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Yuugami posted a blog entry in A World On FireThe Northern Havalon Region The northern area of Havalon only makes up the coastline of the Winter Peninsula, bordered by the Northern Slopes and the Dark Kingâ€™s Peaks in the north, the Spiked Steppes and the Havalon Divide to the east, the Old Depression to the south, and the Ataleya Seas to the west. The kingdoms of Aartha, Ataleya, Banhustra, and Karzin make up the nations within this area â€“ the barbarian tribes of the west, the orc nomads of the south, and the highlanders of the east do not count as part of the nations making up this region. This entry will be covering the living establishments you will be running into during the course of the adventure, as well as include very brief descriptions of the notable people who live there. Yeah, this is going to be a fairly lengthy entry, and Iâ€™m not even covering the dungeons yet! Remember that all NPCs mentioned in this post is not every single NPC present in the area â€“ in some cases, they are, but especially in the bigger areas such as Riverford, Iâ€™m only focusing on the â€œnotableâ€ figures. _____________________ Sherfield Town: Affiliation: None Notable People: Seraphina the Wise, Exiled Dwarf Tamsin, Marty the Gnoll Merchant, Generous Peter Tasarov, Baird the Silent The ravaged ruins of a once peaceful town, Sherfield was located in a reasonably-sized clearing in the outskirts of the Darkwood Forest. Generally isolated from its neighboring cities, the only real contact the residents of Sherfield had outside of their town was with that of the Cindermere residents down south from them. As to why the town was built remains unknown, but one can make a reasonable conclusion when looking at the location of Sherfield and the demographics of its residents: most likely, during the especially bloody reign of Dark King Durik in the Banhustra kingdom, refugees fled the Riverford area to find sanctuary on the other side of the forest, and simply created a town in a space that provided well. At some point in its history, Sherfield would extend its welcoming arms to any seeking a home. However, criminals and cruel mercenaries have recently laid siege onto the town, causing many of its residents to flee, save for a select few â€“ those that remained believe that in due time, the people who escaped with their lives will return, as Sherfield had the unexplainable draw of being â€œhomeâ€. During the journey, you will be able to find such people and bring them back. Seraphina the Wise: A white-coated feline that lives alone in the only home in all of Sherfield that isnâ€™t damaged in some way or another. Seraphina has a humorous and sarcastic personality, known for making rude quips and often jokes about how her nature as a cat gives her a pass in revealing information if she doesnâ€™t feel like. From what she occasionally reveals about herself, Seraphina is actually a powerful witch whose peak in power and fame was long ago, but a tragic event in her past has convinced her to take on the form of a cat permanently â€“ nowadays, she justifies her decision by saying that the life of a town cat was incredibly simple, which was appropriate for a retired student of magic, and definitely much more relaxing for a woman her age. Exiled Dwarf Tamsin: A silent and stubborn dwarf, his white beard and wrinkled skin definitely shows that he lived a long life, but heâ€™s either not sentimental or kind enough to share his experience and knowledge with others. He was seemingly one of the traveling companions of Seraphina the Wise, and the two of them were the best of friends, the shining example of a platonic relationship. He was responsible for the creation and maintenance of magical equipment, but whether or not heâ€™s willing to open those services to others remains a difficult question to answer. Tamsin sports the tattoo of a dwarf exiled from the once grand dwarf kingdom of Heimdorth the back of his right shoulder â€“ however, Heimdorth has since fallen, and the tattoo probably doesnâ€™t apply anymore, so it can be assumed that Tamsin cares little for the company of his own people. Marty the Gnoll Merchant: A small gnoll of the rat variation, his broken version of the common tongue betrays his intelligent mind, which is incredibly rare amongst the rat gnolls. He claims to be an honest businessman, but one quick look into his wares would show otherwise â€“ he is an opportunistic scavenger, simply putting together the remains of abandoned or lost equipment into new products. However, Marty seems to know how to improve on such products, and is actually incredibly talented in making effective equipment out of seemingly useless material. That said, heâ€™s a coward and dishonest, a nature he poorly disguises in front of his customers, but heâ€™s one to get attached quickly to a regular. Generous Peter Tasarov: This