Tenore Settlement in Kelbonnar | World Anvil


Situated on the edge of the Midnight Marshes, Tenore is a town that exists for a single purpose, to harvest Black Bog Oak and get it ready for trade within the rest of the Underdark.


On the whole, Tenore is a working class town, with most people working low income and often dangerous jobs linked to the logging industry that gives the town its life. A small percentage of the population are relatively affluent, and they tend to be linked to the trading activity that takes place in the town. Only the ruling family, the De Reginalds would be regarded as wealthy, though this definition would be rather quickly stretched if their wealth was compared to that of the well off families in places such as Frax.   Tenore is a mixed species settlement, with all manner of folk having travelled there to find steady work in Tenore’s lumber operations.


The town is owned and run by a Baronial family, the De Reginalds, a family of Humans who can trace their origins back to the Empire of Turelion on the surface world. One of the De Reginald’s ancestors, took a keen interest in exploring the Underdark when knowledge of it on the surface world was even patchier than it is now and realised that a huge, profitable opportunity could be made by harvesting Black Bog Oak from the nearby Midnight Marshes for export to the rest of the Underdark.   However, no one knows for sure the origins of the De Reginalds Baronial title, which has led many to suspect that the family have simply chosen to style themselves in this way over many generations to increase their prestige and their chances of trading with the notoriously haughty Drow poleis and Duergar city-states. This means that although the Barons govern Tenore as absolute rulers, people are able to stand up to them from time to time, especially if they have numbers on their side.


Unusually for a town in the Underdark, Tenore has exploited the glut of Black Bog Oak on its borders to build a sturdy palisade wall for itself that completely encircles the town and the small hill that it stands upon. To gatehouses have been built in the palisade, one in the north and one in the south and these gatehouses also act as bases and garrisons for the town guard.   As the Midnight Marshes to the south are full of all manner of dangerous creatures, Tenore has a town guard of around 200 strong permanent soldiers, who whilst not being the most skilful of soldiers, have at least been trained up to the same basic level of competency.

Industry & Trade

Tenore has one key industry, the logging of the tree-like fungus, known as Black Bog Oak. Logging teams are sent into the depths of the Midnight Marshes, where Black Bog Oaks thrive, to seek out large specimens to harvest and drag back to the town, where they are cut to size, seasoned and eventually shipped out across all of the levels of the Underdark. Often, loggers from the town will spend several days, or even weeks within the depths of the Midnight Marshes, living in temporary logging camps, until they have found enough oaks to meet their quotas.   As well as the harvesting, cutting, and processing of the Black Bog Oaks, there is also a secondary industry in Tenore, of re-wilding areas that have already been logged, encouraging the growth of new oaks and ensuring that Tenore always has a supply of the oaks to exploit.   The material harvested in the Midnight Marshes is what powers Tenore’s economy, but it has also put the town on the map. Tenore is linked to one of the major north – south trade routes in the Upper Underdark, which takes its products away to the buyers and brings in desperately needed staples, or luxury goods into the town.


Tenore has a rather minimal level of infrastructure, with what does exist being geared to easily facilitate the movement of lumber and associated goods in to and out of the town. There is a well maintained, cobbled road that runs from the south gate and the lumber processing yards and sheds in the south of the town, straight to the north gate, which then joins up with the trade way that heads into the northern reaches of the Upper Underdark. The main town square, which hosts the marketplace is located just off this main road, in the northern end of the town, allowing the easy movement of goods coming into the town to where they will most likely be sold.   Other than that, the town has no other infrastructure and has been allowed to grow up rather as it pleases within the boundaries of its defensive palisade.

Guilds and Factions

Though they would not be recognised outside of Tenore as a faction within their own right, the sheer number of people who work as Lumberjacks or in the processing sheds mean that the logging workers have a significant amount of influence in the town. Though the town is not run as a democracy, the Barons of Tenore have learnt over the years to take care when dealing with the loggers, whenever they are disgruntled about something. More than one Baron has been driven to the point of bankruptcy by a sustained loggers strike over working conditions or pay.


Tenore is one of the few towns that one will encounter in the Underdark, where all of the buildings are constructed out of wood, or rather the fungal wood provided by the Black Bog Oaks that thrive in the Midnight Marshes to the south.   As the population of Tenore is relatively poor, most of the dwellings are simple, single story structures, but there are larger buildings that have been constructed by the town’s more affluent residents, some of which sprawl out over several floors. The south of the town is dominated by the huge sheds, built out of Black Bog Oak, which house the seasoning and processing works for the town’s lumber industry.


Tenore is situated in the eastern part of the Upper Underdark, at the northern edge of the Midnight Marshes that dominate the south east of this part of the Underdark. The town itself is set on an earthen bluff, that raises it just above the stinking mire of the marsh, but water does frequently seep up into the town from the marsh below, even flooding the ground floors of some of the houses on occasion.

Natural Resources

The town’s position on the edge of the Midnight Marshes means that Tenore has access to the largest forest of Black Bog Oaks in the whole of the Underdark. It is these fungal trees that are the lifeblood of the town, with logging and the processing of the trees, which can be used for exactly the same ways as normal wood, driving the economy of the town and giving it a place on the trading map of the Underdark.
Alternative Name(s)
Bogton / Black Oak Harvester
Inhabitant Demonym
Location under

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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