OrientationI've long since decided that Merain should be in the southern hemisphere, for no good reason whatsoever. So while visiting, don't let yourself be freaked out when the toilet swirls in the other direction. Otherwise this doesn't really have a bearing on the game.
KolaiNorth of Merain (meaning, toward the equator) extend the vast grasslands and steppes of Kolai. Sparsely inhabited, it doesn't boast any great cities or valuable resources. Water sources are minimal. It's common knowledge that Kolai extends to the "Burning Steppes" of the north, where the Sun is so close that it scorches everything it touches and the flesh roasts from your bones. So why go there?
No good reason, unless you have a reason to trade with the Kolai people. Comparable to the Scythians, Huns and Mongols, these nomadic tribes of horsemen have been known to mount raids into Merain, occasionally assembling into hordes numbering in the thousands if a sufficiently charismatic leader bands them together. These incursions are short-lived, as the lifestyle of the Kolai does not lend itself to protracted sieges, nor to claiming more loot than they can carry or use.
EtturTo the south lies Ettur, a single, long rolling expanse of hills, bogs, and densely packed coniferous forests. While more densely populated than Kolai, the terrain is no more hospitable as it grows steadily colder, greyer and damper as you head south, until you reach a barren plain of rocks and icy slush that descends into the frozen seas.
The people are similarly unwelcoming, bearing a long history of grudges with Merain due to disputes over land along Merain's southern borders. A sullen peace has been maintained for a generation, due to the drubbing delivered by Merain's armies during the last war, but the disintegration of southern Merain - due to strife in the Warlands - has the tribes and clans of Ettur casting their eyes north once again.