Geography (Moertus Supplement)
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The Athar Forest lies in the far northern reaches of Norlund. It’s most northern edge borders with the Crater Bay. The forest is mostly made up of coniferous trees and plants, with oaks, maples, and elms scattered among them. Most animals and creatures that inhabit Cold Forests can be found here, as well the Athar Forest is home to sub-arctic versions of Spiders and Ettercaps. Monstrous Spiders, ranging in size from Small to Colossal, exist in huge numbers within the conifers of the Athar Forest, these Spiders are statistically the same as those in the Monster Manual except the have the “Cold” subtype. Large sections of the forest are draped in thick webs spun by millions of these creatures. Tribes of Ettercap, also the same as those in the Monster Manual except with the “Cold” subtype, make there homes in and among many of these spider infested areas. The area where the forest now grows was once the site of an enormous Athar city, ruins from this lost time still dot the forest and are often used as homes for the numerous creatures that live here. As well the Athar Forest is home to the Drow Elves, they make there homes both within the ruins of the Athar and in subterranean burrows built beneath the spider infested trees of the forest. The Athar Forest has snow fall for nearly 9 months out of every year, in some areas along the edge of the bay snow lies on the ground year round.
The Athar Wastes cover most of the southwestern corner of the continent, stretching from the Western Sea to the western edge of the Rigsholm Mountains, and as far north as the Great Glacial Plain. The entire region is a vast wasteland of sand, stone, and blasted ruins of the Athar’s past. This huge desert was once a massive city-state belonging to the Athar, but once Tiamat dealt out her wrath it became a barren land unsuitable to any not adapted to the hot, dry climate. Most animals, and creatures, that make their homes in Desert climates may be found here. Along the far western edge of the Wastes lie a small mountain range called the Thunderteeth Hills. These mountains are home to the Great Blue Wyrm, Galvanak and his tribes of Lamia who serve as his slaves and guardians.
The waters of this southernmost bay often have a deep reddish hue when the tides roll in. The cause may be from the series of volcanic islands that can be found within the heart of the bay, called the Ruby Islands. These 3 small islands are covered in thick jungle growth that is home to millions of insects, during the summer months huge clouds of these bugs fill the air and form a shifting haze around the islands as they fly about in their mating rituals. Many of these insects end up dead and floating in the surrounding waters, staining the sands and surf a deep reddish color that gives the islands their names. Aside from the insects, the Ruby Islands are home to the Great Red Wyrm, Cyndur. Many say that Cyndur has packs of Salamanders that serve as it’s slaves, but none have returned from the islands to confirm this. As well any animal, or creature, that lives in Warm Forest environments may be found here.
This massive bay stretches from the frozen arctic polar regions to the very edge of the Athar Forest. Legend says that the very capitol of the Athars was built here, but as Nicor began to exact his vengeance he called down a massive stone from the heavens that shattered the land and left this huge crater in it’s wake. Regardless of how it was formed, Crater Bay is deep, dark, and icy. Large portions of it’s northern edge are frozen solid, and periodically large pieces of this frozen mass will break off and float across the bay, making navigation here perilous. Those traversing this bay may encounter any animal, or creature, that can live in this Cold Aquatic environment.
This huge temperate forest lies in the center of the continent, and is home to the Elves of Moertus. It borders the Rigsholm Mountains on it’s western edge, and it’s other borders touch every Human nation to the north, east, and south. The forest is made up of a mixture of many broadleaf trees (such as Oak, Maple, Birch), as well as some coniferous trees and plants within its lower layers. Although the Elves claim this forest as theirs, many other creatures live within its confines. Along the border with the Rigsholm can be found the valley of the Gnomes, called Gnomvale. As well gangs of Trolls, and packs of Owlbears prowl the forest at will. Also most other animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate Forests may be found here. But by far the greatest danger of the Feyois Forest lies deep in it’s northern reaches. It is there that the Great Green Wyrm, Sepsez, makes it’s lair. This monster controls several tribes of Gnolls, that both patrol the surrounding forest, and carry out its bidding when needed to.
This long narrow valley that lies wedged between the Rigsholm Mountains and the Feyois Forest sits submerged beneath a large canopy of massive oak trees. The thick coverage blocks most of the sunlight from reaching the lower layers and ground coverage of the valley. Because of this there is little plant growth beneath these huge pillar like trees although the dark, damp, and cool conditions allow for rampant growth of all forms of mushrooms and fungi. Many of these fungi grow to impossibly large sizes, with some mushrooms reaching 8 to 10 feet in height. The Gnomvale has thicker growth along its eastern side, with it thinning as the valley stretches toward the west and the Rigsholm Mountains. The Glittering Gold River as well as several smaller streams flow down from the Rigsholm Mountains into the valley, these rivers bring down various mineral riches that gather along the bottom of the streams. As its name implies this valley is home to the Gnomes of Moertus. The Gnomes live amongst the giant fungi and some make burrows near the gem filled streams that roll down the mountains. Aside from the other creatures that live in Temperate Forests, this region is also home to bands of Kobolds (many living in underground warrens at the northern end of the valley) and the canopy is used as a roost for flocks of Stirges. These threats unfortunately keep the Gnomes from leading idyllic lives. Many types of fairies also make their homes within the valley and the surrounding areas of the Feyois Forest, they normally spend their time hidden from the sight of larger creatures.
