Valley of the Ancients


The campaign centers on a remote and largely inhospitable corner of the Wilderlands, known in official documents as the Valley of the Ancients (or simply “Valley”). Most of the Valley region is a plateau of arid steppe, shrubland, and rocky desert that foreigners call the “Glow Worm Steppes.”

The region features a dense temperate forest along the western coast, then a sharp and rocky rise to the inland plateau of the steppes. Inland, the steppes transition to a harsh rocky desert. North of the steppes lies a vast marshy lowland known as the Valley of the Ancients. Beyond these marshlands, it is said, lie the mountains where dragons have gone to die since time immemorial. The Valley of the Ancients itself is filled with potent monsters fit to challenge any adventurer. Trolls, hags, First Men, brutal dark fey, and other horrors hunt the few tribes of orcs, goblins, cavemen, and humans who try to survive here.

As the temperate forest wraps along the coast of the Winedark Sea, the human settlements of the Kingdom of the Durju thin out. To the north of this periphery lies the mountain-rimmed land of Tarsh. Though difficult to reach, it is a kingdom of Man that has begun to spring back from a long decline, with the surprising help of dwarven princes.

Key Areas:

  • Kingdom of the Durju
  • Kingdom of Tarsh
  • Valley of the Ancients
    • The River of the Ancients drains the marshes of the valley, and facilitates travel for its earthbound denizens.
  • “Glow-Worm” Steppes
    • Farther in, the steppes give way to regions that halfling travelers call the Plains of Desolation and the Chittering Waste. The Waste is the beginning of the vast desert that the Karakhans call the Takhla Govin.
    • There are two mountain ranges on the far edge of the plateau, one of which must be what sages call the “Ember Hills.”

from The World of the Wilderlands:

Tarsh — once the lonely outpost of the ancient Empire of Great Torsh, later the heart of a great civilization built on the ruins of the old, today it is again a wilderness. The once great city of Tarsh Orgolash stands in ruins, the great fields of wheat reduced to wild meadows and thicket, the long roads covered in swamp and brush.

Monsters and humanoids roam where once a great kingdom stood, and only the Tenifell Rangers stand between them and the utter collapse of civilization. It is said that Mosinylo, the Old Man of the North Wind, has taken up residence in the Ododharaun Mountains and from there seeks to return all of Tarsh to the frozen state it was in when the Great Glacier covered these lands long millennia ago. Another source of monstrous enemies is the Valley of the Ancients, said in myth and legend to have been a stronghold of the dragons and the fey against the Markabs. Today it is dominated by strange and deadly flora and stranger and deadlier fauna, a result of the strange and terrible energies released in that ancient war. South of the valley, high upon a vast plateau stands the Glow-Worm Steppes, home to savage and cannibalistic clans of Cavemen and inhuman nomads. The Dar Undine Desert sits at the center of the steppes, a burning wasteland of red glowing sands. Bukera, God of the Desert Mountains, is said to reside in the Ember Hills at the heart of the Dar Undine.

Valley of the Ancients

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