Adventurer’s Guide: A~G

Medicinal brew devised by the Black Earth Wilderpeople, used to treat mouth and throat ailments. This mildly unpleasant decoction is made by boiling the small leaves of the woody Jurringol plant (an unremarkable forest-growing shrub found in moist locations receiving only limited sunlight) together with unknown roots and thinly stripped bark. When gargled repeatedly throughout the day, Aahn can successfully relieve an individual’s symptoms within 24 hours.

Former slave and participant in armed battles within the Pit of Redemption, Bruhgog. A gifted warrior and talented tactician, who despite being small in stature, won his freedom after numerous impressive victories assisted by the urging of large, appreciative crowds. Now a resident of the north-west coast, Tenchal shuns crowds and popularity, preferring to live as a quiet nomad without recognition or confinement.

Engraved silver disc said to grant luck to its wearer on one occasion. Sold by the enigmatic Quelah to passing travellers “possessing suitable coins and good manners”, this small talisman is one of the lesser items she offers to visitors of her Morning Mountains home – a simple charm providing only a minor benefit to those seeking to avoid misfortune on their journey.

Oval-shaped clear crystal pendant that aids perception in battle when facing a Heavy Attack. The Air Talisman channels some of the energy of the god-formed winds to the pendant’s owner, thereby providing greater evasive capabilities to help them avoid a devastating blow. This magical item is one of several talismans that can only be bought from the mysterious Quelah.

Brigand operating in a wide region covering the land between the settlements of Ustahm, Bhan and Balquis. Assisted by a bulky but feeble accomplice, Alkhal is a thin, grubby man without honour or morals; a nomadic thief who has chosen a hopeless life of violence and miserable hardships. Suitably skilled with all weapons due to repeated practice, he will attack in desperate greed to maintain some measure of self-worth, and to impress his easily influenced companion.

Supernatural woodland spirits and guardians of the natural world, Alvaiser redress the actions of human weakness and violence. Appearing in human form as beautiful semi-transparent goddesses, they glow majestically dressed in flowing white gowns that separate into ribbons below their waist, where no further human form remains. An Alvaiser’s long hair radiates a warm and enveloping heat, and their hands emit a vaporous blue energy, which flashes brightly with arcane potential. Their ‘spirit judgement’ – a personal trial of the soul – prompts powerful sensations of extreme loss, confusion and submission. Those who fail this transfixing test are never seen again.

Small statuette carved from Sehquoihar wood. Sold exclusively by a hawker in Fountain Square, Balquis, this exquisite carving is a true piece of art, created by a member of a small community of highly talented craftspeople living in the region around Vingahl. Said to favourably influence the outcome of a ‘spirit judgement’, it is shaped as an Alvaiser spirit with arms outstretched and her long hair flowing behind her. The wood’s distinctive patterning and colouring is beautiful, with rich tones of dark red and orange highlighting the many curves and small details.

Sprawling town located at the meeting point of the Oppekha (flowing south-east) and Narran (flowing south-west) rivers in south-eastern Quahnarren. Aquiauah (pronounced Ah-KWI-ah) is an energetic hub for local trade and various industries, split into three sections by the rivers. The north and north-east sections are a mix of commercial and residential properties; the west is commercial farming land with some residential housing; and the east is almost entirely used by industry due to its access to water on both sides. A lawless group of 12 men found guilty of coercion and murder by the town’s elders were recently hanged in a mass ceremony on Aquiauah’s outskirts – the tolerance for such crimes is very low in this mostly civilised settlement.

Large, stocky wilderness creature with thick reddish-brown fur, currently found only in limited numbers in the Morning Mountains, where they lead a mostly solitary existence, avoiding human contact. Argorohr typically forage in semi-open woodlands, ranging over vast distances and across all elevations within their mountainous home, and are able to identify distant food sources and locate underground burrows due to an acute sense of smell. They can inflict considerable injury with their sharp, non-retractable claws, so it’s best to stand tall and make noise – and never run – if one approaches. When standing fully upright on its hind legs an Argorohr’s height may exceed an astonishing 10 feet.

Partly submerged city built by the Guahns on the north-east coast. Situated in a sheltered bay and today surrounded by infertile badlands, Arkronan was the first permanent settlement established on Quahnarren and grew quickly from humble beginnings into a large city of considerable splendour and wealth. Now in ruins, it was abandoned long ago due to an encroaching sea from the submergence of low-lying coastal land, unproductive soils and failing crops. The visible remains exhibit little of the city’s earlier grandeur, and today it is merely and an open playground for marine life.

Known as ‘the forest herb’ due to its favoured growing location, the distinctive Arlabenna flower features thin orange petals covered in numerous black spots. Regularly used to enhance and add flavour to recipes, this beneficial herb is also utilised by apothecaries in conjunction with the berries and leaves of specific plants, where it provides a further boost to elixirs containing potent energy and recovery attributes.

Located on highlands beyond the ridge of mountains that enclose the central northern region, Arrkael is a welcomed and important stopping point on the road to Bruhgog and the distant city of Skahren. The heavily wooded area to the east of this large town is an important source of timber, providing vast quantities of high quality wood. Due to the width and slow-moving flow of the Khoorvere River many felled trunks are tied together as rafts and floated downriver to Skahren’s port to then be shipped around the island; the income from these activities contributes much of the town’s wealth. Large- and small-scale industries thrive in Arrkael, with a wide variety of artisans also taking advantage of this location’s vast array of manufacturing and support services.

