Legacy of Zanzer Tem
Melinir – (Population 1600, 88% human, 6% Halfling, 3% dwarf, 1% Elf). Melinir is the largest and most orderly town in the Rift. Built around the mighty Church of the Firmament, it is well defended and prosperous. Even so the town is a shadow of it’s former self. The upper and lower city are divided by a bluff, with the western portion of the upper city being fully repaired and populated, and much of the lower city being largely in a state of disrepair. The city has a full complement of specialized trades, and much of the abandoned area was devoted to warehousing from the old days when dwarven goods flowed through Melinir, and off to distant lands through the horned hills.
Kleine – (Population 900, 93% human, 5% dwarf, 1% gnome) Kleine the town at the foot of the plunging cataract, is an idyllic alpine village. The town produces mostly wool and agricultural products, and operates as the portage point for goods going from Hearth Home to Melinir. The area around Kleine sees more conflict than the towns of the Melinir hills region, and the local shepherds and farmers are skilled at fighting the goblins that frequently show their heads.
Torlynn – (Current Population ~100, Permanent Population 600, 80% human, 20% halfling). Torlynn is the wood capital of the rift, with a myriad of logging operations in the southern edge of the Guantlin forest. Everything from bowstaves to finished cabinets are made here, but since most people make do without finished cabinets the big export is actually barrels, lots and lots of barrels (mostly to edgewater). Currently Torlynn appears to be under a magically induced winter, and many people have left town proper for the surrounding villages.
Edgewater – (Pop 550, 63% Halfling, 36% human) Edgewater is a very peaceful community on the edge of the marshes. It is more a Halfling town than human, but the two groups integrate essentially seamlessly. Edgewater has two claims to fame, the Library of Kohlorium, and Rhiannon’s Playhouse. The former is certainly the greatest library in the rift, and the only one more or less open to the public. The latter is so popular that it attracts travelers from all over the rift (even elves and dwarves), while selling tickets that nearly anyone can afford, on a strictly first come first served basis. While famous for the library and playhouse, the real industry is alcohol, wineries line the nearby hills, and the town is home to a number of competing breweries.
Aberdal – (Population 380) Once the town of Aberdal was a small but prosperous community that served an important stop on the river trade, acting as a hub for trade to Wizardspire and the lands of the fighters academy (Iocomere the name of the town surrounding the academy, is largely lost to non-historians). Modern Aberdal is a poorly regarded place, rumored to be a haven for river-pirates. Stories of the locals making unsavory deals with the spirits that haunt the gloomfens, abound, though these seem less plausible. Every year a few sailors will end up stabbed in back alleys over relationships or gambling debts, and gambling, prostitution, and savage pit-fights are all ‘legal’ here, making it decidedly unlike most other settlements. Secretly it is the home of the valleys thieves’ guild.
Avenal – (Population 250) Sometimes referred to as the Keep of the Black Knight, Avenal is a small settlement on the far southern edge of the rift, at the swampy headwaters of the river Aven. Since the Aven is not navigable year round, trade is spotty. Avenal is a surprisingly wealthy community, exporting little and importing much, the source of this wealth is not well known. A small temple to Vanya is the only public place of worship for the Abaddon in the Rift.
Valehaven – (Population 200) Valehaven is the hub of a community of cattle ranchers, and the center of trade between the tribes of human barbarians that populate much of the lower great grasslands and the civilized denizens of the Rift. It is also the center of tanning in the valley, working the leather from the locally raised cattle as well as the hides traded by their nomadic neighbors (mostly buffalo/aurox).
Other small human settlements are common in the upper great grassland, and line the drake river at regular intervals. Several tribes of human barbarians travel the lower great grasslands. Human settlements are very rare in the areas north of the bright river and west of the drake river.