Travellers from many places come to Albion. Most are humans sent over from the Old World but Albion has a long history of receiving visitors, including dragons, spirits and demons. It is worth considering these places, if only to understand why people would be so keen to leave them.
The Old World
All of this changed when a baby washed up on the shore over a thousand years ago. His name was Mordred and war was in his blood. His early years were spent running with gangs, his teens leading them. By fourteen he was a warlord in his own right, by eighteen he had one of the most feared armies known. By twenty, he claimed himself King. History of this time is sketchy but it seems likely that Mordred did not achieve all of this unaided. A detailed study of the histories reveals references to a female advisor and several scholars quietly suspect it was her and not Mordred who came up with the revolutionary tactics and armour that made his forces unbeatable in combat. Such thoughts are never spoken aloud however, and since the time of King Melehan all of the original texts of the time have been locked away.
Currently the Old World is ruled by King Mordred IV, who has spent most of his long reign at war with an alliance of warlords called the Iron Freedom. This war has led to severe shortages, civil unrest, riots and a rise in criminals on the roads. King Mordred has fed his campaign through crippling taxes and kept order with curfews, tough laws and severe punishments.
Consequently, life in the Old World is tough, with little room for people to improve their circumstances. The rich struggle to keep hold of their treasures, the poor struggle to eat. The King’s measures keep complete collapse at bay but do nothing to alleviate the misery that fills the lives of most citizens.
By contrast to Albion, the Old World is without magic. There are no demons, no dragons, no giant beasts of legend. It is a grey place, where most people live out their lives in obscurity, too focused on surviving the day to plan for the future, though in the brief moment between toil and sleep, a brave few dream of something better.
The Demonic Planes
Not all demons are aspected of fire however and, if you know the correct rituals, or if you can find the right gatekeepers, other, even stranger hell realms can be reached. Places where storm clouds bombard the land with bloated corpses or even demons so large they are their own realm, and lesser demons sail across their eyes on islands made from frozen tears.
To linger in these places is to invite death, or worse. However, there are also prizes to be had amid the peril. Hoards of rare soul gems that contain incredible power and weapons unlike anything made by human hands. Riches and glory abound for those stupid or strong enough to take the risk.
The Land of the Dead
Shades of trees are also found here, and the ghosts of animals, though most of these are faint and pass quickly on.
At the heart of the Land of the Dead is a whirlpool of black water that pulls at all untethered spirits, stripping little shreds of them away, stealing memories one by one, until, at last they stop resisting and are drawn down, taken by the currents into oblivion.