Wayland is a campaign setting for the Myth Live-Action Roleplaying Game. More exactly it is a continent on the larger world known as Hyraeth (EAR-EYE-TH).
The world of Hyraeth is an ever-growing campaign in the Myth LARP Gameworld. As the game progresses, information about the world continues to grow taking players further and further into a realm filled with rich lore, forbidden secrets, and cryptic clues.
What sets Hyraeth apart? Your actions shape the world around you creating local lore and legend. Your character’s exploits – good or bad – can be recorded in the history of the game… stories that will be told for years to come. This is your chance to make a difference and be remembered…
The Kingdom of Cantara has existed for nearly 1,500 years under the rule of Marielle family. It begins with its capital city of Braeburn and stretches northward to the boundaries of the Northern Kingdoms between the Frozen Bluffs on the east and the Vloh’s Highlands on the west. Cantara also lays claim to a series of large islands that create the boundary for Deepwater Sound. This series of islands expand from town growing town of Oakstar Beacon to bustling city of Calendor found at the base of the Valda peninsula.
Cantara has 241 active castles and 93 ruined. Of these, 193 castles dot the eastern shores of Deepwater Sound and 66 ruined are along the northern portions of Moonfell Wood. The Lonely Isles house another 48 castles and 27 ruined dispersed amongst them.
The Kingdom is currently ruled by his Highness, Markel Marielle, who has been one of the most respected leaders of the family in many generations. While his motivation has been unclear, King Marielle continues to use diplomacy in an effort to extend the reach of his kingdom into the Freelands where he desires to lay claim to the territories along the southern shores of The Sea of Trath to the Overwatch peaks.
KINGDOM OF CANTARA
The Kingdom of Cantara has existed for nearly 1,500 years under the rule of Marielle family. It begins with its capital city of Braeburn and stretches northward to the boundaries of the Northern Kingdoms between the Frozen Bluffs on the east and the Vloh’s Highlands on the west. Cantara also lays claim to a series of large islands that create the boundary for Deepwater Sound. This series of islands expand from town growing town of Oakstar Beacon to bustling city of Calendor found at the base of the Valda peninsula. Cantara has 241 active castles and 93 ruined. Of these, 193 castles dot the eastern shores of Deepwater Sound and 66 ruined are along the northern portions of Moonfell Wood. The Lonely Isles house another 48 castles and 27 ruined dispersed amongst them. The Kingdom is currently ruled by his Highness, Markel Marielle, who has been one of the most respected leaders of the family in many generations. While his motivation has been unclear, King Marielle continues to use diplomacy in an effort to extend the reach of his kingdom into the Freelands where he desires to lay claim to the territories along the southern shores of The Sea of Trath to the Overwatch peaks.
The symbol of Cantara is a crowned lion with the words honor, virtue, and ferocity embedded in the crown.
The capital city of Braeburn was built southwest of Murk Lake along the shores of Deepwater Sound. This growing metropolis and port city is a melting pot to numerous races found throughout the realm that have left their mark not just on the city’s history, but also on its identity. This multicultural distinctiveness comes in the form of hundreds of ethnic markets and stands offering something to suite the taste of everyone. Despite its size, Braeburn is
considered to be one of the cleaner cities in the realm thanks to the diligence of its citizens and consistent enforcement by its knight army, The Red Oath.
Formed on the eastern side of The Narrow Bay, the town of Aldfair was once a magnificent place with ebony wood rooftops, granite walls, and luscious gardens. It most notable feature is The Barrel and Amulet Tavern that has had a variety of owners over the years due to the struggling economy there. Most folk support themselves with leatherwork and hunting, but their biggest strength was once the farming of a rare crop known as white root. Many years ago a blight killed the uncommon crop and it never truly recovered.
This small fishing town rests on the fringes of civilization deep within Moonfell Wood along the shore of Sradiph Lake. It is one of the last settlements on the northern reaches of the Kingdom of Cantara before crossing over to the Northern Expanse. A wooden wall surrounds the town proper offering a bit more protection for the wooden keep within. Comprised mostly of elves, this town is best known for the ancient elven holiday by the same name, Aventine, that honors the spirits of the dead. Aventine is also known for its gourds which are often fashioned into decorative pouches, lanterns, and other useful items.
The small town of Bethel sits within a series of small lakes on the island of Vraruks Ait. The residents here make their living catching fish and carving statutes from bone. Over the past several years, Bethel has had many champion horse riders that have won the island’s races. And while the local government refuses to become entangled in the arena battles at Cold Spring, their residents have formed underground fight clubs and betting that often spills over to Cold Spring and Torrine. Bethel is a sleep, peaceful town that doesn’t take kindly to adventurers or warrior types that often find themselves sleeping in a cell until they feel that Bethel is a town they’ll never return to.
BRETON WOOD (formerly named “The Orchard”)
For hundreds of years the forest of Breton Wood was planted and cultivated to be the largest source of apples in the known world. The crops of this vast wood are harvested by the citizens of Ivygate, Pinova, Cortland and numerous small villages who then convert the fruit to pies, cider, sauce, and other tradable goods.
Resting close to the southern portion of the Frozen Bluffs is the sleepy river town of Coldwater Creek. The buildings here are built predominantly of stone and the town is defended by a somewhat lackadaisical town guard. Coldwater Creek is best known for it love equestrian statues which can be found in almost any direction there. It’s primary revenue source is leather goods.
