Autumn Land

The continent of Autumn Land is a temperate and fairly moist area, well-watered by ample snowfalls in winter, and rain in spring, making the land quite fertile. The humans and halflings of Autumn Land tend to be fair-skinned with lighter hair colors, with more swarthy and dark-haired specimens found to the south.

Places of Note
Caer Caloth: Called the Fairy Palace by non-elves, Caer Caloth is on the northern end of the great elven city of Calomaer, and is where the royal family takes its refuge. This achingly beautiful structure has spires that seem to have been made of twisting silver and gold, and it gleams with an inner light that shines even in the darkest of night, said to come from the life force of elves everywhere. Races without elven or fae heritage are almost never invited (and invitations are required for those without such heritage), and even those who are so invited are seldom welcome. Exceptions are those dubbed "elf friends," who are allowed the same privilidges as all good-aligned elves and fae, who may approach the castle when they please, though the do not generally stay for long, as guests who are not expected do not have arrangements made for them to stay in the palace. Many of the most precious treasures of the elven kingdom are stored here, or at least those that have functional or ceremonial uses.

Assaram School: On the highest peak on the eastern side of the Harkness mountain range, called Paradise Peak by many, is the home of a shadowy, little-known organization - the Assaram school of assassins. Ruled by Hassan, the Old Man of the Mountain (actually a hereditary title, though most think that Hassan has been alive since the founding of his school), spies, ninjas and assassins come here for training in the most powerful and secretive arts of their trade in exchange for their loyal service. The Assaram school has strong principles in who they will allow to hire them, but they are known for being professionals, and for staying bought once they take on a contract. While not good by any standard, the Assaram school is not an evil organization, though it is known for shadowy manipulations that can often put its members into conflict with the forces of good. All who go to the Assaram school are sworn to loyalty for a year and a day, whereupon they are allowed to choose to continue service for another year and a day, or to end their contract and leave. The only restriction on these former Assaramites is that they do not reveal the secrets of the Assaram school. Those who do are known for dying in truly memorable, public fashions, as a warning to others who might try the same.

Hill Country: Located in the gap between Aelfheim and the Council of Wands, the Hill Country used to be the site of a now-fallen civilization of some of the first humans on Therafim, and ruins with their lost riches and the wicked results of their first dark experimentations into magic dot the landscape. Also present are small robber baronies, especially closer to the Freeholds, and roaming tribes of savage humanoids.

Icedagger Cape: Located just beyond the southernmost reaches of the Granite Mountains, on the eastern side, Icedagger Cape is a major pirate port. The hills on the western side of the Cape form a large natural barrier against storms, making it ideal for a quiet port, while the treacherous rocks and reefs off its southern coast make Icedagger Cape almost impossible to navigate except for the most expert of sailors, or those who know its secrets. Needless to say, these safe passageways into the cove of Icedagger Cape are carefuly guarded trade secrets of the pirates who make their homes here, made all the more precious because they change at different times, as the tide rises and falls, and different seasons bring different weather.

Terrain Features
Harkness Mountain Range: While not especially tall as peaks go, the Harkness mountain rage is extremely craggy and treacherous, and prone to some of the worst weather on the Autumn Land continent. It is a noted dwelling place for a variety of terrifying creatures, especially the undead, as well as a site for various evil acts, performed by deranged cultists. The entire range is noted as being an unholy site, though there are a few monasteries manned by especially brave and holy crusaders against darkness. Aelfheim to the north keeps itself protected by the presence of the Winnowen, which has enough evil of its own to balance out that of the mountain range, and the Freeholds to the south occasionally mount expeditions to deal with the most onerous of threats to their way of life, though they generally prefer to hire adventuring parties willing to do the job for them whenever possible, preferring to fight each other to unholy hosts.

Blade River: A curving and treacherous river, relatively shallow and prone to rapids, but also one of the fastest routes from the Harkness mountains down to the sea and up again, making those willing and able to successfully take their trade goods along it in high demand.

Sweet River: The Sweet river is gentle and slow-moving, but also less useful as a trade route because of its relatively narrow region of flow. It primarily serves as a source of water to keep the Freeholds fertile, as it has ample runoff, allowing it to be used for irrigation with minimal effort, and as a natural barrier in dividing up the Freeholds.

