Tuesday, November 26, 2019

O'er The Lands of the Realms: Chimeron (Part 1)

by Jason "Aeston" Rosa



Description by Pat "Saka" Bobell

Introduction


Several nations are (and others once were) a part of the Kingdom of Chimeron, but at the heart of them all is the land of Chimeron proper. A storied place of magic and bounty, Chimeron is thoroughly intertwined with Faerie, and was lost to the Mysts until nearly thirty years ago as I write this. In the year 991, Chimeron proper reappeared to the Realms and was reestablished by Queen "Meg" Marguerite. Much has changed in the lands of Chimeron proper and its people through the past twenty-eight years of activity. Countless threats emerged and were vanquished. Nations rose to prominence and fell away. In the year 1002, Queen Meg went under the Hill to ensure Chimeron's continued survival. King Pyr then reigned until he took his place as Oracle of the Deep Fae in 1010. In the time since, the lands have continued to flourish under the rule of King Alexander Cecil.

As with many parts of the Realms, our land was naught but mountains, lakes, rivers, and rolling green hills and plains following the scourge of Bedlam, but Chimeronians are nothing if not industrious and proud of their home. In the years since the Infinite Dark's defeat, we have rebuilt and continued to develop our lands, taking great care to respect our history, our connection to Fae, and our role as a hub of trade and civilization within the greater Realms.

I have spent many a night flying above Chimeron, and more days than I care to count traveling to inspect Militia garrisons. I expect I know the lay of the land as well as anyone, though my grasp of detailed history is somewhat lacking. Nevertheless, I find myself writing a brief summary of landmarks within Chimeron proper to accompany Lord Aeston's fine cartography. The various villages and towns and smaller geographic features in Chimeron are a multitude, and both Lord Aeston and I thought it prudent to omit most from the map and this summary in favor of usability. Friends of Chimeron who wish to familiarize themselves with such minutiae are welcome to peruse (most of) my auxillary maps and ledgers at their leisure. For those of you who simply desire to travel or conduct business within Chimeron and know what is what while you are here, this map and information should be a great plenty. Should you discover any inaccuracies, please let me know.

Sir Sakariasvafnir Keeneye of Clan Rua Thar Cinn, Warlord of Chimeron
Monday the 25th Day of November of Year 1019


Cities


Chimeron

If the heart of the Kingdom is Chimeron proper, the heart of Chimeron proper is Chimeron City. (It is Chimeron all the way down.) A bit southward from the end of the Whitestone Mountain range, and near the western bank of the Rowan, "Chim City" is home to Chimeron Castle, the notorious Bar & Wench and the Scarlet Torch establishments, the main Militia Barracks, and many of Chimeron's active adventurers. Court is held daily in the throne room, unless it is not. It really depends on what else is going on. While Chimeron City has many fine inns, it is recommended that travelers make advance arrangements for their stay given the large volume of visitors and traders in the city throughout the year. The various marketplaces each have something special to offer, though the finest goods are typically found in the shops along High Street. Hardly a week goes by without a new play, concert, artisan exhibition, or some such thing taking the city by storm, so there should be plenty to enjoy if you have some time during a visit.

Norfork

If you take the northern road from Chimeron City and do not stray from the densely-wooded path, you will find yourself in Norfork. Situated at the intersections of roads from Banecroft, Qua Taereth Nunna, and Chim City, this is a city that knows what it is about. There is little arable land, so the main focus here is catering to trade, travel, and keeping livestock. There is some excellent metalwork being done here, thanks to all the mining towns skirting the Whitestone Mountains and more timber than the lumberjacks know what to do with.

Duskwatch

I do not have much to say about Duskwatch. It is deep within the wildest of our forests, and with all the soft spots a consistent path through the trees is not really an option. The location on this map is only approximate - I gave Lord Aeston my best guess from flying overhead. My experience with the people there has been positive, despite their seclusion. All very even-keeled, hardworking folk. Most seem to be experts in their respective trades.

Brighton

Brighton was a town which went by a different name before Bedlam struck, but it was refounded and grew much larger than before as a new home to a sizeable Militia garrison near our border with Darkvale. Many of Chimeron's finest come up through the ranks in Brighton, and the Rangers there have been doing excellent work scouting for the always-impending conflict. Travel north from Brighton is highly discouraged. Those looking to reach Pax Tharkus should detour southward to Fort Griffindor, then west and north through Eagle's Rook and Blackavar. (A rudimentary road between Blackavar and Wren is in progress.)

