thac0hNo's Rise of the Runelords Campaign
Turtleback Ferry Region
Turtleback Ferry came under the nominal control of the city of Magnimar about fifty years ago, despite the fact that it is geographically closer to Korvosa. The village had already been well established by that point, but was looking for additional protection from marauding ogres and ogrekin. The lord-mayor had nearby Fort Rannick built for this purpose, bringing in the Order of the Black Arrows to man it and lead the offensive against the threats of the region. With the help of the rangers, the ogres of Hook Mountain were decisively defeated in the Valley of Broken Trees, but the main clanhold of the ogres was never found – hidden somewhere in the mountains. At about 430 residents, Turtleback Ferry is considered a village, largely ignored by Magnimar. Many Mangimarians are unaware of it’s existence, and those few that are familiar with the place regard it as an insignificant, backwater village. Map of Turtleback Ferry
The only notable person in Turtleback Ferry is Mayor Maelin Shreed, an accomplished Cleric of Erastil.
Ft. Rannick is held by a force of rangers who call themselves the Black Arrows, and they have a reputation for being brutally tough and efficient. For decades, the Black Arrows have held the fort against the incessant encroachment of ogres in the Kreegwood and nearby mountains. So far, they have managed to maintain the safety of the nearby lowlands despite being under-manned and under-supplied, with many of their requests for aid falling on deaf ears in Magnimar. Magnimar, for it’s part, has kept the fort manned with criminals and outcasts, offering a lifetime of service as an alternative to prolonged incarceration in the Magnimar prison: The Pediment Building, aka,“The Hells”. Map of Fort Rannick
Skull’s Crossing & Storval Deep
The Storval Deep is an enormous freshwater lake found on the Storval Plateau of central Varisia. It spans the entire valley between the Iron Peaks to its west and the Wyvern Mountains to the east, and is fed by three major rivers: the Kazaron, the Storval River, and the Muschkal. It empties through the massive dam known as Skull’s Crossing into the Skull River. The dam, and therefore the lake behind it, are ancient landmarks of Thassilonian origin – much like the Irespan in Magnimar. All residents of the region are familiar with the legend of Black Magga – a monstrous, tentacled creature lurking in the depths of the Deep. Depending on the tale, Black Magga is said to predate the gods themselves. Map of Skulls Crossing
The kreegwood is a dangerous, ogre-infested forest frequently patrolled by the rangers at Ft. Rannick.
The Ashwood forms the western border of the domain claimed by the city-state of Korvosa. It has one of the darkest reputations of any woodland in Varisia, and is said to be haunted by ghosts and werewolves. Because of this, the Church of Erastil patrols the borders of the forest regularly to make sure that none of these terrors can escape to torment the neighboring towns and hamlets.
The Sanos Forest of central Varisia is the heart of the gnome community of that land. This large wood is located north of the Yondabakari River, south of the Iron Peaks and east of the Malgorian Mountains, and the gnomes who live there are quite secretive about what goes on within it. Rumor has it that there is a direct gate to the First World of the Fey, but no gnome has officially confirmed this. The main trail through the forest is Old Sanos Trail, rumored to magically change its path in order to redirect those who come with ill intent towards the gnomes. The largest gnomish community, and most known to outsiders, is Sipplerose, known to be the home of the Lyrakien Novi.
Rarely seen even by the gnomes of the Sanos is Old Senneck. No one seems to know much about this old man, ancient by any standard, save that he comes and goes as he pleases within the forest. Thought to be a sage, mystic, powerful druid, or perhaps even a fey or spirit, he has been known to aid wayward travelers and those in need.
Bitter Hollow is a tiny thorp on the banks of Lake Coal. It is home to only a small number of hunters and trappers, as Lake Coal has very poor fishing and the dangers of the nearby Kreegwood make other woodland trades very risky. The Gator’s Nest, Bitter Hollow’s only trading post, is located in the center of town.
The Shimmerglens are a small wetlands area found between the Sanos Forest and the Skull River in central Varisia. The swamps are well-known to be the home of fey and fey-like creatures, especially where they border on the Sanos Forest. Nestled somewhere in the marsh lies Whitewillow, a beautiful circle of willow trees and home to the marsh’s guardian. Locals wisely avoid venturing into the Shimmerglens if at all possible.
The home of the Kreeg Ogre clan, now decimated and leaderless. See Map of Hook Mountain