Narfell is a wintry country covered in infertile soil and scraggly grass. Glaciers on Mount Nar reach down from the peak and into the plains. Icelace Lake is frozen nearly year-round. Bitter, killing winds blow unceasingly. From the backs of tall, shaggy horses, nomadic folk hunt reindeer and wild oxen. Calling themselves Nars, these fierce riders and archers supplement their resources by raiding west into Damara, south into the Great Dale, and even into northeastern Thesk. More often, though, the tribes fight among themselves.
Settlements and Features
Much of significance lies under the surface of Narfell or among the ruins that top its desolate landscape. Most Nars treat ancient sites with respect, and all know that valuable items lie within such places. Nars believe that venturing into a ruin is fine, but staying at one is forbidden.
Trademeet; Population 30,000 (summer)
During the majority of the year, this place is nothing more than a vast stretch of flat land cut by winding draws. When summer sun makes travel easier and fills the gullies with meltwater from nearby Mount Nar and the Firward Mountains, Nar tribes gather in Bildoobaris for a festival of the same name. At that time, miles of hide tents fill the plain, mingled with the finer temporary abodes of foreign merchants.
The Nars drink, feast, and trade. Marriages are arranged and stories are swapped. Through an intertribal council, the tribes make common policy, each voting according to its size and the number of riders it can muster. The current ascendant tribe is the Harthgroth.
During Bildoobaris, Nars also sell horses, native craftwork, and ancient treasures to foreigners. They trade for armor, clothing, jewelry, weapons, and even food and exotic drink. Merchants must be wary, however, because any Nar who feels cheated might become violent.
Crossroads Village; Population 500
A rough collection of squat stone buildings and hide tents, Jiyyd is a trading center. It boasts the first available services along the Long Road past the giantspire Gap, set where the road to Peltarch meets the Long Road. Passing Nars, traders from Peltarch, and even a few goblins come to Jiyyd to barter. Foreigners and natives alike take advantage of the village’s largest feature, the Delyth Caravanserai, which is operated by a family that moved from Damara long ago.
Crossroads Village; Population 500
Much like Jiyyd, N’Jast is a trading settlement nestled at the point where the Long Road crosses the Cold Road, a passage from remote villages and dwarfholds near the Icerim Mountains all the way to Nethentir in Thesk. N’Jast is a stopover for Nars and merchants on their way to Bildoobaris.
Port Town; Population 2,000
The only sizable permanent settlement in Narfell is on the southern shore of Icelace Lake, a body formed by runoff from the Great Glacier to the north. The Nars of Peltarch, mostly of the Ulyoon tribe, fish the lake. They also welcome the few winter caravans that cross frozen Icelace Lake instead of braving the snow-choked and goblin-infested Giantspire Gap in the winter. Through food trade and intermittent traffic, the citizens of Peltarch have become wealthier than their kin, and other Nar tribes consider them outlanders.
Stone for the buildings and walls of Peltarch was taken from an older ruin that lies to the north, which the Nars call Old Peltarch. Peltarch has had its share of strange occurrences, dark spirits, and overly aggressive animals—especially cave bears and dire bears. Many Nars blame these troubles on the ruins and the transported masonry. Similarly blamed on the mingling of the ancient and the modern, it is whispered that the demonbinding ways of old Narfell reappeared here first.