Present day Southold is both a large and powerful kingdom, one blessed with good resources and central location. Its far western border is not demarcated; Southold claims all the fertile Creswell Fields, claiming the border with the Cortalish Empire to be the edges of the vast Silvanian forest. Indeed, this area makes up the modern day province of Sylmarch, bounded by the Silvanian forest on the west, and the rivers Fenwash and Greyflood on the east. From Woburn, which is on the border of the forests and Lake Amsorak, Southold's border follows the lake and the Fenwash until that river's confluence with the mighty Greyflood. The border then follows the Greyflood north. At the southern end of Lake Amsorak is an extension of the Drentmoors, and at the edge of these monster-infested fens, the city of Bylot ekes out a precarious existence. On the other side of the Fenwash and Greyflood lies a portion of the Kingdom of Tara. This wedge shaped piece of territory, looking like a dagger pointed at the heart of Southold, has been the sight of numerous battles between the two powers. The Bywater Pact of friendship signed in 1470 ended the ancient conflict, which had subsided by that time in any case.
Continuing with the border, the river flows past a group of two small mountain chains. The first is the humanoid-infested Cruth, connected by foothills to the jagged Wyrmsteeth Range which cuts straight across Southold, isolating the province of Anorien from the rest of the realm. Within its peaks live a majority of the dragons in all Arik. Anorien, the province north of the Wyrmsteeth, is a flat and featureless plain, but here enough wheat and corn is grown to feed all of the country. The northern border switches from the Greyflood to the mystical forest realm of the Galathiene. At the point where the river meets this forest, a lone mountain stands, Gargoyle Peak. Nearby, astride the small Hool Marshes, is the northernmost settlement of Southold, Rockburgh-on-the-Marsh.
Following the border of the Galathiene forest of the elves east, the border soon becomes the Veronian Mountains, those titanic peaks pushed up from the bowels of Grund during the Cataclysm; now the home of the dwarves and their country, Rockhome. The River Laine, an important trade route, flows south from these mountains, emptying into the Gulf of Southold. The border here is rather unclear, for the dwarves do not claim the entire mountain range. In most cases, dwarven settlements are 40 miles or more from where the mountains actually begin. Thus there is a great amount of mining here, and it is this resource that has made Andeaver, the rectangular province who shares this border, rich. Just south of the border, in Andeaver, are an area of swamps, the Moorlands, and the Lusian Forest. Andeaver's capital, Montinelle, is on the border of this forest.
The border continues south, following a spur of the Veronian Mountains called the Marston Peaks. These are some of the highest mountains on all Arik, and on the other side, lies the vast Sind Desert (a product of geography, the moisture containing clouds do not reach over the peaks, thus little rain reaches the Sind), occupied by the nation of Hule. There is one pass through the mountains, known throughout history simply as the Great Pass. This has been the source of conflict, and trade, for years. The land adjacent to the Marston Peaks is barren; it would be described as scrub at best. Yet this is Southold's newest province, that of Balar, named after the island just off-coast to the south. This too is a Southolder possession, and the citadel, Harbury, is the capital of Balar.
Following the coastline west from Balar, there are the two ports of Conna and Princethorpe, but besides these, there are very few natural ports on this area of the coast. North are the Battle Plains; fertile lands, though haunted ones. Rounding the Firth of Dunthrane is the Crown City itself, at the mouth of the River Laine. The lands around it comprise the rich province of Dunador. There is a large indentation after the Firth of Dunthrane, forming the Gulf of Southold. Alcester is further west, on the mouth of the Sirion. North is the beautiful Forest of Arden, realm of rangers, druids, and elves.
Rounding Alcester and the Great Swamp (actually quite small in comparison to the Drentmoors), the coastline turns north, becoming more rocky, with many coves and cliffs in evidence. The northward turn ends in the Gulf of Lune, where Cheltham, capital of the surrounding province of Hadlech, lies. Finally, on the eastern banks of the Greyflood Delta is the trading city of Bristol. This is the land known to Arik as Southold.
