Nesmian Plains

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They’re beautiful in the summer, Nirmathas’s plains. Let there be no doubt of that. Everyone thinks ‘forest’ when they hear mention of that little nation, with the Fangorn itself looming large in their minds. Yet the Nesmian Plains stretch on forever, rolling away like the sea. Once the spring rains start, it’s like an ocean of flowers and green. Of course, like any ocean, it’s got its pirates and its sea monsters. Lost three friends to bees the size of cattle, and after the sun set, jackals dragged away my last remaining companion without even stirring me from my sleep. Everything beautiful in this region seems to hide some beastly nature behind or beneath it—and the same might even be said of those who make the plains their home. Coming across even the smallest farm or settlement, you never know whether you’ll be greeted with a warm, open hearth... or fnd yourself fending off a blade or claw trying to open your throat.

—Geneviere White, The Shores of Encartha

Introduction

Stretching for miles across the southern border of Nirmathas, the Nesmian Plains covers near a ffh of the nation’s land, but remains one of the most sparsely inhabited regions since the outbreak of war between Nirmathas and its mother nation, Molthune.

A well-traveled trade road leads north through the plains and the Hollow Hills, continuing east through the Bloodsworn Vale, which once connected Cheliax to its Varisian interests. All along that length, small farms, trading posts, and Chelish country estates sprouted, making the land an embarrassment of riches despite its harsh weather and abundant wildlife. This same idyllic landscape, however, renders the Nesmian Plains virtually indefensible, and much of its bounty was crushed in the early years of the civil war between Nirmathas and Molthune. In a more community-minded nation, the Nesmian Plains would be considered the breadbasket region, but the lack of taxation or infrastructure instead makes this area a resource-rich but highly vulnerable corner of Nirmathas, frequently invaded by Molthune and targeted by the southern nation’s infamous monster legions. Nesmian natives simply fall back, ofen burning their homes and crops when they see enemies approach, and return in spring afer the area’s bitterly cold winters drive out ill-supplied foreigners.

Rolling prairie and low hills defne most of the landscape, as do steep-walled gullies and canyons carved by the countless swif-flowing creeks tumbling down from the Mindspin Mountains, along with the occasional rock formation or outcropping carved by long-departed glaciers. Cartographers constantly argue over the exact borders of the Nesmian Plains, alternately placing the northern border along either the Marideth River or the southern boundary of the Fangwood Forest, and the southern border terminating either in the foothills around Kraggodan or along the Inkwater River. Whatever its precise boundaries, the Nesmian Plains is a rich land, but one difcult to hold and almost impossible to tame—yet rewarding for those with the skill and bravado to call it home.[1]

CLIMATE

Despite the green felds and abundant plant life, the Nesmian Plains is a dry stretch of land, bordered by the Fangwood Forest and the Mindspin Mountains— both of which sap most of the rainfall picked up by the westerly winds blowing off Lake Encarthan during the warm summer months, but feed the countless creeks and streams that break up the landscape. Visitors during the summer might consider the Nesmian Plains a paradise, with its rolling felds of green, picturesque rock formations, and burbling streams, but these mild summers give way to harsh challenges to travelers and inhabitants the rest of the year. As the air cools in autumn, moisture-laden air off Lake Encarthan mingles with the still-warm land to create howling windstorms and powerful thunderstorms. In the winter, these same moist winds blanket the region in impassable snowdrifs up to 10 feet deep. These conditions create a bountiful but short growing season; a single farm can feed an army, but fnds itself completely cut off for 3 months of the year by the harsh weather.

Each year, the spring thaw brings heavy flooding that swaths the felds and canyons with rich silt— and occasional valuable metals—from the Mindspin Mountains, preparing the plains for another explosion of greenery in the coming weeks.[1]

INHABITANTS

More densely settled only a century ago, the Nesmian Plains has quickly reverted to a largely wild state. A few small towns, ranches, and farms still persist; their inhabitants raise healthy crops of sorghum and oats, tend lush orchards, and herd sheep, goats, and the occasional spindly cow. The yearly cycles now also include invasions by Molthuni forces, which claim territory and resources, only to fall back as the bite of winter sets in.

