Introduction: Eastern Terrule is a High Fantasy, High Magic campaign world setting for use with the Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder Role Playing Game.
It is said the original humans who arrived at Firsthome, seeking refuge from a land overtaken by evil, established their encampments under the pale moons of what they were to learn was called Eastern Terrule. The elves of Fayrewood Forrest, being an open minded and progressive tribe, befriended by the new humans of the region, and a relationship of cautious trust was born. It took only one and one half years for the 8000 human immigrants, now called Nywmin by the elves of the Northwilde Region, to push as far west as the Seabound River. The Fayrewood elves were tolerant and diplomatic when it came to the politicking of the newcomers, but by the year 12 C.Y. (19738 E.Y.), the Nywmin had worn out their welcome cutting down forests and propagating dark magic. Also, notably, was the first trade agreement between these "new humans" and dwarves. In an agreement with the dwarves of Durkhelm to trade logs and board wood for gold and gems, the Nywmin had established themselves as a sovereign people in their own right, and began changing the face of Terrule in unprecedented ways. Gnomes and halflings of the region were of course intensely curious of the newcomers, and quickly wove their way into human society.
It was at this time, near the end of 14 C.Y. that the Northwilde elves broke off all contact with other races and receded into the forests. In a campaign of militant defense, the elves brought human trade in wood to a standstill. While only one human, Sangee Frothrider, is known to have been killed attempting to fell a tree, it was common for a human with an axe in a wood to find himself the target of a hail of slingstones and the odd arrow.
Humans, whose only contact with elves was through their missiles at this point, quickly declared a minor war on the elves. This was foolhardy and, of course, short lived as the humans were horribly outnumbered. By the year 22 C.Y. the Nywmin of Northwilde had mostly forgotten the elves and were concentrated on expansion and consolidation of power.
In 22 C.Y. Tarkold City was a small city of approximately 4000, Fieldsprings a mere hamlet of 25 residents, Feldii was a fishing port village of 120, Metikom the same, Fellingwood an abandoned logging town of 250, and Firsthome the second largest human city at around 3500 residents. Eastgate did not yet exist and humans were yet to explore the Greymede in detail, or indeed anything west or south of the Seabound.
Due to the elven defense of live wood, all but the oldest buildings were made of stone and no Nywmin had yet built a boat large enough to hold 10 men that weren't the crew. To this day the crudely built stone huts and buildings of the Northwilde stand as reminders of the distant (to humans) past, when the elves were the only other sentient creatures that humans knew existed here.
Not much changed for the races of Eastern Terrule over the next 100 years, except population, as the Nywmin pushed southward and westward in their characteristically human way. During this first human century, intensive expansion with no central government or overall plan and enhanced by powerful magic unseen in Terrule ever before, changed the face of the land in ways unimaginable by the elves. Simmering in their self-imposed exile wherever humans roamed, which was becoming more and more land every year, the elves broke their defensive posture and began to attempt to halt all human expansion. Humanity, predictably, declared war on the elves within 2 months. Having gained significant power (physical, political and magical) humanity was not the weak and outnumbered clans of the earlier conflict.
The war lasted over 300 years and is regarded as the blackest period the world has ever faced. Not only was the conflict between the elves and humans brutal, some of the larger orc and hobgoblin tribes used the opportunity to begin moving out of the deepest parts of the Shadowfear Mountains and Darquard Woods. The humans who became called the Bandit Lords also grew in power, their meager gangs becoming armies of 30-240 (3d8x10) or more. (Orc Tribes: Bonecrushers, Skull Cairns, Bleeders, Blood Hand. Hobgoblins: Red Fist, Dark Heart, Blood Spear, Hill Kings. Bandit Armies: Night Stalkers, Dreckard's Raiders, Hope Takers, Black Grip.)
It is said that the seeds of much evil are planted in the Shadowfear and the Darquard. The balance has been rent (agree clerics, druids and wizards alike) not by the humans themselves, but from an array of evil forces who followed them to these lands. By manipulating the races, pitting them against each other and creating wars of untold death and destruction, evil has managed to damage the forces of good that have always dominated this land. The elven rangers that long patrolled the foothills keeping watch for orc and goblin raiding parties are all but gone. The Bandit Lords arose in the year 228 C.Y. and it was in the year 270 C.Y. that the first known demon was spotted in the Shadowfear. In the year 350 C.Y. the evil wizard Mag-Durok created Darkwatch Keep and established his nefarious School of Dark Arts. 70 years later the war between the races ended, with the battle at The Fold. It's rumored that the mystics of the Magi Peaks, known as the Council of Nine, have been wielding strange and terrible powers in an effort to combat the growing darkness. In an unusual state of affairs for the reclusive masters of the various schools of magic, they have for the first time in memory begun seeking apprentices. Agents of the Council are said to be in all corners of the land, gathering information and recruiting other powerful wizards to the cause of fighting the growing darkness. They have good cause for alarm, for they've recently suffered a grave loss...
It is the year 421 C.Y.
