Lands of Adraveth
Below you will find a small selection of important places in Adraveth. The first several sections describe places within the boundaries of particular kingdoms or empires. The last section deals with places outside of recognized kingdoms. You may use these descriptions as a guideline to creating your character background but remember, as we have said before this is but a tiny selection of places and you are encouraged to use your imagination in the development of your character.
The “City of Stone” as it has been called is the largest city in Agoria. From here a council of 27 senators rules the empire, one representing each of its provinces. Males and females share complete equality and members of other races, while not mistreated are looked upon almost like children who need care and supervision. In various parts of the city the jungle is encroaching and the reptiles that live here seem to share an almost symbiotic relationship with it. Visitors are usually safe when they come here, but they are warned not to stray from the city, especially at night, with little more elaboration offered. Occasionally a merchant or emissary who does not heed this warning has disappeared with little explanation.
Roughly translated from native Agorian, this name means, “Place of war.” The city is built much like a fortress and is the seat of all major combat training for the Agorians. When a young Agorian (male or female) shows promise as either a warrior or combat mage they are sent here. They spend at the minimum 5 years’ time, learning daily the ways of war. Although the Agorians are not warlike as a general rule, they do believe in being prepared and when they do go to war they are fearsome opponents. No individual of any race other than Agorian has ever been permitted into the city, as the Agorians regard this as a matter of great security for their empire. Intruders are killed without hesitation or apology.
Home to the palace of the Grand Sultan Ali Hassan Ahkmed, Al’ Hariq is a jewel in the shifting sands of Al’ Hazir. Ships arrive from ports all over the world daily to conduct business in the bazaars and streets of the city. Anything you can imagine is for sale in Al’ Hazir, from spices to potions, and from magic items to slaves. Large oil lamps light the city streets at night so that business can be conducted around the clock; this is a great boon since sometimes the heat of the daily sun makes things difficult. Despite the well-lit main streets there are countless alleyways and dead ends that can spell doom for the unwary traveler or citizen, especially ones with large coin purses. Exotic entertainment of many forms is available and entertainment seekers have no problem whetting their appetites here.
Known as a den of thieves, scoundrels and rogues Al’ Palaadi is a place where only the most confident or desperate venture. More than once a sea captain has miscalculated his journey and ended up in Al’ Palaadi instead of Al’ Hariq. Pirates abound here, as do more than a few mercenaries and killers for hire. It is not clear why the Grand Sultan allows such activities to persist here, but it is supposed that perhaps by allowing these sorts to gather here it will keep them from invading Al’ Hariq and other settlements.
Oasis of Attalia
According to legend, it is said that the goddess Attalia cries for those who suffer and live in pain. It is also said that when she looked down upon the desert peoples of Al’Hazir and saw there was so little water, it was her tears that formed the life-sustaining oases that are scattered throughout the land. This, the largest of the known oases, bears her name as tribute to her compassion.
A small fishing village on the west coast of the Ipponese continent, Hakazami is not unlike dozens more villages exactly like it. The major difference is that just outside Hakazami is a hillside monastery dedicated to the goddess Jeredith. The monks who call themselves “The lights of truth,” live a life of virtual poverty and devote their existence to the enhancement of their prowess in combat, especially against the legions of the undead. The people of Hakazami provide the monks with food and supplies necessary for life while the monks provide the people with ever present protection and guidance.
On the eastern coast of the Ipponese continent, Hokozumi is a town founded centuries ago by Guari Elf merchants. They had come to trade and carried many of their ways with them. Some of these Elves began to inter-marry with the local populace and the tiny trading post started to grow. As the years passed the Guari became more and more absorbed into the Ipponese culture. Today the community is a thriving town populated by Elves, Humans and Half-Elves primarily. The culture is a unique blend of Ippon and Guari. They pay homage to the Sho-Hong emperor but still offer reverence to the throne of the Twin Kingdoms.
