Saturday, March 4, 2023

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 9

Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States - Week 9

Compiling week 9 of the project, comprised of an additional 7 settlements and/or sites of the City-State of Carasta as shown below.


Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #57 

Feb 26th 2023 

  • Number: 57 

  • Name: Tenmala (“Those Who Reject their Doom”) 

  • Location: Southern Gold Mountains west of Orvusiv and northeast of the Feystone Woods (#26) 

  • Population (approx.): Estimated 10,000 to 12,500 

  • Brief: Tenmala is the only known sizeable Firbolg territory near or within the borders of the four City-States. History writes that the ancestors of these Firbolg sought refuge with the Elves of Feystone in order to escape some prior Corruption that doomed most of their fellows to serve Chaos, Darkness or Evil. Once that present danger passed, the Elves helped the Firbolg establish a realm that became known as Tenmala (“Those Who Reject their Doom”). As the years have passed the Firbolg of Tenmala have kept clear of the locals, except for a few trusted Elven intermediaries, for fear they become exposed to a situation that might lead the entire community to their Doom. The time of the Ta’arnan Empire was difficult for as the Empire turned to darkness, many Firbolg fell under its influence and left Tenmala to serve Ta’arna and go to their Doom. The population of Tenmala County, as the local City-States have designated the region, has slowly recovered in the centuries since Ta’arna fell. 

  • Geography: Tenmala is centered about the southwestern-most major peak of the Gold Mountains. It claims and patrols about 700-800 square miles of surrounding heavily forested territory. There are no roads, and the settlements are cunningly concealed from view. A single Elven thorp, locally known as the Gate, marks the southern border and hosts the Elves who serve as intermediaries between the Firbolg and other local inhabitants. The Elves will warn visitors to avoid Firbolg lands for they have a “shoot first to avoid later corruption” attitude toward strangers. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #58 

Feb 27th 2023 

  • Number: 58 

  • Name: The Clockwork Ruins 

  • Location: A small island off the coast of the Narrows west of Feystone Woods 

  • Population (approx.): None known 

  • Brief: As long as they served the Empire, the Ta’arnans rarely paid much attention to the numerous cliques and covens of magicians and artificers scattered about the lands except to roll their eyes at either strange presentations of inevitably failing experiments or requests for more funds (“for the Glory of the Empire” most were prefaced). One particular group of alchemists, fascinated by automata and gearcraft, took over a small island almost 800 years ago. They covered it with factories, workshops, scaffolding about and frameworks supporting inexplicable great machines. Strange sounds, lights and smells radiated outward, driving the fish away from the shore and the fauna into the nearby Elven woods. 2 centuries later, there was a pulse of magics and a great rumble of the earth followed by the sound of collapsing machinery and the island fell silent. The few locals about said as far as they know, nobody escaped the island. 

  • Geography: The Clockwork Ruins cover a small island, four to five square miles in area, several miles off the coast of the Narrows. From the shores, one can only see a distant tangle of vast rusting metal structures entwined by strange and perhaps Corrupt grasses, bushes and vines. When the wind comes from the west, strange almost musical sounds can be heard. At night, ghostly lights flicker in the center of the larger buildings. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #59 

Feb 28th 2023 

  • Number: 59 

  • Name: Loch Pitoloal (“Lake of Unknown Depth”) 

  • Location: The Rift Valley of the Narrows between the Mines (#23) and Lake Loloto Pogisa 

  • Population (approx.): None known 

  • Brief: As time continues onward, the machines and dragons of the Underearth slowly stretch and tear the Narrows apart. The rifts appearing on the surface sometimes fill with rainwater forming shallow lakes. But Loch Pitoloal is different, for the rift began to fill with subterranean waters as soon as it was wrenched open during a great earthquake about a thousand years ago.  The shores and surface of Loch Pitoloal are well known, and the fishing is fair but the catch sometimes unrecognizable. But below the surface is a mystery for anything sent to explore (automaton, summoned creature, spirit, remote viewing device or enchantment) simply fails to return to the surface. Something must be down there, locals declare, and it or they are taking great pains to keep themselves hidden from prying eyes. 

  • Geography: Loch Pitoloal is about 25 miles long and at most about two and a half miles wide. There are several settlements along the shores, the locals preferring to fish from the water’s edge rather than using boats given the Loch’s odd properties.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #60 

Mar 1st 2023 

  • Number: 60 

  • Name: The Palace of Light and Water 

  • Location: Western shores of Lake Loloto Pogisa 

  • Population (approx.): 800 (off season) to 1,500+ (summer) 

  • Brief:  Built at the height of the Ta’arnan Empire, this church-supported resort, the Palace of Light and Water, was always a source of controversy among adherents of the Six Gods. Most followers of Malam and Vai had no issue with the overt hedonism in celebration of their gods. The followers of the other Four and even some of the Two found the Palace to be offensive and perhaps even hereticalThe popularity of the Palace waxed and waned, once or two even being severely damaged by rioters and looters. With the fall of Ta’arna and rise of the Guild City-State, the Palace’s prominence has slowly risen with a more conversative presentation of celebration, supported by various Guilds (Courtesans, Harpers, Innkeepers and others with a financial stake) and a few remaining longtime worshippers of Malam and Vai. 