man is not actually native to the possibility â€“ Tzion has been known to occasionally transport an unsuspecting individual in dire need of a new opportunity to a different realm to start over; Peter Tasarov is one such individual. Whatever possibility he originally came from remains unknown, but he has shown making full use of his opportunity to become successful, and he remains the creator and owner of one of the most successful trading groups in Havalon. Although he hides the secret of his unexpected arrival, Peter thanks both Tzion and the people of Sherfield, who found and cared for the confused man when he first arrived, and as a result, Peter makes a point to being one of the most generous residents of Sherfield, offering his own home as an inn, tavern, and other such facilities for a cheap price (sometimes even free). He is no fighter, but he wishes to contribute in whatever methods are possible for him. Baird the Silent: A wood elf who has the appearance of a young man, but given the life cycle of a wood elf versus a desert elf, as well as the fact that he was seemingly a travel companion of both Seraphina and Tamsin, would suggest that he is much older than he appears. Unlike Tamsin, who is quiet by nature, Baird is a mute, unable to speak due to a slash wound across his neck that healed poorly and damaged his vocal cords. His only way of communication is through writing, although Baird is seemingly poor with words to begin with, and refuses to embarrass himself on paper. He apparently served not as a soldier, but as a former assassin of the Elluria rulers, a profession he surrendered when he chose to journey with Seraphina and Tamsin long ago â€“ he has not returned to his home since, despite it being so close by. ____________________ Cindermere: Affliation: Aartha Notable People: Lucino the Jackal, Biqirelle of the Anvil, Sheyla the Bartender, Agamarsh the Herbalist, Father Maslin, Galmir the Gravedigger, Townley, Prince Rayn of Aartha Cindermere is located in cross of several border lines, namely that of the Aartha, Banhustra, and Ataleya kingdoms. However, the town itself is part of the Aartha Kingdom of the Havalon Divide, the longest mountain range in all of Havalon that cuts through almost the entire continent. Cindermere is a bustling town â€“ itâ€™s incredibly homely, but the rock and brick structures of its roads and buildings gives the place an incredibly modern atmosphere, and the cleanliness of the streets shows at the peopleâ€™s willingness to maintain the rustic beauty of their town. Cindermere is considered to be the entrance to the northern Havalon region, as it stands guard right in front of the Old Depression, and travelers from the southern deserts and other lands of Havalon must pass through Cindermere before heading further north. The town actually has a trail to the nearby Port Ataleya, as well as being the starting point for the Path of the Pilgrim, a flight of steps that lead towards the Lyonhall Citadel, a once religious establishment built in one of the peaks of the Havalon Divide. Due to some violence around the Aartha capital high in the mountains, relocated citizens have been placed here for their own safety until the danger has subsided, including the prince of the kingdom. Lucino the Jackal: A shady and mysterious man, Lucino comes off as a common street criminal, but never judge a book by its cover â€“ he is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the most prolific information and spy network in the entire region. There is no question this man canâ€™t answer, and he seems to get information the moment it leaves someoneâ€™s mouth; he does not discern his methods to others outside of his organization, but heâ€™s always willing to share, given that the customer is willing to run errands for him in return. Lucino does not seem to value wealth at all, preferring to live a simpler lifestyle in his small flat, and has almost no furniture save for blankets, a coat hanger, and a robe. It does not appear like he bathes himself, but he doesnâ€™t seem to smell badâ€¦in fact, he doesnâ€™t smell at all. Biqirelle of the Anvil: An elven woman who was found crying in the bloody aftermath of a battlefield as a child, Biqirelle is a desert elf who was taken in by a soldier who pitied her, and she would later learn his craft as a blacksmith. Although a desert elf generally does not live much longer than an average human, they generally do not decay in strength until somewhere within their last five years of a natural life, and Biqirelle is exceptionally strong, being able to work with metal so tough that most metalworkers are unable to mold it. Sociable, rude, yet friendly, Biqirelle generally has her assistants set the price of her wares, as the elf prefers to focus on her craft, day and night. Sheyla the Bartender: The caretaker of the Golden Soldierâ€™s Tavern, this young woman is always willing to