On the westernmost portion of the Pillars of Valda is the island of Vraruks Ait. And on the westernmost portion of that island is Coldspring. Its ruler is Grung – a dodgy goblin whose family has run the town for several generations. Many of the villages on the Pillars of Valda participate in horse racing, but Coldspring has also taken to organized arena fighting where warriors start with daggers and earn their way up to more exotic weapons, fame, titles, and wealth. The main attraction in Coldspring has become the racing stadium that is now used for warrior battles. Coldspring has been run into the ground over the past several goblin generations and it is rumored that Grung took to arena battles to help rebuild the town since it has no other strong form of commerce.
Forged beside Breton Wood, the town of Cortland is home to many of the races of Hyreath save Goblins and Suhk who are forbidden from setting foot there. This has made foot-based travel difficult for those races who must find a way around or risk trying to sneak through the wary town. Cortland itself looks magnificent. With its rustic rooftops, stone walls and clean beaches, it has a glamorous atmosphere. Like all towns and villages, Cortland generates much of its
revenue from its orchards, but competition over the years has forced it to focus more on highquality leather goods and stonework jewelry. It’s leader, Serian, has been working to improve the economy there and makes no secret of her disdain for the neighboring villages and towns that ruthlessly undercut each other.
The Crooked Forest dominates a majority of Vraruks Ait – a large island located west of the town of Valda that is part of the Pillars of Valda. The thick forest is filled with the prominent trails that are frequently used as makeshift roads between the numerous villages that call the forest home. The northern portions of the wood are home to several Wildren villages that are unusually xenophobic.
Deepwater Sound is a body of water separated from the Sea of Trath by a series of islands known as the Pillars of Valda. There have been claims made that the sound is bottomless and in some places it may very well be, but for the most part shipwrecks closer to shore say otherwise.
The buildings of the quiet town of Evers’ Mile are fashioned from the red-colored stone found on the nearby Spidermoss Mountain, but the town is most well known for its collection of art showcased in its Museum of Antiquity. The town is led by Mayor Hedolin Smeltgood, a Dwarf who was appointed leader of the town after the mysterious disappearance of the previous mayor, Kirin Frulgray. The town’s primary revenue source is mining and trade.
Many would say the most notable feature of Heartsong is the architecture of its buildings – a unique mixture of Wanton and Cantaran cultures. Those who truly know music recognize Heartsong for its stringed instruments including the Heartsong Violin, Dulcimer, and Guitar all of which fetch a handsome price at market. Heartsong is a growing town filled with music, poetry, and passion. Its leader, Baron Heart, is a respected archer who has crafted some of the finest bows in the area known as heart bows.
Also known as Draydon Keep, the city of Ivygate is the last significant city south of Braeburn for hundreds of miles. Eighteen skinny, round towers are scattered in a seemingly random pattern around the castle wall, but have been build for an ideal defense and are connected by big, thick
walls made of light grey stone covered in green ivy. The city is leg by Judge Eustis – a solemn man who is known for his integrity and disdain for thieves. The city is guarded by the Sunshapers – a group of trained knights that protect the city night and day. Ivygate is a port city that takes advantage of Deepwater Sound to transport goods quickly. Like most of the cities and villages that border Breton Wood, they take advantage of the apple crop. Ivygate is best known for its ornate temples dedicated to the gods.
On clear nights, the lighthouse from Oakstar Beacon can be seen from the the stretch of islands known as the Pillars of Valda. On the island of Ox Cay the Lonely Forest is home to many villages that lead a simple life away from the hustle and bustle of the large towns and cities
found on the mainland. While many would call the villages sleepy, they are passionate about horse races and frequently host both day and night races. The various villages have no official leadership or military and justice is often served by a mob bearing torches and pitchforks.
Guiding wayward ships around the rocky shores of the Gilded Cape is a stone-crafted lighthouse known as Oakstar Beacon. The structure sits atop a high ledge where a bright fire is kept burning day and night. Over the years the sleepy fishing village that supported the beacon
became a bustling fishing town best known for the fishbone carvings and jewelry. The town is led by a council of elders who are known to be both strict and prudish – especially to outsiders.
Kismet is the name of the small village that surrounds the stone walls that guard Owlstone Keep. The keep itself houses at most 30 knights, half of which are away for days at a time patrolling the roads that lead to Oakstar Beacon, Evers’ Mile, and Spidermoss Barrow. The town itself is led by retired knight, Lord Aldus Gifford, often referred to as “Aldus the Slayer.” The town’s primary revenue source is blacksmithing where it is renown for its high-quality swords and ironwork lanterns.
PILLARS OF VALDA
A series of islands that stretch between Deepwater Sound and the Sea of Trath. The long-term inhabitants of the pillars enjoy being isolated from the mainland, but a season of change is growing in the younger generations who seek to leave the pillars to discover the world.
Built along the road between Ivygate and Braeburn, the town of Pinova is a welcome stopping point for travelers making the trek between the two cities. While prosperous, their port is worn and most of their goods are now transported via cart to and from neighboring cities. While apples and apple products are a significant resource for them, there are most known for rare herbalism and elaborate apple beer brewing techniques.
At the north-center of the Tora Forest on the island of Ralz Ait is the town of Torrine. Barely beyond the population of a village, Torrine is a growing town with not much to offer its residents other than solace from mainland. Most travelers visit Cold Spring before anywhere else in the Pillars of Valda leaving Torrine’s trade to suffer unless they take their wares there. Torrine is led by Mayor Austin Lamb, a fourth generation farmer who was pushed into leading.