There are basically four distinct geographic divisions. The first is the great plain that stretches across Southold, from the Creswell Fields to the Battle Plains. The fertility of the swath of land has been a prime asset to Southold. The second type is the many river valleys that cut north-south across the plains. Note that though these are called "valleys", there has been little vertical erosion. In addition to being quite fertile, these rivers have provided numerous lines of communication and trade. The third geographical division are the mountains; the Cruth, Wyrmsteeth, Marston, and Veronian Mountains are all connected, if only by foothills. They increase in altitude from the Cruth, which are quite low. The last division is the Forest of Arden, for unlike the other forests that dot the landscape, including the large Canolbarth and Lusian ones, Arden is on a small plateau. The difference in altitude is measured only in dozens of feet, gradually rising (with Shady Lake at its center), but the effect on the flora is quite pronounced and unique. Only under these specific conditions can the vallenwood trees grow, and this is the only such forest in Arik.
Main products of Southold include gold and iron from mines in the Veronian Mountains, timber, furs, granite, copper, fish, cattle, as well as all manner of agriculture. The rich plains grow wheat, corn, and fruits as well as refined products such as beer, wine and cloth. Craftsmanship and shipbuilding are currently burgeoning industries for Southold as she expands into the 16th century. As a center for goods flowing from the newly discovered continent of Aztaltica, trade has flourished, particularly in Dunthrane and Bywater, as foreign merchants flock in to buy and sell these exotic wares,
As for climate, weather in Southold is usually warm, though most years see at least a dozen snowfalls. In the summer, warm ocean current contribute to the heat, and the occasional typhoon is not uncommon in the summer and fall. Rainfall is high, and fogs common even in inland areas on humid summer nights.
Andeaver Province - The northeastern province; capital, Montinelle. Andeaver is a rich province, due both to the fertile soil of the Battle Plains, and, more importantly, due to the great deposits of gold and iron in the southern Veronian Mountains. Cloth, cattle, timber, and grain are the other major products of this region. The majority of trade is conducted via the River Laine and the caravans that come through the Great Pass from Hule. Two sites holy to Tyr exist in Andeaver; the Shrine of Nevron, where the Kings of Southold make pilgrimages in search of wisdom and guidance, and Fontemere Abbey, where they are coronated. The current leader of this province is Duke Aimar II of the ruling House of Andron.
Anorien Province - Northernmost province of Southold; capital Bywater. A rich province that relies almost totally on grain; the bread-basket of Southold. Major products include all manner of grains, fruits, and corn, as well as extensive cattle and sheep raising. Some products refined and exported from the cities include cloth, and the best beer in Arik, the famous Bywater Beer (Sashenstar being the most popular of these). There is much trade for Taran and Elven goods on the Greyflood, especially at Bywater's annual Trade Fair. Though the nobles here are well-off from their agricultural profits, the peasants are dirt-poor. This has even led to the rise of a charismatic rebel, Magooan the Pirate, who sails the Greyflood, plundering the House of Cawdor's ships in the name of a free Anorien. Duke Duncan is the well-loved ruler of the province.
Balar Province - The easternmost province, and the one most recently formed. Balar was annexed from Hule in 1407. The capital is Harbury, which lies on the isle which gives this poor province its name. The products of these mountainous lands are iron, granite, copper, ship-building, and fish. However, despite these varied resources, Balar is the poorest province. However, it has the most castles of all, and each city is fortified to double as a fortress. Indeed, with the large standing army always present here, Balar resembles a military garrison. The area receives some sea trade, and the only other trade route is the Great Pass, where Huler caravans cross to and from the Sind. The border with Hule, especially the Great Pass, is heavily defended, and small skirmishes with the Huler soldiers on the other side occur periodically. Likewise, the coastline is garrisoned to protect the province from Sahuagin (or “Sea Devil”) attacks from the submerged kingdom of Aleaxtis. The treacherous Lord Edrin formerly controled this border province that was once called the Barrier Marches. Now the King has given rulership to Duke Warwick.
