The Durnwood is an ancient forest under whose branches the history of kingdoms and empires has passed largely without notice, and along its northern borders are a number of villages, and even a few towns now grow. Once ruled by the Caedrian Prince Kist from Cyntill it is now just a few scattered settlements.
In the past 30 years there have been a few major events in the region. The first was the destruction of the Tower of Justice, and its attendant Knights of Justice 30 years ago by the Durosh’kan orc tribe. The next was the destruction of the elven village of Taslatia by goblins, orcs, and fell fey 20 years ago. Then ten years ago the Red Knights of Bane moved to the village of Kalafort, at the base of the Crystal Mountains, and transformed it from a sleepy prospector’s village into a thriving trade center. Of course currently the region is relatively peaceful, though the goblins that inhabit Taslatia, and the Durosh’kan make travel into the depths of the Durnwood a risky undertaking. Of course roads are often closed by bandits, marauders such as goblins or gnolls, or hungry monsters such as griffons or fell fey. The simple mission of driving off whomever or whatever is preying on unfortunate travelers is how many young heroes begin their careers, or meet a grisly end.
Humans and elves are the most common residents of the communities of Durnwood. Some tribes of shifters and dragonborn roam the forest as well. Dwarves, halflings and tieflings are also encountered relatively often in the settlements. Tieflings are particularly common in Forvan.
Bruevaile – Once a simple fishing village, Bruevaile has exploded in the past ten years, changing from sleepy village to bustling town in less than 8 years, and it seems likely that the now misnamed Vaile will continue to grow until it becomes a prosperous city built on the trade flowing down the Llwerk from Kalafort and the lands beyond.
Forvan – Though not on the Llwerk, Forvan is the only city in the region, a solid two weeks by road from Bruevaile. Forvan rests on the shore of the God’s Sea, at the eastern end of the Menai Straits. It is a gateway to the Naranlan kingdom and the distant southern lands for the Dwarves, Eladrin and Elves. Forvan is primarily a merchant city, as such Caedria, Naranlan and Dragonspire would all like to claim it as theirs, making trade prosperous and the city treacherous.
Kalafort – A fortified town at the end of the Gwyth Hills, nestled where the Doov River joins the Llwerk river. Kalafort was once a rugged explorer’s base for the Crystal Mountains, then ten years ago the Red Knights of Bane moved to the village and transformed it from a sleepy prospector’s village into a thriving trade center. As a garrisoned frontier town Kalafort’s primary concerns are military, but it also has a number of farmers, prospectors, and merchants.
Athruvaile – A small fishing and farming community on the Llwerk between Kalafort and Bruevaile.
Tralvaile– A small forestry village near Bruevaile.
Kisk – A small farming and forestry community.
Plint – A small farming and forestry community that has come under the protection of Forvan.
Cyntill – Once the capital of the region it was sacked by the Dragonspire armies just over 200 years ago and now is little more than a collection of monster haunted ruins. Though the Knights of Cyntill are an organisation that seeks to cleanse the ruins and rebuild the city into its former glory.
Halls of Justice – Once the home of the Knights of Justice it was destroyed 30 years ago in a great battle with the Durosh’kan orcs, and with its destruction so to fell the Knights of Justice. The ruined tower is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the knights who died fighting the Durosh’kan as they wait for justice to be paid on the orcs, and though rumors of undiscovered treasures within the tower persist few are prepared to risk the wrath of the ghosts, and those few never return.
Taslatia – Once an elven settlement it was destroyed during the wars with Dragonspire 200 years ago, now the only structure still standing is the old temple to Corellon and even then only the lowest level of that building remains and is mostly buried. Goblins make their home in the ruined temple and occasionally pester the local villages.
Tethari – An ancient elven complex inhabited by a few elven monks. It is said that it was once the home of a great elven mage who was defeated by three witches when they brought down a mountain on his home.
Durnwood Forest – The Durnwood is an ancient forest under whose branches the history of kingdoms and empires has passed largely without notice. It is said that in its heart can be found the ruins of an ancient elven kingdom, yet between the Durosh’kan orcs, fell fey, and other dangers travel so far into the forest is a dangerous undertaking.
Crystal Mountains – It is said that the Crystal Mountains start far to the north, growing from the Porthenask Glacier, and travelling south to the great maelstrom, the Eye of Walek. Scholars then argue if it is the same range that continues south down into the Sea of Sorrow, and the islands that mark all that is left of the Dragon Kingdoms. Regardless it is accepted by all that a spur of the mountains runs through these lands.
Lake Miryl – the Lake of Bloody Tears has a perpetual red tinge not unlike rust. It is believed that when the world was broken, when Calach was banished to the Abyss, Rawali cried until tears of blood flowed from the heavens and stained it’s waters red.
Griffon Pass – Pass across an arm of the Crystal Mountains which marks the easiest route to the elven kingdom of Manoshikae from Kalafort, and as its name implies Griffons often a problem.
Gwyth Hills – Essentially the foothills of the Crystal Mountains that dominate much of the land to the west.
Llwerk River – the silver river, so named because of its shimmering silver colour. The river has its source in the sourthern Crystal Mountains.
Llwerk Pool – the silver pool is a small lake on the Llwerk River.
Isle of Kaz – the isle of the foe, is so named as while the mage Mithain lived he was a great enemy of the ancient Dragon Kings. It is said that Mithain delt with the dark gods, and that he was eventually slain by the hero Jimalik. However Jimalik never returned from slaying Mithain, and now on storm nights a light can be seen high in the air, where it is said was once the top of Mithain’s tower. For this and its rocky shores sailors avoid the island believing it a cursed place.
Blue Bay – Named for the deep blue colour of its waters, even to the shore, its deep waters are the reason Forvan prospers on its north east shore.
The Fang – A large mountain which is the home of the Durosh’kan orcs. It lies at the southern edge of the Crystal Mountains where they turn north to travel back to the Golden Sea.