- Duchy of Arandor
- West Coast
- The Eastmark
- The North
- Nordland & Storm Isles
The King's Road, northern Anglamar.
Commonroom of the Olde Inn.
GONDARAN and CENTRAL ANGLAMAR
In the center of Gondaran stands the Royal Castle, the residence of the Royal Family and headquarters of the Knights of the Gryphon. City affairs are attended by a Guilds Council, made up of the local guildmasters who meet in Guildsmans’ Hall. The King allows them autonomy in city government, though any important policy decisions must be approved by His Majesty.
Since taking the throne shortly after the New Year, King Thelgar has enacted several initiatives intended to reform city government. These include the establishment of the office of Lord Mayor of Gondaran and the expansion of the Guilds Council's management of city affairs. All members of the Royal household and staff, including officers of the Knights of the Gryphon, have been removed from city administration.
Other important locations within the city are:
This small town stands north of The Dales, on the shore of Lake Miragond. The people tend small farms, graze dairy cows on the surrounding hillsides, and fish the waters of the lake. They are the only human folk who have regular contact with the halflings of The Dales, trading with them via the Twain Road, and both humans and halflings can be found patronizing the Overhill Inn. This old hilltop tavern and hostelry gives a view of The Dales to the south and Lake Miragond to the north, and the fat innkeeper Feodor proudly offers halfling beer and whitebread on his menu.
The only town in the Weathermoors is a cluster of native stone cottages and circular animal pens clustered around a spring-fed well. It is the center of the wool trade, where shepherds bring their flocks for fleecing and the wool is processed and loaded on wagons for transport to Gondaran. The people are quiet, serious and hardworking, not known as the friendliest folk in Anglamar, but among the most even-tempered. They have little interest in the rest of the world and view a solid work ethic (up early, work all day, early to bed) as the greatest virtue.
The Wolf’s Head Tavern is known for it’s strong, bitter ale, gloomy ambiance, and the unfriendliness of the owner and patrons to outsiders. Still, it is the only public establishment in town where a traveler can get a drink, warm meal and a bed for the night.
The massive granite fortress perched atop cliffs at the northern edge of the Weathermoors overlooks the Barrens northward to Winter Gap. It is a foreboding, lonely place blasted by blizzards in Winter, rain-soaked and muddy in Summer. No one lives on the land surrounding Kragmoor, though herds of reindeer and wolves cross the barren flats to the north. The castle’s purpose is simple: To keep watch on the Gap and send warning if the monstrous hordes of the Far North ever come south again. The castle itself is manned by thirty knights and some 500 men-at-arms of the King’s own Knights of the Gryphon, and it is considered a hardship to be stationed here for more than a single Winter. The knight-commander of Kragmoor holds the title Warder of the North and has the authority to call on troops from throughout Anglamar if the need arises.
This cluster of villages and farmsteads is located in the midst of the richest farming region of Anglamar. The surrounding country is green and fertile, producing grains and produce in abundance. Plowed fields, barns and windmills and herds of dairy cows are everywhere. From Middlefields, goods are transported by wagon to the far reaches of the kingdom. There is little in the way of the shops and services found in most towns. The villagers regularly travel to Gondaran to shop or deal with traveling traders who pass through the area. However, there are several small taverns which cater to the locals, and two well-known inns with extensive stables and animal pens. The Hall of the Blue Ox is a low, sprawling stone building (formerly a huge dairy barn) on the King’s Road to the west, famous for its vast drinking hall. In the center of Middlefields is The Windtower Inn, where the rooms are located in a large and no longer operating windmill.
This tradetown on the edge of Winterwood Forest is where merchants come from the north to trade their goods in Winter. The town is the site of the Mid-Winter Trade Meet, where traders and travelers come to meet and conduct commerce. Furs and leather, iron, and fish from the Winterborne River are brought from Northinghall by wagon or pack train to be traded for southern goods. It is also the place to find work as a frieghtman, blacksmith or wheelwright - or as a caravan guard or merchant’s bodyguard for those with skill-at-arms. For many weeks during the Winter, the town is a bustling place. In Summer it becomes just another waystop on the road to the Northern Marches
. The town is not walled and most of the buildings are wood shacks and log halls. However, in the center of Wintermeet is a two-story stone building built like a small keep. Wayfarers’ Hall is run by Hodgern Rus, a fat giant of a man. He charges outrages prices during the trading season for rooms, meals and stabling, but is quite reasonable the rest of the year.
