The setting

Cullan is a small farming community in the rough, hilly country east of Heyraud's Bay in the northwest of the continent of Ilvia. Cullan is almost exactly halfway between the Kalis River, which cuts through the foothills of the Ilvar Mountains to the north, and the Dallyn River to the south. To the east, rolling grassland stretches for uncounted miles.

Life in Cullan has never been prosperous, but the presence of Cullan Abbey -- and therefore the stabilizing influence of the Ilvian Church -- has made it generally secure and relatively comfortable. Although Cullan is formally governed by a mayor (who in turn is elected by a town council), it is really the abbot (who has the resources of the Church at his disposal) who runs the town's affairs.

Cullan is a very young community, founded along with the Abbey only twenty-four years ago. Its construction was part of the tentative process of repopulating northwestern Ilvia, much of which was uninhabitable for centuries after the War of the Wizard. After a great deal of hard work, it finally seems that the town will survive, and the first generation of Cullan natives has now reached adulthood.

Cullan is by far the easternmost Human settlement in the region, the farthest outpost from Darian, the only city of any size in northwestern Ilvia. Darian, almost two hundred miles to the west, is a remnant of the former capital of the Ilvian Kingdom. Trade between Cullan and Darian is sparse, and travel between them is difficult at best; the eastern coast of the Bay offers no usable harbors, and no road goes all the way from Cullan to Darian. Cullan is largely self-sufficient, and trade is mostly with other small settlements and with traveling merchants who pass through (many of them Dwarves from the south).