The Setting

Usherwood Publishing






History | Geography | The 5 Kingdoms | Character Classes & Races | Magic | Creatures | Deities & Religion


Glossary          Plot Hooks

The continent of Vermé is divided into five major geographical locales (not including the legendary island of Parad'yse Isle).

The contiguous continent spans approximately 1,000 miles east to west, and 900 miles north to south. When compared against a map of the United States (see the graphic), it might appear as though this is a relatively small area of land upon which to place a setting supposedly rich in culture and adventure. However, as a pseudo-European setting, one must remember the context in which distances would be viewed by the average citizen of such lands. Most folk will never have travelled greater than 20 miles from the lands into which they were born during the entire course of their life-times.

Take a typical woodsman from the village of West Hills (located on the User Arm Peninsula, within the Northern Territories) for example. This man would most certainly have dealings with the folk of Usherwood, a scant 5 miles to the east. He would likely have had occasional run-ins with halflings from the small village of North Ridge, located some 40 miles to the north. Rarely, he might have had a chance to trade with the dwarves of Arnegelius Peak, or the elves of Thaelmarthir further north on the Peninsula. Seldom, he might receive news from the human settlements of Synco, Gorby, Ponni, or of Ice Berg from more worldly travellers. And encounters from the more adventurous individuals of the large port-city of Protesk might happen once or twice during the entire span of his life. But of other cities throughout the continent, they would be merely names on a map, or mentions in a story or two.

All cartography by Kramer. Copyright James D. Kramer design services.

About the geographic entries

This section does not list all geographic features that exist within the campaign setting. GM's are encouraged to populate the landscape with geographic details of their own creation to meet their unique needs, purposes, and preferences. The aim of this text is to provide sufficient detail to make individualized customization easier to achieve.

It should be noted that the geographic features listed herein represent only the major and best known features of the continent. Individual modules and campaigns may add further details and new features to the landscape.

The Six Sub-Continents

The are six sub-continents within Vermé; Central Continent (which includes the islands of the Letard Archipelago), the Isle dar de Xerksis, the Northern Territories, the Omanthrid Archipelago, the Southern Continent, and Parad'yse Isle.

Central Continent and the Letard Archipelago

The Central Continent is typified by wet, temperate conditions on the eastern coastline, where storms from the Sea dar de Imperium blow inland, soaking the lowlands, and dumping great amounts of snow on the upper elevations. The west coast, north of Simeraun remains cool and dry throughout most of the year. While south of Simeraun tends to be warm and humid, where great thunderstorms and hurricanes terrorize the foothills from Grith to Cadmus throughout the mid-summer months.

To the east, across the Hereward Sea is the chain of islands called the Letard Archipelago. This small island chain is typified by violent changes in weather that the peoples who live here suffer through. The weather systems rip through these islands like a locomotive; violent wind storms, pounding rain, hurricanes, and floods are all yearly occurrences that the rough and rugged peoples of these lands have learned to live through. The islands receive rainy conditions 300 days of the year. A bright and sunny day can turn suddenly dark, as a thunderstorm passes overhead to dump several inches of rain or hail in but an hour or two. And then, as suddenly as it began, the rain will pass. The ocean waters in the area range from 70 to 85 degrees throughout the year. This has the unfortunate side effect of attracting many warm-water predators, like sharks, to the area. Some sailor tales report of huge sharks as large as a ship. Other tales report of a society of sahaugin located somewhere in the Bay of Urpant.

The region is dominated by three peaks; Khizha Peak, Arse of Gehenna, and Echteleone. The former two peaks are dormant volcanos, each capped with ancient glaciers. Echteleone is the location of ancient mining operations once rich in large veins of arcois.

The densely forested areas within the Great Lysianasa Forest are rumored to be the home of a large and secretive population of centaurs. However, other than the rangers which protect the area, few mortals have ever had an opportunity to encounter the creatures.

