Places to Go and Things to Kill
This is a listing of various bits and ideas that don’t fit anywhere else.
Places to Go:
The Harrow Downs – A ring of megaliths and dolmen located in the barren southern plains, it was once used for sacrificing humanoids to an ancient demon. On nights of the full moon, the spirits of the dead can be heard, trapped in the stones.
The Cyclopean Barrow – A meteor struck into a hill and left a long shaft down into blackness. Being thrown down the shaft is the cruelest punishment the Kadiz nomads inflict. No one knows what is down there.
Ruins of Amber – South of the Last River, out where the plains become desert, lay the ruins of a city carved from amber. The inhabitants are long dead and do not appear to have been humans.
The Falling Islands – Located off the northern coast of the penninsula, the legend is that these islands fell from the sky one day in a great cloud of smoke. No one has been there since the fall of the Kingdom of High Kaddish, and the records of that voyage were lost in the revolution.
The Storm Bull Graveyard – A great pile of cattle skulls (and only skulls) between two hills. No one knows who put them there, and those who remove them are cursed by the gods. A great wind blows between the hills and through the skulls, making a noise many claim sounds like lowing. The priests of the Storm Bulls claim this is where their gods were born. A great holy place for the Kadiz nomads, but a favoured ambush ground of the Hill Elves.
Giant Mound – Stretching into the sky and visible several miles away is a dirt mound of unknown origin. At night, a blue glow can be seen on the top of the mound. No one who has gone to investigate has ever returned.
The Great Southerly Road – Here before Dwer Tor, it was this road that the Eladrin took through the southern swamps when they fled the Kingdom of Falling Stars. Though paved with stone and dry throughout, the dwarves did not build it, nor did the eladrin. It is the only passable route through the swamp, but still not safe, since monsters lurk near it waiting for prey.
The Molten Whore – A volcano in the northern range of mountains shot through with cracks and chasms from which strange monsters emerge. The pressures of the mountain create fantastic diamonds that command high prices in the markets of Dwer Tor.
The Maruk Bastion – Jutting from the Bleeding Mountain is the Maruk Bastion, the greatest fortress hobgoblins have ever built. Great slave plantations stretch for kilometres around it to feed the growing population, who are sent by their king, Maruk-Who-Masters-All, on constant raids to feed the insatiable demand for farm slaves. Few escape the shadow of that basalt tower.
Things to Kill:
The Goblins of Moon Peak – In ages past, the Dawnmen hammered silver and gold into the souls of their greediest halfling slaves and created the goblin race to ferret out precious metals for them. The goblins of Moon Peak have kept true to that, and now sit atop the only known gold mine in the northern mountains. Though the mountain where the mine is found is known, few know the secret passes and trails needed to reach it, a secret the goblins guard well.
They long ago swore fealty to Dwer Tor, and eladrin cataphractoi guard their yearly caravans as they wind their way across the plains of Kadiz to the City of Stone. Moon Peak goblins are rarely seen, even in Dwer Tor, without Dwarven phalangists to protect them from kidnappers. The reclusive but fabulously wealthy goblins are rumoured to have an entire cavern filled with gold ingots.
The Star-Heralds – a group of star-pact warlocks who wander the Dawnlands. Astrologers, haruspices and scribes of the book of fate, they offer their services to the highest bidder. For one price, they can read your future; for another, they can make you a new one. It is said they are trained in a great steel-lined pit in the western jungles, though no one but the Star-Heralds knows its location.
The Dreaming Tree – Deep in the penninsular swamps, there is a great tree the local halfling tribes worship as the Taru Bolar – the Dreaming Tree. Anyone who travels too close to it notices the world become more dreamlike and surreal, tinged with bright colours that shift and fade, vine and leaf motifs that curl and wind unnaturally across the surfaces of things and a sharp earthy odour that pervades the air. Eventually, they begin to feel tired, their eyes droop, and they collapse into sleep. Left to lay too long, their dreams join the tree’s, their bodies die, and they wander as dream-shades under its canopy.
A careful shaman can travel only into the edge of the dream, and then only briefly, and can learn much, for the tree is very ancient and very wise, but if he goes too far forward, or stays too long, he too will become a dream-shade.
The Marching Dead – After the last war between man and elf, the bodies of the dead littered the plains. Every gulch and creekbed was stained red with blood. Neither side could bury the dead fast enough, even when they could find them. Too many had died in the trackless wastes.
It was only several decades later, when a column of zombies and skeletons carrying the banners of High Kaddish came marching out of the wastes and stopped to “drink” at the banks of the Death River that anyone realised that the unburied dead had come to life.
A panic gripped the Orthocracy of Kaddish over the threat of an undead army marching on the city, leading to a revolution, the destruction of over fifty temples, a grain famine, two new cults, and the rise of the Bentir oligarch dynasty. By the time this had settled, the undead had long since marched back out onto the plains without a single attack.
To this day, sightings of a column of soldiers carrying the banners of High Kaddish happen every few years. It is unknown who (or what) leads them or chooses their destinations. They march day and night, silently and in perfect formation, across desert and steppe that would kill living things. At least one person claims to have seen them “recruiting” at an ancient burial mound, dragging corpses from barrows and setting them into the ranks.