Towns and Hamlets
The capital of the realm is Brosna. Brosna is the administrative center of Nordock and the seat of its government, the Duke of Brosna. Though expensive and crowded, Brosna still manages to offer a decadently luxurious lifestyle to those with the money to afford it and a cold cell in a dark dungeon to those who can’t. Life for the underpriviledged is just as a difficult as it is comfortable for the rich, but the large amount of available jobs, the high salaries and the organised services of the city still attract a disproportionate part of Nordock citizens to Brosna. The north of the city is dominated by the elite and high society, while the south part of the city is reserved for the working class.
Benzor began as an outpost for reprovisioning the caravans and merchants emerging from the dangerous trek through Ornal Pass. The high through fare of merchants resulted in quick growth and Benzor soon became a major commercial center. The emergence of shipping guilds and the switch to trade by sea however, put a stop to the booming economic growth of Benzor, transfering the heart of commerce to mulrok island instead. Still, it was Benzorian entrepreneurs that pioneered the formation of the shipping empires. Most of the concerns which undewrite the shipping costs are based on Benzor, as are most of the captains and crews of the merchant fleets. Thus, Benzor by tradition remains the base from which the largest trading companies in the land operate.
From a thriving merchant community, Benzor has become the banking and investment capital of Nordock. To that extent, Benzorian money lenders have replaced the red dragon in the public conciousness as the symbol of covetousness and greed. “Deer meat for wolves, honey for bears and silver coins for Benzorian bankers” is a common saying among trappers, meant to represent the importance of choosing the right bait for the right prey. Regardless of the popular jokes at the expense of the Benzorian financial elite, their importance in the administrative machine of the land is crucial and this is possibly the reason why Galdor the Gold, the ancient guardian of Nordock, has chosen to make Benzor rather than Brosna his home. Due to the city’s greater proximity to Mulrok island and its fortuitous position near the only approach for all ships coming from the ocean, Benzor is the first city newcomers to the land of Nordock set foot on.
The sea-side village of Trondor is little more than a port and a trading outpost. It may be the meeting point for thousands of farmers who flock to the city to load their goods on the ships of the trading companies, or to purchase supplies for their farms, but none of them save the Mayor and the store owners actually live there. Bustling by day, one would hardly be at fault to think it is deserted after the close of business.
Tobaro is the only other village of note in the Nordock mainland. It is mostly a military outpost, whose purpose is to serve as the first bastion of defense against the denizens of the lawless north. It is inhabited by hardened Northmen. once themselves uncivilised barbarians who prayed on the southern settlements, they were brought into the fold by the Duke’s army and given lands to defend and call their own. They are now the starwart guardians on the northern frontiers of our proud nation. Within the walls of Tobaro can be found the common commodoties of a Nordockian city, but the city is especially renowned for the Benzor Elite Guard barracks where the perhaps best warriors and defenders of Nordock are trained and situated, merely waiting for the call to arms.
A dangerous trail for all who wants to mingle with halflings. You find it if you go through the west gate in Benzor.
The east-west road carries you through these wide-open plains. A small settlement east of Benzor with the last “homelike house” before the wilderness.
An open plains of rolling hills, mostly farmland. Rumors of dangerous dungeons and Underdark access tunnels run amok in Sholo Village here.
A small farming village in the Sholo Plains near the Benzor River Valley. There’s not much to see here, but the residents of the village complain about the constant traffic of adventurers along the east-west road, particularly in their local cemetery.
A forest east of the Eastern March, filled of ogres, bandits and orcs. The worst is Grissom, though, a magic-using green dragon or wyvern who has his lair in the forest.
This road leads from the east-west road in Trommel Woods to the north, eventually taking travelers to Tobaro.
An area north of Brosna with terrible animals. It’s been the death of many, many hunters.
A place for all metal crafters. Its easiest to go here by boat from Brosna.
The mining area, but beware of the orcs from the Pitiunk clan that hunts the hills.
Semli has a nice inn here, and its a good place for fledgling metalcrafters.
