This section provides a brief overview of the larger area of the Spectral coast, using the Hex Grid as a reference. There is still a good chunk of material to flesh out but this one is mainly designed as a quick and simple ‘cheat sheet’ to let DM’s figure out what type of content to come up with in any given area.
The Spectral Coast itself is a region that is part of the much larger, and more popular Forgelands, which is a part of the continent of The Crux, a landmass shared with two other major powers, the Coalition to the west and the Union to the North. We hope to be able to bring more of the world of Voarcel & the various groups that make up the Crux to you in the future, but for now, we will focus on an overview of the Spectral Coast, its major features and the types of creatures you can expect to see on your travels. In this section, we will be touching on some of its more prominent towns and cities, as well as hints of encounters and tales you may wish to tell within them.
While the Spectral coast is not always covered in fog and grey skies, it certainly feels that way. Some believe it’s due to the proximity of the Nightmare Sea and the strange confluence of dark magic at its heart. While nobody knows for certain, the entire northeastern coast is considered best left alone as far as the rest of the Forgelands is concerned. However, the locals have been able to live fairly comfortably despite the lack of aid from the rest of the region, and prefer the isolation and choose to get on with their own affairs. Because of this, some consider the Spectral Coast to be a state independent of the Forge. Of course, this isn’t technically the case, but the lack of oversight in the Spectral coast has led to the region’s large population of Non-dwarves, & the coast is a haven for many people who would otherwise find living in any of the more highly regulated areas difficult.
Random Encounter Tables for all these areas will be included both in Chapter 2 of the Zine and in the Bonus Content section of the website when it is released.
The Wraithcliffs cover the northernmost section of The Spectral coast, (B4, B3, C4, D3, E3, E2, F2 & E1) and are some of the most inhospitable and barren areas in the region. Once part of a long chain of now dormant volcanic activity, the Wraithcliffs are a set of increasingly hostile mountains, made from dark and jagged obsidian. Many excursions through the cliffs have ended in disaster due to the treacherous footing in the region, and most are wise enough to steer clear of them. However, there are some isolated areas that can be navigated to with a clear eye and a good guide, and if you are able to survive up there, the black jagged peaks and valleys can make for one heck of an impressive lair.
Undead, Trolls, and Bandits are said to make their home in these mountains.
F3 – (Rozun’rot)
An isolated mining town that hasn’t really interacted much with the city of Khuz’velgrim for a while, due to their tolerance of Undead & Veril. The population is mainly Dwarves, as the locals have little love for the other races & are a heavily self-segregated community. Recently they have found themselves the target of a seemingly never-ending run of attacks from the undead, though they refuse the help of any outsiders. The nature of the undead attack is unknown but it is suspected something in the mines below has to be the cause. The only non-dwarves inside the walls are slaves, used in the household or the mines which are now barricaded.
F3 – Forbryder Estate
Forbryder is the name of a small village that sits by the Velflod river under 30 miles from the city of Khuz’velgrim, nestled on the edge of the Wraithcliffs. It was built by the Forbryder family, a group of Tiefling loggers who came to the region around 100 years ago & built both the village & the large estate where they reside. While the Trees in the area have all but gone, the Forbryder family has been an important factor in many businesses in the wider area, and have had no problem keeping the village they are named after afloat. Recently the current head of the family Kristina Forbryder was murdered by her siblings, however, she is now one of the free Undead and from the city of Khuz’velgrim, she plots her revenge.
F3 – Khuz’Velgrim
The center of historical discovery in the Spectral Coast, the city in which the technology used in the rest of the Forgelands was discovered. Built above the ancient Dwarven Holy city of Nelojarl, this city was heavily damaged 400 years ago during an as yet unexplained Calamity that sunk half the city below ground. Now the City is shared by Veril, Free Undead & Goblin Cartels alongside the Dwarven & Gnomish citizens. For more info on this location see Chapter 1 of Voarcel.
Zepplin Transport: Every Monday & Thursday Zeppelins from Seomare arrive. As soon as they are offloaded and maintained, the zeppelins begin the trip to either Caybarrow or return to Seomare depending on the day. Every Wednesday a Zeppelin from Caybarrow arrives in Khuz’velgrim, it is then sent to Seomare.
F3 – Velpis
A small fishing town that is entirely owned by the Brine Runners, a Goblin Cartel that uses the location as a front for smuggling all manner of illegal goods. At one point it was a normal fishing village, but the locals were either bought out or disappeared generations ago. Now it’s heavily fortified and patrolled by Cartel members at all times. The majority of the contraband brought through here is sold in the Grimscar portion of Khuz’velgrim, from there it is spread through the rest of the Spectral coast. In turn many of the various illegal and illicit substances controlled by the various guilds and Government bodies of the Forgelands find their way into here before being shipped across the Nightmare sea, heading to anywhere from Perco to the Vatinberg Empire.
