Turmoil disturbs the trees of this ancient western forest
Regions of Liathaven


Liathaven is the ancient western forest between the Freeborn mountains of Kahraman and Bregasland of the Marches. Even in the time of Terunael, the forest was old. There are immense trees in parts of Liathaven that are believed to be thousands of years old, and parts of the forest that even today have seen only a handful of humans pass through them. Liathaven itself is only a spur of a much larger forest that stretches hundreds of miles to the west; a great wood that served as a natural boundary between the Jotun barbarians in the north and the Faraden foreigners in the south.

The wildlife of Liathaven likewise tends to be larger than normal, with forest lions and dire beasts (especially bears, wolves and stags) being comparatively common compared to other parts of the Empire. The weather in Liathaven is changeable, and the territory is known for its heavy storms and strong winds, caught as it is between the temperate Marches and the warmer Brass Coast to the south.

In the past, parts of Liathaven were well settled by the Navarr. Those few Terunael ruins that had not been incorporated into steadings had mostly been studied by scholars and archaeologists. Occasionally a hitherto overlooked structure would be uncovered, wreathed in vines or buried under centuries of undergrowth. The richest new ruins are found along the borders of the Vallorn-infested regions of Liath's Heart, or in the recently cleared region of West Wood.

Liathaven is rarely peaceful however; between the vallorn and the Jotun the territory is regularly threatened. Many of the Striding that walk the trods around Liathaven are composed of particularly militant members of the nation, who will stop at nothing to defend their homeland from the Jotun. In the last twenty year or so, the territory has been regularly invaded both by the western orcs, and by vallronspawn raised by the Heirs of Terunael. Indeed, so chaotic has the territory become that many of the former Navarr inhabitants have been forced to quit the territory, taking sanctuary in Hercynia and Miaren tp the north.

Unfortunate Liathaven
As of Spring 381YE, we assume there is now no significant Navarr presence remaining in the territory. Going forward, we will assume that the only Navarr steadings and stridings still based in Liathaven are player character groups. The lack of Imperial citizens and non-Jotun infrastructure means the territory would require extensive rebuilding, regardless of which Imperial nation the Senate assigns it to, should it ever be recaptured. You can learn more about this here.

In Winter 383YE, the unfettered chaos caused by the Heirs of Terunael saw deadly vallornspawn infest the territory. They represented a significant threat to any military force that entered Liathaven. The arrival of a major Jotun force following the Autumn Equinox 384YE saw most of the vallornspawn destroyed or driven back into the vallorn heart.

Recent History

The Jotun launched the first invasion of recent times during the Autumn of 346YE, taking advantage of the fact that Empress Giselle had focused the Imperial armies in the east, fighting the Druj. They avoided the vallorn and seized many Navarri steadings. The Empire finally lost control of Liathaven in early 349YE despite attempts by the Imperial Military Council to organize a proper counter-offensive. In the thirty years after the forests fell to the orcs, the used their foothold in Liathaven to launch regular raids into Bregasland and Kahraman, and as a staging post for their massed assault against the Mournwold in 349YE.

When a ceasefire was agreed with the Jotun by the Imperial Senate in Summer 377YE, attempts to reclaim Liathaven ceased for a time. In Autumn 378YE, after the Empire broke their agreement with the Jotun, the armies of the Brass Coast tried to take Liathaven. The orcs counter-attacked with seven armies taking all of the territory that was not controlled by the Vallorn. Jotun and Imperial forces fought back and forth across the territory for several years, until the orcs eventually began an orderly retreat back into Hordalant in 381YE.

In 382YE, as the Jotun withdrew, the vallorn began to expand. The Navarr and their Marcher allies were quick to respond, and a vicious campaign against the vallorn was launched into West Ranging. The abomination's attempts to infest West Ranging was stymied, but there was significant damage to the region caused by the supernatural fire of the eternal Surut. In Summer 383YE, however, the Empire were able to take advantage of their victories and strike against the West Wood, attacking the weakene d vallorn there and ultimately removing the blight. For the first time in many decades, the Navarr won an actual victory against a vallorn.