South of Miner’s Rest extends the vast expanse of the swamps of T’Rel. Not much is know about these unhealthy and fettid marshlands. Few dwarven prospectors venture into the swamps and even less return…
aka “the Underdark”
The region most widely known as the Underdark is an entire world beneath the feet of the surface dwellers of Nordock. It is a vast, choatic series of interconnecting tunnels and caverns driving ever deeper into the heart of the world itself. Inhabited by monstrous and evil creatures that shun the daylight, the Underdark teems with entire cities and nations of Deep Gnomes, Drow, and Duergar. It is also home to even stranger races as well as slaves of just about any intelligent humanoid found on the surface.
These evil beings battle or trade with each other for resources, magic, and power, forming alliances that collapse when plots unravel or better opportunities come along. As complex as the civilisation above the crust of the world is, the world beneath the world is just as filled with history and intrigue.
The Underdark is a harsh realm where two overwhelming drives rule: survival and the destruction of your enemies. Perpetually dark in most regions, the Underdark is filled with creatures that long ago developed darkvision or enhanced senses to compensate, often becoming intolerant of true light as a result of their adaptation. Some places are dimly lit by glowing rocks, luminous crystals, or phosphorescent moss, lichen, and fungi. Bizarre plants are common, and visitors usually find it impossible to identify which are hostile or poisonous without magic or potentially lethal experimentation. The most precious resource is fresh water, since the Underdark has no rain and inhabitants must rely on whatever filters down from the surface. Those who discover water hoard it and protect it with their lives.
Because of the scarcity of certain resources, each city often specializes in producing a few items and trading these with neighbors in peaceful times. A typical trade caravan consists of several dozen heavily armed merchants and soldiers, with two to three patrols sent forward or behind while traveling. Although the tunnels are generally silent, echoes travel far, and a skilled Underdark scout learns to recognize subtle signs of natural animals and lurking threats by their echoes alone. Wealthier cities teleport caravans to their destinations or use existing portals to speed travel, and access to a convenient portal is often the cause of lengthy wars between nearby cities. Cities that develop a reputation for killing or enslaving caravans in peacetime (as opposed to exhibiting cool hostility and rudeness, which are expected) usually find themselves cut off from valuable resources and made easy prey for aggressors.
These highlands in the north of Nordock are home to and ruled by Barbarian Tribes.
A swamp that can be reached by walking north-north east from Benzor. Infamous for its population of lizardmen, undead, outsiders and dragons. it’s a dangerous area and often the first place a newcomer will meet a dragon. (see more - Black Dragon).
The place where you trade all the things that you make. Go here by boat from Benzor.
A perilous place. You can go here by boat from Brosna, but be prepared to die if you are low seasoned.
Gurnal Island is shrouded by mystery and legend. Little is known about what lurks on this island, though it is rumoured that it is fraught with danger and ripe with treasure. A favorite destination for adventurers, fortune seekers and all manner of such rogues.
Few people come here, but it’s possible to find a ship in Benzor to take you here.
The Misty Isles is shrouded by mystery and legend. Little is known about what lurks on these islands, though it is rumoured that it is fraught with danger and ripe with treasure. A favourite destination for adventurers, fortuneseekers and all manner of such rogues.
From Mulrok Island, you can go further by boat to Kabu. Its western parts are nice, but its interior is terrible. Beware of the goblins north of Fakault.
Kabu is a temperate to subtropical island of unsually low elevation, owing to being in the middle of the warm volcanic current that washes against the shores of the Nordock mainland. Kabu is a colourfull and lush island of grassy savanahs and ancient, evergreen forests. Attempts to colonise Kabu have been met with disaster, as the island sports a terrifying population (both in ferocity and numbers) of monstrous humanoids and animals. The war for Kabu has been raging for many years now and mercenaries flock to the island in large numbers hoping for a share of the plunder.
Abiz lies east by northeast on a direct line from Brosna. Little is known about the history of this mysterious island. For the most part it is a wretched and arid wasteland. Hot and inhospitable, to all except the nomads who call it home, Abiz is a land where only the strong survive.