[Kingmaker, 13th Age] Lords of the 13th Age
Across the northern frontier of the River Kingdoms runs a hinterland not even the most brazen bandit lords dare to claim. Sharing borders with strange barbarians and the scions of a proud kingdom, this wilderness invites few intruders, out of fear of provoking the ire of empires. For untold decades this land has lain fallow, left to the devices of nature and deadly beasts, while strange things lurk amid its swamps, forests, and peaks, and the remnants of an ancient, near-forgotten history sleeps amid ruins and weeds. These are the Stolen Lands, a lordless realm having defied untold conquerors, yet ripe with potential for any bold enough to prove themselves its masters.
The region called the Stolen Lands takes its name from Brevoy, which claims this realm as rightfully its own. The fertile plains of the Brevic demesne of Rostland spill into the region, coloring the fractious nation’s claim on the wilderness. This makes the border between the River Kingdoms and the northern realm hotly contested, with the descendants of Choral the Conquer claiming it is of modern Brevoy and ancient Rostlandic nobles claiming right to lands as far south as Hooktongue Slough and the Kamelands, and some brash families asserting their reach extends as far south as the bandit city of Pitax.
Beyond the plains, to the east stretch the craggy forests of the Narlmarches and rugged hill country that gradually rises in the wall-like mountains called the Tors of Levenies. To the west, the many rivers and bogs of the Hooktongue Slough transform the region’s lowlands into a vast swamp, eventually giving way to the Spinefields, weedy plains threaded over with bony crags, with the forest of Thousand Voices and the steeps around Mount Branthlend beyond.
Diverse in both vistas and dangers, the Stolen Lands hide a variety of dangers, from tales of hauntings and eerie lights in the west to claims of ruins from forgotten empires scattered across the east, with the dens of bandit gangs, strange recluses, and deadly beasts scattered throughout. Those who travel the land, whether as traders or conquerors, find it a rugged, unforgiving region, one that has defied ages of settlers as if it consciously preferred to remain a realm of brutality and beasts. Yet endlessly, new generations enter the land with ambitions and steel, ever hoping to carve out a piece of the Stolen Lands for themselves.