The Bandit Kingdoms are a collection of petty holdings which were founded in the early Third Age. This collection of small personal territories stretches from the Eagle Mountains to the Shadowyarn Mountains, primarily south of the Greyflood. Each little kingdom is ruled by a robber chieftain claiming a title. The territorial boundaries of the holding of these kinglets are subject to rapid change due to sudden warfare and defeat or victory. The whole relationship exists because no single bandit lord is strong enough to conquer the whole territory, and the combined strength of all is often required to defend against neighboring states retributive expeditions. So bandit and brigand band together in self-interest, and no kinglet, regardless of ambition, has seriously attempted to rule the whole, for fear that threatened lords would turn to the kingdom in spite. Thus, the combined kinglets continue to stand more or less together. The total military strength of all territories is quite considerable due to the fact that each ruler controls a large force with which to raid and pillage.
Nearby Areas of Interest
This land is sunken in the center and cliffed along both sides. This cupping causes water to form into standing pools and sluggish streams and flowages. The resulting morass of water and vegetation is known as the Direhaunt Swamp. The movement of water in the Direhaunt Swamp indicates that it gradually drains northwards, but there is no known river rising from the end, so it is thought that there are underground channels through which the waters run.
Certain desperate outlaws dwell with the Direhaunt Swamp, and there are also native tribes found within its bounds. Ferocious predators and loathsome monsters likewise consider this their domain. The folk dwelling in the hills to either side keep constant watch to assure that the denizens of the Direhaunt Swamp do not roam beyond its edges. There are many tales and legends concerning this area, but the most likely is that of the lost burial place of a lich who once ruled the morass.
The rocky hills which run south of Mt. Todd on the southwestern tip of the Shadowyarn Mountains are known as the Gold Hills. The northern verges of the hills are relatively safe, and these are claimed by the Bandit Kingdoms. The central and southern portions are very arid, however, and wild tribesmen dwelling within these hills turn back all intruders - if they manage to return at all. These hills are so rough and precipitous as to preclude mounted movement or even organized bodies of soldiers, so no aggression has proven successful in clearing these tall heights. Occasional adventurers will return with tales of having prospected within these hills, stories of encounters with natives, monsters, and the like, but most cannot be believed. There are certainly riches within the Gold Hills, however, for the Bandit lords have productive mines in the area.
Located at the southern end of the Shadowyarn Mountains, this volcanic peak was known in the First and Second Ages of Man as Mount Thunder, presumably because of its frequent eruptions and tremors. In 666 of the Second Age, Benedict Demonbinder was accidently killed by Todd Treelover, a druid, while adventuring against demons under the mountain. Shortly thereafter, popular legends began, and the mountain became known by its current moniker.
In September and October 828, a party consisting of Sir Zachary, Hylax the Barker, U-Gene the Dwarf, Zephaniah the Good, Falstaff, Sirfexx Ivancevio, and Blackfoot undertook a mission from King Gregory to recover the Staff of Justice from Benedict's grave under Mount Todd. The journey was successful with the Staff of Justice regained, the Giant Raver Worldsplitter defeated, and the demons of the covenant bound by Hylax the Barker. With the exception of Foultooth, the Giant Raver of the Thirteenth Covenant, the Binding ended the Demon Wars of 821-828.
In the lands of the southern Shadowyarn Mountains, amidst the rough and broken ground and jutting crags of the badlands there, a deep canyon of tremendous extent is found. This strange rift in the floor of the earth is over forty miles in length and five miles wide near the bandit town of Riftcrag. Tales tell that this rift is more than a mile deep and pocked with caves and caverns. Much of its length has been cleared of monsters, although they still issue forth from the tunnels from time to time. The bandits lords use both humans and monsters to hold the place, and rich loot is taken here from raids throughout the area. The floor of the rift at its western end is shunned, due to the particularly fierce monsters dwelling there. Attempts to clear this area have ended in disaster. Southeast of the Riftcanyon is the volcanic cone of hunted Mt. Thunder, avoided by both knights and bandits.