Shadeland

Overview

Locked between Alsland in the north and Elevar in the south, is the undead-infested Shadeland. Formerly the eastern half of the cosmopolitan kingdom of Tamar, this was once fertile and lush farmland that served as the backbone of the nation, as well as the training ground for the Shieldlocks. After the Lavender Day and the shattering of the kingdom, the land was overrun by the ghosts of the countless thousands that had lost their life. It was during this time that Narthak D’Or arrived. Nobody knows exactly what the powerful eladrin lich did, but since then the ghosts have all but disappeared, but in their place a magical corruption has pervaded the land – a vile magical plague that has come to be known as the Creeping Taint.

Despite the almost perpetual rainfall, this mephitic region supports little life. Rotten trees, fetid mires, peat bogs, chill winds, and numbing flurries are all that greet the senses in this moldering wet hinterland. Those reckless enough to pass into the area would do well to avoid the many bandits, mindless undead, and horrifying monsters that plague the region. Bodies pepper the landscape and continuously rise up out of the earth seemingly without end. Day brings no respite for such travellers as the area is perpetually shrouded in darkness, mist, storm, and sometimes even a viler weather known as the Plague Rain.

Although the territory has no official government, all but the Edgeworld is under the control of the eladrin lich Narthak D’Or. Patrolling the Shadeland inside his enormous adamantium fortress-school Conferonex, Narthak keeps a watchful eye on his territory, especially to the south near Elevar. The west of the Shadeland, known as the Edgeworld, is controlled by the dracolich Wraithwing and his ghost-winged nation of harpies. The two groups are allied together and sometimes work in unison, although such cooperation is rare.

Settlements and Adventure Sites

Conferonex
Adamantium Fortress and Academy of Wizardry; Population ~70,000

Sitting atop enormous tank tracks, this enormous solid adamantium fortress-school is pulled through the Shadeland by the eladrin lich Narthak D’Or’s ghost army: the Swornbound Legion. Inside thousands of students study the dark art of necromancy as well as other more traditional forms of magic, with a focus on undeath and battle.

Applicants to the school must pay a heavy tuition fee and pass the school’s rigorous screening and initiation process, not to mention actually reach the wandering school. Those that survive study for 10 years under the tutelage of Narthak’s seven wizard apprentices and generals (all formerly elevarian High Mages. See “Talos Senéval“), after which they graduate and are exiled from the Shadeland forever.

Inside the fortress, thousands of undead, both mindless and intelligent, are enslaved and toyed with endlessly for demonstrative purposes. Strange experiments are performed daily creating sometimes terrible monstrosities, which on occasion, have been known to escape. Most of the work done by students, however, is in creating undead slaves which are then sold in Torevoon to the many eager buyers throughout Seath.

Deathbog Bastion
Small Bandit Town; Population ~10,000

Bandits of all walks of life and unlife unite in common defense within the palisade of this ramshackle town located not far from the border of Alsland. Constructed entirely of rotten wood the town sits on stilts and floating logs only a few feet above the Deathbog – a pestilent swamp. Subsisting completely on the banditry of caravans and tranports travelling within Alsland or the Frostfog Plateau, the multitudes of criminals, thugs, and gangs that exist within the bastion live in reluctant harmony. The constant threat of attack combined with the vigilante justice found here keeps this make-shift society together, although sporadic fights and other such outbreaks are the norm.

The Edgeworld
Wraithwing Enclave; Population ~23,000

It’s no wonder why the sheer four thousand foot cliff lining the western edge of the Shadeland has come to be known as the edge of the world. The frothing ink-black sea, howling wind, and perpetually stormy conditions give visitors to this place an ominous feeling they would be wise to act on. Although undead are less common here, strange ghost-winged harpy nation known as the Wraithwing Murder, are well-known to nest all along these cliffs and within the Tamarian ruins found upon the islands. Lead by the dracolich Wraithwing, the ghost-winged harpies subsist by raiding Cerulean Airships. Sometimes unfortunate sailors and airmen lost in the Maelstrom (see “The Maelstrom Isles”) wreck here which provides easy nourishment for the roving harpies as well as the few other creatures known to inhabit the cliffs.

Mosswathe Forest

Not far from the border of Elevar, this densely forested region appears curiously common in the otherwise desolate and boggy Shadeland. Upon closer inspection what is generally assumed to be foliage from afar reveals itself as dense bright green moss. Everything in the region is draped in this strange living carpet and a queer silence pervades the area. Undead mysteriously avoid the region, although those seeking asylum here should heed the tales of the invisible stalkers that are rumoured to live amongst the green trunks.

Geographical Features

Mire of Souls

Residents of the Shadeland know better than to deposit their dead in the earth as such foolishness surely brings misfortune in the land of the undead. Bodies are frequently burned or thrown into the aptly-named River of Flesh. Meandering through the Shadeland, this diseased watercourse ends at the Mire of Souls. The countless dead collect here and choke the river reducing it to this vast bog. A vile chilling frost suffuses the region and despite the foul conditions, bodies do not rot. The undead flourish here alongside other ghastly creatures and ghosts. Students studying at Conferonex travel to the region to sample the endless supply of corpses, and handpick the best of them for their various experiments and studies – a dangerous enterprise even for most powerful among them.

River of Flesh

Beginning in the north eastern section of the Shadeland, the River of Flesh emerges from the Mith’Gor Mountains already tainted by blood and bodies – victims of the BLANK WARS being waged in the Undermountain. Several mountain stream join the River of Flesh which in the north of the Shadeland runs as a rapid. As it courses south through the bogs and peetlands of the region it slows and picks up the many undecomposed bodies remaining after the Lavender Day. By the time the river terminates at the mire of souls, it swells with blood, corpses, and limbs, which dye the river a deep redish black.

Besides being a potent poison itself, the river is the primordial soup from which strange diseases, creatures, undead, ghosts, and many vile magics emerge. Evil cults, assassins, religious orders, and wizards often visit the river as it suits any number of vile applications. Good people will avoid this place at all costs. Besides its actually evil nature, the river is central to many superstitions, fables, and stories told throughout Seath. Although many question the veracity of the many tales, few are courageous enough determine the truth for themselves.

Shadeland

The Cosmoscape Chronicles Torvum