The Stolen Lands
South of Rostland, the hills rise and forests bloom into a land that has long remained wild, despite numerous attempts by colonists from both north and south to claim and civilize it. Taldor made the most ambitious attempt to settle this realm, but even that great nation failed to tame the wilderness that lies in a green swath between Brevoy and the River Kindoms proper. This region is known as the Stolen Lands, as the wilds are viewd as territory unfairly claimed (and lost) by the other. It has lain fallow for decades since the previous attempt at colonization, and some whisper that the time is ripe for another attempt. Yet before the Stolen Lands can be claimed, they must be known. Old ruins, monuments to previous failures, dot the landscape, home now to all manner of savage humanoid tribe and ravenous glowering monstrosity. Bandits and barbarians are the closest thing to civilization an explorer can expect to encounter in these deadly but beautiful wilds.
—from Taldan historian Gustav Devarr’s “Kingdoms of the Lost”
Areas of the Stolen Lands
The Stolen Lands encompass an area that covers approximately 35,000 square miles—a territory about the size of the state of Maine. Each volume of the Kingmaker Adventure Path focuses on a specific region in particular. These four regions are briefly summarized below.
Each hex on the map of the Stolen Lands is 12 miles across (between opposite corners) and covers just under 150 square miles of area. These hexes are provided not only as a way to help define the land (and eventually aid in defining the territory of the kingdom the PCs are destined to rule), but also as an aid in tracking travel through the Stolen Lands.
Dominated by the woodland known as the Narlmarches to the west and the rugged rolling hills of the Kamelands, this region is the one your group has been chartered to explore. The lack of dangerous inhabitants other than indigenous tribes of kobolds and mites makes this the safest of the four regions for “freelance banditry.” Hense, Bandits are particularly rife in this area, and the rumors that they’ve organized under the banner of a bandit warlord who calls himself the Stag Lord are particularly troubling. You are to explore as much of the northern half of the Greenbelt as you can and, if possible, to find out more about this “Stag Lord” and remove the bandit threat from the region. Encounters with mischievous fey have been reported throughout the Stolen Lands while further to the south, tribes of trolls and more dangerous creatures and wildlife provide a quite effective buffer between Brevoy and Mivon.
The Nomen Heights are named after the aggressive tribes of Nomen Centaurs who view the ragged eastern steppes of the Dunsward as their own. The Kamelands, a low mountain range, separate the Stolen Lands from the Nomen Heights. To the south Kamelands continue to rise, eventually becoming a legitimate mountain range known as the Tors of Levenies. These craggy peaks are dangerous as well, home to all manner of monsters, trolls, and worse. Dotting the Tors are numerous ancient ruins that hint that the Tors were once the home of a strange and towering race of giants. The swordlords sent a band of mercenaries into this region, rumors hold.
West of the Greenbelt, the East Sellen River runs through the swamps known as Hooktongue Slough. This region is infested with tribes of boggards and lizardfolk, but also by dangerous monsters like hydras, nagas, creepy bug people, and worse. At the far side are the rugged hills of the Glenebon Uplands. This region has long been a battleground between the Tiger Lord barbarians and the more monstrous tribes of the swamp. Rumor holds that the swordlords sent actual Brevic government agents into this swampy area.
The Glenebon Uplands fill the western most quadrant of the Stolen Lands. The Glenebon Uplands harbor the barbarian tribes of the Tiger Lords and is a contested zone between the barbarian tribes and the bandits of Pitax to the south. The swordlords sent a relatively experienced band of adventurers into the volatile westernmost reach of the Stolen Lands. Although the southern region of the Glenebon Uplands is supposedly under the rule of the bandit kingdom of Pitax, that River Kingdom has done very little to prove its claims over this area.
Forests: The forests of the Stolen Lands are densely vegetated, but generally crisscrossed with game trails and numerous clearings. The trees here typically consist of oaks, beech, rushleaf, and smaller scrub.
Hills: The rolling hills of the Stolen Lands are often pocked by small caves, twisting valleys, and small woodlands that crown hilltops or nestle in clefts.
Mountains: Although mountains in the Stolen Lands are relatively low in elevation (rarely rising more than 1,000 feet), they are often quite rugged and sheer, forcing travelers to follow old riverbeds, gorges, and twisting trails.
Plains: The grasslands and moors of the Stolen Lands vary from relatively open plains to swaths of tall grass that grows up to 3 feet high in places. Small copses of two to six trees are not uncommon.
Swamps: Swamps are a confounding mix of soggy ground, partially dry hummocks, tangled undergrowth, and deep pools of murky water. Travel in a straight line is impossible, requiring constant course adjustments.
Water: A river varies from 50 to 500 feet in width. Infrequent bridges and fords that allow a river to be crossed are indicated on the map where they appear, but in most cases, travel across a river requires swimming or boating.
If the party wishes to try swimming, all members of the group must make DC 15 Swim checks. If all members (and all mounts) make the check, then that particular river crossing doesn’t impact travel time through the hex. Otherwise, add 1 hour to the amount of time spent traveling for each failed Swim check. Lakes are calmer than rivers and may be navigated with a DC 10 Swim check, but their larger size makes swimming across them dangerous — as a general rule, if the party lack boats or actual swim speeds, it’s best to simply treat lakes as barriers to travel and force the travelers to circumnavigate the edges.
The Greenbelt is crisscrossed by countless nameless streams, but the rivers found there bear special mention.
Gudrin River: The waters of this river are unusually clear; the river itself runs slow and deep, averaging 450 feet across and 150 feet deep at the deepest point.
Little Sellen River: The offshoot of the East Sellen river that branches further east at Mivon is known as the Little Sellen for its relatively narrow width; this river averages
90 feet across and 20 feet deep.
Murque River: This slow-moving river is bordered on both banks by strips of swampy land that effectively double the river’s 100-foot width. The river itself is only 10 feet deep, and its slowly-moving waters are thick with algae and silt.
Shrike River: Splitting from the Little Sellen, the Shrike is named for the numerous flocks of birds that nest along its length. Averaging 300 feet wide and sometimes reaching depths of 60 feet or more, the Shrike would make an excellent trade route between Brevoy and the southern
lands, were it not for a pair of 30-foot-high waterfalls (one located a few miles upriver from area S, the other located further east in the Nomen Heights) that make safe river travel impossible between the two points.
Skunk River: The unfortunate combination of algae and bubbling geothermal hot springs along the Skunk River give it a distinctively unpleasant scent of rotten eggs. This river averages 100 feet wide and 30 feet deep.
Thorn River: The banks of the Thorn River are thick with stinging nettles and tangles of sharp brambles. The river itself is relatively narrow, averaging 60 feet in width and 30 feet deep.