Great Eastern Ocean
This huge body of water runs the entire length of the eastern edge of the continent. The Human nations ply the coasts for both trade and foodstuffs. The Great Eastern Ocean teems with life across it’s entire expanse, and small island chains dot the surface just a few hundred miles off the coast. Many of these islands are populated with large amounts of flora and fauna, and a few are known to house ancient Athar ruins. All manner of animals, and creatures, that live in the ocean can be found beneath the waves of the Great Eastern Ocean. Legends also speak of a race of beings, descended from the Athar, who live beneath the sea in large underwater cities.
Great Glacial Plain
The northwestern corner of the continent, beyond the Rigsholm Mountains, is a massive plain of frozen tundra, ice, and snow. Along it’s far northern border is a mountain range of frozen glacial ice. This wall of ice will push itself southward for hundreds of miles, before slowly retreating back to it’s original position. These huge glaciers perform this cycle over the course of several decades and repeat it endlessly. Very little lives in this region, only animals, and creatures, that live in Cold Lands or Cold Hills can manage to survive here. The greatest terror of this frozen waste lives within the Rigsholm Mountains at the edge of the glacial mountain range, the Great White Wyrm, Neverost. Gangs of Ettins serve this vicious monster, and kill any who enter their territory.
This region of rolling verdant hills, and pastures, sprawls from the eastern edge of the Rigsholm Mountains to the western bank of the Glitter Gold River, and as far north as the southern edge of the Feyois Forest down to the coast of the Carmine Bay and the Western Sea. This temperate area has several small woodlands and lakes scattered throughout it, but for the most part sources of water come from natural springs that dot the region and plant-life consists of many small fruit bearing bushes and trees that grow near them. As well a huge variety of grasses, weeds, and flowers grow everywhere in the Hillshires, making it a idyllic setting to look upon. Most animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate or Warm climates may be found here but this region is widely known as the home of the Halflings of Moertus. These little people make their homes all over this entire area, and enjoy a fairly peaceful existence. Still this region holds many dangers, with the most common coming from the tribes of Goblins and Hobgoblins that live in the foothills at the base of the Rigsholm Mountains.
The region known as Lysandra lies nestled between the Holy Rodull Empire, to the south, and the Riddari Union, to the north. On it’s western border lies the Feyois Forest and it’s eastern edge touches the Great Eastern Ocean. Lysandra itself has few woodlands scattered about it with most found near the Feyois, or the banks of the Eastern Ocean. As well Lysandra has very few rivers or lakes, again with most of these being found near the Feyois or the Ocean. Lysandra is the home of the Human kingdom of the same name, and Humans are found all across this region. As well most animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate climates may be found here. One of the most common dangers faced in this area is that of the bands of Ogres that make their homes here. While Humans actively hunt them, the Ogres nomadic nature makes it hard to drive them completely out of the region.
This vast foul smelling swamp extends from the southern border of the Holy Rodull Empire for an unknown distance towards the southern end of the continent. The pervasive stink that curses this region comes from the large amount of decaying vegetation that create huge peat bogs all throughout it. A wide array of trees, grasses, and bushes grow here, with many marshes and quagmires scattered throughout. Insect life is abundant here and as well many animals, and creatures, that live in Warm Swamps may be found here. Of all the creatures that live here the most common are the tribes of Lizardfolk that prowl this region. These evil monsters often prey on any who enter the swamp, but many tribes serve the Great Black Wyrm, Fluoric, who makes it lair deep within the Muskeg Swamp. Although the exact size of the swamp remains unknown, legends speak of a forest beyond the Muskeg that is home to a race of Gray Elves who keep tribes of Wild Elves (or Wood Elves) as slaves.
This large, untamed expanse of land lies north of the Riddari Union and encompasses virtually all of the territory in that region from the Rigsholm Mountains to the Great Eastern Ocean, and as far north as the Athar Forest. While not an arctic environment, the climate here stays relatively cold year round, and is famous for it’s long hard winters. Small forests, woodlands, and lakes dot the region in a seemingly random pattern, with a number of rivers flowing from its mountainous western frontier down into the relative flat lands of the east. While no true political divisions exist in Norlund, most of the barbaric Human tribes of this area live on the western side of the Blak Aufeis River, while the eastern portion is home to innumerable tribes of savage Orcs. Aside from these groups most animals, and creatures, that can live in Cold or Temperate climates may be found here.