At the base of the Shingen Mountains in Northern Ippon, is the Dwarf-hold of Kardano. Although they do not record how the Dwarves came to reside there, the Dwarf-hold holds records showing they have lived there for over 500 years. Their ways have remained virtually unchanged from that of other Dwarven holds, but they have seen some influence from the surrounding culture. These dwarves fashion weapons and armor not only in the traditional Dwarven style but also make them in Ipponese fashion as well and frequently trade these items for grains, fish and other items. Visiting Dwarves tend to think of those living in Kardano as a bit cracked in the head, drinking weak rice beer instead of thick Dwarven ales, and often eating raw fish in lieu of beef.
An ancient and exotic destination, Shotokai is the capital city of Ippon and the home to The “Esteemed Emperor of the Sun,” Hikaru Sho-Hong. The city is full of strange sights and fascinating customs and a visit to the Imperial palace is an honor beyond measure. The city is relatively peaceful and secure but rumors of mysterious bands of black clad assassins and usurpers to the throne have leaked out. It is unknown what the true situation is as Ippon is largely a closed society, not fond of letting its secrets out to others.
The only center of civilization ever seen by outsiders, Jotve is the ancient ancestral capital of the Amazons. These women guard their privacy, often quite fiercely, and will never allow visitors to wander about unattended. The city is very old but well maintained and clean. There are seemingly no traces of poverty, suffering or crime. Visitors do however remark on the second-class status of males within the city, in this otherwise seemingly utopian society.
Reputed to be the largest city in the known world both in size and population, Amantothep was already centuries old when many human civilizations were still mastering fire. A great seat of knowledge and learning, scholars the world over often dream of a trip to this great city and the ability to peruse one of its many libraries. Amantothep also houses the great magical palace of Aszi. Run by mages, some said to be many centuries older than the average human lifespan, Aszi is a seat of learning for all things magical. The most powerful of these mages are said to possess knowledge of spells, rites and practices the likes of which have never been seen before. Some of the first necromancers taught by Drevarria have called the palace home; and it is rumored that some still do.
Solinaria City is the second largest and by far most prosperous of any human city. The city features breathtaking architecture and rigid organization. The city is divided into districts where different citizens make their homes according to social class. Although these people do mingle in the common areas, markets and arenas, they tend to have little to do with those too far removed from their social station. The city’s inhabitants range from the highest nobles and the emperor himself all the way down to the lowliest slave. The extremes in lifestyle are astounding. Just north of the emperor’s palace are the gleaming spires of the famous school of arcane arts, Academia Magicus. The school is known for producing powerful, but arrogant mages. The city also features the Solinarian War Academy, Academia Bellicum and the citadel of the Crimson Fist, a monastic order dedicated to Mhizrak.
Originally called Maldinshire, Tammelosa was once a town under the rule of the Twin Kingdoms. After a long and bitter war, the Twin Kingdoms finally sued for peace with a highly expansionistic but militarily superior Solinaria. Part of the peace treaty was the cession of land including Maldinshire to the Solinarians. Shortly thereafter the Solinarians moved many of their own colonists into the town and changed its name, displacing both Elves and Humans who had previously settled there. There was a brief struggle for independence, which was swiftly crushed by the legions of the Emperor. Some say the rebellion lives on and will one day try again to gain their freedom but most dismiss this as an optimistic rumor at best.
This town is located in a river valley well known for its rich soil and superb quality grapes. Tommolino’s wines are a favored indulgence throughout the world and the town enjoys much wealth as a result of this trade. Sadly much of the labor in the vineyards and wineries is performed by slave labor, so the wine is something of a guilty indulgence among the non-slave holding peoples.
Valencia is a famed seaport city. Producing some of the finest ships in the world, Valencia is also home to the feared Imperial fleet. Pirates and scoundrels dare not brave the waters near this city as ships are routinely boarded and searched by the Solinarian navy, despite protests from emissaries of foreign governments. Despite the fact that the city is ruled over tightly and disobedience is met with harsh resistance, the common folk live in peace and without fear.
