There are eighteen “regions” of the Wilderlands, corresponding to the eighteen maps contained in the Boxed Set, and reflecting the traditional division of the Wilderlands campaign setting. Regions are important during character creation, when characters choose their region and homeland. If a region has a shortened name by which it is referred to in other places in this book, that name is provided in parentheses.
The region is divided by large rivers and three large lakes surrounded by grassy hills. It is dominated by the vast Irminsul Forest, one of the largest forests in all the Wilderlands. There is little civilization here. Most of the human population, aside from the villages, consists of cavemen. The civilized population center of the region is the city of Damkina, on an island within the Vast Lake, where rules the Lord of the White Throne—a remnant of an ancient empire. The forests and plains contain mastodons, saber toothed tigers and other great beasts. Female amazon warriors can sometimes be seen here with their saber toothed tiger animal companions. The Elphand Lands are claimed as tributaries by the Emperor of Viridistan, and the southern section, known as the Eleph Territories, consists of elphand villages that are allied to Viridistan. They train and ride their great mastodons in combat.
The City State of Valon, with its shimmering towers and weather wizards, dominates this region. Beneath the Uther Pentwegern Sea, the mer-elves, tritons and other sea creatures of the Heareat Undersea Kingdom have formed an alliance with the nobility of Valon that has enriched both societies. Not many leagues north of Valon begin the huge glaciers which have been gradually receding over the last thousand years. The cool climate and many mountains force most travelers to visit Valon by sea. The Isles of Pokrantil and the mysterious City of Alchemists, Malikarr, on Thrinakia Isle, provide adventure and a haven for the Brotherhood of Sea Tigers, a loose band of pirates. This region also contains several locations mentioned in ancient tales. Somewhere in or near the Shielding Mountains, deep underground in a large cavern, is the fabled Dwarven city of Krazandol. Less hidden, but perhaps equally dangerous, are the Ruins of Sotur. Its stone walls can be seen by passing ships.
VALLEY OF THE ANCIENTS (“ANCIENTS”)
Myths tell that the Valley of the Ancients is the ancestral home of all dragons, the first creatures to walk the face of the earth, and the site of the attack by the mysterious Markrabs in the wars of prehistory. Often shrouded in fog, the Valley seems to exude a feeling of foreboding to more sensitive souls. Tales tell that around the steep walls of this valley are numerous caverns which contain the ancient ruins of thousands of dragon weirs and many dragon cities of connected caverns.
Only rangers and long hunters venture here as much of the land is reputed to be poisoned. The vast Glow Worm Steppes have gained their name from the enormous worms that glow with a strange phosphorescence and can be seen winding their way across the flat plain at night.
VIRIDISTAN, THE CITY STATE OF THE WORLD EMPEROR (“VIRIDISTAN”)
Perhaps the most influential city for most of the history of the Wilderlands, Viridistan—known as the Immortal City, the City of Spices and the City State of the World Emperor—is ruled by the cruel Green Emperor, Hautulin Seheitt, and his wife, the last of the race of the powerful and sorcerous greenskinned Viridians. The surrounding provinces and their various capitals hold political sway in this region. The merfolk kingdom of Sae Laamer can be found in the depths of the Trident Gulf. The powerful and legendary Marmon Witches reside in the Marmon Mist Swamp north of Viridistan. It is said even the Green Emperor avoids them. To the northwest, the Eleph Territories are allied with Viridistan. The western approaches are nearly blocked by the Pinnacle and Starrcrag Mountains. The many roads that cross this civilized area of the Wilderlands are well patrolled. While the population density is still sparse, this region has the most villas, manors, farms, and ranches. Mercenaries receive a lot of work from the Green Emperor.
CITY STATE OF THE INVINCIBLE OVERLORD (“CITY STATE”)
This area contains the Upper Pazidan Peninsula (known as the “Roglaras”) and contains many important cities, including the City State of the Invincible Overlord, the rival city of Warwik, the dwarven citadel of Thunderhold, the newly-rebuilt city of Modron and the capital of the Skandiks at Ossary. The area is dominated by the great forest of Dearthwood and the Orcs of the Purple Claw as well as the Estuary of the Roglaroon which travels from its mouth north of Dearthwood to the City State. Legends say this area was once part of the Empire of Kelnore and, later, the capital of the Orichalan Dragon Empire. Rorystone Road stretches from Thunderhold to the City State and the ancient Old South Road runs south from the City State down the Pazidan Peninsula into Altanis and the city of Onhir. The Plateau of Bendigroth and the plains to the south are home to the many nomadic Tharbrians, whose invasions have shaped so much of modern history. The Skandiks and their longships patrol the waters along the Tharbrian and Pagan Coasts and control many of the coastal villages and islands. Trading ships from Modron, Warwik, the City State, Valon, Tarantis and occasionally Viridistan and Karak ply the waters of the Winedark Sea, as do pirates of the Brotherhood of Pirates and the Deathhorn Pirates of Warwik. The Witches’ Court Marshes and the nearby village of Grita Heath are quite mysterious.
