The frigid and mountainous north of Equus is an inhospitable landscape, but hardy races have lived there for a long time. Yaks, polar bears and penguins have adapted to the cold temperatures, yet more recently waves of griffon settlers arrived in the region. Legends also say how ponies once lived here, back when the climate was warmer, but now only ruins remain after all the ponies migrated south.
The yaks were until recently united in the isolationist kingdom of Yakyakistan, but as Equestrian influence continued to grow in the region, the more conservative yaks of the Jaki-Clan rebelled. A brutal war followed, but neither side was able to overcome the other so a temporary peace treaty was signed. Further north, there are the Polar Bear Communities which were founded only some years before. Polar bears are used to being divided, so only time will tell if the newborn nation can survive for long. On the northeastern shores, the venerable Kingdom of Pingland is facing a succession crisis as their old king is at death's door. South of them is the industrialized griffon colony of Nova Griffonia, left stranded as their colonial overlords in the east have utterly collapsed. Now the independent griffons must determine their role on the world stage and learn to live by themselves. Meanwhile their small autonomous territory, the Griffon Frontier, is far too busy dealing with bandits and worse. Without Nova Griffonia's support, they will likely collapse.
The northern nations are free, but for how long? The great powers of the south see them as little more than useful pawns for the upcoming battles. They are relatively weak and underdeveloped, and thus remain vulnerable for now. The mountainous terrain makes defence easier, but unless the north manages to unite one way or another, they do not stand a chance against the south.
Because the nations south of the northern mountains in Equus are so large, the entire half of the continent is regarded as a single region. As the area is so vast, there is a huge variety of climate and terrain, ranging from the cold marshes of the north to the hot deserts of the south. Three races dominate the region: Ponies, changeling and deer. There are also insignificant minorities of buffalo, dragons and griffons. The ponies live on flat plains, arid drylands and sparse woodlands, the home of the deer is in boreal forests, tall mountains and swamps, while the changelings inhabit dark forests and marshlands. Each of the major races of the south have nations of their own. Equestria is by far the largest and most industrialized nation in the world, regarded as the haven of ponykind. Under principles of harmony, they have remained peaceful and prosperous for a millenium. Other pony nations on Equus are Crystal Empire, a close ally of Equestria which recently broke free from King Sombra's curse, Stalliongrad, a breakaway Equestrian province and the cradle of communism, as well as tiny Starlight Town, a city-state which is recovering from the rule of a mad cult. In the northwest, the deer live under the rule of the Kingdom of Olenia and its corrupt King, while the Changeling Lands were recently united and now seek to assert their dominance on the continent. Aside from these larger countries, there are the small Buffalo Chiefdom, a tribal enclave within Equestria, as well as the United Dragon Tribes, which recently had a pro-Equestrian ruler come to power.
Southern Equus used to be peaceful, but recent times have changed that. Stalliongrad revolted, Changeling Lands attempted to seize control of Equestria, and Olenia had a dramatic change of rulership. Now tensions remain high between the major nations. The changelings are building up for war while their rivals seem ill-prepared, as Olenia is weakened by internal instability and Equestria clings onto its pacifism. The smaller nations wait and watch, some of them deciding whose side to take in the upcoming conflict. Worse still, the major nations are among the most technologically advanced and industrialized nations in the world, so any wars between them would turn into carnage on an unprecedented scale. Some pray for tensions to dissipate and for peace to return, but as dark clouds gather, war seems inevitable.
The cold lands of northern Griffonia have long been sparsely populated, as unlike in northern Equus arctic races did not settle the region. Instead, there were hardy griffons and ponies who migrated from west and south. Griffons settled the marshy valleys south of the Whitetail Mountains, while ponies arrived across the gulf to the frozen forests of the northern shores. Most ponies kept going, trying to find a better place to settle. Some remained and have adapted to the cold over the centuries.
