Return of the Long Night
Region Lore – Hæstra
Vornia is a grassland area between the Bay of Izar and the Gold Mountains, which has not been highly populated in the past centuries. The name refers mostly to an ancient regional name than a political delineation, encompassing a variety of cultures.
Key towns include:
Jennis: A small town nestled in the western end of the Forbidden Ridge, Jennis is viewed by outsiders as a ‘dark place’. Though they are strong followers of Mynistra, rumours spread across surrounding areas that the ways of the lady have been perverted towards darkness.
Gelbentex: Asmall domain ruled firmly by the local baron or baroness.
Bentara: A young capable leader has taken over this town, being the son of the previous lord killed by bandits not so many years ago. Bentara is one of the two keys land routes from mainland Hæstra to Izar and the sea and also the main trade point with the Dwarves of Ton-Bor.
Dynax: On the shores of the Sea of Votania, Dynax stands at a critical trade juncture between Sarnak and the western isles. It is also close to the Emerald Forest and thus it is not uncommon to see elves or fauns in the area.
Stroane is a kingdom in great turmoil, or so the rumours say. Just a decade ago it was poised to control almost all of Hæstra and today it is on the verge of collapse. Political forces have tangled and led the region to dismay, including those of the Church of Zanar.
Capital City is Arakin and key places of note are Teterantor, Niév and Qye.
Barely a hundred years ago, Zinvar was one of the pre-eminent trading centres on Emer. A large island, it was an independent city-state at the mouth of the Keyten River. It had ties with the Dales, Danarchis, Kaitaine and even Sel-Kai and was a wealthy port to the River Kaitaine.
Around this time, however, a man who called himself the Nameless One arrived and foretold that the city would fall within a year. After he wandered the city for 8 days foretelling of doom, he was asked to leave. For three years, all was normal in Zinvar and then, three years to the day (or so the tales say), a ship with tattered black sails came riding into the western port at sunset, against the prevailing wind. It manoeuvred into the port as if a skilled crew was at the sails, yet lookouts could see no one on deck. The ship touched the stone dock and vanished. Then the madness began.
No one knows whether it was a plague or a curse of the Dark Gods. Few escaped the carnage as neighbour tore neighbour with their bare hands or whatever implements were handy. Fires burnt and for days the port of Zinvar was blanketed in a dark, swirling smoke of burnt homes and charred flesh. Supposedly no one has returned to the isle and all areas of Hæstra still speak of the curse and the terrible fate bought down by the Nameless One.
Port of Izar
Located at the tip of the northern peninsula guarding the entrance to the Bay of Izar, this independent city-state has grown in wealth and size for many years. Governed by the Lord Mayor of Izar, the real political power lies in the hands of the Council of Guilds. It is home to almost every race on Emer and beyond. It’s truly cosmopiltan nature reflects its bustling heart as a trade centre and source for all goods. Crime is quite common in the Port.
Twin monstrous lighthouses “guard” the entrance to the bay, built by Aldaron during the height of the Emerian Empire, thousands of years ago. They still stand and function today. Each tower is over 500 feet tall, capped by a glass chamber in which an enchanted crystal provides a powerful light that sweeps the bay, protecting all ships that enter the port at night.
An idyllic haven of Erlini, Talæn is a small island off the western coast of Emer. Though only 150 miles from Zinvar, the elves have never had much contact with the island even before it was cursed.
Situated between the Sea of Votania and the Bay of Izar, this extensive forest contains a plethora of wild plants and animals. Many say the forest is haunted, but the local inhabitants (the fey or fairy folk) seem to live there without intrusion or problem. Given the rumours or the fear of the occult, very few “men” travel into the forest. Those that have tried speak of unseen beings, strange noises and horrifying dreams that visit them at the edge of the great woods. As such, none enter and it seems that the very forest inhibits their entry.
The only joy out of the forest is brought out by the elves or fauns that live there, who rarely visit some of the larger towns to barter their herbs and medicines for metals and other implements they cannot make. They do not speak of what lives deep in the woods and are secretive when questioned on the rumours told by men. They do refer to their forest as if it was a god itself, speaking as if it had a will and purpose that only the fey may understand or be part of.
To the south of the River Urij, at the base of Forbidden Ridge sits the city-state of Sarnak, realm of the Amazonian warriors. Women rule this land and men are subservient domestics.
Little is known about this place except by those that have travelled here (for trade perhaps).
Within the southern region of the Mountain of Gold lies one of the few Nomari (Dwarven) enclaves. An isolated (both culturally and genetically) race, legends speak that the dwarves came out of the very stone of the planet. They travel rarely and if they do, almost never return home to Ton-Bor to settle, having been corrupted by the outside world of the “long legs”.
They are known to be ruthless warriors and have a special hatred for goblins and all forms of demon-kind.
They trade almost exclusively with Bentara to the south.
Rumours speak of a secretive enclave of Dyari (Dark Elves) hidden deep in the Mountains of Gold. No one knows whether this is a real place or simply rumour. Even the name, “Skystone”, lends credence to the fictitious nature of the rumour as it is not an elvish or Dyari term that has significance.