Low hills and rocky outcroppings offer clever residents some protection or camouflage, sometimes sheltering surprisingly large hidden communities in caves or forgotten complexes for months at a time. Halfling residents of the plains—many of them escaped slaves from Cheliax to the south—are especially gifed in these concealment tactics, and collections of halfling ranches ofen spring up around otherwise concealed features or ruins to which the country folk can flee.

The plains’ most entrenched residents are the dwarves of Kraggodan—one of the oldest but most sparsely populated dwarven Sky Citadels. Molthune has laid siege to the fortress-city for years, but with little progress toward actually conquering it. The dwarves go about their lives largely unaffected, simply relying on smugglers to move their trade goods and import luxuries to and from nearby Glimmerhold. Kraggodan is detailed more thoroughly in Pathfnder Adventure Path #118: Siege of Stone.

Elsewhere, though, monstrous residents flourish in the wake of humanoids’ departure. Several tribes of nomadic centaurs, who migrate along the foothills of the Mindspin Mountains with little regard for human borders, become increasingly aggressive each year in order to defend themselves from Molthuni soldiers, Nirmathi guerrillas, and unaligned bandits. Various clans of goblinoids and troglodytes carve out tiny kingdoms in the region’s gullies and caves, and survive by preying upon human farms before falling back into easily defended hideaways.

Animal life flourishes across the plains. Large populations of aurochs, ibex, and feral goats fll hunters’ larders, while packs of axe beaks, wolves, switchback jackals, and giant weasels fll their bellies with untended flocks and careless residents. The extensive waterways provide ample fshing and huge populations of frogs, toads, and salamanders—including their oversized cousins—as well as beavers, muskrats, and otters. A number of monstrous creatures prey on this bounty, including aurumvoraxes, gorgons, grifns, manticores, and rocs. The fey of the neighboring Fangwood generally avoid the open plains, but their magic is still felt in the form of various animate plants and magic creatures that call the expanse home.[1]


RIVERS OF THE NESMIAN PLAINS

Crisscrossed by creeks, streams, and springs, waterways defne and shape most of the Nesmian landscape, but its three rivers defne its borders and shape its culture.

Deepcut River: The region’s oldest river, the Deepcut runs across a high plateau before fnally joining with the Marideth. The river has carved a spectacular series of canyons in its eons of existence. Its muddy waters are flled with a variety of sturdy fsh and giant amphibians, which support both monstrous residents and smaller villages of humans and halflings. Stone watchtowers— remnants of Cheliax’s attempts to tame the region and transform the Deepcut into a trade highway to several Mindspin mining communities—still stand every 5 miles along the river’s length, and are claimed by various hermits and bandit groups (though at least one plays home to a nesting pair of rocs).

Inkwater River: Named for its especially dark, cloudy waters fed by mineral-rich springs, mountain runoff, and millennia of industrial dumping from mines, the Inkwater is well known for its smell and the durable creatures that call it home, such as the aggressive lich newt and the oversized Inkwater otter. Farmers have tried to establish themselves along the river’s banks, but the tainted waters stunt plant growth and cause a variety of illnesses. The waters are placid, though, and easily sailed, making the Inkwater the main artery through the Nesmian Plains until the outset of the MolthuniNirmathi conflict. Now it usually marks the southern border of Nirmathas, though more for the sake of convenience than reflecting any reality, as Molthune and Nirmathas constantly push the border dozens of miles to either side of the river.

Marideth River: Stumbling down from the Mindspin Mountains and along the southern border of the Fangwood, the Marideth is easily the largest river in Nirmathas, but also its least navigable. Long stretches of whitewater mark its course, and several picturesque waterfalls dot its length as it passes through the Hollow Hills. Various fey claim stretches of the river, including nuckelavee and kelpies, but the annual spring floods ofen cause the river to jump its banks and fnd new paths to follow, leading to constant territorial disputes between its various residents. These conflicts are slowly coming to an end, as a sea hag (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 243) named Schemedzah has begun assembling as many powerful forces along the river as she can into a loose confederacy. Schemedzah herself was displaced from her former territory in Lake Encarthan by the Molthune fleet, and hopes to eventually march her legion of aquatic monsters back to reclaim her territory.[1]


