The woodlands of the Barony are highly important. They provide vital goods such as game and lumber, but they also frequently house rebels, brigands, and monsters. The few elven communities within the Barony also tend to lie within these small wooded lands, particularly in the Sylvanwood.
Norwood: The northeastern boundary of the Barony is marked by this dense hardwood forest, which is home to many dangerous creatures. Several elven villages lie in the southernmost edges of the wood, but the hazards within its depths keep most folk on the forest’s edge.
Sylvanwood: This hardwood forest is home to the largest elven settlements in the Barony, including the city of Edroniel, home of Princess Regent Lorissa Moonwhisper, leader of the elven peoples remaining in the Barony. Though the elves are generally friendly to humans, relationships between the Princess and the Baron (and their respective courts) are somewhat strained; as the Princess, a veteran of the Albion-Llancrest War of four centuries past, still considers the Baron’s Albion-backed forces to be an occupying force.
The Dreadwood: This thick, nigh-impassable forest serves as the southwestern boundary of the Barony. Forester and rangers live on the edges of the wood, elves still further in, but the darker reaches of the forest are still in a mystery. Among its dark, verdant, jungle-like depths lurk many fell beasts. Rumors of a lost city somewhere in the darkest reaches of the Dreadwood are rampant, as are those of an ancient green dragon who lives somewhere in the heart of the forest.
Barrow Wood: This dark and dreary forest on the northern outskirts of the Barrows, holds many horrors that have escaped from crypts. However its one of the few places that settlements in the barrows exist. Many hardy men have made their homes in the wood, to avoid the Baron’s taxes and/or the Baron’s army.
The Eagle Wood: This small forest lies behind Aethere Keep and is the private woodlands of the Instellius family. The family has trained many a ranger in the forest, and the current head ranger is the halfling Falcynn Instellius, one of the current Lords adopted son.
Mire Wood: This wooded area is more swamp than forest, hence the well deserved name. Those who enter it, find it hard to maneuver, with mud softened ground, and quicksand ready to swallow those who aren’t aware of where they should and shouldn’t step. It it rumored that a colony of lizard folk live within its depths, but not many who have hunted for them have returned to confirm the tale.
These rugged areas hold everything from rich deposits of minerals to hordes of giants and other monsters.
Dragonclaw Mountains: These high peaks cut a think swath through the center of the Barony, providing a clear break between the norther frontier and the more settled south. Hardy mountaineers fiercely defend their territories here, as the Dragonclaws are rich in ore deposits and gems, although finding and mining the veins is difficult. Though the Dragonclaws are only sparsely settled, humans, dwarves and some halflings have small towns among the lofty peaks; however , prospectors must be at least good with a sword as with a pick, as there are a great many other creatures who make the higher elevations their home-humanoids, giants, and the occasional dragon among them.
Esingmoors: The three ranges of mountains that split the Barony in half are known as the Essingmoors but are more commonly referred to as ‘The Fingers’, due to them looking like a 3 clawed finger reaching out from the Dragonclaws. The Esingmoors also contain the Dwarven Kingdom of Esingmoor, whose ingenious tunnels have cut travel time through the mountains in half, for a small toll of course.
The Sea of Storms: The Sea of Storms is believed to be the mightiest ocean in all the world. A warm, clockwise current sweeps up the eastern coast of the Barony, carrying ships out to sea, and curious debris to the eastern shores. The vast sea beckons adventurous souls from across the Barony. Fantastic islands, terrifying aquatic and aerial monsters, and a “Jungle of Lost Ships” fill old sailors’ fables. From the southeastern shores of Barony lie the Misty Isles, a collection of relatively inhospitable islands with a dire reputation. Though settled by many fisherman, the islands are primarily home to scattered villages inhabited by pirates and other seagoing bandits.
Dragon Lake: This serene freshwater lake, nestled between a spur in the mountains and an idyllic forest, takes its name from the Dragonclaw Mountains, not from any real(or even legendary) dragon; though locals often fill travelers’ ears with wild tales of a huge reptilian beast living somewhere in its depths. The lake’s mirror-like waters hold a vast array of freshwater fish, and the fisherman make a good living catching them. There are larger and more dangerous creatures lurking in the lake’s depths, however, and some of those fishermen are themselves caught, on occasion.
Dragonrun River: The Dragon Lake forms a river, which flows south, past the city of Heatherleigh and on to the sea. Its wide enough to run barges and small boats from Heatherleigh down to the sea and to the port city of Southport.
Celes River: Flowing from Lake Celes, in Albion, the Celes river runs through the eastern edge of the Barony to the Sea of Storms. Since it skirts the Badlands its the preferred method of getting people and cargo from the interior of Albion into the Dragonclaw Barony. The Dragonclaws make overland traffic difficult from Edgemont so most traffic continues on to Elfwood Bay.
The Badlands: These rocky and inhospitable hills lie to the west of the Barony separated from the civilized lands by the Dragonclaws. These wastes are home to many orcs and goblinkind, a variety of monsters (both those that are native to the badlands and those that descend from the Dragonclaws), as well as vast herds of game animals. Mountain goats and sheep thrive here, some domesticated, others hunted. A few fine mineral deposits lie here, as well as many lost treasures and tombs, including the underground ruins known as the City of the Dead, which lies along the border of the Badlands and the Barony, near the edge of the western mountains.
The Barrowlands: Even though the Barrowlands lie within the Barony, not one duchy wants to claim it as its own. With the Barrows covering most of the area, above ground and below, its haunted reputation makes it not worth the effort to police and tax. However many brave individuals have set up small towns and villages within the area just to avoid the taxation of the Barony. Most of them tend to stay nearer to Barrow Wood, hoping for its protection against what lurks in the Barrows.
Red Meadows: Although the Capitol City of Heatherleigh sits within the Duchy of Red Meadows, the seat of the duchy lies in the City of Red Meadows itself. The duchy stretches from the southern edges of Dragon Lake down to the the coastal town of Southport with the Dragonrun River being its eastern border and the western border skirting the edges of the Dreadwood. Its current leader is Duke Rudolph Carter.
Llancrest: The Duchy of Llancrest encompasses the Llancrest Plains from the Llancrest Wood in the west to the Mire Wood in the east and The Dragonrun River in the South to the Sylvanwood to the North. The seat of the Duchy is in Newton, and the current Ruler is Duke Halvdann Black, the only Non-Human in the Baron’s court.
Freestead: This small mountain bound duchy lies directly above the Dragon Lake between the two fingers of the Central Dragonclaws. It has strong ties to smaller dwarven kingdoms that reside in the mountains around it. Its seat is the Iron Fortress, a large fortress on the west end of the Freestead Valley. Its current leader is Duke Valdarin.
Talon: The Talon Valley stretches from the Elfwood Bay in the south to the Norwood in the North and everything from the Celes river to the sea. The Duchy is currently ran by Duke Romain Instellius, the only remaining known descendant of the Llancrest family. The seat of the Duchy is Aethere Keep, a keep that has been in the Instellius family for eons. It is also the only Duchy that the Elven people of the Sylvanwood will deal directly with since they see the other Dukes and the Baron as invaders.
Stone Bottom: The Duchy of Stone Bottom encompasses everything from the west of the Celes River going all the way to the Badlands, from the Barrow Wood to the South to the northernmost Dragonclaws to the North. The seat of the Barony is currently located in Edgemont, with Lord Samuel Cordwell. Lord Cordwell does little to police the Duchy outside of the Edgemont area, leaving Stone Bottom’s militia to patrol most of the duchy on it’s own.