Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Xanthus River Valley

The Xanthus River Valley

Ancient Tunnel, the: once used to connect Duirndown to the city of Sinopia, this tunnel was a shortcut under the steep hills beneath Duirn’s mountain. Additional tunnels connected Duirn’s Realm to the Fortress of the Exile. Today, the tunnel is in ruins and collapsed in places. Many creatures have taken up residence within.

Atrous River, the: the dark black water of this river emerges from the Blackwood forest. It is populated with hideous river monsters, slimes, slugs, and giant snakes.

Blackwood Forest, the: a dark impenetrable forest inhabited by wild beasts and fell monstrosities.

Burned Village, the: once a prosperous logging village in the Blackwood forest, the village was burned down a generation ago by marauders. It is rumored that treasures are hidden beneath its charred remains.

Canyon of Chaos, the: this dry riverbed boasts several extensive cave systems and is home to several tribes of orcs, goblins, ogres, and trolls.

Choke: a walled village on the upper Xanthus river, so-named because the river narrows to a deep gorge. A natural bridge allows access to the Gateway to Elfland.

Crying Swamps, the: the city of Sinopia was destroyed here over a thousand years ago. The resulting marshy swamp is home to lizard-men, ghosts, ghouls, giant snakes, and reptilian horrors. The sound of the unquiet dead can always be heard moaning in the wind.

Dead Forest, the: And entire forest of horrifyingly twisted trees with blood for sap. Anything that dies in the dead forest will rise as a zombie or ghoul.

Defile of Castragon, the: a thin crack, barely wide enough for a horse, allows single-file passage through the Great Wall mountain range. Travelers can expect to be plagued by stone giants, rock trolls, and mountain ogres.

Duirn’s Mountain: The realm of the dwarf king Duirn once prospered under this imposing mountain. The dwarves abandoned the realm three generations ago when monsters overran their defenses.

Duirndown: a small walled village of 200 at the foot of Duirn’s Mountain. Duirndown was once the entrance to the subterranean realm and a major trade center. Today it is an isolated outpost for fur trappers and miners.

Flinch: a remote mining village of 500 at the base of Mount Zinnober, and last outpost for travelers attempting to brave the defile of Castragon. Flinch is surrounded by a wooden palisade.

Fortress of the Exile, the: once a great dwarven fortress built into the top of a rocky outcrop, the fortress was a part of the subterranean realm of the dwarf king Duirn. Today it is abandoned and occupied by all manner of flying creatures.

Gateway to Elfland, the: This mysterious moor contains an arcane portal to the otherworldly realm of the elves. The portal opens every full moon. Magical energies from this place cause mutations in the surrounding wildlife.

Great Wall, the: a towering mountain range that prevents passage from the valley to the wastelands beyond. The only ways through lie at the pass through the Witch-Moor and the Defile of Castragon.

Griseous River, the: a slow syrupy river with dark grey water, polluted by the Dead Forest.

Hork: a village on the far side of the Great Wall. Hork welcomes pilgrims to the Temple of Azi-Dahaka and is a refuge for those traversing the treacherous wastelands.

Lost City of Sinopia, the: Sinopia was once a prosperous port city. It was destroyed by arcane energies over a thousand years ago. A few of its ruins slowly crumble to the north of the Crying Swamps.

Lost Road, the: once a well maintained road connecting Sinopia to Duirndown, the lost road has fallen into disuse and disrepair. The way is now beset by the terrors of the Blackwood forest.

Mount Shaitan: an imposing black mountain containing a gateway to the underworld within its roots. The mountain is home to many demons and their ilk.

Mount Zinnober: a massive red mountain.

Nightflame Mountain: a tall mountain of midnight blue stone. At night, the summit of the mountain is aglow with a halo of strange witch-fire.

Ruined Keep, the: an ancient ruin from imperial times. The keep is said to be haunted.

Sanding Stones, the: concentric circles of ancient menhirs built by a primitive pre-imperial society, possibly pre-human. It is believed that the stones conceal a portal to the astral realms that only opens once every 50 years.

Silver Falls: a 200 foot waterfall where the Xanthus river pours from the upper valley over a cliff-face to the lower valley. A winding path allows travelers to transfer from one elevation to the other. The village of Swallow is perched at the top of the path.

Smaragdine Sea, the: a vast ocean of deep green water.

Spit: The tiny walled farming village of Spit is home to 100 people and a ferry allowing travelers to cross the Xanthus or the Zinnober rivers.

Stairs, the: a great zig-zagging stairway descending from the entrance to Duirn’s underground realm to the wasteland below. The stairs are 20 feet wide but very steep.

Swallow: the walled village of Swallow is named for the birds that nest there every year. The village is home to 500 people and is perched atop Silver Falls. The people of Swallow make their living catching river fish in nets.

Temple of Azi Dahaka, the: a holy shrine and pilgrimage site dedicated to the god Azi Dahaka, the demon prince of stomes and waste.

Thither: a walled coastal fishing village of 1500. Thither has become wealthy due to its intrepid explorers and trading ships.

Tower of the Mad Alchemist: an ancient tower that is (or was once) home to an insane alchemist. Only conflicting legends speak of its lord. It is the source of many strange hybrids and chimeras.

Valley of the Beasts, the: so-named for the variety of strange hybrids and chimeras that inhabit the forest, escapees from the Mad Alchemist.

Wastelands, the: the vast interior of the continent of Agartha is a dry desolate wasteland of deserts, hoodoos, mesas, and buttes.

Watchtower, the: this towering lighthouse-like structure once stood watch over the city of Sinopia. Today, it is abandoned and home to various flying monsters.

Wince: a walled farming village of 500 located on the Xanthus river. The farmers of Wince grow wheat, barley, beans, and rice for the valley. An ancient bridge allows transit over the river.

Witch-Moor, the: a cold swampy moor located in the highlands beneath Duirn’s mountain. The Witch-Moor is infused with magical energies and strange otherworldly creatures. Peat from the Witch-Moor is often used as a component in magical rituals.

Xanthus River, the: named for its dull yellow color, the Xanthus river begins in the highlands of the upper valley, pour over a towering waterfall, meanders slowly through the lower valley, and ends in a swampy delta at the edge of the Smaragdine sea.

Yon: a strange walled village of 300 necromancers and wizards on the shores of the Poison lake. Yon is home to the Esoteric Oder of the Upaya.

Zinnober River: a river of reddish brown color with its source in Mount Zinnober.