Udum Plateau

Land Weather Fauna Flora

LAND

Once the Valley of Vrann, a beautiful valley sacred to the Gaellians, Udum is now the capital region of Daenor. The lush rivers which once fed the vale are tainted and dark, and the plains are desolate and rocky. Covered by perpetual shadow and enchantment, little grows here now, and the nature spirits who once called the Vale home are either dead or corrupt. The main strong-hold of Carakum is located here, and the region is commonly referred to as The Pit. Almost circular in area, the mountains which serve as bounderies were rumoured to have been created by magic long ago, an enchantment designed to keep the Spirits protected from mortal men. Whatever their origin, the mountains serve as a formidable barrier to attackers and assailants.

The Dark Mountains: Standing an average height of 13,000' these dark mountains form the northern boundary of Udum. The Ered Vor are snowcapped nearly all year round, and in winter the snows reach down to the plateau itself. The Ered Vor are a major source of iron and copper. The northern range is not as well-defended as the southern Ered Norsa, but is still lined with Orcish towers and fortresses.

Balzot's Reach: A Volcano located in the Ered Vor, Balzot's Reach (Kim-Balzotik) was originally a sacred site for the worship of Balzot, and he was believed to communicate with worshippers inside the hot caverns. Originally the High Temple of the Black Fangs stood here, until a large deposit of black Laen was discovered inside. Since then, the temple has moved, and the volcano serves as the largest smithy in the Daenorim lands. consisting of several fortresses and miles of underground workshops, the smithies are responsible for the production of the finest Daenorim weapons and artifacts. The forges are manned by Arim and slaves, with enchantments cast by Servants of Lore, or captive magicians.

The Norsan Mountains: Reaching up to 15,000' the Ered Norsa dwarf even the Ered Vor. Originally the center of an old Norsan kingdom, many giant ruins and towers still remain, standing testament to its past. In addition, Giants, degenerate descendants of the once-proud Norsan Empire, roam the mountains at whim. Whilst most have sworn allegiance to the Shadowmage, still many cause trouble in the region, attacking Yamaile's foces. For this reason the Stone-Fists have built their fortress here. The Ered Norsa are heavily fortified and garrisoned against possible attacks from the south or east.

The Mi'Nor Plains Standing lower than the surrounding plateau, the Mi'nor plains are actually a hollow in the Pit. In winter these northern plains are treacherous, thick with snow and susceptible to avalanches from the Ered Vor. However, during the peak of summer, they are actually the hottest part of the land, with extreme temperatures. The Mi'nor plains are home to the majority of the Arim, who build villages near to the mountains, and occasionally within. The majority of Arim dwellings are along the Gaellian River.

The Gi'Zan Plains These plains compose high plateau upon which most of Udum stands. The plains have an elevation of 1000' above sea level. As such, the plains are constantly cold, and in winter covered with perpetual snow. During the summer, the lands are dry and sandy, with very little plant life, and covered in a reddish dust. These plains are the roaming ground for many nomadic tribes of Orcs, and Dark Men from the west. Henges and standing stones are scattered around the plains.

Lake Gaellia: Lake Gaellia is formed where the Gaellian River meets another hollow, similar to the Mi'Nor plains, to the north. Once believed to be the home of Gaellis, the Gaeliian God, the lake was considered sacred, and the location of a vast temple dedicated to the Kaltoi gods. Now, the temple has been replaced by the Temple of Eternal Flame. Once home to many fair water spirits, the shadow has corrupted them, making them foul abominations. Feeding on life-force, these spirits drag men from their boats or from the shores to feed on them. Only the priests themselves seem to have control over the spirits.

Lu-Bez: Lu Bez, or Death-Vale, serves as a natural entrance into Udum. A narrow vale between two outcrops of mountains, the road climbs steeply from the Emyn Beraid to the Gi'Zan plains. Death-Vale is guarded by two main gates, located at the top and bottom of the slope. Both are double-gated and made of Eog. Standing over 200' high, the gates are manned by over 100 troops each. In addition to this, killing chambers line the road, carved into the mountains themselves.

The Gaellian River: Once deemed sacred, the Gaellian river flows from the Ered Vor to Lale Gaellia. The lake is wide, and serves as a transport route, taking weapons to the nearby towns, and Carakum via the lake. The river is also a great source of iron ore for the Arim who live nearby.

The Teric River: Originating in the mountains, this river cascade over 900' before flowing east to the great city of Melye-Terric. The Teric river is often lined with merchant ships, taking trade upstream to the villages.

The Gi'No River Another source of Lake Gaellia, the Gi'no river is a favoured place for fishing.

