Background and history
Hyftun is a powerful nation in the north-eastern hemisphere of Adhon. Thousands of years ago, it was populated only by the wild races, as well as a scattering of druidic humans and elves. It is said that long ago, a nomadic band of humans discovered the Rift, deep in the mountains at the island continent’s center. Most people outside of Hyftun are ignorant of exactly what The Rift is. Common knowledge says that it is some type of breach between this plane and another, somehow projecting a powerful Field of arcane energy into the area surrounding it. As centuries passed, the people living around The Rift learned to make use of its arcane Field, granting their society powerful magical abilities known as Riftcraft.
Historically, those who possessed Riftcraft used it to exert dominance over those who did not. As different groups began to vie for power, the continent was plunged into a centuries-long period of magic-centered warfare. Similar to the European Middle Ages, this period was marked by alternating alliances and generations-long feuds.
About six hundred years ago, a major victory was won by the Hyftuni, a powerful faction claiming to be descended from the first humans to settle near the Rift (the term “Hyftuni” is an ancient expression meaning “Rift Ones”). Their ensuing consolidation of power ushered in a period of peace and democracy. In this climate, a mage named Mesym Ander made a momentous discovery: the arcane field of the Rift could be extended. By crafting special devices called conduits, he was able to draw arcane energy to his laboratory that lay outside the Field. In the generations that followed, others expanded on this knowledge and began to construct conduit towers, huge stone structures that acted as focusing relays for the power from the rift.
The next centuries saw an explosive expansion of Hyftuni culture. Spreading outward from their native mountainous regions, they expanded the reach of the Field through the laborious construction of the conduit towers, bringing Riftcraft and all its powerful benefits along with them. This annexation and colonization process brought them into conflict with the savage races and ancient druids, who were long thought of as one and the same (savages to be removed). In recent years however, the injustices against the Human and Elvish druids has come to a head, causing great dissension among many in Hyftun.
Modern Hyftun and the state of the Rift
In the past 200 years, reforms to government and education have provided a basic magic education for all citizens of Hyftun, now that the Field has been extended to cover the most populated areas of the continent. Magic is a part of everyday life, much as technology is for us. Magic items created through Riftcraft are cheap and commonplace. Magic is used in all aspects of Hyftuni life: convenience, healing, transportation, building, resource gathering and defense. Contemporary Hyftuni society relies completely on the Rift and the vast network of conduit towers for its existence.
However, of late, voices have begun to rise against the use of Riftcraft. Some radicals wish to bring Hyftun back to a “natural” state, where only intrinsic magic (i.e. non-Riftcraft) is used. As well, rumours have begun to circulate in hushed voices by the fireside that the Rift itself is growing, becoming unstable and erratic. The Government of the Republic has refused to discuss the matter, though an investigation was recently begun quietly, headed by Court Mage Atham Cere.
When the Hyftuni gained control of the region six centuries ago, they installed a republican government without a monarch. Aware of the centuries-long strife caused by wars of succession across the sea in Ledan, and dismayed at the tyranny of the autocratic regimes in Ash’Lor, the Hyftuni envisioned a state run by elected officials, where all citizens had the right to vote and to run for office. They desired to create a nation founded on equality and justice, free of any monarchy. Thus, the Republic of Hyftun was born.
Although the Republic’s expansion and colonization of the entire continent is decried by some, the quality of life that its citizens enjoy is undeniable. Efficient government and wise administration policies (along with effective taxation) have permitted the construction of vast networks of public amenities. Cities are clean and orderly, and the Republican Militia keeps the peace throughout the nation. The conduit network permits Riftcraft across the continent, affording all Hyftuni citizens a magic-filled life.
There is no official religion in Hyftun, and the worship of most deities is permitted by law. However, the Republic does not permit illegal or immoral deeds to be committed in the name of any religion, and such crimes do not go unpunished.
The Republic of Hyftun covers an area of roughly 18 million square miles. Of this, 54% arable land, and 45% is wilderness.
The republic of Hyftun has a total population of about 700 million people.
The largest city has a population of 321 thousand people, the second largest 193 thousand.
There are 13 other cities of note in the kingdom, and 90 towns. The remaining population lives in numerous small villages, isolated dwellings, etc.