Once a fairly prosperous frontier town, bustling with trade and life, Aberthal is now a desolate ruin. Some decades ago the town was besieged by a Drevarrian high priest commanding a sizable undead army, the rotting legions crashing through every man, woman, and child. When contact was lost with the town, an army was dispatched to investigate what was believed to probably be an Orc invasion. When the army arrived they found the undead horde and it was now three times the size as all the slain, including the children were raised as the walking dead. After fierce fighting, the army fell back to regroup and await reinforcements returning a few weeks later with fresh men and a contingent of Paladins of Jeredith and Leondarr. The undead were destroyed and put to rest but the necromantic priest, Zoeseth, eluded capture. The town was left as a grim memorial to its former occupants, the spirits of whom some say, still haunt the place.
The former capital city of the Human half of the Twin Kingdoms prior to the unification, Breckendorf is still a large, thriving, city. The population of the city is primarily Human and Half-Elf. In recent months areas on the outskirts of Breckendorf itself has been the target of Goblinoid raids. These attacks have been largely unsuccessful so far, but they become more organized and determined as the war rages on.
On the edge of the Whispering Woods, north of Greensbridge and Aberthal lies Calendale. The town had been established for less than two decades, and had attracted hundreds of opportunists seeking a better life for themselves and their families. The once fertile and inviting lands surrounding Calendale were polluted by the taint of chaos in the last days of the Elder’s moon of 1105. The Goblin Shaman Splittooth led a large Goblinoid war party into the town of Calendale and after hours of intense fighting the town at last rallied and defeated Splittooth once and for all. The Barbarian Shaman Mezzoroth took the shamans heart at the end of a short ritual, which prevented his return as well as provided a means to divine from the Goblin’s spirit the method for restoring the shattered souls of those he had corrupted.
Splittooth’s defeat came at a great price however. The shaman was in possession of a magical vial, which held the escaped chaos essence of Nash, the Half-Orc avatar of Gorvaak who was defeated by Tanotia Naga with the assistance of the town. When the town’s warriors approached he shattered the vial releasing the chaotic energies and poisoning the land. The sudden release of the concentrated chaos resulted in a chain of events where all living things began to die, with the ultimate result being the town of Calendale and surrounding area being completely inhospitable. Anyone or anything left behind would surely be dead within weeks. Plans were made to evacuate the town and resettle in a town that was evacuated during the early days of the Goblinoid wars and never resettled. The new town was dubbed New Calendale, in tribute to their old home.
The town of Greensbridge is a tiny hamlet with a population of approximately 75 people, mostly Halflings. More recently a small group of gnomes has come to reside there as well. The past year or so have seen the addition of slightly over 20 people between births and some new settlers, mostly refugees displaced during the war. Not very well known or especially remarkable, Greensbridge is nonetheless a cozy spot with small town charm and provides relaxation for weary travelers on occasion…at least that’s how travellers used to describe it.
After the Chaos Energy contained within a mysterious vial was released by the Goblin Shaman Splittooth, the energy corrupted much in a large radius surrounding it. Greensbridge was unfortunately directly in range of the fallout surrounding it, and found itself destroyed by terrible, unspeakable horrors. These events took place in 1105, and those poor halflings who used to call it home carry deep scars of the loss of it.
The seaside city of Larigmoore is a famous stopping point for sea traders far and wide. While the city itself is fairly safe, the docksides, especially at night, tend to be a rough and tumble haven for drunken sailors and the occasional nefarious pirate. The sheer amount of ships and goods passing through Larigmoore’s ports opens her up to all manner of illegal activities from smuggling and trafficking in illegal goods, to outright theft and mugging. Travelers and citizens are cautioned to avoid the dockside taverns and establishments especially now with large numbers of the kingdom’s armed forces being re-deployed to face the Goblinoid menace.