He now reluctantly does so, guided by the wise hand of the town council. Those from Torrine claim Lamb is nothing more than a puppet bullied to doing the council’s will and there to take a fall should they desire. If nothing else, Torrine is known for its various dyes made from local plants, shells, berries, and other means that provide an array of colors.
The innovative town of Windhold takes advantage of persistent mountain breeze to power several windmills that grind grain throughout the year. This efficient process has allowed the citizens of Windhold to sell large amounts of ground wheat and grain to local towns and cities. The prosperous town is run by Chancellor Lydia Libet who is a true idealist that people tend to treat like family.
Nested between bart of the Sed Mountains and the Tranquil Depths, the Town is a secluded and simple one. Life Moves slowly there and things are not up to date. Its almost as if time moves differently for the people of Aston. Is it magic? Or just the laid back calm of the Town and its people?
In an area that is full of High Elves, Darkmoor is a dirty mark of a town. Ruffians and vagabonds are in abundance. Constant smuggling and black trade. Twisted deals and unsavory characters are down every street.
The lower hills leading into the Bluffs are sparse of trees and more resembling a scrubland, with minimal hunting outside of small game. The mountains themselves are high and near impossible to scale, but the peaks provide a natural breaker that prevents the polar chill of the Northern Expanse from reaching the Wildren lands of the Northern Woods.
This walled city doubles as a naturally well-fortified settlement, and also as the gateway to the northern reaches of the Sed Mountains. The population is densest on the eastern side of the city, where the original walls were erected, but expansion continues in the western side as the population increases. While their gates are rarely closed to outsiders, they boast a well seasoned city watch, and their mantra is one of caution. Crime is surprisingly low here, as punishments tend to be swift and severe; especially for outsiders who think to make an easy mark of the inhabitants. The western end of the city typically appears to be blanketed in smog, as most of their mineral processing happens in that end of the city, with the wealthier families living towards the eastern end.
Something is missing here…
Lake of the Dead
The forest houses many different tribes and animals. One day, the water Overflowed without warning, into the forest in a great rushing wave. Many were lost in the flood. Whole area of the Wilds were wiped away in one swift motion. As the waters receded, a lake formed in the center of the disaster. From this massive amount of death, the earth was giving back to those who survived, The Lake, to this day, Holds the Bones of those the waters swept up.
Although barely a city, Mistgarde is often referred to as the last bastion of civilizations before entering the Wildren lands. One of the most common paths of travel into the Northern Woods departs from their northern exit, which boasts a wall for defense. Relations with the Wildren are generally tame, but there is the occasional misunderstanding which can lead to tense times. No open warfare has occurred however, at least not in the recent past. Much of their economy is in woodcutting and hunting/trapping. The forest has no shortage of wildlife or good quality tree wood.
It is located not terribly far to the northwest of Braeburn, it is generally regarded as a desolate location. The Lake gets its name from the amount of silt and pollen that comes from the rich and wild grasslands that surround it. In the spring, the lake is just about covered, which makes it impossible to see into the water. Some odd creatures are said to inhabit the waters, but without being able to see them, it’s only a myth.
Virtually nothing is known of the Mythwood outside of its borders. The elves there are somewhat xenophobic by nature, and they make quite an effort to drive off any would-be interlopers. While the generally do not commit to deadly actions, there are a myriad of traps that tend to be very effective at discouraging further ingress. There is a trade route that exists in the southern end of the Wood, a very direct path that is well defined, and supposedly created by an agreement between the elves of the forest and the humans who live nearby. Those who keep to the path shall remain unmolested, but the woods more than ten paces in either direction off the path are forbidden
“Those who wish to know us, to understand why we are, come, and seek it in the Wilds.” – Slancha, Wildern Oak Elder.
The Northern Wilds are, for lack of a better term, the” Homeland” of the Wildren. The trees hold many families and the Elders of the Groves gather here every few years to discuss and celebrate. If you wander alone, you will eventually find small settlements among the trees.
This small albeit lush forest gets its name from the sheer amount of oaks that grow there. It is situated against the shores of the Tranquil Depths on its northern and eastern sides, and is absolutely teeming with wildlife of all sizes. It’s good for hunting and outside of Darkmoor to the northwest, no inhabitants are known to have settlements in the forest
Situated far to the northwest, and beyond the Endless Bramble, the Onn Mountains are considered no-man’s land by many who have even heard of them. There are rumored to be rich veins of minerals and hunting paths aplenty, though few outside of the Wildren who inhabit the Bramble would know for sure.
Located on the southwest border of the Mythwood, this rural village is considered to be the last welcoming bastion before entering the Wood itself. There is very little going on, and few people have any reason to go to such a backwater village. When the trade route between Pinerest and Ravenspire is utilized, the village sees more travellers, but rare is the person who puts down roots.
Situated along the northern edge of the Orchard, this lake is a popular fishing spot for the locals. The waters are clear as crystal, and the scenery is relaxing and peaceful. Any who visit agree the name is well earned. The area gives off a peaceful aura to all.
A port city of fair size, Ravenspire is located on the western edge of the Tranquil Depths, and the eastern edge of the Mythwood. They are one of the larger settlements in the area, with a bustling port, and boasting themselves as the “Gateway to the West”. In this, they are not wrong, largely because of the trade route through the Mythwood to Pinerest, which leads west and then southwest towards Aurel.
