Skovlan is a harder, wilder country than Akoros. Old stone architecture, the remnants of the medieval age remaining more visible, though ruined in places. The weather is as violent as any of the criminal gangs. Yet this has its benefits. The stormy weather is harsh wherever you go, but gets worse the further west and north you go, the frequent lightning storms burn off the ghosts that populate the deathlands outside the cities, making those regions more accessible to the living than elsewhere, so long as you take adequate precautions against the weather and what ghosts do remain. For they may be wilder and more dangerous even than those of the rest of the world. These are, after all, survivors.
Outside the cities then, life is frightening, but possible for a few certain kinds of people. Covens of witches live out there, at one with terrifying nature, arcane wards and pacts with the spirits are their protection, instead of lightning barriers. Scavengers, the toughest or the most desperate, make trips out into the bleak wilds, gathering artefacts from the pre-Cataclysm, perhaps powerful mystical objects, or perhaps just trinkets picked off the bones of the centuries-dead, and sold in tawdry pawn shops and jewellers’. Castle, villages, whole towns and citadels lie in wait out there, for whoever would risk their lives and souls for loot.
Where Doskvol is blighted with a near constant drizzle, Skovlan is more a land of extremes; it does drizzle, but it can pelt rain, chill wind, even hail and snow. Yet at times, at the height of a storm, the air turns still, and the rain ceases to fall: with a burst of lightning overhead, thundering through the streets and down the valleys outside, the rain stops dead, droplets turning to fog, hanging in the air like the ghost of itself. This might last only a few moments, or on rare occasions for days at a time, the shrouding mist drifting through everything. But eventually, you will hear it again, that patter, slow and gentle at first, quiet in the distance, gaining strength with every passing minute as the fog condenses visibly in front of you, until the storms come again. The purple half-dawn of Akoros is replaced here with a feint orange glow.
Outside the cities, the land is rugged and bleak, but some animals survive there. Hares, foxes, wolves, bears. The further out into the mountainous regions of Skovlan, the bigger and harder they come. And worse; with those survivor spirits that haunt the wilds, some have learned to possess the animals, and with time, may distort their original forms into stranger, more awful things. Dire animals and worse mutants are creatures in the grip of a deeply rooted spirit turning ever more feral with the years in that grand wilderness.
Skovlan was a nation deeply in touch with its heritage and with nature. But having lost its war of independence from the Imperium, it’s a nation divided and angry, and the Imperium seeks to eliminate the aspects of Skovlan culture that gave it its power and identity, hoping the people will forget the past, the better to embrace a future under Imperial rule. To wear the signs of traditional Skovlan culture in the major cities is seen as an act of defiance, and will draw the watchful eye of the constabulary; not necessarily immediate response, but suspicion and vigilance. Heavy furs, tattoos, woad and braids are all marks of that culture, and they mix with the modern imperial fashions on the streets of the cities, often still clashing in bitter feuds.
Of even greater worry to the Imperium is the history of witchcraft in Skovlan. With cults forming both in and outside the cities, there is a growing concern that should a concerted fightback occur, it may unleash forces that Imperials don’t understand. To be clad in fur and bones, baring mysterious patterns daubed on your skin, is to make an Imperial’s blood run cold, and to do so inside city limits is to invite a knock at the door in the night, that may be the last thing you hear, or the last act of the Bluecoat beyond.