On the far eastern border of the empire stands the fortified town of Realmsend. Atop the escarpment of the long running hill range (the Stonecloaks) which form a natural border for the empire, Realmsend has long played a part in the defence of the empire. Originally built by Tarnaxys command to mark the end of the empire and to hold back the goblin hordes of Zardonfelle. However in recent times with the imperial instability the Realmsguard, the legion which once manned the town, has dwindled considerably, leaving the town in need of protection. For too the east lies a vast expanse of barbarian infested land which offers constant dangers not only for the people of Realmsend but also for the people of Crowngsift who are attacked by daring barbarian raiders.
Oldran Anvilarm (male Dwarf)- Armourer and merchant, veteran of the Feywar, can repair warforged.
Myra Nettleheart (Female Human) Respected elderly Matriarch of Nettleheart family, has lived here nearly all her life.
Vellow Greyscroll (Male Human) Retired high up in the Imperial Mages Guild, rumoured to have been dismissed for dabbling in the 'dark schools' of magic.
Yona Nighteye (female human) Accomplished mage and astronomer, interested in the teachings of Vellow.
Tilly Daggerscold (Female gnome) Gnome Pawn broker from Towertown, can order in nearly anything. Believed to be a fence for the arcane cartel
Jorran Wintershield (Male Human) Lord of Realmsend. Stayed neutral during the Feywar.
Arhearyn Mellowbreeze (Female Gensai)- Thrazhain Diplomat and town judge, also offers legal council to villagers.
Malfurion Strayvoice (Male Tiefling) Wealthy Stravosian heir.
Cetyr Elfsbane (Male Human) Local youth who hates elves (he comes from a town near Elfswood). Gulzug Shatterskull (Female Orc) Diplomat from Oathrock, contact for any Orcs/goblonoids heading into the empire.
Felthaserria Brightglade (Female Elf) Owner of hunting supplies shop, fought in the Fey war.
Luck (Warforged) Captain of the guard. Seemingly invincible after many scrapes with death, his shell is badly scratched and dented.
Vortiger Gravemist (male shadarkai) Town undertaker and member of the nearby Ravensrest Abbey.
Constantinia Firescar (Female dragonborn)- Experienced Tarnaxys Talon. Castellian of Wintershield Hall.
Ellecia Proudharp (Female half-elf) Young travelled half-elf who plays music and sells information to adventurers.
Synari Puresoul (Male Deva) Conservative town priest, often visits Lady Wintershield.
Realmsend is ruled by a town council who answer to the local lord, who in turn answers to the Duke of Crownsgift who himself answers to the emperor. The current Lord of Realmsend is Jorran Wintershield, a sturdy soldier from Knightsmeadow. He married a local from Straymoor (Strapova Wintershield). He is generally well liked since he doesn't interfere with the Presbyterian council very often.
The council is made up of about a dozen influential townsfolk. The council is responsible for spending the peoples taxes and maintaining municipalities. On rare occasions the council will also reside over appeals against the local magistrates. Councillors are generally elected for a term of 5-10 years and may be appointed or removed by Lord Jorran or a senior member of the empire.
Also independent of the local government structure is the Realmsguard a legion of warriors tasked with protecting the border, they are directly answerable to the emperor.
Realmsend since its founding has been an important military position for the empire. The very structure of the town, a large wall which encircles the houses and many underground levels speak of its nature. However today the towns defences are relatively meagre, were once an entire legion of soldiers stood (the Realmsguard) there are now only about 200 men.
These soldiers are most often on watch along the Outplains although they also serve as the towns domestic watch. They are commanded by Taymir Kingscloak a hardened Half-orc fighter who often takes orders directly from the duke of Crownsgift and on rare occasion the emperor.
Rumours throughout town have been speculating for months now that the emperor may withdraw the Realmsguard, bringing them closer to the capital to help protect himself in these troubled times. If that were to happen the town would be practically defenceless, which has led the town council and lord to offer incentives to adventurers and mercenaries to come to Realmsend in case of abandonment.