Located north of the Tranquil Depths, these Mountains are said to be extremely rich in ore, gems, and minerals. They are not heavily inhabited, although the town of Aston sits remotely on the southern side, and Inverness effectively blocks access to the northern ranges.
This is the center Location in the Northern Wilds, where Elves, Wildren, as well as other forest dwellers come to meet in a peaceful place. A major trading post, learning area, and meeting space for travelers. The town and local areas are and have been a safe space for all who traverse into the north.
The Endless Bramble
The Endless Bramble is rumored to be the home of the Fae and their pretentious courts. Legend tells when the Witch Gates were still young, their power surged drawing the sprites and Fae creatures to the area. It is believe this mixture of magical energies made the area both enchanting and treacherous. The forest is said to be littered with broken gates and the Wild Fae that inhabit this area keep it mischievous and dangerous. Without a proper Fae or Wildren guide, many have entered the Bramble never to return.
The Lightless Thicket
Though abundant with wildlife, this forest can be difficult to traverse due to the dense canopy. Many hunters refuse to remain within the borders of the Thicket, pointing to good common sense and the fact that bears are rather common.
The Long Shallows
This narrow and shallow body of water comprises the southern fortification protecting Inverness, and also doubles as a good source of fresh water and fishing. The boats used here tend to more closely resemble skiffs so as not to bottom out on the craggy and dangerous waterbed. During the dawn and dusk hours, the shallows glow with blazingly beautiful colors as the sun’s light reflects off the water. It is truly a wonder to behold.
This small gulf is named primarily as a warning sign for any with enough sense to read a map. It seems a perfect cove to hide a ship, but the hiding comes at a cost. Jagged rocks and the wreckage of past ships linger just under the water’s surface, waiting for the unwary to venture in. Of course, there are legends that such fanciful creatures like mermaids and sirens inhabit the waters of the Basin, but such rumors are clearly unsubstantiated ravings of madmen…right?
A massive inland body of water located south of the Sed Mountains, the Depths are just that; still and deep. None know precisely how far down the water goes, but there is also rarely bad weather in the vicinity. Some claim the forest and mountains shield the Depths from foul weather, but maybe there’s something to the rumors about Aston…? At any rate, this is a popular fishing locale, with many settlements along its vast shoreline.
Located on the southern shore of the Tranquil Depths, this somewhat rural town is nonetheless one of the largest producers of products made from aquatic life in the northwest. They export cosmetics, bard, and countless other products, and enjoy good weather year round. The city is walled with stone, and has a surprisingly grand harbor despite its relatively small size. There are of course rumors of other more shady dealings happening in the alleys and along the waterways, but of course these are foul and unsubstantiated rumors at best.
This small body of water sits along the northeastern edge of the Mythwood, and is technically a tributary of the Tranquil Depths. Despite that, it is a great deal more shallow, and serves primarily as a watering hole for wildlife. Ducks and other such creatures are often found in the vicinity in great numbers during the warmer months, although it seems to be utterly abandoned once the winter sets in.
Despite the name, the area is largely temperate year round. As one of the very few settlements inside the Endless Bramble, and also located along a major trade route, this city does well economically. The Dwarven presence here is higher than most mixed settlements, which some travelers regard as an oddity. Of course, their crafts are of the highest order, and far easier to purchase here than in the Dwarven Homelands far in the mountains. They also do well in the lumber trade, being surrounded by forested lands. The walls are tall but not uninviting.
When the Dep’El first began voyaging they ventured through the Endless Bramble and beyond the Sinking Basin. These inhospitable lands had repelled earlier travelers. The vast expanse of Windy Lake with its freezing waters, sudden storms, and monstrous creatures was barrier enough, but the lands themselves were wild stretches full of all sorts of hazards. Cautious of the dangers the unsettled world presented, the Dep’El used natural caves as easily defensible waypoints and outposts on their venturing routes. Over time, these crude stopping points gave way to elegantly hewn holdings, and, following their exile, these grew into entire cities. Aided by the Dwarves, the Dep’El mastered stonecraft and tunneling, raising great underground cities with Dwarven craftsmanship and Elven grace and beauty. Rumor has it the true capital of Devaria isn’t Aurel at all, but a huge underground city near the Thundering Summit. Tight lipped Dep’El will never acknowledge its existence, but the number of well-paved trade roads in the eastern regions suggest the legends may in fact be true.
