Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Regions and Kingdoms of the Bloodstone Lands
Regions and Kingdoms of the Bloodstone Lands
The Bloodstone Lands are generally considered to include the Kingdom of Damara and the monster-infested land of Vaasa. The neighboring realms of Impiltur and Narfell also have influenced Damaran history.
The Kingdom of Damara has endured twenty-six years of conflict. Since the Witch-King Zhengyi first raised Castle Perilous in 1347, the war with the Witch-King has dominated the kingdom’s politics. Even now that Zhengyi is long defeated, the barons and dukes that he appointed still cause trouble for King Gareth Dragonsbane.
The hardy people of Damara have worked hard to rebuild their land. Although many are grim and bitterly lament the loss of their former way of life, the worship of Ilmater gives them strength in the face of hardship and high hopes for the future. Paladins of the Unbroken God (particularly from the Order of the Golden Cup) are a common sight, as are monks of that faith from the Monastery of the Yellow Rose near the Glacier of the White Worm.
This untamed wasteland of frozen moors and tundra was the seat of power for the evil lich Zhengyi the Witch-King until his defeat by a band of adventurers. Vaasa is once again a lonely land dotted with scratch farms and inhabited by evil humanoids and other monsters. What the land lacks in hospitality it makes up for in untapped wealth, as the mountains of Vaasa are rich in metals and gems, particularly bloodstone. Miles of mountainside go unclaimed by any civilization, and many well-armed prospectors make the trip to Vaasa hoping to find gems as large as a grown man’s fist – and survive long enough to sell them.
Impiltur is a kingdom of friendly merchants, preferring peace but capable of calculated acts of war when necessary. While the Impilturans vigorously defend their own borders, the government traditionally remains neutral and leaves neighboring lands to defend themselves. Impilturans see all sorts of raw valuables come from their northern neighbors and exotic goods arrive in their ports.
Impiltur is a monarchy with a council of lords (most of them paladins or of lawful or good alignment) supporting and advising the monarch. Impiltur has a history of nonintervention, letting neighboring lands handle their own affairs unless such a hands-off policy would have major consequences for Impilturans. This policy makes them good trading partners but frustrating friends in times of war, as Damara found when it was invaded by Vaasa.
A country where only the strong survive, Narfell is a land of infertile soil that supports only scraggly grass. The people of Narfell are tribal folk called the Nars, fierce horse-riders who believe that all people are judged by their actions. Their motto, “*Deed, not blood*,” shows their disregard for those who expect deference because of “noble” birth. Some of the tribes are hostile to outsiders, but all set aside their differences once a year for their great trademeet.
In addition to the riders, Narfell is home to tundra yeti and hordes of hobgoblins in the mountains. Ancient Narfell was a powerful, wizard-ruled state that was destroyed in wars against the now-fallen empire of Raumathar. The barbaric folk living here today remember little of their civilized past, but the Nars occasionally find buried cities within their land, each containing great items of battle-magic.
This forest is a near twin to the Forest of Lethyr to the south. Its narrowest point embraces the people of Denderdale, a small settlement of woodcutters and trappers. It is also the home of the Nentyarch and his fortress Dun-Tharos, hidden near the thick center of the wood. A circle of druids camps in the north-westernmost point of the forest, preventing any encroachment by the Damaran town of Tellerth. The Rawlingswood has recently seen the rise of the Rotting Man, Chosen of Talona, and his Blightlords.
The local underdark races call their small slice of hell Deepearth. Although Underdark scholars refer to the lands under the Galena Mountains as the Deep Wastes, while they call the lands under the Great Dale and Thay the Earthroot, and the Glimmersea stretches throughout drowned caverns under most of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Drow, duergar, and svirfneblin all have communities in Deepearth.
Not Quite the Neighbors
The Vast is a verdant farming and hunting area on the eastern shore of the Dragon Reach, best known for its thriving ports: evil Calaunt, ever-changing Tantras, the adventurers’ haven Ravens Bluff, and regimented Procampur. Orcs and dwarves vie for supremacy over the nearby mountains. Orc raids on the lowlands are rare, but troublesome enough to keep the human population concentrated along the coast. Intrigues between rival factions and a wealth of dwarven ruins beckon to adventurers.
The Great Dale
Little more than two large forests and the strip of land between them, this land is inhabited by reclusive farmers, coolly hostile druids, and introspective rangers. The people of the Great Dale interact little with the outside world, acquiring the few iron items they cannot manufacture in exchange for herbal, alchemical, and wooden goods of exceptional quality. The soil is rich and suitable for farming, yet few other than the druids live here.
Thesk is a land of shrewd but friendly merchants and able farmers. The trade route that leads to the far land of Kara-Tur allows the Theskians to see all kinds of people and interact with many cultures, making Thesk one of the more tolerant nations in Faerûn. After being decimated by the Tuigan horde, the people of Thesk are rebuilding their cities and towns, and they have even made a home for the orc army left behind by the Zhentarim.
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