The thriving markets of Portsea were a mixing pot of people of all races. The town itself was ill-defended against attack from land and even weaker if the dragons had happened to attack it. Looking out from the speckled horizon at the edge of the harbor, grand bronze cannons point out across the ocean. They had never seen action and were rusted solid. Their only use now was as a resting point for the flock of gulls calling the area home. The old weapon racks standing by the docks were full to the brim hanging fresh fish, drying slowly in the Winnan sun.
Standing at the heart of the Tower Plains against all logic was the Mages Tower. The tower was almost as tall as the mountains that covered the lands to the south, and was visible for many miles in all directions. The monument of a construction was made of stones blessed with magic which allowed for its tremendous height. It contained the living quarters for all the wielders of magic who were outcast in Neeska. The stone giant of a tower stood as the last bastion before the Scorched Lands and was as much a prison as it was a fortification. The tower seemed to grow slightly taller with each year as more and more space was needed. The tower itself was made of a mismatch of stones from the surrounding area giving its outer surface an almost wild charm. The higher up the tower a mage found his chamber, the more important he was. The university that had developed at its base was made up of two large stone buildings made of the same shambling stone type as the tower itself. The ragged rocks coated in ivy and other climbing plants made the building look ancient and alive… like a sleeping colossus.
At the heart of the Whispering Woods, a township named Oakford had been built, nestled around the base of the Great Oak. The Elves of Oakford lived druidic lives using only what the forest provided. The hunters brought catches in daily from the woods, while the townsfolk enjoyed fine ale and music. Children played happily within its safe streets. At the city’s heart, the square was awash with smiling faces and dance in a continual festivity. The wildlife of the forest did not shy away from the town but walked within its walls unhindered. It was not rare to see a squirrel running along the gutters chasing butterflies or a great bear passing through on its way to hunt. Crafts of fine furs and woods were traded with the miners from the east for stones and gems. There were enough to make each house shine in the speckled light of the canopy.
The Mages Tower
The Scorched Lands
The White Isle
The Kingdom of Goldhorn
Northholm had once been part of the Hanson Kingdom, sitting in the mouth of a natural harbor at the very northern tip of Neeska. It had fallen to barbarian rule and now stood as a constant source of outrage to the Royal Court. Northholm had been built around the large iron mine. The miners had started to head to the coast to ship the ore back to Oakenfall, and over time a city, Northholm, grew around them.
Briers Hill is the halfway mark for traders by land. It is surrounded by gullies carved in hills and farmland. Little fences mark the borders of the sprawling fields for miles at its outskirts. The south-eastern road leads to Oakenfall and is one of the four roads out of Briers Hill. The village proper is built around a crossroads and made up of seven to ten small red thatched houses which gather around the well in its centre. Additionally, a handful of shops have set up on its western road.
A unique trait of the Briers Hill is the reddish tint to the sandstone and clay. The story went that the blood of the warriors who had died in the Scorched Lands had seeped into the clay as it was making its way to the sea, but the truth was it had always been red. The area was very rich in iron and even some crops and plants had a slightly red tint to them because of that. The tavern that the caravan had stopped outside was known as The Dragon’s Blood Inn, which was very appropriate.
The Scorched Lands are a dark and desolate place filled with choking clouds and the remnants of a thousand-year war. Hidden in the ashes are countless lost settlements and most of what had once been the Whispering Woods. The dragons' fire and mages' magic has left a shifting scar on the landscape that few can venture into.
The City of Oakenfall was made up of very distinct districts, the first of which was the castle at the top of the hill, which was surrounded by raised mounds of earth and a natural pool that came from an underground spring and fed the canals. At its upper end were the homes of the nobles and rich traders. These were large stone buildings made of brilliant white slabs of rock. They had once been extensively decorated and sculpted. In previous times, many of them outshone the grandeur of the castle, but now they were shabby from heavy wear. Just a gnat’s breath further towards the harbor were the markets and Celebration Square — a hub of eastern architecture, domes, statues, and waterfalls — which had sprung up towards the end of the dragons' reign. Further north were the common homes, simple wooden houses, some multi-story, some tenements, all of them held together with shoestring and prayers.
The Alienage Isle was contested territory, but it hadn’t always been that way. In fact, the landmass had started out as little more than a soggy marsh-covered quagmire and the island had had little in the way of a chronicle for most of known history — that was until the year of 450DB when the elves fleeing the fall of the Earth Mother had landed there after many months at sea.
The White Isle sits only around twenty-five miles as the crow flies from Oakenfall and is home to Slickrock. Slickrock was a masterwork of wooden craftsmanship. The island itself was mostly covered with high cliffs which seem to be home to half the seagull population of all Neeska and they often left their telltale white glaze on the roofs of Slickrock. The island was a smugglers’ haven with many of the tunnels that ran through the island large enough for small boats to sail through, and the inner caves were full of hidey holes and lost stashes.
The Kingdom of Goldhorn sits on one of only two passable routes through the mountains. The dwarfen kingdom smelted and provided weapons for most of the legions fighting the dragons during the blight. Their long tunnels snake underground, connecting with various other dwarfen strongholds. centuries ahead of the rest of the world, they have harnessed the power of strange steam-driven machines.
Appleshire had once been a small trading hamlet, but when the kingdom on the western coast sank below the waves, the traders’ ships could travel further into Neeska. A new harbor town was created at Brace Harbor. It did not take long for the need for Appleshire to fade, and in time, the last of the occupants had moved away and it had fallen into disrepair.
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