The Haunted Highlands
Gazetteer of the Highlands
The following section is the Player’s Gazetteer of the Haunted Highlands. Within are the notes and descriptions of the various communities, human structures and geographical features of which the adventurers have first hand knowledge.
The Karboskian Marches
One important notation regarding the naming convention of the Haunted Highlands campaign. The campaign world is properly referred to as the Karboskian Marches and the political name of the geographic area is the Duchy of Karbosk. Duke Mandras Karbosk V, is the current ruler of the embattled frontier region.
However, the area is commonly referred to as the Haunted Highlands or simply the Highlands by its inhabitants. This reference is not to be confused with the specific geographic area north of the Witch Fens, which is also known as the Haunted Highlands and is the origin of the common name for the Karboskian Marches.
Communities & Structures
The following section details the cities, villages and other man-made structures of the Highlands.
Dirty Bowbie’s Roadhouse
Dirty’s Roadhouse sits atop a small bluff north of city of Dro Mandras. The square stone structure overlooks one of the major roads between Dro Mandras and the other settlements of the region. The establishment serves as a hub for merchants, soldiers, mercenaries and adventurers.
The roadhouse has a rough reputation, especially in the more civilized areas of the region. In Dro Mandras, the roadhouse is frequently spoken of in scornful terms by members of the city’s law enforcement, as a place where bounty hunters, bandits and other undesirables go to hide from the long arm of the law. Such talk is squelched however, in the presence of Dirty’s proprietor, a grizzled barbarian known only as “Bull”. Despite the foul reputation most “civilized” folk have for his establishment, Bull is well respected by military authorities, who have been known to call upon his sword and glaive in times of trouble. Learn more about Roadhouse culture?
Dro Mandras is the capital city of the Duchy of Karbosk and home to Duke Mandras Karbosk V, the current ruler. It is the largest and most populated trade center of the area and is the only regional settlement that could truly qualify as civiliation by most standards. The city was founded some 500 years ago by Duke Mandras Karbosk I and sits on the banks of the Mandras River. Over the last half century, Dro Mandras has stood as a symbol of human strength in the area in a savage frontier. That is until recently, when a horde of humanoids, led by the mysterious Orc King Yorgach descended upon the city. Now the eastern half of the city is occupied by foul humanoids, while the western city is under siege. Learn more about Dro Mandras?
Mysterious settlement deep within the Crater of Umeshti cavern complex.
Shackleford is a village west of the city of Dro Mandras. It is a farming community and both humans and halflings are know to make up its population. However, rumors of unrest between the human and halfling inhabitants are heard throughout the area surrounding the village.
This section details the various geographic features of the Karboskian Marches.
Crater of Umeshti
The famed Crater of Umeshti is a few days ride northwest of Dirty Bowbie’s Roadhouse. Once the site of a great city and a center of civilization, it was destroyed thousands of years ago. Although the sages are uncertain, it is said that during a great war between the gods, a meteor was thrown down at Umeshti, driving a shaft deep into the earth and completely destroying the powerful society that had once lived there. Now all that remains is a massive crater that sits high atop a mountain plateau. Located in the very center of the crater’s bowl is the yawning pit known as the sinkhole. A dark stench bellows forth from the pit and within are rumored to dwell foul beasts and unimaginable treasure.
This mighty inland lake is fed by the Mandras River and over the years has served as a formidable buffer between the Duchy or Karbosk and its parent kingdom, Rodensia. The barrier has allowed the Duchy to operate virtually independently from from Rodensia over the years.
The Mandras River is the major waterway of the Karboskian Marches. The headwaters of the mighty river originate somewhere in the northern mountains of the region and it eventually feeds into Lake Veyona. The great city of Dro Mandras sits upon the bank of the river and over the years has expanded with both the east and west banks.
Red Rock Hill
Red Rock Hill is the highest hill west of Dirty Bowbie’s. The hill gets its name from the unusual red limestone common in the area. Many in region claim there is a cavern complex nearby, though this is unconfirmed. Recently bandit activity in the region seems to have been centered around Red Rock Hill, though the raids seem to have mysteriously stopped recently.
This marshy area north of Dirty’s Roadhouse is also known as the “Witch Moors” to locals. The highland peat bog is known for its thick fogs and sucking mud pits which can drag a man or beast to its death in seconds. Despite these dangers, locals living on the edges of the bog will brave its dangers for the bounty of cranberries, sloe berries and peat, the latter of which may be dried and used to fuel their fires. None venture too deeply into this trackless moor however, for fear of the foul creatures rumored to reside within.
Witch Moor Hills
The Witch Moor Hills, as they are called by locals, refers to the hilly region both south and west of the Witch Fens. The rocky hills are all but devoid of civilization, as monsters and foul humanoids are known to reside in the area.