These ponies are known as the Northern Tribes, and lived in isolation until griffon revolutionaries crossed the mountains and carved out their own nation in Skynavia. The Kingdom of Vedina has long stood independent, remaining autonomous during the Empire's reign, yet its distance from the griffon heartland means its inhabitants retain their traditions. Further east, the Duchy of Cloudbury fell after the remnants of the Griffonian Republic fled there. The revolutionaries now live in exile, hoping to one day return to Griffenheim. In the Whitetail Mountains themselves, there is the savage Sunstriker Clan, nominally loyal to the Empire but likely to break free when the opportunity presents itself. In the northeast are the Arcturian Order and the Dread League, ancient foes stuck in the past due to their extreme isolation.
The griffons of the north were once subjects of the Empire, yet became independent after it fell. If the Empire were to rise from the ashes, their freedom would soon be threatened, and due to the poor and underdeveloped lands of the north, they have little strength to resist their might. Out of all of them, the Griffonian Republic is the strongest, but alone they stand no chance. Beyond the mountains, Skynavia and Northern Tribes are locked in bitter conflict as ponies try to push out the invaders while the griffons try to spread the light of communism to the dark north. Northeast, the Dread League is gathering its strength to crush the Order once and for all. After that, nothing will stand in their way.
While the authority of the Griffonian Empire collapsed everywhere else, it still exists in central Griffonia, albeit in a greatly weakened form. It is here, in the fertile plains around the mighty Griffking River, where Emperor Grover I established his capital of Griffenheim, and where the capital has been ever since. The region is densely populated by griffons, while diamond dogs inhabit the Bronze Mountains to the north. In the east, the magical Scheißwald forest has been a near insurmountable obstacle for griffon settlers for centuries, while the great Lake Rumare and the mountains of Blackhollow make up the southern boundary of the region.
After the Republican Revolution, the region became greatly fractured. In Herzland, the Empire exists as a small rump state around Griffenheim, surrounded by nominal vassals who are part of the Reichspakt. Further south, the Duchy of Verenia has been torn asunder by civil war between rival houses. The Kingdom of Griffonstone, left without its greatest benefactor, is stranded. The small barony of Rumare now has a chance to save its dying culture, while Blackhollow in the east has been overrun by Blackrock's Bandits.
While the Empire is weak for now, it may yet recover its strength. Should that happen, the vassals are in danger of losing their autonomy, and most of them will refuse to give it up without a fight. Unfortunately, Herzland can only be reunited through conflict. The same is not true for Verenia, where the civil war may yet find a peaceful solution. In the south, Rumare may seek to reclaim its claimed lands from Griffonstone, while Blackrock may have ambitions in the east - or be overthrown. All of these states have to be wary if the Empire reunites Herzland, for it may then seek to bring all former Imperial lands back to the fold. Aquileia and Wingbardy, too, may seek to expand their influence in the region, thus possibly sowing the seeds for a conflict between them and the Empire. It is hard to predict the future, but one thing is certain: There will be blood.
The region of eastern Griffonia is defined less by strict geography and more by the region's historical lack of influence by the Griffonian Empire. As such, it covers a large part of the Griffonian continent, and other races besides griffons live in these lands. Eastern Griffonia is traditionally divided into three sub-regions: Evi Valley in the south where griffons live along the Evi river and its many tributaries, Riverlands, a mountainous region populated primarily by ponies but also by diamond dogs and griffons, and lastly Beorgfordas, also known as Hill-land, home of the secluded hillponies. The source of the mighty Griffking river is in the mountains of the Riverlands. It flows westward, almost splitting the continent into two. Another notable feature in the region is the magical Eygsic Forest, rumoured to be home to giant spiders.
Overall, the nations of the region are more underdeveloped than in the west, primarily due to how far away it is from Equestria and other advanced nations. Out of the three sub-regions, the Riverlands are the most developed. Here, seven pony nations and, more recently, Diamond Mountain, are united by a defensive alliance known as the River Coalition. In western Riverlands, there are two griffon nations outside the Coalition: Hellquill and Longsword, remnants of the grand crusades of Emperor Grover II. The southern coast of the Riverlands has three nations which sprung up after law and order deteriorated in the region, with a diverse populace of ponies, zebras, deer and griffons. The Evi Valley south of the Riverlands is more backwards than Riverlands, its griffons clinging strongly to their traditions. Some, however, want change, and already Brodfeld is engulfed in a brutal civil war against the communists of the Griffon Liberation Army. In the north, the hillponies have no such desire to embrace modernity. Their tribes are like a time capsule of a bygone age, with tribal chieftains holding to power under the protection of the River Coalition. Off the coast, there is the island of Greneclyf, home of changelings who so far have remained isolated from the outside world.