F3 – (Velmaw)
Many of the families who once made Velpis their home eventually settled with their neighbors here in a more defended and patrician township. Velmaw is a theocracy, built by followers of Asepsis, they are deeply religious and the entire town is considered the property of the church. This deeply pious and religious community has worked hard to build itself up into a truly independent community, and as such, they are rarely interested in the affairs of outsiders, save to convert them to the cleansing flame of Asepsis. While they are deeply entrenched in their support of the Slavery System & are predominantly Dwarven, unlike Rozun’rot to the north, they permit all races within their ranks, as long as they are staunch enemies of both demons and the Undead.
F3 – (Haq’smyth)
A small village between Slig & Khuzvelgrim. Most travelers use it as a crossroads before traveling to either Forbryder, Khuz’velgrim or Velmaw. Since there is a reasonably large amount of traffic flowing through the area, traders passing by usually open their carts to potential buyers in an attempt to make some quick money. It is considered a place of opportunity, as some of the merchandise that passes through the area is often sold quickly at competitive rates to avoid the more eagle-eyed inspections in Slig. It is very rare for people to spend the night & any interaction here is rarely spoken off again.
Nestled in the base of the Wraithcliffs are the Wyrmwood forests, (C5, B5, D4 & E3) named after the local legends of a Dragon that was slain here. The legend says the beast was felled by one of the Dwarven God’s Agraseri, and as she ripped her enemy limb from limb, trees began to sprout from the ground where the blood fell. The Wyrmwood has a past almost as bloody as the legend that named it, and while nobody knows of any Draconic influence, there have been plenty of wolf sightings through the years. Wyrmwood is considered highly dangerous, and anyone foolish enough to wander through the forest at night is likely never to be seen again. There are some isolated villages hidden deep in the woods, though they rarely even interact with the town of Mal’trae, let alone any outsiders. They can be friendly enough if only to move people on quickly. At night, however, rumor has it they become werewolves and will slay any who find themselves trapped in their hunting grounds.
D3 – Mal’trae
Deep within the Wyrmwood is the township of Mal’trae, an old logging town similar to Forbryder but one that has grown into a much larger and self-sufficient community. The people of Mal’trae are fairly insular even by the standards of the Spectral Coast and don’t often take too kindly to outsiders. One of the more outlandish rumors spread by the towns outside of the Wyrmwood include it’s run either by a family of werewolves and a demon cult, and they are in league with a group of Hobgoblins living wild in the Wraithcliffs above them. Regardless of these tales, it is known that people from most races, even Trolls and Orcs live here, as long as the law of the ruling family is obeyed.
D5 – Dejlig
One of the more pleasant areas in the Spectral Coast, the town of Dejlig technically falls under the control of Fort Seomare, the largest castle in the Forgelands. Dejlig is another of the many foresting towns set up to provide lumber for the region, and the local sawmills are an essential part of the local trade. Aside from the occasional Wolf attack, there are no real hostile creatures here, though the city watch does tend to keep the gates well manned at night.
D5 – Seomare
One of the Oldest cities in the region and the largest castle in the Spectral Coast. End of the line in terms of steam transport and is the only part of the coast with access to the underground rail system. The main distribution hub for the Northern Coast, anything moving in or out of this part of the region goes through the gates of this bustling city. Has a huge population and may be one of the most densely packed population centers around, anyone and everyone pass through the ‘gateway city’ to different places. Infamous for the giant statues. Said to have been built to fight dragons, but is likely just a wild story. The Fort is of Dwarven design but has been augmented over the years with plenty of Gnomish and Forgeland created technology.
The surrounding region is considered farmland (C6, D6 & E5) aside from the densely packed Wyrmwood, and is covered with various small farmsteads which provide Seomare with various foods which are then re-distributed to other parts of the region. Ruled by a Gnome overseer.
While the Steam line & underground rail system end here, transport to the outlying towns & cities is handled by a mix of wagons & coaches. There is some limited zeppelin flight Departing to the nearby cities from here but only twice a week for each location.
Mon/Thur – Khuz’velgrim, Tue/Fri – Caybarrow, Wed/Sat – Ovn’holm
E4 – Slig
Slig is a township under the control of Seomare, and is the last bit of governmental regulation PC’s can expect before making their way to Khuz’velgrim. While the Wyrmwood to the Northwest provides some kind of barrier, there is little to prevent carts and travelers who wish to avoid detection from moving across the south between Slig & the village of Dun Glaede to avoid inevitable trade inspections and questions the local Township will ask of any travelers.