Battle Plains - These are the fertile plains south of the Lusian Forest, extending from the River Laine to the foothills of the Marston Peaks. The farms here grow mainly wheat, while cattle grazing is also common. The grim name of these lands derives from the fact the numerous battles have been fought here since the Cataclysm, when these lands were known as the Plains of Hope. Ironically, the soldiers who fought and died here, seeking destruction, brought life, increasing the fertility of the land. Numerous rusted weapons litter the land, usually just under the topsoil, and in areas, piles of bleached bones are evident. Naturally, there are many stories of ghosts and undead roaming the land at night, but these appear, for the most part, to be mere stories to frighten children, as there are very few disturbances of this nature.
Canolbarth Wood - Forest in Andeaver north of the Falls of Rauros and around the confluence of the Ash and Laine, the portion between these two rivers is rumored to be inhabited by a tribe of Wild Elves, the Garguth. This particular area is regarded with great superstition by the locals, but the remainder is a great source of timber, game and animal pelts.
Creswell Fields - Rich plains in southern Sylmarch. Cattle, sheep, corn, and fruits are raised here. Products of this agricultural region go directly to Bristol or to Deep Fell, Tara. These important fields have long been coveted by the Cortalish Empire.
Cruth Mountains - A low mountain range in Hadlech. Most shun this region because of the wild and dangerous reputation it has. Orcs and their half-orc brethren are common on the fringes of the Cruth, most operating as bandits on the nearby thoroughfares. The Bloody Spear orc clan is the most deadly such group this side of the Thaar. Deeper in the Cruth, trolls gnolls, minotuars,and hobgoblins are common. However, there are rumors that a mysterious land, a mountain paradise called Haven dwells in the heart of the mountains. It is said that in this land, all races live together in harmony. This has made a wonderful children's tale for centuries.
Drentmoors - The Drentmoors are vast swamps southeast of Lake Amsorak. Many swamp monsters live their, including numerous lizard men. A titanic battle was fought in the Second Cortalish War, when St. Cuthbert fought Vecna in a grand melee in which they both perished. Today, this is where many of the rare herbs of Bylot are harvested, including the Paprilla plant, from which the quality Bylot parchment is derived. The strange Donablan community of Eylea is the only settlement of size that manages to eke out its existance in the fens.
Dunador Province - Crown province of Southold, Dunador is the richest of the six provinces as well. Dunador receives numerous goods for trade from the River Laine and the South Sea. In fact, Dunthrane is a major stop on the mercantile fleet routes as well as for the caravans out of Hule. It is a nexus of trade that sustains the entire province. The main products exported are timber, fish, cattle, wool, fruits, shipbuilding and craftsmanship. The Royal Southolder Navy is based here in Dunador's capital Dunthrane, as is the recently established standing Army of Southold. King Edmund III is the current sovereign, all of whom are descended from the Line of Athelstan.
Falls of Rauros - These large falls, some 500’ high are at the confluence of the Rivers Laine and Ash. Scholars speculate that the granite here has not worn as quickly as the surrounding land. This, along with the combined flow of two large rivers, creates a wonderful spectacle. Many well-to-do freemen and nobles visit to see this great vista. During the Videssian Occupation before the rise of Southold, the northern invaders built a canal, traversing the falls by a mile, so that shipping from up-river could be conducted further down the River Laine. Also of interest is an abandoned monastery to Tyr, its name and cause for abandonment forgotten.
Firth of Dunthrane - The spit of land jutting into the South sea and making the eastern border of the Gulf of Southold. Customarily, the castle on the Firth is awarded to the King's closest advisor, the Lord High Chamberlain (currently Hollend), as it is but a few hours' ride to the capital.
