The Boiling Mountains

While few have met the king of Bulwark, his ironhanded grip can be felt far beyond the cavernous, hallowed halls of Golembluff.

After the Cataclysm, seven families formed kingdoms of their own around the Ettin Mountains. The families ruled their kingdoms in relative peace until King Adelstone of House Ettinborne, ruler of the Mountainside, mounted a campaign of conquest to unify the Seven Kingdoms. After Ettinborne conquered the Terrace and the Valley, and the peoples of the Woods, the Canyon and the Banks laid down their swords and pledged fealty to the One King of Bulwark. The Aarakocra of the Peaks were the last to fall.

The Seven Great Families still stand as rulers of their regions with each Head of House acting as viceroy in service to the king.

The MountainsideThe TerraceThe ValleyThe Woods
The Peaks The Canyon The Banks

The Mountainside

Atop the cliffs sit the smaller surface towns, but below, carved into the mountain, is Golembluff, the capital of Bulwark and the territory’s greatest city. The city is open to all, outsiders included, but, walking around the city, one can feel the watchful eye of the city guard watching every step.

Golembluff serves as the seat of the Kingdom of Bulwark under the direct rule of the aging King Adelstone of House Ettinborne, a dwarf. Often described as “severely utilitarian,” the king demands efficiency. He believes that any community that is not contributing to the success of the Kingdom is contributing to its failure.

Golembluff is home to Zarroth College.

The Terrace

The Terrace is an area of flatland on the side of the Ettin Mountains. Though once home to vibrant goblin communities, the area has since become a lumber and ore processing wing of Golembluff under House Kral, the hobgoblin ruling clan.

House Kral is based in the mill town of Goradela, a stone fort close to the sloping mountainside. They take very seriously both their fealty to the king and the stark divide between the ruling class and the working class.

The Valley

Seated between the two peaks of the Ettin Mountains, the Valley and its capital Talus are known for volcanic hot springs, earning the region its nickname, “The Boiling Mountains.” The pungent smell of sulfur — like rotten eggs — constantly hangs in the air.

House Ízi, a clan of salamander Lizardfolk, run Talus as a kind of expansive resort bathhouse, charging travelers for the opportunity to stay and enjoy the healing waters.

The Woods

At the base of the mountains, the Woods are perhaps the furthest, culturally, from the nation’s capital. Based in the city of Foxward, House Fudgel is more concerned about the threat of strange beasts from Quickthorne crossing into Bulwark than it is about the industrialists of the mountains.

The Woodwatchers patrol the the riverside to assure that the strange activity of the Awakened Forest on the other side never bleeds into Bulwark. House Fudgel is adamant that magic brings no good. While not all of the families of the Woods agree with the viceroy, families tend to see magic as something best kept only in whispers and behind closed doors.

The Peaks

For those without wings, the distant Peaks are accessible only by mountaineering or airship. The Peaks are home to a set of ancient Aarakocra temples. Immensely proud, it’s believed that House Volo begrudgingly agreed to follow the crown in order to shield the temples from the ruin that war would have brought.

The baroque city of Stellabrezza is most known for the Temple of Typhoon, a towering sanctuary honoring the Tectonic Typhoon who is credited with carving the valley that divides the two peaks of the Ettin Mointains. Despite the religious history of the Peak towns, few practitioners of the old ways are left to maintain the sacred spaces. Instead, many of the townsfolk are simply those with the wealth to purchase and maintain the limited habitable land found atop the mountain.

The Canyon

You might think the Canyon was carved by an ancient river long, long ago. The reptilian peoples native to the Canyon, however, would tell you you a very different story. The Yuan-ti clan of House Vanano believe that the Draconic god Ny carved out the Canyon as a shelter for his children before journeying to the Nine Hells to reclaim Draconic divinity. The ruling family claims to be related to the children Ny left behind.

The capital city of Víbora, carved into the cliff walls, reflects the region’s devotion to this belief. Statues of Ny and shrines line the walkways of the city. Heresy is punishable by death, and visitors are expected to respect the faith while within the revered gorge.

The Banks

Far removed from the metropolitan center of Bulwark, the Banks and the capital of Bonico offer a getaway from busy life. While the Banks are a vassal state of Bulwark, the towns enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle and draw tourists from across the Augural Strand, eager to experience the famous sea breeze and ocean waters. During the winters, the beaches are empty, but as summer comes, crowds come in hordes.

The Banks are headed by House Shoalmar, a wealthy and exuberant Triton family. All of the Shoalmars consider their chief duty to offer hospitality to travelers. They’re generally regarded as kind if a bit inauthentic.