Elsir: local information

This is a map of the local area where the Ark is located. (Yes, it is taken from the "Red Hand of Doom" module, which Gronwin ran for a group of Ark players. Click on the image to see the full view.
The local plane: more general information about the world the Ark is in, with an emphasis on its previous location near Haldresburg.

The Ark currently floats above Vraath Keep, a broken and abandoned keep set near a trade road in the eastern foothills of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains (a small range at the northern edge of the Skapsian Highlands, in the valley of the Elsir River (a tributary of the Arhei River, along which the Ark was previously located.) The vale is mainly inhabited by humans, though there are dwarven holds to the south and giant clans in the hills. Lizardfolk and wild elves live around Lake Rhest to the north. The closest town is "Drellin's Ferry" (on the western approach to Elsir Vale), and the largest fortified town locally is Brindol.

The Arkites currently enjoy friendly relations with Elsir Vale, having played a major part in foiling an invasion by hordes of Tiamat-worshipping hobgoblins and their draconic allies. The Lord of Brindol has granted the Ark the official deed to Vraath Keep.

Summary of said invasion from the point of view of the Arkites who stumbled into it.

Cities and towns of the Vale

A sleepy little hamlet about halfway between the Hammerfist Holds and Brindol, Duath is home to about 200 people. It is noted for The Tired Giant, an inn and tap house under the proprietorship of Caladan Ryethresher (male halfling. The Rhestorian nobles who once ruled here died out about two generations ago, and Duath Keep - their ancestral home - is a burned-out shell overlooking the settlement. A council of elders now governs the village.
A small town at a ford of the Elsir River, Elsicross is known for woodcutting and papermaking. The self-styled "baron" Hargil Trask (human) and the rest of the no-good Trask clan govern the town by the baron's fiat. Lord Jarmaath of Brindol has no use for the Baron and would like to see him and his lot driven out of Elsicross. The towns of Elsir Vale have not fought amongst themselves in many years, however, and Jarmaath is loath to intervene in another town's business, even if that business is getting rid of a jumped up brigand. For his own part, Trask is smart enough to keep his thugs from running amok in his own lands, so his subjects and neighbors tolerate him and his swaggering sons for now - but Trask has ideas for adding Marthton or Red Rock to his barony, perhaps even Brindol one day.
A dusty flyspeck of a hamlet located in the northern part of the Brown Hills, Hillwatch is primarily populated by shepherds and cattleherds. The town has no inn or tavern; travelers often stay at the home of Jerossil Indo, a well-off rancher that takes a few coins to board strangers for a night or two.
Located in the shadows of the Marth forest, this small town thrives on woodcutting and catering to traders on the Dawn Way. In the hills nearby lie a number of the ancient barrows and stone circles of the long-vanished druidic folk who once dwelled in these lands. Marthton is ruled by Lord Erethal Rethrew (human), an old and miserly man who lays heavy tax on the folk of his small domain.
Nimon Gap
A tiny hamlet located at the place where the Dawn Way descends out of the Nimon hills, Nimmon Gap grew up around a large walled inn known as the Cross-eyed Beholder. The folk of the gap grow apples, pears, and chesnuts in orchards sheltered below the hills, while shepherds and goatheards keep their livestock in the hieghts.
A village located about halfway between Brindol and Hillwatch, Prosser is a quiet little place where the adventuring band known as the Six Blades retired some years ago. The former adventurers cleared out a number of troublesome monsters from the woods to the west and brought new prosperity to the town. The wizard Sardith (human male) is recognized as the leader of the band, but normally leaves affairs in the hands of Deillyr Starcloak (1/2 elf female). She runs the town's taphouse and serves as the chief constable, judge, and troubleshooter.
Red Rock
Rich copper viens in the high foothills of the Giantshield mountains eventually gave rise to the rough-and-tumble mining town of Red Rock. In addition to the copper mines, the town also serves as a trading post for trappers, hunters and prospectors who wander all over the southern flank of the mountians. A number of dwarves and half-orcs live here...with no small amount of bad blood between them.
A small town west of Brindol, Talar is governed by Lady Celiira Neston (human), a high spirited young woman who lately returned home to take up her father's title upon his death. Her impulsive ideas are tempered by an old and conservative town council, whose members grew accustomed to running things during the old lord's long decline.
The western end of the vale is drier and more sparsely settled than the eastern end. Terrelton is a dusty town that gets by on the livestock and leather trades; several large, foul-smelling tanneries sit in the hills east of the town. The town is governed by a merchant's council shot through with connections to various gangs of brigands nad highwaymen, but a crusading cleric named Leille (human female cleric of St. Cuthbert) is working to clean up the council by exposing the misdeeds of the criminal members.
A large village located at the ford of the Witchstream, Witchcross is ostensibly governed by a council of elders. However, the elders make no decisions without consulting a circle of Witchwood druids known as the keepers of Eth. Adranna the Young (female human) is the Eth speaker, or leader of the circle.

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