listen to a good story and talk to her customers, but well, sometimes time isnâ€™t on your side. In the days where a conversation isnâ€™t possible, Sheyla is capable of whipping up perhaps the most effective brew one could possibly every drink â€“ in fact, just how effective it is in giving one a boost in his or her day is incredibly in itself. Agamarsh the Herbalist: A member of the orc race, Agamarsh is incredibly friendly, displaying nothing of the generally violent tendencies of his kind. Apparently, when he first arrived, people shunned his existence, but as he was responsible for helping the town get through a difficult plague, people had been more open about welcoming him into the community. His knowledge of medicine is probably unmatched in all of Havalon, but the surprising thing is that he is capable of making medicine that is unique to Grandmore â€“ how he came around this skill is a mystery, but he claims to have been a student of a clergy member who seemingly had the skills to make such potions. Father Maslin: The head priest of the church in Cindermere, Maslin is a magnanimous man, willing to extend forgiveness to anyone who wishes to cleanse themselves of sin and guilt. However, Maslin and his friend, Galmir, are acquaintances with the Undertaker, and Maslinâ€™s services mimic that of the Undertaker, where he could heal phantoms (for a cheaper price), although he does not sell any restoratives like the Undertaker does. Galmir the Gravedigger: A dwarf who works in the Cindermere Mortuary, he claims that his only skill in life is digging, so he decided to put it to use by digging the graves of corpses and maintaining the graveyard. Being surrounded by dead bodies has made him fairly insensitive to life as a whole, and he is prone to having long, drawn-out conversations with the cadavers that he places in the preservation shelves before preparing them for burial. His services mimic that of Maiden Torriâ€™s, as he is the only other person capable of accessing the memories of phantoms, although he is unable to identify equipment obtained through the memories. Townley: A bald-headed thief, he is also an incredibly bad liar and an almost incompetent criminal. Itâ€™s impossible for him to show his face without being recognized, so he often has to turn to disguises that involve heavy headwear; part of the reason why he shaved is head, as Townley claims, is so that he could wear wigs and other headwear more comfortably in various temperatures. Despite being a terrible pickpocket and thief, Townley has never actually been arrested, although it has more to do with how little the residents of Cindermere actually care for his antics â€“ of course, Townley thinks otherwise, and believes that he is, indeed, a master of theft. Prince Rayn of Aartha: The sole prince in the Aartha royal family, Rayn is the successor to a lineage that has a legacy of queens sitting on the throne rather than kings. His mother had to travel to a foreign country, surrendering her throne to her now aged mother, and although Rayn knows little of his motherâ€™s situation, he aims to conduct himself in a mature and presentable manner to do his mother proud when she returns. He is often compared to the princess of Riverford, Olivia, who is more wild in personality, but much more open to her subjects than the ice-cold Rayn, who at the age of ten has not shown much personality to his subjects, maintaining what he calls â€œthe rulerâ€™s distanceâ€. ________________________ Sharnwick: Affliation: Banhustra, Jacheau Notable People: Lord Simon de Winter, Morgan de Winter, Emilia of Sharnwick, Captain Garron, Thalanil of the Burning Arrows, Marfira the Armor Merchant, Farmer Reimar, Alvin of Jacheau Sharnwick is a town that makes up the entirety of the Jacheau province of the Banhustra kingdom â€“ it has remained a beacon of justice even amongst the Banhustrayan kingdom, for Lord Simon de Winter was the sole noble in the lands that made a stand to make a resistance against the Dark King during his violent reign of Banhustra slightly over a decade ago. Today, Sharnwick is a hub of activity, but recent events have seized the residents in terror: monsters from the nearby Forest of Thorns are beginning to act up, and a string of unexplained murders that began around a month ago has people being suspicious of one another â€“ however, no list of suspects have been developed yet. Lord Simon de Winter: The ruler of Jacheau, Simon is beginning to approach an age of weariness and weakness; his wife had died upon the birth of his second child five years ago, the young Bryan de Winter, and he had recently been receiving letters of threats, promising to take the life of his son, then daughter, and finally that of the lordâ€™s. Caring little for his own life, but determined to protect his family, Simon has been spearheading the hunt for this murderer, who also claimed responsibility for the