Fort Griffindor

Following the Faerill River south from Brighton, Fort Griffindor is the home of - you guessed it - Griffindor! Their walls are 4 miles to a side, each perfectly facing in one of the cardinal directions. While it has historically been the target of much destruction, Fort Griffindor is only second to Chimeron City in strength and size in all of Chimeron proper. (This pairs nicely with Griffindor's tenets to to defend the innocent, provide for those who have no lord of their own, and to defend Chimeron and the Realms.) With a lake, river access within the Fort, and east-west trade flowing with Eagle's Rook, business is booming for those who call Griffindor home. If you have not yet experienced it, I highly recommend a walk along the river bank near the north wall early in the morning. That stretch of river is less developed and incredibly peaceful, and watching the sun rise over the far eastern wall is a treat.

Pinedale

Our other primary trade hub with Eagle's Rook is Pinedale, aptly named for the coniferous forest it was mostly built from. Getting from Pinedale to other larger cities within Chimeron involves either circuitous boat routes or slow overland travel along smaller roads to Fort Griffindor. As a result, most economic activity results from local logging, fishing, agriculture, and trade between Eagle's Rook and Rhiassa. I am told the Pinedale Distillery puts out top-notch...some sort of alcohol. Not really my area of expertise.

New Fleetwood & Eastfleet

Hopping all the way over to where the Mudbrook River flows into the Rowan, New Fleetwood and Eastfleet are the bustling homes to Chimeron's merchant marine. While New Fleetwood was established right where Fleetwood stood pre-Bedlam, Eastfleet sprang up in an effort to more quickly meet the needs of river traders supplying all the reconstruction efforts. In the years since, the cities have regulated trade such that ships exporting from Chimeron all pass through New Fleetwood, while those delivering goods within Chimeron must register their cargo in Eastfleet. (They claim this is because taking the traderoad north from Eastfleet is easier than sailing north against the current. I would hazard a guess that their trade officials spent too much time around folks from Ashenmark evangelizing bureaucratic processes and colorful charts.)

Willow Hearth

While this is a newly rebuilt city, there is a fair amount of old Chimeronian wealth here. The land east of the Whiteleaf River is so fertile this little corner of Chimeron proper grows fully thirty-four percent of our domestic produce. The architecture of the city is quite impressive, though I am glad I had the opportunity to see it before the reconstruction. Some of the noble families have magically aged their properties to try to recapture the ambiance of bygone Willow Hearth, but it is not quite the same.

Stoneroot

Last but certainly not least, we have Stoneroot. An unassuming name for a large city, but many of the folks who make this their home are anything but. It takes a certain type of character to live "in Chimeron's elbow," as some say. Some time ago a decent amount of trade bound for Paradise passed through, but since those lands were folded into Chimeron proper and mostly reclaimed by nature, the former trade hub has mostly become known for fortune hunters heading into the hills after cursed treasure and caravan guards for hire on the road up to Cawdyll. If you ask me, those stories are overblown and Stoneroot is mostly home to folk looking for the opportunities life in a Chimeronian city brings, but with a smaller price tag than the alternatives. There is, however, no denying that Stoneroot has a unique charm to it.

Other Landmarks


The Crown's Road

A marvel of modern magical masonry, The Crown's Road is forty feet wide and runs east-to-west all the way from Stoneroot, through Chimeron City and Fort Griffindor, to the northern bridge into Eagle's Rook. That entire length is seamless stone, curved just enough to ensure rainwater runs off to either side of the road. I consider myself fairly good with both magic and my hands, but I do not rightly know how this masterpiece was made.

Forests

You should probably stay on the path.
You may still end up in Fae.
You have been warned.

McKrye Pass

This is the most convenient mountain pass to get between Qua Taereth Nunna and most of Chimeron on one side, and Cawdyll, Blackwater, and Fairhaven on the other. Folks who have had too much ale might try to sell you on the notion that the McKrye chopped the pass out with an axe.

Mirror Lake

It does not make sense, but this large lake between Chimeron City and Fort Griffindor is almost always perfectly still. Even the surfaces of the fairly large, flowing rivers fail to show any visible trace of a current until you get about twenty feet away from the lake. Many around Chimeron call it "the Looking Glass of the Gods". For those of you who can fly, gliding over on a clear, starry night is a wondrous experience.

Waystones

Over the past two years, Captain Orion has led a project to have tall stone pylons placed roughly every half-mile along the major roads throughout Chimeron proper. Each pylon, or "waystone" as they have come to be called, is engraved with a unique number and shows the direction and distance to the nearest settlements from its position. At night or in inclement weather, the engravings are magically illuminated for legibility (and to serve as beacons if conditions are sufficiently poor).

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