The Nalfrey Reach
The Korangar Spine
The Korangar Spine: The mountain range that forms the north border of the Nalfrey Reach, and the fabled place of an ancient battle for the future of Midgard. It is said that here the gods slew the great worm Jormungand, and from the north of the mountains its blood flowed, threatening to spill over all the world and drown it. The gods, it is said, erected four great towers in the four passes through the mountains: Tyrswatch, Wodenswatch, Thorswatch and Freyswatch. The towers protected the rest of the world from the Serpent’s blood. Today, the lands north of the Spine are known as the Fetid Lands.
South of the Spine are the three sisters: three keeps that were constructed for reasons long forgotten. Great cities they were, once upon a time, but these days they are little more than small, barely maintained keeps surrounded by vast tracts of ruins.
Ruricksgard is the best-kept of the three sister keeps. Ruled by Jarl Gorren Greywall, Ruricksgard is, if not profitable, at least self-sufficient. Greywall is diligent about the controlled burns meant to keep the fetid blight at bay, and has seen to it that the walls are kept in serviceable repair, if not good condition. He looks after his people with care, but realizes his time is growing short. While he cares for his people greatly, his desire to drive back the fetid lands borders on a mania at times, and he has turned to soothsayers and purveyors of black magics who promise that they can offer him the reprieve he so desperately craves. Even if everyone else left Ruricksgard, it is often said that Greywall would be the last, ruling from a throne overgrown with fungus, lording over the swampland creatures, his last subjects. Ruricksgard is all Greywall has, and he will not give his heart to another town.
Ruricksgard is in the best economic shape of the three. Her iron mines are still bountiful, and her farms are largely untouched by the blight. She exports metals, food and leather to surrounding villages, and to Fallastead… when her sister can afford it.
Fallasted is ruled by Jarl Hodan Flintmane. Jarl Flintmane is a penny-pincher and a scrimp, in a time where there are neither pennies to pinch, nor any valuable resource to scrimp. He tries to save up and cut costs wherever he can, with no regard to his people. He is under the illusion that, if he can save up enough, he can buy Fallastead out of its impending doom.
Fallastead itself is as its sisters: crumbling, both inside and out. Everyone goes on with their lives as if nothing is wrong, but everyone knows that, maybe in their lifetimes, maybe in those of their children, the rot will finally take over, and they will be forced to flee, or else face starvation. Still, outside the jarl’s palace, some have embraced the philosophy to eat, drink, and be merry. Despite the impending squalor, what little wealth remains is sometimes invested by the citizens to hold feasts and merriment. Thus, in this dying town, some semblance of life still remains, thin facade though it may be.
Fallasted, like her sisters, is surrounded by a great stone wall. In Fallasted, the wall has been allowed to crumble over the centuries, in some places salvaged and removed entirely, for lack of an enemy to protect against.
Fallasted is barely eking out its living, as the second-most engulfed by the fetid lands. It has no exports; everything it gains from the mines and farms is used to continue living another day.
Alfadheim is the looming specter of inevitability for her sisters. The fetid lands fully overtook her only a few years back. While the keep itself and a handful of farms still exist untouched by the fetid blight, there is no one there to observe. The food supply eventually ran out, and a tipping point was reached. The jarl, Jarl Drogr Steeltusk, declared the keep lost, and the population moved away. Those too stubborn to leave were eventually overwhelmed by the rot, as their farms were overtaken and the swamp’s twisted wildlife established its new home.
Alfadheim now stands as a rotted, decayed husk of its former glory. Only vultures and carrion crows live there now, watching the slow crumble of once-mighty walls as the vines of the blighted lands push deeper into their mortar.