|A fragment of Campaign Map 18 Ghinor Highlands|
In the center of this region lies the drear Swamp of Many Eyes, home only to necromancers, escaped convicts, and roving bands of beastmen. The Yex River, beginning in the east with the dubious waters of lake Wooling, swollen by the confluence with the Singtrellian River to the south, runs through the swamp until it empties with a great racket into the sea at Dagger Bay. At the northwestern edge of the swamp rise teeming thickets of the Screaming Hyena Jungle. Home to the Ayashomo, tattooed death cultists, it bursts with unseemly life. Somewhere within its dense green thickets, a lost city of the Archivists broods, its precincts overgrown and crumbling, still guarded by fierce magics and strange artifacts.
The power in the region is divided three ways. The villages of Loktole, Fathine and Elmswood are under the control of the Grim Duke, a lesser vassal of the City State of the Invincible Overlord, who lives in a windowless iron citadel to the South. The free city of Wolsdag is under the control of the Merchant’s Guild. For now, their control of this crucial port ensures their influence in the region. On the shores of lake Wooling, Rastingdrung, the closest thing to civilization in these backwaters, lies under the spell of a potent sorceress known as The Chatelaine of Storms.
The Village of Loktole, the center of the campaign, sits on banks of the Yex River, where it bends North on its way into the swamp. For the purposes of trade it is at a crucial juncture, for it receives goods by way of the river from the city of Rastingdrung to the east and Elmwood to the south. Since the Yex is too dangerous to traverse, goods travel by land betweeen Loktole and Wolsdag. Tensions are high between the points of this triangle, with The Chatelaine scheming to wrest territory from the Grim Duke. She covets Loktole most of all, for if she only possessed it, she feels confident that she could open a safe route all the way on the River Yex from Lake Wooling to the sea. Only then could she break the hold of the Merchant’s Guild in Wolsdag over trade from the sea. The Grim Duke knows the Chatelaine’s schemes, and despite brisk and profitable trade with Rastingdrung, considers her a mortal enemy. For the moment, the Merchant’s Guild plays both sides of the conflict against one another to its advantage. But the balance is delicate.