The home of the Tarantine Merchant’s Association, the city state of Tarantis governs much of the trade in the nearby seas. The surrounding areas consist of provinces governed by various Sultans loyal to the ruler of Tarantis, Atar the Lion. The region is rife with freebooters and is home to the Azurerain pirates and the famed pirate captain known as the Seahawk. Across the bay from Tarantis sits the ruins of what is believed to be the ancient capitol of the Kingdom of Kelnore. Tarantis is a major trade point for ships from the far off Kingdom of Karak and its magical wares.
Collectively known as the Desert Lands, this region contains one of the most sacred areas of the Wilderlands—the Holy Cities—which stand above the caverns dedicated to the god Mycr. Many of the Holy Cities are currently occupied by forces form Viridistan as a result of a purge of Mycretians by the Green Emperor. His forces patrol the roads. Much of the region west of the mountains is occupied by the dorins, a humanoid race suited to the extreme conditions of the desert.
BARBARIAN ALTANIS (“ALTANIS”)
This area is called Barbarian Altanis as it is the land of the red-skinned nomads known as Altanians. Their small villages and nomad camps can be found throughout the region. The ruins of ancient walls and sunken areas indicate a far more numerous population once lived in Barbarian Altanis. The roads that crisscross the peninsula are also ancient and often poorly maintained. It is believed that most of the ancient ruins that dot the landscape of the region were part of the legendary Kingdom of Kelnore. This region has a varied terrain, featuring deep forests in the north and jungles to the south. Its hilly terrain is dominated by the Castellan Mountains in the far south and the southernmost spur of the Cloudwall Mountains from the north. The protective Mengebet Bay at the Isles of Ethereal Bells in the southeast is frequent provisioning stop for ships.
Revelshire is the most active city on the Ebony Coast, a relatively rich and peaceful region. The vast forest lands of the region are known as the Emerald Woodlands by northerners and Emrival the Great by southerners. Rich deposits of coal, peat and petroleum enriches many areas in this region. Ambitious lords have extended the road network to link towns producing kegs or barrels of burning rock and black gold. The region is maintained peaceful with many patrols. Many farms and rural estates dot the lands in this peaceful region.
Lenap, also one of the ancient Ghinor Successor States, has fallen upon hard times but still holds political sway within this region. The giant dunes of the desert to the north keep this area fairly isolated. The many jungles and hills make overland travel limited to well-guarded caravans. The Churning Sea is unpredictable and the volcanic Isles of Flame often make the sea steam from undersea lava flows. The many jungles are filled with a rich variety of plants. A thriving trade has grown around the exporting of spices, herbs, seeds, saps, oils and insects.
ISLES OF THE BLEST (“BLEST”)
The southern most extension of the Upper Pazidan Peninsula ends in four fingers pointing southeast toward the largest island. These “fingers” are known as the southern portion of Oricha, a land reputed to be the ancient homeland of the nearly extinct Orichalans—the race which created the legendary Dragon Kings of ancient history. The primary island south of Oricha, containing the city state of Rallu, is known as the Isle of the Blest. The Orichalan Straits is the primary means of rounding the Pazidan Peninsula when sailing to or from Viridistan and thus sees much merchant ship traffic. The hundreds of other islands which dot the seas—and which present real danger to those without charts or depth chains—are known collectively as Isles of the Blest. Pirates tend to prey upon traders in this region and patrolling warships are common. Larger ships from both Rallu and Tula are often seen involved in tense standoffs.