Towards the end of 383YE, however, the so-called Heirs of Terunael engaged in a plan to rouse the vallorn across the Navarr territories. While they were stymied in Hercynia and Therunin, their scheme was uncontested in Liathaven. Despite the presence of the potent curse lying over the territory, there was a resurgence on vallornspawn who spilled out of the vallornheart to cause chaos throughout the territory. While the worst has already faded, many parts of the territory remained contested with dangerous vallorn creatures.

In Summer 384YE, the Navarr became aware that the Feni settling in eastern Liathaven had created a settlement - Hotter's Mire - and were dealing with the Heirs of Terunael in an attempt to remove the effects of the Winter curse laid over the territory by Imperial magicians. Imperial intervention saw the Heirs scattered, and the Feni disavow their involvement with the dangerous group - although it is clear the Feni still have little love for the Navarr themselves.

Following the Autumn Equinox 384YE, a major force of Jotun orcs moved into the territory from the west, sweeping east and south. They quickly conquered the entire territory - all save the vallornheart. Any Feni who were not slain or given The Choice fell back to their hidden enclaves, surrendering the whole of Liathaven to the orcs. The western barbarians quickly set about establishing a base of operations at the former Feni town of Hotter's Mire, and under the auspices of the renowned Jotun engineer Igya Olgafsdottir set about fortifying the region of Liaven's Glen. During the Winter Solstice, however, the Military Council sent a force of Imperial heroes through the Sentinel Gate to Liathaven to make use of the potent Spring regio known as Broker's Wynd. Imperial magicians raised the Thunderous Tread of the Trees, and also managed to hold the site long enough to perform The Dance of Navarr and Thorn as well, reuniting Liathaven with the trod network. While Igya survived, and the magical stockades empowered by Cathan Canae were left intact, the forest itself now rises against the Jotun conquerors.

During the Summer Solstice 382YE, as part of a wider plan to stem the growth of the vallorn, Navarr magicians laid a powerful Winter magic curse acros Liathaven. Wither the Seed is a subtle, durable, malediction that reduces the fertility of everyone in the territory - animals, plants, and people alike. Without powerful intervention, it will persist until at least 412YE. Removing the curse is no simple task; you can read about some of the ways it might be achieved in the Desolation of Yoorn wind of fortune.

Major Features

Feni Settlements

Since 382YE, the largest concentration of Feni known to the Empire is in Liathaven, In Autumn 382YE, the Imperial Senate ratified a treaty with a faction of displaced Feni from the Marches in which they were encouraged to start new lives in Liathaven. Since then, they have extensively settled in Liath's Ring and Liaven's Glen, Some took custody of steadings abandoned by the retreating Navarr, others converted settlements built by the Jotun to their use. While the initial treaty was specifically with the group known as the Woods that fell, Feni from other groups began to make their way to Liathaven. Until the Jotun invasion in late 384YE, Feni numbers continued to grow. Most appeared to be slipping into the territory from the Mournwold, but there are indications that some were coming from much further afield. One group even began work on a large new settlement - Hotter's Mire - which they apparently intended to serve as some kind of regional capital. The Feni were well aware of the Winter curse hanging over the territory, and removing it is clearly a priority for them. Indeed, they had made plans to cooperate with the Heirs of Terunael to help remove the curse, before being dissuaded from doing so by the Empire.

Before the orcs came, the Feni were rapidly developing into an effective military force - in Imperial terms they are speculated to have numbers equivalent to a single army. There's no sign that this force actually opposed the Jotun - a sensible decision given the sheer numbers of orcs arrayed against them - and there is some speculation it has a similar capacity to the Strong Reeds - to lay low in conquered territory until the time is right to strike.

OOC Note: Scouts in 384YE reported that the Feni had an effective fighting strength of 7,000 although how much of that remains, and how they could deploy it, is unclear following the Jotun invasion. The Shimmerglisten Wind of Fortune from Summer 384YE contains more information about the Feni of Liathaven.

