To every fairy tale, there is a dark side as well as one of sweetness. And anyone who delves into fairy tales knows that many of them are intended for their cautionary value as much as for their ability to entertain. Darkland is the home, some say the origin point in the distant, mist-shrouded past, of these first seeds of darkness. The land itself, while as fertile as the rest of the Isle of the Mighty, is often stunted, blasted, blighted, and misshapen, much of it taking on a dark cast, especially in the dense forests and marshes that make up so much of the land.
Among the creatures of evil, there is a state known to many as the Calling (detailed in The Book of Vile Darkness). It is widely thought that most of those all across the world who go through the Calling at some point must visit Darkland, entering its imposing and frightening terrain, away from the prying eyes of the less worthy. And there, something reaches out to these evil ones, filling them with a terrible purpose, and the power to carry it out.
Not all of those who receive the Calling leave the Isle of the Mighty to spread evil's influence across the land. There are some that stay in Darkland, and help to battle the forces of good to be found in the sickeningly sunshiny Brightland. The most powerful of these rulers of the evil forces in Darkland is called the Overlord, or sometimes the Dark Lord. The Overlord maintains a sort of order to the otherwise chaotic and disparate races that live in Darkland, organizing them to pose a significant and ever-present threat to the people of Brightland, and also to the rest of the world. The Overlord is known to regularly deal with evil rulers all over Therafim, and to provide aid to those deemed worthy of the assistance that the Overlord can provide. Besides this, Darkland is well known all over Therafim as a place where expatriates, vagabonds, and outcasts of even the most degraded and perverted sort can find a place without the other inhabitants judging the newcomer too harshly, at least on the basis of behavior (judgements based on the strength and potential edibility of such immigrants, however, still remain in full force). As with the king of Brightland, the state of Darkland depends on the health and status of the Overlord, with a more powerful Overlord producing an efficient military machine where even the most chaotic of creatures follows orders and aids the advancement of evil, while less capable Overlords, or those that are injured, unwell, or dead, lead to more chaotic, individual inhabitants of Darkland, who regularly do as they please, and tend to go back to their natural tendencies, whatever those might be, using the tracts of forbidding terrain in Darkland to evade being brought back under control.
The borderland between Brightland and Darkland is almost constantly in a state of flux, as the forces of good and evil work to take territory by any means possible. Wicked stepmothers, evil queens and kings of the smaller territories, and other conspiring individuals often let their lands fall under the sway of evil, first seen in the suffering of their commoner inhabitants as the land starts to yield noxious plants instead of good crops, before steadily more terrible threats begin to overrun the land, eventually turning it into a part of Darkland, unless checked by the efforts of some of the heroes of Brightland.
Major Races: Humans; Goblinoids; Orcs; Evil Fae; Hags; Evil Giants (especially trolls, ogres, and minotaurs); Evil Dragons and dragonkin; Monstrous Races; various evil outcasts of all races.
Government: Meritocratic Tyrrany.
Nation Alignment: Lawful Evil.
Kruklann: Camlann's counterpart, Kruklann is the Overlord's Citadel, wherein can be found the Throne of the Dark Lord. Anyone, in theory, can sit on this throne, at least at first. However, anyone who sits on the Dark Lord's Throne must answer all challenges to the right to sit there, either killing, cowing, or subduing any and all claimants to the throne. Any Overlord who fails to do so ceases to be able to access the powers of Kruklann until the challenge is met and overcome in some fashion (a challenge is considered overcome if a challenger runs away), or the challenger takes the throne instead. Kruklann, for its part, is an immensely powerful fortress, with walls reinforced by black adamantine, though its exact shape varies to match the particular personality and tastes of the present Overlord. The Overlord can instantly teleport anywhere within Darkland that the Overlord knows (as the Greater Teleportation spell cast by a 20th-level wizard), though teleportation back to Kruklann is not guaranteed, leading this power to be used sparingly. Similarly, so long as the Overlord commands Kruklann, the Overlord is able to deal 2d4 damage with a touch attack, or cast Hold Person as a caster of the Overlord's level and hit dice, or cause Fear at a similar level in all who see the Overlord. Additionally, the Overlord who commands Kruklann is able to use a spell-like ability that functions like a Rod of Rulership, allowing the Overlord to command the obedience and fealty of all evil-aligned creatures within sight of the Overlord, though creatures with 12 or higher intelligence get a DC 20 Will save to resist this effect, and no commands that directly contradict the basic nature of a creature can be given with this magical force.
Foul Ravine: Just beyond the Giant's Stair, on the Darkland side, is a deep, jagged rift in the earth that runs straight down into the Underdark. This is the Foul Ravine itself, but right alongside the ravine is a city by the same name. Half-sunk into the ground, so as to make it more hospitable for light-hating Underdark dwellers, Foul Ravine is the primary point of trade and intercourse between Darkland and the Underdark. The Overlord often makes shows of force here, to ensure that order is maintained, and those who make a living here soon learn to abide by the strict laws that govern Foul Ravine, or else they face the Overlord's wrath.
Pegana: Also called Witchland, Pegana is the home of the Coven, a loose organization of thirteen witches who rule this part of Darkland, giving allegiance, tribute, conscripts, and occasional arcane might to the Overlord in exchange for being allowed to mind their own business without interference. Hags are among the most common of these Coven members, but there are also spellcasters of various races that have a place in the Coven. Since most of these witches live apart most of the time, meeting only for special occasions (though trios of hags that work well together occur frequently in the Coven), and are frequent targets of heroes from Brightland and elsewhere, membership often changes. Pegana itself is marshy, swampy terrain that is most noted for being quite close to the edge of Brightland, acting as a buffer zone between the two realms, ensuring that the encroachments of the armies of Brightland have a difficult time making headway into Darkland. As the first line of defense against the Brightlanders, the Coven is still largely content to let the inhospitable terrain and their even more inhospitable subjects handle most situations that arise, actively engaging themselves only when it suits their mood, or it is forced upon them out of necessity.
Goblin Market: This is a slightly extraplanar location, which is known to shift and change its exact dimensions, so that it is never quite the same any time someone visits. The Goblin Market's location is also never set, though it is always found withing the boundary of Darkland. There is also a Goblin Market in Avalon City which is an extension of the Darkland Goblin Market, where people from both ends can intermingle, but can only come out on the same side that they went in (in other words, those who start in Avalon City go back to Avalon City when they leave the Goblin Market, and the same goes for Darklanders) without the aid of some form of teleportation magic (a Dimension Door or Teleportation spell cast with the specific purpose of shifting to the other continent is usually sufficient, and requires no roll). The Goblin Market is a sprawling, ramshackle hive that is, as the name suggests, largely run by goblins, though there are significant groups of fey and the smaller giants (especially trolls) who also live here. Among these goblins, just about anything or anyone can be bought and sold, for the right price, including items from the Outer Planes and the realm of the fey, and the air is thick with a multitude of scents and sights and sounds. Avalon City's goblin minority largely makes its home here, and many Darklander goblins also find refuge, and these natives of the Goblin Market are the only creatures that can pass freely between the two sides of the Goblin Market without the need for magical assistance. These goblins are also able to lead non-goblins with them, by maintaining physical contact, though most goblins charge a hefty fee for this service, usually amounting to 20 gold pieces per person, or 20 gold per hex of space that a creature takes up.