The land is called Albadia. To the northwest across the sea is Sarasana. To the south across a straight is a mighty empire called Olam.
-The PCs start in a small frontier fort/village called Agrama.
-There is a city called Qalam that is a center of learning. Schools of wizardry and alchemy are here, as well as more mundane centers of knowledge.
-There is a large trade/port city, Maruk, also called the Crown Jewel of Albadia.
There are many different religions in Albadia. While the faith of Samadala is the most widespread among the urban centers and the ruling class, ideas are all tolerated so long as their adherents do not try to harm Samadala adherents or the authorities.
-The Old Way: An ancient religion stretching back to the days of nomad tribes. The Old Way pays tribute to the land, the sea, and the sky. The priests, called kahin, use the druid class. They acknowledge and honor the Four Elemental Lords, but do not worship them per se.
The Four Elemental Lords are beings of incredible power, gods for all intents and purposes. They rule the elements of the land. Each has a physical phenomena that is manifest permanently in the world of men.
The Lord of Flames: Agni Atar, whose avatar is the Everburning Columns of Flame
The Lord of the Sea: Apam Napat, whose avatar is the Eye of the Sea, a massive permanent maelstrom.
The Lord of Wind: Vata, whose avatar is the Crossroads of the Four Winds.
The Lady of the Sand: Zam-Armatay, whose avatar is the Heart of Living Sand.
-Ormasdism: A dualistic religion that focuses on the struggle between two brother deities, Ormasd (benevolent) and Ahriman (malevolent.) The religion recognizes Zurvan, their neutral father, but he is not involved in mankind's affairs and is not worshiped.
-Samadala: A monotheistic faith that posits one supreme deity, Samad. Some sects recognize the other deities, but considers them to be lesser celestial beings or demons, unworthy of worship. Samadala recognizes Kismet, Fate incarnate, as being the one who executes Samad's will.
-Sahilism: This religion recognizes gods, but does not worship them. Rather, this religion focuses on perfection of the mortal self: mind, body, and spirit. The Sahili believe that the most devout can transcend the limitations of mortality and physicality. There are no "clerics" of the Sahili tradition, though the monk class represents orders dedicated to the Sahilist doctrine of self-perfection.
-Temple of Ten Thousand Gods: A radical split from Samadala, the Ten Thousand believe that all deities are facets of Samad, even foreign deities. They recognize Kismet as a separate entity, though one who is the prime servant of Samad.
...damn, there I go with top down again. Time to focus on Agrama and its inhabitants and surroundings. On to the next post!
Edit: A few design notes!
1. Albadia is more Middle Eastern. Sarasana is more India/Nepal. Olam is more Ethiopia.
2. Elemental Lord names pillaged from old Iranian mythology.
3. Ormasdism is pretty much Zoroastrianism.
4. Sahili is like Buddhism, with more punching and a slightly more material look on things.
5. Temple of 10k gods ripped off entirely from Al-Qadim.