This area of treeless hills is actually the site of ancient burial mounds where Kothic chieftains were interred before the founding of Anglamar. Green turf covers the mounds and ancient stone circles and carved menhiirs stand here and there. Travelers avoid the Barrows since fogs and strange mists cling to the ground and it is always colder there than it should be. It is commonly believed that whatever treasure and artifacts lie buried in the mounds are cursed, and that anyone who robs them will meet an unpleasant end.
The sage and historian Adelmir Varos, working in the Royal Court, has advanced a theory that the region of the Barrows was originally a halfling homeland. Abandoned long before the founding of Anglamar, the halfling borrows where used as burial mounds by the ancient Koths. Waros has acquired a Royal commission to begin excavations in the Spring, 1490.
This hilly upland rises between Winterwood Forest and the farmlands in northern Anglamar, just north of the King's Road. It is actually a cluster of five hills, bare of trees but with scattered woods between them. Here, in 1403 I.R., was fought the final battle of the War of the Crowns, when Loyalist forces led by King Thelgar II defeated the army of Hedric, the so-called Rebel King, and his Nordlander allies. Atop the central hill, stands a granite marker stone that commemorates the battle ... In 1454 I.R., the surviving members of the old Royal Guard gathered at Battle Down to await the King's justice after discovery of the plot of the Black Monk - and here they were slaughtered nearly to a man by the Swords of Beregond.
Thelgar's charge at Battle Down, 1403 I.R.
No one lives on Battle Down, though local folk often hunt the scattered woods. It is believed that the ghosts of the fallen arise here upon occasion to fight old battles again. The hills are the site of the annual gathering of Barons during the Kenlaw (late Summer), when the nobility of Anglamar reafirm their allegiance to the Crown.
THE KING'S ROAD
The kingdom of Anglamar is connected by a network of stone-paved
and packed earth roads and stone bridges. Long ago, the Kings
realized that prosperity depends on trade, and trade relies on travel
as farmers and merchants carry their goods from farm to market,
town to town, using wagons and pack animals. Thus, a system of
reliable roads was constructed throughout Anglamar (except in the
North and the Eastmark), connecting all of the major market places.
Though the roads are considered Royal property, they are required
to be maintained by the nobles who’s lands they cross. Willful
destruction of the roads or bridges is a violation of the King’s Law ...
Many years ago, while fighting brigands near the Elderwood, the
mage Larande accidentally collapsed Whispering River Bridge with
an ill-placed fireball. For this, he was half-a-year in Gondaran’s
dungeons, during which he claimed to have spent the time con-
templating the finer points of spell control.
This deep blue lake north of The Dales is surrounded by woods and lush meadows where dairy cows graze. The town of Farhill stands on its western shore and the Royal Family maintains a summer residence at a small keep known as Gryphon Manor. When the Queen Mother is in residence, it is not uncommon for halflings from the Dales to cross the hills and the lake to visit (It’s said that Her Majesty loves nothing more than Summer evenings on the lakeshore with halfling children running about). At such times, of course, a contingent of the Knights of the Gryphon are close at hand (Her Majesty would say "under foot").
On a small mist-shrouded island in the lake stands a ruined stone tower. According to local legend, it was once the home of a mysterious magess who disappeared a hundred years ago. The locals do not go to the island for fear of old magics that might still guard the place.
The stoney upland of heath and bare knolls in northern Anglamar is an infertile land, cold in Winter, dank and muddy the rest of the year, good for little but sheep herding. The Moors are criss-crossed by stream-cut gulleys and scattered with rocky outcroppings, strangely shaped by the elemnts. There are many sink-holes and water-bored caves, known to be the lairs of beasts and other creatures more strange. In several places, the weathered ruins of some long-lost kingdom can be found, which the locals believe to be haunted. At night, the sheep herders of Hoven bring their flocks in to stone-fenced enclosures to guard them from wolves and other predators.