PHAENDAR

CG small town

Corruption +1; Crime +1; Economy +1; Law –1; Lore –2;Society +5

Qualities insular, strategic location

Danger +0; Disadvantages impoverished

DEMOGRAPHICS

Government council

Population 398 (305 humans, 32 half-orcs,21 dwarves, 17 half-elves, 28 other)

NOTABLE NPCS

Aubrin the Green (CG female human cleric of Cayden Cailean 3/ranger 3)

Father Noelan (LG male human cleric of Erastil 7)

Smith Kining Blondebeard (NE female dwarf expert 2)

Vane Oreld (N male human expert 2)

MARKETPLACE

Base Value 600 gp; Purchase Limit 2,500 gp;Spellcasting 4th

Minor Items 1d6; Medium Items 1d3; Major Items —[1]


GAZETTEER

Mothune

In its thousands of years of history as a land settled by humanoids, the Nesmian Plains has played host to outposts of both elves and orcs, and later Kellids and the depredations of the Whispering Tyrant, before fnally entering its modern era of colonization by Taldor and that empire’s various inheritors. Every conqueror lef its mark in the form of ruins, buried wealth, and dangerous legacies, and the war between Molthune and Nirmathas continues to shape the history of the Nesmian Plains. The following are some of the more widely known and dangerous locations in the Nesmian Plains, though new towns and fortresses may spring up over the course of a single season, while the spring floods may easily reveal an artifact or ruin unseen by living eyes for 1,000 years.

1. Folarth: Once named Folgrit’s Hearth, centuries of mispronunciation eventually earned this small dwarven outpost its current title. Built around a network of boiling mineral springs, Folarth began as a way station for Kraggodan forces traveling north to join the Shining Crusade, and persisted as a hospice for wounded soldiers. For a time afer, Avistani nobles praised Folarth for the curative powers of its baths, and visited to alleviate all manner of illnesses too chronic for magic to cure. The small town still sees the occasional visitor—especially wounded soldiers—and sells its mineral waters in Tamran as curative elixirs.

However, the dwarves now struggle in hard times. The elaborate dwarven baths have begun to crumble, with little gold and a dwindling population to maintain the once-opulent structures. The town’s strangest claim to fame is Folgrit’s Stew, a 100-gallon boiling spring that inhabitants have used to cook all manner of meat, vegetables, and dumplings in for centuries, lending the scalding waters a unique and earthy flavor they in turn impart to anything cooked within.

2. Phaendar: Being bordered by light forest, rolling farms, and the rumbling Marideth River, Phaendar is vanishingly small by the standards of outsiders, but also one of the largest settlements in southern Nirmathas.

The town grew around the tumbledown ruins of an abandoned Chelish bastion, which itself was built atop an older trading post established by veterans of the Shining Crusade. A citizenry of fewer than 400—spread between the town and outlying farms—makes up its permanent population. On any given day, citizens spend a few hours each morning and evening tending their small holdings, and then retire during the afernoon to pursue various handicrafs. Nearly every resident is a talented woodcarver, weaver, or leatherworker, and Nirmathi homes from Tamran to Skelt eventually gather a few sturdy furnishings born in Phaendar workshops.

Most of the town consists of wood and thatch structures, and even a few canvas-walled pavilions; monsters, bandits, and the occasional Molthuni raid destroy property too regularly for most Phaendari to feel the expense of longstanding stone buildings is worth the investment. Despite its simple construction, the town sees light trade in spring and fall as farmers, ranchers, and prospectors from the Nesmian Plains and the Hollow Hills gather to swap produce, ore, lumber, and livestock and to stock up on worked goods from the community’s many artisans.

Like many similar communities across the nation, Phaendar has little oversight. An informal town council oversees the community—largely to organize festivals and collect funds for repairs—but the people of Phaendar generally resent anyone claiming real authority over the community and steadfastly refuse to elect anyone to positions like sheriff or mayor. What little law enforcement exists—what little is needed in such a small, tight-knight community—is handled by a makeshif posse or enforced by the nearby Chernasardo Rangers, who frequently resupply and recruit new members during the seasonal trading markets. 3. The Mudpot: Several large hot springs dot this stretch of plains, creating a dozen pools of rainbowcolored water and large stretches of boiling mud. Many oozes call the Mudpot home, and occasional water, earth, and mud elementals only compound the constant risk of painful, scalding death. While sensible folk give the Mudpot a wide berth, the crusty deposits that form on the shores of its pools provide an array of valuable alchemical reagents, and the volcanism that fuels the region’s stifling heat occasionally pushes valuable clusters of gemstones to the surface.

