Ragaris is a large island continent somewhere in the northern hemisphere. It has a mixed ethnicity, its original inhabitants having accommodated, and intermarried with, incomers. The climate is temperate, varying from the pine forests of the north to the wine-growing regions of the south. Time is dated After Landing, running from the arrival of the shipwrecked monks and nuns who converted the majority of the populace to the new religion. All the continent speaks one language, and respects the fundamental principle of sexual equality. The level of technology at the time of the Ferrodach massacre (570 AL, “We Do Not Kill Children”) is such that chimneys, buttons and glass windows are luxury items, especially in the northern countries, and the majority of the population is illiterate.