This thick stand of oak, elm and maplewood stretches south of the Winterborne River from the edge of the Weathermoors westward nearly to the Gondish Hills. Folk come to cut hardwood timber for carpentry and load wagons with firewood, and there is plenty of game – deer, bear, squirrels, wild fowl and boars along the riverbanks. The part of the King’s Road running north from Wintermeet through the forest is a lonely stretch, closed in by forest and nearly deserted in Winter, known to be the haunt of bandits. There has been a single waystation along its span, the only civilized stopping place between the Winterborne crossing and Wintermeet.
Gryphon Peak in Winter.
The folk of the Gondish Hills are simple farmers, herders and hunters, clannish in nature with little interest in greater affairs, despite the fact that they are of the tribe ruled by Thelron the Great before he united the Koths and founded Anglamar. They are quite proud of this heritage and staunch loyalists of the crown, bearing some disdain for the high-born airs of the Anglamarian nobility. By tradition, the Gondfolk are led by a chieftain, now little more than a ceremonial title granted to the descendants of the old Gondish chiefs. Officially, the King of Anglamar still holds the title, Lord of Gond. The Hills are, by Royal decree, outside the feudal organization of the rest of Anglamar - no noble lord owns lands and collect taxes from the inhabitants. Nevertheless, there are a great number of Gondsmen in Royal service (particularly among the men-at-arms of the Knights of the Gryphon). Many Gondish folk are among the settlers of the Northern Marches, and there are strong family ties linking the highlands to the North.
This small town in the Gondish Hills, on the flanks of towering Gryphon Peak, is a rambling collection of lodges and cabins, a smithy, a tavern called the Black Dragon, and an ancient stone watchtower. In the old days, the tower was a watchpost where warning signals where relayed across the highlands. When fires were lit on the western plains below, the sentries at Dunadain Tower would light the bonfire atop it so that it could be seen to the east. Thus, in popular lore, the lighting of the watchfire at Dunadain means that Anglamar is in peril. The post is not manned, now, and hasn’t been for a hundred years. Dunadain is a quiet place where several veterans of the old Royal Guard have retired. It holds a secret, as well, known only to a few.
A small town on the shores of Lake Evermere, Everune is a peaceful out-of-the-way place. The people fish the waters of the lake and travel by boat downriver to Westhaven or upriver to Gondaran for their trading. As in other towns in the Gondish Hills, former members of the Old Guard have retired here. The town’s only tavern is a small, dull establishment, colorfully named The Splashing Serpent.
The cold clear lake is an idyllic spot. Surrounded by wooded hills and protected from the worst weather year around, Evermere is famous as a fine place to fish and as the home of a mysterious sea serpent-like creature known as the "Serpent of Evermere" – which, however, no one has been able to prove actually exists. The locals simply shake their heads or chuckle when asked about it.
THE OLDE INN
The large rambling hostelry known as the Olde Inn has stood stood in the
Gondish Hills for at least two hundred years. It is famous as the meeting
place of adventurers from distant lands, though many of those have moved on.
The Northern Rangers know this place well, as did the valiant Brightblades,
a mysterious Duke of Elsewhere, a firey sorceress, a princess or two from
far away, a planes-wandering centaur, magical elven sisters, a drow lord, and
an ancient benevolent dragon. Some of their tales may even be true ... Now
run by a grizzled old dwarf named Gault, the Inn remains unchanged and is
still the place to find the strange and mysterious. Stories of a gate to other
worlds are neither confirmed nor denied by those who know the place.
Below the Inn is a crystalline lake fed by highland streams, and above it
looms Travelers’ Tor, crowned with ruins and said to be the lair of a dragon,
unseen now for many years. Within the mountain, legends say, is the magic-
sealed tomb of an ancient lich, the last remnant of a long-dead race.
Travelers' Tor above the Gondish Hills.