In the year 1114, Solinaria and the Twin Kingdoms found themselves at war due to the seditious and manipulative actions of some members of Solinaria’s Senate. The war raged on for the following year. Largimoore found itself at the brunt of a large Solinarian push during the war, and was nearly completely razed. Most of it was burned, in fact. After the truth behind the treachery of those in the Senate was uncovered, and an end declared to the conflict, Solinaria extended a large portion of its military to assist in the rebuilding of Larigmoore.
Following this, before the reconstruction could truly begin, Necromancers took root in the city’s destroyed buildings, using the countless bodies of those who were killed during the attack to bolster their own forces. They were eventually destroyed. Larigmoore will feel the pains of the conflicts it has seen for decades to come, and those who hail from her are likely to feel some of that pain to this day.
(Note – New characters are said to be arriving in New Calendale for the first time, so your character’s background should not include it)
On the very edge of the empire, a scant four days hard march from Solinarian soil lays New Calendale. The town was recently reestablished in the Blood moon of 1105. This town, previously called Dunford was evacuated during the early days of the Goblinoid wars in 1103 and never resettled by its original inhabitants who had long since scattered for the most part. Some people still resided there, holdouts that refused to evacuate for one reason or another or arrived afterwards, but it was largely empty. When the chaotic desecration of Calendale at the hands of Splittooth the Goblin shaman occurred, its residents were relocated here. The town was renamed New Calendale, in tribute to their old home. Hundreds of opportunists seeking a better life for themselves and their families have begun to flock here. The soil is fruitful and wild game and fresh water is plentiful. The common folk and middle classes have come mainly from within the Twin Kingdoms but a fair amount of Solinarian and demi-Human immigrants also call New Calendale home. In addition to farmers, laborers and artisans, New Calendale has attracted a fair amount of adventurers as well. It will likely become a popular place to restock and resupply for those going on expeditions and the town seemingly has more than its fair share of “work” for the thrill seeker, fortune hunter and glory hound alike. The surrounding lands are wild and untamed providing many adventuring opportunities. Rumors of areas of great magic in the area have been buzzing around, but only time will tell if this is indeed true.
On a cold winter afternoon in the Sword Moon of 1106, just outside what used to be New Calendale’s Temple of All-Faiths, Queen Calithandra Varrow, beloved ruler of the Twin Kingdoms and wife to the late King Regus Varrow was brutally assassinated by her once loyal Baron Claudius just after she granted him the title of Duke. With no heir to the throne, Duke Allector Tallen was quickly chosen by the remaining Dukes to be crowned King. Ultimately, it was King Tallen’s unbridled cruelty which drove Princess Nehemiah, Regus and Calithandra’s only child and rightful heir to the throne, to come out of hiding and reclaim the crown after having been thought dead for nearly two decades. Tallen, unconvinced that she truly was who she claimed to be, was eventually defeated after a long and bloody civil war. Today, Queen Nehemiah Varrow proudly rules over the Twin Kingdoms from her throne in Vondara.
Formerly the seat of power for the Guari kingdom of the same name, Vondara became the capital city of the Twin Kingdoms after merging with the human kingdom of Breckendorf. A testament to the cultural diversity within the Twin Kingdoms, Vondara is truly the crossroads of Adraveth. The atmosphere is absolutely a welcoming one, much like that of her founders.
Vondara is known for her bustling streets, and even busier marketplace. There are towering buildings housing churches to many of the faiths, though clerics of Jeredith and Leondarr unsurprisingly maintain the strongest presence within the city walls. Following the defeat of the Lord of Nightmares in the frontier town of New Calendale, clerics of Arrawiel began to flock to the Twin Kingdoms in droves. The recently completed Temple of the All-Seeing in Vondara is currently the largest Arrawielian temple in the world.
