The Darkfort Hills
The Darkfort Hills are a fairly barren section of limestone hills sandwiched between the Gaunt Forest to the east, and the Grave Wood to the west. Long since largely stripped of its woodlands, the region is fifteen square miles of patchwork woodlots, hard-scrabble subsistence farms, and poor grass that do not provide much for grazing land.
The hills do, however, contain lead and copper deposits, and the mines of the hills have been important to the region for centuries. Few monsters are ever sighted here, and while there are plenty of caves, there are few things which they might prey upon besides fish from its numerous brooks. Most locals get by harvesting beans, oats and barley, and keeping a few cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. Ales and cheeses are popular and in demand both locally and as an export. Fruit orchards are rare, though Fox Grapes can be found in profusion in the region and produce a fine ice wine.
The entire region is riddled with ancient dwarven mines and the more modern mines of human prospectors. The town of Lasse’Nan, a small forester’s town is located in a wooded valley in the western fringes of the Gaunt Forest. Named by the elves, the village has never recovered from the effects of an evil fey charm which cast eternal winter over the region, and forced most of its population to flee.
The city of Darkfort itself lies south and west of Lasse’Nan, situated along the shores of Lake Garnet, a large freshwater lake several miles long, and fed by two branches of the Drake River. Water spills from the lake into the southern lowlands, forming the borders of both the Marshwood and the Black Swamp. In the center of the lake is said to be a hidden island hosting a private mage’s guild with an extensive library.