The People of the Western Lands
The Western Lands are a collection of fiefdoms that were known in the Imperium as the ‘Edge of the World’. It’s people are from a mixture of tribes; in some parts people can be found who are descended from the first folk to settle there, arriving during the last Ice Age at the time magic was first known in this corner of the world.
These people must have had some power with druidry for it was they who raised the standing stones and connected them to the ley lines. They were also among the first humans to domesticate dogs.
Disaster befell these people with the coming of the cruel Fir Bolg and murderous Fomorii, who imprisoned many and forced them to work as slaves until the coming of the Danarians in the centuries before the great cataclysm. During that catastrophic struggle the Fir Bolg and the Fomorii sided with Xyraxis and were after exiled to the Otherworld leaving the Danarians to rule the Western Lands.
The Danarians were themselves displaced in turn by the invasion of the Imperium some five hundred years later, at which time many druids were slaughtered to keep their magic under control. The Imperium ruled for nearly four hundred years and mixed with the descendants of the Danarians and the first people until the failing of their rule.
In the years of crisis for the Sentatian Empire, the Danarians and the tribes of the north attempted to retake the whole of the Western Lands forcing those still loyal to the Imperium to look for help. This came in the form of the Northmen closest to their borders. Promised gold and land for their efforts they forced back the Danarians and then when denied their reward made kingdoms of their own in the ruin.
So once more the population mixed and so it remains to this day. You can find red-haired and blue-eyed gallics alongside raven-haired Calderans, brown-eyed sons and daughters of Sena and tall, flaxen-haired warriors and shieldmaidens who reign over a handful of Kingdoms surrounding the great, free-city of Lakehaven.
The Western Lands have been richly nourished by magical waters for many thousands of years and their people are generally only slightly smaller than the people of our modern world.They are generally very fair of complexion due to the shortage of sunlight although in the furthest south of the provinces this is less so.
There are three major religions in the Western Lands of the three the least widespread is the Pantheon of the Imperium. Only in large towns or in areas where their civilisation has retained some hold, such as the bathing city of Minerva, are their temples still well-attended.
The largest belief-system is the Otherworld. Most in the west trust that they are connected to the Otherworld and when their spirit leaves this world it is thence it travels where it sleeps and heals until it is ready to take a body once more. From time to time heroes and creatures of legend may pass through from the Otherworld to shape the destiny of the day. It is thought that the first mages were those who were able to stay awake when they returned to the Otherworld and so kept the wisdom of many lifetimes.
The most recent religion to come to the West are those derived from Illuminism; the belief that all moral instruction comes to us directly from the Plain of Light. The latest variant of this is Patriarchism, that holds all that the world is the work of the Divine Father and all evil comes from the Beast upon the Plain of Darkness.
Theoretically, these three belief-systems are not in conflict as all three are conceivably concurrently true. Nonetheless, there is often tension between them, most especially on matters magical. The Pantheon believes that magic is a gift from the Gods and should be held within their priesthood. The idea of a mage using their power at their own discretion is a blasphemous misuse of the Gods intentions. Patriarchism maintains that there should be no magical practitioners at all and that magic should be reserved for the miracles of prayer, which they believe are acts of direct intervention from the Plain of Light.
Only Otherworldism accepts the right of mages to use their gifts freely and it does not suppose that magic is always divine. Mages can be good or evil just as the people who wield it can be.