 

WEATHER AND CLIMATE

The weather is Daenor in divided into two sections; the Udum Plateau, and the rest of the land. The Udum plateau itself is a desolate place. During the winter and autumn seasons the land is covered in deep and perpetual snow, and the mountains are hidden in a thick mist. During the summer, the temperatures reach quite high, due in part to the Larador Wind, which is trapped in the mountains and warms the land. Rainfall is rare, but heavy, drenching the dust-covered lands, and dust-storms are a common occurance. The summer rains are known as Ki'arma (B. Monsoons), and happen at almost predictable times. The rivers swell and flood dramatically. The Mi'nor plains experience even more dramatic changes. Wind and cooling breezes seldom reach the low-lying hollow, and the heat becomes intense. The rain-fall and expanding Gaellian river means that sometimes the entire hollow is flooded with up to a foot of water.

MONTHS

TEMP (RAINFALL)

1. Naiza (winter) -20-15 degrees (Snowy)
2. Nizui (winter) -20-15 degrees (Snowy)
3. Kwaer (winter) -15-10 degrees (Snowy)
4. Kwiza (spring) 0-35 degrees (snow/rain)
5. Loga (spring) 35-45 degrees (Mod. Rain)
6. Nuri (spring) 40-60 degrees (Heavy Rain)
7. Ker'vaz (summer) 50-70 degrees (Heavy Rain)
8. Uru (summer) 60-85 degrees (Mod. Rain)
9. Iwanez (summer) 65-90 degrees (Normal)
10. Narvel (autumn) 55-75 degrees (Rainy)
11. Hiza (autumn) 35-20 degrees (Snowy)
12. Giri (autumn) 20-15 degrees (Snowy)

 

DAYS OF THE WEEK

1. Balzo'na
2. Hik'na
3. Mor'na
4. Shak'na
5. G'li'na
6. Kari'na
7. Gurber'na

FAUNA

Fell Wolves- Unlike their domesticated brethren, these wolves roam wild, prowling the entire plateau. They are constanly hungry, and will eat men and Arim as often as lesser beasts. The topmost mountains are the only places where the wolves do not venture. Either white or grey in colour, these wolves are both feared and admired for their fierceness.

Golden Eagles- Nestling high in the mountains, the eagles are a common site on the plateau, especially during summer. Their staple foods are the rats and vermin which make the plateau their home. The Eagles are a favoured food of the Arim.

Crebain- Large, black crows of limited intelligence, the Crebain are feared by the common folk of Daenor as an omen of bad-luck. Most sensible folk will kill a Crebain upon sight. In truth, they are used as spies by both Yamaile and the Black Fang.

Rodents- Rodents abound on the dusty plains and highlands of Udum. Rats, hares, mice and beavers all make the desolate lands their own. Rats occupy the majority of cities, and are another favoured food of the Arim. Bats are also common in the caves and belfries of Udum, and are a common pest. Bats, like Crebain, are used as spies for Yamaile.

Mi'asqa- A large black and white porcupine native to the Plateau. They roam the lowlands and scattered forests of Udum. The Mi'asqas are kept by Orcs in pens, and their spiny hides are used as armour.

Herd Animals- A large variety of herd animals are found on the plateau. Reindeer, moose and Caru (great Elk) roam the plains, easy prey for the nomad Orcs, villagers and wolves. They are the main diet of the Gaellians. In addition, mountain goats live high in the mountains.

Ichi'Sin- These giant slugs occupy the Mi'Nor plains, emerging only in summer, when the low plains are damp and rain-inflicted. During the inter they stay undeground, in deep mountain caverns. They reach lengths of up to 30.' The Snails are tained by the Arim to be cratures of war. Although slow, they are easily trained and can carry large weapons into combat, as well as vast amounts of troops. They are also able to climb walls, making attacks on fortresses much easier. Ichi'Sin feed on leaves and plants, and are generally passive but stubborn. They are considered sacred to the Arim.

Khi'Sin- Related to the Ichi'sin, these are giant snails reaching a length of 25.' They occupy the Mi'Nor plains, living and feeding at the river Gaellia. Their armoured shells are ideal in war; they can be used as tanks, or armour for siege weapons. Some Arim even build vast towers on their backs, and use them as lookout, siege and archer towers.

Zha'an- Not unlike a sting-ray, the Zha'an hide themselves under the surface of the dusty Udum plateau, and remain there unless disturbed. If stepped on or bothered they will curl up and wrap themselves around the offending limb. They have leech like mouths which they use to feed on blood. Their normal diet is of rodents or even insects. During winter they retreat to the rivers.

