Haunt of Magic
A History of the Lands, What was once the Great Land of Bleshurr. By Hadarai
Long ago the lands you know were one. Some were once provinces of the Glorious Realm of Belshurr and some are new lands. Belshurr was a wonderful place, a Grand Kingdom of peace and prosperity. For hundreds of years the races lived in harmony and peace. All had been united under the line of Cerague. Even small parts of the Icey North lived under the rule of the Cerague’s and their council. The Lord of each province either sat on the council or appointed their representative. The Council of Lords advised the Cerague’s and also kept them informed of the health and needs of each province. A few of the lands we know today were once provinces of Belshurr; Yealdath, Brastedham, Teeshaltan and Fattera Ettria. Though no land remains unchanged since the Day of Purple Sun.
That Day, few people remember it now. I am one of the few left that remains from those times. That is why I write this, so those who never knew the Glory of Belshurr can learn of it and strive to reclaim it. So we can once again be a truly great land united and with the Swathe reclaimed.
The Day of Purple Sun. No one I have heard of actually knows how or why the Sun came up purple that day. There are many theories, the Gods desired chaos, Beings from the Far Realm caused it and used it to invade and change our world. Others claim that some secret societies caused it to happen; Devil worshippers, agents of the Primal Forces, Mages and Warlocks experimenting where they shouldn’t. And many other theories. I do not know if any are right or maybe all of them are. What I do know is that on that Day monsters we thought we had exterminated returned with a vengeance. Races of Giants not seen for generations cane out of the mountains and hills. Dragons appeared in the skies and ravaged the lands. Gates to the planes opened and horrors poured through. Creatures never seen before came out and caused pain and suffering. The Kingdoms to the south were ravaged by Earthquakes, storms and monsters. All that we know is left of them are the Broken Teeth, now the realm of Goblins and others. New features cropped up all over the lands, the mountains that bordered the Icey North became more treacherous and earned their new name the Hail Peaks. The Blood Swamp appeared after a brutal storm, the Diamond Spike Mountains grew out of the ground. The Ever Forest once was several forests, they seemed to grow into one and expand before your very eyes. The Living Fire came to the Northern hills. What you know as the Howling wood appeared and Fattera Ettria seemed to become closer to the Feywild than ever before.
After That day followed years of fighting, in which the monsters drove us towards the Sea and the Swathe was born. Eventually the lands you know now came to be. There is still mostly peace among the lands, but we are not one people anymore. Though there is one thing that all have in common, doing their best keep the horrors in the Swathe and dream of reclaiming it. Now it is time to tell you what I have complied.
What follows is are excerpts from various chapters.
This was a province in the old Kingdom of Belshurr. Ruled by the Arrindhams for hundreds of years. Brastedham is known today for what it was known for always. It’s great and fertile plains. It was called the breadbasket of Belshurr. It has always been able to grow vast amounts of crops that were shipped across Belshurr. It still does, but shipping those crops has become more hazardous. The great rivers that have been irrigated to help grow all the crops are called the Gartem, and Garheth. Now Brastedham maintains a strong army along its border with the Swathe, their main concern is keeping the rivers flowing. From time to time tribes of orcs, gnolls or other monsters attempt to dam or divert the rivers.
The River Elsha denotes the border between Brastedham and the Ever Forest. Control of this river at times causes tension between these two lands. Usually when one of the other rivers has been dammed and Brastenham diverts more water from the Elsha to its fields.
Brastedham is a mostly Human land with small numbers of Halflings and Tieflings. Its major exports are crops. It imports luxuries and armaments for its army.
Deephome is the great Dwarven city that lies under the Living Fire Hills. This ancestral home of the Dwarven race has existed for as long as recorded history. After the Day of Purple Sun the Dwarves retreated underground as the Swathe extended and the hills of their homeland became rampant with Living Fire. The only above ground sites of Dwarven occupation are the great Defenses of Deephome and the Phoenix Forge, their lone trading fortress.
It is said tunnels run all through the hills that connect Deephome to other Dwarven settlements, outposts and Phoenix Forge. Their tunnels are infused with metals common and rare in abundance. Through Phoenix Forge the Dwarves trade the armor and weapons they make with the outside world. It is not generally known what goes on in the tunnels as other races only ever set foot in Phoenix Forge.
Deephome is exclusively Dwarven though at times they hire Dragonborn and other mercenaries to help with an expedition into the Living Fire Hills from Phoenix Forge.
3. The Ever Forest
What is known as the Ever Forest was once a piece of land containing many forests. On the Day of Purple Sun trees sprouted and grew tens of feet. Some forests were even said to move. By the end of the Day all the forests had grown together covering many miles. Each forest had been home to a tribe of Elves since the Day a tribal council of Elders rules the Ever Forest. The tribes have mingled but tribal lines are still important.
The Ever Forest provides much of what the Elves need and through their one port, Hope, they trade items made from rare woods, hides and other exotic materials. Those who travel through the Ever Forest speak of its wonders, cities both in the trees and among the roots; the numbers of wild game that roam and of course of the Elves.
The Ever Forest is Exclusively Elven though small amounts of other races live in Hope.
4. Fattera Ettria
Fattera Ettria was always a wondrous place that was close to the Feywild. After the Day of Purple Sun it has seemed ever closer. Mostly the domain of Eladrin but also home to quite a few Humans. It is known as the Land of magic from back when it was a province of Belshurr. Then it contained the greatest school for Arcane studies in the whole Kingdom. Sadly it was lost to the Swathe. Though the traditions of scholarship and magical study live on.
Bordered on the north by the Howling Wood and the south by the Blood Swamp Fattera Ettria has become very isolated. They import huge amounts of food and goods. They mostly export books and magic.
