The citizens of the world on which The Apotheotics takes place have no name for the world itself, calling it simply “the world” or “the known world”. It is roughly the same size as Earth, with an equivalent day/night cycle and season cycle and a single moon with an equivalent lunar cycle. One important difference between “The World” and Earth: the world has a much higher average temperature. The polar ice caps are much smaller, and only the south polar region (which has no land mass) maintains an ice cap year-round. Although cold during the winter, the north polar region is quite habitable, albeit sparsely populated.
The vast majority of the landmass of the world lies in the northern hemisphere within a single, vast continent, although the eastern half of this continent may be considered either a single distinct or even two additional continents by earth scientists. As with the world itself, the major landmasses are not named by the people who inhabit them. There are two much smaller continents in the southern hemisphere.
The major portion of the main continent is aproximately 6500 miles north-to-south, extending from the north pole to the equator and beyond. The width of this portion of the continent is roughly 3000 miles. The Twelve Nations take up the vast majority of this region. From Tslinar the continent extends eastward a further 10000 miles, making the major continent roughly 13,000 miles long and roughly 6500 miles wide.
There are surprisingly few islands as compared to Earth — although they do exist and can occasionally be found, they rarely group into archipelagos and tend to be no more than a mile or two at their widest.
The people of the world tend to organize into nations and empires of large size, even when rapid transportation is not available — there is a prevailing sense of citizenship among most people. The rule of law, individual freedoms, education, and representative and even democratic governments are more common than might normally be found within a fantasy setting. Actual feudalism and small kingdoms are relatively rare. Although slavery and harsh laws are not unheard of to the east, it is almost nonexistant within the Twelve Nations — the Agon Fiefdom’s harsh indentured servitude being a rare exception.
Although civilizations tend to be vast on the world, it is not evenly populated — roads are patrolled between large cities and farming villages, yet there exist within the borders of these empires numerous pockets of barbarous activity that operate outside the law, inhabited by bandits and raiders, simple tribal villages (often goblinoid), or worse. Some areas are particularly deadly, inhabited by undead, monsters, and aberrations.
Because of these seas of lawlessness surrounding islands of civilization, most of the Twelve Nations have some form of frontier within their borders — often too close for comfort. It is within these areas that adventurers thrive, and even the most civilized of towns will find armed adventurers wandering their streets. Due to the prevalence of spellcasting adventurers, very few towns still require peace knots.
If a town or village is large enough or otherwise able to afford an initial tax levied by the Council of Mages, it can have a teleportation circle installed and maintained by the Council. The circles function similar to a permanent Teleporation Circle per the Pathfinder rules, except that the destination is limited to specialized “exit circles” that are also included as part of the initial installation. The destination of the circle can be changed to any exit circle in the world by a specially trained magic user or artificer. The destination training is relatively simple, and the Council of Mages typically employ young magic users or artificers to operate the circles — it is considered a rite of passage to spend a portion of one’s early career “working the circles”.
The Council charges 5 GP per person or 1 SP per cubic foot (100 GP for a 10ft by 10ft by 10ft package) of freight sent via circle. Some larger cities may have multiple teleportation circles, some with circles dedicated to only passenger or freight shipping. Most of the major cities and towns in the Twelve Nations have had teleporation and exit circles installed.
The teleportation circles have huge strategic implications — although limited to a 10 ft diameter circle, a single circle can transport a large number of troops relatively quickly. To reduce this risk, the Council of Mages carefully guards knowledge of the creation of both circles and exits and dedicates itself to remain absolutely neutral in the affairs of each nation. This does nothing to alleviate the risk of corruption by circle operators, however. To compensate, most major cities build magically enhanced and garrisoned bunkers around their exit circles and force travelers and shipping to go through rigorous customs.