The region features three main routes across the mountains from east to west; Blood Pass, Greylo Pass, and Poodle Dog Pass. Both Blood Pass and Greylo Pass are extremely dangerous. Blood Pass is passable only from Spring through early Fall due to the heavy snows which choke the higher elevations of the pass throughout the rest of the year. The region is also plagued by orcs, goblins, ogres, and other creatures of malevolent intent. Greylo Pass is rumored to be haunted by evil spirits of those who perished searching rich arcois veins in the unstable passages of Echteleone. Poodle Dog Pass is the only route from east to west considered to be reasonable safe throughout the year.

Huge areas of sweeping grasslands cover the Bodibeve Plateau on both sides of the North Eframoq Crest in the south. These areas are home to populations of elf, halfling, brownie, and other sylvan races. The Western Imperium Plains to the north of the Letard Archipelago is a war-torn region where the Zineblix River borders the Rastschian Kingdom and the dar Conuonuc rok'Gurcenou.

Traveling from the Central Continent to the Isle dar de Xerksis by land can only be accomplished during the months spanning mid-Spring to early Fall using the Ron'guirgant Isthmus. Otherwise, the low-lying spit of land that makes up the isthmus can quickly become inundated by storms off the Sea dar de Imperium. Passenger ferries can be boarded between Yarnspin and Topica, although prices tend to double (at least) during the storm season.

The west coast, north from the Desolate Coast to Simeraun in the south, is subjected to as many as a dozen tropical storm systems every year. These storms can range from tropical depressions, to massive Category 5 hurricanes, wrecking huge swaths of devastation in their wake.

Isle dar de Xerksis and Alcidice

This island continent's weather system remains fairly even, ranging from typical temperatures in the summer of 90-100 degrees, to winter time lows of 30-40 degrees. Though, in the late winter/early spring, the coastal areas on the Eastern Sea and the Hereward Sea can receive some ferocious wind and rain storms as weather systems collide.

Rising from the center of the island is the Imperium Mons; a dormant volcano whose lower elevations extend to the coast on all points of the compass. Upon the slopes of this volcano are also mined many precious gem stones that make up a large portion of the wealth which fill the confers of the two principal settlements; Imperium Vallis and Merthyr. To the southwest of the volcano's summit are several peaks; dun'Mons, dun'Citoc, Eidioc Summit, Kron Peak, ron'Ruid, Congen Peak, and the Sunrise Mounts.

Traveling from the Central Continent to the Isle dar de Xerksis by land can only be accomplished during the months spanning mid-Spring to early Fall using the Ron'guirgant Isthmus. The low-lying spit of land that makes up the isthmus can quickly become inundated by storms off the Sea dar de Imperium. Otherwise, passenger ferries can be boarded between Yarnspin and Topica, although prices tend to double (at least) during the storm season (the months of Sund'lek through Unenith). This area is also called the Sword Straights, which are hazardous to negotiate due to hidden sandbars, and submerged rocks along all the coastlines.

In the southern-most tip of the island the mountains create a narrow valley pass, through which the Loxyan River passes. This pass, called the Gate of the East, creates a bottle-neck in the river, and here many long miles of violent rapids cascade through the high canyon walls.

The Loxyan River terminates at Loxyan Keep. Directly south from this spit of land, is a chain of smaller islands, the largest of which is called Izylnau Island. Only a single small settlement is known to be continually populated here; aptly named, the Village of the Damned. The islands in this area are generally dark, dank placed, full of evil and malice. The trees which grow upon these islands are twisted, stunted, and sickly. Many of the animals are similarly cursed life forms. The most malignant island is reputed to be the Isle of Black Death.

The island continent is controlled through ruthless power by the Council of Mages, which maintains its set of power within the Imperium Vallis, which is also the capitol of the dar Conuonuc rok'Gurcenou kingdom (see the section on the Five Kingdoms for more information).


Some 50 miles to the south of Izylnau Island lay the island of Alcidice. This is reputed to be the mortal abode of Entioch—god of Chaotic Evil creatures—and the place where the Lord of Death, Mogh Roukhani, maintains the entrance to the lower planes. Upon this island are reputed to be creatures which are the result of many dark and loathsome experiments as the Lord of Death and his master seek to create legions of neutral evil armies with which to control the lands of Vermé.

