Lands and Peoples

Here is context about the world beyond Open Heart.   This is a little less fleshed-out so please let the DM know if information that would be important to your character background is missing.  

Open Heart is among the Scratch Mark Lakes.

Generally the continent is composed of towns, cities, principalities — rather than nations or kingdoms.   Collectively the peoples across the continent worship a wide variety of deities — a rich span of pantheons.  

Majors areas that the characters have heard of include:

The Fingerlings
The area in the extreme northwest is known as the Fingerlings, for the way in which the land stretches into the sea.  Mostly humans, but with the dependence on both fishing and shipping trades, there is a little bit of everything here. 
Greater Parikh
The larger island off the coast of the Fingerlings is known as the Greater Parikh.  Mostly humans, as the Fingerlings, but a little more rough and tumble. 
The smaller island off the coast of the Fingerlings is known as Khank (and was formerly known as Smaller Parikh).  Largely believed to be a cursed island since a civil war with the Greater Parikh many centuries ago.  Originally mostly humans (and with several communities of prisoners – Smaller Parikh had penal colonies and did a fair trade by being paid to discipline thieves and pirates by both Greater Parikh and the Fingerlings), it is unknown who or what lives there now. 
Hedgehog Forest
The forested area between the mountains and the western shore is known as Hedgehog Forest, after the many hedgehogs that roam in packs throughout the forest.  Home of human rangers, centaurs, etc. 
Grasslands in SW
An uneasy split between communities of hill dwarves (in the south) and gnomes (in the north); there is no established border between the two. 
Small Skull Mountains and Large Skull Mountains
The mountain range on the west is known as the small skull mountains (as they are not as high).  The taller range immediately to their east is known as the large skull mountains – not as long a range, but significantly higher. 
High Plains Desert in N
Largely unsettled, but has roving bands of barbarians, orcs, etc. 
Forest in N
Homeland of high elves. 
Grasslands in S
Largely unsettled lands with the occasional hamlet or cluster of farms. 
Scratch Mark Lakes
A series of lakes which, when viewed from an aerial view (a map or when flying) look like a beast scratched them into the earth.  These are freshwater lakes and they are surrounded by small towns and farms. 
Grasslands in N/NE
Farming and fishing communities are adjoined all along the northern coast.  Mostly human. 
Forest in NE
?   Either the campaign will never go here, or the DM has something to hide.
Mountains in E
Dwarves are known to live in the northern part of the range.  The southern two mountains are rumored to have dark elves living in them. 
Forest in SE
Homeland of wood elves.
  Minotaurs lived here hundreds of years ago.  Now, who knows?    The Island-Nation was cleaved apart from the mainland by powerful forces at the end of the war so long ago.  Trade with and travel to the Island-Nation is forbidden.  

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Lands and Peoples

Open Heart grubbybastard