Location: West-northwest of the known world. Located in the mouth of the Great Sea, Zaravek is an island nation, lying southwest of Tiel’shar and northwest of what used to be the nation of Quelios.
Climate: Marine High-Altitude Temperate. Zaravek tends toward milder weather, but has frequent, torrential storms and high winds.
Government: Magocratic oligarchy. The High Council of Zaravek is comprised of the directors and head professors of its many colleges and academies. The Council, in turn, establishes a system of governors and mayors to run the various regions of the small island.
Established as a safe reclusive place for those studying the mystic arts by the Dominion, Zaravek has long remained detached from the politics of the known world. Although many other nations strongly desire control of this independent island; a rocky shoreline, mountainous interior, and highly experienced, magic-using population have dissuaded most from assaulting Zaravek itself.
Unlike the other nations, the Collapse seemed to affect Zaravek little. Although endowments to its centers of learning from the Dominion ceased, more than enough new students continued to arrive on its shores with coin for their training to meet their needs. Even the slave rebellion hardly touched the island. Those slaves aware of the events in the rest of the dominion, who attempted to rise against their masters were quickly brought down by the might of spells and elemental talents. To this day, Zaravek boasts a broken-willed host of slaves, outnumbering their masters almost two to one. It is this slave population that maintains the day-to-day upkeep of the nation, leaving its masters to higher pursuits of learning.
For its part, Zaravek considers itself neutral in all affairs. It accepts students from any location (human or not, although non-humans often suffer harsh treatment within the schools), and claims no responsibility for their actions after their graduation.
Although some of the more fervently religious, such as most of the members of the Church in Ceracia, uphold that Zaravek is nothing but a gathering of the worst kind of Demonists, the High Council has long worked to prevent Demonism from taking root on the island. Any student pursuing studies their instructors find “dangerous” is likely to face the Council itself. In almost all cases, facing the Council in such a situation leads to the accused being escorted off the island immediately. The unlucky and extremely dangerous find themselves treated to a battery of enchantments designed to prevent them from calling upon their talents and branded with The Mark of the Demoncaller on their forehead. However, even these extreme measures may have not been as successful as the Council has hoped.
Zaran (capital): Among the highest mountain peaks on Zaravek, east of the center of the island, Zaran stands as both the governing capital of Zaravek and home to The First Academy of Wizards, the oldest, largest, and most costly school on the island. The school itself is built into the side of the mountain, its towers rising straight out of its surface. Within the highest of these towers is the Chamber of the High Council, the meeting place of the High Council itself. Below the school, the town sprawls in tiered levels of government offices, professor’s homes, and markets for the students themselves. A long series of switchbacks lead to more level ground, far below the city, and also provide a firm natural defense in case of attack.
Marakai: Marakai stands on the far side of the mountain range from Zaran, to the west. Nearly a sister city to the capital, Marakai rests at a lower elevation, on a broad plateau. Magically enchanted lifts provide easy access to the city proper, although a treacherous path remains available, if necessary. The entire plateau is built around The Healer’s College at its center. Built only a few years after The First Academy of Wizards, the College of Marakai trains the best mystic healers in the Known World. Petitioners from many high-standing officials regularly visit the College’s grounds to seek the employ of new graduates for their masters. The surrounding town is much like Zaran itself, built around providing for the faculty and students of the College, as well as travelers visiting it.
Ill’iduin: On the north of the island, the port of Ill’iduin is the first sight for most visitors to Zaravek, and the unloading point of the Zaravek ferry from Shar’Velast. Standing to either side of the bay of Ill’iduin, overlooking any vessel entering or leaving its waters, are the Guardians of Zaravek. These two massive statues represent Gareth Kigara and Reseni Muldove, the founders of the First Academy of Wizards and Healer’s College, respectively. Visitors are often awestruck by these elegant carvings for several seconds before they notice that both statues move slowly. Ancient enchantments upon the Guardians keep them in perpetual motion, as each statue slowly makes the motions used in the art its subject. Like most port cities, the greater portion of the town is occupied in merchant trade from the docks and caravans arriving from inland.
Tekosh: Located on a long peninsula on the eastern edge of the island, Tekosh is also commonly known as the Demoncaller’s Port. Traditionally, those found guilty of demonism would be escorted to Tekosh and put on a boat bound for Quelios. Since the fall of that nation, however, the first available departing vessel is typically chosen. Most magic users avoid the peninsula that Tekosh lies on as much as possible, and, as a result, it has become the home of the small portion of the island’s population that wants as little to do with magic as possible. It is also the chosen port for traders hoping to stay clear of the mystical, as well. Unfortunately for these individuals, they may be “asked” at any moment by a high ranking spellcaster to provide transport for one of the island’s exiles.