Population density and distribution: Sparse up to 20 per square mile, but concentrated in small family groups.
Humanoid groups: Gnolls (rare) Goblins (rare)
Imports: live stock, wood, finished products, any and all mettle goods.
Exports: few, their wool is well regraded as is their knitted goods. Medicinal mushrooms.
crafts: Area is known for their fine antler and horn carvings.
Travel: A party would be wise to hire a guide to use the skills of a ranger, the moors are dangerous to travel when ill prepared.
Government: Uncontrolled / tribal
Lying due south of Torin, just east of the old dwarf trade road lies a vast moor. This area of broken and sodden ground stretches for miles to into the south and east, nearly to the southerner most boarder where the land slowly drys out becomes arid.
|interior of a large hill temple and home, Credit below *|
Very few live within the borders of the moor, those who do live in isolated clans of up to 20
individuals, who live a hard scrabble life farming, raising goats or sheep, and harvesting peat. The people of the moors live behind stockades built of stone any where from three to five feet tall in low stone huts sometimes dug into hill sides and roofed with peat.
The locals are universally weary of strangers, will not offer shelter with in their stockades and speak a broken dialect all their own which is a mix of common and dwarven. They will act as guides thorough the dangerous moor in exchange for trade good favoring items of carved wood and steal implements over gold. In trade lanterns and lantern oil are particularly prized.
These lands are dotted with signs of an early period of settlement, and the handy work of Dwarves. Stone circles dot the landscape and old foundations can clearly be seen in many locations. The nature of the moors themselves have kept many adventures from fully exploring these old dwarven sights. Further complicating things the local populations have carted way many of the carved stones for use in their stockades and homes, many locations have been lost forever.
A persistent rumor plagues the moors. It is that of the Kraterall **, also known as "Mage Slayer" or simply "old shadow" by the locals.
It is said that a creature or perhaps several creatures roam the moors at night, and take to old dwarven tunnels under the moors in the light of day. The name Kraterall comes form the local dialect and is thought to be an assimilation of a noise the creature supposedly makes and the old dwarven word for eyes.
What is known is that few locals have actually seen the creature, though they find tracks and will have sheep disappear from their flocks.The locals who claim to have seen the creature all agree that it is between five and six feet tall, has disproportionately long limbs, and its jet black flesh looks like bundles of dark cords or ropes. It has eyes that glow like a cats when exposed to light, and runs stooped over much like an ape.
Over the years several mysterious deaths on the moors have been blamed on the Kraterall, local farmers found eviscerated in a field, or dead with a whole limbs removed will give rise to stories.
the Alerian guild of rangers blame the deaths on bog cats, which are present and do represent a threat to unwary travelers, but the locals disagree.
Twenty + 2 Southeastern Moor Rumors:
- The Kraterall is attracted to magic energies and will attack and kill travelers in an attempt to steal away any magical trinkets they may possess.
- The moor is the result of an ancient Dwarven irrigation project long left in disrepair.
- A black ore tower once stood in a stone circle located at the center of the moor. After the wars it was left derelict and was dismantled by locals and the parts used to build homes.
- The stories of the Kraterall began when the seals that bound the darkness with in dwarf hollow mountain were broken, leading some to believe the creature is a demon trapped on this plane.
- The moor cats that hunt in the region are just a smaller version of a much larger cat that stalks the low lands.
- Sheep fed inside stone circles will sure die before the wet seasons end.
- Never enter tunnels near standing stones for a travel will surely be lost with in them never to be seen again.
- Occasionally Gnolls will take over an old ruin or crag on the moor, they are usually interlopers or cast offs from the larger population of gnolls which reside in the northern mountains, they rarely stay more than a season.
- Close examination of stockade and hut walls can sometimes reveal interesting markings and ancient dwarven runes left over from where ever the stones were gathered from.
- While gathering Pete the locals sometimes dredge up interesting and ancient objects, well preserved bodies, and often they hit very old tree trunks buried in the soil leading many to believe the moor was once a vast forest.
- Food wrapped in a cloth then placed in a sack with fresh wild thistle bright flowers will never spoil.
- Near pools in the moor if one looks under overhanging stones mushrooms may be found, mushrooms with many medicinal and recreational uses.
- The wet sections deep in the moor can suddenly open up, the locals have seen goats , sheep and even whole wagons disappear in a matter of seconds, these places are obviously to be avoided.
- As rare as sightings of the Kraterall are , there is yet another rarely seen race on the moor , a race of small toad like humanoids who live in the shelter of Pete mounds and old ruins.
- If one with the sight sits next to a moor pool on a night of the full moon and casts a small section of sheep horn into the pools center, a vision can bee seen in waters disturbance.
- Some times the moor belches forth toxic gas, whole families have died from it, it seems completely random.
- Never follow lights on the more, they are neither helpful nor human.
- Trades from the south used to cross the moor on occasion but it has been many years since any have been seen in the area.
- The various circles of standing stones in the deep Moore are the crowns of long dead and buried giants.
- There have been goblins on the moor at times, they are rare now.
- No man can claim to be king of the moor, if any tries his death will follow swiftly.
- The deer of the moor are swifter and smarter than most, a bow tipped with their antlers and strung with their sinew will be greater than any common bow
Random encounters: 1d10 during daylight / 1d10 +5 at night
- Human farming group, 5 individuals, related, ragged, weary of outsiders, one leader may speak if approached.
- Hunter, following deer sign, will trade food, and perhaps carved bone items for iron tipped arrows, knows the surroundings well. May know some of the rumors above.
- Coyotes / coy dogs 1d6 may be aggressive even durring the day.
- Mushroom hunters, three individuals and a boar, will get agitated by outsiders, will shoo off strangers and my get aggressive if followed, will not trade unless the offer is very good.
- wild goats or deer (1d4)
- A small herd of pygmy horses (1d4,) Perhaps wild descendant of dwarven horses? Bedded at night
- Flightless grouse (1d6) Nested at night. Plumage is valued by the locals
- Coyotes / coy dogs hunting pack 1d8 may be aggressive even during the day, one will be an alpha male, with additional health.
- Runaway sheep 1d4
- "Aware" moss, this carpet of moss will blow toxic spores that cause asphyxiation at anything that wonders too closely. Anyone overcome by the moss will be consumed by it where they lay. Keen observers will notice rabbit, deer, and coyote skeletons in the moss. The locals know to avoid this stuff.
- Gnoll group (1d6) Hunting, or traveling. Will always include at least one male warrior and several lesser gnols.
- Goblin Group 1d8 (always hunting) A rag tag group of trouble some goblins looking to steal a sheep
- Will o' Whip 1d4 hovering over the distant moor.
- Giant owl, this Owl is the size of a large turkey they are very aggressive and will attack a person, or pack animal. It could lift a half-ling or gnome. It kills it's prey by lifting them and dropping them from height.
- Bedded down wild goats or deer (1d4)
- Bog cat 1 (use any great cat template from your game of choice.) Dark grey and silent these are the most feared mundane predators on the moor. they always have a chance at surprise and will attack on
Thanks for reading .
Enjoy your day!
** The Kraterall as a creature is left up to the imagination of hte GM, in my campaign it is a real creature, with a history and motivations all it's own. It's presence in the Moor-area is coincidental to it's creation and it's drives. My suggestion would be to make it very hard to find and quite formidable if hunted. A great side quest for a druid or a ranger looking to purge the wilds of despoiling influences.
* Rough stone Monument Diagram from: Rough Stone monuments And Their Builders, By T. Eric Peet
Found here: http://scienceviews.com/ebooks/RoughStoneMonuments-Peet/index.html