Hotter's Mire

Built in Liaven's Glen, Hotter's Mire was constructed by the Feni following their settlement of the eastern regions of the territory. It was here that representatives of the Empire met with some of the Feni leaders and arranged the destruction of Heris of Terunael forces in the territory. Following their invasion of the territory in late 384YE, the Jotun captured Hotter's Mire and begin rebuilding it as a suitable base of operations from which to control their conquered territory. Work began on a fortification near Hotter's Mire almost as soon as the Jotun had captured the region, and not only is it overseen by the champion Igya Olgafsdottir, but it is apparently supported by the Queen of Ice and Darkness herself.

Oath's Roots

After the Westwood was cleansed, a warband of Imperial Orcs uncovered a weirwood grove, untouched by the warping power of the vallorn. Exploiting this resource would require significant investment from the Imperial Senate, and while a Senate motion was raised to commission such an investment it was later withdrawn. Details of the work needed were presented by the civil service at the time. Were Liathaven once more brought into the Empire, however, the opportunity to take control of the tentatively-named "Oath's Roots" would still be available - assuming nothing significant had changed in the meantime.

Liaven's Dance

Woven between the trees of Liaven's Glen is The Dance; a network of earthen trails marked in the grass and the trees, several miles wide, worn into the ground with the footfall of centuries. The Navarr say that it is a symbol for the Great Dance writ large on the earth. Some from Urizen believe that dancing Liaven’s Dance could grant humans a greater understanding the path of the soul through the Labyrinth of Ages. The steading of Liaven’s Dance was ancient, dating back to the earliest days after the Vallorn emerged. In it's heyday it was a regular place of pilgrimage for Navarr practitioners of the Way, and a centre for philosophical thought combining the philosophy of the Great Dance with the Virtues. It's loss to the Jotun was a blow to the Navarr, and thanks to the ongoing chaos in the territory it has never been conclusively recovered.

Liathaven's Vallorn

The vallorn if Liathaven has been extensively cut back over the years, most recently following the hard-fought Imperial victory of 383YE that cleared the Westwood. While the vallorn has twice been roused to wakefulness in recent memory, the presence of Wither the Seed has meant that it quickly returns to slumber. As of the Jotun invasion at the tail-end of 384YE, which saw the vallornspawn roaming the territory largely defeated, the vallorn appears to have slipped back into quiescence. It remains a threat however; Liath's Heart is still infested with abominations, husks, and ettercap, and is no more vulnerable to removal than any other vallorn.

The Jotun in particular are careful to give the vallorn a wide berth. They mark the borders of areas infested with vallornspawn with boundary markers and effigies hung from the trees, and seem to have little interest in trying to remove its presence. Only when vallornspawn leave infested areas to threaten Jotun settlements are they attacked.

Paths of Lan Thúven (Gone)

In Western Scout, on the very edge of the vallorn miasma,stand the crumbling pillars of an old gateway. The Gate of Lan Thúven dates back to pre-Imperial times; it may even be Terunael in origin. No stories remain to say who, or what, or where Lan Thúven might have been. Only the gate remains - this one, and a second gate in West Ranging on the far side of Liathaven. Between them, according to refugees from the Jotun-burnt Hidden Walk steading, there is a path through the vallorn. A hidden way, following the route of an old Terunael road, woven with potent Night magic that blinds the eyes of the vallornspawn. The insular Hidden Walk used this route to travel deep into the Westwood, and to keep contact with their cousins on the other side of Liathaven at Silent Stand steading. The Jotun seized both Hidden Walk and Silent Stand. The steadings were destroyed - but the gates that mark either end of the hidden path still stand. The orcs clearly realised that the gates were valuable, but treated them with the same superstitious dread they show towards anything associated with the vallorn.

The Empire recaptured the Paths in Summer 380YE, but as of Summer 383YE they are no more. When the Empire purged the Vallorn from the Westwood the Night magic that empowered the Paths faded and unravelled.

There are mysteries at least as old as Terunael beneath the boughts of Liathaven.
The Stout Watchers, a circle of stones in Liath's Ring.


