The party is currently in the kingdom of Java. Java is more or less a constitutional monarchy. Its political details are discussed here.
As of the latest cencus, which was conducted about three years ago, the kingdom of Java has primarily the following demographic profile: Humans are the dominant group, making up 44% of the population. Dwarves live mostly in the eastern, southern, and south-eastern areas, and compose 14% of the population. Elves hail from the east, and those that live in Java live in, or at least near Grace Borough, if not the capital. The exception to this trend is green elves, who live in the plains in the north, east, and south areas of Java proper, and south of Hector’s Pearl, down into the hill-country. Overall, the various varieties of elven kind make up 12% of the population. Halflings live in all over the kingdom of Java, but are especially prominent in the city of Bayou. Java’s composition is about 12% halfling. Centauri have a tendency to keep their interests mobile, but those who claim some kind of permanent residency, own land, businesses and such, make up a solid 10% of Java’s society. Confederate minotauri are sometimes hired as professional mercenaries in Java, and gravitate toward Crown service, since it has the best benefits, albeit at a bit less pay than the standard going rate. They make up 2% of the population. Sulari can also be found in various professions across the kingdom. They make up 2% of the total. Orcs can be found in many professions, but tend to gravitate towards sailing, dock work, or the mercenary’s life. They compose 1% of Java. Other allegedly intelligent species from across the realms make up the last 3%.
A brief recent-history of Java is discussed here, including the 30-year war, and its aftermath.
The dominant religion in the area, consisting of about 48% of the region’s total religious community, is The Church of God. Following immediately after that, is the Cult of the Mask, which about 19% of the area’s people follow. After that comes the Celestial Company, (AKA, The Holy Host), which claims about 13% of the population. Those who are atheist, or otherwise non-religious, make up about 12%. The rest, (about 8%) are composed of a myriad of other religions, most of which are from other regions or continents.
When a person kicks the bucket, their soul travels through the plane of shadow to what is either called the Land of the Dead, or the Spirit Realm. At that point, he / she encounters Mallak, the Keeper of the Dead, who assigns him / her a place in the afterlife. That person’s experiences and conditions of existence are based on his / her own personality, beliefs, outlook, and expectations.
Resurrection requires the cooperation of The Keeper of the Dead. In casting a Resurrection or True Resurrection spell, one attempts to commune with the Keeper of the Dead, and ask for his blessing and assistance. The Keeper of the Dead might be busy, or might be willing to hear the request. If the caster can convince the Keeper of the Dead that the spirit who previously lived in the corpse is worthy of a second shot at life, (or a third, of fourth, or some other larger number, each iteration becoming less likely), the Keeper of the Dead will fetch the person’s spirit, and return it to its body, with the full effect of the spell being complete.
Looking at the color of a dragon’s scales will not tell you it’s personality / morals. They do horde treasure, and most are not above munching on livestock, or the occasional villager or adventurer if the situation warrants it. Dragons will have personalities as varied as any group of humans.
Airship travel is common. It is a cheaper alternative to teleportaion and wagon caravans, and, although not as cheap as shipping, is faster and more direct for only a little bit more money. Thus, it’s possible to be or meet someone from nearly anywhere. Your characters will probably have heard of the Great Barrier at some point. It is an area of chaotic, surging magical energies and winds which no airship or magic has penetrated yet. Airships are not used in warfare. This is partially enforced by contract, partially enforced by the fact that airship construction techniques and processes are closely guarded secrets, that the airship constructors are from distant places, and that anyone who violates this extreme taboo will be denied access to airship travel and shipping.
Money: In-game terms will be used for metallic monetary pieces. A “Sovereign” will be used to denote a platinum piece. A “Crown” will be used to denote gold pieces. A “Dinar” will be used to denote a silver piece. A copper piece will carry the name “Penny.” Each will weigh one troy ounce of the metal in question, and will be as pure as possible, given magic and available technologies.
The Planar Cosmology looks like this.
Draconic is the primary language of magic, the standard language of scholastics, and the language of diplomacy. In certain circles, it’s more common than common.
Of the four elemental languages, terran, ingan, auran, and aquan: Each language is really half a language. Terran and auran share the same alphabet. The difference between the two is that words and characters are written backwards of each other, and in opposite directions. Words are pronounced backwards of each other, and have opposite meanings. when word order is important, (the difference between a statement and a question) they are also reverse of each other. Likewise for ingan and aquan.