The collapse of the Empire brought many changes to the region. The main antagonist of the River Coalition is gone, and it must now redefine its identity. Some push for federalization while others want the Coalition to be a thing of the past. The Evi Valley broke free from the rule of the Empire, but suffer from instability themselves. If reforms are not made soon, the backwards griffon nations will collapse in on themselves, and a red star will rise from the ashes of old. The hillpony nations are less oppressive, but even then some ponies push for embracement of modernity. The wind of change is blowing in the east, but none can yet say what kind of change it is bringing.
The southern coast of Griffonia is the warmest part of the continent, with the southermost areas even having humid jungles. Most of the region has arid plains and hills, with many islands and a few mountain ranges. It is populated primarily by griffons, yet there are also a sizeable number of ponies in the west and minotaurs in the east, living on numerous islands, the largest of which is Kainourgio Spiti. The northern boundary of the region is made up by Lake Rumare and the Blackhollow Mountains.
The ponies inhabit New Mareland, an overseas dominion of Equestria established by ambitious colonists who bought the monster-infested land from the Duchy of Talouse centuries ago and cleared it for settlement. After the collapse of the Griffonian Empire, Talouse as well as other minor nations in the region joined the Karthinian Pact, led by the mighty Kingdom of Wingbardy. Falcor, their old rival, did not join, and was then devastated in a war against Wingbardy where they lost their capital. The parishes of Sicameon distrust the western and northern monarchies and are a beacon of liberty in the south, alongside the minotaurs of Asterion, their close allies. The minotaurs seek to liberate their kin from the oppressive rule of Cyanolisia and its griffons.
Wingbardy is by far the strongest nation in the region and dominates its politics. However, they suffer from political and economic instability which may result in a radical change of government. Such a change will likely affect the entire region, not just the other Pact members. Meanwhile, New Mareland has so far remained loyal to Equestria, but the economic depression has made some ponies demand patriation and full independence. In the east, Asterion is preparing for war against Cyanolisia, and Sicameon is likely to support them. And while the nations of the south bicker, the Empire might rise in the north. Despite being so far away from Griffenheim, they may not escape the wrath of a resurgent Empire.
The Griffonian west has traditionally had closer ties to Equus due to its proximity. It has many natural harbours, and the interior is mostly hilly and thickly forested, so population and development are concentrated near the coast. Majority of the populace consists of griffons, though the southwest has a pony minority that has integrated into local culture. Off the coast, there are the islands of Haukland which lie near major trans-continental trade routes.
For most of its history, the west was dominated by the Crown of Aquileia, albeit it was conquered by the Griffonian Empire and, after its collapse and independence, suffered from a republican revolution, counter-revolution and subsequent decentralization. Now the Kingdom is divided into many parts, all nominally under the rule of the King. North of Aquileia is the Periphery, the frontier region of the Kingdom now ruled by many small statelets. Northwest is the Skyfall Trade Federation once the most prosperous part of the Empire, and now an independent nation and a naval powerhouse. The islands of Haukland are also independent, ruled by deserters, pirates and other outlaws.
Unlike in the Empire, Aquileia's revolutionaries did not flee, they hid. And now they are preparing to strike again and topple the monarchy for good. The King and his vassals are trying their best to crush the uprising before it even begins, but things are unlikely to go as planned. While Aquileia is busy with internal issues, the small nations of the periphery seek to establish themselves as proper states while clashing with each other. Eventually, Aquileia will go north and seek to reclaim their former territory, so they must prepare. Skyfall remains relatively stable, but their leader is very old and likely to pass away soon, forcing a change in power. The Hauklanders do as Hauklanders please, with no one to intervene in their affairs. However, heartland of the Griffonian Empire is close, and the old superpower may yet recover its strength. Should this happen, the Empire will likely turn its gaze to the rich lands of the west. Aquileia has long hated the Empire, but hate alone will do nothing if they do not prepare themselves for the storm.