However, its maintained it’s popularity as a luxurious resting point for travelers before they make their way into Khuz’velgrim, due to having some of the warmest and most comfortable beds in the region, with its own steam baths & massage services for the wealthier clientele. Also home to a research branch of the Siren Charter, who are trying to study the werewolf problem in the region.
E4 – (Dun Glaede)
Infamous for its chocolate factory, the town was originally built by the owner as housing for his workers. Over the decades the popularity of the chocolate grew and the money flowed in, so both the factory and the village grew to meet demand. Now Dun Glaede is the primary creator of confectionary for the entire Spectral Coast, with its unique flavor being in no way related to any missing children.
E4 – (Vil’sult)
A small village built on the river Vilflod. The locals have had a long and strange history regarding the Nightmare Sea, & some believe that the locals have made some sort of bargain with beings that dwell deep within the dark ocean. While they don’t attack outsiders, the villagers of Vil’sult are a highly private and secretive bunch, and trying to get anything of substance out of them can be nigh impossible.
E4 – Barsk
A tough place, very into metalworking. Quite a lot of mechanical and industrial production. Not much in the way of flashy amazing tech, just practical earth diggers and industrial drills that are then shipped to the surrounding farmland between Khuz’velgrim and Caybarrow.
E6 – Caybarrow
Famous for its gigantic cemetery and its well-preserved hall of the Dead, most visitors are surprised to find the Gothic spires of Caybarrow do not permit residence to the free undead. Caybarrow is well known for being a center of literature and the arts, and there is a heavy ‘gothic’ movement in the local writing, art and stage productions. The population of the area while having the usual numbers of Dwarves, Gnomes & Halflings, also has the largest number of Tieflings per capita in the coast.
The branch of the Siren Charter that operates here is looking to investigate all the stories about undead attacks in the south, including the rumors of vampires. However, they are finding things difficult as the city council seems determined to impede them at every turn.
Late on a Monday the Zeppelin from Kuz’velgrim arrives here. Once the usual offloading and maintenance is done it is then sent back to Seomare. Every Tuesday & Friday morning the Zeppelins from Seomare arrive, the Tuesday one takes the return trip, whereas the friday one fly’s south to Ovn’holm. Then on Wednesday the Zeppelin from Ovn’Holm arrives. This is then sent to Khuz’velgrim
E7 – Sruth’bais
A picturesque arts town on the edge of the forest considered a good tourist spot & a great place to get inspiration for the creative mind. There is the tale of a mad vampire hunter who is convinced a family of Vampires is in control of the region, & in the woods nearby there are rumors of a mad scientist working alongside a Necromancer to the West. The locals, however, will insist that these tales are nothing but the ravings of idiots at best, or worst, a cruel attempt to defame what is one of the more peaceful and creative regions in the coast. Second only to the town of Slig for its luxurious treatment of guests.
E8 – Ovn’Holm
A city that was built as a monument to the Dragons, & while the more traditional faiths are permitted the Draconic faiths are clearly the more influential. Legend says the ruins this city was built around were part of an ancient Dragon temple thousands of years ago. Not only do the Siren Charter have a branch here but there is also a smaller independent magic school that has its home here, inspired by the draconic legends. The two schools are currently engaged in a rivalry that has begun to cause frustration for the locals.
A high population of Kobolds also live here in the open, even owning and operating their own businesses. While Dragonborn are treated very favorably here, there are few who appreciate the somewhat intense attention they get when traveling through the city.
The growing rate of crime in the city is becoming a concern, & there are those that think the swamps of Bran’teine to the southwest are to blame.
On Monday a Zeppelin from Caligvale arrives, which is then sent to Beske’dion. Wednesday & Saturday Zeppelins arrive from Seomare, & on Friday one arrives from Caybarrow, this is then sent on to Caligvale. The Saturday Zeppelin makes the return trip to Seomare, the Wednesday one goes to Caybarrow.
F9 – Bran’teine
Once was a more active and built up area, however, poor planning meant much of the infrastructure of the town began to sink into the various bogs and marshlands surrounding it. The new structure is more spartan but is better adapted to life out here. The town of Bran’teine is primarily used as a resting point on travel between the Dragon Worshipping city of Ovn’holm & the Shipyards of Caligvale. Since there isn’t much in the way of a stable industry the town has struggled to keep afloat, (both figuratively and literally) and the general air of desperation has led to many turning to a more nefarious lifestyle in order to survive. Not only are Bandits a high concern for those passing through this area, but the local wildlife is also quite aggressive & stories of Ogres & the nearby Trolls have put every caravan on alert.