Member of a dramatic company regularly performing at The Tuurkan, Balquis. Aselline, together with younger sister Tahmlin, is a lover of theatre and music; her lifelong dedication to the stage has resulted in many accolades, including invitations to travel across Quahnarren for performances in other major cities. Pleased to have received such recognition but content to remain as a local talent, Aselline is most happy when sharing companionship with her playful sister.

Mysterious, cruel humanoids found in The Baked Plains. Formed from the dry, parched earth, these enchanted beings are said to be the reformed remains of all previously living things that have met their death in the forbidding conditions. Whenever strong winds blow Ashfiends rise as swirling man-sized vortices of collected materials. Speaking in unintelligible urgent sighs, circling groups of three or more hound and confuse victims now entrapped within a thick and rotating blanket of blinding, choking dust. They seem to gain a mischievous pleasure from these tormenting acts, yet have no capacity to directly inflict physical harm – a bewildering adversary that may cause the sufferer to lose all strength and hope.

An extremely impressive building of grand architecture, The Azifhar Bathhouse is famously known as the largest of its kind in eastern Quahnarren. Richly painted in vertical strips of a vibrant sea blue, its many intricate carvings and scalloped designs are highlighted with golden accents. A cavernous atrium houses many hot baths, and the relaxed atmosphere of this communal meeting place assists visitors to fully enjoy the recuperative qualities of the water. The people of Ustahm are justifiably proud of their acclaimed bathhouse and contribute to its ongoing prosperity by frequenting it in large numbers.

Located in an unusually squat, square building on Thorrs Street, Ustahm, Baked on Thorrs is a small family-owned bakery making a wide selection of bread and cakes. They provide discounted pricing for a package of five items, and one of the owner’s daughters regularly offers free samples of their goods to people walking past the store, claiming them to be the “best you’ll find in all of Quahnarren!”

Large and imposing walled city located in the central south-eastern region of Quahnarren, with a substantial population of recent arrivals also living in haphazard communities immediately outside its walls. Balquis is patrolled at all hours by armed city guards, and is built upon elevated land that enables the early detection of enemies approaching from any direction. A fortified settlement of authority and order, it enforces a strict curfew during darkness with resultant imprisonment and likely harsh punishments for those who choose to disobey.

Large-bodied bat (weighing up to 4.5 lb) with an impressive 6-foot wingspan, the Banded Najaar features a dog-like face, a red-banded neck, and a clawed second digit. Only capable of primitive echolocation, it uses a keen sense of smell and excellent vision in low light to locate desirable food sources, such as fruit, nectar, leaves, shoots and seed pods. Najaars are known virus transmitters, potentially causing severe human illness after being bitten or scratched, or when frequenting bat-infested caves or other similar environments. Their fur, teeth and bones are sometimes used to make clothing, necklaces and weapons; these items are believed to increase their owner’s awareness of the natural world.

Variety of wild, territorial oxen. Solidly built and endowed with elevated intelligence, they will resolutely stand their ground and face any foe defiantly challenging their ownership of the land. Equipped with a short, thick horn between their eyes, together with a set of curved horns at the sides of the head – the central horn is highly valued and is used by healers in many medicines. The already substantially reduced Bathouk population is subsequently under threat as large numbers continue to be killed for profit by human hands.

Substantial battle at Velkonnen Plains between the Northern Scourge and south-eastern landholders. After numerous destructive raids into central and southern areas of eastern Quahnarren, Buhldaag’s aggressive horde encountered a potent armed response organised by local authorities to quell these increasing incursions. The confrontation was fierce and bloody, and at its end the battlefield was covered with the butchered remains of combatants both good and evil. Broken bones and the weathered scraps of man and beast can still be found throughout the area.

Built on high ground on the south-eastern edge of the Dehanthor Valley, Bhan is a town of contrasting fortunes. Productive farmlands, a growing workforce and direct access to substantial markets have allowed many to enrich themselves, yet the majority of their labourers and suppliers are poorly paid and face a daily struggle to maintain even a basic standard of living. The lower-lying western part of Bhan is little more than a disorganised slum, with crude structures erected amongst the trees and rocky ridges. Unfortunately, this unregulated area is all that’s affordable for those without access to better opportunities, increasing discord between residents as space, resources and goodwill become scarce. 

Small-sized, wooden 10-string instrument traditionally carved from a single piece of wood. Dynamic in sound with great variation in each individual instrument, the Bharboud is pear-shaped with a short, fretless neck, four latticed sound holes and a rounded soundbox. Plucked or strummed with a quill while the other hand presses strings on the fingerboard, the shifting tones produced by expert players are gloriously entrancing, said to be beloved by the gods and other powerful spirits.

Tall, extensive mountain range located south of the River Haarg in northern Quahnarren. Extending from near the town of Jeghur on the north-west coast across to the central region at the eastern edge of The Baked Plains, the range is formed from thick layers of uplifted sedimentary rock. Many towering individual peaks and elevated mountaintops are a feature of this natural formation, including the semi-circular Ring of Monuments located at the north-western end. The impressive scale of the Bhoolgan Ranges beguiles many, yet danger is ever-present upon these spectacular slopes, as has been discovered by countless victims over hundreds of years.

Devourer of livestock and mauler of local children, this massive Lhorux – now an infected and ferocious Jarresen – lurks menacingly within Bhoramere Forest, located not far from the small settlement of Fexfohr, near the coastal town of Liust. It is said by some who claim to possess specific knowledge of such things, that the corrupted creature may be calmed, and therefore overpowered, by a rhythmical sound in close proximity – yet who would be brave or foolhardy enough to approach this hulking monster to attempt such a reckless undertaking?

