1. Talingarde is an island. It is about the size of England in the real world. It is an independent nation but still maintains some links with the mainland in the form of trade. In the south it enjoys a temperate climate, but the north of the island is quite cold and often blanketed with snow. Most people avoid this part of the island because it is populated by monsters but there are rumours that humans, elves and dwarves also live there.
2. Talingarde in general a lawful evil nation. Talingarde on the surface is a place of tyrannical law and order believing that such laws are necessary to maintain order. Minor crimes such as petty theft are punished either by torture and/or public humiliation. The authorities have perfected many unique and ironic punishments for crimes and often it is at the whim of the local magistrate to decide what kind of punishment is due. For more serious crimes such as murder, punishment gets more severe, execution by varied means and not just by the headsman's axe or the noose. Mutilations and other horrific methods of lifelong crippling can also be invoked at the whim of the local authorities, often under the influence of the Church of Asmodeus. Those who are of good physical statue however may be spared such punishments only to be put into slavery where their suffering will be long and anguishing as they are worked to death in the hands of harsh taskmasters. Still often times punishment is swift in Talingarde and few people are locked up for long prison terms. Either they will be broken by torture and cast to the streets or sent into slavery. Most prisons are built without any long term accommodations in mind as long term imprisonment costs food and money, something the regime wants to cut costs on.
3. The Barcan Regime and the Church of Asmodeus do not tolerate is those who serve the will of the righteous. Worshiping the Gods of Good, channeling their power and aiding their servitors is a crime against the state. In addition crimes involving freeing slaves, desecrating Asmodian church property, Sedition, Attacking Nobles, Stealing Church and/or Noble Property or other serious crimes. These become the "Marked", branded with a demonic symbol of eternal damnation and sent to a special prison the most infamous of these is Branderscar and all prisoners who go there either perish or exit to become the most fervent supporters of the Regime.
4. Talingarde is a monarchy run from the city of Ghastenhall. The nation is ruled by Tyranical King Vastenous Barca, son of Jaraad Barca, the "Victor of Tamberyn" and Chosen of Hell. Twenty years ago Jaraad Barca passed the throne to Vastenous Barca and then disappeared. Vastenous Barca continued the policies of his father and has tightened his hold on the island hoping to stamp out the last remnants of resistance and see that the island is ruled by the nation now and forever.
5. The Barca line is the most prolific of all of Talingarde, blessed with long life and superior breeding due in part their half-elven heritage and often attempt to keep the bloodline strong through breeding with their relatives. It is rumored that occasionally they have used pure-blooded elves as breeding stock in the past to strengthen bloodline and those with stronger elven heritage tend to have longer lifespans and bear greater gifts of their elven ancestry. There are some human nobles that have also bent knee to House Barca and given titles and tracks of land but the best regions are always ruled by a Barca. Half-Elves therefore are often the elite of society and even bastard children are often given some degree of favoritism by the regime.
6. Officially the Church of Asmodeus is the State Religion of Talingarde and all citizens are made to fear its influence. Some evil and neutral faiths are tolerated to a degree and have small temples and shrines in the nation but are often minimally influential and forced to pay tithes in order to operate in the nation unharassed. Good faiths are explicitly banned, especially that of Mitra, the Lord of Light who is the ultimate enemy of Asmodeus in Talingarde. Those who practice forbidden faiths are given the most severe of punishments.
7. Asmodeus is the Devil God and the ultimate God of Talingarde. The Prince of Hell preaches strict discipline and unwavering devotion from his worshipers the strong should rule the weak. Those of lower classes and slaves should know their place and submit to the rule of their betters. Strong laws are needed to keep the population in line and those who break those laws should be punished accordingly.
8. The Lord of Light Mitra is the truest enemy of Asmodeus and their righteous ideals are often chastised by the existing hierarchy as a false faith. Worship and/or serving Mitra is among the worst crimes in Talingarde and enforcers of the Barcan Regime and the Church of Asmodeus work hard to root out hidden churches destroy them and punish those that survive.
9. The most powerful knightly order is the Infernal Brotherhood of Knights of the Griffin the elite guard of house Barca. The most ranking officers are blood linked to the house of Barca. The rank and file members of the Knights of the Griffin are often brought into their ranks of the common army but those with at least some noble decent are given the favoritism. Other organizations of course exist in Talingarde. The nation has a strong standing army loyal to the regime. The Asmodian church also is known to provide support. Hell Knights and Dark Paladins act as brutal enforcers and elite templars. Asmodian Inquisitors seek out sedition and facilitate extraction of information. And of course the brutal clergy of the Church of Asmodeus are willing to bring the forces of hell to bear.
10. Wizardry and Sorcery are embraced by the Barcan regime but under very strict conditions. Those who wish to practice such magics must register their spells with the proper authorities, paying licencing fees for what spells they wish to legally practice. Any colleges, academies and other arcane facilities likewise must see that the proper fees are paid. This means that usually only nobles or those of independent wealth can afford to pay for magical training and materials. Those who practice without a licence will have their magical materials stripped and face other serious punishments. The only people exempt from paying the licencing fees and registering their spells are those who have signed the "Arcane Pact" with the approval of the church of Asmodeus. These people are except from many of the magical laws that govern normal arcane spellcasters.
11. Talingarde has six regions. The Island of Talingarde has six parts – The Cambrian Ports, The Heartland, the Borderlands, the Caer Bryr, the Savage North and the Lands of the Yutak. The Cambrian Ports are the three large cities of Talingarde that sit upon the Bay of Cambria. The Heartland is the farms and rural parts of Talingarde. The Borderlands are the northern reaches of the kingdom protected by the Watch Wall. The Caer Bryr is a great forest inhabited by the savage Iraen. The Savage North is a wasteland of ice ruled by monsters. And the Lands of the Yutak are scattered small northern islands inhabited by strange men very different from the men of Talingarde (or Talireans as they are sometimes known).
12. Talingarde is protected by the Watch Wall. Originally King Jaarrd after consolidating his forces learned that the Mitrans had fled to the north. The nation was in shambles after all resistance was purged and the coffers well depleted in coinage. Initially King Jaarrd attempted a push on the north to wipe out the last of the resistance. Unfortunately he faced stiff resistance from the monsters, elves, dwarves, Mitrans and native humans of the region and found the logistics of fighting in the north to be costly in men and resources. Deciding since the north had little of value and so inhospitable that the Mitrans would not survive built the Watch Wall, a series of 12 fortresses and a lengthy wall that would seal Talingarde from the hostile north. So far the wall has repelled all invasions and the Mitrans have never attacked the wall so as far as the regime is concerned, the wall was a smart investment.
13. Talingarde maintains cordial relations with the mainland, more specifically the Infernal Empire of Cheliax. Throught proper contracts, Talingarde was allowed to remain an independent nation from the Chelaxian Empire. Still due to a common faith they maintain a strong trade relation and the port towns and cities brim with trade from the mainland, bringing goods from afar. Diplomats have been exchanged and Cheliax has its own embassy in the port city of Jaaradyn as well as representatives in Ghastenhall. Talingarde also has sporadic trade with other nations but strictly controls the entry of those who worship forbidden faiths.
14. Talingarde does make use of devils for a number of services but does not enslave them to a degree that Cheliax does. Many among the Asmodian church see devils as those favored by Asmodeus and prefer to interact with them with fair deals and proper tribute rather than outright binding. Not to say that some wizards and clerics won't do so if the need calls for it but they won't summon a devil for a job if a mortal agent could do the job for less investment.
15. Currently Talingarde is under the iron grip of Tyranny but there is some who still wish to herald the fight for freedom.