Geography of the Disputed Lands

Although it is uniformly covered in undergrowth and trees, it
is most convenient to discuss the Disputed Lands in terms of the
forest east of the Shattered Mountains and those west of them.
The character of the two forests is decidedly different.
The eastern forests, though dense, are much as any experienced
woods guide would expect. Coniferous trees, primarily
pine, fur and cedar, dominate the base of the Shattered Mountains
with a healthy smattering of a thorn bearing tree called variously
“honey tooth,” “faerie’s fangs,” and the “penance tree”
depending upon whom one asks. All manner of vines, ferns and
bushes struggle between the trees, slowing movement near the
mountains to a mere 1D4 miles (3.2 km; Wolfen and their kin
can go twice as fast) per day on foot and making passage by
horse incredibly difficult, and outside of man-made roads and
paths, passage by wagon is impossible.
The further one travels away from the mountains, the less
tangled the undergrowth and the easier it is to travel, although
the forest is still thick and overgrown. These woods are an equal
mixture of coniferous and deciduous trees such as oak, maple, hickory and ash mixed with pines and furs. These woods cover most of the Disputed Lands and have been the hunting grounds
for the canine races for centuries. As such, they are lightly inhabited
by Wolfen and Coyles, both of which are most numerous
in the spring and summer months, as well as the occasional
Kankoran and rare Bearman. Human settlers see the land as
heaven on earth for trapping, hunting, fishing and logging — it
is the extensive logging operations that destroy the trees that the
canines hate most and frequently target. Unique to the forests of
the eastern Disputed Lands is Yellow Wood, also called Yellow
Iron. The wood is incredibly hard and strong, requiring ten
times the usual effort to cut or chop them down. The wood is
good for making incredibly sturdy wooden weapons and
weapon and tool handles — the Wolfen and Coyles use it for all of their spear and pole-arm shafts. (Note: Weapons made of Yellow Wood, from staves and spears to clubs and arrows
[but not bows], inflict an extra +2 to damage.) The wood is
also suitable for sculpting, chiseling it as one would stone. Due
to the difficulty in shaping it, the wood is not widely used by
humans in any type of construction or furniture, though there is
a small market for axe and pick handles and staves, as they are
nearly impossible to break under normal usage. Yellow Wood is
also difficult to get to bum, although once it starts, it burns incredibly
hot, twice the temperature of normal fires (thus doing
twice the damage to anyone unlucky enough to get burned by
it).
The forests along the Great River (over 500 miles south of New Providence) host the majority of the human settlements. Until the recent (and terrifying) threat of war
from the Wolfen, hunter and trappers’ lodges, homesteads,
farms and tiny villages seemed to spring up every week. Along
the Great River, vast swaths of trees have been cut down to
build the growing settlements, supplemented with stone from
quarries being cut out of the foothills of the Shattered Mountains.
Once the trees have been chopped down, the land is
cleared of stumps, the undergrowth burned away and the newly
cleared land used as cheap, if mediocre, farmland by new settlers.
Eighty percent of all human settlements in the Disputed
Lands are within 80 miles (128 km) of the Great River or within
100 miles (160 km) of the eastern ocean. There is only one large
city-state in this region, the imposing Fortress of Southwatch
overlooking the seething waters of the Algerian Sea. Hundreds
of years old, Southwatch is the largest fortress in the east, housing
thousands of soldiers within its immense stone walls. Several
dozen smaller walled towns and villages, as well as small
family farms, tiny fishing towns and homesteads dot the coastline.
Challenging both the humans, Wolfen and Coyles for dominance
of the eastern forests are roving bands of Ores, Ogres,
Trolls and Giants with the occasional tribe of Goblins,
Hob-Goblins, Faerie Folk or clan of Danzi, Centaurs, Sallan,
Wing Tips, Kankoran or lone Bearman, Boogie-Man, Chimera,
.Drakin, Emirin, Eye Killer, Feathered Death, Kinnie-Ger,
Kelpie, Lizard Mage, Scarecrow, dragon, and Dragon Beast
thrown in for good measure. It is definitely a wild and dangerous
wilderness, and this list does not include the many dangerous
animals and unintelligent monsters like the Tusker and Tree
Eels. Also present are the E’Dheko Danzi tribe, moving like
ghosts through the dappled shadows, intent on their war against
the Wolfen and Coyles. These forest nomads sometimes help
human settlers, fellow woodsmen and adventurers, but generally
avoid regular contact with any race and hate spending any time
in towns and cities. They have steadfastly refused to join the
Dominion of Man, even though it would seem their goals lie
along the same path. The E’Dheko Danzi resent the humans
coming into what they have considered “their” homeland for
over 80,000 years, but they see themselves as having more in
common with humans than the canines; generations of war and
bloodshed with the canines has seen to that.

Geography of the Disputed Lands

The taming of the North GwerinColin