In the northwest corner of the River Kingdoms lies the Echo Wood. The forest serves as the border between the River Kingdoms and Numeria and is separated from Ustalav by the West Sellen River, the Echo Wood is populated by independent settlements and homesteads living alongside barbarian tribes and goblins.
The Echo Wood marks the northwest border of the River Kingdoms. It is a mixed temperate forest of various hardwoods thick with underbrush. The woods have a reputation for being difficult to navigate and even experienced woodsmen new to the Echo Woods find themselves easily lost.
Locations in The Echo Wood Area:
Alejia's Crossing Set on the crossroads of Valley Road and Mosswater Road is a small inn run by a retired adventurer. The inn serves merchants and travelers alike, but the area is said to be frequented by bandits who prey on the unwary.
The Emerald Spire This keep of vibrant green crystal is ancient, possibly one of the oldest structures in the region. The central spire of the keep is comprised of a strange green glass harder than granite. The clearing surrounding the Spire is curiously devoid of trees and the dense underbrush of the surrounding woods. It is common knowledge that beneath the ruins is a dungeon, but its size is unknown, as the ruin has never been fully explored.
Fort Inevitable A bastion of law in a lawless region. Fort Inevitable is a small city mercilessly ruled by an order of Hellknights who have dedicated themselves to defending the town and Crusader’s Road from bandits, monsters, and other dangers. Fort Inevitable is one of the few locations in the River Kingdoms to permit slavery, and many crimes are punishable by a length of forced servitude. However, while the Hellknights permit slavery, they do not condone the abuse of slaves.
Most of the inhabitants are fine with their overlords, focusing their energy on farming and equipping the assorted crusaders heading north to the Worldwound. Those who can stay out of the way of the Hellknights are happy for the security they provide. However, not all residents are content with the Hellknights’ rule, and there are rumors of a resistance movement gaining in numbers.
Misted Vault An ancient ruin dating back to the days of the Azlanti exiles, the Misted Vault is a series of subterranean chambers with an entrance hidden in a hillside amid a jumble of boulders.
Mosswater Abandoned fifty years ago after a series of merrow attacks, the town is a reminder than Echo Wood is not safe, even for larger settlements. The ogres that devastated the town still lurk in Glow Water Lake, encouraging travelers to detour around that stretch of Crusader’s Road for the safer Valley Road.
Oreena's Cottage Grandmotherly Oreena is a druid who works to spread the Green Faith, teaching the townsfolk of Thornkeep respect for the woods.
Pit of Chains A steep-sided sinkhole surrounded by snarled thickets of goblinbramble and dead trees, the Pit of Chains is the entrance to a large set of subterranean caverns.
Thornkeep A forest stronghold frequented by brigands, pirates, mercenaries, and barbarians. Thornkeep is ruled by the strong, who are able to take what they want and keep what they have. This lawless town harbors the dangerous and the desperate, and serves as a location for bandits to spend their tainted gold.
However, there are a number of honest folk who make their living in and around the town; while Thornkeep is dangerous, it is safer than the wilds of the Echo Woods. Artisans earn a decent living, providing a necessary service and needed goods, and there is a thriving logging industry providing lumber for the assorted homesteads and points of interest in the region.
Toad Hollow One of the few swampy areas within the Echo Wood, Toad Hollow is a poorly drained dell surrounded by low, bramble covered ridges. Toad Hollow is home to a reclusive tribe of boggards, who make their homes in crude huts built on platforms around the wading cypresses. The boggards are growing in number and aggressiveness, and bands of boggard marauders and scavengers are now a routine sight in the nearby woods.
Woodbristle Homestead The home of a large halfling family who live secure behind their goblinbramble fortifications. The halflings are known for their extensive mushroom gardens.