A powerful artefact with a history that often transcends human understanding, the Blackdawn Shield is a summoner of unearthly interventions. This weighty metal shield may provide more than physical protection when a foe decides to attack, aiding endangered adventurers with unexplainable occurrences. Rumours suggest that it’s currently located somewhere in the south-eastern region, close to the town of Liust, however, without further knowledge there are too few details to identify exactly where it may be found.

An unconventional 5-sided wooden structure open all day, the Black Dice is painted entirely in a now faded and stained black, and is a place of smoky darkness and unceasing cacophonous noise due to its popularity as a venue for dice games and other gambling pursuits. Located at the western end of The Hollow in Ustahm, local risk-takers congregate here in sizeable numbers every day, seeking companionship and conversation, alcoholic beverages, and the opportunity to prove their worth in a game of Fours. Unsurprisingly, frequent drunkenness, violence and opportunistic theft are also part of the many activities enjoyed here.

Dour, often dangerous, and highly secretive forest-dwelling communities living a primitive lifestyle of essential subsistence. Experts with tools and weapons, and decorated with patterned body paint and head ornamentations, these self-sufficient people do not tolerate questioning or interference upon their lifestyle. They believe in a triumvirate of mystical spirit-gods: Sahaavinar, the troublesome spirit-god of the mind; Oderrad, the spirit-god of the land and the sea; and Ukomme, who maintains order within the air and the spiritual world. They beseech these gods daily for greater enlightenment, desiring knowledge about the mysteries of the lands they inhabit.

Fearsome black-clad hunter riding a muscular, ill-tempered horse. Employed by slave-trading mine owners to capture escapees and intimidate any considering a future breakout, the rider’s identity is concealed beneath a highly unsettling wooden mask – a menacing tribal vision suggesting otherworldly threats. Supported by an aggressive party of fellow hunters, a pursuit would not stop when darkness fell, resulting in the belief that both the black horse and rider were unnaturally possessed. All close to the beast experience a disquieting presence, with its fiercely glowing eyes matching those of the mask. No mercy was ever shown to those captured.

Legendary animal that has played a significant spiritual role in the history of Quahnarren. Renowned as protectors of the priests of the Seven Temples situated north of Hikkael, their descendants remain there today as permanent custodians of the surviving ruins, guarding sacred ground. Highly territorial, intelligent and social, Black Wolves are primarily found in thickly forested areas, however, they will roam over large distances when seeking food sources or more favourable conditions. Believed to be spiritual messengers or guides of symbolic meaning, and claimed to be capable of shape-shifting, moving freely between their physical form and the spirit world.

Small general supply store located on the West Road, Ustahm. A modest family-owned business offering a respectable range of items for sale, The Bolt’s old owner has seen it all before and therefore understands the vagaries of fate and luck, accepting that personal circumstances can change dramatically at any time.

Fishing, farming and logging are the three main industries in Bolverre, providing its relatively modest population with plentiful resources to consume, trade or sell. The buildings found throughout this small town are impressive wood and stone constructions; tall and spacious, they exhibit a naturalistic aesthetic appeal, acknowledging their connection to the land. Deep clifftop caves west of town, beyond the Kahblad River, house a sizeable colony of Banded Najaars. Unlike Saquinn, located on the other side of the Morning Mountains, Bolverre’s residents have not experienced a parasite-driven attack of infected bats – something that greatly comforts wary locals.

Lengthy coastline of tall cliffs extending south-west from the town of Liust. Named due to the fragmented geological features found along this stretch of massive rock faces, The Broken Coast is a spectacular natural formation best viewed from the sea. Extending for just over 15 miles at the most south-easterly point of the continent, this area is also the location of a section of forest called The Restless Hills, where fierce ocean-generated winds buffet the tall trees with endless energetic movement.

Illusionary nocturnal demons that suddenly appear during the dark hours of night. Their dreaming hosts, who wake suddenly to find these fabulous manifestations sitting upon their chests, summon them as a result of taxing fears and anxieties. The most disturbing aspect of these unwelcome visitations is the associated loss of all movement, which terrifyingly renders the victim immobile – only able to shift their eyes. The Buyajin (pronounced Boo-YAH-jin) remains unmoving throughout this paralysed period, silently watching with unblinking eyes. No physical harm is ever committed, but the mental anguish can be considerable. Some claim that specific herbs and fragrances can ward off a Buyajin, so the gathering of effective plant materials or the burning of incense is often suggested.

A relatively small but vibrant settlement located south of the Morning Mountains, Caelen is a town of many agricultural industries, where conditions are favourable for crops and livestock, and a more than acceptable standard of living can be achieved. When the annual harvest is celebrated Caelen’s entire population – now swelled by many enthusiastic visitors – participates in a spectacular street festival, where music, performance and uninhibited revelry replace everyday responsibilities for nearly two days. The ancient friends of the forest, known as Nehlinn, settled in the forested region that surrounds the town. Respected for their great knowledge and insight, only a remnant population survives today.

Formally established in Hoq many decades ago, today the Cartographers’ Guild welcomes map-makers from all over Quahnarren to this southern city to further their art via discussion, exhibition and learned guidance from other colleagues. Their impressive guildhall is found to the east of the city centre; a building primarily known for its outstanding architectural feature: the Dome of the Guahns. This large wooden dome is protected from the elements by a covering of brilliant copper sheeting, and the vault’s interior is decorated with fine portraits of numerous Guahn elders; respected leaders from the time of the migration.