4. Cutter Canyon: This deep, steep-walled canyon runs almost 20 miles along the length of the turbulent Deepcut River, and ranges from 20 to 300 feet deep. The turbulent river and frequent flooding carve a tangled mess of caverns into the ravine’s walls, many of which have been claimed by bandits, bugbears, troglodytes, and even the occasional minotaur tribe, each of which has expanded and personalized the natural formations into a stronghold. What exists now is a maze of interconnected caverns and strongholds—some in use and others long forgotten—running for miles beneath otherwise picturesque natural beauty. Somewhere amid the tunnels dwells Calcatrine, a reclusive adult crystal dragon (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 2 98) who lines his hoard with treasures offered as gifs from the canyon’s various inhabitants—or more ofen stolen to foster the constant intertribal warfare that secretly delights him.

5. The Moon’s Eye: This massive, black granite formation juts unexpectedly from the surrounding grasslands. Eons of winds have worn a hole through the stone three-quarters of the way up, and for centuries local Kellid tribes conducted religious rituals in the beam of moonlight that shone through the hollow on summer nights. Explorers and travelers occasionally stumble upon Kellid ruins in the grasslands surrounding the obelisk, though no two reports detail the same structure or the same location. Those who linger afer dark report bone-chilling howls, possibly from wind blowing through the unusual stonework but more likely from the human-sized wolves occasionally seen roaming the area.

6. Pidderack Shaf: When the Pidderack family began digging a new well for their farmhouse nearly two centuries ago, they didn’t expect to uncover a vertical shaf descending straight into black depths below the earth. All attempts to gauge its distance or fnd the bottom proved fruitless, and the smooth, square stones lining the shaf’s walls bear no maker’s insignia, leaving curious locals only able to guess at its history or purpose. Today, heavy webs drape all the Pidderack farm’s abandoned outbuildings all year long, spun by the ethereal, dog-sized spiders that emerge from the shaf every winter solstice.

7. Figwort Hollow: A handful of creeks collect in this shallow depression, spreading out into a lush, overgrown marsh before feeding the Deepcut River. The marshlands extend for miles in a tangle mass of cypress, aspens, and heavy undergrowth crowded onto dozens of swampy islands in what is essentially a shallow, slow-moving leg of the river. Named for the huge variety of fgwort plants that blossom there every spring and summer in a riot of colors, Figwort Hollow enjoys a slightly sinister reputation thanks to the Foxclaws, a loose-knit organization of Nirmathi hunters and guerrillas who gather in the valley each summer to harvest the fgwort plants for use as both medicine and poison.

Despite the hollow’s beauty, it suffers from sporadic rifs to the Plane of Shadow somehow tied to a tumbledown Nidalese ruin in its heart. Occasional incursions of gloomwings and shadow mastiffs spring up, and the Foxclaws struggle to control these invaders lest they overwhelm the otherwise picturesque natural wonder.

8. Cavlinor: While elves claimed much of the Nesmian Plains before Earthfall, they have yet to reestablish a strong presence in Nirmathas. Cavlinor—which sits at the confluence of the Deepcut and Marideth rivers— marks the extent of elven settlement in the region. This settlement is more a hunting lodge more than a town. A permanent population of two dozen tend the grove of trees being cultivated into living elven structures, while another two- to three-dozen visitors investigate the region’s elven ruins and artifacts, and work to make new diplomatic inroads with the fey of the nearby Fangwood Forest. Sivron Nal (CG elf rogue 5) earned their position managing the distant outpost by advocating for more ready inclusion of half-elves into Kyonin politics and families, and they still agitate on behalf of those with blended parentages, even with the limited authority they command, tutoring the curious in elven history, culture, and magic in exchange for scouting services.