The economy of Realmsend is kept afloat by the 200 soldiers on the payroll of the emperor plus the money supplied to keep the town's fortifications in relative repair. However the town also draws money from some daring grazers who risk their flocks on the Outplains despite watching them carefully with armed shepherds.
And a steady flow of trade comes through the impromptu Bastard Gate from the outlying settlements of Lastbridge and Boldhearth. Tilly Daggerscold is the main trader she sells tobacco, sugar and cloth to the tribes in exchange for furs, ivory and some say plunder from the raiding parties.
Realmsend possess a shrine to the twelve gods within its wall. Of all the deities Bahamut, Erathis and Ioun have the largest altars. However this is much to the chagrin of many locals. For the past forty years the patron deities had been Kord and Avandra and the priestess who ran the shrine had been popular amongst church goers.
However recently the church 'retired' the established human priestess for the deva Synari Puresong who has a strict conservative view of how things should be done. This has led to a split in the towns worshippers, a number of folk do not attend Sunday mass at the shrine instead choosing to commune at the retired priestesses humble cottage.
Realmsend is very much a fortified affair, most of the town proper is contained within a high thick granite wall. Inside the houses are close packed with little room for keeping animals or planting crops. Instead folks keep a small assembly of buildings including animal pens and gardens on the hillside surrounding. However those who can afford it live in Realmsend for the protection it offers.
Viewing from a distance a visitor would find it hard to imagine how Realmsend once housed near 2000 troops. It secrets lie in the town catacombs, which in Realmsend's hey day served as a barracks for the Realmsguard, a large store room for war supplies and a hold fast for the people when the town was under attack. Since the population of the town has diminished many of the levels of the catacombs have been sealed off to prevent creatures wandering up from the Stonecloak cave systems (For the catacombs connect to the Stonecloaks). Most people, including the realms guard all live above ground. Two levels of the catacombs are for domestic uses, such as warehouses and extra rooms. While below these levels the Realmsguard maintain 3 levels of barracks, store rooms and possible holdouts for invasion.
The town is also dominated by 5 large towers which have chambers sinking deep beneath the earth isolated from the rest of the catacombs. These towers watch over the four points of the compass while the fifth watches the town proper. Each tower not only has arrow slits and platforms for siege weapons but also a magical chamber containing a far see ritual podium. These rooms allow a magic user to focus on incoming threats for miles around the town, the north, south and east towers are used most often to watch for approaching invasions from the Outplains.
As the realmsguard have shrunk the number of men staffing each tower dwindled and they began to simply take up space. So lord wintershield re-alocated the use of four of the towers to civilians and one to himself, keeping the east tower as a military watch facility.
Central- Keep of Joran Wintershield (known by locals as Wintershield keep)
South- Warehouse and emporium of Tilly Daggerscold
West- Beersend the Tavern owned by Thror Alehorn
North- Held by Vellow greyscroll and Yona Nighteye, library and town
East- Watch tower manned by Luck the Realmsguard Sergeant at Arms
Realmsend itself lies on a long hill range which stretches north-south from the southern tip of the Elfswood to the northern foothills of Ironrange. The hills are bare and stony, however there most impressive feature lies beneath the surface. A considerable cave system riddles the hills, a fact originally unknown to the builders of Realmsend. These caves provide cover for raiders entering Crownsgift, however one of the first emperor's devised a system of keeping the monsters out, she stocked the caverns of the Stonecloaks with viscous Underdark monsters to stop raiders, although many goblins still 'run the gauntlet' since raiding provides excellent income.
Otherwise to the west the land is long flat moors covered in bracken and small copses of tree's. While the landscape looks bare the people of Crownsgift manage a living by cutting hay and raising live stock. However monsters and raiders from the Outplains are a frequent problem for those of Crownsgift.
To the east lies a wilder rockier region known as the Sonelands, an area cut by gorges and large boulders. These lands are untamed and so large forests still grow here , while the terrain is still largely trackless. Game hunting is good on the Outplains however there are also many monsters which roam the Outplains looking for prey.
