Setting Information Like Woah.

The southern border of Eisengen is roughly marked by the west-south-westerly course of the river Narid. The land of the southern provinces is fertile and wet, with much of the year taken up in rains. Several large swamps dominate the Lower Reaches, including the Fallen Mere, which in ages past protected one of the High Temples of the Black Priesthood. The southern provinces have a huge amount of limestone, which, with the high water table in the area, are riddled with labyrinthine caves. The climate is temperate, with hot, wet summers and mild winters without much snow. The Kingsroad is notoriously difficult to maintain in this area, simply due to the wet, occasionally unstable terrain.

There are two cities of notable size in the southern provinces, and numerous small villages and settlements. Apolda is the largest civilized settlement in the area; it is strongly dominated by humans, although like all province capitals, it is ruled by one of the dragonborn. In this case, the Marchlady Girina Sothren. Apolda is the trading capital of the region, supporting about nine thousand people within its walls. It sits on one of the few granite shelves in the region, against the curve of the Narid called Trader's Bend. Riverboats are the primary means of trade travel in and out, and the city itself is built on top of the subterranean remains of a much older settlement, rumored to have been one of the training monasteries for the Black Priesthood. The second largest settlement in the southern provinces is Gera, a town of roughly 2,000 citizens. Gera is supported and maintained largely because it is the site of the 4th and 8th Legion Barracks, one of the main military strongholds in the southern region. Currently, the town is severely understrength: the Legions and most of the support personnel who make the town their home have been marched to the eastern front. So at the moment, Gera holds about 850 people, mostly the young, the old, and disabled veterans. The commander of the Barracks is Lt. General Donovan Redfist, a member of the Redfist clan of Dwarves. The civilian leader is Burgher Osler di Gera, a scarred, elderly human veteran of the Legions, himself. Other villages in the area include: Herne, Kassel, Koln, Bochum, and Trier, each one averaging about 200 souls.

The southern regions mostly produce foodstuffs for the rest of the country. Rice is the area's largest export, with most of the shores of the Narid studded with paddies. The northern areas, where the soil is slightly less damp, excel in producing root vegetables and melons, while the swamps (for those brave enough to venture therein) are the source of numerous rare herbs and animal products. The area is mineral-poor; even the few ore deposits or stone shelves are rarely mined, as they're usually mixed in with dangerous amounts of limestone, and limestone in this area is often unstable. Those few who still try their luck can occasionally find veins of jade, carbuncles, and onyx. Animals bred here are most often goats, which are a main food source as well.

As this is a rich, agrarian region which is currently without strong military presence, banditry has recently risen to considerable levels, particularly on the roads leading from the farming villages. Bandits are likely to take refuge in the area's generous limestone caves and tunnels, as well as use them for smuggling. There are rumors of underground rivers, offshoots of the Nerid, that can be used as a regular smuggling trade route. Getting rid of the bandits is not as easy as simply killing them, however, because many of the bandits are villagers and citizens who are required to grow food and keep the armies in the east fed. Capture and conscription (or the threat of conscription) is the typical punishment, but under the circumstances, a lot of bandits are falling through the cracks. In addition, the deep swamps defy civilizing influences, and are refuges for escaped criminals, defectors, and hostile humanoid races. The Fallen Mere has a particularly vicious reputation, with some claiming that necromancers and warlocks who have sworn the ancient pacts reside in the ruins at the center, plotting their revenge on the Dragon Kings. And that's not even counting the simple environmental dangers common to the meres: quicksand, sinkholes, predators, and carnivorous plants.


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