Secretive society of landowners and relic hunters currently flourishing in Mahlokke and surrounding settlements. Caarnithians believe in the existence of remarkable forgotten creatures due to recent discoveries of ancient bones and preserved tracks. These finds have lead to increased speculation of giant prehistoric life forms beyond even the wildest of imaginations.

Malevolent spirit known as the Demon of the Flame. Believed to greedily corrupt the troubled minds of the weak-willed via humanity’s mesmeric attraction to fire, Cazhuac’s burning eyes are aflame with diabolical intent whenever he begins to craft an unspoken incantation. His sole purpose is to engulf, consume and destroy.

Invasive climbing weed, found throughout Quahnarren’s northern regions. Highly poisonous to humans if growth conditions are favourable, the juicy dark red berries of the Climbing Snakeberry can cause stupefaction, severe cramping and paralysis of the lungs. The fruit’s juice, together with an extract of the leaves, is often used by herbalists familiar with black arts and incantations, as it is believed that consuming some of this preparation will ward off evil intentions and protect the innocent from spiritual and physical harm.

This magical cloak allows unhindered travel in many situations where dense forest surrounds the wearer, with their passage only revealed by the trail of footsteps left on their chosen path. Creatures not possessing a highly developed sense of smell, most humans and some incorporeal spirits will be aware of a nearby presence to some extent, however, their visual perception will be substantially restricted by the unique enchantment placed upon this remarkable garment. Only ill-considered movement or other failures to maintain the deception will break the cloak’s charm.

Wealthy and influential slave trader supplying unwilling workers throughout the northern region. Juhliic was sold into slavery as a young child; a life-altering experience that shaped his personal attitude and determination to become wealthy, renowned and an equal to all others. Now a barrel-chested, muscled, middle-aged man, he uses his physical attributes to intimidate his human property and dominate business rivals.

Hired adventurers, these skilled fighters provide services to officials, associations, businesses and individuals, including: searching for criminals or lost persons, assistance against armed parties, investigation of mysterious events, surveying land, and providing expert opinion without favour. Each Corvaelen is highly proficient in arms and warfare, dispute resolution, hunting, trapping, wilderness lore and survival, medicine, horsemanship and many other desirable qualities. All must pledge and unending commitment to the Oath of Ulnhor, which binds them to truth and service for evermore.

It is said that the men of Cousard are stout and toughened by hardship, and that their strong-willed women are even tougher. This unremarkable fishing community on the north-western coast offers scant luxuries, for few residents wish for more than stable employment to occupy themselves, and a comfortable drinking spot to retire to once the day’s work is done. The Blood & Rum tavern is one of three such destinations in town – a homely place of plentiful smoke, laughter and entertaining hearsay, where locally brewed beverages are consumed in astonishing quantities. Crime rarely makes an appearance in Cousard’s narrow streets, as the sobering thought of unsparing admonishment from friends and partners prevents most quarrels from developing beyond closed doors.

This large, sprawling, vine-like plant, often found only in inaccessible northern regions, had been overlooked by the Quahneri for decades, fearful of its spiked appearance and intimidating odour. However, water collected at the base of the cuello’s broad, almost erect, orange-tinted petals is processed into a syrupy liquid under ideal conditions over three days, resulting in a juice that quickly produces euphoric feelings when ingested. A vibrant commercial drug trade is now expanding throughout the north as this narcotic consumes the coins of many intoxicated individuals.

Jet-black hounds with a robust and muscular build, they hunt in large organised packs and exude an intimidating, fateful presence. Cusaahn attack with great speed, using predatory cunning and keen coordination to force terrified prey into poor judgement and harmful mistakes. Using broad, powerful jaws to catch and tear apart their target, they are seldom discouraged from a hunt unless overpowering force is displayed against them. Cusaahn are widespread across the northern region, where they enthusiastically chase wild and domesticated animals. Will rarely attack humans unless directly threatened or suffering from a severe shortage of available food, and almost never encroach into populated areas.

Nobody knows exactly what a Daaskun looks like, but many have witnessed the remarkable apparitions attributed to this master illusionist. Under the full cover of darkness the child-sized Daaskun silently monitor all who dare to intervene in their night-time proceedings. Predominantly appearing in and around burial grounds, abandoned dwellings, and sites of sustained inhumane treatment, they are believed to seek life’s essence, and conjure frightening, lifelike deceptions of light and shadow to avert human detection. A few uncertain descriptions suggest that they take shape as insubstantial inky forms, seemingly formed from the evening blackness itself. Their cruel perception tricks outwit and chill even the most strong-minded characters – any meeting with a Daaskun will not quickly be forgotten.

Upheaval was once rampant in Danshok, but now this small town on the northern coast has found unity and the beginnings of sustained prosperity under the watchful eye of Warden Kallisar. With unrest spreading across much of the northern region, the new Warden initiated several community strategies to provide constructive work for those of sound mind and an industrious nature. The troubled peoples of Danshok soon rose above their endless squabbling, enjoying the responsibility of greater self-determination as they observed the escalating madness taking hold in the nearby village of Ixtis. Awakened by the abominable rise of Vuhgarran the Vulgar, the town is now a refuge for those able to escape the tyrant.

Female Nehlinn of unmixed ancestry regard themselves as Daughters of the True Flame; pure of blood and therefore capable of passing on undiluted physical traits and inherent spiritual abilities. Although these ancient friends of the forest are now few in number, three sisters – named Iserre, Mieakann and Peytahr – featuring the recognisable traits of such pure peoples, live a secluded, self-sufficient existence somewhere within the thick woods north of Caelen. Rarely seen, especially beyond the area of their home, these mysterious women are said to be both beautiful and intensely intelligent, never apart and always in good spirits.

