Tales of Tel'Palurin: Chains of Betrayal
Sofrlund is a kingdom located inside a large valley on the northwestern peninsula of Tel’Palurin, created by three mountain ranges:
-The Volrath to the west
-The Tarfingil to the north
-The Hernfari to the east
The Iron Coast forms the southern boundary of Sofrlund, which empties into the Silverfrost Sea. It is the primary means of entry into the kingdom, through various port cities. The only other entry is through Haemlin’s Pass in the northern region of the Hernfari mountain range, east of Roneth. Sofrlund is far enough north that during the winter the kingdom is completely isolated for three to four months as the bays of the port cities freeze, and Haemlin’s Pass is snowed in.
Sofrlund’s capitol is a major port city located on the Iron Coast, and is accessed by Stonewall Bay. It serves as a focal point for trade, exporting large amounts of wheat, barley and other hardy crops that can survive the frigid weather.
A trade city located up the Rolgath River north of Skeld where the river spills into Edgtho Lake, and splits into the Nostring River heading northwest, and Sjording River heading northeast. Edgtho is primarily a fishing village and trading port for river barges. It is about two days’ ride from Skeld.
A remote trading community in the southeastern region of Sofrlund, sheltered by an arm of the Hernfari. Helfdein sits at the base of Mount Kolgrath in the Dragon’s Jaw. Pottery, masonry and lumber are the primary exports of Helfdein. It is three days’ ride from Nartig.
A major trade city located at the mouth of Haemlin’s Pass in the northern region of the Hernfari, bordering Hartigli Lake where the Sjording River meets the lake. Roneth does a fair amount of mining in silver. It is 5-6 days’ ride north-northeast of Edgtho.
A mining city located in the northern region of Sofrlund in an arm of the Tarfingil. Rethel brings out vast amounts of silver, iron and copper. It is 3 days’ ride east-northeast of Freida, and about 6 days north-northwest of Edgtho.
A trade city used as a stopping point between Edgtho and Rethel, which also houses a military fort. It is 3 days’ ride northwest of Edgtho.
A port city located on the eastern edge of the Iron Coast west of Helfdane which produces prize sailing ships. It is 5-6 days’ ride east-southeast of Skeld.
A military fort which serves as a midpoint between Roneth and Rethel. It is about 2-3 days’ ride in either direction.
A farming community bordering a military fort which serves as a stopping point between Edgtho and Roneth. It primarily exports grains and livestock. It is about 3 days’ ride north of Edgtho, and about 1 days’ ride east of Freida.
An outsiders’ community created as a haven for nonhumans suffering persecution. It borders Jargunting, a lake in the southern region of the Volrath. Little trade is done with the community, so it has become self-sufficient through the rationing of fish, lumber, ore, grains and livestock it is able to produce from the surrounding lands. It is about 4-6 days’ ride west of Edgtho or Skeld.
Numerous small villages dot the countryside, and caravans move constantly along the roadways between the trade cities. These roadways follow the major rivers, the Hartigli and the Sjording, and trace the Tarfingil to the north, outlining the Forgotten Plains, which comprise a major portion of the central landmass of Sofrlund. These plains are said to be inhabited by savage tribes and monstrous beasts. A massive mesa occupies the very center of the plains, upon which resides Ralgolith Keep, a dark and forbidding fortress.
It is said an evil presence inhabits the keep, waiting for any being foolish enough to attempt the arduous trek across the plain. For this reason, the ‘safe’ roads bordering the plain, and the rivers bordering the roads, are heavily patrolled by military forces to keep the caravans and travellers safe from any of the plains’ inhabitants that should venture out of that forbidding land.
Due to the enclosing mountains, Sofrlund sees little precipitation, except in the depth of winter, and the height of summer after the snowmelt. Winters are frigid, frost-bitten affairs, and when rain or snow does finally cap the mountains, they always arrive as a fierce torrential downpour or a raging blizzard, leaving floods or waist-high snows in their wake. The summers are short and cool, providing just enough time to plant and grow the next crop before harvest time. Much of Sofrlund’s spring, summer and fall is spent preparing for the next winter. During the spring, the rivers swell with the excess of runoff from the mountainsides. Pine and other coniferous forests are abundant near the base of the mountains and around the lakes, but recede quickly on the open ground, where water is less abundant and fades quickly. Hills are a common terrain feature.
Port cities tend to be built of stone, as lumber is much less abundant near the seashores. Stone is also common construction throughout the rocky land, especially near the mountain ranges. Cities located near the mountain ranges and lakes also have a higher percentage of wood construction from the more readily-available supply of lumber.
The Sofrlending are roughly 50% human, with the remainder comprising a mix of races, leaning heavily on Orcs, Delverdil (dwarves), Saakari (shifters) and mixed races, what the Sofrlending call Halfmen (half-elves, half-orcs, etc). Due to some harsh incidents in its past, human Sofrlending tend to be fearful of, and even violent towards, nonhumans. It is rare to see any large groups of nonhumans living in any of the major cities, even rarer to see any who live peacefully. Nolting is an outsiders’ community in the southeastern region of Sofrlund where most nonhuman Sofrlending gather together for protection. Common enemies such as Orcs, Elvandril (wild elves) and Delverdil live in close proximity under the common persecution from the human Sofrlending, carving out what meager existence they can.
The events leading to this paranoia include the presence of a plague-ridden elf, who wandered into the kingdom some 8 centuries past. The enclosed environs and hearty trade of the kingdom meant that the plague burned hard and fast, killing a high percentage of the population before the plague finally burned itself out. The kingdom took almost 4 centuries to recover from the aftereffects of the plague. Some 100 years after the recovery, a Delverdil traveller stumbled out of Haemlin’s Pass, savaged and dying from some foul monster’s attack. He died soon after arriving, but his body disappeared. Soon after, savage killings rent the Sjording trade route (then called the Relgar) from Roneth through Edgtho, and finally into the hills around Helfdein. It was here that the king of Sofrlund, Hyrolf Sjordar, formerly a Helfdane ranger, found telltale signs of the beast, tracked it to its lair and killed it, later dying of his own wounds. The Relgar trade route and river were renamed the Sjording. His body was laid to rest in the hills known as the Ancestors’ Repose, south of Helfdein. But the killings did not stop. The cries of the beast could still be heard, and many believe that the ghost of the creature continues to haunt the hills of the Ancestor’s Respose. It was vowed that no king could take the throne of Sofrlund until Hyrolf’s work was complete so his soul could rest, and the Council of Sovereigns was appointed from the 7 human noble houses to care for the kingdom. Hyrolf’s half-dwarven queen, Dranyssad Steelheart, was ousted by the Council, driving a wedge further between the human and nonhuman Sofrlending. Any who ventured into the Ancestors’ Repose to lay the spirits of the fallen king and his quarry to rest did not return, and the hills are now a haunted, cursed place.
- Ancestors’ Repose
- Edgtho Lake
- Forgotten Plains
- Gulf of Skeld
- Hartigli Lake
- Hernfari Range
- Jargunting Lake
- Mount Kolgrath
- Nostring River and Trade Route
- Ralgolith Keep
- Relgar River/Trade Route – See ‘Sjording River and Trade Route’
- Rolgath River
- Roneth Pass
- Sjording River and Trade Route
- Tarfingil Mountains
- Toldt Trade Route
- Volrath Mountains