9. The Gloaming Wood: This light, deciduous forest maintains its greenery all year long, and across the plains, locals whisper about the strange lights within and its curious dearth of fey. In 4632 ar, the Pathfnder Society uncovered the ruins of Glemrielle, an elven settlement predating the Age of Darkness. The outbreak of civil war forestalled any future investigation, but a few years ago Pathfnder Thisben Gibwane (CN male gnome illusionist 7) organized his own expedition without the Society’s approval. Ancient elven wards to control the fey remain active even afer millennia, and have had an unforeseen, drug-like effect on Gibwane and the expedition’s six other gnome scholars, causing hallucinations, mood swings, and addiction to the ruins’ magic. Gibwane’s own illusions— now well outside his control—only confound the surreal prison, trapping the gnomes and their companions in a perpetual haze of seemingly self-aware hallucinatory terrain and major image spells. 10. Lake Platter: The largest lake west of Encarthan, Lake Platter stretches for nearly 5 miles, but less than 1 mile across. Fed by several frigid mountain streams, the water remains icy year-round, making the surrounding land cool and pleasant in the summer by deathly cold each winter. The lake stretches to impressive depths, and hides an incredible diversity of wildlife. Several small fshing hamlets dot the lakeshore, pulling in catches of pike, eels, and massive gar. Informally led by Camton Carmine (CN male human fghter 6), a veteran of the war with Molthune, most residents bear unsightly burn scars thanks to their local tradition of worshiping the population of bagiennik (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 5 40) that call the lake home, and visitors to the lake during the summer or winter solstices can expect to join in on these anarchic ceremonies in the fey’s honor— whether they want to or not.

The depths of Lake Platter conceal a number of underwater caves.

Some of these have been claimed by the lake’s bagiennik residents, while others belong to more reclusive aquatic predators. Rumors claim that a titanic catfsh locals simply call the General lurks in the icy, black depths of the lake bed, surfacing every few years to snatch lone fsherfolk and fey alike.

Thricetrode

11. Whitespectre Canyon: Twisting gorges on the open prairie end in this bonestrewn box canyon. A number of legendary predators have claimed the dry gorge as a lair over the centuries, and it currently houses a wagon-sized smilodon locals call Witchpelt (N giant dire tiger; Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 295, 265) who stalks the grasslands with the silence and ferocity of a plague. A Varisian circus acquired the cub from hunters from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords nearly 20 years ago, but fell to bandits while crossing the plains. Lore from among the Foxclaws claims the titanic beast is protected by all manner of Varisian hexes, letting the great cat’s steely hide turn aside all weapons but its own. The Foxclaw hunters have placed an outrageous bounty on the cat, but all who hoped to collect thus far have had their bones added to the jagged floor of Whitespectre Canyon.

12. Everrest: The Arvanxi noble family built a lavish estate amid sprawling vineyards as a quiet summer home away from the hustle and bustle of Westcrown. With the chaos of the Chelish Civil War and Molthune’s later emancipation, the family lost its claim on the land, and the local servants—unpaid and without support—abandoned the estate. According to popular legend, Vincenza Arvanxi fled the civil war to the estate with the family’s jewelry and a trove of Chelish historical volumes, but no one has yet found her remains or the purported treasure of Everrest. Today, briars have overtaken the once glorious vineyards, and the manor house and outlying buildings have rotated through a dozen unsavory occupants. The most recent master is Krov Thirdmother (CE female orc warpriest of Lamashtu 5), who commands a force of three dozen exiles—all fanatical Lamashtu-worshipers— from the Thornscar orc tribe of the northern Fangwood Forest. She plans to form a new tribe using the fecundity gifed to the sect by their goddess, but currently divides her attentions between raiding nearby ranches and warring with the harpy flock she and her followers bested in battle for control of the ruin.

13. Withershin: This stretch of prairie hosts a series of four dozen earthen mounds, lef behind by fey or Kellids by anyone’s estimation, though local lore has no ready explanation. Each mound supports a single twisted and impossibly ancient oak tree. A small and uncharacteristically sedentary tribe of centaurs—composed almost entirely of witches and druids— lends the region its name. Led by the amputee Thricetrod (CN male centaur witch 6), the Withershins tend the area and maintain efgies of wood and bone that dangle from the oaken limbs. Other centaur tribes traveling the Nesmian Plains take deliberate pains to visit the Withershins with offerings of vegetables, nuts, and pelts in exchange for blessings and fortunes, and the Withershins tolerate few other trespassers in their rolling grove.

