The Adventurous Traveler’s Guide: Hidden Treasures of Tamarra

Lusa Lockless, Travel Editor, Tarnath Times

By Lusa Lockless, Travel Editor, Tarnath Times

City of Tarnath, Kalkix 60, SP~5,021

Tired of the same old vacations: fishing the Kellith Sea off the city of Darak, or viewing the mountain vistas from Hammon? You may not know it, but the three major cities of the Continent have unexpected treasures! I recently visited three areas that are off the beaten tourist path, and I highly recommend them to you!

Tarnath and the Sessmaryth Valley: Mysterious Remains

Tarnath, a very old city, was always small but important. Its location off the northern shores of the Bay of Perrin makes it one of the best seaports on the eastern side of the Tamarran Continent. The ancient remains of the City of Sessmaryth is perfect for exploring the mysterious remains of the infamous Emperor Samron.

There remain many mysteries dating back to Samron’s time or before.  There’s the North Gate, which served as the entrance into the City of Sessmaryth during its heyday.  Is there really a series of tunnels below the city and region, once used for travel throughout the valley?  And what is hidden beneath the hill that once held on its crown the massive Palace of the Emperor Samron?

Naldrin City: Architectural Splendor

Naldrin City was founded by both ishiri and dwarves, and is known for its architectural splendors.  The five tiers of the city were made by ishiri and dwarves. The ishiri, who love rock and stone, built along the mountain ranges; the dwarves built below it.  Over the years, there have been many altercations between ishiri and dwarves, each claiming original ownership of the territory, but they have managed to co-exist. Home to the Council of Drawnwyn, which speaks for almost all of the most powerful kingdoms and nations on the Tamarran Continent, Naldrin City is often considered the unofficial capital of the Tamarran Continent.

The Region of Jowea: Undead Zones, Spycraft, Metalwork

  • The Quiets are ruined areas, casualties of the Stillness Wars, that lie outside of Jowea.  The Quiets are areas of Stillness energy, and are controlled by undead.  This makes travel into and out of the Region of Jowea quite dangerous, and as a result the region is isolated in many ways from the rest of the continent.  However, good guides can be found both in Jowea and in some of the non-Quiet areas outside.
  • The City of Afforin is known for its political intrigue and spycraft.  In this city, politics is a game:  in fact, it is the game, and it can be a bloody one, so be careful where you venture.  The city is ruled by a single lord, who rules over four separate areas of the city (the Orchards, the Merchant District, the Villas, and the Circle), which are each ruled by their own underlord.  However, the political hierarchy goes much deeper and pervades all of the culture of the city.
  • The City of Dovvan, which is almost entirely populated by dwarves, is known for high-quality metalwork and jewelry.  The Jowen Dwarf Clan, which lives under the neighboring mountains, produces artifacts renowned for their craftsmanship and delicacy.  These crafts are a source of much of the trade flowing within and outside of the Region of Jowea.

Wherever you end up going, enjoy the places you see and the creatures you meet.  Happy adventuring!

The Galguhn War

Another Galguhn War?

By Toodla Oblodt, City Desk, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 39, SP~5,021

The Galguhn War and Northern Goblin Uprising was the single greatest threat in the last century to the continued existence of Naldrin City.  This uprising, and subsequent war, was led by the powerful Galguhn Goblin Kingdom of the Nashem Mountains.  Soon after the war began in earnest, it was joined by a number of other goblin kingdoms of the area, including the dozen or so kingdoms west of the Gaghzzen Mountains.  The goal of these united goblins was to conquer the northern half of the Tamarran Continent.  The conflict ran for thirteen long years, beginning in SP~4,975 and ending in SP~4,988, just eighteen years ago.  

Almost every resident of Naldrin City has family and/or friends who perished or were bloodied in this savage conflict.  In the final three years, much of the northern part of the Tamarran Continent worked in concert with Naldrin City’s populace to push back the legions of goblins and their allies; hateful gurv, berserk ravagers, and even some gamol who saw an opportunity to easily ensnare some souls.

It is therefore deeply disturbing to report that the goblins of the Nashem Mountains and those of the Gaghzzen Mountains, to their west, may be on the rise again.

In the 60 days of the preceding month, Sula, there were reports of as many as a dozen incidents on the portion of Naldrin Road that runs west from our fair city to the Nashem River.  This 200-mile stretch passes over rolling hills and plains, and for some miles runs along the southern borders of the Nashem Forest.  Incidents along this road are not unusual, but these attacks are more frequent than usual.  The fact that all but one occurred at night, the preferred time for these creatures who so strongly dislike the light of day, also suggests that goblins were involved.

