This post is your guide to three very playable locations on the Tamarran Continent: Tarnath and the Sessmaryth Valley; Naldrin City; and the Region of Jowea (see our map). They have interesting populations, developed neighborhoods, and a long history, so they’re good starting points for an adventure or a campaign. You’ll also notice them appearing in our own FNBGames adventures and campaigns.
Our first two books (Beyonder: The Science of the Six, and Imbelnhi’s Bestiary: Being a Traveller’s Account of Our Continent and Her Creatures) describe these locations; we’ll provide a quick overview here.
Tarnath and the Sessmaryth Valley
Tarnath is a very old city, founded around SP~1,700, a little over 3,300 years ago (NOTE: the present year in Beyonder is SP~5,018). Tarnath was always small but important: its location on the northern shores of the Bay of Perrin makes it one of the best seaports on the eastern side of the Tamarran Continent.
The greatest notoriety of Tarnath is as the birthplace of the infamous Emperor Samron in the year SP~3,576. Samron’s empire began in Tarnath and soon encompassed most of the northern half of the continent and some key regions of the southern half (but that is a different story). As Samron’s power grew, so did Tarnath and its environs. Over the next century a huge city, Sessmaryth, grew up around Tarnath. After the fall of Samron in SP~3,725, the city of Sessmaryth also began to fail. Today there is little left of what was once a monstrously large city. However, Tarnath still lives on as an important seaport with a population of 250,000 people.
ADVENTURE POTENTIAL: There remain, in this area, many mysteries dating back to Samron’s time or before. There’s the North Gate, which served as the entrance into the City of Sessmaryth during its heyday. Is there really a series of tunnels below the city and region, once used for travel throughout the valley? And what is hidden beneath the hill that once held on its crown the massive Palace of the Emperor Samron?
Naldrin City was founded by both ishiri and dwarves in SP~2,559 in the southernmost ranges of the Nashem Mountains, on the northwestern part of the Tamarran Continent. The ishiri, who love rock and stone, built along the mountain ranges; the dwarves built below it. As the centuries went by the city developed into five distinct tiers that ran up the side of the mountain, each with its own distinct culture and population.
Over the years there have been many altercations, large and small, between ishiri and dwarves, each claiming original ownership of all of the territory. However, the First Nulentian Invasion in SP~3,760, required many of the Races on the continent to come together to defend themselves from an external invasion, and since then the ishiri and the dwarves have managed to co-exist peacefully.
Naldrin City is home to the Council of Drawnwyn. Although there is no governmental body that rules the entire Tamarran Continent, the Council of Drawnwyn comes closest: it is able to pull together almost all of the most powerful kingdoms and nations on the Tamarran Continent. The Council facilitates such things as building roadways for cooperation against common enemies, and coordinating the vast network of trade across the continent. For this reason, Naldrin City is often considered the unofficial capital of the Tamarran Continent.
The population is difficult to estimate, but it is generally agreed that approximately 300,000 live there, including a rich mix of all of the Ten Races and many other creatures.
ADVENTURE POTENTIAL: It is said that the Crown of Drawnwyn was originally presented to Drawnwyn beneath this city or the mountain on which it is built. The Crown was one of the most powerful artifacts of the current Era of the world. It comprises seven “eyes” – one for each of the Six Energies, and one that allows the other six to work in unison. The Crown and each of its eyes give the owner great control over the Six Energies of the world. It is said that the place to begin the search for these artifacts is in Naldrin, where it all began. Many have searched, but none have been successful.
The Region of Jowea
The Region of Jowea comprises four cities: Isstia, Afforin, Dovvan, and Riverbend; as well as the Quiets that surround them all. Outside of these four cities the population is sparse, but is rich in racial diversity.
The Quiets, which lie outside of Jowea, are ruined areas, casualties of the Stillness Wars. They are areas of Stillness energy, controlled by undead. Travel into and out of the Region of Jowea is thus quite dangerous, and as a result the region is isolated in many ways from the rest of the continent. However, good guides can be found both in Jowea and in some of the non-Quiet areas outside. There are many riches to be found in the Quiets, but beware: the dangers should not be ignored!
The City of Isstia has a population of roughly 31,000, primarily humans and crawn in equal numbers. The Isstians have always extolled the virtues of physical combat, and they produce some of the most skilled warriors of the region (and indeed of the continent). The Isstia Militia, as the city’s small army is known, has a reputation for overcoming very bad odds in a fight.
ADVENTURE POTENTIAL: It is rumored that the Open Hand, the Tamarran-wide organization of fighters, has a secret cell in Isstia. Adventurers might go there to try to pass the “entrance exam” and join the cell, or to seek assistance with a quest in the Region. Angnall, chikchiks, and julkas live in the mountains nearby, and they are most definitely not friendly.
The City of Afforin is known for its political intrigue and spycraft. In this city, politics is a game: in fact, it is the game, and it can be a bloody one. The city is ruled by a single lord, who commands four separate areas of the city (the Orchards, the Merchant District, the Villas, and the Circle), which are each controlled by their own underlord. However, the political hierarchy goes much deeper and pervades all of the culture of the city.
Almost entirely populated by dwarves, the City of Dovvan is known for high-quality craftsmanship. The Jowen Dwarf Clan, which lives under the neighboring mountains, produces artifacts renowned for their craftsmanship and delicacy (not always a trait of dwarven-made goods). These crafts are a source of much of the trade flowing within and outside of the Region of Jowea.
The City of Riverbend, with a population of slightly more than 145,000, is the largest and oldest city of the Region of Jowea. The founding date is roughly SP~3,000 (give or take a couple of centuries). Riverbend is the center of trade and commerce for Jowea; its culture is dominated by commerce and the powerful merchants who control that commerce.
Wherever you end up going on Tamarra, you will learn much. Enjoy the places you see and the creatures you meet – just be careful!