Aurel: Capitol city and major trade center of the West. Named after M’rzzid Aurel, the Dep’El leader who led the Dep’El away from the Dale’El and began turning trade posts and stopping grounds into a true nation following their banishment. A rarity for De’El settlements, the capitol is largely above ground, though still keeping to the simple but elegant style of the Dep’El. The ever practical Dep’El recognized early on that they would need to trade with other races if they wished to thrive, and other races seemed leery of life underground. However, even in their diverse capitol, the Dep’El keep to themselves. The above ground portions of Aurel house the mechant’s square where you will see more than a few dwarven craftsmen selling their goods. Temple Square boasts houses of worship to each of the deities. Although the Dep’El are not religious by nature, they do find that easy access to temples makes foreigners more at ease, and therefore more willing to stay longer in Aurel. The clergy of these temples are by and large human and dwarven, ever hopeful that they may convert the Dep’El to more regular religious observance and every once in a while a Dep’El joins the clergy with Ororo and Nenya being the
Aurel also houses the Dep’El High Senate, currently presided over by its Chancellor, Lady R’ytalla Tiremere, a stern and humorless but fair and efficient ruler. The Dep’El Senate controls matters of national importance, but tends to leave the managing of individual towns and cities to their respective leaders. Each has the option of sending a representative to Aurel, and most find it foolish not to do so, however, they serve as advisors only. Decisions are the ultimate
responsibility of the Chancellor and her two chief advisors, a member of the military officer elite, currently General K’ratiel Javan, known for his forward leaning and aggressive approach to conflict, especially goblins, and a member of the Mage Collegium, currently D’varra Kyrella, old, wise, and biting both in her wit and her patience for fools. At any time, the representative body may call for a vote of no-confidence, resulting in the removal of all three, but such action is not
taken lightly. Although the Senate does not meddle in the affairs of the other settlements, they also have the power to unilaterally remove leaders. Essentially, they wait to see if a leader will fail and, if they do, the Senate is swift and unforgiving its handling of incompetence. Remembering the origins of their race, a leader removed for incompetence or actions that threaten the Dep’El as a group is given the option to “do the honorable thing” and end their own life. If they refuse, their end is painful, but swift. The more exclusive neighborhoods of Aurel lie deep within the ground. Access is heavily restricted and getting an invitation to dine in any of the fine restaurants in Twilight Square is a great honor and a sign that you have an ally for life in your host. Invitations into Dep’El estates,
however, are almost never extended to those of other races. To be invited into a Dep’El home is to be considered an equal. The inherent arrogance of the Dep’El means this is not an easy accomplishment.
Eldar: The Crossroads. A waypoint after the basin Eldar is a blending of Dep’El and Dwarven culture. This was the first true settlement of Devaria, and many of its original caves and cliffside holds remain as they were, the product of ancient dwarven techniques lost to the ages. Eldar is unique in that it is the only Devarian city to be ruled jointly by a Dep’El and a Dwarven co-governor. Grainzeya T’ressan and Dworkin Ironfist are an unlikely, yet effective team. The
town is not particularly large, but great stone gates carved into the sides of the Thundering Mountains suggest there may be more to Eldar than meets the eye. However, these gates are well guarded and access is heavily restricted.
Dawnfall: The oasis. The northern plains leading to Aurel are dry stretches of sandy desert with picturesque dunescapes and some of the most dazzling night skies in Hyraeth. They are also hotter than the sun. the Dep’El of this region are purely noctournal, staying deep within their underground homes during the hottest parts of the day. The city of Dawnfall is build around a beautiful oasis of date palms and desert flowers situated beside a grand plateau into which is
carved the majority of the city. The current governor, Lady-Governess Nazaetha Dwerran, is quite old and her successor is a matter of hot debate.
Timbermeadow: The breadbasket of Devaria, Timbermeadow has dense groves of trees, plentiful orchards, and fertile fields, as well as an expansive network of caves. Because Dep’El consider farming a particularly lowly profession, many landowners in Timbermeadow prefer to hire laborers of other races, thus the “gentleman farmer” lifestyle is common here. Sport hunting is common, and some of the finest bows in Hyraeth are crafted from Timbermeadow trees. According to the Dep’El, these bows put any made by the Dael’El to shame. Lord F’gazzan Herase rules here. He is a soft spoken but intense man fond of archery, hunting, and music. A number of talented bards serve in his home.
Highbreach: Devaria’s fishing capitol. Situated in the center of a calm bay, ships from Higbreach have little difficulty catching fish, and even the youngest children learn to cast lines from atop the high cliffs. As keeping livestock underground is difficult, Highbreach provides most of Devaria’s meat. Evenings are quiet times spent telling tales and singing the songs of fishermen and many in Devaria view those from Highbreach as less cultured (though bear in mind this is by elven standards, so even an uneducated Highbreach fisherman can play at least two musical instruments and recite at least four sea ballads). Their current governor, Captain W’razz Fwanath, has recently sought the advice of High Priestess L’orenalia Druana, as some of his older fisherman have been bringing back strange tales, even beyond the usual sea stories of strange lights in the water and shadowy figures scaling the cliffs.
Kirst: In thanks for teaching them the ways of stone, the Dep’El gifted the dwarves whichever parcel of land they wished for their own use. The dwarves chose Kirst, an area rich in metal and gemstones, and thus, the city of Kirst has flourished as one of the wealthiest cities in Devaria, second only to Aurel. Some might think that the success of Kirst would create resentment on the part of the Dep’El. They would be wrong. A bargain is a bargain, and the Dep’El respect the
autonomy of the dwarves. Sea patrols along the Windy lake include Kirst in their territories and the mostly land-dwelling dwarves know that should trouble arise on Windy Lake, they can rely on the Dep’El for protection. Great firetowers line the coast in the event the dwarves would need to reach Frostwind, but so far no one has tangled with the wealthy dwarves of Kirst. Dorian Umberstead leads the town, with his sister Ursella serving as his emissary to Aurel.
Frostwind: A Laketown on the Shore of Windy Lake. Not quite enough timber to compete with the Laughing Thicket. Not quite enough shipyards to compete with Wildemore. Not Quite enough fish to compete with Highbreach. Frostwind is considered by most to be the backwoods cousin of the Devarian towns. Left content in its mediocrity for decades by its previous leader, Governor R’nall Ferazzan, his daughter, R’nalla, is not so content to be second place. She’s turned her eyes north to Kirst and, while no Dep’El would be bold enough to violate the ancient treaty with the dwarves, those mines are quite tempting.
