The World Born Dead
Settlements in the Southlands
Ashokat’nok: a relic of the ancient Dragonborn empire of Arkhosia, the flying citadel of Ashokat’nok watched over a trade road between the borders of the empire and the nameles dwarf kingdom to the south. Now the citadel drifts far above the Giantshield mountains, north east of Red Rock, defended by the Scalehammer tribe of dragonborn barbarians who live in caves high in the arid mountains surrounded by shifting desert sands and strike down any who would attempt to plunder the secrets of the citadel in the clouds.
Armistice: legend has it that this was the site of the ancient victory that freed the dwarves from the giants and the place that a compact of peace was signed that bound the clans into one kingdom. Now the kingdom is no more, so Armistice is just a relic of the past. The town here is populated mostly by old dwarves who gather to remember the glory days of the kingdom, and prospectors hoping to get lucky.
Bargetown: a floating Riverfolk stronghold. Bargetown erratically travels up and down the Elsir River trading fish and other goods with the peoples of the Vale. Every six months the barge lands on the banks of the mighty river for a week long River festival, where the Riverfolk hold ceremonies and celebrations in honor of the gods and the great river and it is said every Riverfolk family sends a representative to hear and settle grievances and witness weddings and contracts.
Bordin’s Watch: a mighty fortress that guards the main pass through the Stonehome mountains and protects the Elsir Vale from attack. The stronghold consists of a long wall, which is 150-feet tall and over 80 feet thick at the base, and it is punctuated with steep towers fitted with arrowslits. Battlements cap the wall, allowing sentries to watch the pass and defend the fortress from attack. Atop each tower is a pair of catapults. Ballistae and scorpions are positioned every 40 feet along the wall’s length. In the center of the pass is a massive gate. Its doors stand 100-feet tall, and it takes 40 aurochs to pull them open. The gatehouse surrounding the doors consists of two towers, each as tall as the wall and wider than three standing towers together.
Brinath: Once one of the largest settlements in the Vale, on southern shore of the Elsir river, the city is ruled by the local Nerathi governor. Brinath is a prosperous farming community on the banks of the mighty Elsir river. It boasts the strongest walls of any non-dwarven settlement in the region.
Dauth: A sleepy little hamlet about halfway between the Hammerfist Holds and Brinath, Dauth is home to about one hundred people. It is noted for the Tired Giant, an inn and taproom run by a family of Riverfolk. The Rhestorilan nobles who once ruled here died out four generations ago and Castle Rivenroar-their ancestral home-is nothing but a burned out shell surrounded by the encroaching forest. The town is ruled and protected by its own militia, descendants and remnants of the Rhestorian cavalry detachment that served House Kauthin for generations.
Dennovar: A trade city located on the shores of Lake Ern second only to the great dwarf city of Overlook. The town is dominated by the Elsir Consortium, a power trade guild based in Overlook that sets prices for goods in the Elsir Vale. Dennovar is noteworthy for the dozens of temples that dot it streets. The activities of these places of worship are overseen by the Temple Council, made up of the most influential priests of the city, they coordinate the celebrations, bacchanals, and parades held in honor of the gods.
Dornaithos: an eladrin mercantile city in the Feywild that makes worldfall in the Westdeep forest during the three nights and two days of the full moon, trading places with the cliffs of a waterfall on a branch of the Elsir River that feeds the lake of Dreams in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Dornaithos is ruled by Princess Quelenna Entromiel, a descendant of the Summer Queen, Tiandra. Princess Entromiel remembers the ancient days of glory when her city was part of lost Cendriane, the eladrin kingdom that was founded in the Dawn Age before the mortal races walked the First World.
Drellin’s Ferry: Riverfolk halflings have established a ferry here in the shadow of a massive dwarf built toll bridge spanned the river here.
Elsircross: a small hamlet on the ford of the Elsir River, known for its papermaking and woodcutting.
Feud: Two dwarf clan holds dominate this tiny hamlet, mining silver, and, as the name for the place suggests, they are prone to violence. The origins of the original disagreement have been lost to time, some particularly vocal dwarves believe it has something to do with the legend of the Mountainroot, but this too is a point of contention. Feud is located high in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains on the northern edge of the Southlands.
Hammerfist Holds: In the foothills of the Wyvernsmoke Mountains, a few dwarven clans sometimes trade with the humans of the vale. Each clan has a hidden clan hold nestled in the foothills.
Hillswatch: A dusty hamlet located in the northern part of the Brown Hills, it is populated mostly by shepherds and goatherds.