brutal and gory deaths of several citizens in Sharnwick during the past month. What this mad killer wants from Simon de Winter remains unknown. Morgan de Winter: The oldest child of Simon de Winter, as well as his only daughter, Morgan is a bright twelve-year-old who has recently begun to experience the terrors of war â€“ after all, she is on a list of potential victims from a killer who essentially decided to siege the entire province with terror. Morgan is incredibly close to the princess of Riverford, Olivia, but recent events have demanded that Morgan not even leave the Jacheau mansion grounds, essentially making the girl a prisoner of her own home. Emilia of Sharnwick: The middle-aged matron of the Sharnwick Tavern, she is the wife of Captain Garron, the head of the Jacheau troops, as well as the mother of Sheyla, who tends to the Golden Soldierâ€™s Tavern in Cindermere. A woman whose known to run her mouth, it is believed that Sheyla obtained all of her great listening skills from being raised by such a talkative woman, but Emilia is also smart, capable of separating of fact and fiction, and she makes a point of being educated about current events before discussing it with others. Emilia makes a point not to exclude any customers, but nowadays, she is forced to wonder whether or not she has been serving food and drinks to the murderer this entire time. Captain Garron: A veteran soldier and husband to Emilia, as well as father to Sheyla of Cindermere, Garron once served as a soldier to King Durik prior to the rulerâ€™s fall to madness, but relocated himself to Jacheau about a year before Durikâ€™s reign turned violent. He now leads the small military of Jacheau â€“ although Garron was far from the legendary soldier that would be forever remembered in history, he is definitely an exemplary soldier â€“ he never stood out compared to some outstanding warriors, but he was quick to learn, quick to lead, and he rarely makes a wrong decision in the battlefield. For that matter, it is said that Garron has never lost a single soldier under his command, a legacy that is well respected amongst the poorly-trained volunteers of the Jacheau troops, who trust his judgment to guarantee both victory and survival. Thalanil of the Burning Arrows: A mysterious wood elf, Thalanil is regarded as the champion of the Banhustra kingdom. Having served as a genius strategist, Thalanil has been instrumental in bringing around a dominant military force during the early years of King Durikâ€™s reign. Although he tried to remain loyal to his king during the years of madness, Thalanil refused to follow through with orders that involved the taking of innocent lives, as well as the lives of the kingdomâ€™s citizens, causing him to be imprisoned for several years in the dungeons of Riverford. The rise of Oliver to the throne brought Thalanil around to his freedom to serve in the military of Banhustra as a commander once more. In recent years, Thalanil had become something of a tutor to the young Morgan de Winter, tutoring her in his military practice, as well as bringing her around for diplomatic trips around the region: however, recent times have grounded both of them in Sharnwick, and Thalanil has involved himself in the hunt for the murderer. The elf has earned his title after using a strategy that involved burning the siege towers of the Karzin orcs with arrows lit on fire after being bathed in flammable liquids. Marfira the Armor Merchant: A female gnome who has made her living selling armors she has collected over a decade of traveling, Marfira is bitter and anti-social by nature â€“ the only thing keeping her business afloat is the rarity and quality of her wares. As to why she collected armor over the years, it would seem that she once did this with a partner, who apparently double-crossed her and left her almost broke. She would often be muttering under her breath about â€œthat damned ratâ€ as she walks around the store, ignoring her customers until they ring up for payment. Farmer Reimar: The most successful and friendly of farmers in the surrounding farmlands, Reimar had recently lost his father to the murderer during the last month, leaving the boy fairly despondent nowadays as he silently grieves during the middle of his work. Despite his recent loss, Reimar continues to impress with the amount of produce he is able to provide to the market in recent times, but it would appear that the grief and stress has gotten to him, for the boy is now incredibly ill â€“ some people believe he is even on his deathbed just trying to fill in the empty shoes of his father out in the field. Alvin of Jacheau: An old man who could often be seen wandering around the streets of Sharnwick, he often speaks of his son James returning to him â€“ apparently, his son had left Jacheau and became a knight in the service of King Oliver, although these are the claims of Alvin only. After