The name of the planet the narrative takes place on is Buade (pronounced bwādē) and is based on the old Olliac word for land or ground. There are three major continents; an unnamed and ruined southern continent, an unknown continent that is on the other side of the planet, and the northern continent, where the narrative takes place. The continent is not named, but rather broken up into many kingdoms which are self-governing. There are 20 separate kingdoms across the continent, but this number is fluid; marriages and alliances unite kingdoms, and deaths or feuds dissolve alliances.
The east coast of the continent holds the city of Ellinoris, where the narrative begins. Ellinoris is unique geographically; several geographic features converge at Ellinoris, creating a perfect place for a large city. A river, which has its origins in the mountains in the center of the continent, flows into a lake which sits at the base of a precipice. On an island in the lake was the center of Olliac life at Ellinoris; the city is now in ruins and the citizens of Ellinoris treat it as a park and monument. The Ellinoris Maker’s College sits atop the precipice; far below, the lake spills into an underground passage that flows through the mountain and spills out the other side on a sheer cliff into the ocean. A harbor has been created at the north end of the city; the Olliac created a canal to carry goods from the lake to the harbor.
Ellinoris serves as a center for education, commerce, and government, and many of the kingdoms of the continent east of the central mountains follow the lead of the city and its kingdom, Ellinor.
Suro, the second city featured in the narrative (so far) is located on the southern coast of the continent. It is a cosmopolitan center of trade, and there are many wealthy merchants who call the city home. Suro is also the home of the only permanent settlement of the Sea People; Suro’s harbor was originally created and is maintained by the Sea People, and they also operate a huge shipyard which builds and maintains their fleet. The shipyard and harbor are open to others as well, for a price. There is a Maker’s College located in Suro.
Magic on Buade is common; everyone knows that “magic” exists, and the manner used to access magic. Magic is basically the manipulation of the traditional elements of fire, air, earth, and water. The Olliac can naturally manipulate these forces, but humans must be taught to manipulate these forces and require a focus object. Rather than carry objects with them, the Olliac and humans began using tattoos, or “marks”, to represent the forces they hope to manipulate. The college produces professional Makers who work in academia (instructing new Makers and performing research) and who serve in the courts of the continent’s kingdoms. Non-makers can also acquire specialized marks to aid in other professions, such as a fire mark for a blacksmith, or an earth mark for a farmer.
No member of the Olliac race has been seen for 800 years. There was a disagreement between the Olliac and humans over the knowledge of the Heart Mark, a mark that would permit the combination of all four of the elements. The Olliac believed that the humans are not advanced enough in using the elemental magic to be able to learn to use the Heart Mark. The humans create the Heart Mark on their own, but with disastrous results. After a confrontation about the issue in Ellinoris, the Olliac withdraw permanently from human society rather than risk a war. For the past 800 years human knowledge regarding elemental manipulation and the marks has been relatively stagnant. The Olliac, even with the scattered Olliac ruins on the continent, have passed into legendary status.