ISLES OF THE DAWN
This region is known as the Isles of the Dawn because worshipers of Apollo believe his chariot emerges from this sea to begin his journey across the sky. Schools of glowing fish that swarm near the surface just before dawn may be the source of this legend. Aside from the numerous uncharted reefs that make sailing hazardous near the islands, there is little to note except the occasional water spout. There are no powerful political forces in this fisherman’s paradise. Whaling ships are often seen pursuing the great beasts. Legends told by the sailors of Dragonscar say a great armada floundered during a hurricane ages ago and demonbrood bodies washed ashore for months. Just east of this region is the Kingdom of Karak and its capital city of Popul Vuh (or Populva, as it is commonly spelled). Karakhan ships, coming and going to Tarantis and Viridistan can be seen in these waters.
SEA OF FIVE WINDS (“FIVE WINDS”)
The city state of Tlan, one of the Ghinor Successor States in ancient times, has fallen greatly during the past centuries but is still the most politically active entity upon this western shore of the Sea of Five Winds. There is little civilization here. Huge forests within hilly terrain fill the uplands. The forests are even denser in the lower shore lands and no serious attempts have ever been made to attempt road building in this region. The Vastern Canyon in the north is reputed to be rich in minerals but the inhospitable terrain and forest has prevented development. The Hutamah Jungle is the source of many unusual herbs and plants used in alchemy. The Falls of the upper Destathrone River are considered the most spectacular within the Wilderlands.
This region takes its name from the Ghinor Successor States which came into being in ancient times when a prince of the ancient Kelnore Empire united many southern states and seceded from imperial authority. These lands—and the surrounding regions—contain the remnants of that once proud people. The city state of Chim is situated upon the tip of the Devilstongue Peninsula and is the only significant political entity. Chim was abandoned long ago by the remnants of the Ghinorans and the city has recently been repopulated by a colony of dwarves. The jungles seem everywhere and isolate inland settlements. It is said the jungles teem with cannibalistic feral dwarves. Most commerce is done by sea. Hundreds of islands and hidden reefs make navigation hazardous. The currents are strong and squalls are common.
SILVER SKEIN ISLES
The waters about the Silver Skein Isles are well patrolled by warships of Rallu. The Sea Kings of Rallu are at a standoff with Tula, the famed City of Mages, to the south. The seas are occasionally raided by ships from the Demon Empires to the south. Rallu, once a hidden kingdom, has developed into a major sea power. Tula is renowned as a city of wizardry, its many colored towers containing the famous schools of wizards—particularly the Chromatic Wizards, who wear their strange colored robes. It is said that all sorts of creatures walk the streets of Tula—including demons—and study magic from the wizards there.
This region is the extreme southern range of the Altanian nomads. The extensive forests and mountains make an effective barrier against incursions by the Demi-Giant kingdoms to the far west. A true wilderness, the population density here is extremely low. It has been over a thousand years since the last Demon invasion from the distant south. There are no roads and the uplands cannot be reached except by climbing the steep escarpment. River barges and caravans are common methods of travel. The extensive scrublands support a wide variety of game.
While most of this region is lowland filled with jungles and swamps, it is known as the Ghinor Highlands. The Ironfoot dwarves of the Over Doom Mountains are the most powerful political faction in this region. The dwarves consider themselves the rightful rulers of this region but seem quite happy to keep to themselves and let others live as they wish. The Joyful Demon Hills were named for exiled imps that have forsworn all allegiance to the Demon Empires. It is not uncommon to encounter exiled demonbrood from the Demon Empires in these lands.
The Southern Reaches have become reasonably peaceful during the last century, as there have not been raids from the Demon Empires for some time— perhaps because there are few settlements of note here worth raiding. Two important passes connect the uplands with the plains below. Marshes and jungles in the north force caravans to journey south before turning toward their destinations. The Bendarloin Mountains are reputed to be rich in metals and gemstones. NOT ON THE MAP There are three important features that are hinted at but are not on the Regions Map or the Player’s Map.
THE KINGDOM OF KARAK
The Kingdom of Karak is an ancient kingdom, founded over 20,000 years ago, before Kelnore, the Dragon Empire or Viridistan. It has waxed and waned throughout history, but because of the constancy of its gods, it has remained. Horses are common in the lands of Karak and its residents learn to ride at a young age. Many are superlative sorcerers. Most karakhans are lawful neutral or lawful evil. The society has a very structured and rigid social caste system. Their architecture is elaborate, being very ornate and decorative. They build concentric cities with many canals. Their horse legions are a fearsome foe on the field of battle.
