The Pleasant Garden of Men and Halfling-Folk
Lay of the Land
- Pleasant Journeys: The rolling hills and vales of the Heartlands contain well-trafficked roads and green space. Hills, forests, and plains abound. Farmland is bountiful, and the towns of the Heartlands are prosperous. Summers are warm and the spring season brings with it healthy rainfall, although autumn and winter tend to be dry and windy, with little snow.
- The Red Banner: Since the fall of the Alphosian Empire, nearly every settlement in the Heartlands is informally united under the Red Banner. They have their own rulers, and are given complete freedom, but unify in times of crisis.
- Skymotes: The vast, open landscapes of the Heartlands gave the elves ample opportunity to experiment with flight-magic. The Skymotes were the culmination of their work: large chunks of earth that floated thousands of feet in the air, held aloft by the mightiest of elven sorcery. Atop the Skymotes, the elf-archwizards constructed vaults to hide their most valuable treasures and powerful knowledge. They were all but abandoned during the Elveswar, and the secrets of their creation lost to the ages. Today, they can occasionally be seen through the clouds, but most folk pay them little heed.
- Legacy of the Elves: The doom brought forth by the elves still infests some of the dark corners of the Heartlands, leaving unstable dimension-doors and sites of pilgrimage for mad wizards and cultists of the Elder Gods.
- The Scar: In the far west of the Heartlands, against the Stone Teeth, a great tower of obsidian protrudes from the ground. The stone radiates weird magic, and for miles, the lands around it are dry and cracked like badlands, giving the valley its name.
- The Under-Empire: The Heartlands contain many entrances to the the Lands Below, and underneath is the center of power in that forbidden realm: the nameless kingdom of the Night-Elves, known as the Under-Empire.
- Knights of the Red Banner : These stalwart bands of warriors roam the land, maintain fortresses, and sometimes rule villages.
- Flusk: The Proudfoot halflings carved this land out of the Stumbling Hills, and a Warden-Queen of their clan has ruled it since. The city opens its arms to travelers, and is famous for hearty spirits and tasty halfling-cuisine.
- Narrowmouth: The City of Scum, as it’s called. It is essentially run by agents of the Cloak, but remains a popular stop for those who like coin more than questions.
- Bird-Folk of the Skymotes: The aarakocra, "bird folk", as they are better known (and better-pronounced) were created by the elves to serve as guardians for the floating vaults that hang above the Heartlands. They were left completely abandoned when the war broke out, left to their own devices only a few decades after the genesis of their race. They dwell in small camps on the Skymotes and find life on the ground very discomforting, so they are generally ignorant of the politics, religion, and culture of the land-folk.
- The Ruins of Spellgard: Once a grand elven city, Spellgard was destroyed before it could even be completed. The ruins, located in the southwest Heartlands, are said to be haunted by the spirit of an elven oracle named Agathae. She promises prophetic advice to those who rebuild parts of her city.
- The Tomb of Targas Proudfoot: Upon his death, the halfling-warlord challenged any man of bravery to find and conquer his final rest. The tomb lies somewhere in the Stumbling Hills, but his treasure is guarded well, and no doubt contains his legendary magical sword, Horn.
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