The Fallen Lands: The Ruins of Numinis
Geography and Recent History
Located on the western slope of a long reaching mountain range, called the Rock’s Edge. The most populous area is located in several mountain towns and in the river valleys between the Rock’s Edge and the far western lands. These mountains are currently known as the Ghostcrag Peaks.
The atmosphere of the Fallen lands is that of a frontier. Although these lands were explored and the settlements built many decades ago, there is the feeling that these settlements are just barely breaking into the darkness of the wild. The wilderness has not been entirely tamed. Savage predators patrol the forests at night and the monster races flourish in the lawlessness of the area. There are those among the civilized races who brave the wild in order to find seclusion or profit. Bandits often rule stretches of road and impose “taxes” on travelers. Just as often a caravan or merchant party will find itself stripped of valuables and, if lucky, killed on the spot. To be set loose in the wild with no defenses is a condemnation to a brutal, violent, and desperate death. This environment creates plenty of work for those with strong sword arm or talent for magic.
The settlements in the area range from small trading posts of four or five buildings to towns with hundreds of inhabitants. There are a few larger cities as well. All settlements are walled in some way. The materials vary from logs and planks around trading posts all the way to thick stone walls that surround the major cities. There is no central governing authority in the fallen lands. Each settlement is left to govern itself by whatever means it may choose. Smaller settlements will often band together to form a governing body such as a council. The larger villages and cities will have councils, mayors, and other strictures of civil government. This lack of central government means that there is also a shortage of law keepers. A group of small settlements or a larger village may elect among them a sheriff, but this is not always the case. Trading posts and small outposts will almost never have any governance by law. Cities will certainly have something that passes for a law keeping organization whether it be a City Watch, an elected group of sheriffs and deputies, or something similar. In the small settlements disputes are most often settled at the end of a blade.
Industries in the Fallen lands include: agriculture, animal ranches, hunting and trapping, mining, scavenging and treasure hunting. There is always a need for caravan or merchant guards to protect travelers on the roadways. Wilderness scouts are also very useful, if not prominent. The inns and trading posts along the roads are the central areas where trade occurs in the more unsettled parts of the lands. Towns, villages, and cities have more resources and sometimes have specialized markets for goods.
The Road Wardens, or Wardens for short, are a private mercenary company that is hired to patrol the roads in the Fallen lands. The Wardens move in teams of four and cover the roads in a regular circuit. The Wardens are given authority by the settlements they patrol to deal with bandits, monsters, wild animals, or other trouble that may arise. The Wardens are paid by the settlements as well. Settlements are billed according to how many roads lead to a given settlement. A major city or town with six roads coming into it pays more than a small trading post with one road nearby. This is based on the fact that the Wardens will be present more often around the settlements with many roads. The Wardens are under contract with the settlements of the Fallen Lands and their authority is conditional. They are not allowed in trade disputes, neighborly disputes, or in any case where local justice should prevail. They are simply there to help secure the roads. While corruption is inevitable, there have been few cases. The last thing a team of Wardens wants it to be locked outside of a settlement after nightfall due to inappropriate treatment of the locals.