DOMESTICATED ANIMALS

Shujak- Bred by Orcs as steeds, the Shujak are simply huge, savage wolves. Their demeanor and temperament match those of their riders. They are aggressive to all other creatures of the wild, and are comfortable both above and below ground. When not ridden, they are often used as trackers.

Beamok- A giant battle boar, these creatures are bred by the Orcs for their elite warriors. They are 8'-11' long, and are fearsome when ridden into combat. They are greay or black in colour with exceptionally large tusks. They are tough to kill, and fight to the death.

Nhuk- The Nhuk are giant bats raised by Orcs to be ridden in combat. Vicious and semi-intelligent, Nhuk are great aerial steeds. They feed on blood, and Orcs gather corpses to sustain them during times of peace, and let them feed on the battle-field during war.

Gae'smar- Also known as Fell Beasts, these draconian creatures serve as flying steeds for the Daenorim, especially the Bane. They resemble huge featherless birds, but have thick scaly hides. Their wings are membranes stretched over bone, like that of a bat. It stinks of rotting carrion, its favourite food, and its body is so foul that its blood and excrement kills the hardiest plants. Fearless, and mighty warriors, the Gae'smar nest in mountain tops near their masters' lairs, or sometimes in foul-smelling belfries atop their towers.

OTHER CREATURES:

Wild Trolls- Unlike the War Trolls who are intelligent enough to serve the Shadowmage, wild Trolls live in small tribes in caves or abandoned ruins. Coming in three forms- hills trolls, mountain trolls and snow trolls- they are a constant source of menace for the Gaellians, as they raid the farms and herds of the villagers, not to mention eating unwary peasants. The Shadow-Mage encourages their presence, however, controlling them in times of need. They often stash large amounts of treasure, usually stolen from villages are unfortunate victims. The trolls are active only at night, avoiding the destructive power of the sun.

Giants- Living in the Norsan Mountains, the Giants very rarely venture down into the lowlands and avoid civilized areas. Their presence on Udum's southern border keeps Dwarves and nosey Salacians away. Unlike Trolls, giant possess very little treasure- thier ample size means they find it hard to sneak up on any victims.They are short-sighted and weak-willed, andit is remarkably easy to hide from them. They are not fussy eaters, and will cheefrully devour anything which appears to be edible.

Zi'ram- The Zi'ram were once fair water spirits, beautiful humanoids with pale blue skin, who protected the Gaellians. Nowadays, they have been tainted by the Shadow. Resembling fierce-looking men or women, unclothed with tangled sea-weed hair, large fangs, and fish tails, the Zi'ram are no longer benevolent. Living deep below the surface of Lake Gaellia, the Zi'ram take great pleasure in dragging mortals down to the depths, drowning them and eating them. The Zi'ram swim in groups, and are currently under the thrall of the Black Fang, who use their enchantments to control the spirits, and protect their island.

 FLORA

Kela'Zan- Kela'Zan is a thick plant with large leaves, which grows just below the tree-line in Udum. Its sap is a skin irritant, and causes itching and flaking. A large enough dose is capable of causing skin to peel off in large amounts. Kela'zanis used by the Orcs on their arrows and blades.

Jax- Jax is found in the lowland river valleys, and have beautiful red flowers. However, the nectar is poisonous. The toxin is transferred to honey by bees; it causes weakness, double-vision and respiratory failure to those who digest it.

Mi'vor- The leaves of this plant, when crushed, can irritate or blister skin. When burned, the smoke can also affects they eyes, often leading the blindness. The Mi'vor is a rare ivy, often found growing on rocks in the Mi'Nor plains.

Ki'Sha tree- This small and stunted tree, rarely reaching heights greater than 12', grows in small copses along river beds. Its blackish-trunk contains a sap which is euphoric and an hallucigenic. The effects last for hours, and are used by the Black Fang in their rituals.

Spurge- A small bush growing in the scattered forests of Udum. Its berries contain juices which cause a rash when externally applied. If ingested, even a small amount can cause severe stomach and digestive disorders.

Bi'zan- Shepherds and ox-herders are wary of this plant, resembling thick, dark grass with yellow buds. The poisonous plant passes its toxins into the milk of animals. Ingestion causes nausea, stomach pain, weakness, thirst, collapse, coma or even death depending on the dose.

Spurge- A small bush growing in the scattered forests of Udum. Its berries contain juices which cause a rash when externally applied. If ingested, even a small amount can cause severe stomach and digestive disorders.

Druid's Hope- This small black mushroom is a blessing in the dark land of Udum. When its juices are applied to a wound, bleeding is reduced by 3 hits a round, and when digested it heals 1D20 hits. It is rare, and found near Lake Gaellia.