Forest of Arden - A forest of large vallenwood trees, the only one of its kind, inhabited by the Rangers and Druids of Arden. Nominally part of Southold, this region is actually politically, economically, and militarily autonomous. In fact, this forest is nearly totally self-contained, with few visitors let in and only minimal trade for essentials unavailable in the wood. The settlement at the forest's center, Shady Vale, is the center for rangers of Solonar and the druids of Silvanus. The other druidic bastion is, of course, Myrloch Vale, sacred to Ehlonna, in the far-away Green Isles. This enclave is ruled benevolently by Ranger Lord Dorian, who reigns with his wife, Great Druidess
Miriel of Silvanus.
Hadlech Province - The central province of Southold has the city of Cheltham as its capital. It is a semi-rich province that exports fruits, pipeweed, grain, timber, corn, and some silver in the southern Cruth. Much trade in this province takes place on the mighty Sirion, as well as at Tavistock, pipe-weed capital of the world. This province has historically been the closest to the King, and was first to join the newly formed Confederation of Southold in 1066. Hadlech is controlled by the House of Hador, with Duke Garthran currently in
Isle of Balar - This sole island possession of Southold is in the southeast corner of the kingdom. A huge rocky promontory rising from the South Sea, Balar is a heavily garrisoned island. Harbury, a huge fortress overlooking the island's only safe harbor (at the mouth of the small Rockflood River) and is the capital of the poor province that bears the isle's name. However, the western region is cultivatable (though the soil is poor) and a meager supply of barley is grown. Strangely enough, a vine called stonegrape thrives on the many rocky cliffs that adorn the jagged coastline. This grape is doubly true to its name in that the fruit is extremely hard, and can only be eaten when over-ripe and nearly falling off the vine. This stonegrape makes an excellent wine, one surpassed only by the famed Minoan and Taran vintages. Peasants here are among the poorest and most oppressed in Southold, and life-expectancy is disproportionately low.
Great Pass - An ancient pass through the otherwise impassable Marston Peaks, that southern spur of the Veronian Mountains. It winds nearly forty miles, with several choke points merely a hundred yards wide, though at places it is over three miles wide. The pass is heavily garrisoned by both the Southolders and the Hulers at their respective ends, while the middle is neutral. This restriction is often broken by both sides, who skirmish to test the other's readiness. Even though the forces here are in a war footing, traders are generally allowed to pass through unhindered, as the closure of the Pass and the end of trade would be a serious economic blow to both nations. Huge Huler caravans are often seen passing back and forth, along with increasing numbers of Southolder entrepreneurs.
Greyflood River - This is the mightiest river on Arik, a full four miles across near its mouth. Its origins are far into the Heartlands and beyond, even to the fringes of Videssos and the Yazakh Steppes. It also passes by Alesia, Tara, and the Galathiene. Needless to say, the Greyflood is the primary trade route of the entire continent. It has thus attracted the attention of several groups of buccaneers, most of whom are ruthlessly put down, but some of whom have survived to become legends. Foremost is Magooan the Pirate, described under the entry for Anorien. Another is Jean-Claude the Terrible, a ruthless Taran.
Gulf of Selune - A small Gulf characterized by its many coves and rocky shoreline. At the coast's furthest point inland, in a small natural bay, is the city of Cheltham. Somewhere on these coasts are nearly a dozen mobile pirate bases.
Gulf of Southold - A very important and wide Gulf into which the rivers Laine and Sirion empty. Bounded by the Firth of Dunthrane on the east, and Alcester on the west, this region is well patrolled and sheltered from both pirate and storm.
Lake Amsorak - The largest lake in Arik, home to a multitude of fish, as well as the occasional sea monster in its deeper reaches. People have occasionally seen, at midnight, a mysterious ghost fleet battling. This is thought to be the haunts of those who perished in the decisive Battle for Amsorak between Tara and Silvania (now the Cortalish Empire) in 1276.