This region is home to the Human nation of the Riddari Union. It lies just north of Lysandra and south of Norlund. Like Lysandra it’s western border touches the Feyois Forest, and borders the Great Eastern Ocean on it’s eastern edge. The area has a overall temperate climate, but tends to have freezing winters that many years last longer then is normal in the southern nations. Riddari itself has a large amount of forests and woodlands, as well as numerous lakes and small rivers. Aside from the Humans who live here this region is home to many animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate climates. Some of the most common dangers come from the tribes of vicious Gnolls that prowl the western portion of this region, and from the flights of Harpies that nest within the trees of Riddari’s many wooded areas.
This is an enormous mountain range that slices through the entire length of the continent, starting in the south at the edge of the Carmine Bay and running north to the lands beyond the Great Glacial Plain. This region is so large that it supports several different ecosystems along its length. The southern region, which starts at the Carmine Bay and stretches up to the area bordering the Feyois Forest, has a moderate climate. The extreme altitudes in many areas leave large sections buried under snow year round, but most sections of this area have seasonal weather similar to that of the lowlands in this same latitude, if just a bit cooler. The Dwarves of Moertus make their homes in this region of the Rigsholm, with clans found both near the surface and deep beneath the mountains. Other animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate or Warm Mountains can be found here as well. Some of the areas greatest dangers come from the Hill Giant and Stone Giant tribes that live here. The central region of the Rigsholm runs from the southern edge of the Feyois Forest north to the forest’s northern border. This area has a higher then average altitude, and few lowlands exist between its peaks. The result is an area that tends to stay in near winter conditions all year round, with thick snows and blizzards being common during the actual winter months. Some of this region’s most savage monsters can be found here, with tribes of Bugbears and Trolls being the most common. Although most animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate or Cold Mountains can be found here as well. The largest portion of the Rigsholm is the northern area, it spreads from the northern border of the Feyois Forest and stretches far to the north beyond known lands. As well a western spur branches off the Rigsholm here reaching all the way out to the Western Sea. The northern fork of the mountains is similar to that of the southern region in that it has a fair share of hilly lowlands as well as towering peaks, but the similarity ends there. The higher latitudes give these mountains a constant freezing temperature and snow falls continually regardless of the season. Snow storms and blizzards are very common here, with periodic avalanches always being a threat. The Duergar of Moertus live beneath these icy towers, only coming to the surface when a specific need arises. This area is home to Frost Giants and Troglodytes, but most animals, and creatures, that live in Cold Mountains can be found here as well. The western spur lies wedged between the Great Glacial Plain and the Athar Wastes, as such the overall climate here is a blend of the two extremes. Winters can be harsh and freezing, while summers can be sweltering and horribly dry. With both spring and fall vacillating between the two with little warning. There are many volcanos in this area as well, and lava vents, flows and steaming geysers are a common site. Tribes of Fire Giants, Cloud Giants, and Storm Giants populate this area, but many animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate Mountains can be found here as well.
This region is home the largest Human nation on Moertus, the Holy Rodull Empire. It spreads from the southern edge of both the Feyois Forest and the Kingdom of Lysandra, all the way south to the northern edge of the Muskeg Swamp. As well it runs from the eastern edge of the Glitter Gold River out to the Great Eastern Ocean. It’s sheer size means the local climate varies from temperate to the north becoming near tropical at its southern border. Rodull is covered in fertile plains that support a huge variety of plant life, much of which is harvested for Human consumption, although along it’s eastern borders there are several woodlands and forests, and small rivers and lakes make their way down from the seas and into the Muskeg Swamp. The Human population is very large in Rodull and their strict lifestyle helps keep most monsters at bay, but still various creatures still make their homes here, the greatest dangers though come from the untamed swamp and Lizardfolk will often raid nearby settlements. As well many animals, and creatures, that live in Temperate or Warm Plains can be found here as well.
This huge body of water runs the entire length of the western edge of the continent. As no Human nations exist along its shores the sea remains a vast untouched resource full of aquatic flora and fauna. Several small islands are known to exist off the coast of Moertus but little is known about them. There are legends of a huge continent called Bahamut that once existed within this sea, but was destroyed long ago while the Athars still dwelled on this world. Still stories persist of a chain of shattered islands that are the remains of this continent, islands said to hold great ruins and also said to be home to a race of good Dragons. As well legend says that a portal to the mythical city of Sigil can be found on these islands.