E10 – Fu’th
The old Troll Ruins nearby (F11) are currently occupied by a fairly sizable tribe. While they have been fairly placid in the past the recently elected Mayor has blamed them for some of the sabotage & strange Undead attacks in the region and is putting together a force to attack them. Should this take place the conflict is likely to cause both sides to lose a lot of lives, and in the process, any suspected Necromancer prowling the region will have plenty more materials to grow their army.
D11 – Caligvale
Caligvale is the largest Shipyard in the Spectral coast, nestled on the fork of two major rivers the Calivlod & Valevlod, this well-guarded port town is commissioned by the various merchant guilds of the Forgelands to aid in the construction of various types of ships which are sent off all over the globe. The majority of the population are Workers, though there is also a few of the Merchant guilds that have taken residence here to keep a closer eye on their investments. There have been recent terrorist attacks on the construction of some new ships and there are as yet no solid leads as to who or what is causing the problem.
The Shipyard is connected by rail network to Beske’dion directly, & trains carrying essential lumber and other resources are constantly moving back and forth. While there is a Zeppelin network set up here, it is a lot less active than in other regions as the city is mainly a place of work rather than a tourist trap.
On Mondays a Zeppelin based here is sent to Ovn’holm, and eventually returns from a round trip to Beskedion the next day. On Friday a Zeppelin from Ovn’holm arrives here. The next day it is sent to Beske’dion
C11 – Bleg’bhan
Fishing & Farming community that helps provide the people of Caligvale with resources not related to shipbuilding. Despite the Necromancy issues to the North and the Gnoll attacks to the west, there seems little to ruffle the feathers of this sleepy town. However, rumor has it several dis-satisfied workers thrown out of Caligvale are congregating here & plotting the destruction of the shipyard. An inspector was sent from Caligvale in order to see if these rumors had any merit, but they have not been seen for a month, and the locals at Bleg’bhan claim the inspector never even arrived.
D9 – Fearg
Wood Harvesting Town under the constant harassment of a Necromancer who has been trying to build up a power base of undead minions. Both the townspeople & the members of the Grey Wardens are keen to see them stopped. Rumor has it the Necromancer lives in the old ruins Northwest of the town, & is secretly sponsored by the Carragh’cuim Magic College to the far south-west, but none of these have yet been confirmed. Riders in black have been spotted in the area, and people believe they serve the Necromancer. Surviving family of the slain will not be able to pay much but will be desperate to find any help in wiping out this threat to their home.
A12 – Carragh’cuim
Carragh’cuim is the site for a Magical College that works Independently of the Siren Charter. Since they are not part of the Siren Charter their magical research has gone into areas normally forbidden, & several former students have gone on to cause some serious harm to the local area, including one who was studying Necromancy, which while Illegal, is rumored to be permitted within the walls of the school. Currently, the students here are working on experiments involving the local Gnoll population in an attempt to ‘tame’ them and have them provide a useful service for the college.
A8 – Beske’dion
A popular transport hub, Baske’dion has several steam-powered trains which connect it to the gateway city of Seomare & Caligvale. As well as the Steam Trains they are also keen users of the Zeppelin system, though most Zeppelins will take the PC’s deeper into the Forgelands, the only Zeppelin mapped here will take them up to Seomare, and is the longest & most scenic way of traveling through the Spectral coast.
Late on Mondays, a Zeppelin from Ovn’Holm arrives. Early the next morning on Tuesdays it is sent to Caligvale. The Saturday Zeppelin arriving from Caligvale is sent back to Seomare the same day. Due to the length of the flight, it is no longer used until a day or so of maintenance and repairs have been made.
C7 – Chi’graen
A Dwarven city built into the mountains, they are somewhat isolationist but well regarded for their craftsmanship even amongst other Dwarves. One of the more popular passageways into the Dark Below. Due to a recent stint of poor economics, however, the city is going through a difficult time and several criminal elements are working to seize control from its ineffectual leadership. Getting inside the city is one challenge, but getting to it is another altogether as the surrounding mountains are full of Giants, and other potentially hostile threats.
The site on an old abandoned temple devoted to Dragon Worship. Kobolds, Dragonborn and other parties interested in the old Dragon legends have been seen investigating the area. However, the lake is also home to many hostile aquatic threats, and very few seekers of knowledge are seen again.
That’s all we will be sharing for now about the Spectral Coast. For more in-depth information about the types of crazy stories and encounters, you and your party may have here, be sure to check out our Dungeons and Dragons Zine, Voarcel.