The Tail of Ursum
|Ruler:||Lord Barrius Ebon|
|Size:||About 100 miles north-south by 75 miles east west.|
|People of Note:||Lord Barrius Ebon|
This is the region at the north western end of the island of Ursum. As Ursum somewhat resembles a whale and this area would be the whale's tail. It was once a safe and prosperous region, part of the now ruined Rainbow Empire. It is now ruled by the Ebon House of the Lucarcian Empire. There are a number of villages and towns in the region but none of them have a great deal of control over the wilds in between them. Communications between the settlements is sparse and often confused. The lands which make up the majority of the Tail are wild, dangerous and only the foolish or brave venture into them.
Places of Interest
Selkie is a trading port on the north coast which has links to the republican city of Endhome to the north east. Some traders also sail north west to the island of Ibini but they are fewer in number. Selkie links the fishing villages of Kelp in the west with Derketo in the east via the old Coast Road. It is itself a fishing port and is situated where the Iceflow River flows out into the Inner Sea. Halfing riverfolk and some other merchants use the river for transport to far away Frostgard and to the elven forest of Mithlond.
The Ebon house controls the Tail of Ursum from this town. Barrius Ebon, "the Dark Lord" and head of Ebon house, has his seat in the castle overlooking the town. The raven on the wing standard flies from its roof tops. The castle is a "no-go" area for most people and nearly everyone is turned away by the Dread Guard who defend it. These soldiers are dressed all in black with red flashes and wear helms which are made to look extremely like oversized human skulls.
Not too surprisingly this place is a rough and tumble walled frontier town which guards the Frost Pass into the mountains - the only way to get into and out of the Tail of Ursum without mountaineering skills, equipment and a guide, or a delve under the Frosthold Mountains.
Not much is known about this far away fishing village save that its fish are a rival for Kelp's in Selkie's fish markets.
Kelp is one of the main settlements in the region, but one of the smaller such settlements. Its primary source of income is fishing and farming and both trades account foor about half the villages' economy. Kelp exports fish and some farm goods to Selkie where they are traded on and sent upriver to Frostgard or across the Inner Sea to Dun Laren.
The Frosthold Mountains are named after an old Empirical fortress called the Frosthold. This fortress was situated high above the pass at its highest point commanding views across the mountains and down into the Tail to the north and towards Vacheron in the south. It was said that the hold was so high up that on a clear day one could see the far off city of Vacheron to the south and all the way to the port of Selkie in the north. A single slim path leads from Frost Pass up to the entrance to the hold and this hold is said to be unstormable. Legend has it that the old Empire employed Stone Giants to build the fortress overseen by dwarven artisans. Now rumour holds that the Frosthold is home to a frost giant chieftan of great power and its certainly true that merchants making the trip through the pass oft times tell tales of being charged tolls to pass by a band of ogres who claim to be working for the Jarl of Frosthold.
Awash with burial ruins of the Rainbow Empire these hills are said to be swarming with undead stirred up by the evil wizard Darken.
A dark and foreboding forest rumoured to be haunted by shades of the evil wizard Darken's minions. No one in their right mind would even think about going here.
Mithlond or Sanctuary as it translates in the common tongue is the elven forest in the centre of the region. The entire forest used to be populated with elves in the days of the Rainbow Empire but these days the elves numbers have been drastically reduced and the elves have been forced to retreat deeper and deeper into their forest home. The edges of the forest are now roamed by monsters and strange creatures and the elves fight daily battles to protect and maintain their realm. The whole forest if still known as Mithlond in the region but really speaking the elven controlled parts of it have shrunk to about a quarter of the size of the overall forest, clustered around the centre by the river fork. The river fork is where the entrance to the elven realm can be found and members of the civilized races are generally speaking welcome to enter the elven lands there.
Badly named this river is actually quite warm once you reach the lowlands and it runs past the forest of Mithlond. The upper reaches as the water cascades out of the Frosthold Mountains is the place where the river was named when explorers in the early days of the Rainbow Empire first breached the Frost Pass and found this river running down into the Tail. It is main souce of transport from Frostgard to the sea and the town of Selkie via the elven forests.
The old Coast Road leads from Kelp across the wilds to the port town of Selkie some sixty miles away to the east and then on around the coast to the village of Derketo in the east. This road is part of the old Rainbow Empire and used to be well maintained and patrolled. Now it has fallen into disrepair and anyone setting out on it takes their life into their hands.
A rarity in the lands the newly errected Sahagu Inn was constructed in the last five years by an enterprising Halfling called Dando Billberry who saw a niche for a roadside stop along the Coast Road to encourage travellers between Kelp and Selkie. So far this enterprise has worked - the inn is flourishing and trade between the two settlements has improved because of it. Dando is rich enough to employ a small force of a dozen mercenary warriors to guard his inn and the mercenaries keep his inn and its customers safe from any maurauding monsters in the region. It is possible, if the inn survives, that a small community might grow up here.
This is the ruined tower once owned by the legendary and hideously evil wizard Aramir Darken. Darken dabbled in things he should not have and was known to have an unhealthy love of the undead and all things necrotic. It is said he created many undead to serve him in his tower and experimented with the spirits of those buried in the burial halls under the downs that his tower was built upon. Rumour has it he tried to learn the secrets to becoming a lich but must have failed as he disappeared from the region about a hundred years ago and his tower has remained uninhabitted (apart from perhaps by his undead servants) ever since.