Taras writes "Nestled amid the margins of the Hollow Highlands and the northwestern fringes of the Rieuwood, the fief of Hoehle Bergland sits along the border between the Sud Graufult and the lands of Idee. Unlike the other fiefs, this one has no major town, and has a significantly smaller population, large numbers of whom are reletively pureblooded Suel.
Author: Taras Guarhoth
Fief of Hoehle Bergland
by Taras Guarhoth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Note: Small villages and hamlets dot the Sud Graufult. Many of these are quite small (40 people or less), and thus won't recieve any detail unless there's something significant there. Only those settlements with over 100 people, or some kind of fortification or adventuring area will be detailed.
The majority of the humans living within this fief are of Suel descent. As such, there are no chapels of Pholtus located in the villages. Instead, there will be a temple to the Suel gods (plus additional temples or shrines as noted).
The Suel of Hoehle Bergland can be broken into two different groups. Those who dwell along the main roads and in the larger villages, while still pure-blooded (for the most part), tend to be less hostile to outsiders. Those who dwell in the smaller hamlets that can be found dotting the hills tend to be extremely xenophobic and hostile to outsiders, and only will deal with them when forced to (usually by showing superior fighting capabilities or large numbers of soldiers). Outright violence between the residents of the fief is held in check because the xenophobic Suel distrust the Suel of other clans almost as much as they distrust non-Suel.
The seat of the remaining nobles of House Nashalla, this village boasts a keep along the Rieu River. Waldgraf Nahor Nashalla rules the village, and commands it's garrison of 75 soldiers. Located near the Rieuwood, with it's hostile elves, the village does boast a stockade, which is partially built of stone. The keep itself is of ancient construction, parts of it having been built prior to the rise of the Harashim in the area, and has been expanded over the centuries by House Nashalla, especially since it became the seat of their power, after the fall of Nashalach to the Aerdi.
A single inn exists within the village, and two additional taverns can be found here. In addition, a single shop that sells basic goods exists within the village, although the occasional traveling merchant trading luxury goods to the nobles does come through, about once a month on average.
Home to roughly 200 inhabitants, not counting the soldiers and residents of the keep, this village can be roughly split into three broad groups. The first is the pureblood Suel, who tend to live on the opposite side of the Rieu River from the keep (and get to the rest of the village via a wooden bridge). The Suel comprise roughly half the villagers. The second is the pureblood Harashim, of which about 50 live here, clustered around the keep. The third is the 50 gnomes and halflings, who dwell slightly north of the humans, in a large hill warren. The groups get along decently, with little conflict (probably helped by the presence of 75 armed soldiers in the nearby keep).
A larger than necessary Harashim temple can be found here, just outside the walls of the keep. It serves the small Harashim population, as well as the nobles and guards of House Nashalla. As such, it's relatively wealthy, and well decorated with precious metals. The gnomes and halflings have no temples, instead maintaining shrines to their assorted gods within their warren.
Rumors galore are spread about the Keep of Nashallahausen. Rumors of secret underground tunnels, filled with monstrous horrors, great treasure, lost knowledge, burial crypts, torture chambers, laboratories, and/or blasphemous temples. Rumors of plots hatched against the Suel, Oerids, and/or elves. Rumors of eldritch horrors controlling the minds of House Nashalla. And other, even more outlandish rumors. Of course, not a single bit of evidence exists for any of these rumors, and House Nashalla won't even dignify queries about them with a response.
The last settlement within the Sud Graufult on the road to Idee, this village serves as the first (or last) stop in the area for trade with Idee. A small market exists here, but most merchants push on to Olvanfurt, where they can get better prices for their goods. As such, two inns exist within the village, as can two shops selling basic goods and supplies to caravans. There are no taverns separate from the inns, though.
A small keep, housing 45 soldiers under the command of Lansgraf Jeconiah Nashalla, guards the village from banditry by the xenophobic Suel in the hills. Originally, only 20 soldiers were here, and the keep was just a fortified tower, but in 571 CY, a group of the Suel bandits the garrison is there to defend against raided the village...and stormed the tower, killing the Lansgraf and making off with a number of minor treasures, which were never recovered.
Situated where the Rieu River enters the Halmach, this village sits roughly in the center of the fief. Two wooden bridges connect the village to the opposite banks, with roads leading to Nashallahausen, Ideefurt, and Ingoldorf. A single inn can be found here, serving those traveling along the trade road, as can a single shop carrying basic goods for the locals.
A fortified tower guards this village, housing 30 soldiers under the command of Lansgraf Caleb Nashalla. The inhabitants of this village are roughly half Suel, and the other half being comprised of gnomes and halflings, who manage to get along with their Suel neighbors better than those in Nashallahausen do, although occasional "misunderstandings" do occur.
A couple of miles to the northwest of this village can be found the remains of a small keep, originally constructed by the Aerdi in the days after the defeat of House Nashalla. It never achieved any importance or population around it (as it wasn't located along a main road), and over the years, it slowly fell into disrepair. In 572 CY, a gang of bandits stormed the keep, and killed the last few soldiers there. The bandits retreated after looting the remains of the keep, before they could be destroyed, but it is rumored that they use the old keep as a place to hide out from time to time.
This village sits within the margins of the Rieuwood, and is protected by a stockade wall, as well as a small keep housing 45 soldiers. Lansgraf Amaziah Nashalla rules this settlement, and tries to keep an eye on the hostile elvish inhabitants of this area of the Rieuwood. Two taverns can be found in the village, as can a general store. No inns can be found here.
Most of the residents of this village are Suel, although a handful of Harashim and halflings do live here. None of elvish descent stay here for long, for they are not received well by the local populace, who have had to put up with attacks from the elves in the past (and most likely will have to endure them again in the future). Located nearby can be found a handful of small gnomish communities, although none of them live within the stockade of this village.
The elves attack the settlement about once every two years, although they have yet to get through to the keep. Many of the locals have been organized into a militia to aid the soldiers in fending off the elves, and to help them protect themselves when away from the walls of the village. There has been some talk of recruiting some of the local humanoids, as the Lansgraf of Marktbreit did, although so far, the humanoids around the village have been content to keep away from the humans.
Overview of the Sud Graufult
Note: Aerdy, Ahlissa, Sud Graufult, Sunndi"