The wide region of flat
grasslands that lie north of the Themed'lon
Forests and south of the orcen village of
Hell'wrung in southeastern Caael'heroth are known as the Heaths of Eph'denn.
These shrublands are so named because of the colony that is situated on the
southern border of the heath, the
Kaaer’dár’shín settlement of Eph'denn. The heaths once knew times of peace
and many varieties of small grasses and shrubs thrived there. Since the Third
Sarvonian War, the heaths have become a battleground with much of the soil
steeped in blood and violence. The heath is presently under various states of
"ownership" with the Kaaer’dár’shín
half-orcs fighting to maintain hunting ground
with their brutal Osther-Oc cousins
from the far north.
Image description. The
wide grasslands of Eph'denn located on the southeastern leg of the Peninsula
of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia. Picture drawn by
heaths begin as one travels north leaving the verdant borders of the
Themed'lon Forests. The half-orc
Colony of Eph'denn is situated between the
forest's northern border just as the tall
tulmine trees fall away into
smaller and smaller dense bushes before they stop growing altogether to reveal
flat shrubland. Where the Kharim river forks marks the approximate southern
border of the heaths. The Fields of Oun'tran'phu, in the Cartash region, mark
the heath's northern border.
Flowing north, the Kharim river runs along the center of the heath as far as
the Caaehl Mountains. The river narrows considerably as it leaves the mountains
and runs along flat ground before it forks off. The heaths are cool and dry and
do not sustain large growth of flora. For many miles distant, the heath is flat
ground with an occasional small hill or barrow bumping up from the land.
Two significant colonies exist within the heaths, the
Colony of Eph'denn and the
Osther-Oc's village of Hell'wrung.
Both are significant in that they are the only settled regions within the wide
expanse of plains.
Eph'denn sits on the southern border of the heath and has become the second
largest colony for the half-orcs second only to
their main home, Torik, in the Themed'lon
Forests. The colony was initially a war outpost during the Third Sarvonian
War until it was abandoned and the half-orcs
built a colony from the remains.
Hell'wrung is a relatively new fortified village that sprung up along the far
northern border of the heath in 1468 a.S. An ambitious
Osther-Oc warlord named Grok'krek
abandoned his clan's nomadic lifestyle and convinced his followers to build the
village. He fortified it and built an army to raid and conquer his nomadic
brethren. He failed, of course, and for the last 200 years, the village has
seen constant war as the clans battle for control of it.
Location. The Heaths of
Eph'denn are flat, wide grasslands located on the southeastern leg of the
Peninsula of Caael'heroth in Northern Sarvonia.
To the south of the heath are the Themed'lon
Forests. Separating the forests from the heaths is the Kharim river fork
that splits into two rivers flowing southeast and southwest. The Kaaer’dár’shín
settlement of Eph'denn is situated on the far southern border of the heath at
the fork of the river. The heath's east border runs along the Shadow Coast
while the west border runs along the west gulf.
People. A nomadic clan
of the Osther-Oc orcs roam the Heaths
of Eph'denn and compete for hunting ground with the
who dwell in the Themed'lon Forests. The two
races encounter each other frequently in the heath and the meetings often result
in a bloody skirmish. The Osther-Oc orcs,
for their part, have called the heaths their home for centuries and have deeply
resented that their related half-orc cousins
have intruded upon their nomadic grounds. The
Kaaer’dár’shín, however, have to
survive for themselves as the heaths contain abundant fauna from which they
The enmity between the Osther-Oc and
the Kaaer’dár’shín runs deep.
The two tribes do not trust each other and have been at odds since the Third
Sarvonian War. The Osther-Oc would
have the half-orcs either assimilated into
slavery or destroyed but the tenacity and adaptability of the half-orcs
have made that task seemingly impossible. The
Kaaer’dár’shín have determined
that their orcen cousins will never again
conquer their home in the Themed'lon and the
half-orcs keep a large area of the heaths north
of their colony patrolled and watched at all times. The
Kaaer’dár’shín have always
feared that the remnants of the dark elves in the far north of Caaehl'heroth
will someday gather and organize another war and attempt to sweep down upon the
Themed'lon to conquer the half-orcs,
and possibly beyond further south.
Not all of the Osther-Oc tribe call
the heaths their home. There are a handful of clans who roam the flat
grasslands, moving every so often as the herds of
Climate. The climate
on the heaths during the winter season is cold and dry. Chill
winds blow across the land bridge from the
east gulf, often at below freezing temperatures. Snow covers the entire region
during the months between Passing
Clouds and Changing Winds.
The spring and summer months bring milder warm weather, with no snow, but dry
breezes and much sunlight.
Flora. The flat
shrubland of the heaths contains very little flora to speak of.
Alth'ho grass covers the entire heath
making the region a sufficient grazeland for the fauna that dwells there. The
grass is tall, up to a quarter of a
ped in height, and sways in
the breeze creating a wondrous rippling effect.
