Shadows Gather Darkly
To the north of the Kingdom of Ereworn lies the rich arable land of the Fief of Glissom. The fief is bounded to the north and west by sea, and to the south and east by a towering mountain range. This range is known as the Mountains of Brack and its peaks are perpetually lost in the swirling arctic winds that blow from the northeast.
The Land: The terrain of Glissom is predominantly mountainous but may be divided into three distinct regions: the Highlands, the Coastal Lowlands and the Central Uplands. The Highlands occupy more than one-half of the surface of Glissom, the most rugged region on Ellesland. Broken by deep ravines and valleys, the Highlands are noted for their scenic grandeur. Precipitous cliffs, moorland plateaus, mountain lakes, sea lochs, swift-flowing streams and dense thickets are common to the Highlands, the most sparsely inhabited section of Glissom. The region is divided into two by a depression called the Great Glen.
The Coastal Lowlands is a narrow belt containing the majority of the country’s population. Several chains of hills traverse the central Lowlands. All of the country’s arable land can be found in the Lowlands. The terrain of the Central Uplands, a region much less elevated and rugged than the Highlands, consists largely of a moorland plateau traversed by rolling valleys and broken by mountainous outcroppings.
Many of the rivers of Glissom are short, torrential streams, generally of little mercantile importance.
The most common species of trees indigenous to Glissom are oak and conifers – chiefly fir, pine and larch. Large forested areas, however, are rare and the only important woodlands are in the southern and eastern Highlands.
The only large indigenous mammal in Glissom is the deer. Both the red and roe deer are found. Other animals include the hare, rabbit, otter, ermine, pine marten, wildcat, game birds, the kite, osprey and golden eagle. Glissom is famous for the salmon and trout that abound in its streams and lakes.
Cultural Level: Medieval.
Ruler: An old and wise king has ruled Glissom for the past fifty years. King Durindar has ensured that his people have flourished and that the granaries are full to bursting after each harvest. The heir to the throne of Glissom is the King’s nephew, Dororn, a notorious rake. The Steward of Glissom is called Kilnded.
Banner: An acorn and oak leaf on a white background.
The Folk: Clans, the traditional keystone of society, are no longer all powerful. Originally, the clan was a grouping of an entire family with head or laird.
Superstitions: The farmers of Glissom relate a story concerning Balr, the essence of darkness whose icy breath once covered the land with thick blizzards and dark scudding clouds. The story goes that the elements conspired together to overthrow the rule of Darkness, burying the city of New, the seat of Balr’s power, forever, beyond the eastern mountains. They relate that first the element of Fire exploded at the heart of Balr’s smithy where dark engines of destruction were built and how the city and the land for miles around were buried by ash. They will tell too how a burning ember of the explosion was carried far over the mountains by the howling wind and how this ember fell just where the city of Glissom now stands, and how to this day this sacred glowing ember still burns at the centre of the tower. Then, to the north, the earth opened up, swallowing the city, and water poured down, freezing it over. The icy wind beat down upon it, locking Balr and the rubble of his city forever beneath the ice pack. “Thus goes the legend,” the farmers say and nod superstitiously, staring into their mugs of ale.
Native Player Characters: The people of Glissom are predominantly Keltoi in origin, with many orcs and humans also living here. Characters from Glissom gain access to the Wilderness proficiency chart and begin play with Visic as their native tongue.