Earth Dragon is located on the peak of Summa, the highest mountain on the island. Though the terrain is difficult, Terrae boasts large reserves of metal ores, and thus is an important port and manufacturing center for the Empire. The Empire's main garrison is thus stationed here.
- 3. Lucis - the resting place of the Dragon of Light. A peaceful, forested isle, Lucis is famous for its unusually dense concentrations of ambient Mana. Many magically-attuned individuals are born here, and it features the Kingdoms' only dedicated magical academy. The shrine of the Light Dragon is located beneath the academy, which was built around and over it.
- 4. Aquae - the resting place of the Dragon of Water. Gloomy, wet, and marshy, it is crisscrossed by dozens of streams and rivers and dotted with just as many lakes and ponds. Though many fishing communities line its shores, Aquae would be unimportant, were it not for Emperess Polanna Lircon's influence in declaring the cult of the Water Dragon Hydraex the official religion of the Empire. The shrine to Hydraex is the site of many pilgrimages and floats at the center of the island's largest lake.
- 5. Venti - the resting place of the Dragon of Wind. The island is gentle and open, predominantly flat and hilly, though its southern shore is crowned with imposing mountains. The shrine to the Wind Dragon is located somewhere within those mountains. Because of the ease of settling in Venti, it is the most populous of the elemental islands.
- 6. Umbrae - the resting place of the Dragon of Shadow. It is very similar to Lucis, being thickly forested and boasting unusually dense concentrations of Mana, but it's forests are older, fiercer, more closely grown. Whereas Lucis's forests are bathed in sunlight, the dense canopy of Umbrae's forests means the forest floor sees very little light. Umbrae attracts loners rather than groups, and is mainly unpopulated save for a small port town on the southern shoreline. The shrine to the Shadow Dragon is located in the heart of its forests.
- 7. Fulminis - the resting place of the Dragon of Lightning. Rocky, barren, and constantly obscured by a dense cover of stormclouds, Fulminis is the only island in the thirteen Kingdoms to have no communities; only lone stragglers make their place here. The shrine to the Lightning Dragon is supposedly somewhere on the island, though no records of it exist.
- 8. Hextin - wild and untamed, Hextin is considered the frontier of the Empire. Many strange and exotic monsters roam the island, forcing its few inhabitants to adapt or die.
- 9. Pentron - near rich and prosperous Venti, Pentron is effectively Venti's sister island, nearly as fertile and open as the island of wind. Those dissatisfied with the more populated Venti often make their way here.
- 10. Trimos - large and varied in terrain, Trimos is the crown jewel of the Empire, the most populous island of the thirteen, and boasts several cities. More importantly, it is a key hub of trade, second only to Binthum, and sees many travelers heading to either Lucis or Aquae.
- 11. Tetrum - the southernmost island, Tetrum's only worthwhile feature is its calm and sheltered bay. The quiet beaches lining its bay make Tetrum a resort island of sorts for the rich and powerful.
- 12. Binthum - midway between Lucis and Terrae, Binthum is the heart of the Empire's economy, overseeing both the trade of manufactured goods and magical artifacts. Thus, it is the de facto capital of the Empire, because of Solis's inaccessibility, and houses the Empire's central garrison, naval base and shipyards, and the Imperial Bureaucracy.
- 13. Montrem - the easternmost island and the island most removed from the ring of the Kingdoms. It is mainly a place of exile, and is home to the Imperial Arena, where criminals are executed in gladiatorial combat and other sorts of public spectacle. The Tower of Aurora is located on its easternmost point, but is widely regarded to be an abandoned ruin.