When you play Beyonder, you can choose a variety of settings. You can play wherever you want in the places that already exist, or create a place of your own. This blog is about three specific places that FNB Games has created on the Tamarran Continent, complete with interesting populations, developed neighborhoods, and a history, which are good starting places for an adventure or a campaign. They are Tarnath and the Sessmaryth Valley; Naldrin City; and the Region of Jowea. You will also encounter them in various of 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 three locations; we’ll provide a quick overview here. Check out our books and upcoming blog entries for more in-depth information.
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~5,013). 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..
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 in SP~2,559 in the southernmost ranges of the Nashem Mountains, which lie in the northwestern part of the Tamarran Continent. It was founded by both ishiri and dwarves. 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 tier with its own distinct culture and population.
Over the years, there have been many altercations, both large and small, between ishiri and dwarves, each claiming original ownership of all of the territory. However, since the end of the First Nulentian Invasion in SP~3,760, which required so many of the Races on the continent to come together to defend themselves from an external invasion, the ishiri and the dwarves have managed to build a peaceful co-existence.
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 the building of 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, in large part because it is unclear how extensively the dwarves built under the mountains and because many of the structures built by the ishiri on the sides and peaks of the mountains blend in so well that they are almost invisible to the untrained eye. It is agreed that the population is close to 300,000, which includes a rich mix of all of the Ten Races and many other creatures from the Tamarran Continent.
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 it is rich in racial diversity.
The Quiets are ruined areas, casualties of the Stillness Wars, that lie outside of Jowea. The Quiets are areas of Stillness energy, and are controlled by undead. This makes travel into and out of the Region of Jowea 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.
The City of Isstia has a population of roughly 31,000, primarily humans and crawn in equal numbers. The Isstians have always had a culture that extolled the virtues of physical combat, and they produce some of the most skilled warriors of the region (and some of the best on the continent). The Isstia Militia, as the city’s small army is known, has a reputation for overcoming very bad odds in a fight.
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 rules over four separate areas of the city (the Orchards, the Merchant District, the Villas, and the Circle), which are each ruled 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.
To wrap up…enjoy the bars of Hethgeg Street in Tarnath – they’re always good places to get the latest news. Or tour the Second Tier of Naldrin City to see some of the homes of the rich and famous dwarves and ishiri. You could always hike up into the Lauggash Mountains in the Region of Jowea, just to see the beauty and take in the fresh air!
Wherever you end up going with Beyonder, enjoy the places you see and the creatures you meet. Happy adventuring!