Lusian Forest - Once known as the Dark Wood (not to be confused with that much larger and more dangerous forest bordering Videssos and Thonia), this forest was rid of its banshee haunts by an unknown party of adventurers in 1501. Now much timber is harvested here for Andeaver's burgeoning economy.
Moorlands - These are large dangerous swamps between the Lusian Forest and the River Laine in Andeaver. This is evidently due to a depression in elevation of no more than a few feet, but has had drastic effects on the flora and fauna. The Moorlands are basically safe (as safe as a swamp can be), save for a single threat. A creature of enormous size known only as the Swamp Thing is said to have dwelt here for the last two centuries. The brave (or foolish) of heart, usually young adventurers from Montinelle, often venture within, for bets are often made for an individual to sleep within the swamps confines for a night. Since the Moorlands cover a rather large area, few have been troubled. However, those unlucky enough to camp near the creature have, of course, not returned.
River Laine - This is the wide, slow river that flows through central Southold. It is used extensively by the dwarves of Belegost for trade, and for ferrying goods from Andeaver and from Anorien (via Wyrms Gap and the Ash.)
Ash River - This river originates in the Wyrmsteeth Range and is very fast flowing until its confluence with the Laine at the Falls of Rauros. The speed of the water makes transport treacherous, but several river pilots out of Wyrm's Gap know the route sufficiently well to navigate it. This is the secondary route through which the vast harvests of Anorien are distributed across Southold (the primary route being down the Greyflood.)
Shady Lake - This is a medium sized lake in a basin at the center of the Forest of Arden. The settlements of the Rangers and Druids are here, on the vallenwood-covered banks of this tranquil body of water. Indeed it is said that any that are not totally in tune with nature (rangers, druids, elves, woodsmen, etc.) would be driven insane by the beauteous sight of the Lake, which legend attributes to the divine tears Silvanus Oak Father shed as he watched the races suffer the Cataclysm.
Shady Vale - A settlement of Rangers and Druids on Shady Lake. This area is impossible to surprise since it surrounded by dozens of miles of forest, and the instant an intruder crosses the border from the surrounding plains, the rangers know. This is accomplished through watch-posts, patrols, and friendship and alliance with the animals. Shady Vale is actually only one of a dozen small settlements, but it is the largest and most beautiful. The community is self-sufficient, subsisting on the fish of the lake and the food of the wild. Though aloof from Southold, Arden has come in its time of need, as in the Second Cortalish War. In the current war, it has been providing covert aid to Dunthrane. In that disastrous conflict, only Arden and Alcester remained unoccupied by the enemy host. The Ranger Lord, Dorian rules here with his wife Arch-Druidess Miriel.
Shrine of Nevron - A famous shrine in the foothills of the Veronian Mountains in Andeaver holy to Tyr. It is said that St. Cuthbert (Tyr's avatar sent down to fight Vecna in the Second Cortalish War) struck the rock here with his great mace, and by the grace of Tyr, water sprung forth to quench the thirst of his weary knights. Since then, every King makes a pilgrimage to Nevron at his coming of age (18). The waters are holy to Tyr, and are said to grant the future King great wisdom and judgement. Other pious Southron followers of the Grimjaws also travel there, and rave about the effects of drinking these holy waters. Recently, during the great Drow Uprising, those dark elves took the Shrine by force, but Bywater's premier adventuring company, the Knights of the Lyre, sallied forth and drove away the invaders back into the bowls of Grund.
Sirion River - The mighty River Sirion may be shorter than the other rivers, but it is very swift. It drains the fell Cruth, and empties into the Gulf of Southold after passing Cheltham and Alcester.
