Thieves & Kings
Bogwater - Nethwater Lands
The Nethwater Lands around Bogwater are a bountiful agricultural region of marshy farmlands, amounting to around 4000 acres in size. The lush land has many rolling hills that support the bulk of the farming in the region, as well as its communities, which are often closely associated with the numerous streams that drain east into the Ambarin River. The region is known for its farmlands and fisheries, for its clerical instruction, and the primary products of the region; its woven reed baskets.
Lying over a substratum of clay and chalk (the latter mostly to the south, around the limestone and chalk quarry north of Capstone (an independent noble holding), with its valley bottoms threaded by streams. Bottomlands are left for pasture and hay, but hillsides are heavily cultivated; many hosting thickly-grown copses of cedar and oak, the remnant of the forests that once covered the riverlands in ancient times.
Known to locals as the Greenlands, the portion of the region closest to the Ambarin River is a rich meadowland, interspersed with ponds and streams. Except for a few rocky knolls, the area bears thick, rich clay topsoil over chalk and limestone. The areas closest to the river are heavily cultivated, with few trees and many have a close culture based on the river, as well as relatives across the Ambarin, in the scattered farmlands that share many of the same local traits.
North near the western Great Escarpment, hot springs can be found along the borders with the Iron Bogs, and the region has a reputation for healing herbs and mystical healing waters. Iron Springs has done nothing but support this fact.
Nethwater Clan Crest
The Nethwater Clan are an old noble family from Mornhaven, the City of Bright Sails, whose wealth stems from many farm holdings in the lands that hold their name, located around the village of Bogwater. Somewhat boggy and considered poor by most, their demesne nonetheless produces large quantities of food, gourds and basketry made from its many reeds, which have a ready market in Mornhaven. They maintain a small estate in the noble part of that city, from which they oversee their various properties and charity efforts.
The Nethwater clan dates it origins to a noted cleric of Nolom – The Shining One, who spent his days in the clan’s ancestral lands ensuring the locals were fed, well-cared-for and the homeless given lands, many of whom remain their vassals to this day. The clan continues to maintain this tradition, and has a reputation for kindnesses and in spending the clan’s fortune in support of their fellow man. The clanhead, Lady Anabledh is a beautiful and simple woman who is also an initiate of Nolom, and often spends time in working among her people, and conducting local rituals in her family’s ancestral lands.
Food surpluses leave the district primarily along the Ambarin River, though some heads south along the Capstone Trail; both routes lead to Mornhaven. Rye, hard cheese, wine, oil berries and fruit are its primary agricultural produce, little of which needs preservation to reach the nearby markets.
Small scale processing occurs in most households, notably the production of wine and lamp oil in Bogwater and Brownfield, respectively. Goat hair is often woven into coarse wool textiles, a handful of skiffs out of Banks, and religious articles from Riverside are also popular manufactured goods. Woven reed baskets are a common household-produced good, from throughout the region.
The primary market for the region is in Bogwater, due primarily to its central location, and its identity as the “capital” of local halfling culture and society, such as it is. The region is host to a large number of halfling farmers, mostly from a tradition of long-established clan burrows and farms.
Banks (Pop 180) : An orderly human river village along the west bank of the Ambarin River, located only two miles north of Mornhaven. The village is also directly across the river from the village of Dale, and maintains constant contact via river boats between the two. Banks has many old stone buildings and homes, but is best known for its small boatyard, and as the source of river traffic from Nethwater lands to the large trade city of Mornhaven. It otherwise has no noteworthy features.
Bogwater (Pop 300) : The center of House Nethwater’s lands, Bogwater is a halfling town of hillside burrows and half-timber houses. It is best-known for its production of Underleaf Wines, which produce fruit and brandy wines for local consumption, and export into Mornhaven, though it is not known for being exceptional. It is also the site of a sizable faerie mound, related standing stones, and associated with the ancient history of the region. The “capital” among halfling clans around Mornhaven, it is often host to regional elections among that people, and something of a gathering spot for their culture. Bogwater is also the center of most craftsmen in the region, such as clothiers, potters and hideworkers.
Brownfield (Pop 280) : A mix of halfling and human farmers in the heart of hilly orchard country. A minor stopping point along the road between Bogwater to the north, and Capstone to the south, it is famous only for its small, though excellent inn, the Dark Berry. The primary product is oil berries from its orchards.