  • Geography: The Palace of Light and Water is a large resort complex on Lake Loloto Pogisa about a day’s travel by carriage or sedan chair from Riverbourne to the east. An ornate hotel sits on the shores, surrounded by supporting entertainments and businesses. The beaches are clean, dotted with chairs and umbrellas, with rowboats, paddleboats and yachts dotting the lake. Residences, merchants and farms fan outward into the nearby hills. A well-paid Cohort provided by the Mercenaries’ Guild keeps order throughout the area.  



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #61 

Mar 2nd 2023 

  • Number: 61 

  • Name: The Ironwall Territories 

  • Location: Along the Uam River and east into the Mountains of Gold 

  • Population (approx.):  30,000 over perhaps a half-dozen settlements and forts 

  • Brief: During its existence, the Ta’arnan Empire expanded northward in surges, the effective northern border moving with each campaign to claim more and more of Norgorfel. About 700 years ago, as the Empire turned inward and began its decline, the Uam River marked the Ta’arnan’s northernmost edge. The border, declared the Ironwall by the Emperor, was comprised of a port at the mouth of the Uam River and a string of border forts and walls stretching east up into the foothills for over a hundred miles. Years later some of the settlements and the port are the homes of the descendants of the Ta’arnan Border Legion. They are led by the Legate of the Legions, a soldier of skill and a bloodline tracing back through the Legion’s history. The Territories are aware of the Elves of the Feystone Woods (#26) and the Firbolg (#57) but do not trade or interact with either. To date they’ve shown no interest in expansion or exploration. 

  • Geography: The Legate of the Ironwall Territories claims about 3,000 square miles of land from the coast, along and south of the Uam River, and east over the hills and rough terrain until one reaches the steep flanks of the Spine of Norgorfel. The people of the Ironwall farm the lands close to the sea, fish in the ocean and maintain herds in the foothills. 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #62 

Mar 3rd 2023 

  • Number: 62 

  • Name: The Sleeping Woods 

  • Location: Central Narrows between the Keystone Woods and Arrowwick 

  • Population (approx.): 3,000-4,000 Fey of various Kin 

  • Brief: The Sleeping Woods is a small nearly circular forest in the center of the Narrows not connected to either of the forests to the west or east. The flora is comprised of dense but relatively short trees entangled with brush and hedges. The fauna is representative of the Narrows but the Woods are home to a wide range of Fey including rare Brownies, Faeries, Fauns, and Sprites. The little Fey folk community are protected by a rather aggressive local contingent of Elven Druids and Rangers who are followers of the Natural aspects of the Six Gods. Beyond that, rumor and legend suggest that the Sleeping Woods itself is some sort of supernatural entity. A giant linked consciousness comprised of the flora, fauna and little Fey. The local Elves are not connected to the Woods unless they choose to be during times of meditation. Even stanger, some cartographers, when comparing maps of various ages, suggest that the Sleeping Woods is actually moving very slowly across the Narrows, its destination unknown. 

  • Geography: The Sleeping Woods is nearly a perfect circle of woods about 24 miles (36 km) in diameter. Local trails and roads either skirt the Woods or end abruptly before crossing the border. It is nigh impossible to see through the border hedge and brush, but noise and smells wafting out of the Wood suggest some number of organized settlements therein. Those sensitive to magic sense very strong Nature and Life aspected energies. Foot track to and from the Wood is usually limited to Elves and trusted others traveling to and from Feystone Woods west and north of the Ashen Expanse (#25). 



Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #63 

Mar 4th 2023 

  • Number: 63 

  • Name: A Southwatch Keep at Loch’arbor. 

  • Location: Northernmost point of Loch Pitoloal (#59) 

  • Population (approx.): 1,300 

  • Brief: Loch’arbor is one of several small towns and settlements considered to be the southern border of the City-State of Carasta. Each features a Southwatch Keep, of standard Builders’ Guild design, with a permanent garrison of the Mercenaries’ Guild and mechanisms or methods to send urgent messages to Carasta in time of danger. In conjunction with the border guards; outriders, spies and scouts are frequently dispatched south into the wilds to observe and report on activities of Ta’arnan leaning groups and other potentially dangerous entities. In addition, the nature of Loch Pitoloal has encouraged numerous visits from various members of the Arcane Guild, leading to the establishing of a small Chanty and some higher-class inns and eateries. 

  • Geography: Loch’arbor is a small old fishing village on the north edge of Loch Pitoloal with a harbor and a fleet of a dozen fishing boats. When Carasta established itself as the Guild City-State, a Southwatch keep was built a short distance away on a hill overlooking the settlement and loch. The locals accepted the change in nationality with their usual indifference but privately most appreciate the presence of organized protection given the threat of raids by disenfranchised remnants of the once-feared Ta’arnan Legions (see #28 for example).  


No comments:

Post a Comment