Estea: The Shadows Lengthen
The story begins in the isolated valley nation of Istarnia.
Istarnia is an isolated valley kingdom, ringed by mountains and Pelor’s Wall to the south. Past the wall lies the broken landscape of the Shadowlands—home of teaming hordes of goblinoids, orc, and ogre tribes.
The western mountains are known as the Thunder Peaks. At their south-western point is Thundercap and the Dwarves of Barak Durn. They are a reclusive and hardy race – with the only surface settlement being the fortress city of Hammerfell – a stalwart barrier between the hordes of the Shadowlands and the dwarvish people.
To the east is the Elder Forest – rumoured to be home of fey and mysterious creatures. At the south eastern point is the Spear Woods. There the Wood Elves make their homes in military encampments. They are constantly on guard for invasion from the Shadowlands – especially since the destruction of their great city, Sylvanithus, over 800 years ago.
Beyond the Northern Mountains are the Brundar – nomadic barbarian tribespeople – recently united under the rule of Cheif Sigurd, leader of the Wolf Clan. Many of the folk in northern Istarnia have Brundar blood.
Of late mysterious mutations have wracked the land – creating blight touched monstrosities of natural beasts. Crop Blight threatens the harvest and dire omens are seen everywhere—especially in the appearance of Ky’Ruath – the red comet that sages say fortells chaos and upset in the arcane realm.
People find some hope as the nations gather at Fleethill to talk of alliance against the encroaching darkness. Elves, Dwarves, Runa, Brundar, Istarnians and Halflings have turned the fields of Fleethill into a tent city.
Istarnia is rich in resources of wood, ore, fertile land, and a large freshwater lake and streams.
Rhyanistar is the ruling house of the realm, descended from the hero who reunited the realm, pushed out the creatures of the Shadowlands, built The Wall to the north, and rebuilt a nation – with aid from the other noble houses.
Typical crops and diet.
Wheat, oats, Potatoes, carrots some onion, pumpkin, herbs, dairy, milk, cheese, eggs game meat (deer, boar, pheasant, grouse, rabbit) - nearby forest considered to be owned by the lord – permit required to be in it - failure to display permit could lead to arrest meat from goat, sheep, cow, chicken mushrooms, roots, herbs and berries from the woods exported food from other areas
many goods come from the capital, Caeristar, where they are made raw goods come from the outlying area and tradespeople in the capital make finished goods which are in turn sent back to the outlying areas…
There is a broad river that runs through Istarnia from the northern mountains to a large lake in southern Istarnia. Some goods are transported by barge. A family of halflings that settled Istarnia run most of the river shipping.
Most noted of visitors to the realm is a group of nomadic gypsies called the Runa. They visit the realm with news of the outside world every several years. They get mixed reception, but most appreciate the goods and stories they bring—as well as the liveliness and novelty they add to life for a time.
They gypsies are a bit outrageous with their stories and claim that they have to enter a mystical realm through the Elder Forest to get to and from Istarnia. Nobody has been able to confirm this, as folks who leave do not come back. Some say this is proof that you should not trust a gypsy.
Recently King Willhelm Rhyanistar of Istarnia has called representatives from the dwarven nation of Barak Durn, the wood elves of the Spear Woods, and the tribespeople of Brundar to form an alliance against the Shadowlands.
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