Iron Springs (Pop 120) : Overlooking a hot springs located along the edge of the Iron Bogs, Iron Springs is predominantly a human community. An untidy sprawl of houses, meandering paths and lush flowers, it is best known for its baths, and fine limestone villa, the Nethwater Manor, which oversees most of Clan Nethwater’s holdings in the region. In addition, a small library, the Corium Library has been founded in Iron Springs, occupying a small building of the local manor. Perhaps the largest single collection of books in the region, it includes a small staff of Nolomite scholars and scribes, who illuminate and copy other manuscripts that fall into their collection. As a result, mages and scholars sometimes come here seeking new tomes and access to the library to research.
Riverside (Pop 320) : Located only a mile north of Mornhaven, Riverside is a village on the west bank of the Ambarin River. Riverside has a very deep dock and does some fishing, but is best known for its small chapter house of Nolom, The Great House of the Temple of the Sun, and many of the local population are connected to the church in some manner. There is also a small hospice, Venerate Asylum, sponsored by the Nethwater clan, but run by the church to aid in the healing of those with mental or psionic disorders. Lastly, there is a small orphanage located here as well, the Riverman’s Orphanage, many of the children are placed in river traders groups at age ten, though some find a home among the craftsmen and farmers of the region. Locals are often crafting relics and holy symbols to the Monringlord, that they sell in the Mornhaven markets. The Nolomite clergy holds the lands, but they pay tribute to clan Nethwater as a Glebe, or temple holding.
The Iron Bogs
The Iron Bogs are an ancient marshland prone to flooding, with many natural hot springs and streams, all of which flow east into the Ambarin River. Eel fishing is popular in the marshland, but it has never been good enough to develop as an industry, mostly due to the waters and their high mineral content.
Anciently, as the name suggests, raw iron has been pulled from the bogs, mostly in the form of “bog iron” nodules, and used by local smiths for their own purposes. The region fell into decline, as waters rose and heated, changing the nature of both the water and the local plants and wildlife. The region’s final blow, was the death of the last of the Reidar clan, ending that family’s knightly claim to the lands, about a century ago.
Today, the region’s handful of farmsteads and the population of Reidar’s Hold, operate without any real oversight, but Princess Adrianna Warduke has recently claimed the title to be empty, and the local nobles of the Nethwater clan have expressed an interest in reclaiming the lands for themselves. No other noble clan has moved to block this claim, largely because they all see the efforts as being unworthy of their time or interest. Nethwater clan sees things differently, and their proximity to the lands only reinforces their claims.
Reidar’s Hold (Pop 260) : In the heart of the Iron Bogs, is a small human village evolved from a mostly abandoned fortified manor that once had an extensive orchard of oil berries. The village’s high-roofed, single-story buildings are made of local stone and cedar. The village is now held by no one, its previous knight’s clan having died out nearly a century ago. Fairly isolated, the citizens of Reidar’s Hold mostly produce woven reed baskets and pottery for export, though some also exploit the mostly over-grown oil berry orchard to make a good quality lamp oil. Control of the village, however, would ensure control of the Iron Bogs district and its associated lands.
Halfling of Bogwater
The halflings of Bogwater are typical “Lightfoot” halflings, usually only encountered in large numbers among the lands west of Mornhaven, and in the well-protected farmlands of the Emerald Realm. Their kin, the Stouts are typically found in Dreadwaters March, and are distinctly different in traditions and mannerisms, being more nomadic and often living on their river boats and barges.
The halflings of Bogwater are famous for hiding their presence from others, using their companions as cover. They’re fairly affable and get along well with others, and have spread well among protected holdings in human lands, though some adventurous sorts found new settlements in out-of-the-way locations and prosper, such as Woodbristle Manor. Like their kin in Westwind, the halflings of Bogwater also have a great kinship with the earth, and believe in a desire for an unchanging world in which they can pretend to ignore the dangers of the outside world, and live a life of simple peace.
Smaller than men and dwarves both, Lightfoot halflings are good-natured creatures that like and dislike many of the same things as their larger kin, the humans. When pushed to violence, they tend to use small swords and hunting bows, which they can use with proficiency when needed.
Most are followers of Yondalla, though there is also a great deal of respect for priests of the Shining One, largely because of their influence through the leadership of Lady Anabledh Nethwater and its cult over the region.
PCs as Lightfoot Halflings : Their Charisma score increases by one (1). They are considered trained in the Dexterity (Stealth) skill, and can always attempt to use the skill, even when obscured by another creature that is at least larger than themselves.