Hope: Another speck of a town, Hope appeared after prospectors found a vein of silver nearby. Once the vein played out, most of the miners moved north to Armistice, but a few stubborn folk live here still, working the mines in search of precious metals. Travelers have reported that something is not right with these people and there’s a feeling that the citizens of Hope are hiding something sinister.
Lantern: a tiny logging camp looked upon harshly by the Tir Kitor and the elves of the Westdeep forest.
Marathon: Located in the shadow of the Marth forest, this village of woodcutters is overseen by House Renthew. House Renthew is a Nerathi noble house that was administered much of the Nerathi operations in the Southlands. Governor Goric Renthew hails from House Renthew but chooses to live and work in Brinath.
Monastery of the Sundered Chain: an isolated dwarven monastery high in the Giantshield Mountains dedicated to Moradin. The dwarven monks are dedicated to defending the mountains from incursions of Giants and worse. They accept orphaned children into the order to be trained as warrior monks and are said to wait for a fallen star which is to herald the coming of the Returner, a beast that their order dreads.
Myler’s Stone: This town was once a large mining town, but years of decay, disease, and tragedy reduced the place to a handful of desperate people eking out an existence in the ruins of the past.
Nimon Gap: Built around the walled inn called the Cross Eyed Beholder, the town of Nimon Gap is little more than a rest stop along the dwarf-road as it transitions through the foothills into the dawnway. The gap is controlled by tieflings of the merchant House Nimon.
Old Den: A trade depot used by rangers and elves alike, this site is a cluster of wooden buildings surrounded by a palisade
Overlook: This city of stone stands on the side of the Stonehome Mountains. Constructed as a haven for newly liberated dwarves from their former giant masters, Overlook has since outgrown its noble roots and become a haven and cosmopolitan trading center for peoples all over the Elsir Vale and beyond. Overlook is ruled by a council of elder dwarves. Although the city depends on Bordrin’s Watch to endure most of the attacks from the west, the city is not without its own defenses. The dwarves erected steep walls to protect themselves, but as the city outgrew its original protections, the inhabitants raised more walls to encircle the growing population. So far, this has happened four times, giving the city four sets of walls, one inside of the other. The shantytown, the unofficial ninth district, grows beyond the eastern walls and it’s just a matter of time before the Council decides to raise another wall and add those squatters to the rest of the city.
Prosser: Once quiet village located between Brinath and Hillswatch. Prosser is home to a garrison of the Golden Lion legion called the Boulder which maintains the peace in the region with the help of the dwarves. The soldiers of the Boulder are often called to defend the Nerathi city of Brinath.
Red Rock: A tiny mining town that has grown up around a copper mine in the Giantshield Mountians. Red Rock is home to a community of dwarves and half-orcs that have been feuding for generations as much over mineral rights as anything else.
Shackles: Overlook’s sister, Shackles was a powerful city and was the former capital of the fallen dwarven kingdom. It fell nearly four centuries ago when goblins from the Shadowfell sacked it before the kingdom could respond. The city was sealed and guards set upon the walls to keep the nightmarish creatures locked inside. It is rumored that the vaults of Shackles have never been breached and contain vast treasures belonging to the royal dwarven line of the High King.
Sodden: A small town at the headwaters of the Elsir River, this is a quaint community of farmers, fisherfolk and Riverfolk halflings. They work well with the Tir Kitor, which is perhaps the only thing that stops the elves from erasing Lantern altogether.
Talar: a small human village west of Brinath. The village is popular with the dwarves for its annual summer beer festival, which is held at the respected Green Dragon Inn and dwarves flock to the town for the week long bacchanal. Talar is also home to the sage Falrinth.
Terrelton: A black stain on the Vale, Terrelton has been a haven to bandits, brigands, and other scum for generations. Dozens of goblinoid deserters from the Hand settled here after the war.
Westdeep: This dense forest grows in the narrow depression between the Stonehome and Wyrmsmoke Mountains. A dangerous place, several tribes of xenophobic elves live here, and they do not take kindly to trespassers. Conflict between the loggers at Lantern and the elves has come close to open war, and it’s known that if the elves attack, the dwarves will be forced to respond.
Witchcross: This village is ruled by the druid Keepers of Eth who emerge from the Witchwood only to pronounce their judgments and drag offenders away never to be seen again. Strange and fey creatures are said to haunt the Witchwood. Outsiders are unwelcome, and most traders give the place a wide berth.