South Sea - The great ocean to the south of Southold. It is very stormy in the summer and fall and contains many pirates, especially on the Umbars. Great sea monsters and serpents lie below its surface. This is a subtropical ocean, warmed by several currents, which significantly affect weather in Arik. Typhoons regularly smash into the southern coasts during the season. Regardless of the dangers, trade routes crisscross this body of water; it is an essential medium for trade and communication.
Veronian Mountains - The southern part of these mountains is in Andeaver, and spurs go west into Andeaver (the Wyrmsteeth) and south into Balar (the Marston Peaks). These mountains are extremely high and have snow at their summits year round. They are a virtual treasure trove of metals such as gold, copper and iron in the area Southold controls. Unfortunately, many families of stone giants live in the area and hate being interrupted.
Wyrm's Gap - A large valley where the Ash leaves the surrounding Wyrmsteeth Range. In fact, Wyrm's Gap is exactly that, a gap in the mountains. As the only other route for transporting Anorien's goods, especially foodstuffs, south other than the Greyflood, this gap is heavily garrisoned by Anorien. In fact, a large trading settlement has been set up, also called Wyrm's Gap (see cities). Likewise, caravan routes from Hule head either up this route via the cities of Andeaver, or the coastal route to Dunthrane or Alcester. In the latter days of the Civil War, it was briefly occupied by local monsters under the guidence of Andeaver's adventuring group, the Swords of Montinelle. Luckily, the Third Bywater Expeditionary Army, led by the Bywater Six, managed open the Gap at great cost.
Wyrmsteeth Range - Mountains in southern Anorien, a spur of the huge Veronian Mountain chain. They get their name from their craggy resemblance to dragon's teeth. Actually there are dozens of dragons that reside here, and they often plague the nearby countryside. Adventurers willing to plunder the many lairs here are few, since the nearby dragons usually assist a fellow dragon under attack. However, the immense treasure here means that nonetheless, many an adventuring company heads for the Wyrmsteeth eventually; to find either death or riches.
Sylmarch Province - The westernmost province of Southold, with Bristol as its capital. Generally an agraian province except for the capital city. Major products include fish, herbs, Bylot parchment, cattle, wheat, and wool. This province is rather affluent due to the presence of the fertile Creswell Fields. Yet, it lives in constant fear of the juggernaut of the Cortalish Empire, which has never admitted to the current political boundaries. House Galloway has always controlled Sylmarch, and Duke Harold is the current ruler.
Abberwyvern - a village on the south coast on the road along the border of Balar and Dunador. The town was the Barony of the deceased Ryan Hamfast, formerly Fharo of the Miscreants. Its other claim to fame is the home of the infamous Shady Dragon Inn, run by the hearty fighter Nansen. The anchorage at Abberwyvern is used by many pirates and smugglers, hence the clientele.
Aethelred's Tower - In Andeaver, Aethelred's Tower guards a bridge over the River Laine. This area was on the fringe of civilization when settled (c. 1100), and is walled and contains a large tower, typical of the fortifications of the time. It was named after the old House of Aethelred, infamous for its bid for power in the failed 1363 assassination attempt on King Ethelred II. Descendent of the House of Aethelred still rule this city, which conducts much trade with the dwarves of Belegost.
Alcester - This metropolis is infamous throughout Arik as a focal point for trade and commerce, as well as being a den of thieves and ruffians. The city has a marsh nearby, which, though small, is called the Great Marsh. Much wheat, barely, and oats are grown nearby to feed the teeming masses in Alcester. Fish, shipbuilding, glass, cloth, and high-quality rum are all exports. This town was historically an independent city-state before 1322, when the combined army and navy of Southold managed to conquer it after a long siege. Even today, Alcesterts have an independent streak, as well as a separate military and legal system.
Bristol - Capital of Sylmarch. Unlike the rest of the province, Bristol is a very rich city. With all the goods coming down the Greyflood, it is a merchant's dream. Local products include craftsmanship, corn, wool, fruits, and cattle from the Creswell Fields. This city is a focal point for rich money-lenders, who finance many a trip up or down the Greyflood from here, its mouth.
