Tharhalan is surrounded on three sides by mountains, and by the ocean to the west. Although its theoretical borders reach into the mountains, in practice Tharhalan is bounded on the north by the river Vesper, and on the south by the Fire river. The country stretches roughly 230 miles from the western ocean to the border town of Lariguer to the east, and 100 miles north to south.
To the east across a mountain pass lies the nation of Impiltur, a (mostly) friendly land of merchants and farmers that trade heavily with Tharhalan. While peaceful, Impiltur is capable of calculated acts of war when called for (or profitable), and it is known to vigorously defend its borders. However, their main interest is in remaining neutral and they typically leave neighbors to fend for themselves.
To the south lies the elven lands of Arnalas, a fairly disorganized assembly of cities and towns that mainly wish to be left to their forests in peace. They allow travel, visitors, and trade, but only within limits.
To the southeast lies the Dwarven kingdom of the Earthfast Mountains. The dwarves have mainly held an uneasy peace and trade relations with their surrounding nations, but there have been recent periods of outright war with Arnalas (mostly over incursions into each others territory and sacred sites). The dwarves have increasingly been at odds with Tharhalan lately over trading and shipping rights, and there have been a number of diplomatic spats in recent years.
Across the Trollcrag mountains to the north and northeast are wild and dangerous lands occupied by barbarians, orcs, and worse. A number of human and dwarven settlements lie along the main trade routes north in this area, but it is a dangerous and precarious existence, ever under threat of hobgoblin or orc attack. Beyond and to the further north and northeast lies the land of Damara, a once proud but now decaying empire, exhausted from centuries of battling the evil hordes from the mountains.
Tharhalan itself has three major port cities, and a number of smaller inland cities.
Starting in the north is the port city of Calaunt at the mouth of the river Vesper. Calaunt is the largest city in Tharhalan, having benefitted from it’s role as the most accessible major port for a huge area of land to the north. Calaunt is run by a council of seven trade families. There is a strong (and not always friendly) rivalry between the merchants and rulers of Caluant and those of Hilhaven, with the former resenting the leading political role of the latter.
Tantras is the middle city along the coast, smaller than the other two. Tantras prides itself on the diversity of religions that it welcomes, and on the strength of it’s military fortifications. Tantras is also the main port of the Tharhalan navy.
To the south is the capital city of Hilhaven, lying athwart the mouth of the Fire river. Hilhaven is a city of contrasts, with grand churches, exotic markets, and impressive official buildings interspersed with seedy (and dangerous) bars, and a large waterfront. Besides being the seat of government, it is also the center of the church of Heironeous in Tharhalan, and the home to innumerable plots, intrigues, and conspiracies.
The western half of Tharhalan is mostly given over to farming and the estates of powerful nobles, while the eastern half of the country is wilder, with forests, glades, and a fair amount of danger still lurking. While there are a number of small towns and inns along the roads to the east, only fools travel unprotected in the area roughly bounded by the towns of King’s Reach, Dragon Falls, and the Tower of Ithfell.
The player characters are all currently in Hilhaven
Eric Stone lives in Hilhaven, probably in the Anvil neighborhood or one of the other waterfront districts. Eric is well known throughout these areas, and most people know that you invite trouble if you bother him (either from the other locals, or the odd accidents that seem to befall those who try to harm Eric). The docks also have the advantage that the limited dwarven population of Hilhaven tend to shun them.
Rynard and Bartolomei are originally from their neighboring family estates near the inland town of Hlintar, but both have family residences in Hilhaven, and Rynard keeps an apartment in one of the more “colorful” parts of the city. For reasons of his own, Rynards’ father seems willing to subsidize this minor extravagance. Bartolomei of course has cramped (but private) quarters at the Temple of the Golden Shield, the base for the Knights of Heironeous.
Ailanthus is the owner of a small mineral and jewelry shop in the Swordpoint neighborhood of Hilhaven, between De Villar’s Creek and Fiddler’s Green Park. Ailanthus lives in an apartment above her shop. While far from the market district, Ailanthus does a thriving business because of the beautiful jewelry she creates and the rare stones she seems to find. Her shop is a favorite for those looking for a special something for a loved one (or prospective loved one).