Al Pa'anch Shahir
Al Pa'anch Shahir (ăl păh-ănch shăh-ear) is located on the southern coast of Rameen and is one of the most isolated regions of Korinth. There is no open trade between Al Pa'anch Shahir and any other Korinthian locale, no overland connections to the larger world, no sea routes and no known connections with other planes.
Harsh natural boundaries cut off most approaches and mysterious magical energies thwart any attempts to enter or exit the region magically. To the north and east loom the Red Mountains whose massive peaks are know to be home to giants, rocs, and more fearsome and dangerous beasts. Where these rusty peaks split opening a valley that could provide egress, the Desert of Desolation blankets the land. This oppressive and unforgiving sea of sand, dryness, and death proves to be even more inhospitable than the mountains. Not even the warm waters of the Southern Sea offer escape as no ship that has plied its waters has returned again to tell the tale. Even in the few places where these natural obstacles break - such as along the banks of the great rivers or the untamed savannahs - escape is just as difficult. The riverbanks are choked by thick, nigh-impassable jungles and the savanna resembles the Desert of Desolation during its dry months and is filled with deadly predators during the wet season.
This extreme isolation has led to a belief inside Al Pa'anch Shahir (and more specifically within the Five Cities) that the Five Cities are all that remains of civilization upon Korinth and all else was destroyed in the Sundering.
The major towns, villages and other settlements of the region include.
Five Cities ▲ (several cities, 500,000): All the land inside Grombuur's Wall is referred to as the Five Cities. This is the center of civilization in the region and believed by many to be the last beacon of civilization upon Korinth.
Fool's Rest ▲ (thorp): The small village of Fool's Rest sits on the edge of the Twilight Jungle about a hundred miles north of the Five Cities at the end of the Fool's Road - a rough, mostly overgrown and completely unmaintained footpath. It was established by an adventuring group known as Hammerstrike about two hundred years ago and takes a meandering route through the jungle for nearly a hundred miles before ending at the tiny settlement of Fool's Rest. Beyond its existence, little is known of Fool's Rest or the fates of Hammerstrike, though occasionally heavily armed or heavily guarded residents emerge from the jungle with ancient relics or mysterious artifacts for sale in the market to affirm the town’s continued existence. Further, it is not entirely uncommon for the very wealthy of the Five Cities to seek escort to Fool's Rest out of pure curiosity and a desire to gain some social advantage among others of their status. On occasion these expeditions are successful, though more often they are cut short due to injuries along the way, the danger sinking in, or worse, the death of someone on the expedition.
- The Warrens: The Warrens is the name for a large complex of tunnels and caverns to the east of the Five Cities. It is home almost exclusively to great numbers of kobolds and gnomes, who formed an unlikely alliance during the formation of the Five Cities. Little is known about the Warrens aside from the fact that it is home to gnomes and kobolds and that they apparently hid from or held at bay the morguul during the Sundering. Visitors to the Warrens bring back tales of great plumes of smoke which rise from holes in the ground and of loud sounds of explosions, grinding, clanging and banging coming from deep within the earth. Vessels from the Warrens which make occasional pilgrimages to Al Harahi for trade come laden with bizarre mechanical contraptions and magical devices on ships driven apparently by magic.
Sites of Interest
Desert of Desolation ▲ (aka The Sands): The Desert of Desolation, just “the Sands” to most residents of the region, is a massive expanse of unforgiving desert that stretches to the northwest. Within the Sands dangers abound. Among those are great packs of gnolls, fiercely territorial and purportedly cannibalistic dwarves, poisonous serpents and lizards, and more. That is, of course, not to mention the blinding sandstorms, the scorching heat, the bitter cold nights, and the near complete lack of any natural water source. Like the Twilight Jungle, however, there are lures to the Desert of Desolation for adventurers. Primary among these is the Obsidian Road, a great and now broken road of glassy obsidian which stretches from the northeastern boundary of the Wall right into the desert itself. There are other enticements as well. Ruins have been discovered on the outskirts of the desert on various occasions, and recently quasi-friendly relations have opened between the Five Cities and a tribe of nomadic elves that claim to make their lives within the desert and bring with them tales of populated lands beyond the Sands.
Obsidian Road: From the boundary of the Wall into the depths of the Sands stretches a river of obsidian fifty feet across and nearly as deep. None know for certain when this great road was built, by whom it was built, or where it leads. At the Weathervane students are taught the Obsidian Road once led to a Shan'Del stronghold which stood at heart of the great desert as a testament to their might. Another popular tale claims that a mighty city with streets paved in gold and lined with gemstones lies at the end of the Obsidian Road. Still other theories abound: that the Obsidian Road wasn’t built at all, but is some sort of natural phenomena; that it leads across the entirety of the Sands; that it leads to another world. Regardless of the truth, the mystery surrounding the Obsidian Road has lured many adventurers to their deaths in the scorching wastes of the Desert of Desolation.
- Twilight Jungle ▲ (aka "the Green" or "the Jungle): The Twilight Jungle is a massive and dense stretch of jungle which follows the main path of the Serpent's Tongue. In addition to the confirmed physical dangers within (lizardfolk, Green Elves, venomous plants and animals) there are persistent rumors that angry spirits haunt the forest and take offense at unwelcome intrusions. Some scholars from the Weathervane believe there may be inroads into the Faerie realm in the deepest and darkest hearts of this untamed wilderness and warn adventurers that they should be wary. Despite the dangers, legends of great treasures hidden deep within the jungle, of secret cities and temples continue to lure adventurers into the jungle’s heart. So persistent are these rumors and so alluring to those of an adventuresome persuasion, that a settlement for adventurers has actually been established in the jungle’s depths, a place of respite and relative safety for those who can reach it.