Mark of The Black Hand
Carthian Coast- Western coast of Valnar.
The temperate coastal area known as the Carthian Coast is home to the strong trade route that connects the dwarves of the Greyheim Mountains to southern Valnar. Many prominent city states have formed over the last few hundred years. Nearly 25 years ago one of the greatest invasions of orcs, known as the Grudaric Horde, happened causing the major powers in the area to join together to repel the horde. This is what gave birth to the Carthian Alliance and the current state of affairs in the area. Originally proposed by Valric Morthaine of Valehearth, one of the merchant lords of the Vale, the mutual defense of the coast was agreed upon by most. The only person to not agree to this was the Countess of Blackstone, Lady Kranessa. She is a heavy handed ruler of the city of Blackstone with a decent private army. Lord Marcus Atwell and Ragnar Magnison, both veterans of the war with the Grudaric Horde, both agreed to join the Merchant Lords of Valehearth in the mutual defense due to their wartime experience.
The largest city and main port of the Carthian Coast. At the center of the city is the oldest building a large tower of unknown origin. The explorer and adventurer known as Leon Carth found this tower nearly three hundred years ago with his band of adventurers. The tower at the time belonged to a powerful cleric of Vecna and they ended his reign of terror and turned the tower into a base for their operations. Eventually a town began to grow around the tower, the remaining adventurers took it upon themselves to keep the people safe. This became the origins of the Fairhaven Watch, which the townsfolk took the name as their own establishing Fairhaven as the city. During this time Leon Carth returned and established the position of Lord Protectorate and began the construction of the Bulwark a massive castle and fortress.
A few decades of growth grew the town into a city and drew in both the Church of Erathis and the Church of Bahamut. Both churches contributed members to the Fairhaven Watch and helped Lord Leon Carth the Third codify the laws of the land. This lead to the creation of the court system of Fairhaven known as the Common Courts. The Fairhaven Watch helped the courts by establishing the Criminal Investigations Constabulary or simply the Constables of Fairhaven. Those that joined the Constables are held to a higher standard than the rest of the Fairhaven Watch.
Nearly a hundred years after start of the construction of the Bulwark and the city wall it was completed and proved to be a much needed addition to the city. Barely a year after the completion the Orcs of the Grudaric Highlands invaded the Carthian Coast only to be stopped by the City of Fairhaven at their gates. So far in two hundred years of Fairhaven has yet to fall to invaders. The current Lord Protectorate of Fairhaven is Marcus Atwell, former adventurer and the last of the Carth family.
To the south of fairhaven is an ancient hobgoblin fortress known as Blackstone Keep. While the city is much older than Fairhaven it is a hereditary monarchy lead by the von Strauss family for the last 100 years. The current countess is Kranessa von Strauss, a harsh and heavy handed ruler who seeks to expand her power as much as she can.
The city itself is a dreary somber place unlike fairhaven. Its somber mood could be attributed to the bleak look of the city, its ties to the coal mines not far away or its proximity to the black mire. Crime is somewhat common in the city as guards are as morally corrupt as the Countess seems.
Pembrook is a large town with the Eldin River running through the center with four bridges spanning the river joining both sides of the city. Pembrook is governed by both the priests of Erathis and Pelor. This theocratic governance has proven to benefit Pembrook quite well as the area is a destination for pilgrimages. The main feature of the town is the centrally located cathedral known as Aethen’s Light.
A small elven town situated between the Rhune Woeld and the Bleak wood. Most of the buildings in this small town are built into the small copse of trees. The town was founded by a rare combination of Lorithil and Valnari descendants. The town also serves as a base of sorts to the mysterious Rangers of Alorin, a group of elven and half-elven rangers. Rumors abound of foul creatures harassing the town from the bleak wood.
Once a thriving farming community, Houton has been completely engulfed by the encroaching Black Mire. The town is almost entirely abandoned save for a handful of strange residents. This has led to the the rise of shady individuals using the town as a place to lay low. Rumors of cloaked figures heading towards the town have become common among the outlying hamlets.
A small mining town at the border between the Hrothgar Highlands and the Carthian coast. With its proximity to the Acland Mines and being built next to one of the ancient Valnari roads the town once saw much success. The Lord Mayor Thomas Eamon leads the fair people of this town but with the surrounding lands growing increasingly dangerous the remaining townsfolk are losing faith in him and his ability to lead. Also home to the Dwarven blacksmith Haedrig Stonehammer, an outspoken dwarven smith of some skill.
The dark and ancient forest known locally as the bleak wood is a strange and dangerous place. The bleak wood is mainly characterized by its dark colored trees and eerie fog that perpetually hangs in the forest. Known to the elves as the shadow wood or Dae’eryn in their tongue. Recent rumors talk of strange ruins appearing only in the light of the full moon.
The remains of the Valnari city of Cael’Dorithiel stand as a haunting reminder of the hubris the Valnari. The white marble columns are overgrown with vegetation as the black mire continues its expansion across the area. The mysterious rangers of Alorin have been sited as of late seemingly trying to stem the expanding swamp to no avail. Rumor of what lies at the depths of these ruins range from powerful elven artifacts to a horrible evil long sealed in the catacombs, only the rangers know for certain.
The Daggerspine mountains are due east of the black mire. The mountains get their name from the harsh and unforgiving landscape and from the strange dagger like rock formations at the tops of the mountains. Home to a plethora of monstrous humanoids like ogres, orcs, and goblinoids.
Fort Talon was once the first line of defense and watchpost for the rest of the carthian coast against the inhabitants of the Daggerspine Mountains. Now the Fort sits in ruin overrun by the very threat it was meant to defend against.
The Black Mire so called for the foul brackish water and dark green vegetation that permeates the area. The black mire has grown tremendously in the past 30 years and no one knows why. The few local druids and the rangers of alorin are searching for help investigating why the swamp is growing so rapidly.
The King’s wood is a rough translation of Aran’eryn. Mostly inhabited by the descendants of the Lorithil elves known simply as wood elves to most folk. These elves live in small villages scattered throughout the forest. There are also ancient ruins of valnari origin spread throughout the forest.
The Rhune Woeld is a sacred forest to both the elves and the dwarves in the area. So called by the dwarves for the strange natural power of the forest. Most civilized races refrain from entering the wood as a sign of respect of the papitable power. Rumors that the tree’s of the Rhune Woeld are actually alive have persisted and many travelers who do enter the woods tell of this unnerving feeling of something watching them.