The eastern side of the heath grows the
wison's favoured food, hrugchuk
grass. Approximately six to eight
strals of blue coloured
field indicate where the grass is growing. Small herds of the
wison cattle can be found among the
Small shrubs grow in sparse groups in the heath as well, as they are not large
due to the low temperatures and short growth seasons. The
juk'lan bush and the waterberry bush
have homes in the heaths and grow primarily along the Kharim river that flows
through the region. Both the
Kaaer’dár’shín and the orcs make use of the
juk'lan leaves and waterberries for
various medicinal purposes, primarily to treat the symptoms of
ghun'tlor disease, a sometimes
debilitating disease that can affect those of orcen
Lythien moss is a commonly found ground
cover in areas where the alth'ho grass
doesn't grow. Most open patches of soil are covered with the moss, some patches
are many peds in size
creating a soft mossy bed.
The Kaaer’dár’shín half-orcs
have a non-meat staple food in the form of the
althz'onn bean plant that grows along
the southern and eastern sides of the heaths. The bean is a favourite not only
for decorative purposes when dried, but the bean can be boiled and mashed into a
pasty substance and served with meat. Small herds of the
ulgaroth beast are not an uncommon sight
as the beans are a favourite food of the creature.
Fauna. The heaths are
inhabited by a few varieties of grazing animals. The spring and summer annual
migration of the Landesh pony from
the Wilderon area makes for a festive hunt for the half-orcs.
The pony feeds on the thick alth'ho grass
and lythien moss that grow there. The
Kaaer’dár’shín hunters can often
be seen riding amidst the herds rounding up new breeding stock for their
warriors. The half-orc riders chase the
galloping ponies and rope them into a group to be taken back to the colonies for
taming and breeding.
The alth'zonn bean plant brings a herd
of ulgaroth beasts to the heaths every
year. The beasts in Caaehl'heroth migrate primarily along the southern edge of
the peninsula from Aden to the Eph'denn Heaths. The beasts are primarily used as
steeds by the Ash'mari barbarians to
the southeast of the half-orc homelands, but the
Kaaer’dár’shín never found them
to be useful as riding animals. Although the
ulgaroth beast is a very strong animal, the half-orcs
found them to be too slow for their preferred swift hit and run battles.
Occasionally, an ulgaroth will be caught
and served as a meal instead, or their thick and shaggy hides have served as
more than adequate clothing during the colder seasons.
A very small number of the thunderfoot
beasts roam the far northern reaches of the heaths. The number of
thunderfoot beasts are increasing and
Kaaer’dár’shín speak of rumours
that the orcs of the Icelands of Aeh’Os’th’er’Oc
are driving them south. When a thunderfoot
is sighted, there is great excitement in the half-orc
tribe as a single animal carries enough hide and meat to feed and clothe many
people. When a thunderfoot is slain,
the tribe will hold a celebration feast in honour of the hunters who killed it.
The wison cattle can be found
roaming in small herds mostly along the eastern side of the heaths. Their
favourite food, hrugchuk grass,
grows in abundance there. The herd makes frequent migrations to the the Kharim
river to drink. The wison in that
area is often hunted by both the
Kaaer’dár’shín and the nomadic
A favourite hunt among the half-orcs is the very
rarely sighted caracal wild cat. This
magnificent animal is both revered and honoured as both a capable hunter and an
elusive prey by the
cat is seen a few times a year in small packs
hunting the Landesh pony, the
thunderfoot or the
ulgaroth beast. When a half-orc party sights
a caracal, they immediately form up
and begin stalking the beast. An potential hunt is never postponed and a party
of hunters will often go for days at a time with the sole goal of bringing back
a caracal. The animal is large, and
quite dangerous, with many tales of a hunter being slain by a single
cat in battle.
Of the smaller animal varieties found on the heaths, the
leveret rabbit and the snow rat are
common sights. Each of these creatures have burrows that can be found all over
the plains where they feed on the abundance of grasses, mosses and shrubs that
grow there. Each of these little beasts are sometimes caught and kept as pets by
Kaaer’dár’shín children or their
small hides provide decoration for the
t'lark war bucklers, or the bromer dwellings.
The high rodent population attracts one of the rabbit's and
greycat's chief predators to this region:
the snobyrr hawk. The hawks nest in the
Themed'lon Forests, high in the deciduous
trees along the northern border. Their beautiful snow white forms can be seen
flying high over the heaths hunting for prey along the ground. When prey is
sighted, the hawk swoops down and snatches the rodent and flies away again back
to their nests. When a
Kaaer’dár’shín war party sights
a snobyrr hawk overhead, they see it as a
sign of good fortune that the sky siblings are watching and protecting them.
heaths provide resources in the form of the beasts that dwell there. Of the
natural land itself, the heaths provide little in the way of minerals and
precious metals. Neither the half-orcs, nor the
orcs themselves, are miners and digging into the
ground is not a typical occupation. The half-orcs
believe that the spirit of the earth, or the
Gynturg, provides their needs naturally.
Myth/Lore. In the
Kaaer’dár’shín tradition, the
Heaths of Eph'denn are home to the Gynturg, or the spirit Earth Brother. The
Durgho provides the beasts of the field for the
Kaaer’dár’shín to hunt, eat and
make use of. The plains are sacred and provide much in the way of resources for
the tribe, which is why there is so much conflict with the
orcs. The orcs,
as well, see the plains animals as a source of food and clothing. While both
tribes will probably never truly co-exist as a whole, they both recognize the
value of the heaths for their peoples.