Extensive area of low land located between the cities of Duquellah and Torvaan in the central east of Quahnarren. This region also features The Skar and its many tributaries, and is mostly fertile farming land set within rolling hills and forests. A wide variety of crops and animals are farmed here due to the favourable soils and plentiful rainfall, and the region is also the home of many rare species of plants, insects, small mammals and birds.

Hawk-nosed with a thick, drooping moustache and narrowed eyes as dark and as unfriendly as the coldest, blackest night, Kholl travels continuously across the south-eastern region, accosting and assaulting those he desires to steal from. A child runaway exposed to threats and violence from a very young age, he has a turbulent mind set within a restless body, always moving on to evade scrutiny or incarceration. Kholl is also missing a piece from the top of his left ear, leaving a distinctive ragged hole much like the bite of a small animal.

Theological order promising great fortune and eternal life. Followers of The Divine Serpent believe in a spiritual shape-shifting entity, which manifests itself in the form of a hairless man featuring three iridescent serpentine eyes. They claim that there can be no greater purpose than to awaken within his powerful embrace, and that only those who dedicate themselves to the worship and proclamation of this remarkable being can reap the rewards promised – all others will succumb to ruin and decay.

Overgrown and now partly in ruins, this abandoned site was built for Dor-Takkun, a divisive character who gained many fanatical supporters due to his fervent teachings of a ‘new understanding’ – an isolationist way of thinking and acting that favoured the self and those of equal faith over others from the broader community. Located in a fractured valley south of Baylorn in the northern part of the Morning Mountains, the site’s slender four-storey tower now leans due to destructive ground activity.

Legendary woodsman and experienced adventurer now in late middle age, Dottur lives in a remote hut south of Touqin. Known by all as Wild Dottur, he lives a mostly solitary existence, subsisting on wild deer and game, fish, eggs, nuts and berries – all sourced from the surrounding lands. As his hunting and tracking skills, and general knowledge of the region, are highly respected, Dottur is regularly used by local authorities to assist with forest searches and for counsel on important issues.

Large forested area located south-west of Suhnadell. Named as such due to its thick overhead canopy and the subsequent night-like gloominess caused by a lack of penetrating light. Old and largely untroubled by human intrusion, many strange, mutated creatures are said to exist within its shadowy valleys, where many adventurers never return from. The Dreaming Woods are also a location for sourcing the potent, sleep inducing Yaagdazil mushroom, which is often found in plentiful numbers on the forest floor.

Package of herbs said to ward off some monsters and spirits. The keeping and carrying of dried herbs has been a traditional belief of the Quahneri for over a hundred years, with many elders crafting small fabric pouches to hold herbs when travelling. Each package is then adorned with a unique arrangement of ancient symbols and patterns said to enhance the protectiveness provided by the contents placed inside. The herbs most often used are elder and keedu, as both are widely believed to actively deter malicious intent.

Long-haired thief charged with the theft of goods and destruction of private property in and around the town of Vantohr. A handsome man, Ashett can provide damaging information regarding the treacherous activities allegedly performed by one of Warden Vharssen’s trusted assistants.

Brotherhood of former raiders and other felons now causing uproar on the bustling streets of Skahren, where they aggressively deliver swift punishment to those accused of crime and disorder. Druht’s Watch was formed without consultation to halt an escalating wave of theft, violence and property damage taking place across the overpopulated city, but has simply added further fuel to an already growing fire, resulting in desperate counter-attacks and seething opposition from those of influence. Residents attempt to lawfully go about their business without raising suspicion, yet the city’s anger and frustration is ever-present, and the Watch have eyes everywhere.

Tall, imposing Corvaelen of middle age possessing a long face, kindly eyes and shining silver hair. Cirrian speaks with the warm voice of experience and humility, and impresses all with his respectful behaviour, deep knowledge, and intelligent reasoning. The wisdom he has gained over the years is put to practical use in his work, guiding his thoughts and actions for the betterment of the communities that he is tasked to protect and assist.

Often ignored by travellers due to its location on the eastern side of Xuth’s Bay, this secluded small community is more than worthy of a short diversion. Sheltered from the worst of the intense winds that batter its southern rivals, the town is tranquil and breathtakingly scenic, offering neat buildings and gardens, unequalled ocean views, and many hidden beaches and rocky caves to explore. Duphay’s most famous resident is the founder of the Corvaelens, Thullian Ulnhor. A principled man of great personal integrity, he is remembered when new members pledge their commitment in reciting the Oath of Ulnhor.

Largest Quahnarren city in both size and population, and the oldest continuously inhabited site since the arrival of the ancient Guahns. Sitting on the high central plain, Duquellah is the home of scholars, thinkers and artists, and is known as a cultured and progressive City of Learning. Famous for three notable landmarks: the 24-foot tall Victory Gate of Vehkorr and the broad thoroughfare Aelisen Way, both located amid extensive parks and gardens abutting The Skar river; and the Great Library, where a substantial collection of priceless, ancient texts are housed within a grand building of significant renown. Duquellah’s magnificent architecture leaves a lasting impression on all who visit or call it home.