Northern Territories

The Northern Territories remains a largely unpopulated region. Areas west of the Gjall Plains are typically below zero degrees in the winter, and mild in the summer (70˚ being an average temperature, though temperatures upwards of 80˚ are known to occur from time to time). Throughout the region, rainfall is plentiful, but not torrential; typically, 20 to 30 inches annually in areas north and east of Protesk, and 30 to 40 inches south and west of Protesk. Though, southwest of Synco rainfall drops to 10 to 15 inches annually. Luci Keep experiences the driest weather with but less than 8 inches of rainfall annually.

The great expanse of the north coast is dominated by the Sea of Ice Rock; a stretch of ocean, clogged and choked by icebergs throughout the year. And in some areas, the seas themselves can be traversed for long distances where the ice flows create massive floating islands. Reports by hardy travelers in the area tell of a clan of frost giants that use the ice flows to travel northern regions, and terrorize the coastal communities. However, more tales also reveal legends of great 'ice wyrms' that live deep within floating ice caverns. These stories go on to talk about the largest and most ancient white dragon, named Bradoxenorbara, and that this dragon can trace his involvement as far back as the Third Dragon War.

The southern coast borders the Sea dar de Imperium and McSweeney's Folly. Both of these bodies of water are treacherous, and notorious for their sudden, wind-driven storms. These winds are particularly deadly during the weeks of Melconith, when, with little or no warning, the skies can turn steely grey, and powerful winds can drive waves up 50 feet on the open water. Sailors' tales even report of rogue waves as high as 100 feet laying waste to entire convoys of large merchant ships.

A large city of aquatic elves is known to inhabit the waters southeast of the Usher Arm Peninsula.

The lands of the eastern Territories are covered by expansive tundra and low-lying mountain ranges. This region is called the Mimir Plains, and is home to nomadic tribes of hardy humans. These nomads follow the migratory routes of elk, reindeer, and other herding animals in their great clockwise routes that has them circling the continent throughout the year. The nomads do not collect wealth, and so prize the diamonds they collect from the slopes of the Normannus Barrier primarily for their effectiveness as cutting tools. Some of these diamonds are said to be the largest to be found on the northern continent.

The eastern lands of the Territories are dominated by the Galan Heights; a mountain range with towering peaks and shear cliffs. An ancient fortress with a dark and evil reputation is buried deep within a secluded shelf, high upon one of these peaks. It is called Fortress Forza, and its name conjures fearsome images to any old enough to have heard the tales.

The lands are dotted with hundreds of small communities which keep primarily to themselves. The only organized and recognized governmental body in the continent belongs to the Kingdom of Maphan.

Omanthrid Archipelago

The Omanthrid Archipelago is comprised of over 500 desert islands, though most are so small as to be uninhabitable (most of these have become the hideouts for many of the areas pirates and brigands, looking for a place to secure their wealth). The islands are typified by hot dry weather throughout most of the year. The average rainfall throughout the archipelago is a scant 8 to 10 inches per year. And most of that falls during the brief period between March and April. Temperatures in the summer can reach a scalding 110 degrees in the shade, and will last from late June through early September. The winter months see some respite as temperatures drop to the low 20's at night, and remain in the 40's during the day.

The seas surrounding the islands are generally referred as to Reys. There are six Reys; Paladin Rey Sea, North Bruide Rey, South Bruide Rey, Sea of the Morning Rey, Sea of the Devil Rey, and Sea of the Winter Rey. The islands are bordered on the north and west by the Sea of Elysian. These waters, noted for being dangerous for travel due to the large numbers of pirates that ply the trade routes, also house large numbers of intelligent creatures, most of whom are ill tempered and of evil reputation.