14. The Seven-Fangs Bastion: Thousands of years ago, orcs of the Mindspin Mountains established a tiny fort in this mountain valley under the direction of Seven-Fangs, a powerful vrock demon (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 69) gated to Golarion in the chaos of Earthfall. With their great patron’s magic to support them, Seven-Fangs dominated the surrounding Kellid tribes for generations until humans made supernatural alliances with fey of the distant Fangwood. In a battle now largely lost to history, the Kellids routed the orcs and bound SevenFangs into the foundation stones of her own castle. Ever since, the locals have deemed the surrounding valley to be cursed, and cold mists cling to the ground day and night regardless of the season. The bastion itself has survived almost completely intact for thousands of years, but few outsiders have claimed it for more than a few weeks at a time. Most insist the old ruin is indefensible and strategically worthless, but rumors tell of strangely compelling nightmares—visions of gleefully unspeakable acts—plaguing anyone who dares to sleep even one night beneath its roof.

15. The Infnite Ossuary: Crumbling walls and a sturdy foundation are all that marks the site of this ancient fortress erected by the Whispering Tyrant’s forces. Ostensibly built to consolidate the lich’s control over the region, the fortress actually protected a prodigious onyx mine. Eventually, the Whispering Tyrant’s forces expanded and reinforced the subterranean levels into a necromantic storehouse, but the secrecy of the site ensured that even Tar-Baphon’s own forces never realized its existence. As the Shining Crusade gained ground and began to threaten the region, the undead masters of the fortress destroyed the surface structure and sealed themselves away in the tombs below to rest until reinforcements would arrive from their master.

The uppermost level now houses hundreds of corpses—preserved and stacked like cordwood—awaiting animation to reinforce a long-destroyed army. Deeper levels house slumbering undead minions, stores of dangerous magic, a vast arcane library, and a vault brimming with enough onyx gems to bury a farmhouse.

General Kros Catternine (LE female human graveknight fghter 11) still slumbers in the deepest necropolis, surrounded by an army of unliving minions. For now, however, only constructs, traps, and bound and half-mad elementals secure the complex under the torpid oversight of Dallag the Renouncer (LE huecuva aristocrat 4), a corrupted former cleric of Aroden long since driven insane by his millennia of isolation.

Various monsters sometimes claim the surface ruins as a lair, but few creatures or adventurers penetrate the subterranean levels, and thus far none have realized the true scope or purpose of the structure, mistaking it for an unsettling but mundane crypt.

Gran willow

16. Felicity Vale: Trappers occasionally return to civilization spinning tales of an idyllic valley nestled between a pair of foreboding, rocky hills. Within, a wealth of fruit trees, berries, and flowering plants flourish, and the winters are so mild that snow never lingers on the ground. The rich plant life supports an enormous population of normal and surprisingly docile bees; many of the rocky crags along the valley floor drip with honey. The large predators of the Nesmian Plains avoid the apparent paradise, and the ruins of half a dozen small settlements testify to the secluded valley’s appeal.

Felicity Vale’s placid nature and abundant yields of fruit all owe their existence to a nest of giant bees that built their hive in the caves beneath the valley centuries ago. The giant bees fed off the orchards of the Kellid town already occupying the valley, and once a tyrant jelly (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 4 266) seized control of the hive, they fed upon the Kellids themselves.

The slime rests in a torpor deep below the valley, fed by a constant drip of honey and overripe fruit supplied by the mundane bee swarms above. When large animals or any humanoids partake of the valley’s bounty, the interruption stirs the ravenous ooze to action, unleashing its oversized bee minions to drag intruders deep into the hive. Over the centuries, the giant bees have entombed all manner of unfortunate travelers and lost treasures in wax and honey deep below the bucolic landscape.

17. Magilloch Ranch: The reclusive Magilloch family has farmed goats on the Nesmian Plains since the conclusion of the Shining Crusade, declining to return home to Taldor where a military commission and relative wealth once awaited them. They have built several sprawling but humble homes over the centuries, building new ones in turn as their older home slowly falls apart on the rocky prairie. The family’s paranoid isolation and frequent inbreeding have earned them an unsettling reputation for misfortune across the plains, and rumor claims they abandon one home when it becomes too crowded with haunts to ft any mortal residents.