What lies SouthEdit
If one follows the ridge line south (for there is no road) one would come to the foothills of the Ironrange mountains. The foothills are dotted by dwarven mines active and abandoned and small dwarven farming settlements, many of which are completely underground bar the animal pens and fields. These lands are relatively safe except for the occasional orc incursions from the Eastern Stonelands. If one goes south of the foothills of Ironrange and the mountains themselves one would reach the shores cliffs of the Flaming sea.
What lies WestEdit
To the west are the moors of Crownsgift, covering a wide area these lands contain many small remote communities off the beaten track. While a few forts and manors survive here many are in ruins after towns have been sacked by raiding parties from the east who have slipped under the Stonecloaks.
It is said that these lands were once inhabited by witches who ruled here since the age of legends. It is said that the emperor's refused to accept the authority of the witches and thus they pray on vulnerable imperials who pass down their roads, to appease them superstitious travellers leave offerings at road side alters.
It is also claimed that if one seeks out the hags and makes an oath of vassalisation they may make contracts with the hags. However the foul creatures demand high prices for their services which are almost always sinister in nature.
Further propagating the rumour that Crownsgift is an evil land are the 'Eldritch Watherings', magical storms which sweep the land turning harmless creatures into viscous killers. The horned alliance claim that these watherings are caused by a curse the last tiefling emperor left on Crownsgift (for it was his ancestral land). It is said it could only be removed if a tiefling was to sit on the throne.
What lies NorthEdit
To the north lies the swampy borders of the Elfswood inhabited by lizardfolk, troglodytes and some goblinoids. Beyond the 'Foulmoss' lies the southern border of the forest itself, in areas the swamps have been dredged (much to the hatred of the elven druids). This has mainly been done to make way for the dwarven logging consortium the Ironleaf Coster.
Tensions run high between the loggers and denizens of Elfswood with the northern human towns of Crownsgift often getting caught in the crossfire. However it is hard to dissuade the dwarves especially considering some of the wood in the forest is worth lots of money and is extremely rare. This leads to some complex antics pulled off by the dwarves to acquire the lumber.
The Ironleaf coster does also employs a large 'security force' made up of dwarves, mercenaries and viscous warforged constructs. This force is needed to oppose the gorilla resistance of elves, druids and even treants who try and sabotage the loggers operations. Although the Congress of seasons officially condemns the elven naturalists they take no meaningful action against them, and some have been led to believe that they may be Congress warriors in disguise.
What lies EastEdit
To the east of Realmsend stretch the barbaric wilderness of the Outplains, Stonelands and the Burned way. These lands have defied colonisation for hundreds of years with the emperors practically giving away grants of land to any willing to try and colonise. Alas nearly all efforts have failed due to the sheer number of barbaric goblonoids and monsters which inhabit the land.
This groups collectively known for there nomadic and often raiding lives are intolerant of those on their tribal lands. And when they are not having petty territorial disputes with neighbours are often raiding Crownsgift on the other side of the Stonecloaks. In days past these groups were real threats to the empire when powerful shamans and chieftains would unite the tribes and they would march against Realmsend or over the Stonecloaks. however in about 534 AE the treaty of Oathrock was forced upon the leaders of these tribes by the emperor and a legion of Realmsguard.
The chieftains were made to swear at a holy shrine, a hollow rock spire in the middle of the Stonelands to never attack the empire. Many of the older clan leaders had some strange code of honour and to this day have not led armies against the empire (though they consider raiding an entirely different matter). Yet tension builds in the Outplains as younger orcs, gnolls and goblins see the opportunity to reclaim what they see as theirs.
Another important point on what lies east is supposedly the mythic dragon Tarnaxys. After making the golden pact, Tarnaxys and a number of his most trusted advisors and best soldiers (many of them dragons) set out east to wait for a time of need. The dragons flew out beyond the known world and to prevent anxious followers left a hundreds of miles long wall of fire in their wake.
The wall lasted for one hundred years then eventually died down leaving a patch of thoroughly burned ground. This land is known as the burned way and is only traversed by the most daring Stoneland and Outplains tribes. The land is renowned for aberrations and monsters which maraud the area, a number of explorers have set out this way attempting to track the emperor, but none have ever returned.