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Features of the lands around Etzos

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These are the better known locations outside of the city of Etzos. Some of them have a direct impact on the city's economy. Some are merely landmarks. All of them are named as they are referred to by the citizens of Etzos. Travelers and citizens of other lands and cities may have different names for some of them.

1.) FROSTBROW PENINSULA: While possessing little in the way of game, vegetation or mineral worth, this peninsula is recognized as a strategic landing point for hostile forces. As such, any arm of the military assigned to the north sends routine scouting missions to monitor activity there.

2.) THE GULF OF VIGILANCE: This body of water defines the northern boundary of the peninsula to the east of Etzos. It has long been a source of food for the city. It is also the location of modest training facilities where citizens learn many skills related to fishing and boating. The name suggests the stress placed on reconnaissance as well as marine crafts.

3.) THE HIVEY ARCHIPELAGO: This string of islands spans the gulf and is as much a strategic aid as a liability. It has often been used by pirates, though a concerted effort by Etzori forces is usually sufficient to drive them off for a time. It is more worrisome for its ability to shield the presence of forces more directly hostile to Etzos.

4.) FOOTHOLD ISLAND: While not considered a part of the Hivey Archipelago, the name given this island shows how its location is viewed by Etzos. There is a strange inability to find a landing for boats, yet reports indicate the occasional appearance of campsites. The possibility that illusions are being used to hide a landing does not ease Etzos' concerns.

5.) BAILEY PENINSULA: This landmass is named for the term that refers to the large courtyard inside castle walls. The city of Etzos views this area as their sort of "back yard", and guards it as such. It is a source of much of the city's material wealth, and no trespassing is allowed.

6.) THE FORBIDDEN SPIT: This protrusion of land into the "Meridian Main" is largely a secret to the people of Etzos. More can be found here about the secret there, the most common way that people find themselves there, and some of the other people there.

7.) FOSTER'S BAY: The counterpart to the Gulf of Vigilance, this bay defines the southern boundary of Bailey Peninsula. Named for an old friend of original founder Morgan Parhn, it is where the Southwood River flows into the sea, and also provides fish and trade for Etzos. The mouth of the Southwood River is the location of Foster's Landing, the port which serves Etzos' interests. There are no significant islands in this bay, but it is watched as regularly as the northern gulf. This is by the diligence of the garrison outpost there, which was the original construction that grew into the town.

8.) THE SOUTHWOOD RIVER: This is the river upon which the city of Etzos relies for fresh water. It powers the mill and provides the waterway upon which the barbican/bridge is built for defense. Its headwaters rise in the North Woods and flow south into Foster's Bay to the south.

9.) THE BARMAID'S BOSOM: It is not difficult to see how this landmass got its name. Following this metaphor, most reports will refer to the "left and right" promontories, as opposed to the "north and south" which would normally be used. There is no particular strategic significance to this area, nor does it possess any great material wealth or game. But it is, nonetheless, a uniquely well identified location.

10.) THE ARMPIT: This also follows the metaphor noted above, as it is directly beside "the bosom". The negative connotation of an armpit is also quite apt, in the view of Etzori interests, because this inlet marks the continental boundary, below which the influence of the "witch's city" of Rhakros becomes prominent. Even though private worship of Lisirra is now allowed in Etzos, it was only granted as a trade-off to obtaining weaponized toxins for the military. There is no love lost between Etzos and Rhakros.

11.) THE FARMLAND PLAINS: The name describes quite simply the purpose of this large cultivated block of land to the southwest of the city. There is no true boundary to this zone, as the plains go on for well over a thousand miles. The square on the map marks the point beyond which farming crews have occasionally disappeared, or returned with tales of monsters. There is usually an arm of the military on rotation there, doing maneuvers. This tends to keep monsters away.

12.) THE MINES: Not a location a traveler is likely to come across randomly, it is constantly guarded by whatever arm of the military is on rotation to the east. Being on the border of the North Woods, travelers do occasionally get close. Subtle efforts will be made to encourage them to take a different route. If this is unsuccessful, they are taken into custody immediately. The mines are the single most important part of the city's economy, providing the gems for which the city is best known.

13.) THE QUARRY: Having learned, from past incendiary incursions by Aukari provocateurs, that stone construction is ultimately more cost-effective that wood, the quarry is also an extremely valuable asset to the city. It is not so severely guarded as the mines, being far more open, and possessing assets far more difficult to sneak out. The triangle formed by the city, the mines, and the quarry is rich in metals, and feature a number of such mines.

14.) THE WESTRIDE RIVER: This is the midland river that winds its way from Hiladrith in the north, to Ne'haer in the south. Vast plains extend beyond this river, which the Etzori call "The Westride". The city enforces no claim on any of these lands beyond the river, but the army patrols them to some degree nonetheless. The lands between the two rivers, however, are held by the city to be part of its rightful domain.