Bol - A medium sized walled city in Anorien on the upper Ash River. Much of the province's grain is brought here for shipment south.
Bylot - A poor, dirty city at the end of Lake Amsorak in Sylmarch. It sends herbs, fish, parchment, and corn down the Fenwash. Bylot has a small navy and a pitifully run-down wall. It receives many imports from Tara and some goods smuggled in from the Cortalish Empire.
Bywater - The capital of Anorien, Bywater sprawls across the banks of the Greyflood. Once a year, at Higharvestide, the famous Bywater Trade Fair is held. At this occasion, merchants from all corners of Arik converge on this Heartland city. Normally, the city deals in grain, corn, foodstuffs, etc, but during the Fair, items from all Arik are available for sale. Bywater is led by the sagacious Duke Duncan, and is defended by the most powerful mercenary company in the civilized world, Eltan's Flaming Fist. Bywater is quite famous for its beer, which is made from the best Anorien wheat and shipped down the Greyflood for consumption in most civilized regions of the world.
Cheltham - Capital of Hadlech, at the Sirion's base. This city is walled and its main products are timber, some silver in the southern Cruth, wheat, and corn. It is a rich city, and many materials are brought here to be shipped down-river.
Conna - The easternmost city of Dunador, also that province's poorest. Since this sprawling city is in the country's interior, it has no walls, only a small central keep at the harbor. It does have much trade, however, since caravans from Hule often go here instead of nearby Kenilworth, as Dunador's taxes are cheaper than those of Balar. Thus, shipbuilding, wool and corn are the primary regional products.
Dunthrane - The fabled Crown City of Southold, with its majestic, whitewashed walls lies at the mouth of the River Laine. Dunthrane is a rich city, and even the peasants in residence share in this affluence. Towering above the city is the magnificent White Tower of Archmage Bigy on the one side, and the spires of the Royal Citadel on the other. A third of the city lies outside the walls, vast areas rebuilt since they were burned in the siege during the Civil War. Because Southold’s first King Athelstan declared the city the seat of Tyr’s worship, no other temples are allowed inside the city walls, though most faiths are represented in temples--some ramshackle and new--just outside. Despite an excellent Watch, the dock quarter is known for its seediness, and crime is rife in such areas after dark. One of the city’s claims to fame is the Royal Academy, surpassed only by the great University of Videssos. On Midsummer the Dunthrane Trade Fair takes place, where goods from around the world are sold. Even during the rest of the year, there is a vast assemblage of merchants, yet Dunthrane has high taxes to match its splendor.
Eastmarch - The strongest citadel in all of Southold, save for Harbury and Dunthrane, this fortress town guards the Great Pass. A huge army contingent is always stationed here, but the peasants are dirt poor. Between skirmishes with the Hulers, this town trades in granite, copper, iron, and poor quality corn.
Harbury - Capital of Balar, this, the second largest fortress in Southold has five stout walls. Peasants here aren't as poor as in the rest of Balar, but by no means prosper either. Shipbuilding, fish, and Balar wine are the primary products. Much naval trade is conducted here as this is the last Southolder port on an eastward journey.
Haven - A mythical kingdom rumored to be in the center of the Cruth Mountains and ruled by a Princess Argenta. Humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings live together in this magic valley in total harmony. By legend, an impenetrable barrier surrounds its lands, sparing Haven from the many monsters living nearby.
Kenilworth - A major port-citadel of Balar, this city is one of the poorest in the nation. It maintains a sizeable fleet and army, though, as well as a stout wall. However, since there is no great wealth here, the serfs are constantly near starvation.
Liveoak - A small city in central Hadlech. The main claim to fame of this settlement is the proximity to the clan of seers known as the Bird-Sighted. Also, a powerful archmage of the Conclave of Wizards, Zenjik Demonslayer, makes his residence here. The village of Logan’s Way is several miles north, home of lycanthrope hunter Black Arrow.