all, no one has ever heard of a James of Sharnwick, and most people simply avoid Alvin, thinking he has gone mad because it was likely that his son will probably never return home again. _____________________ Riverford: Affiliation: Banhustra Notable People: King Oliver, Princess Olivia, Taryn of Riverford, Lyssbera of Heimdorth Riverford is the capital of the Banhustra kingdom, a lone city in the middle of a large plain of rivers, foliage, and small hills. Around a decade ago, Riverford was under the control of King Durik, a man who was once remembered as a valiant commander of the battlefield, but who suffered from a paranoid mind â€“ the death of his oldest son caused him to snap, and he began to suspect every single person in the kingdom as a potential assassin, leading to a tyrannical and violent reign that lasted for around five years. He was overthrown by his youngest son, Prince Oliver, who locked up the mad but powerful king in a fortress of iron, located on the top of a peak in the Northern Slopes that was named the Dark Kingâ€™s Peaks. Although Oliver had been unable to kill his dad, a weakness that many people criticized him for, the rest of his subjects saw a kind ruler who believed in his father until the very end, and they welcomed him to the throne. Since then, Oliver has welcomed a daughter through an unknown mother (seemingly a lover of his during his travels prior to his ascension to the throne), and Riverford as well as the rest of the kingdom welcomed another age of prosperity. King Oliver of Banhustra: This young ruler who isnâ€™t even thirty is the father of a ten-year-old daughter, the ruler of a prosperous and revived kingdom, and the hero of his subjects. His impressive accomplishments, given his age, creates a character that is greater than that of any average man; however, this is a mirage that Oliver does not believe in, as he understands his own mortality, and seeks to make use of what time he has left in order to establish times of peace for good in the region. His attempts of reaching a diplomatic conclusion with the orcs of Karzin have been met with failure, causing the King to be worried about retaliation from his violent neighbors. Princess Olivia of Banhustra: Although she is by technicalities the bastard daughter of the king, Olivia is also the sole heir to the throne, and having to grow up with a mother proved difficult for the princess at first. Her admiration and respect for her fatherâ€™s legacy has caused her to try and be more heroic as usual, but it was also difficult for the princess to deny the curious and adventurous side of her nature. She would read books during the night, and leave the castle grounds to play with the children of Riverford during the day â€“ she expected to be treated as an equal amongst her peers, a wish that was respected by the children, if not by their parents, who feared punishment should any injury come to the princess. In recent times, Olivia has more or less become the â€œQueen of Riverfordâ€™s Streetsâ€, as she has become a natural leader in their small adventures in the fields surrounding the city and other such activities. Taryn of Riverford: An elf who had grown up within the walls of Riverford, Taryn now serves as captain of the guards, effectively becoming a successor to what Thalanil once did for King Durik. Taryn is incredibly loyal to her King, even to a fault, and she has also shown to be incredibly gullible to the pranks set out in front of her by the princess â€“ although she does her best to hide it, Taryn is easily embarrassed, and finds it difficult to reprimand the princess when it was the captain who fell for the trap instead. She is close with the dwarf Lyssbera. Lyssbera of Heimdorth: This dwarf is the widow of the champion of Heimdorth, the once powerful dwarven city of the north â€“ her husband died after collapsing a mining tunnel on top of himself and an entire army of dwarves, saving the lives of most of his people, including his wife. Lyssbera would watch as the dwarves of Heimdorth went their separate ways, and Lyssbera would remain the sole Heimdorth dwarf within Riverford, and such has been the case for decades now. She is close to Taryn of Riverford, being something of an older sister to the elf, and often treats the captain to drinks after an especially stressful day. Whether or not Lyssbera wishes to visit what became of her home is unknown, as the dwarf makes great efforts to avoid that question. _______________________ Port Ataleya: Affiliation: Ataleya Notable People: Captain Lucille of the Wild Maiden, Nicholas the Wharf-Master, Alnan of the Silver Pirateâ€™s Tavern, Paul the Gnome Blacksmith Port Ataleya is the only mainland city of the Ataleya kingdom â€“ much of their territory involves the nearby ocean, named the Ataleya Seas, and the islands that fill the ocean within their borders. The port is the only place of activity when it