The largest concentration of Grey Elves in the world, Azat is a city of great beauty and magic. Protected by arcane secrets beyond imagining this city is a bastion of Grey Elf culture and learning. Goblinoids fear the great magics conjured here, and as such there has not been an attack on the city since the first Goblinoid wars. Traveling Grey Elves however do well to watch their step as the Goblinoids have no such reservations against lone travelers or small bands. The Grey Elves of Azat often export their lesser magic items in exchange for supplies they need such as various foodstuffs and other items. There is a permanent stone portal in Azat that magically transports caravans to destinations in other parts of the world. The portal is however quite expensive to use, so few but the very wealthy make use of it.
Blue Wolf Tavern
Located in the middle of no man’s land, the Blue wolf has stood for centuries. It has been damaged and even severely burned before but has always been rebuilt. It is well known as a stopping point for adventurers and travelers alike. Many mercenaries and adventurers for hire flock here to be employed by those who come seeking a helping hand. Many times these jobs are no questions asked, but the attractive pay scale leaves no lack of eager recruits.
The “Free village of Dunkhalter” was formed some 4 score years ago by escaped Solinarian slaves. The escape from bondage was led by one Horatio Dunkalter, who was a slave being trained to become a gladiator. Being far more intelligent than he let on, Horatio was able to escape with a small band of around 23 men. The Solinarians of course sought vengeance for the murder of the former slave’s master and sent a small contingent of men to deal with the problem. Unbeknownst to the Solinarian Captain in charge, Dunkhalter was quite charismatic, and while passing through the Whispering Wood he managed to forge a pact with the Wood Elves there. Since the Elves found the idea of slavery absolutely abhorrent they agreed to help the men resist re-capture or death. Using the guerrilla tactics the Wood Elves are known for, the Solinarian force was killed to a man with very little casualties being delivered. The lone survivor was sent back with a three-word message, “Leave Us Alone.” Enraged, the Solinarian Emperor demanded the heads of both Dunkhalter and the Wood Elf king of the Whispering Wood on a platter. Word of the crushing defeat had already begun to spread far and wide however and the resistance fighters swelled with the ranks of escaped slaves, Solinarian exiles and a fair number of Twin Kingdom’s soldiers since they were already at war with Solinaria. After several more failed attempts at destroying what Dunkalter had created, the Solinarians determined it was not worth the investiture of resources, and with the murder of their emperor and a change of leadership from within, they finally did as asked and “Left them alone.” Today the village numbers in the thousands, with mostly Humans and some Wood and Half-Elves. Although it has been nearly two decades since Dunkhalter’s death, the people never forgot their debt to the Wood Elves and in a strange twist the citizens here have become the Wood Elves’ only link to the other races.
(Note – the Emeerian Islands may or may not truly exist. For plot reasons no character’s background may include it)
This small group of islands is surrounded by much speculation as to whether or not they truly exist. Over the years the islands have been sighted on many numerous occasions, but have eluded any attempt to navigate to them. Whenever a ship sets a course for the islands, they never seem to get any closer, almost as if the islands themselves are alive and moving away. When sea captains and scholarly expeditions have charted a course back to the same spot, oft times the islands are not there.
Founded several centuries ago by expatriate Grey Elves, this town has nowhere near the power or importance of Azat. Despite this the Grey Elves here do practice high magics and sorcery. No one is exactly sure the reason why these Elves chose to break away from the rest of their kin but it is rumored to be creative magical differences. Whatever the reason these Elves do still maintain cordial relations with their kin despite their desire to be separate from them.