The Naldrin News has interviewed eight folk, from four parties, who were attacked.  They are consistent in their descriptions of their attackers:  they were covered with long strips of coarse, black cloth wrapped many times around their entire body.  This effectively hid their appearance, but each interviewee has stated that the creatures’ walk was distinctly shambling and goblin-like.  The few times the attackers communicated to each other or shouted at their victims, they used the distinctive guttural, almost choking pattern and harsh tones of goblin speech.

Two incidents near Old Naldrin City may also be goblin-related.  One account is from a small party of dwarves who were in some of the more ancient parts of the Old City, ostensibly looking for areas they might repair (although a reporter suspects other reasons).  They state that they were attacked by creatures wielding traditional goblin blades, which are relatively short, with barbs along all the edges.  Their fighting style, attacking in groups of threes, was also highly reminiscent of goblins.

The other incident was an attack against a group of almost two dozen ishiri stone workers who were repairing the Temple of Loshodo, a part of the ancient city ruins that lie on the side of the Nashem Mountains.  The workers were unprepared for armed conflict and quickly withdrew, but, sadly, lost five of their own.  These ishiri workers left no doubt that their attackers were goblins, having seen them in plain view.

Two attacks so close to Naldrin City are of great concern to Lorren Matts, the current Mayor.  Matts told this newspaper that she is currently consulting with the Guild Enforcers to combat the threat.  She has also notified the Council of Drawnwyn, although their response is likely to be the usual, “We are monitoring the situation.”  We will publish their response once it has been issued, and we will keep the public informed of all developments pertaining to the potential for another uprising.

The Shem Amaum

Shem Amaum on the Rise: Council of Drawnwyn No Help

Toodla Oblodt

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 7, SP~5,021

The dreaded shem amaum have launched two highly visible attacks against key sites on the Tamarran Continent in the last day.  As readers will recall, the shem amaum are the savage beasts created by the Nulentians and used against Tamarra during their most recent invasion of our Continent in the years SP~4,970 – 4,974.  Physically, they stand between four and five feet in height with extremely tough, thick hide that is quite rough, like small sharp rocks packed together with matts of course, stiff hair.  According to accounts, simply running your hands lightly over the body of a shem amaum will leave you with cuts that then blister due to a thick toxic substance that covers parts of their bodies and oozes from the fissures that criss-cross their bodies.  Their tails are long and thin with barbs running along their dorsal side.  Their heads are broader at their base than their peak, with a flat noseless, and strangely smooth, face.  They have a highly keen sense of smell, but none of the experts we consulted seemed to know where that sensory apparatus was on their bodies.  Beyond doubt their oddest anatomical attribute is the ability to stretch their body out to two or more times its normal height, or length, as you perspective dictates.

One of the recent shem amaum attacks occurred yesterday, the 6th day of the month of Kalkix, pitting a force of slightly more than a dozen of these beasts against the guards and workers at Port Naldrin, less than 10 miles from the metropolitan areas east of Naldrin City.  The second, in today’s early morning hours, was an attack against the North Gate of the City of Tarnath, hundreds of miles southeast of us.

The local port master at Port Naldrin, zweyjen Deldrin Zheshallay, said the attack came from the edges of the Nashem Mountains that lie between Naldrin City and Port Naldrin.  According to him, some 12-15 shem amaum attacked the section of the port that performs repair work on large ships.  The attack occurred at mid-day, when most of the workers and guards were on their mid-day break.  When they burst out of a copse of trees near the repair docks, the shem amaum were armed with their traditional curved scimitar-like swords and long plain daggers.

According to Port Master Zheshallay, “They were beasts.  They had no mercy.  They cut through my folk like a fall harvest.”  Current count is that 26 workers were left dead, and as many as 50 wounded to various degrees.  The toll would have been much higher, but a troop of dwarven knights on leave happened to be in the area.  Within fifteen minutes they had engaged the shem amaum and driven them back into the hills.  As is typical of a battle with shem amaum, if any the hateful creatures died in the battle their bodies were taken away by their comrades.

The details of the second attack are still unfolding, as it happened only hours ago, and we’ve had only scattered reports via blink bats.  It is clear, however, that the attack came from inside the North Gate enclosure, which was built during the early days of the Emperor Samron.  The walls of the Gate are 30 feet high (in some places even higher), and can hold a guard of several hundred, although there were not nearly that many people there at the time of the attack.

We are in contact with our colleagues at the Tarnath Times and will provide more details about that attack in later editions.

