The Hjemso Wastes

A blighted peninsula on the southern coast of Langstrom Province, the Hjemso Wastes are whispered by those who live nearby to be stalked by twisted monstrosities, conjured into being by the foul sorcery of Vernard Hjemso, a member of the Imperial College of Arcanists, whose work dragged him and countless innocents to an early grave.


The Hjemso Wastes is actually a peninsula projecting into the Centric Sea off the south coast of the Grunwald Forest in Langstrom Province. Like a large part of the land that makes up the Grunwald, the peninsula was once carpeted in coniferous forest, but now the picture is far bleaker.   However, a large scale arcane accident has decimated the peninsula, killing all of the trees, plants and naturally occurring wildlife, leaving the landscape a barren, charred wilderness, littered with the match-stick like corpses of the once verdant trees. The waters surrounding the peninsula, up to several miles off shore have also been poisoned and are now devoid of fish and other marine life.  

The Decimation of the Peninsula

  Whilst the exact details of what happened in the peninsula are not known, most agree that the decimation was the fault of an Arcanist Fellow of the Imperial College of Arcanists, Vernard Hjemso, now presumed deceased. Hjemso was widely regarded as being one of the foremost experts on inter-planar travel, the movement between the different planes of existence, and between the years of 227-236AIF, he carried out his academic inquiries in laboratory space provided to him in the Arcanological Palace in Quessama.   However, a simple spelling mistake, caused by lack of sleep and many nights of ceaseless work nearly cost Hjemso his life, and to this day has resulted in an entire floor of the Arcanological Palace being out of bounds, as it is still deemed too dangerous to enter, even over three hundred years after the accident.   Whilst publicly the Grand Arcanist and the twelve Arch Arcanists condemned Hjemso’s research as being too cavalier and dangerous to be worthwhile, mostly to calm the provincial authorities of Quess, who were concerned about what horrors from the lower planes might be unwittingly unleashed on their provincial capital. However, in secret, they were all keen to see how Hjemso’s research progressed and he was sent away to the isolated peninsula in his home province of Langstrom, land which had been recently bequeathed to the Imperial College by a wealthy benefactor, to his research.   For the next ten years, Hjemso laboured away, providing monthly, sometimes weekly updates to the Grand Arcanist, but from the year 247AIF onwards, communication with Hjemso became more and more erratic. Over the next couple of years several Arch Arcanists were dispatched to his peninsula to check on his progress, and all returned reporting that whilst his work appeared to be going well, Hjemso no longer seemed well in himself. Indeed, several of the Arch Arcanists returned with worrying accounts from the villages within the peninsula itself, and some further afield that people were going missing, and that on nights when Hjemso was working his tower, located high up on a rocky outcrop in the forest, his tower was illuminated by strange lights and evil creatures stalked the forests.   When the last Arch Arcanist to visit Hjemso returned to the Imperial College, with an account of an entire village being slaughtered by a creature the locals claimed Hjemso has summoned into existence, the Grand Arcanist and the twelve Arch Arcanists realised that they had to act, and began planning how best to recall, or if need be extract Hjemso from his stronghold. Unbeknownst to them, Hjemso somehow got wind that his time was running out, which drove him to begin early a ritual that he had been planning for years.   Only a handful of people know exactly what Hjemso tried to do that night, and those people a sworn to secrecy by the Grand Arcanist, but by some corrupt and powerful magic all life on the peninsula was extinguished, leaving a blackened ashy wasteland behind it. The incident occurred in the night of the 24th Ioantal 253AIF and thousands of people are thought to have died as the population of all of the settlements on the peninsula was snuffed out in the blink of an eye. Within days several of the Arch Arcanists appeared on the scene to assess the damage and all of Hjemso’s research notes and accounts of what he had been doing were removed and placed in a highly restricted part of the Imperial College's archives, where they remain to this day, accessible only by direct permission of the Grand Arcanist.   Whilst the details of what occurred are kept a secret, Hjemso’s name and legacy could not be removed from common knowledge, at least amongst those that live in the surrounding areas of Langstrom Province. To this day the peninsula is known as the Wastes of Hjemso, and the locals that live nearby report strange happenings still go on there, and that the corruption is slowly spreading, afflicting farm animals with unknown diseases, causing birth defects in the communities closest to the wastes and producing creatures that stalk the wastes on nights when the ethereal lights dance around Hjemso’s tower of their own accord, who steal into the closest villages and tear poor unfortunates limb from limb.

Localized Phenomena

Research groups that are periodically dispatched to monitor the situation by the Imperial College, report, in embargoed documents for the eyes of the Grand Arcanist and Arch Arcanists only, that the powerful magic enacted by Hjemso on that fateful night still endures and that the reports gathered from the nearby communities, which are publicly dismissed, are worryingly accurate. What is perhaps more concerning is that sometimes, these research groups don’t come back.

Fauna & Flora

There are no naturally occurring plants in the area anymore, all that remains are the charred trunks of the trees that once covered the surrounding landscape. The lack of vegetation means that there are no animals in the wastes and few animals stray into the area if they can avoid it.
Alternative Name(s)
Hell's Mouth
Location under

Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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17 Dec, 2020 06:02

Imagine all the lives that would have been spared if Hjemso got some sleep and checked his spelling. On a serious note this definitely sounds like a place to steer clear of, which makes the people who take the risk of exploring it a good subject for a story.