Translated from Dwarven, this name means “Mountain Fortress.” Established shortly after the first Goblinoid wars, this dwarf-hold serves as a sentry point for Karaz Karak. Goblinoids during the first war proved that they were nearly incapable of crossing the Dragonspine Mountains and maintaining any semblance of combat cohesion. As a result the main body of the attacks swept up from the south. Despite a Goblinoid horde said to be in the tens of thousands, and a siege that lasted for years, they were never able to penetrate the outer defenses of the main city. Despite this fact the Dwarves found themselves rationing supplies and living more spartan during the siege. The theory behind the establishment of Karak Kazad was that any large force sweeping from the south could be met by the forces stationed there while reinforcements could attack from the north. Today Karak Kazad is a thriving Dwarf-hold with an identity all its own. Still the hold stands ever vigilant in the face of attack and leads many scouting operations throughout the area.
Translated from Dwarven, this name means “Enduring Mountain” or “Enduring Stronghold” (Dwarves use the same word for both things). This Dwarf-hold is an enormous kingdom above and below ground. No one is quite sure just how large the kingdom is, carved from the very rock and earth of the Dragonspine Mountains. The Dwarves can trace their history here for dozens of generations. An impenetrable fortress crafted by Dwarven master smiths no army in the world could hope to take it. Even during the Infernal Wars a contingent of demons was unable to get more than a few miles into the hold before being stopped. Weapons and armor crafted in this Dwarf-hold fetch the highest prices of any in the land. The occasional unscrupulous merchant will make a living selling Dwarven weapons from other holds and passing them off as being from Karaz Karak to those who cannot read the Dwarven makers rune-stamp.
Just near the edge of the Great Northern Wastes is the timber stockade fortress town of Kell. Most of the regular inhabitants of the fortress are Barbarians, though a fair number of humans from other cultures and the various other races have set up shop here. Within the fortress it is a thriving trading post and is very often the last stop of barbarians before heading into the southern reaches of civilization. Harsh justice prevails here and everyone is expected to pull his or her own weight or be expelled. Laziness is not tolerated.
A pine forest on the border of the Great Northern Wastes, the Kotal Forest is home to a kingdom of nearly xenophobic Wood Elves who turn away almost all visitors. Clearly more primitive than the Wood Elves of the Whispering Wood, these elves have a distrust of all foreign influence. Refusing any alliance with the kingdoms of Man, Elf or Dwarf, they have chosen to fight the Goblinoids in their own way, where they see fit.
A group of scattered islands located just off the coast of Southern Solinaria, the Noncchio Archipelago is home to a wild assortment of inhabitants. There are dozens of islands, some of which are tiny and empty and some islands maintain their own local population. Most of these people are settlers looking for their own place in the world whereas the islands do maintain a few suspected pirate bases and the occasional wizard or hermit desiring to simply be away from the public eye.
Sea of Despair
A main thoroughfare for those seeking travel through the southern sea and the sea surrounding Rythos, the Sea of Despair seems aptly named. Hundreds of ships have passed through the area without incident, but frightened sailors tell tales of ships being attacked by sea monsters, assaulted by ghost ships or even swallowed up by the sea itself on an otherwise calm day. Most scholars dismiss these stories as mere folklore, but those who claim to have seen these things are quite strong in their resolve.
Tower of Yazdil the Mad
Far to the western reaches of the continent rests a stunning wizard’s tower at the top of the highest peak of a small group of high hills. These hills look almost as though they do not belong here and it is rumored that the wizard Yazdil created them with arcane magics. No one knows what drove this mage to madness, but one thing is certain and that is that he does not like company. Great magic and foul creatures have assaulted those who stray too close to his tower. A few people claim that if approached properly the wizard will grant audience to someone he deems worthy and can teach magics lost in the annals of time. Most sane folks dispel this as a myth however.
This great expanse of woodlands borders both the towns of Calendale and Dunkhalter. The Wood Elves that live here share a pact of mutual assistance and friendship with the citizens of Dunkalter. The Wood Elf king, Finvarra, has pledged his forces against the Goblinoid hordes which has been a great boon to the alliance. The Wood Elves still maintain a good deal of mistrust and suspicion towards Solinarians however, seeing them as little more than allies of necessity.