Elves and humans maintain old grudges, but there is no formal war between them and most elves are no longer in exile. The ravages of their war and the loss of the outpost at Jayke's Pass have finally broken the resolve of the elves and humans to kill each other. Human expansion, mutually fueled by the encouragement and help of the other races, has promoted the growth of a unified society, where in the past the races were more or less isolated. Dwarves, elves, humans, halflings, gnomes, half elves and now half orcs all exist to varying degrees in all of the lands of Eastern Terrule. The Shadowfear Mountains are rife with evils as ancient as time as well as foul beasts recently set free. Darquard Wood is writhing with fiends, being lost to the elves, and is now a hub of evil including Bandit Lords who bring female victims to the orc tribes for trade and the orcs who use them to breed both chiefs and slaves. In the years since Mag-Durok's School of Dark Arts was founded, the stories of black deeds by foul beasts stalking the land have grown tremendously.
Politically, no official nation state borders have been established, but power of government has coalesced around the great cities of Kest in the southwest and Kargus in the northeast. A brief description of each of these regions follows.
Kest: Kest is a large walled capitol city with a strong elven influence, and a high elven population for a human city. The regions around the Vaylwon Lake are the last human settlement areas that elves retreated from as the land was cleared and the cities and towns grew. The blue wall surrounding Kest is mighty and broad. Crenelated and pierced top to bottom with arrow slits, it is a marvel of modern engineering. Rumor has it that the human leaders who built these mighty walls enlisted the skills of the best dwarven stonemasons, which would explain such a massive and imposing defense. The city of Kest numbers 30,000 by the best counts, about 50% human, 10% gnome, 10% halfling, 25% elven and 5% half-orc.
The regions surrounding Kest are primarily elven and human in the south and human, dwarven and half-orc in the mountainous areas at its north. The distant western deserts are said to be sources of exotic trade items from the few merchants who make the journey to and from those fabled lands. In the hills and plains surrounding the western ends of the Shadowfears, massive hobgoblin nations rule and war with one another. The lands to the east, Blandings stretch between the Blandings Stretch mountains and the hills of Moordrax, is halfling country and home to humans, gnomes and elves as well. Staghill is the main power center in this area, and there are some lords who would see the region become a more independent entity from the city of Kest (and the taxation that goes with it), leading to political intrigue and civil unrest.
In the south of the region lies the legendary mountain range known as the Magi Peaks, home to the most powerful center of magical study; The Cryptopolis. The Council of Nine is convened in its secluded halls, and it includes wizards and sorcerers of all 9 schools, druids and clerics among its ranks.
Kargus: A metropolis unlike any other in all of Eastern Terrule, Kargus is the main seat of human power. The regions around the Losgold Sea being where humans first landed, is also the most populous. The city of Kargus, sometimes called the City in the Sea, has a system of docks that have indeed grown out over/into the waters of the Losgold. Hemmed in on three sides by water, Kargus is well protected by natural defenses in addition to its formidable walls and legendary armies. The diabolical Mag-Durok fled Kargus in 345 C.E. disappearing into the Shadowfear Mountains to turn up 5 years later at his Darkwatch Keep. Kargus is currently 50,000 strong, 55% human, 20% elven, 10% halfling, 10% half-orc and 5% gnome.
Being on the Losgold sea and just south of its namesake, Kargus Bay, the City in the Sea is a haven for pirates. It's much more human dominated political field also contributes to the thriving bandit problem in the areas of Moordrax, the Thurdin Mountains and Boyers Wood. Truly, by snaking from the sea from which evil seems to have arrived, through Medusas Finger and through the Shadowfear Mountains, evil has divided the lands quite neatly. In fact, evil thrives all around the Losgold and Kargus Bay regions, and it is constantly reported that a black chromatic dragon lurks in the regions of Deaths Swamp, terrorizing area settlements and ships alike.
~Western Hills and Beyond
~The Council of Nine
~The Bandit Lords
~Mag-Durok, NE Human Wizard (Necromancer) Level: 12
~Melikar the Black Hearted, CE Half-Orc Barbarian/Wizard 9
~Alizar CN Elven Necromancer 13
~Sidarius Ellowyn, CG Human Rogue/Cleric 7
The Lost Outpost
The Magi Peaks
The Lost Outpost
In the year 309 C.E. wizards from the Council of Nine, assisted by a great many dwarves from the Thurdin Mountains, created a fortress in Jaykes Pass, securing the area for trade and travel. With the pass unmolested by orcs, bandits, kobolds, hobgoblins and the like, trade between the regions of Kest and Kargus expanded rapidly. There was a time between 312 C.E. and 409 C.E. when travel in the pass was nearly as safe as any other place in the lands. That time is long gone. With the pass patrolled by dwarves, humans and elves on the ground and mounted Wizards on Griffons from the air, the goblinoid creatures of the area were literally starving. In the summer of 414 C.E. the outpost came under attack and was taken by the hordes of evil creatures it had kept at bay for so long. (Rumors abound of a sleek black dragon that was seen with a single elven rider that was assisting the assault, this has never been substantiated.) This once great bastion of vigilance against the wicked masses of goblinoids, bandits, orcs and worse, is said to be in the hands of Mag-Durok. It is said he has taken under his dominion a particularly successful half-orc bandit mage-lord named Melikar the Black Hearted.
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