Belast, Reach of the Ice Queen
Belast is a untamed frontier spanning across the northern portion of the continent. Its lands are desolate and inhospitable; barren highlands, slushy tundra, glacial mountains, and frozen wastes describe Belast’s geography from its southern border to its northern void. Few waterways cascade through the southern highlands and empty into the turbulent and treacherous Feroh-zeem Jae-teloo. This wide river rushes east to the ocean while overflowing into the icy swamps and bogs of Gaulla. The river’s ferocity makes navigation impossible. Few bridges traverse the narrower sections, and they are typically washed away during the warmer months.
Even with the unfavorable environment, Belast is home to a few intelligent races. Marauding, independent tribes of orcs and goblins terrorize each other and the few civilized areas in southern Belast; occasionally these tribes venture into neighboring Jaipis, Thresh,kha, and Gaulla. Small bands of human nomads also battle against these raiding tribes while following seasonal animal herds throughout Belast. Apart from nomadic bands and pillaging tribes, a refined group of humans and humanoids maintain a coexistent community. A monastery of reclusive monks, the Temple of the Northern Winds rests on a high cliff ledge of a southern mountain range near the Thresh’khan border. These monks neither encourage nor discourage visitors.
The ruler of Belast, the Ice Queen does not concern herself with these barbaric wanderers and frivolous friars. Organized groups of hobgoblins, orcs, goblins, dwarves, and elves serve the Ice Queen. These fanatical subjects do her bidding, whether it’s maintaining her fortress or working her mines. Rumors abound about the Ice Queen’s military, but all rumors start from elements of truth. Her elite shock troops consist of tactical and cunning hobgoblins; these intelligent creatures have historically faced off against the dwarves of Jaipis. Ice elven archers supply the Ice Queen with ranged support; their frost wolf companions close for the attack as previously unseen arrows puncture their enemies. Perhaps the most notorious of the Ice Queen’s forces are her ice elven covens. These female magi are reputed to power their sorcery with bloodletting, most often at the expense of others. Other fantastical beasts are reported to serve Belast’s ruler: tales of the Ice Queen’s winter giants and snow dragons are used to scare little children throughout the northern territories.
This reclusive overlord claims the entire northern territory as her own, running from Belast’s southern border to the northern, unexplored frigid wastelands. Legends suggest her seat of power, Icehold, rests atop a frozen mountain plateau within the icy, northern wastes. Even the most experienced travelers could not hope to find Icehold Palace without a trustworthy guide.
Icehold is fashioned from a clear, transparent iron called nephclium. This material is indigenous to Belast, and it is one of the Ice Queen’s primary exports. Dwarven-supervised teams of orkin and goblin miners excavate and refine this deep ore for the Ice Queen, providing a valuable commodity for trade. Few of these mines have been seen by outsiders; seemingly unnatural fog and steam encompass the known mine locations which eliminates prying eyes. Salt mines also are common in Belast. An expensive commodity, Belastuir salt adorns the tables of many fine inns and wealthy homes across the continent. Few other resources provide income for Belast: ice blocks, lamp oil, and fish are a few.
One coastal community exists along the eastern shores of Belast, Jark-watir. This outpost is a major trading center for Belast, but it is little more than a mixture of docks, warehouses, common rooms, barracks, and stables. Ice blocks, salt, fish, and lamp oil leave; while foodstuffs, skins, stone, and slaves enter. Two other Belastuir trading stations move products in and out of the Ice Queen’s realm: Farloni and Eromgety. Farloni merchants trade with Thresh’khan dolinas on the far banks of Feroh-zeem Jae-teloo. Mostly ice, salt, and lamp oil are traded for meat by a rope and pulley system that crosses the river to a similar trading post on Thresh’khan soil. Surprisingly, large quantities of products are traded by this system but only during the coldest months when the raging river is at its lowest. Eromgety is positioned on one end of Bhui Pazz (Blue Pass), the only obvious passage between Jaipis and Belast. Eromgety supplies Jaipis with nephclium while receiving mithril, gems, and cold iron from Jaipis. Although skirmishes are common between the Belastuir hobgoblins and the Jaipis dwarves, trading between these two nations rarely halts.
Ruler: the Ice Queen
Capital: Icehold (Castle, Population ?)
Major Cities: Farloni, Eromgety, & Jark-watir
Notable Locations: Temple of the Northern Winds
Land Mass: 10,811 sq miles
Population: 74,200 inhabitants
Racial Distribution: ??
Geography: Mountains, highlands, tundra, and frozen wastes.
Agriculture: None known
Primary Exports: Nephclium, salt, ice blocks, fish, lamp oil