Stonewatch: As the name implies…. they watch… the stone. Legends say that once this was a mighty military stronghold, but it’s location seems to belie that claim. There are, however, great stone doors carved into the cliffs, and a mysterious order, the Knights of the Stoneguard, keep vigil over them. No one knows what’s behind these doors and the Knights of the Stoneguard intend to keep it that way. General T’razzan Drallano oversees the region.
Wildemore: The shipbuilding capitol of Hyraeth. Wildemore is little more than a giant shipyard, with many of the finest vessels in all of Hyraeth crafted in its harbors. Because of their need for a constant supply of wood, the city leader Evarrina Fr’annas makes an effort to appear more tolerant of her Dael’El sympathizer colleagues, but Dael’El who try to enter the shipbuilding trade are promptly shown the door. Innovation is a much desired trait in Wildemore, and each year the city holds a great sailing race where young Dep’El test vessels of their own design.
Oceancrest: The jewel of Devaria, Oceancrest is a warm seaside town and a major trading port. Built on an expanse of canals, there are few roads in Oceancrest and most traffic is done by slender gondolas. The gondolier’s guild is fiercely protective of its trade and those attempting to offer unlicensed rides often find themselves in a canal with two broken knees. There are two sets of docks in Devaria. The western docks enjoy calmer waters (ironic, as they are the side
most exposed to the open ocean) and cater mostly to luxury goods. Thus, the mercantile districts and residences on this side tend towards the opulent. The eastern docks house the “working docks.” Here, more mundane trade passes through constantly busy docks and those brave enough to navigate shipwreck current depart for the south. The eastern regions house fish markets, salt quarries, and other “blue collar” employment. Of all the Dep’El cities, those who call Oceancrest their home are the most likely to be seen living above ground, though even in Ocean crest, the homes are “one story” villas, with the bulk of the residence carved into expansive basements. Because of this, few Dep’El live along the shore where the water table is the highest. Instead, the scenic coastline of Oceancrest is home to all manner of races with one notable exception. You will not find a Dael’El. Even Dael’El mariners keep to their own vessels and make their port calls brief. In addition to its bustling trade, Oceancrest produces the finest pearls in Hyraeth. Each summer the Dep’El host the Feast of the High Tide which, in addition to the usual festivities of any city-wide celebration, includes a pearl fishing contest. More than a few drunk revelers have lost their lives trying to reach the deepest waters to retrieve these precious pearls. Oceancrest is presently ruled by T’ryzzan Furanno, a shrewd merchant with a jovial nature. His tastes tend towards the lavish and his good humored nature has led to rumors that he is, in fact, a human who put on false ears and painted his skin. His fondness for human company, particularly at the card table, doesn’t help this.
Woodguard: A medium size settlement deep in the woods. The Woodguard Dep’El have the most similarity with their lost brethren the Dael’El. Because of this, many other Dep’El see them as weaker, longing for the past and a civilization of weak fools who would cower under a tyrant rather than take action. It doesn’t help that their current leader Baron Va’rtriel Rystran took a Dael’El wife. Luckily for the Baron’s continued rulership, his wife died in childbirth along
with their half-breed child. Or so the official story goes. The one thing that keeps the Senate from removing Baron Rystran as an embarrassment to the Dep’El race is his superior knowledge of forestry and the Dep’El need for a reliable lumber source to keep their shipyards working. In addition to its lucrative forestry, the woods are home to all manner of wildlife. Furs from Woodguard are highly sought after. Currently, Baron Rystran has found himself under scrutiny
yet again for his decision to take in Dael’El immigrants. Although their numbers are small, every so often a Dael’El recognizes that perhaps the Dep’El were right. While efforts to join the Dep’El were largely met with a cold shoulder (the Dep’El are not known for their forgiveness) Woodguard has seen a few families welcomed back into the fold. Rystran believes this will improve the Dep’El reputation as more will learn the truth and the righteousness of their ancestors’ actions. Others, however, don’t care what the lesser races think. However, those wishing to join the Dep’El are required to try to fit in. Some have tried wearing charcoal or ash to darken their skin, but the Dep’El find this ridiculous and distasteful. Children of these immigrants, however, are expected to use their mark of glamour as any other Dep’El and so assimilation in a single generation is common.
Undying Copse: A bleak wood of rotting trees, dead branches and howling winds. Here, the spirits of the dead call out in the wind, and animated corpses stagger in the mires. Those in the north of Devaria remain on constant watch for any that may wander out of the copse into their lands and dispatch them swiftly. A rite of passage for all mainland Dep’El involves walking into the Copse and remaining there for three days and three nights. Those who refuse the challenge will never rise in Dep’El society and are named cowards. Those who take the test invariably have wild tales of the things they saw in the woods, though whether they are true or the panicked dreams of a young Dep’El, who can say? One legend tells of a crypt deep in the Copse where restless spirits from across Hyraeth travel, hoping to find a mortal to help put them to rest, though no living Dep’El can say where that crypt may be. The closest settlement to the
Undying Copse is Firewatch, a military outpost tasked with keeping an eye on the undead. It’s Commander, General U’razzen Varyian is a stern man but a fine leader and commander. He is perhaps the most egalitarian of the Dep’El leaders, as he cares about one thing and one thing only: Can you wield a sword? Recently his dispatches have led to concerns in Aurel as he reports the undead wandering out of the Copse bear the markings or tattered clothing of
peoples from elsewhere in Hyraeth, as if the dead are migrating to the Copse. The General has always been a rational man, not prone to exaggeration, but he is also quite old. Those in Aurel are split with half believing his warnings, and others thinking perhaps it is time for the old man to retire.
