Depending on whom you were to ask, Moor’s End is either a godforsaken outpost at the ass-end of the world, or an idyllic freehold far away from the turmoil of city life. Something everyone can agree on is that the stronghold found there is the last bastion of civilization on the edge of the Blackwater Fens, a vast area of swamp and marshlands commonly called just “The Fens”, and the untamed wilderness beyond.
The solid land north of Moor’s End is source of rich peat, highly valued as fertilizer, building material, fuel for fires, spell components, and in tough times, food. There are several farms and homesteads in the surrounding area that depend on Moor’s End for protection, maintenance of the rough road, and its renowned smithy. The walled compound also serves to draw merchants to the area, if somewhat sporadically.
Several tribes of Jor (swamp orcs) and Kecuala (lizardmen) are among the more prevalent creatures native to the wilds near Moor’s End, but aside from a few ambitious individuals who trade metal tools and other goods to the slightly more civilized clans for the valuable plants and herbs found in their wetland territory, contact with those who live in the The Fens is rare.
Conflict between the races and even the tribes is common as they compete for limited resources in a harsh environment, and thus they generally are not considered a threat to the small garrison stationed at Moor’s End or the hardy folk who call it home. Occasionally a patrol is forced to deal with a marauding troll that attacks the livestock of one of the few outlying homesteads, or some other great beast that wanders from the depths of the swamp, and thus the defenses are always well-maintained and the soldiers alert. But despite the ominous presence that surrounds Moor’s End, the more common threats faced by its inhabitants have always been disease, hunger and boredom.
At least that was the way it was before last week. Before three different homesteads were found seemingly abandoned, their inhabitants vanished without a trace. Before an entire patrol failed to return from their normally uneventful routine. Before Vishka, a local marsh hermit who occasionally came to Moor’s End to trade skins and herbs was found dead on a path, just a stone’s throw from the fort itself.
Now those folk brave enough to remain or unfortunate enough to be stationed at Moor’s End struggle to carry on daily life, a vague sense of unease as constant a companion as the bugs and the dampness.
Welcome to Moor’s End!