Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Borderlands

The Borderlands lies in heart of the continent in the ruins of the Theocracy of Quool. Sixty years ago, the state ruled by the Church of Marsus the Blade collapsed into revolt and anarchy after soldiers of the High Cleric put an entire village to sword and fire. The reason for the inquisition is unknown, but neighboring settlements rose against the soldiers and the insurrection spread through the country.

Today, the capitol city of Charn lies in ruins, as do many of the towns and villages. Those that remain exist as independent freetowns, isolated villages, and hidden farms. Travelers are viewed with suspicion and priests of Law are greeted with open hostility. Churches to older gods like Corellon and Sehanine have returned to greater prominence in the region. There are dark rumors of shrines to Dartilla hidden in the wilderness, but such talk is common of all lonely places.

The west is the most stable area of the former theocracy. The area is blessed with rich soil and long growing seasons. Rowland, Staddle, and Rhyldis are all well organized and well defended settlements. The roads between them are patrolled, if infrequently, and well-armed trade convoys may be expected to visit each village several times a year. New Murdron has a dark reputation. It was called Koing in the days of the theocracy. After the fall of the state, the lord of Murdron, forced to abandon his own lands further to the east, took the castle of Koing by treachery and established New Murdron. Nearly four decades have passed since then, but the evil lord still rules the small town. It is whispered that folk often disappear in New Murdron and that the lord and his family treat with strange folk. Despite these stories, New Murdron seems to be home to some fo the finest swordsmiths in the realm and Murdron blades are much prized.

The hills in the south have always been home to marauding bands of humanoids that plagued both Quool and Goland, but as the wilderness has taken more of the land, the tribes or orcs, goblins, and worse have also expanded. The Keep that watches the southern road is a bastion against these evil folk. Tales of an abandoned wizard’s tower and a lost valley that hold the tombs of ancient kings draw adventurers to the area despite the danger posed by the humanoids.

The eastern reach of the region is mostly wilderness now. That seems to be where the worst of the battles were fought. The High Cleric’s soldiers destroyed more settlements in an attempt to quell the rebellion and in turn the area seems to have been the source of the great peasant army that rose and laid siege to the capitol. The land is considered haunted by all who still live near and none seeming willing to settle there again. Twenty years ago an expedition from Bronet established a fort near the mouth of the Forven River. An unusually harsh winter left the settlement cut off for several months. When a Bronet patrol finally reached the place, they found it deserted with no sign of where the populace had gone or what might have happened to them. No further attempts have been made, though Bronet border patrols often enter the region.

That is not to say the neighboring kingdoms have given up the thought of expansion. Both Bronet and Goland view the area as ripe for conquest, but a move by either into the settled areas will likely mean open war with the other. For now there remains an uneasy truce.

Morrow lies an easy day’s ride from the Keep, but those on foot or traveling with wagons should expect to spend a night in camp. It would take four days to walk from New Murdron to Rowland, but wayside inns and hamlets would likely offer shelter every night. Obviously, travel in the wilderness is slower. Many tracks and trails still wander toward the east, but most disappear a short distance from the main road.



  2. Thanks, Joe! I have piles of maps in different styles that I will work in as often as I can. Maps are always the first thing I create when launching a new campaign in Quindia or one of the other continents on the planet. I have the city-state of Enmilis on tap for the near future...

  3. Here is a link to some more: