Western Commonlands

The Western Commonlands
A map showing the Western Commonlands, the area around Saltmarsh which lies on the western boundaries of the Azure Sea.
The Western Commonlands is a large region of land on the western shores of The Azure Sea, some 140,000 square miles in size.   It stretches from the Gatimar River in the north, to the River Linnet in the south, close to the borders of the Cerulean Empire. The Balnoque Spine mountain range towers over the western side of the region.   This is one of the more civilised areas of The Known World, though outside the towns and villages it can still be a dangerous place to travel, especially off the roads.   There is no ruling faction here. In years past it was a part of the Cerulean Empire, but ever since the end of the Great Pelagic War it has remained fiercely independent. Many of the inhabitants proudly call the region the "Free Lands" and mutter darkly about the oppressive regime to the south.   Whilst the population here may technically be "free", they do not have the protection and security that the Cerulean Empire affords. Consequently, even road travel can be dangerous here for the unwary, and bands of gnolls, orcs and bandits often waylay the incautious group of travellers.   The area is rich in resources however. The mountains and hills to the west offer rich veins of ore, which is skilfully mined by the Dwarves of Koldor's Hold, the farmland close to the coast is fertile, the swamps of the Drowned Forest offer a wide array of resources, and many of the coastal towns are busy fishing ports who trade their wares with places all across The Azure Sea.   The climate of the region is temperate, but rainy. The further west one travels, as the land rises to the mountains, the temperature falls. Summers here can be pleasant (if sometimes wet), but the winters can be harsh.   Humans make up by far the majority of the population, though there is a fair number of Halflings too. In the west it is common to encounter Dwarves (if one is lucky) and Orcs (if one is not). Elves are a rarity in the land.   Notable individual geographic features in the region include White Plume Mountain, a single peak forever shrouded in white clouds that stands on a promontory of the Balnoque Spine and can be seen from miles around, the Rel Crater, a huge impact crater some 10 miles across, and the expansive Darwood, a dark forest rumoured to be home to horrid monsters and vicious raiders.

Cover image: Low Hills by Unknown


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