Sorrowmarsh: A more terrible place would be hard to find, as the Sorrowmarsh is an extensive, far-reaching marshy region that is easily the size of many nations. This, of course, is appropriate, as it has swallowed several fallen civilizations over the course of its history. It starts as a freshwater swamp to the north, and becomes a saltwater marsh near the sea. As such, the flora and fauna encountered throughout the Sorrowmarsh is extremely varied, and most of it is quite hardy. Trolls, amphibian folk such as bullywugs, and scaleykind such as lizardfolk, are the primary population groups in the Sorrowmarsh, and they tend to be rather hostile to outsiders. There are some tribes of lizardfolk who are less hostile, most of them in the freshwater regions of the Sorrowmarsh, and who may even be friendly to those who make it worth their while, but outside of these rare exceptions, life in the Sorrowmarsh is a vicious fight for survival. If it weren't for the vast treasures of those ancient, abandoned civilizations that lie within its borders, untouched save for the occasional brave troll that might pluck a trinket or two for personal use and decoration, there would be little reason to go into this dangerous place.

Dragon Rivers: These long, broad rivers are the major trade routes for the Autumn Land on the western side of the Granite Mountains. Starting at the same origin, they split into two courses to part around Havensmont, and then meet up again at Silver Mirror Lake, only to split once more, the western path feeding the Sorrowmarsh, while the eastern path feeds into the ocean, passing by the Great Green. Much of the Council of Wands is built along these rivers, which form its trade lifeblood.

Havensmont: The large mountain that extends like a jutting spike to the heavens and splits the Dragon Rivers into two branches. The lands between the rivers are exceptionally fertile, and are seldom troubled by outside invaders, making them a perfect haven for the peaceful-minded. Also the site of an ancient tomb where dread deathless warriors and evil undead warriors are said to forever engage battle on the site where they died.

Silver Mirror Lake: A large freshwater lake fed from the Dragon Rivers, where a large fishing and logging community, Paulton, has established itself, making use of the lake as well as careful harvests from the Great Green.

Great Green: The Great Green is often described as a massive sea of trees, and this is not an inappropriate description. As a bountiful temperate rainforest, it is a place teeming with life of all sorts. Savage humanoids and beastfolk are almost the only races to properly make their homes inside of its depths, though some hardy humans live in small settlements on its fringes, lured by a chance to get away from the troubles of the rest of the world. However, the Great Green is much like the woods in any fairy tale, filled with danger, and unknown possibilities around every corner the moment that one steps off the already too-scant paths that run through it. Legend has it that the Great Green was also the site of a vast magical kingdom, of which the Council of Wands is a pale descendant. If these legends are to be believed, the Great Green's phenomenal growth and vibrancy, as well as its hostility to all attempts to clear its timber or foliage, are the result of the magic of this fallen realm, which is said to have several ruins that the brave might still explore for the loot of ages.

Granite Mountains: A truly massive range of mountains, perhaps the most extensive on Therafim, with an equally vast network of tunnels and caverns. The Granite Mountains are vastly mineral rich, and are the source of almost half of the metals and other minerals on Therafim. Giants are especially common on the surface of the Granite Mountains, as are roving tribes of hardy beastfolk, while the lands beneath the Granite Mountains contain the realms of Thardun, Kardun, and Zenomael.

Lost Valley: Nestled between two ridges of the Granite Mountains is a strange place where time itself seems to have held still for countless years. Here, dinosaurs still roam the land freely, the only place on the Autumn Land where such creatures can be found naturally occuring, as well as a host of other savage primeval beasts. Valley itself is divided into three parts by the locals. The northern region is ruled by powerful and ancient rakshasa who calls himself the Maharaja. To the south, Venom, a city of the Yuan-Ti, and the only significant population of these cunning snakefolk, dominates the region, and often sends out its spies and assassins in attempts to infiltrate the lands and peoples outside of the valley. Finally, in the middle of these two factions is a tribe of halflings that have gone partially savage, the Blueskin tribe (named after their tendency to dye their skins blue and green when hunting), though they are friendly to all nonhostile outsiders to the valley, if rather shy, preferring to watch from a distance to determine the intentions of others before interacting.

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