The age-old family secret is that the family matriarch, Willow Magilloch, didn’t escape the Shining Crusade unaffected—she contracted a wasting disease that slowly infected her with a ravenous appetite for blood and, upon her natural death, transformed the hunched old grandmother into a vampire. Their descendants have carefully concealed their progenitor’s condition, but a few undead-blooded sorcerers appear in the family every generation and help Gran Willow (LE venerable female human vampire ex-paladin 7) continue her purge of heretics (by her now-warped estimations). Emboldened over the past century, Gran grows bolder thanks to the abundance of Molthuni soldiers to prey upon. With the assistance of the occasional descendant she converts into a spawn, she has hand-dug labyrinthine tunnels beneath the family’s inhospitable lands.

18. Bluestone: This unassuming village of 50 residents holds the unfortunate honor of being the most frequently invaded location of the Nesmian Plains, being overtaken by Molthuni forces nearly every spring and by Nirmathi guerrillas in late summer or early fall. The remaining residents—those too poor or stubborn to flee—adapt as best they can, raising hardy, fruitful, and easily transported rabbits to provide meat and fber rather than relying on sheep or goats, and surrendering or fleeing in the face of even the most milquetoast displays of force. First Citizen Maimen Pol (N male human commoner 5) relies heavily on generosity from outsiders to keep the impoverished town afloat, and prefers to hire adventurers to solve local problems or confront threats. Though materially poor, Bluestone settles its debts with invaluable secrets collected from the soldiers of whichever power most recently held the town, making it an unlikely hotbed of espionage. Most of Bluestone consists of thatched huts, easily rebuilt if destroyed, but the town’s small, nearly 1,000-year-old church to Gozreh remains spared by invaders. Originally constructed around the circle of standing stones from which the town took its name, the church remains a local point of pride and center of the community.

19. Dawdlefoot Ranch: Run by the ever-anxious Hannah Dawdlefoot (CG female halfling bard 5), whose grandmother arrived on the Nesmian Plains afer escaping slavery in Cheliax, Dawdlefoot Ranch is the largest halfling-run sheep ranch situated on the plains, and owes its success to a seemingly neverending supply of eager workers. The ranch is secretly an endpoint for the Bellflower Network, which helps smuggle halfling slaves to freedom, and Hannah spends a great deal of her time obscuring the backgrounds of her “seasonal help” and forging new documentation for recently freed slaves to use in establishing their new lives. Despite their noble aims, Hannah and her ranch hands are paranoid about outsiders, and aggressive in protecting their residents’ safety and secrecy. The halflings cultivate various thorny and poisonous plants along the ranch’s borders, and use a combination of mundane disguises and illusions to conceal traveling slaves as part of the flocks.

20. Highforest: One of the strangest natural wonders in Nirmathas is the Highforest. Some unknown event—perhaps magic-infused ash from Earthfall itself—buried and petrifed a vast forest of cedar trees in southern Nesmian Plains, and over time a new temperate forest grew atop the buried remains. Only a few thousand years ago, several years of unusually high spring floods washed away much of the earth and ash concealing the titanic, petrifed trees below, leaving a lush forest wilderness standing on a layer of topsoil supported by the branches of a 200-foot tall forest of stone. Locals consider the Highforest to be cursed or enchanted by the fey, but beyond the odd foundation of its landscape, the upper forest is similar to other dense woods across Nirmathas. The forest below is slowly evolving its own ecology of aberrations and vermin, which ofen burrow up into the forest above to claim prey.

21. Palette Falls: The copper-laden green waters of Emerald Creek and the orange-red waters of the humble Ironpass River merge here, tumbling down a rock face in a colorful cascade to join the Inkwater River. The falls are the only habitat of red-and-blue mottled palette berries—which locals dry and grind into an earthy, metallic spice—and palette otters, whose green-speckled pelts fetch enormous prices at markets in Canorate.

The dwarves of Kraggodan once used the vibrant waters of both rivers to dye textiles, and a few abandoned workhouses still remain, buried in undergrowth.

Bandits occasionally claim these concealed hideouts to prey upon Molthuni supply caravans.[1]

Références

  1. 1,0, 1,1, 1,2, 1,3, 1,4 et 1,5 Adventure Path - (PZO90115] - 20 - Ironfang Invasion - 01 - Trail of the Hunter