A quick rundown of different nations that you can claim your character to be from. This list roughly progresses from easiest/simplest to apply to more difficult or tricky.
Simple map: http://underworldlarp.wikidot.com/
The closest towns to Jericho are Mea Visa to the east and Silverbreach to the west. These are at least two weeks’ walking from Jericho. Silverbreach is a Suvantian city. At the time of writing, Crucible forces had sacked Mea Visa.
As of the peace summit in Day’Ten (in July 2257), war has been declared between several factions. The Eastern Kingdoms tend to stand together, while the Western Kingdoms reject the Berphauntian Empire’s bid for power.
Note that all kingdoms are vast, and it takes at least a month’s walking from Jericho to even begin approaching the heart of these domains.
Trade caravans are the commoner’s way to handle long-distance transportation. They are the equivalent of modern-day hitchhiking or train service. Caravans come in all shapes and sizes, from a small band of Aja whose wagon goes where fortune and rumour will take them, to major trading houses who run safe and reliable routes on land and by sea. For poorer caravans, working to pay for your passage (and/or having someone vouch that you won’t murder everyone in their sleep) is a reasonable way to take on passengers. For the bigger caravans, a passenger would be expected to pay with actual coin, or your character can be employed for a specific purpose: a trainee guard, a translator, a handler for special goods, etc.
Berphaunt: The Berphauntian Empire is a vast territory, easily the largest power on the continent of Maud’Madir. It dominates the eastern half of the continent. The capital is the City of Berphaunt. It’s predominantly Human, but there are Mountain Dwarves and Elves in the population, among others.
Formerly a kingdom, King Louis declared it an empire during the Day’Ten peace summit in July 2257. Other nations that support it include Antioch (Dark Elven kingdom) and Gerdain (Dwarven kingdom).
This is the easiest place to spawn your character. Berphaunt controls a large amount of area geographically, but this includes towns and villages that may be too small or out of the way to bother sending an overseer to. In real life, it wasn’t unknown for people during this period to form their own private fiefdoms, knowing that the all-powerful king or emperor was too far away to enforce the rule.
Jericho is considered a vassal domain of Berphaunt.
Duvain: A mercantile island republic to the south of the continent. Originally a territory of Berphaunt, it seceded over twenty years ago. Now it grows as an import/export powerhouse with many well-known trade routes.
Duvain is one of the easier places to come from. Duvain’s population is a more heterogenous mix of people: Humans, High Elves and Hoblings are dominant, but there are other races who wouldn’t mind hanging out in Duvain to ply their trade. Similar to Berphaunt, there are plenty of trading towns and villages all over the island that you can make up your own history to; if you don’t want your character to be a country bumpkin, this is a good place to start.
It takes at least a month by boat to reach the mainland. In the spring the White Company began pirate raids in the waters, and more recently the Brood have threatened travel: it would be reasonable for ships to be lost at sea and people to wash up on shore with nothing to their name.
Duvain is antagonistic towards Berphaunt.
Tiefanue: A kingdom far to the west. Another Human kingdom, but with more of a High Elven presence than the other ones. It is the home of the Church of Light, and the royal family bears the name Roland (god of law and chivalry). The capital is Tiefheim.
While Tiefanue doesn’t control nearly as much land as Berphaunt, it is still a substantial kingdom. It continues to honour a pact with the Grey Elves to not exploit the forest’s resources; there are probably farms and villages that cling to the edges of the woods.
Tiefanue was besieged by Black Dragon followers last year, nearly destroying the kingdom. Tiefanese refugees are common, but as they’d have to pass through the corrupted domain of Styphon (or detour through a thick forest) it’s less likely that someone will “accidentally” walk to Jericho.
Tiefanue is antagonistic towards Berphaunt.
Slightly more difficult to work with, but not impossible if you’re willing to do the extra reading (in order of roughly how easy it is to integrate into a backstory or work with).
Gerdain: A Dwarven kingdom, where all Mountain Dwarves hail from. It’s exclusively populated by Mountain Dwarves, with some Deep Dwarves living among them. They are a reclusive mountain kingdom, buried behind great doors and inside the mountains that make up Maub’Dib and Bakura. We normally wouldn’t see them, if Dwarven goods in general weren’t of such excellent quality.
Gerdain is friendly towards Berphaunt and considered an ally.
Melinda: A Wood Fae island far to the east of the continent. The government is a system of loose and local councils who discuss issues, and report to a high council if the issue would impact the entire nation.
Melinda was overrun by Brood as the Day’ten peace summit occurred. Many Wood Fae managed to flee through the Skein Gate, thanks to the Skein Dominion.
Melinda is neutral in the war. The island’s population was annihilated during the Brood invasion. They probably have other issues to worry about.
Mjoll (pronounced “m-yoll”): A northern hinterland, homeland of the Einher. Cold, brutal and mountainous, only the Einher and their families (partially Human, as opposed to the Aja) live in this unforgiving land. The country is ruled by clans, where family comes first, but held together by a ruling clan and their collective hate of the Ice Elves, who also live in the same territory.
Each clan has its own colours and history. If you wish to play an Einher (or a human living among them), you should check this entry on the different clans. Some clans remain at war with each other as of today.
Mjoll is neutral in the war. Interclan fighting escalated into all-out war this year, and the locals of Mjoll have their own issues to deal with.
Suvant: A floating High Elven kingdom. They were ruled by a Council of Twelve, but after a coup last year House Shalanost now controls Suvant (details here).
Suvant is a bit distant geographically and socially, looking down on the rest of the world from her floating haven. Historically, however, they do have political ties to Jericho, and maintain an earthbound town nearby (Silverbreach). At the moment Suvant is based over the island of Day’Ten, shelling it to destroy the Brood that have infested it.
Today some Suvantians reside in Jericho, but namely as political advisors: Suvant has an ambassador in town, and a Suvantian serves as an aide to one of the local Lords. While it’s possible for Suvantians to travel and reside in Jericho, one might want a good reason to leave the secure, civilized and luxurious floating island for the ramshackle hole in the mud that calls itself a “town”.
Suvant is friendly towards Berphaunt and considered an ally. However, recent events (at time of writing) suggest the High Elves are not entirely pleased with Berphaunt’s ordering around.
Teris: The hometown of the Hoblings and exclusively populated by them. Teris is found in the western half of the continent, buried in the Grey Elven Forest. Hoblings are a bit chaotic compared to other races, but they’re fun-loving and abhor violence and crime. Their major exports are herbs such as pipeweed, and this year are leading the trend in fun candies such as FIZZ-Bop and Cran-Zanz.
Teris is neutral in the war. Why fight when you can smoke pipeweed and eat food?
Antioch: A Dark Elf kingdom and their homeland. Located north of Jericho and underground; while geographically quite close to Jericho, it is xenophobic (to put it lightly) and extremely hostile to outsiders. The denizens specialize in alchemy and assassinations.
Antioch is friendly towards Berphaunt and considered an ally. However, older Jerichoans will remember that during the talks for control of the town last year, Antioch bombing Jericho to a smoking alchemical crater was a very possible threat.