A humble man with an incredibly strong work ethic, Warden Durvanne comes from a hard-working family living remotely to the west of the Uhnst Ridge, below the Berefkah River. One of five curious children surrounded by many untamed miles of wilderness, he learned at an early age that death was a part of life, and that his path forward was to respect all living things. An accomplished agriculturalist with detailed knowledge about ecosystems, meteorology and invertebrate animals, the Warden is a seasoned and rational individual possessing quiet authority; a tireless labourer able to reap favourable results from his toil.

Originally established as a central grain hub for farmers in the centre of the western region, Ealltahn quickly grew into an expanded settlement of significance, providing services, housing and other industries to support those working the land. The people of Ealltahn are often unfriendly to strangers, seemingly reluctant to extend their friendship to anyone as yet unknown. Some of this hesitancy likely stems from conflicts of the past, when disparate communities found themselves living alongside each other. Additionally, Ealltahn’s ongoing rivalry with their nearby neighbour Festaahn is another source of unsocial behaviour, with competitive tension and disagreement sometimes straining relations.

Polished stone pendant that boosts mental strength – useful when facing the machinations of malevolent spirits. This square, red-coloured stone has the ability to increase perception, allowing the wearer of the pendant to maintain essential cognitive functions. As incorporeal entities pose no material danger, they instead seek to gain control of their victim’s mind, projecting disruptive illusionary information to confuse, threaten and disorientate. Only the very strongest of adventurers can hope to withstand such mental attacks without assistance.

Armourer and champion swordsman, and owner of The Balquis Armourer, Ehnman’s lightweight armour is considered to be of the finest workmanship and durability. A muscled, square-jawed man highly proficient in most forms of fighting and weaponry, he has won numerous regional championships in the last decade. Always fair and highly trustworthy, Ehnman’s knowledge of arms and armour is extensive, and he has a special interest in items created and worn by the mighty Makkhra.

Permanently scarred when a young woman by a possessive suitor without respect or honour, Warden Ekkhali understands that trust must be withheld until it is fully earned. A dependable leader with a common-sense approach, she is favourably regarded as an administrator with a sound mind and steadfast loyalty – protective of all who serve her and ever mindful of the violence and corruption that exists within her lands. A skilled horsewoman, farmer, and a highly talented craftsperson, the Warden has also studied extensively in Gamleden and Rhul, voraciously reading texts containing knowledge from esteemed scholars both past and present.

An effective treatment for cold and flu symptoms, extracted from the elder plant. This medicinal drink will halt the onset of any viral infection, so adventurers wishing to maintain good health should purchase a vial at their earliest opportunity to ensure that they reach their intended destination. The fruit and flowers of the elderberry are widely used to treat several minor diseases, and the tree itself is said to ward off some evil spirits.

Large, agile arachnid with a leg-span of six inches, these active hunters of insects and invertebrates will predigest any foodstuff featuring solid parts, as prey must be sucked into its stomach in liquid form. Highly mobile and very sensitive to vibrations, pheromones, nearby motion and wind direction, this intelligent and vividly colourful spider can be found in trees and on the ground, and is capable of adaptive behaviour. Featuring eight eyes, its movable high-resolution central pair use a telescopic system of vision, while the secondary pairs detect motion from the side and behind. The Elluanxa has a potent venom that can cause death in as little as 20 minutes.

Surrounded by expansive fields of grain, rolling hills, and scattered stands of the giant Sehquoihar tree, Entollen is the home of many industrious farmers, woodworkers and craftspeople. Life is unhurried in this small town, with the fortune of its residents following the success or failure of each season. The now-reclusive theatre star Annadien Erehlu lives in a highly decorated house on the eastern side of the main road. Unwanted visitors may quickly find themselves introduced to her two aggressive hounds.

Known locally as Esmarelle of the Forest, this hunchbacked old woman lives in the expansive forest north of Baylorn. A self-proclaimed spiritual conduit of the gods, Esmarelle is temperamental and often venomous in her responses, and possesses the ability to enchant others, mystically able to bend them to her will.

Magnificent 14-foot bronze statue of Kantu Kambohr – the legendary surveyor and rogue – erected overlooking the eastern promontory of The Windless Bay, Liust. The internal supporting structure of this impressive monument features a narrow, circular staircase that ends at a high viewing platform located in Kambohr’s head. Operated as both a famous attraction and a strategic lookout, the Eye watches over all who enter the bay.

Malicious and cunning, Fahnden are similar in size and shape to deer, with boldly patterned pelts and prominent bony ridges along their spine. Long regarded as destructive pests, they are blamed as carriers of parasites causing diverse human afflictions and diseases. Fahnden toy with their prey before attacking with powerful hooves and unusual notched teeth, and are famously noted for the occasional appearance of what appears as a dark, devilish goatee tuft on their chin, which only deepens the historical belief that they are tainted black-hearted creatures possessing satanic blood.

Aged, bespectacled proprietor of Faluum’s Emporium, located on the West Road, Ustahm. His two-storey commercial business is overfilled with every type of item imaginable: from clothes, ointments and restorative tonics to cooking utensils, hand tools and weapons. A diligent and tireless worker, Faluum is known for his unceremonious manners and obvious lack of interest in sharing stories or gossip with visitors to his store.

Located near the southern edge of The Baked Plains, Festaahn is a newly established settlement on the expansive flatlands of the central west. Its close proximity to the nearby town of Ealltahn has angered many in the region, giving rise to accusations of strategic encroachment. Bad blood between some parties has unfortunately escalated into direct confrontation, with reprisals now a predictable form of response to most contentious affairs. A friendly tobacco grower living on land lying directly between Festaahn and Ealltahn sells his yellow leaf variety to both towns, and also hand-carves fine long-stemmed pipes that are treasured by those who own one.