comes to ships and overseas trading in the northern region â€“ a majority of the ports are located close to the southern kingdoms, which are built near the coastline instead of deep into the desert for naval purposes. This area is also a popular place for pirates to come re-supply, although the pirates seemingly avoid attacking the ships of Ataleya, instead opting to terrorize the southern seas instead. Captain Lucille of the Wild Maiden: A small-time pirate with an incredibly small crew and a ship thatâ€™s probably too big for her, Lucille has all the talents and abilities of being a successful pirate of the water, to be feared by sailors all over, but her kind and friendly personality makes it difficult for her to dismiss the worthless crew she has, and her shy nature makes it even more difficult to find new crewmates to begin with. As such, Lucille is essentially down on her luck, but sheâ€™s a fighter â€“ she is willing to do what she can to make it work, and although as a pirate, Lucille is seen as a joke, as a person, the residents of the port have nothing but respect for her. Nicholas the Wharf-Master: A once famous magician who studied the ways of magic, and pioneered some now popular spells, Nicholas has since given up his craft in order to peacefully maintain the docks and help the ships settle into the port. The old man enjoys his current situation, but it is suspected that the reason for his profession is because he has a thing for mermaids and ocean faeries â€“ he can be seen trying to call out and flirt with them on a daily basis, only to be rejected harshly. However, given his history, heâ€™s bound to have useful information; how you can get him to share though is a different story altogether. Alnan of the Silver Pirateâ€™s Tavern: The daughter of a male elf and female human, Alnanâ€™s parents were driven out of their home in the Ataleya islands by people unable to accept interracial marriage. The family would find people more open to the idea in the port, and since then had made a living there, establishing a small pub to cater to the workers and residents of the town. Alnan has since taken over the business, allowing her parents to go ahead and travel to different parts of the region, and the half-elf woman is a popular matron, often the subject of flirting from the sailors and pirates â€“ she does a good job of dodging invitations to dates or to the bedroom. Bold and confident, Alnanâ€™s meals are compared to Sheylaâ€™s drinks in terms of giving one a boost in his or her day, and her tavern is often busy during breakfast hours as a result. Paul the Gnome Blacksmith: A gnome who was seemingly left behind by the rest of his family as they sought to pursue something else in the south, Paul would find himself repairing equipment for sailors and pirates alike, as well as performing manual labor for the merchants for a little more side cash. Many years had passed since Paul arrived, and the gnome realized he has aged considerably since then â€“ recent times have not been kind to Paul, as he is currently living out what he considers to be a miserable life while he suffers from a crisis of purpose. ______________________ Karzin: Affiliation: Karzin Notable People: Graul of Karzin, Sarkir of Karzin Although Karzin consists of nothing more than a gigantic fortress, it remains a violent group, and it has been deemed appropriate to call Karzin a nation of orcs. The orcs are under the command of Graul of Karzin, a gigantic common orc who is just as violent and cunning as the Dark King Durik once was. Their fortress lies somewhere between the Valley of the Exiled, a canyon for criminals and other marauders, and the Forest of Thorns, making Karzin dangerous close to Jacheau and the Banhustra borders. Graul of Karzin: Although the common orc is generally only six feet tall, whereas the black orc is superior in strength and height (on average, black orcs are close to ten feet tall), Graul is seemingly the perfect compromise of types â€“ standing at eight feet tall, with the intelligence that common orc has and the strength that black orcs has, Graul had a simple path to become king, and he succeeded through his many violent encounters. He now rules over the military nation of Karzin with an iron fist, and has recently rejected peace offers from King Oliver, to the point of being offended for such a negotiation to being offered. Sarkir of Karzin: An ancient orc spellcaster, Sarkir was Graulâ€™s companion through the latterâ€™s journey to become king. The orc has lived through many battles and life-threatening situations, and is often there to offer counsel to his kingâ€™s ears. Although the average lifespan of an orc is more comparable to that of a humanâ€™s, Sarkir seemingly made use of dark and demonic magic to grant himself a state similar to eternal life â€“ the orc is confident that he will be the advisor to all orcs of Graulâ€™s line.