Council of Drawnwyn President Kissalki Narradi, popularly known as “the wellyn with no humor”, released a statement that, “the council is seriously concerned by these recent events, and the perpetrators will be dealt with.”  The reaction from Naldrinians was, generally, disbelief and rage that the Council was oblivious to threats so close to the city.

The Dwarf Clan Disputes and the Undying Lands

Is War among the Southern Dwarf Clans Inevitable?

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Kalkix 12, SP~5,016

Toodla Oblodt

The situation in the southwestern region of Tamarra has become significantly more dangerous over the last few weeks.  As readers know, this area includes both the coastal region known as the Undying Lands and the Suong Mountains that surround them.  While the cities and towns of the Undying Lands have a highly diverse mix of the Ten Races, the Suong Mountains are primarily populated by dwarves from several dozen clans.

Recent reports from Hammon, the largest city in the Undying Lands, tell of battles between the major dwarf clans.  Just in the last few days the Kardash Clan is said to have launched an assault against their primary rival, the Gakkdarr Clan.  The alliances among the other dwarf clans are not entirely clear, but it is believed that the three most powerful clans of the Eastern Suong Mountains have allied themselves with the Kardash Clan, while the southern dwarf clans are largely fighting on the side of the Gakkdarr Clan.  Movements of troops that confirm these accounts have been seen.

Several reporters from the Hammon Daily Journal have described the most recent battle as occurring just east of Ellerron, a small town in the very north of the Undying Lands.  The Kardash attacking force totalled somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 warriors, a significantly larger number than the more minor clashes over the last six months.  The battle lasted only a single day before the Kardash forces withdrew; however, it is believed they are prepared to re-launch their attack as soon as additional forces arrive from the east.  The forces are led by the powerful Kardash Soman and War Leader, Arkkan, one of the most respected and feared military strategists on the continent.  Even the crawn General Sasskell has praised Leader Arkkan as being worthy of honor.

Sources at the highest levels of both the Kardash and Gakkdarr Clans have confirmed that each clan has hired members of Wind and Silence to gather information about the alliances and forces of the other.  It is well-known that the services of Wind and Silence are not inexpensive, demonstrating the new level of seriousness the conflicts of this region have reached.

It is believed that the Council of Drawnwyn is deeply concerned about this conflict, and may have hired members of The Negotiators to assist in brokering a peace, or at least a temporary cessation of hostilities.  A war among the dwarves in this region has the potential to expand to dwarf clans from other areas of the continent.  In addition, the Council is seriously concerned about the balance of power in this region.  The dwarf clans of the Suong Mountains have kept the Suong Goblin Kingdom in check for many years; a war among the dwarves could provide these goblins with an opportunity to reclaim the Undying Lands for themselves.

The NCN’s sources in Hammon have reported seeing several well-known members of the Negotiators at a local dining establishment in recent days.  The NCN has reached out to key members of the Council for confirmation, but as of now we have received no response.

The Wars of Above and Below

The Wars of Above and Below at Merrill City’s Doorstep

By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News

Naldrin City, Dollano 38, SP~5,021

New evidence suggests that the continuing conflict known as the Wars of Above and Below is heating up.

Merrill City, located in the northern part of the Frestehal Plateau at the base of the Rimmel Mountains, is under a concerted attack from a force that has emerged out of the Merrill Gorge, just miles to its west.

For several years the Merrill Gorge has been the center of hostilities in the Wars of Above and Below.  The Gorge runs slightly more than 400 miles east-west along the northern edge of the Frestehal Plateau, where the desert lands of Frestehal meet the Rimmel Mountain range.  Until a few years ago, the Merrill Gorge was a ravine that varied in width from between half a mile to ten miles, with a depth of as much as one mile.  It was one of the great splendors of the northern half of the continent and a frequent stop for tourists from all across Tamarra.  Eleven years ago, in the year of the Great Earthshake, SP~5,005, the base of the gorge was shattered to depths that have still not been completely explored.  This deepening of the Gorge opened up a path to kingdoms and peoples who had been living beneath the surface of our Ethem.

The Wars of Above and Below, which began after the Earthshake, continue today, although the battles had been relatively isolated up to this point. The first battles occurred when Tamarran forces, primarily dwarves from several dwarven cities on the Frestehal Plateau, were exploring the deep underworld. Confronted by what they interpreted as belligerent creatures, they chose to fight.  Some say that the people from Below took these “explorations” as aggressive incursions and are now retaliating.

This current assault on Merrill City suggests that we may be entering a new phase of the Wars.  Reports are spotty and infrequent, due in part to the strange disruption in blink bat communication within the city and the surrounding regions.  The dimensional gates that the blink bats can naturally travel may have been disrupted by some kind of Shadow Energy.  Because of this, much of the contact with Merrill City has been by courier using the Great Road through Jal’s Pass, which cuts north-south through the Rimmel Mountains.