Night Island: Next to nothing is known about this foreboding isle. Steep jagged cliff faces rise from the sea, and the small channel separating it from the Undying Copse is constantly beset with storms. Almost any ship foolish enough to try and make this crossing never returns. Most attribute the wreckage to the storms, but there are legends of sirens who lure mariners to their deaths. Those ships that have traveled around the north of the island out of Stillwater Bay
report strange lights in the cliffs, and terrifying sounds echoing through the night. There are no reports of anyone brave enough to explore the island ever surviving to tell the tale. Most believe that this island is the cause of the unrest in the Undying Copse.
Edrain Haeron: The southern island of Devaria is home to its most fearsome mariners. Many would use the term “pirate” though doing so in their hearing would be foolish. Edrainians descend from the Dep’El who took the farthest voyages both to further remove themselves from their Dael’El cousins and to see just how far the world went. Their hatred of the Dael’El runs deepest among the Dep’El, as stories of their flight from persecution and their unjust banishment are passed down from generation to generation. Aloof even by Dep’El standards, Edrainians have an arrogant contempt for “mainlanders” of any race or nation, though they have a nodded respect for other island nations and a deep loyalty to the other Dep’El, even those not strong enough to live as men and women of the sea. Like all Dep’El, they show respect to the dwarves, and have brought several into their settlements as advisors on the nuances of stonemasonry, as even these seagoing Dep’El prefer to make their homes underground, though their voyages under the open sky make them more comfortable on the surface than most of their race. Possessed of the same stellar night vision shared by most of their subterranean brothers and sisters, the Edrainians are superb navigators who sail as quickly at night as during the day. Because of this, they are highly sought after mariners capable of swift voyages; superb fishermen able to seek their quarry when the fish are most active; and of course, formidable raiders, smugglers, amphibious soldiers, and pirates. A rite of passage for all Dep’El who call Edrain Haeron home is the Aearon Eneth. When a young Dep’El is deemed ready, they are blindfolded, drugged, and brought to a remote stretch of beach. They must make a mile long swim in open ocean to a small skiff. Upon reaching their vessel they must navigate their way home. Any Dep’El who fails the challenge and must be rescued is restricted to a life and profession on shore. Many leave the island forever rather than face the shame of being seen as a “sand crab.” Although as a rule, the Dep’El are not overly religious, the island Dep’El are the notable exception. The island shows an unfaltering devotion to the God of Storms. Some Dep’El may choose to pay homage to a secondary deity, but all on the island pray to Ororo. Among the most accomplished mariners, the Endarians are fiercely independent, making governance a challenge. On a ship, Captain is King. And a nation with so many kings is difficult to rule. Still, the current Governor, Admiral E’zzrania Faerath has done well keeping the ships sailing, the trade flowing, and piracy kept to a dull roar. Perhaps because at one time, she herself was a formidable corsair.
Fallvale and the Shipwreck Current: Northernmost and tamest of the island cities, Fallvale is an affluent trade center, though it lacks much of the opulent finery of its sister city, Oceancrest. Indeed, the Dep’El of Fallvale are islanders through and through and look at Oceancrest as a city of fops and pretend mariners. All goods destined for the mainland (legally) pass through here. Bordered by the Shipwreck current, the peninsula need only worry about watching the seas to the north and west, as no mainlander would be fool enough to try and sail the aptly named shipwreck current. Even the Island Dep’El prefer to avoid it. Those who have voyaged its currents and lived can be identified by a golden hoop in their right ear. No other Dep’El is allowed this adornment. Persons of other races who show up in Devaria wearing a hoop earring out of ignorance often find it removed, violently.
The Laughing Thicket: A seafaring nation would fail without shipyards, and a shipyard would fail without a steady supply of wood. For this reason, although forestry has the reek of Dael’El about it, those who work the forests of the Laughing Thicket are accepted by the Dep’El. The woods of the Laughing Thicket hold one of the Dep’El’s most prized resources: The great Stonewood Trees. These trees with obsidian-black trunks have a wood almost impenetrable by water, thus making the most seaworthy vessels in Hyraeth. The Dep’El guard these trees with unmatched ferocity. Trespassers are swiftly executed, and any Dep’El foolish enough to try to sell the precious Stonewood wish for execution. The Thicket is currently ruled by D’rawyn Faerath. First cousin to Ezzrania Faerath. D’rawyn is one of the few who managed to rise to any level of respect among those who fail their Aearon Eneth. Some say it is only because of his cousin that he has been given anything higher than a fishmonger’s station. Others insist he rose to his rank despite his cousin’s contempt for his failure and the shame it brought upon
their family. Regardless of which is true, they have a polite but strained relationship. However, unlike R’stanno Veruil to the north, D’rawyn knows better than to test the patience of the island Dep’El by welcoming Dael’El into his woods.
Faln: A riverside town bordered by the aptly named mosquito swamp. Here you will find dwarven lumber mills, preparing wood from the laughing thicket for their travel north. The Dep’El Senate pays a handsome fee to teams of dwarven mercenaries willing to escort the precious stonewood and so, between loggers and mercenaries, Faln can be a rather rough place. Fights are not uncommon and the dwarven ale runs freely. Governor Trez’zan Merced tries keeping the peace…when he’s not the one starting the brawl.
