Nation: The Empire
The Kalamar Forest and the adjacent Murk Swamps lie in a place where the material world (Varda) and the faerie world (Avenda) converge. Amid the invasive vegetation and predatory species, the norgs—descendants of dwarvish settlers—have staked out a life for themselves.
In 651 YE, following the resurgence of the Harpy Kingdom under Queen Morgal II, the norg-king Ardasha requested help from the Empire. The Empire defeated the harpies, but in exchange, Kalamar became a protectorate (a kind of client state) and so it remains, as of 1151 YE.
The client-king rules the forest from his fortress at Bayne’s Dain. Underneath him are the Magisters of the chief towns: namely, Goldborough, Honeymead Village, Duskville, and Aureleum.
• Goldborough serves as chief town of Goldenwood, a region of productive apple orchards.
• Honeymead, the largest settlement of Kalamar, serves as chief town of Summervine.
• Duskville is a frontier town bordering the edge of the Cobwood, a dangerous place filled with Giant Spiders. Among the smallest settlements in Kalamar, most of its population is composed of norgish warriors on duty.
• Aureleum serves as chief town of Greenacre, a region of productive farmland. It lies outside of the fey line.
The Kalamar Forest lies between the Great Wall to the north—impenetrable and towering in size—and the barren heath-land to the south. To the west, across the Great River, lie the Murk Swamps, a region filled with harpies, as well as the legendary Mandragora (a carnivorous, mobile plant) and other terrible dangers. To the east is Greenacre, the norgish farmland.
After the fall of the ancient dwarven kingdoms in the Shadow War, the dwarf-lord Bayne and a group of his followers fled the forces of darkness. They crossed the Great Western Mountains—what many thought was an impossible feat—and many perished in the journey. In 316 YBE, they reached Kalamar. Bayne decided to settle here, and made war on the harpies of the forest, overcoming them by 315 and driving them into the swamps. He built a fortress in the dwarfish style, naming it Dain Baynu (“Bayne’s Fortress.”)
Bayne renamed his race the norgs. They settled sporadically through the enchanted forest. A further Norg-Harpy War from 315 to 313 led to the creation of a peace treaty between the two races.
Enchanted Forest takes place 300 years later, in the first century YE.
In the late 640s and early 650s YE, the resurgent Harpy Kingdom under Queen Morgal strove to conquer Kalamar. Surprisingly, they won many battles and made serious incursions, nearly capturing Bayne’s Dain. Norgs, having no gift for magic, were helpless against the well-trained odynomancers (pain sorcerers). The King Ardasha requested help from the “human emperor.”
The Imperial Council unanimously voted to help Kalamar. Soldiers and augurs fought off the resurgent harpies, and the threat was defeated. However, an Imperial presence remained in Kalamar and made it a protectorate, subjecting it to taxes and giving the Empire a measure of governance over its affairs. Just outside Bayne’s Dain lies Fort Lorenus, which contains a sizeable Imperial garrison.
• The Lonely Inn: Kalamar’s oldest and most famous inn, lying in the exact middle of the road between Goldborough and Duskville. Established in 315 YBE, shortly after the Norg-Harpy War, it has stood ever since. Featuring many deer head and moose head trophies and a warm, spacious hearth, it is a destination all by itself. In addition to food fit for any gourmand, it features hot baths for the weary traveler and homey décor.
• The Sheeh: Considered the forest’s heart, this kernel of fey power has never been fully explored. Firvalg (lupine creatures), bound by an ancient spell of entrapment, hunt the living within its dense vegetation. Few that enter the Sheeh return alive.
• Valley of Kings: The resting place of the ancient norg lords.
• Fort Lorenus: Considered a wonder by many humans in the Empire, this stone Imperial-style fort is completely covered in vines. Norgs say the vines do not crush it because the Empire was welcomed into Kalamar. Five-hundred soldiers are quartered in Fort Lorenus, led by the tribune Marco and the augur Silvana.