Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Near North

The Near North lies between the Kameurhorns and the Spearwall, and stretches from Dore's eastern border to the Stormhall Peaks in the west. The climate here is notably cooler than in the Hundred Kingdoms and the Woodmarches, and civilization far more isolated.

The people of the Near North fall into three groups: the Dornish, the Haluar tribes, and the Northers. The Doren are most common in Dore, Innergild, and Kaulderzhun. There are two principal Haluar tribes in the Near North; the Keldruag of Keldru and the Middurplanz, and the Vorisk of the Voriskoghn Penninsula. While the Keldru remain relatively pure, the Vorisk have mingled with and taken on many of the characteristics of the Vanar Northers. The Vandin and their cousins, the Aesdin, came from the North centuries ago, with the fall of Honduar. The Aesdin allied with the dwarves of Arthringlaur and founded Kameurgard and numerous smaller settlements along the seacoast, while the Vandin went west and were assimilated into the Vorisk clans.

Features of the Near North
Bailetais - Rainfall on the Talven Alasen drains down through a labyrinth of caverns and reemerges in this swamp; as a result the Bailetais is laden with monsters - and treasure.
Driathorn Forest - A thick, wild woodland between Dore and the Spearwall Mountains.
Farzwold - The Frozen Forest; a small forest between the Kameurhorns and the Stormhalls.
Gonenfall Forest - The largest forest in the Near North, the Gonenfall is largely untouched and unexplored.
Kameurhorns - A vast, towering mountain range that marks the northern edge of the Shadowend region. Beyond it lies the High Ice.
Middurplanz - Blood-soaked plains, the location of thousands of battles over the centuries between humanoid hordes from the Kameurhorns and the armies of Dore. Small mercenary hobgoblin troops hold minor fortifications, while scavenger gnolls inhabit the ruins.
Nuatuverg - A small island off the Voriskoghn coast; rumored to be the resting place of an imprisoned Envidier power.
River Fathing - Marks the border between Keldru and the Middurplanz; drains the Bailetais and by extension, the Talven Alasen.
River Ylg - A large, slow river, the Ylg marks Dore's border with the Middurplanz. Once heavily fortified, many of the fortifications have fallen into ruin.
Shrouded Peaks - A misty, fog-ridden mountain range that borders the Bailetais; home to many orcish tribes.
Spearwall Mountains - A narrow, much eroded range known for its elaborate spires and twisting canyons. The border between the Near North and the Woodmarches. Not known for its mineral wealth.
Stormhall Peaks - A wild, unexplored range in the Voriskoghn Penninsula.
Talven Alasen - The Anvil of Winter, a high plateau in the Kameurhorns. The Anvil once linked Honduar with the southern realms, and dwarves quarried gemstones from underneath, but with the fall of Honduar, the entirety of the Talven Alasen is now monster-held.
Voriskoghn - The penninsula and area west of Kameurgard and the Gaunt; few large settlements. Homeland of the Vorish and the Vandin; many jotunar and troldfolk. Giants, trolls, ogres, and orcs are all frequent threats.

Realms of the Near North
Arthringlaur - Diamondsdelve, the greathall and realm of the mountain dwarves.
Ceir Yn - An isolated and xenophobic realm of fair elves in the Stormhall Peaks; one of the few sources of mithril.
Dore - A crumbling realm assaulted by orcish hordes and other threats.
Gaidrilar - The City of Coins, a powerful city-state built on trade.
Innergild - The City of Scrolls, renowned for its arcane guilds.
Kameurgard - A strong but neutral realm ruled jointly by humans and dwarves.
Keldru - The homeland of the Keldruag tribesmen, a semi-nomadic people renowned for their horsemanship.
Pelkot - A small realm in the Voriskoghn mostly known for its sea-raiders.
Zelasklaur - Silversdeep, a dwarven greathall in the Stormhall Peaks.

Notables of the Near North
Anagi - The High Druid of the Voriskoghn Penninsula.
Snowhawk - A reclusive archmage who makes his home in the Gonenfall Forest.
Travail Icingblade - Archmage and advisor to the Roving King of the Keldruag.

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