Located several days northwest of Hillcross and settled within the snowy western slopes of the Tusk Mountains lies the small trading village of Kurgun Falls. Once a thriving outpost of trade between the Dwarves and Humans, it has withered to a shadow of its former glory. With the destruction of the Dwarven clans, there was no more trade, and with no more trade there was no more reason for the dark armies to stay in Kurgun Falls. The few remaining inhabitants that are left toil throughout the year just to survive.
Kurgun Falls itself is situated within a misty valley and straddles a narrow cataract that separates the head waters and lower reaches of the Carina River. The falls are almost 60 feet high and flow throughout the year. The valley itself is shallow but steep-sided, with many overlooking crags and a number of trails and rugged defiles leading up into higher country.
It is within Kurgun Falls that the campaign will start. Each character will either be from the local region or will have traveled here recently. In either case, one of the character’s starting regions of knowledge (see the Skills heading in the Character Creation wiki) should be Kurgun Falls.
1 Pool: Over eons the water from the falls has eroded a deep pool out of the stone floor of the vale and now fills much of the valley floor. The pool is steep-sided and as deep as 45 feet in places. The water is cold and frothy from the cascade. It is home to many mountain trout.
2 Quays: Long ago, when the trading post was first built, the bedrock of the eastern shore of the pool was excavated by dwarven stoneworkers into two small quays for docking gnomish trade skiffs. Though they have suffered notable weathering over the years, they are still solid.
3 Trading Hall: The trading hall is a squat, two story round tower, built in a traditional dwarven style. It is about 80 feet in diameter and though the roof has seen better days, the structure itself is still in good condition. The outside walls of the trading hall feature several fanciful gargoyle-like carvings. The inside was once carved with intricate pictographs, but they have long since been defiled and destroyed by the armies of the dark lord. The interior of the tower has fallen to disrepair. It is dark, dusty, and low-ceilinged. A set of double metal doors provides an entrance on the ground floor and light streams in from two dwarf-height windows, set in the north and south walls. A giant hearth provides light and heat, at least when there is wood in supply. The main floor also serves as a communal sleeping area when the weather becomes foul.
The upper floor has four large rooms surrounding a central meeting room that overlooks the main hall below. Two of these rooms house the current garrison of troops stationed here (Sub-Lieutenant Toad and his men), while the other rooms are shared by the important members of the village (such as Mayor Dunkan).
The basement is cold and dark, and serves as a cold cellar.
4 Bridge: At the southern end of the pool is a narrow stone bridge that arches over the head of the Carina. Once a solid example of the stoneworker’s art, neglect and the passage of time have caused a small section of the eastern end of the bridge to collapse. Even so, the bridge remains sturdy.
5 & 6 Storage Ruins: Roofless stone walls and foundations just north of the hall are all that is left of a pair of squat storage buildings. There is a short, wide stair that leads to a basement below the storage area. The basement is where most of the food-stuffs of the village are stored, and amongst the ruins are where the main inhabitants of the town live. Having erected crude tents and lean-tos, they bravely weather the elements.
About 150 yards northwest of the trading hall, atop an overlooking cliff, are the ruins of an old dwarven watchtower. Its walls are all but crumbled and the chambers beneath are caved in. A winding trail leads from the small valley up to the tower, and from there many trails head off into the surrounding mountains.
Sub-Lieutenant Toad: Sub-Lieutenant Toad is a very large half-orc, and the current garrison commander at Kurgun Falls, and has been so for at least 30 years. He has grown old, fat, and lazy (well, lazier) and wants nothing more than for things to go smoothly so that he doesn’t have to put an effort into fixing things. He is thoroughly evil, vile, twisted, and self-serving. He allows for a wide range of law-breaking to thrive within the settlement, providing he and his men get a nice, large cut of everything.
His men are just as loathsome and corrupt. They grovel at Toad’s feet and worship his every slurred word. They consist of 2 goblins, 1 hobgoblin, and 1 foul human. They are also just as lazy, preferring to not leave the comforts of the tower unless absolutely necessary.
Mayor Dunkan: Dunkan is an old dwarf who grew up in the region. He has seen quite a few garrison commanders come and go, and he has learned how to placate them. He is the true ruling force within Kurgun Falls and handles all of the day-to-day affairs, so that Toad and his men do not need to be bothered.
Wendell: Wendell is old, yet spry, gnome. A treaty was signed between the gnomish trading houses and the dark armies long ago that required at least one gnome representative to be within Kurgun Falls at all times, so as to oversee the handling of trade. Even though there hasn’t been any trade in decades, the dark army still enforces its agreement. Wendell is over 100 years old and has resigned the hope of ever getting out of Kurgun Falls. Yet, despite all this, he is often quite cheerful. Wendell is a skilled herbalist and healer and can often be found wandering out in the country, gathering herbs and plants.
Wendell is also the only person in Kurgun Falls that knows how to make dwarven poppy-wine, a favorite of Sub-Lieutenant Toad. Wendell oversees the gathering of ingredients, production, and storage of the wine.