Luln - The southernmost city in Andeaver, Luln is on the Laine just beyond the Falls of Rauros. It is undefended, but rather large. Much trade passes down-river, but Luln is not one of the Huler caravan stops. Timber, cattle, and wool are the products of the area.
Montinelle - The rich capital of Andeaver, where gold and iron from the Veronian mines constantly flood the economy. Cattle, wool, and timber are also primary trade items. Caravans on the northern route through Southold invariably stop here to trade. There is a substantial keep at this walled city's center.
Princethorpe - A rich port on the southern coast of Dunador. In past times it was relatively undefended, but with the rise of the Umbar pirates, a sturdy wall has been built and its garrison enlarged. This city mainly produces ships, crafts, fish, some cattle, wool, and fruits. Taxes here are quite high.
Tavistock - Exotic city in the country's center. All sorts of perfumes, spices, women, and the prized Tavistockian pipe-weed are sold here. The bars serve sweet Balar wine and hearty Bywater beer, Taran mead, as well as the occasional smuggled bottle of Silvanian whiskey. In short, Tavistock deals in the out of the ordinary. It was an adventurer's paradise. This city, which lacked even the most rudimentary defenses, was overrun early in the Civil War and burned to the ground by the rebelling armies of Duke Aimar II under Marshal Tenkrily. Much of the rebuilding has been completed, but the city is not the same.
Tragidore - A small town several days ride north of Dunthrane. This farming community's only claim to fame is that a Drow scouting base was located nearby. The base garrison was slain to the last by Thingol & Company, apparently convincing the Drow of House Everhate not to join forces with Edrin early in the Civil War.
Urml - A small city on the southern border of the Wyrmsteeth, in Hadlech. A large battle was fought there in 1405 between the militia and raiding humanoids, during which it is said that Nuada himself rode down from the peak known as Nuada's Watch and smote the enemies. Each year there is a festival on Midsummer commemorating and reenacting the battle, accompanied by a great market where some of the most rare magic and mundane weapons are for sale. At the 100th anniversary reenactment, the humanoids again attacked, under Lord Soth's guidance. By impersonating Nuada, he nearly stole a holy artifact in that city, the Hand of Nuada, but was foiled by a Knight of the Silver Hand. Between the Urml College of Arms and the Nuadan temple there (it has begun attracting pilgrims since the incident) Urml is growing at an unprecedented rate. The town’s notables are Marshal Creose of Urml, head of the College, and the adventuring group known as The Hunt.
Verge - A small village in Anorien on the Greyflood Pike, whose only claim to fame is that the famous adventurers Retameron and his wife Halia rule from their tower. The two formerly made up the Daring Duo, but have since retired to this pastoral farming town.
Woburn - A poor, walled town on the far side of Lake Amsorak. It specializes in shipbuilding, fishing, timber, and liquor. This town is on the Cortalish frontier, and the residents have long known it would be the first to fall if the Cortalish juggernaut pushed into Southold. The population is mostly made up of those who can't leave; serfs and poor freemen. In 1504, when Southold was turned inward by the terrible famine and Edrin's Civil War, the Empire struck, seizing the town with little difficulty, and have garrisoned it, claiming the land around Woburn as its 19th province. Yet Vecna did not push his army further. This annexation proved a justification for war as Southold began the first offensive of the Third Cortalish War in the Spring of 1508. The town was only liberated in early 1511.
Wyrm's Gap - Settlement in the large valley that goes by the same name. The city is heavily garrisoned and specializes in mining iron and gems from the nearby fringes of the Wyrmsteeth. Rich fields of various vegetables lie to the north, and since the caravan's northern trade route passes through here, Hulers can often be seen hawking their wares here. Wyrm's Gap is strategically important because it represents one of two ways the vast stores of Anorien's wheat reach the south.
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