Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #245
September 3rd, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: The Borderlands – Part 7
Location: In the Borderlands near the Arvach Ocean
Population (approx.): 127 (nearest community of Lone Tree)
Brief: The Deep Cut River lives up to its name and carves a narrow, sharp canyon through the center of the Borderlands south of the Wastelands. Explorers to its far reaches, before the long run through the Dire Moors to the Arvach Ocean, found a lone tree growing within the confines of the river, below the view of the lands above. That tree, tapping an ancient spur of magicks, grew fruit with many wondrous uses.
The rich and powerful, with access to flight or teleportation spells, could easily visit the tree. But fortunately for all, it would grant only one fruit per person ever. Adventurers crafted, fixed, re-crafted and re-re-crafted a network of rope and wood bridges forming a path between the canyon walls, across stone outcroppings, and the tree. Despite their efforts, reaching the fruit was hazardous, the whipping winds, roaring waters and fast currents of the Deep Cut claiming many a pilgrim.
Years ago, a lone Dwarf priest-mason of Pala arrived at the site and made it his personal quest to grant all equal access. Over the years he has slowly sung stone into graceful arches forming staircases, with railings and walls, and flat patios, for landings in between. Many are grateful and supply the man with food and supplies so he might complete his good works.
Gola Lunarkith, 40, female Leonin (a humanoid race with features resembling a Lion) is an adventurer looking for rare and unusual artifacts. She is tall and broad across the chest. Her mane is tawny and has streaks of yellow and brown in it. Gola's eyes are very dark brown, almost black. She can be quite an imposing figure. Gola dresses in cloth skirts and tunics with some chainmail applied to them. Gola is skilled in several weapons but prefers large axes and a heavy crossbow that she wears strapped to her back.
Gola is part of an adventuring company called the Snarling Spring Guardians. They aim to find rare items that can help people in various ways. Gola heard about this unique fruit that grew on a single tree near the Deep Cut River and suggested that the group get a few to help some refugees from the latest war. Everyone agreed and succeeded, with at least half their group getting one fruit each.
Besides being part of an adventuring company, Gola happily hangs out with her Lion pride at their home to the north in Zetroscha. Her parents are Pioz, 62, and Colma, 58. She has two brothers, Grior, 42, and Gethin, 32. Her one sister, Kazre, 37, is her best friend. Gola's interests include researching magic items and many athletic pursuits.
Geography: The Deep Cut River, sourced from far inland, carves its path through the Borderlands to the Dire Moors at the coast of the Arvach Ocean. The site of the tree is about 2 weeks nigh impossible journey south of central Zetroscha (#169). On the north side of the river a small settlement, Lone Tree, supports the resident priest-mason and travelers attempting to reach its namesake in the canyon below.
The Lone Tree is a tall narrow conifer about 100 feet tall. It sits just above the river surface and hence is not visible from above until one leans over the canyon wall. The fruit grows at the tips of the branches. The tree whips back and forth in the winds channeled down the ravine, making collecting the precious fruit a dangerous task (the fruit that lands on the ground or in the river nearby are apparently no longer magical). The patios and walkways feature sturdy walls and non-skid surfaces to aid pilgrims to the tree.