The Frozen Vast is the northernmost region of a narrow continent (about 1100 miles at its widest, where it meets the great polar continent, down to just a few miles at its tip) that stretches up from the land bridge known as the Teardrops (about 800 miles north of the equator), past the Arctic Circle to merge with the great northern polar continent. South of the Teardrops is an old and well-settled continent that was once home to many disparate peoples and nations. Over the course of millennia, these nations were systematically brought to heel under the influence of a faceless bureaucracy known simply as the Heteronomy.
The Teardrops was formed by magi of the Heteronomy who coveted the rich farmlands of the temperate northern continent, and desired a land route to this remote land. This was achieved by a great series of magic rituals that brought a new ice age to the northern latitudes, locking huge stretches of ocean in a great Ice Sea. When that sea froze, ocean levels dropped in the south, revealing the Teardrops: a land bridge surrounded by a scattered field of islands.
Colonists and their accompanying armies from the Heteronomy flooded north even as the northern tribes (including Arron’s) were driven south, and when these two forces met, war was inevitable.
Over several decades, most of the northern continent was brought under the control of the Heteronomy, and farming colonies were established in the interior. A handful of fishing villages quickly grew into active sea ports in a series of four huge natural harbors call the Hooks.
A fragile peace was established.
But that peace would not hold for long. . . .