Hesperia Universalis - Kingmaker
South of Rostland, the hills rise and forests bloom into a land that has long remained wild, despite numerous attempts by colonists from both north and south to claim and civilize it. Julia made the most ambitious attempt to settle this realm, but even that great nation failed to tame the wilderness that lies in a green swath between Brevoy and the League of Iron proper. This region is known as the Stolen Lands, as the wilds are viewd as territory unfairly claimed (and lost) by the other. It has lain fallow for decades since the previous attempt at colonization, and some whisper that the time is ripe for another attempt. Yet before the Stolen Lands can be claimed, they must be known. Old ruins, monuments to previous failures, dot the landscape, home now to all manner of savage humanoid tribe and ravenous glowering monstrosity. Bandits and barbarians are the cloest thing to civilization an explorer can expect to encounter in these deadly but beautifil wilds.
-from Miquelon hisotiran Francois Vuilleumier’s “Kingdoms of the Lost”
The Stolen Lands encompass an area that covers approximately 35,000 square miles of territory about the size of the state of Maine. The map of the Stolen Lands is presented above this is to give you a good look at how the four main regions of the Stolen Lands connect.
The Greenbelt: With the tangled woodlands of the Narlmarches to the west and the rugged hills of the Kamelands to the east, the Greenbelt is a haven for bandits. The lack of dangerous inhabitants other than indigenous tribes of kobolds and mites makes this the safest of the four regions for âfreelance banditry,â although recent rumors hold that a particularly powerful bandit known as the Stag Lord has risen to unite and lead the regionâs brigands. To the south, tribes of trolls and more dangerous creatures provide a quite effective buffer between Brevoy and Mivon.
The Nomen Heights: With a southern skyline dominated by the ragged, stony mountains known as the Tors of Levenies, the Nomen Heights are named after the aggressive tribes of Nomen Centaurs who view the eastern steppes of the region as their own. Ancient ruins dot the Tors themselves, hinting that the region may have once been the most civilized of the Stolen Lands.
The Slough: East of the Glenebon Uplands, the rugged hills and rolling grasslands soon give way to a swath of reeking swampland known as Hooktongue Slough. Inhabited by lizardfolk, boggards, and stranger beings, this region has long been a battleground between the Tiger Lord barbarians and the more monstrous tribes of the swamp.
The Glenebon Uplands: The westernmost quadrant of the Stolen Lands is a contested zone between the barbarian tribes known as the Tiger Lords to the north and the bandits of Pitax to the south. Further complicating this scene is the not-insignificant presence of several powerful fey and dangerous monsters in the Branthlend Mountains and the forest of Thousand Voices.
There are other important locations to be found, as well, but they are not entirely up to me to reveal.
The Kamelands lie along the eastern edge of the Stolen Lands. Characterized by rolling hills of brown and yellow, the landscape is notable for its many rocky mounds known as kames.
Grasses in the Kamelands grow quite tall—sometimes up to 4 feet—and present a difficult barrier to both travel and settlement in the region.
Among the high grass and rocky hills rise the mysterious kames, mounds of ancient stone and debris. The kames together form great, strange patterns, suggesting waymarkers, barrows, and long-destroyed walls and foundations.
Very few animals live in the Kamelands; its rare occupants include rodents, snakes, foxes, hares, and wolves. Wyverns are known to fly over the region, and boars, bears, and even owlbears sometimes travel in from the forests to the east. Horses of the region are much valued (and highly expensive) for their strength, speed, and surefootedness.
The Narlmarches, also known as the Narlmarch Woods, bifurcate the Stolen Lands. The Narlmarches spreads across the lowlands of the region and feature craggy hills, lazy streams, deep ravines, and a great variety of trees, including oak, beech, and rushleaf.
The region hosts a rich variety of wildlife as well, with elk, rivercats (a cousin to the bobcat, with a strange sort of mossy-fur), black bears, many large rodents, boars, and brush thyclacines. Stranger still are the giant owls, will-o’-wisps, owlbears, and aggressive vegetation. Gangs of trolls range the southern edge of the forest, closer to Lake Candlemere, and the ruins of many bandit hideouts dot the landscape as well, leading to rumors of long lost riches and fantastic treasures
The Tuskwater is a brown, rocky lake in the Stolen Lands, surrounded by cliffs and steep hills. Nearly every river in the Kamelands and Narlmarches lead, inevitably, to Tuskwater. The lake experience seasonal floods, brought on by the spring thaw, spilling out into ravines along its length to the west. These floods create gullies of pits of standing water that explode the local populations of mosquitoes, stirges, snakes, and assassin vines.
At its depths, the Tuskwater is bountiful, roiling with pike, longnose gar, bluegill, and fanged eels. The eels in particular are heavily valued, considered a rare delicacy on the tables of New Stetven and greater Brevoy, and the fisherman who plumb the depths of the lake are slow to give up the secrets of avoiding their vicious bites, and grasping their slippery skins.
Rivers of the Greenbelt
Gudrin River: The waters of this river are unusually clear; the river itself runs slow and deep, averaging 450 feet across and 150 feet deep at the deepest point.
Little Sellen River: The offshoot of the East Sellen river that branches further east at Mivon is know as the Little Sellen for its relatively narrow width; this river averages 90 feet across and 20 feet deep.
Murque River: This slow-moving river is bordered on both banks by strips of swampy land that effectively double the river’s 100-foot width. The river itself is only 10 feet deep, and its slowly-moving waters are think with algae and silt.
Shrike River: Splitting from the Little Sellen, the Skrike is named for the numerous flocks of birds that nest along its length. Averaging 300 feet wide and sometimes reaching depths of 60 feet or more, the Shrike would make an excellent trade route between Brevoy and the southern lands, were it not for a pair of 30-foot-high waterfalls that make safe river travel impossible between the two points.
Skunk River: The unfortunate combination of algae and bubbling geothermal hot springs along the Skunk River give it a distinctively unpleasant scent of rotten eggs. This river averages 100 feet wide and 30 feet deep.
Thorn River: The banks of the Thorn River are thick with stinging nettles and tangles of sharp brambles. The river itself is relatively narrow, averaging 60 feet in width and 30 feet deep.
Not yet discovered…