With its once impregnable stone walls now aged and crumbling, Fhith can no longer withstand destructive attacks from marauders regularly roaming the region. Wearied by many years of toil and drought, the ageing, formerly proud men of this north-eastern town are now mostly idle, with previously productive farmlands now yielding only a meagre harvest. Discouraged by unending misfortune, their malaise only deepens when fierce winter winds rush across the surrounding plains, snatching what remains of their precious topsoil. As numerous women and children have already fled to other destinations, the town’s future is bleak.

Rocky landmark standing to the south-east of Heztaal. This flat-topped prominence can be seen for many miles, and is regarded as a meeting place for lost spirits, who supposedly ascend its steep sides to reach the levelled summit, where they appeal to the gods for salvation. Few locals dare to even approach the site, fearful of any interaction with incorporeal entities.

Impressively large, colourful birds known as the Life Giver, featuring a vivid red and gold plumage, and long sapphire-blue tailfeathers. They only appear in moments of great personal need, promptly restoring life and vitality to all in peril. Many religious orders claim them to be arbiters from the heavens; returners of life to those mistakenly called before their time. An image of the Firebird is used throughout Quahnarren to denote virtuous qualities and celestial affinity, and is regarded as an emblem of all principled people.

Sparkling diamond-shaped sunstone pendant that will increase the wearer’s strength in battle, resulting in greater injury to opponents. The glass-like stone is highly reflective, and is of a vibrant deep red colour that glitters and glows when exposed to bright light. Affixed to a two-stranded, weaved leather cord, this impressive talisman can only be found for sale in the Morning Mountains.

Giant reptiles living in densely forested parts of southern Quahnarren. Surprisingly known to attack large prey including humans, the Kannaga species of snakes are highly aggressive when directly threatened or unknowingly disturbed. The deadly neurotoxic venom of their bite is quick to paralyse victims, however, approximately half of their bites are ‘dry’ and do not inject venom – they therefore also constrict their prey. Easily identified by their ability to rear up and flatten their neck to reveal a large inflated hood, which is distinctively split into a lighter upper and darker lower section around the central V-shaped area. Specimens have been found measuring up to an incredible 16 feet in length.

A wild section of deep forest located north of Seraf, named after a group of four sell-swords desiring reward and recognition, who sought to defeat an aggressive Jarresen residing within. Three of these brave men perished from an unnatural dark menace, and the sole survivor spoke of harmful, restless spirits after desperately fleeing the location in terror. The troublesome Jarresen still remains.

The most important trading spot in all of Balquis, Fountain Square is located at the intersection of five roadways situated at the heart of the city’s busy commercial district. An immense open space, the paved square is named for the monument that commemorates all those who gave birth to the original settlement. Flanked by many impressive buildings, including the Offices of the Head Arbiter, the public theatre building known as The Tuurkan, and the shrine to Likothi, Fountain Square also holds the sprawling traders’ market: a broad collection of semi-permanent stalls, vendors, entertainers and travelling salespersons.

Energy booster often used by travellers, available from the Green Leaf apothecary located on The Traders’ Burrow, Balquis. The sweet-tasting Uplift is a thick liquid drink derived from a combination of four leaves: ginkgo, keedu, tea and guhzka – together with several minerals and honey. Used in ancient times by the peoples who eventually migrated across the sea to Quahnarren, these natural ingredients are known to enhance energy and focus, and also produce a calming effect.

Deep mine located south-east of Arrkael within the tall ridge that extends from the southern edge of the Bhoolgan Ranges. Said to be haunted by the maddened ghosts of underground workers forced into slavery, and eventual death. Fuerillo was known as a violent, tyrannical ruler with a palpable lack of fairness and empathy. He had almost no consideration for the welfare of his enslaved men, unless his mine’s profitability was to be directly enhanced by such non-essential matters.

A small city of diverse peoples, Gamleden is located beside a tributary of the River Haarg. The peoples living and working here are resourceful and proud, skilled at agriculture, viticulture and their associated trades. The annual Harvest Festival in Gamleden attracts many keen revellers from far and wide, eager to enjoy the extended festivities on offer. The sometimes troublesome Black Earth Wilderpeople live in the verdant forests south-east of the city, where they erected a substantial stone temple in honour of their triumvirate of mystical spirit-gods.

Standing seven feet tall, and featuring two ugly, hairless heads, Ghubben are peaceful and solitary inhabitants of the rocky forests throughout Quahnarren. They live in hidden grottoes and secluded caverns amongst the ancient mountain ranges, hunting and gathering in all but the coldest of conditions. Hairy humanoids with heavily weathered skin, they are believed to be fond of precious metal objects found lost or discarded in the undergrowth. Wary of interaction with others – even their own kind – they will only threaten when provoked or directly attacked. Any adventurer too close to a foraging Ghubben will hear an alarming throat rumbling used to startle and intimidate, and they will break trees and stamp their feet whenever they believe their homes may be threatened.

The hulking, brindled and long-maned Giant Tusked Boar is the largest wild boar subspecies, often reaching 55 inches in shoulder height. Their bulky bodies weigh in excess of 800 pounds and feature a massive head, a short trunk and a pronounced hump behind the shoulder blades. An instinctive aggressor, their small, bloodshot eyes suggest destructive intent. Their plow-like head, four curved tusks and powerful neck muscles equip them with tools capable of shifting huge amounts of soil, and inflicting great pain. Boars are considered to be noble fighters, and anyone having victoriously battled a Giant Tusked Boar is regarded as a courageous champion of admirable strength and fortitude.