15.) THE WARRIOR WOOD: This is basically the no-man's land between the rivers marking the boundaries of Sirothelle and Etzos' claimed territories. It has earned this name on the basis that one had best be a warrior if he is going to spend much time there. There have been many clashes of advance forces from both cities here, as well as several running retreats, as far as the rivers, in both directions.

16.) ICE CASTLE DEEPS: Far to the north is a cold, deep bay. An island sits in that bay that features bizarre rock and ice formations, giving it the appearance of a castle of ice atop the island's highest point. Like Foothold Island, there is no apparent landing anywhere around the sea level perimeter of the island. Some members of The Tower have begun to suspect that there may be some connection between Foothold Island and The Ice Castle.

17.) THE GELID SHORE: This expanse of icy shoreline spans the northeast corner of the continent. It lies between Frostbrow Peninsula and the mysterious, nearly deserted city of Valaris. Though the easy slope of the shore would accommodate a landing, the frigid temperatures would not allow any delay to make inroads to the warmer climes southwest. Supplies had best be in good quantity as well, for there is little to support a force of any size.

18.) THE STEAMING STREAM: The name is not really an indication of any natural phenomenon. This river is only so named because if its general designation as the southern boundary of the lands claimed by fiery Sirothelle. The protectors of Etzos do not assume that their enemies in Sirothelle call this river by the same name. Nor do they care.

19.) THE NORTH WOODS: Etzos not only sits on the Southwood River, it sits at the southern edge of a massive forest. This portion is the relatively safe, close part directly north of the city. It had been fully charted by cartographer crews at the behest of The Tower, and holds few surprises beyond dangerous animals. It has been cleared in some areas, to obtain wood for a variety of wares, furniture and construction. It is considered a shared land with the nearby city of Hiladrith, with whom Etzos enjoys good diplomatic and economic relations, based largely on promises of military aid against Sirothelle.

20.) THE FROST LAKE WOODS: This is the less-charted, less-safe expanse of forest between the North Woods and The Gelid Shore. Frost Lake itself is nothing spectacular visually, but it serves as a watering hole for the wild population of the area. Predators and prey alike suspend their hostilities while drinking, but all truces are off once returned to the woods. Hunters as well, can easily find game around the lake, but there is a curious, spontaneous alliance that brings the animals to react with united aggression against any that attack those getting a drink.

21.) THE WESTRIDE PLAINS: These plains extend a thousand miles, all the way to the gulf-coast city of Argos. Etzos does not presume to lay any claim to these lands, but they patrol sections of them as a policy of their military maneuvers. They chart areas when they can, search for materiel of all sorts, and have begun to capture prospective mounts for a new branch of The Army of the Etzori.

22.) THE MISTING WOODS: Unlike the Steaming River, this geographic feature does take its name from natural phenomenon. There is often a strange mist that does not seem to burn away as the sun crosses the sky. There have been reports of the mist taking man-like and animal shapes and attacking travelers and soldiers alike. But these figures leave no lasting evidence of their presence, even disturbed dirt or grass, so corroboration is difficult. Reports also indicate that these figures will not follow their targets into the plains, so that is the simplest way of avoiding them.

23.) THE SOUTHRIDE PLAINS: This is essentially the same situation as the Westride plains, except to the south. It is the expanse of plains beyond the point claimed by Etzos as the extent of its domain. It is patrolled with more vigilance than the Westride, however, due to it being the zone between Etzos and the hostile city of Rhakros. There is no standing animosity between Etzos and the western cities of Argos or Ne'haer. The Southride is considered to extend to the latitude corresponding to The Armpit.

24.) THE WITCH'S WILDS: South of the Armpit, the plains develop a decidedly "watched" feeling, which grows stronger as one comes within sight of the jungles of the south. The mere fear of pestilence causes some to come down with otherwise inexplicable symptoms of various toxins, sometimes resulting in permanent debilitation, or even death. Rhakros, the city of Lisirra, the Immortal of Pestilence, is hidden in the deep jungle lands, which remain utterly uncharted. It is believed by the Etzori that she sends subtle swarms of biting insects to thwart trespassers with infectious diseases, if they should pass south of The Armpit.

25.) THE EASTERN HEADLANDS: Little is known, in Etzos, of the eastern continent, beyond what the charts of master cartographer, Zefleran Folorie, display. This eidisi emigrant is known to have traveled widely and have numerous contacts throughout Idalos, who provide additional cartographical details of distant lands. Based on Folorie's data, this eastern location is what The Tower considers the best spot to land an uninvited force on the far shore, should it ever become necessary. (More information on Zefleran Folorie can be found here, under the heading of "Smarter Charts")
word count: 1981

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