Pond Shore: A calm seaside town at the island’s southernmost point, those in Pond Shore live a quiet life of art and reflection. Many wealthy Dep’El retire here to the warm climate and slower pace of life. Music halls, art galleries, and libraries make up the majority of the town’s main streets and things stay calm and peaceful. In fact, Governess R’yanna Fesann, recently sent to assume the governorship at the passing of the previous governor has noticed that things seem… too calm. Maybe she’s just used to the bustle of Aurel and these Dep’El are just used to a quieter life. Or maybe there’s something more….
Uth Heights: Stronghold of the southern Isle, Admiral E’zzrania Faerath holds court here. The tall volcanic mountains make for perfect Dep’El fortresses and the shores have caves large enough to dock an entire fleet. The marines of the Uth Heights guard the coasts zealously and so no one in Hyraeth knows for sure how large the Dep’El fleet truly is. All one knows is “do not get into a sea war with a Deep Elf.”
Blood Briar: A region of ruthlessness and lawless abandon, even by island standards. Here you can find anything… for a price. The inhospitable briars make patrols difficult and small settlements have formed with only those brave or insane enough to live here knowing the hidden trails and cave mouths. The region is racially diverse with one governed by the Golden Rule: He Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules. The coastline is pocketed with hidden coves and inlets, making smuggling a lucrative trade. It’s not quite clear who runs Blood Briar. Perhaps because no one does.
Blue Lagoon: A warm, sheltered paradise of rest and relaxation. You will find any race here (except Dael’El) basking in the sun, or splashing in the warm waters. The Dep’El of blue lagoon have managed to shed much of their race’s stoicism and have adopted a more content nature. Nights are spent in song, drumming, and dance, with traditions borrowed from any number of cultures (except Dael’El) as visitors to the lagoon will share much with their island hosts. This does not mean, however, that the Dep’El of the Blue Lagoon are to be trifled with. Elaborate and aggressive war dances are used as a means of intimidating their enemies. Usually they work. When they don’t, the Lagoon Dep’El are formidable opponents in hand to hand combat, preferring wrestling and boxing to weaponry. They are currently led by Chieftain Hran’nez Alaynas. He has offered his seat to anyone who can best him in a wrestling match. So far none
have, though many an embarrassed upstart has tried.
Madrona is the capital, and only major settlement, of Faeden. Here the Eldar’El Wise Council has sat in their grand marble chamber since the ancient days. Eldar’El society is largely based on reputation, tradition, station, and education, and so there is little reason for settlements to spread across the region. Instead, Madrona simply expands gracefully, ever greater. It covers the peninsula, nearly meeting the Mourning Wood to the west and the Hysh Tops to the north. The beauty and opulence of the architecture in this ancient city is fabled throughout the continent. Clean and bright, socialist tendencies support even the lowest classes of society for the purpose of ensuring that crime is a rarity despite being such a large city. The schools, libraries, and guilds here stretching back across the centuries are often considered the creme de la creme for those who seek the various paths of knowledge.
SIREN’S SONG BAY
This bay is where Sea Silk is made. The secret to making it is a closely guarded secret, and no one but the craftsmen themselves know exactly what it is made of. Rumors abound across the continent, and some even say it is made from the hair of mermaids themselves. If you believe that kind of thing, that is.
Siren’s Song also provides a large part of the food that supports Madrona, as most of its agriculture is oceanic. When the city was smaller it used to be easily self-sufficient, but now that it spreads up and down the bay it would be difficult if not for the support of the trading caravans that come to the city.
It is said that ancestors named these mountains for the sound the wind makes when it rushes through them. Sometimes, if you are quiet, it almost sounds as though the wind is whispering to you. Scholars theorize that the wind might be speaking in an ancient language, long forgotten. Some relentlessly pursue the history of this tale and seek to translate what the wind is whispering. Some refuse, and insist that it was forgotten for a reason.
The Mourning Wood is where the Ceremony of Passing is performed when an Eldar’El passes on. The first stages of the ceremony are performed at the temple of choice of the deceased, and a procession of mourners bring the ashes to the wood to return the deceased’s body to nature and their soul to the Aether. The ashes fertilize the soil, and the flora and fauna here are some of the most beautiful and healthy of any forest on the continent. Centuries of ceremonies have thinned the veil in this forest, and some say if you travel there at a certain time alone you may be able to contact a deceased loved one who was properly
commemorated here. No one can agree on which time is the proper one, though, and many do not try.
ISLES OF THE FORGOTTEN
The crumbling ruins on these islands hold a dark and foreboding past. Many ages ago, a legendary necromancer ravaged the continent, taking many lives under his dark spells. These ruins were once strongholds of his. Some say the Divines themselves wiped his memory from this world, but these islands are still tainted with the echoes of his dark work. Bones of every race can be found here, and no one can say how many times they were buried.
In the shape of these mountains, some say sleeps the indisputable shape of a dragon’s corpse. In time immemorial Behahn was a mighty dragon who lived here. He terrorized the region under his reign, and a mighty warrior of the Elves’ land-bound Fae ancestors rose up to challenge him. The outcome of the conflict is unknown, and unfortunately for her memory, the warrior’s name has been lost to time. But Behahn still sleeps on his Rise, and no one has seen any dragon since.
Here is where legend says the original Fae made contact with our world. Seasons do not change here, and the Aether cannot be tapped into to make magic. No animal lives here, and yet the island is not silent. Similar to here, there are a few rare, undisturbed natural spots on the continent where scholars theorize the Fey could still be reached. The Wise Council has forbidden anyone to try until research proves whether or not contacting the Fey is an intelligent decision.