Korundum is an underground realm on the planet Earth.
There are two sentient species: the Outerfolk and the Underfolk. Outerfolk are human (mostly descended from ancient people who fell through a rift). They are very adaptable and have great endurance, but they are vulnerable to darkness.
Underfolk are human-sized bipedal rodents that resemble badgers or moles. Instead of fingers they have curved digging claws; they are covered in fur; their vision tends to be poor, but they have a powerful sense of smell; most have stripes from the nose running down to the tip of the tail. Most have the ability to sense vibrations in rock; some can actually cause them, and use this power to energize stones, turning them into weapons.
Outerfolk arrived so long ago that nobody is quite sure what part of the surface world they originated from. The Outerfolk became dominant about a hundred years ago, when they used special suits of armor to wipe out the resisting Underfolk and unite the realm under their rule. The Underfolk were badly abused by them, treated as slaves and hunted every seven years so they wouldn’t grow too populous—also for their fur.
Eventually, the Underfolk united under a particularly powerful female named Witch Lapis Lazuli, and overthrew the regime, killing most of the royal family and quietly assimilating the rest. Lazuli, wanting to avoid a second war, instituted a representative government with members of both the Outerfolk and Underfolk, and made herself president. After a few turbulent years, the nation settled down in an uneasy peace.
- All Underfolk names are gemstones--including Korundum itself.