Vraath Keep

(Clockwise from top left) Vraath Keep at night; The crumbled part of the south wall; Bam’s sketch; Vraath Keep’s north wall


Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The More You Know: Vraath Keep

Vraath Keep has a tragic history, as the ruins and skeletal remains attest. For centuries , trade through the Witchwood used the Dawn Way, and the soldiers stationed at Vraath Keep were the primary defenders of the region. Their presence kept the road safe for merchants to travel. A few years before the fall of Rhest, an ambitious young man named Amery Vraath inherited control of the keep. After the Rhestior Kingdom dissolved, Amery laid claim to the entire Witchwood and sought to rid his new domain of its evil reputation.

Chief among his target was a tribe of forest giants that dwell deep in the woods. Known as the Twistusks, these forest giants generally kept to themselves but raided merchants on the Dawn Way from time to time.

The brash young lord gathered together an impressive group of mercenaries and adventurers, and early one summer day led his force against the Twistusks.The battle was furious, but in the end Amery’s men won the day and forced the Twistusks to flee into the mountains. The soldiers burned the giants’ steading to the ground and returned to Vraath, victorious.

Yet their victory was short-lived. One week later, the surviving Twistusks returned and attacked Vraath Keep during a tremendous thunderstorm. The giants bombarded the keep all night long with hurled boulders and massive poisoned arrows. When the sun rose, four of the Twistusks lay dead amid the ruined keep, but none of the keep’s soldiers or residents remained.

No one knows what happened to Amery Vraath. It is said that his tortured spirit remains to haunt the keep. Travelers say that at night, those who pass by Vraath Keep can hear his anguished cries.

Elsir Vale

Dennovar (Small City)
A trade-city located on the shores of Lake Ern, Dennovar is the second largest community in Elsir Vale. It’s the eastern gateway to the vale, the first bit of civilization a weary traveler encounters after crossing the Golden Plains. Not as grand and Four Winds, Dennovar provides a good trade atmosphere for merchants who are weary of big-city business. Dennovar has a standing army called the Dennovar Blades under the leadership of a Blade Captain Yelsharra (female half-elf).

Drellin’s Ferry (Small Town)
Drellin’s Ferry is the western gateway to Elsir Vale. Once a dwarf-made bridge spanned d the Elsir River here, but it was destroyed during an epic flood about a hundred years ago. Since that time, travelers on the Dawn Way have crossed by means of a ferry, from which the town gets its name.

Elsircross (Small Town)
A small town at a ford of the Elsir River, Elslrcross is known for wood cutting and paper making. The self-styled “Baron” Hargil Trask and the rest of the no-good Trask clan govern the town by the Baron’s fiat. Lord Jarmaath of Four Winds has no use for Baron Trask and would like to see him and his lot driven out of Elsircross.

Four Winds (Large City)

Hillwatch (Hamlet)
A dusty flyspeck of a hamlet located in the northern part of the Brown Hills, Hillwatch is primarily populated by shepherds and cattleherds.

Marthton (Small Town)
Located in the shadow of the Marth Forest, this small town thrives on woodcutting and catering to traders on the Dawn Way. In the hills nearby lie a number of the ancient barrows and stone circles of the long-vanished druidic folk who once dwelled in these lands. Marthton has been governed by the family of Lord Ererhal Rethrew for generations. Lord Rethrew is known as an old and miserly man who lays heavy taxes on the folk of his small domain.

Nimon Gap (Hamlet)
A tiny hamlet located at the place where the Dawn Way descends out of the Nimon Hills, Nimon Gap grew up around a large walled inn known as the Cross-Eyed Beholder. The folk of Nimon Gap grow apples, pears, and chestnuts in orchards sheltered below the hills, while shepherds and goatherds keep their livestock in the heights.

Talar (Small Town)
West of Four Winds, Talar is governed by Lady Celiira Nesten, a high-spirited young woman who lately returned home to take up her father’s title on old Lord Nesten’s death. Her impulsive ideas are tempered by an old and conservative town council, whose members grew accustomed to running things during the old lord’s long decline.

Terrelton (Small Town)
The western end of Elsir Vale is drier and more sparsely settled than the eastern end. Terrelton is a dusty town that gets by on the livestock and leather trades; several large, foul-smelling tanneries sit in the hills east of the town. The town is governed by a Merchant’s Council shot through with connections to various gangs of brigands and highwaymen, but a crusading cleric named Leille is working to clean up the council by exposing the misdeeds of the criminal members.

Tiri Kitor Encampments (Small Town)
The population of monstrous denizen is is slowly on the rise in the Blackfens, but their growth is stunted by the constant vigilance of several small groups of wild elves known collectively as the Tiri Kiror. These elves were the caretakers of the swampland before the rise of Rhest, and they still fulfill their charge centuries after Rhest’s fall. Now that their ancestral lands have increased so dramatically in size, they are slowly expanding their borders and strength. The elves patrol the Blackfens with the aid of giant owls, using lanterns flickering with pale green continual flame at night.They keep a wary distance from the humans who occasionally fish in the marshland borders.

Published in: on July 14, 2008 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Elsir Vale

A small section of Elsir Vale which contains The City of Four Winds, Barrow’s Edge, and Kingsholm.

*image from WoTC’s Red Hand of Doom but with modifications on place names.

Published in: on July 12, 2008 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment