(Anything not described below is from the Gazetteers. Anything not sourced was created for this map.)
: Centuries ago, this was a clearing in a forest of ash and other trees (thus Ash Glade), which was used as a caravan campsite frequently enough to earn a name. Eventually, caravan services sprang up, and a village grew. During the various wars, this forest provided hardwood for bows, seige engines, and other uses, and more recently for lumber. While the trees survive among the nearby hills, the one-time forest has since been cleared and given way to farmland and pastures. Now, it is a thriving waypoint, and the supply village for a handful of hunting and pastoral lodges in the forested hills -- a place for some of the richer folks of Akorros to escape city life for a few days without venturing too far from their interests.
: A small village on the route from Crowlerd to Favaro (and from there, Corunglain, Darokin City, etc.). Like the other, northernmost villages in this stretch, it is well armed and defensible. A handful of historical and geological scholars make their home here, since it is well-placed to study Thogmoor's mysterious fen, the caves of Ethan's Deep, the caves to the north, and the various ruins dotting the hills to the north and south.
: A small village en route from Akorros to Crowlerd. While it has enough farmland for itself, like the other settlements this near the effective (if not claimed) border with the humanoid lands to the north, Fenoval has sufficient defenses to withstand the usual humanoid activity -- at least, they can hold out long enough for the southern patrols from Fort Fletcher to note any invasion.
: This fairly young village provides a convenient waypoint for trade along the Akorros-Darokin City/Favaro road.
: See Elstrich Valley
: A typical farming village on the rich plains west of the Streel.
: See Elstrich Valley
: A small village nestled among the hills, and occasionally harassed by the humanoids residing in those very hills. They tend to be suspicious of travelers due to the dangers of their immediate surroundings. (-tarm, see Mintarm, on Corunglain map)
: Karalos is typical of villages on the shores of Lake Amsorak: small, dedicated to fishing (with some farming on the outskirts), and nearly unremarkable. Karalos' one claim to fame is its annual Boulder Festival, a peculiarity which causes nearby settlements to occasionally laugh at the display. Once per year, on the longest day of the year, the denizens of Karalos host a great parade at dawn, march to nearby Boulder Point, and hold a festival, celebrating with games, contests of skill, and much feasting. At dusk, they have a closing ceremony around a great bonfire, filled with unremarkable speeches. No one knows what started this festival, or why it is held. (See this post
: A small village (see "The Peril of Lakeside").
: An old village with an old name, originally contemporaneous with the other old settlements (Athenos, Akorros, Salonikos, Dolos). It was rebuilt by refugees after being razed during the humanoid invasion that leveled Ardelphia, resulting in a much more modern layout -- and with stronger defenses.
: Although this small village is located next to a carefully tended forest, the inhabitants are careful to harvest very little beyond what they need for their own use. Less than a century ago, there were no woods and the village council decided to cultivate one, and now the Perisans are highly protective of their efforts. Their exports instead tend toward wool from the many flocks of sheep they keep.
: See Sashenta Valley
: See Malpheggi Swamp (courtesy Geoff Gander)
: The name of both the village and the nearby, surprisingly stagnant and damp area. Given that the surrounding hills seem almost devoid of water, and both rainfall and streams seem to pass this village by, the locals do sometimes wonder what has led to this isolated bog.
: See Elstrich Valley
: This small but proud lakeside village dates from the early human settlements. While many of its peers have been lost to time (with one, Akorros, growing as a center of power and trade and becoming a city), the fishing village of Zakaros seems almost timeless in its persistence.
Lairs and Ruins:
: See Elstrich Valley
: Entrance to winding caves running deep into the ground. The origin of the name is lost, but it might share a common root with Ithanos (Ethan, Ithan), as turned into a modern name. Or it might have been discovered by an explorer named Ethan.
: When Ardelphia fell and news spread of the invading humanoids, one of Hareltarm's village elders, one Kennyth Hovand, gathered those who would follow him and fled into the nearby caves. However, water was scarce within the caves, a rockfall partially closed the entrance, and the many humanoids camped nearby resulted in Hovand and his followers starving in the caves. Their tragedy resulted in the current name of these caves, and journals recently recovered by scholars from Dynarath have allowed the tale of their quiet despair and falling in on themselves to be recovered when journals were found among their remains. The journals also hinted at disappearances further in the cave system, suggesting that possibly other populations lurk much, much deeper.
: Haunted ruins dating from the Orcish domination of northwestern Darokin. It was the site of a particularly horrible event, and the ghosts of the villagers are said to walk on the darkest of nights, pacing along the rift in the center of the ruins (the Ravine of the Dead, into which the bodies were gathered by the survivors). Despite the passage of centuries, not even the most foolhardy of Darokinians have dared try to re-settle this.
: See Sashenta Valley
: Submerged ruins, barely offshore (see "The Peril of Lakeside").
Whistling Caverns, The
: These winding caves run throughout the nearby hills and have many entrances. When the wind blows just right, they emit an eerie, whistling noise that can be heard near the entrances, although there have been reports that the noise continues even when the air is still...
Other Areas of Interest:
: Boulder Point is the local name for a massive, rounded boulder resting on a broad rock pedestal. The boulder and pedestal are different types of rock, so obviously the boulder was brought by somebody, but even the most ancient legends are mute on the subject. People have explored the boulder (which measures about 50 feet across) over the years, and no one has found any inscriptions on it. Nor has anyone found evidence of it having been rolled there. Local hunters use it as a lookout point, as have scouts during times of conflict (the pedestal is broad, and is roughly 100 feet tall, for a total height of 150 feet). The people of nearby Karalos, who are particularly obsessed with this mystery, believe that the boulder sits on the entrance of a great cave system, and whoever manages to move it aside will inherit the treasures of a lost empire. Many have tried to find other entrances to these rumored caves over the years - to no avail. Karalos celebrates this landmark once per year with a Boulder Festival, held on the longest day of the year. (See this post
(Humanoids in the mountains and hills to the north, otherwise primarily villages of varying sorts. Possibly some small tribes of humanoids hiding in the central hills, but they would need to keep a low profile. There may be underwater monsters deep in the lake.)
Thogmoor's existence has been a mystery, and those who have investigated to date have remained puzzled. However, it has become clear that the moor itself is drawing moisture from its surroundings, as the nearby village, fields, and hills are starting to resemble a desert while the moor is turning into a small lake. Can intrepid investigators find the source of the mystery before it becomes Thog Oasis in the middle of Desert Amsorak?
While Karalos has held its Boulder Festival without fail for centuries, this year a torrential downpour has drowned the excitement. With the lake's water levels rising, the villagers are far too concerned with their houses to celebrate for the first time in recorded history. What is missed, and only the one disappointed villager who decided to hold vigil anyway even saw, is that the rock on the pedestal shifted slightly at dusk -- and began a slow vibration. Unbeknownst to anyone still alive, the festival was a ritual keeping the rock in place, and now it is free to finish its function. Could it be an earth elemental-based creature, waiting to hatch? Or a piece of an ancient golem, now seeking the rest of itself (and there are other areas across the Known World with similar, quaint customs)? Or is it some ancient horror, imprisoned here and now free to roam?
For as long as humans have been in Darokin, the fishing village of Zakaros has been on the shores of Lake Amsorak. Yet, somehow, there has never been any success with archaeological investigations, which has led scholars to suspect that the village has moved with the changing shoreline and been particularly good at reusing foundations and building materials. However, the more conspiratorial-minded believe that the village itself is truly timeless and is preserved somehow as a snapshot of the past. They do seem to constantly be well behind the current technology, their patterns of speech feel aged, their slightly ramshackle buildings are always in the same state of (dis)repair, and the population has been constant for as long as even vague efforts at a census have existed. Could they be locked in a cycle, going through the same days or weeks or months, over and over? Are they ageless? Why does no one ever seem to move in or out of the village, only pass through it?
This area should be loaded with history, being a central breadbasket region and a border with the humanoids to the north. The hills are probably dotted with additional long-forgotten ruins.