The people of Karak worship the gods of the Indian mythos—including Kara (an incarnation of Indra, chief of their gods and creator of their race; LN, Air, Water, Law, Animal, Plant), Agni (CN, Air, Fire, Chaos), Kali (commonly worshiped in the land and by Karakhan mercenaries and wizards in the Wilderlands; CE, Death, Destruction, Evil, Darkness, Blood, Magic), Karttikeya (LG, Law, War, Good), Lakshmi (CG, Travel, Luck, Protection), Ratri (NE, Evil, Darkness, Death, Luck), Rudra (LN, Death, Law, Protection, Air), Surya (LG, Sun, Good, Law, Fire), Ushas (N, Earth), Varuna (LN, Protection, Law, Healing, Knoweldge, Magic) and Vishnu (LG, Sun, Healing, Good, Protection)—as well as a few gods unique to themselves. The evil and neutral gods predominate over the good ones, and religion in Karak is cruel and regimented. Priests have great power.
The kingdom is a major sea power, trading with lands to the south and the east. They occasionally encounter the magical ships of the Demon Empires, but their numbers keep the demon-ships at bay. Karakhans are exceptional craftsmen and often use magic to enhance their products, such as the shimmering scarves and robes of differing hue that magically change their color or glitter like stars. These products are traded heavily in Tarantis and trade has begun again to Modron. Karakhans—even evil ones—prefer not to trade with Viridians and have distrust for that race.
Today, the kingdom is strong and powerful. Soon it may turn its attention to the “wild lands to the west,” as it refers to the Wilderlands, which until now have been little more than a source of trade by some more adventurous Karakhan merchants and a realm of exile for its criminals and mercenaries.
THE GREAT GLACIER
The great glacier is an icy expanse that has its southern tip just above Valon, spreading north in a “v.” The glacier is said to stretch to the end of the world. Others, though, claim that foreign lands can be found many miles north once the glacier is navigated. The glacier itself is thought to be slowly receding. The glacier is home to the great hidden school of the Ice Wizards of Valon, and also home to a great frozen temple to the god Aram Kor, the icegod of the avalonians. It is a frozen waste populated by ice worms, shaggy cavemen, yeti and other monstrosities. The glacier itself is nearly impassible due to shifting and collapsing ice, canyons, ice mountains and sheets of unscalable ice.
THE DEMON EMPIRES
Far to the south are two demon-brood dominated empires that were once one great empire. It is said these empires came to be when the demon-brood bred by the Markrabs rebelled and fled far to the south. Occasionally, strange and fearsome raiding ships of demonbrood pillage the southern coasts or the islands as far north as Tarantis. In the last 100 years, there have been very few such raids. Fire elementals and other outsiders are allowed to penetrate the Planar Membrane in these lands. All manner of sentient creatures are tolerated within each realm as long as they wear the brass emblem of a demon lord about their neck or upon their shields, though most cities are ruled by demonbrood or sometimes by demons themselves.
The western-most empire exists many miles south of the Ament Tundra and is known as the Horned Lands. This empire is said to be ruled by a god of chaos which warred with the gods of law in ages long past.
The eastern empire, which exists many miles south of the Southern Reaches and which retained the name “Demon Empire” when the one great empire was sundered into two, is centered around the vast impact crater caused when the lands were struck by a meteor of magicum. This crater, and the eastern empire itself, has also come to be known as the Abyss or the Chaos Lands. The two kingdoms are absorbed in warring between themselves.
A portion of the eastern crater has filled with water and has come to be known as the Searing Sea. An underwater cavern disgorges a naptha-like substance into the Searing Sea. During seasons of storms, lightening often catches the entire sea afire. The Searing Sea connects to the seas far south of the Winedark Sea.
Major cities in the eastern kingdom are often named for metals or minerals worked therein. Thus there is a City of Gold, City of Iron, City of Brass (not to be confused with the City of Brass that exists on the plane of molten skies adjacent to the plane of fire), City of Lead,City of Marble, City of Granite, City of Tin, and City of Ironwood. Never much of a sea power as most of the empire is landlocked and those parts which are not are adjacent to the Searing Sea which is not conducive to major sea travel.
Today, the demon empires continue their political struggles amongst themselves. They rarely give much thought to the human lands to the north, as they refer to the Wilderlands. There is little reason, in their mind, to conquer the Wilderlands since there are no resources there that interest them. Gordzu-Kor, the recent Demon-Emperor of the Chaos Lands, who sits in a stinking palace near the Searing Sea, has taken an interest in the lands to the north and is building a fleet to sail through the Searing Sea to conquer the Wilderlands at the direction of his dark lords.