Ravka: Home of the Second Army, a military force of Grisha soldiers sworn to protect Ravka. Exhausted by centuries of war with Fjerda to the north, and the Shu Han to the south, Ravka is itself divided by the Unsea (or the Shadow Fold) which has left much of the country vulnerable and without access to its port cities. Shu Han: Sharing its northern border with Ravka, the two countries have been at war for centuries. Shu Han mercenaries often travel into Ravka to capture and perform experiments on Grisha, seeking the source of Grisha power. Novyi Zem: A relatively young country comprised mostly of farmland, an expanding frontier, and bustling coastal cities. Largely separated from global conflict by the expanse of the True Sea, Novyi Zem has prospered and is popular among those seeking opportunity and anonymity—including Grisha. Also, the orange flowers (alemanth or waysu) are used in the manufacture of the stimulant jurda, and it’s one of Novyi Zem’s chief exports. Wandering Isle:A lush, green country where Grisha blood is prized as a medical cure-all. - for impotence, wasting plague you name it. Kerch: A small island nation with tremendous economic power. The hub of all international trade and a country rich in art and culture, but also home to a teeming criminal underworld centred in the capital city of Ketterdam. Despite slavery being illegal in Kerch, Grisha and others are often bound to wealthy merchants as indentured servants under terms that amount to slavery. Fjerda: An icy northern country separated from Ravka by thick permafrost. Fjerdan witch hunters called drüskelle capture and burn Grisha as witches.
(Should I take this opportunity to read through all of these to check them for all the mistakes I’ve surely made in the past? Probably. Will I? Nnnope. I fixed one (1) thing, that’s good enough for me for now.)
The buildings of Asshai are made out of a black stone that can feel greasy to the touch. The stone seems to drink in light, dimming torches and hearth fires alike, causing the city to have a dark and gloomy appearance. All foodstuff and freshwater is brought in by ship, as animals brought into the city soon die, and the waters of the Ash, river which runs through the city, glisten black beneath the noonday sun and glimmer with green phosphoresence by night. The only fish that dwell in its water are blind and deformed, with only fools and shadowbinders daring to eat of their flesh. There are no children in Asshai, and all who dwell there wear masks or veils, and often walk alone or ride in palanquins of ebony and iron, hidden behind dark curtains.
Asshai is a popular trading destination for ships, part of the traders’ circle in the Jade Sea. It exports goods such as amber and dragonglass. Gold and gems are also common exports, though some say the gold of the Shadow Lands is as unhealthy as the fruits that grow there.
The Asshai'i are well versed in witchcraft and wizardry, and have a language of their own, used in their spells. It is rumored that spellsingers, aeromancers, and warlocks practice their arts openly in Asshai. Asshai is welcome to all sorts of practitioners of the “higher mysteries”, as well as torturers and poisoners, and even worshippers of the Black Goat and the Lion of Night. Nothing is forbidden in the city, however depraved.
The shadowbinders of Asshai are considered to be the most sinister of all sorcerers of the city, and are the only ones who dare to go upriver, towards the Shadow Lands however even they fear Stygai the City of the Night upriver from Asshai. Ghost grass grows throughout the Shadow Lands and it is said that demons and dragons are among the creatures dwelling in cliff caves.