Beacon Point

  • Qualities: Forest

The region takes its name from the great beacons built along the southern borders of Liathaven, intended to serve as a warning of any major incursion from the west or the southern Faraden. The beacons were simple but effective - messages could be sent quickly to stations in the mountains of neighbouring Kahraman, and relayed back to Liaven's Glen. In this way, the southern regions of Liathaven stayed in contact with the northern regions despite the Vallorn of Westwood between them. Beacon Point also maintained a single very unreliable trade route through the mountains to Kahraman, which was regularly threatened by orc bandits living in the mountains between the two territories. The best known of the settlements here was the fortified steading of Redgate, which watched over the Redgate Pass into Kahraman.

When the Jotun took Beacon Point in Winter 379YE, as part of the Jotun "rage" that swept across southern Liathaven, almost the entire remaining Navarr population either fled through the mountains to Kahraman, or fell to the wrath of the orcs.

Liath's Heart

  • Qualities: Forest, Vallorn

Forced out of the surrounding regions, Liathaven's Vallorn has grown powerful in Liath's Heart. It is wrapped tight around the ruins of Liath Haven, squatting at the centre of a miasmic cloud of poison. There are no Navarr steadings in Liath's Heart. Although occasional forays into the region from Liaven's Glen to the east returned triumphant with some fragment of lore or lost treasure, the most accessible ruins have long since been explored or destroyed by rampaging Vallornspawn.

Liath's Ring

  • Qualities: Forest

Near the eastern border of Liath's Ring stands Mournstead, a stout steading - the last redoubt of the Navarr in Liathaven to fall to the barbarians during the original attack of 346YE. The region was known both for sprawling groves of beggarwood trees, and for the occasional standing stone or dolmen in out-of-the-way places. Marcher Landskeepers - especially those from nearby Bregasland - were regular visitors to this part of the forest, and its eerie monoliths.

Liaven's Glen

  • Qualities: Forest

This area of eastern Liathaven was the first area of Liathaven freed of Vallorn influence some two hundred years before the foundation of the Empire. According to some records, the network of trails and earthworks known as Liaven's Dance was a prototype working designed to weaken the power of the vallorn, eventually culminating in the vast web of trods that now criss-cross the Empire. Several steadings here were home to experienced covens of vates who oversaw potent mana sites and studied the vallorn along the edges of Liath's Heart to the south-west. Many of these vates were killed fighting to protect their homes from the orcs in 346YE, but some managed to flee into exile.

Of particular note was the library at Turning Spiral. This old steading held a repository of Navarr magical lore that survived the purges of Emperor Nicovar comparatively unscathed. Tragically, its own defenders were forced to destroy it rather than let it fall into barbarian hands. While some of the books and scrolls were carried to safety by fleeing vates, many hundreds more were incinerated in magically-fuelled fire as the entire steading was transformed into a conflagration by the defenders (a conflagration that claimed not only their lives, but the lives of at least two hundred orcs). Some of the last vates to leave Turning Spiral never reached the safety of Serra Briante to the south - at least two groups are known to have set off but disappeared somewhere in the mountains between Liathaven and Kahraman.


  • Qualities: Forest

The tainted vegetation of the Vallorn once spilled westward into this region from Liath's Heart. That changed in 383YE. When the Vallorn tried to expand into West Ranging, and was rebuffed, it left Westwood vulnerable. In Summer 383YE Imperial forces took advantage of its weakened state to clear the vallorn from the region, confining it to Liath's Heart. The Navarr had scant months to enjoy their victory before fighting with the Jotun and the Heirs of Terunael saw Imperial gains in Liathaven lost once more, but the clearing of Westwood represents the first major blow against the vallorn in recent years. It also uncovered the weirwood grove tentatively named Oath's Roots.

There were a few steadings here, but they have almost all been abandoned. One of the best remembered was that of Duskwater Tarry, a steading built on raised platforms in the centre of a freshwater lake. It originally protected a dangerous trade route connecting Western Scout and West Ranging, passing through then-vallorn dominated territory. The inhabitants withdrew south in 352YE, and it is believed that the Vallorn swiftly swallowed it up.

West Ranging

  • Qualities: Burnt

The forests here were reasonably well defended, but the slow drain of Thorns to the battles in the eastern Empire created a weakness the Jotun were quick to exploit. Prior to 346YE, West Ranging was known both for producing fine leather goods and for the Navarr scouts who would regularly slip out of the Empire to spy on - and occasionally raid - the Jotun territory of Hordalant.

In Winter 381YE, the vallorn began to expand into West Ranging. The Navarr army of the Quiet Step, supported by the Marcher Tusks and Bounders, moved to prevent the expansion. The fighting was savage, but in the end Imperial forces were victorious. During the campaign, the Quiet Step were aided by a potent enchantment, a gift of the eternal Surut, that brought his irresistible fire to bear on the forest and the vallorn. As a consequence, swathes of the once rich woodlands here were reduced to a cold, grey ash where nothing will grow. The fire was particularly keen to consume regio connected to the Spring realm - which are also key targets for vallornspawn. As such there are believed to be no Spring regio remaining in West Ranging.

Western Scout

  • Qualities: Forest

During the Jotun invasion of 364YE, the steadings of Western Scout were best placed to weather the storm. With the orcs' main interest being in the north, they were able to hold the barbarians off for many years. The Jotun ceasefire gave these steadings a much-needed breathing space, but following its collapse the barbarians struck mercilessly into the southern regions of Liathaven. A great many Navarr were slain, and the steadings here overrun. While their ruins have changed hands from time-to-time, very few now remain intact.

Dreadful Liathaven Strategic.png
A very rough region map of Liathaven

Strategic Considerations

  • The vallorn in Liath's Heart cannot be moved through by campaign armies without taking significant casualties
  • The Kahraman Peaks impede movement between Liathaven and Kahraman

In addition to the qualities of the individual regions, there are certain strategic consideration that affect military campaigns in Liathaven. The presence of the vallorn can make movement through the territory a little difficult. At one point the territory was cut in half by the vallorn in Westwood and Liath's Heart, but with the victories of 383YE that is no longer the case. The vallornheart still remains, however, and still presents strategic problems when fighting in the territory. Moving from north to south, or vice versa, means passing through Westwood, or fighting through the vallornsheart itself - something impossible to do without suffering significant casualties.

The Kahraman Peaks make it difficult for armies to pass between Liathaven and Kahraman. Armies can move between Liaven's Glen and Braydon's Jasse with relative ease, but elsewhere things are not so straightforward. Armies cannot move between Liathaven and Serra Briante nor can they move between Beacon's Point and Serra Damata since the destruction of Redgate Pass. A second pass exists between Liath's Heart and Kahraman, but due to the presence of the vallorn on the northern side it is of minimal use to Imperial forces.

OOC Note

  • As of the start of Winter Solstice 384YE, the Vallorn occupies Liath's Heart. Every other region is controlled by the Jotun.
  • An additional 10 Thrones each season is diverted from the Imperial treasury to support those Imperial citizens still living in Liathaven.
  • As of Spring 381YE, we assume there is now no significant Navarr presence remaining in the territory. Going forward, we will assume that the only Navarr steadings and stridings still based in Liathaven are player character groups. The lack of Imperial citizens and non-Jotun infrastructure means the territory would require extensive rebuilding, regardless of which Imperial nation the Senate assigns it to, should it ever be recaptured. You can learn more about this here.
  • The Paths of Lan Thúven allowed Navarr armies to treat West Ranging and Western Scout as if they are adjacent regions. As of Summer 383YE they are no more.
  • After the Winter Solstice 381YE, the region of West Ranging lost the forest quality as a consequence of the hungry fires of the eternal Surut.

Further Reading

  • Shimmerglisten - 384YE Wind of Fortune about the Feni and the Heirs of Terunael in Liathaven
  • Drive back - 383YE Summer Wind of Fortune in the aftermath of Westwood being freed from the vallorn