Admired for his venturesome approach to life and his many valuable discoveries, the bold and curious Osuu Graemurrin is the current Grand Master of the Quahnarren Adventurers’ Guild. Friendly yet often obstinate, and with a wealth of valuable experience traversing Quahnarren’s extensive wilderness, his adventurous spirit has never waned. Osuu’s scholarly research has led him to believe that many remarkable creatures no longer in existence once inhabited the island, and subsequently he wishes to travel and explore overseas, where he expects to find further evidence of these fascinating life forms.

Overwhelmingly brutal in the capable hands of a skilled fighter, this mighty weapon has a long and distinguished history in Quahnarren. The creator of the Great Axe of the Dreaming Woods is unknown, but its origin has been traced to the verdant forest of the Dreaming Woods near Gamleden. The weapon itself is of a sturdy design, and its broad double-bladed head is both large and intimidating, featuring natural patterns etched into the metal. A thrusting spike above the blades provides opportunities for further damage, and the wound leather grip covers much of the shaft to allow for a variety of hand positions.

Measuring nearly one mile in diameter, and with a depth of more than 470 feet at its deepest point, The Great Crater is a significant, and historically important, visual landmark in the central west of Quahnarren. Created by the incredible force of a destructive meteorite impact about 50,000 years ago, the crater’s ragged rim rises up to 130 feet above the surrounding landscape, only partially eroded in the many years since its ancient formation due to the dry conditions of the local climate.

Meeting held with representatives from every region to discuss the continent’s future and form a functional system of governance. With civil disobedience and disturbances on the rise, the land was subsequently divided into seven regions, with a Warden appointed for each to represent and oversee it. New rules were devised and set regarding corporal punishment and recompense, with the officials selected managing all regional affairs. The men and women chosen to fill these vital positions were required to be erudite, widely respected and of a determined disposition.

Constructed nearly a century ago, the towering Great Statue is considered to be an engineering and artistic masterpiece of considerable cultural importance. Built upon an elevated, rocky outcrop located on the western base of the Morning Mountains, this striking 24-foot tall monument honours the visionary ruler of the Guahn nations. Tahsanook-Lai has been accurately sculpted wearing his winged battle helm – a famed and sacred symbol of everlasting victory, worn for both ceremonial and practical purposes by only the most important and revered leaders of the Guahns.

In gardens, glades and open farmlands you may be fortunate to meet a playful and intelligent spirit known as a Grimmen. These diminutive creatures are less than half a foot tall and are regularly found flitting about flowering plants, where they seek the pollen required to fuel their unbounded energy. Warmly welcomed visitors beloved by many, Grimmen are regarded as strong indicators of a healthy and productive environment. They have two pairs of large wings, small elfin bodies magnificently decorated in a wide variety of translucent colours, and have a special fondness for children and young people playing and adventuring outdoors.

Symbolic writing system of the Guahns using words and phrases to convey concepts. This primitive logographic communication system features abstract shapes and connected letterforms to exchange or record information, with symbols representing both individual words and complex conceptual units. Developed by separate peoples as semi-independent forms prior to the migration to Quahnarren, the structure of this written language was then standardised by early Quahneri scholars to simplify teaching and understanding across the island.

Ancient, nomadic race of hunter-gatherers; distant progenitors of the Quahneri. The Guahns accessed Quahnarren via a temporary land bridge during a period when a decreased sea level allowed migration onto the unpopulated landmass. Diverse in customs, behaviour and beliefs, the Guahns were collectively determined to adapt their lifestyle to one of agriculture and settlement, whereby domestication’s benefits would create and sustain a more advanced community. Led by their purposeful leader Guahvaan, the majority of these peoples quickly settled into their new home, immediately working the land and building cities across the continent. Those who struggled to adapt, or outright rejected this sedentary revolution, often used threats and violence in hostile opposition as they persisted with a mobile, rootless existence.

Enlightened leader of the original inhabitants of Quahnarren, the legendary tales of Guahvaan are told repeatedly due to the remarkable personal qualities of this ancient visionary. Known by all as a fearless warrior, purposeful teacher and protector, he continuously sought to advance the fortune of his community. When required, Guahvaan loyally defended all under his guidance with a level of fighting proficiency beyond most mortals. Able to wield all types of weapons with superb expertise and dexterity, this renowned combatant used every tactical advantage available on the battlefield to defeat his opponents. Guahvaan met his untimely end at the hand of tricksters summoned by demonic forces who sought to end his rising influence.

Of the many pieces of protection the legendary Guahvaan wore in battle, this impressive shield is regarded as one of the most significant items to have once been in his possession. Reportedly recovered from the site of his last fatal battle, Guahvaan’s Everlasting Shield was found in a severely broken condition, with an entire section of the shield fragmented by a diagonal strike that split the wood. Lost for many years, a local craftsman and historian located the ruined shield and replaced the destroyed area with a piece of wood discarded by the Sacred Bone Tree; Guahvaan’s eternal gift to the people.

Calm, determined official responsible for overseeing the central eastern region of Quahnarren. Possessing a powerful and imposing presence, and sometimes challenging in temperament and tone, Warden Guhlnaar upholds the rule of law, implements strategies for the benefit of the people living in his area, and coordinates aid – manpower, goods and services – when circumstances require decisive action. As both the longest serving and most senior Warden of the seven appointed to these important roles, he offers broad experience, personal humility, and a desire to govern effectively without fear or favour.