The reports that we do have confirm several facts.  First, the force attacking Merrill City is quite substantial: there are somewhere between eight and twelve thousand fighters.  They are a well-trained military force from a race of creatures known as the Mannahassay.  In addition, the Below army is compensating for their limited ability to see in sunlight by using some kind of head covering.  Although most of the creatures from the Below regions are either sightless or have sight that is accustomed to little or no light, these head covers make them  much more capable, and therefore more lethal.  Finally, these creatures seem to have the ability to communicate with each other without words.  GERC experts here in Naldrin City are saying this is probably due to the use of Mental Energy, and that these creatures may be akin to Mentarchs.

Our sources elsewhere on the Plateau have indicated that the neighboring dwarf cities of Addakk and Kakktika are sending trained forces to the aid of their (mostly) human neighbors in Merrill City.

We will continue to update you, the citizens of Naldrin City and the North, as further news becomes available.

Five Grave Perils in Our World

Knowing Naldrin, A weekly column about everything Naldrin City

Clara Flettwell

By Clara Flettwell, Reporter at Large, the Naldrin City Expose

Sula 5, SP~5,021

There are perilous events occurring in today’s world.  Some are happening near our very own Naldrin City and others are creating threats elsewhere across the length of the Tamarran Continent.  Beware of these if you are planning to travel, unless you are looking for something adventurous — though it may turn out to be more adventurous than you bargain for.

The Wars of Above and Below: The Tamarran Continent at War with the Sightless Nations

There have been some huge earthquakes on the Tamarran Continent over the last twenty years, with the most recent occurring in the year SP~5,005.  Large cracks in the skin of the Continent have opened up, with the deepest ones revealing previously unknown realms of creatures that have lived below the surface of Ethem, without sunlight, for many years.  Believing that the earthquake was an invasion, they fought back.  Beware: there are periodic excursions by raiders from down below, and there are also rumors that several of the most powerful underground nations have allied with some nefarious powers above-ground and are plotting a large-scale invasion.

The Tamarran Continent

The Dwarf Clan Disputes and Invasion of the Undying Lands

The many dwarf clans that live in the southwestern part of Tamarra are on the verge of war with each other.  Their disputes have spilled over into the Undying Lands, which are near the homes of some of the strongest clans.  We know that there was a failed attempt by the Kardash dwarf clan to invade the Undying Lands, which are wealthy and generally peaceful; it is unclear what became of those invaders. That has not stopped the other dwarf clans of the southern half of the continent from carrying on their blood feuds.  It will require great diplomacy, or perhaps some friends in high places, to navigate this area of the continent; if diplomacy doesn’t work, it may require some good fighting skills!

The Shem Amaum

These creatures are some of the most cruel and merciless monsters currently on the Tamarran Continent.  They were brought to Tamarra decades ago by the Nulentians, a race of creatures that live across the eastern oceans, in their most recent attempt to invade this continent (SP~4,970 – 4,974).  The Nulentians had designed (or bred…or both) these creatures to have a bloodlust that overcame all thoughts of self-preservation or mercy toward their perceived enemies.  The Nulentians were beaten back, as they were in their prior two attempts; but in their attempt to flee, they left behind many thousands of these terrible creatures.  Now (mostly) leaderless, they wander the roads and fields of the continent, looking for something to kill.

The Galguhn War and the Northern Goblin Uprising

This bloody conflict ended a little over 30 years ago in SP~4,988, but the repercussions continue.  The Nashem Mountains are filled with an increasing number of goblins and other unpleasant creatures; gurv, gamol, and ravagers*, to name but a few.  This threatens Naldrin City, which lies at the very southern extent of these mountains. The old parts of the city, on and beneath the mountains, are particularly dangerous.

The Stillness Wars and the End of the Quay Empire

The Stillness Wars, between the Quay Empire and a large number of undead, were one of the major wars of the last 50 years.  The Quay Empire lost, and as a result there is a large swath of territory across the middle of the continent where undead roam freely, making travel perilous.  Guides, and some good mercenaries, are highly recommended.  Even better, avoid the area altogether since there has been a recent uptick in encounters of these foul things.


This is only the beginning of the story.  There are many other threats that hang over us and our beloved Tamarran Continent.  Stay tuned, Dear Readers, and don’t miss any of my next columns!

* See Imbelnhi’s Bestiary: Being a Traveler’s Account of our Continent and her Creatures for information about these disturbing creatures.