No One lives within ten miles of the Blood Swamp. The only outposts in the area are able to be sealed up tightly and contain each garrison for weeks at a time. This is because periodically from the Blood Swamp come huge swarms of Stirges that number in the thousands or even tens of thousands. These Strige Storms erupt from the Blood swamp and kill everything they come across. The land of the Blood Swamp and what lies near it was once Fattera Ettria’s farms and pastures. But all is now devoid of life, except just before a Stirge Storm when some life seems to have creped back into the area.
Teeshaltan is now where you will find most Dragonborn. Once found throughout Belshurr they have congregated to Teeshaltan, a rugged land full of hills forests and almost any other kind of terrain. It was and is the source of many precious metals and gems. But it also bears the brunt of the incursions from the Swathe. The Dragonborn have created a line of fortresses along the border with the Swathe. They regularly fight off monsters and send expeditions into the Swathe.
Many Tieflings now call Teeshaltan home as well. They also keenly feel the loss of the lands that the Swathe now covers. They make up the bulk of the Magical forces in Teeshaltan. Many also join the Hunters who go into the Swathe either solo or in groups to search out lost cities treasure and to provide reconnaissance.
Some Humans and Dwarves live in Teeshaltan but they tend to be engaged in the mining of precious metals and gems. Teeshaltan is supported by Yealdath, the only land that does not border the Swathe, through only a couple of paths that lead through the dangerous Diamond Spike Mountains they bring in supplies for the war effort. Teeshaltan is bordered on two sides by the Diamond Spike Mountains and the Blood Swamp on the other, having to deal with the same Strige Storms as Fattera Ettria.
Yealdath seems to be the most prosperous of the lands. It is the traditional home of the Halflings though it also connected Belshurr to the Lost Southern Kingdoms. Now it is a peninsula.
The Capital of Merdath sits at the southern tip of Yealdath. While the great trading cities keep the economy going between the lands; Beldath deals with the western and Weldath with the eastern lands. The Halflings are fair and trustworthy merchants but known more as the best sailors and shipwrights in all the lands. Their small but fast ships are the force that keeps commerce going among the lands. It is said a Halfling ballista master can put a bolt through a Goblin Captains window at 500 yards.
In the north communities of Tieflings live. Many of them have fought in armies from different lands and come here to raise their families before retiring to train young ones, though some just head back to the armies as soon as the young are of age. Some Tieflings also decide to take posts on Halflings ship, usually wizards or warlocks to provide some magical support against the Goblins.
The biggest threat Yealdath faces are the Goblin Pirates from the Broken Teeth and the Isle of Go-Lin. No Ship has made it through the Broken Teeth to find if any of the Southern Kingdoms still exist since the Day of Purple Sun.
1. The Blood Swamp
The Blood Swamp appeared during the Day of Purple Sun. It gained that name for the vast amount of Striges and for being what most claim is the source of Undead. Some also claim that much of the water is blood colored and that the Blood Swamp needs blood to keep itself alive. It is said to be ruled by Vampires from lost keeps and manors. All kinds of undead horrors prowl its expanse and Teeshaltan and Fattera Ettria are forever vigilant for incursions.
2. The Broken Teeth/ Go-lin
The Broken Teeth are all that we know s left of the Southern Kingdoms. Now the domain of a large number of Goblin raiders and some other monsters, it is even rumored that sea monsters swim the waters of the Broken Teeth. The Goblins are controlled from the Isle of Go-Lin where the Goblin Lords and said to lair. Each island seems to contain an outpost that prevents ships from reaching the south. The Goblins are mostly sailors and now have a great hatred for the ships of Yealdath and constantly hunt them.
3. Diamond Spike Mountains
The Diamond Spike Mountains sprouted on the Day of Purple Sun. They are the most treacherous mountains ever found. Home to Giants and other monsters in the lower areas is just the first obstacle to crossing. The rocks of these mountains are razor sharp and hard to pick out, they can easily cripple animals, people and even wagons. Some say that these rocks grow at random or that the mountains have a life of their own and don’t’ like to be crossed. Only 2 heavily patrolled paths from Yealdath to Teeshaltan are used. The mountains are considered impassable.
4. The Howling Wood
This once placid forest name has been lost. Now no one dares the Howling Wood. Home to vicious and unknown creatures. Some say much as the Feywild touches Fattera Ettria the Shadowfell touches the Howling Wood. No one that has ever tried to cross it has been seen again.
5. Living Fire Hills
These hills lie above Deephome, now home to the Living Fire and Lava as well as creatures of fire. Monsters such as Elementals and Giants are known to make these hills home. The Dwarves of Phoenix Forge almost constantly battle these vicious creatures. It is said that Fire or Lava may spring forth from any spot to engulf or even attack those traveling through the Hills.
6. The Icey North/Hail Peaks
Always a cold land even before the Day of Purple Sun, Belshurr had sent some expeditions to start some mining and trade with the native base tribes that lived there. The Hail Peaks separate the Icey North from our lands and their name is well earned. Not many venture north any more, for it is said that the tribes have become bestial and that a new sinister elf has arisen there. Called Ice Elves they are said to be the color of Pure Snow both in complexion and hair with eyes the color of Blood. Their spiritual leaders are chosen at birth for they have skin as black as night with pure white hair.
7. The Swathe
Once the heart of Belshurr the Swathe is now a land of monsters and chaos. No one knows the truth of what the Swathe is like except for the few miles some Lands patrol. It is said much of the land has changed since we were driven out. Though we know the old Capital of Pelmarr still stands. For the Great Tower Belshurr still can be seen from far away. Some think a great and terrible power rules the Swathe from Pelmarr. Though I find that hard to believe, if one power controlled the entire Swathe we would have been overwhelmed by now.