The region is controlled by the powerful city of Omanthrid; a large community ruled by the thieves' and assassins' guilds located there. The largest island in the archipelago—Vipoig—dominates the southern seas, and is home to a legendary and mysterious clan of cannibals that remains hidden in the dense forest that covers the island's interior. To the west, and removed from the other islands is the wealthiest city in the island chain is Entifidich, on the island of Domelch.

Southern Continent and the Alvitamos Isles

The southern landmasses of this region are commonly typified by hot dry temperatures all year round. The Southern Continent is divided at its mid point by two towering peaks; Copper Angel Mountain and Crandall Peak. The maze-like caverns that riddle the base of the two mountains is said to house the origins of the mineral dragons, which first arrived on the content following the Third Dragon war (see the section on Creatures for more information).

The eastern lands of the continent are controlled ruthlessly by the Conetoci Catvrvgi; a ruling family of califs, shahs, and sheiks. The Catvrvgi manages this by controlling the few aquifers that exist in this dry region. Receiving less than 6 inches of rain per year, those who control the water, controls the people. The area's two lakes—Lake Henry and Lake Buab—are both extraordinarily high in salt content.

The central regions are continually victims to roving bands of orcs and gnolls, and other humanoids of ill-temper. The South Barrier Plains here are said to be the home of brass dragons thought to be the largest and most ancient of their species to exist.

The western lands of the Southern Continent are slightly more habitable as the north coast receives much rain blown in from off the Omanthrid Archipelago.

Alvitamos Isles

Dark and mysterious, this island chain is reputed to be the home a large primitive tribe of evil-worshipping cannibals. No known permanent settlements are know to exist here, but signs of nomadic campsites can be found dotting the dense tropical forests that canopy the landscape.

Parad'yse Isle

Parad'yse Isle, if it truly exists, is said to be a place of unsurpassed natural beauty. Once the legendary home to the elven nations, Parad'yse would be located several hundred miles west of the Omanthrid Archipelago. Legend states that the island was once a vast land of rolling hills, and lush forests, and that these lands were sundered from the continent when the dar Kuaz de Omanthrid — a book of speakable evil (see the sections on History and Magic for additional information) — was opened by Jervais the Black.

The resulting cataclysm ruptured the land, sinking much of it beneath the waves. However, a large piece of land did survive intact, and carried away with it, the capital of the elven peoples; Kahl'vaed.

Today, the island would seem largely uninhabited, save for the ruins of Kahl'vaed, which is located on the shores of Far Seldear. These ruins have not been visited by visited by any peoples since the rescue of the il'cris tribes by Perciful. The ruins, should anyone brave enough to dare the journey, is inhabited by a thoroughly evil race of Man, related to the il'cris tribes.

These peoples — which legend names ir'thelar — are black-violet skinned and have hair the color of corn silk. They are distant cousins of the elven tribes, but they value the black arts of necromancy over any artistic pursuit. They are cruel and vicious, and delight in the torment and torture of their enemies. They are reported to be a matriarchal society, where males are soldiers or slaves.

The rest of the island is uninhabited save for the primitive beats that wander the wild lands. Tales of dragons, dinosaurs, primitive giants, witches, and more fill children's tales about the island. The truth of such tales remians unknown.

The Seas and Oceans

Surrounding Vermé are eight seas and oceans; Eastern Sea, the Hereward Sea, Northern Sea, Orcades Ocean, Sea of Elysian, Sea of Ice Rock, Southern Sea, and the Sea dar de Imperium. Generalities of each body of water follow:

  • Eastern Sea; the Eastern Sea spans the distance between the east coast of the continent, and the great meteoric crater to the north of the continent Kraa.
  • Hereward Sea; this body of warm waters plays host to all forms of marine life, but is especially known for its wide variety of shark species and large invertibrates. Hurricanes are known for forming in the middle of the sea, but due to the wcirculating winds which tavel the coast, such storms only make landfall once or twice a season.
    • Coast of Storms; off the southeastern coast of the Southern Continent, the Coast of Storms can be pounded by ferocious winds and high surf, where the warm air circulating from the south collides with the cold air coming in from the east. And though the waters are reasonbly warm, the currents are the deadly enemy here.
  • Northern Sea; frigid polar waters keep the Northern Sea bitterly cold throughout the year. Exposure to its waters for more than a few minutes leads to hypothermia and death. As a result, only whales, seals, large crabs, and similar sealife will thrive here. Intelligent marine dwellers avoid these cold waters.
    • Sea of Ice Rock; off the coast of the Northern Territories in this body of water, which is studded year-round with fragmentary icebergs; larger in the winter months, smaller in the summer. Westerly winds drives the bergs westward down the west coast of the continent, where they typically will have melted away before they reach the coast of storms.
  • Orcades Ocean; the Ocades Ocean is teaming with intelligent marine species of all temperment. The Ocean separates Vermé from Kargliv some 400 miles distant. It is reported that some many hundreds of miles to the southwest, in the deepest chasms of the Ocades Ocean, and vast and beautiful kingdom of acquatic elves resides.
  • Sea of Elysian; this expanse of water remains the most consistent in terms of temperature and weather throughout the year than all the others. And though it has its share of storms, the greater danger comes from its unknown depths, said to provide a home to nameless creatures of ill repute. Most notably, Zzebrax the Deep — huge and ageless dragon turtle — is said to maintain an enormous cavern here.
  • Southern Sea; the warmest of the great bodies of water border the Verméan continent. Yearly temperatures range 60 degrees in the depths of winter to an avergae high of 85 degrees in the summer. Such warm water attracts sea-dwelling creatures that prefer such waters
  • Sea dar de Imperium; the most storm-tossed of the eight seas of Vermé, the Sea dar de Imperium is also host to dozens of marine communities, including the largest known city of sahaugin known to exist. These creatures make their home southwest of the Isle of Valencia off the coast of the Usher Arm Penninsula.
    • McSweeney's Folly; this storm-tossed coastline to the south of the Northern Territories is ever treacherous to navigation. It hosts winds year 'round, with gusts of up to 100MPH, and typical sustained winds at 25MPH. The only permanent port city here is Protesk, which has a wide deep harbor, providing ships room to navigate among the unforgiving winds.

The Lands Beyond

Information about the other six continents at this time is minimal. The entries will be updated as additional information becomes known.

Cartographic details to the world of Besh will be added to the global map as they become known.

  • Gendarth; though a few large, wealthy kingdoms exist on this continent, the vast central plains are populated by primitive peoples; hunter-gatherers predominantly. The southern region is covered in tundra, glaciers, and some of the tallest mountain peaks upon the entire planet.
  • Kargliv; these lands are home to the largest kingdoms on the planet. Three kingdoms in particular divide divide the land; east, north, and south. Lands where the three kindgoms border each other are war-torn lands, and are largely devoid of permanent settlements. The northern region is covered in tundra, glaciers, and the tallest mountain peaks can be found here.
  • Kraa; raised from the sea by an enormous meteor impact during the planet's early history, before the appearance of Man. The geology is rich in iron ore, and beings that prefer to make their dwellings underground have developed sophisticated tools to excavate their complexes. The infrequent tale returning from this land says that magic is rare, and physical science is in abundance. It is reported that strange devices can be found on the continent's eastern regions; mechanical devices that resemble a man and perform a variety of menial tasks, and are refered to as 'mechs'.
  • Myyrhdrax; some scholars report that these lands are home to the purest forms of the lost Sarngoch tribes, and that magic on this continent flows like running water.
  • Oast'tam; northern ice cap. It is not believed that this land supports any permanent human/humanoid, or demi-human settlements. Creatures and animals typically found in polar regions can be found in abundance here. Large masses of ice bergs typically flow from the continent's eastern region to trouble mariners of northern Kargliv and Vermé.
  • Pav Yron; southern ice cap. It is not believed that this land supports any permanent human/humanoid, or demi-human settlements. Creatures and animals typically found in polar regions can be found in abundance here.
  • Vermé; the continent upon which the events and details of this Sourceweb currently address.


The Setting

Usherwood Publishing