Rumors and pipe smoke fill the air in the Westergate Tavern’s common room, intermixing with the clinks of mugs on wooden tables and the voices of the patrons. There are some locals here, but the bedrooms upstairs are all checked out to adventurers— glory-seekers here to carouse while they wait their turn to set off to the west.
One of the beaten wooden tables has a crude map scratched in the top. It depicts the Keep in the mountain pass, along with the terrain and landmarks of the wild lands immediately to the west. This may represent the sum total of the civilized world’s knowledge of the Fallen West as it now stands, the first feeble efforts to map the territory since the Keep’s maps of the old West Marches were lost in the great fire decades ago. A man in battered armor carves a rough symbol of a tree, as he talks to his companions about what he found on his recent foray.
“There’s another forest to the south of the Ruined Hills. We found its beginnings, but the goblins started getting active around that tower in the hills and we had to flee.”
Other stories tell of a lone peak rising out of the plains a hundred miles from the rest of the range and taller than any other, a cave at the edge of the Ruined Hills which goes on forever into the darkness, strange noises on the winds of the Barrow Plains, and even a dragon spotted circling over the deep parts of the North Wood.
The door opens, letting in a draft of frosty air and another group of armed and armored persons. It’s midwinter in Westergate Keep, and another crop of souls haves come to try their hand in the old West Marches. Will they be heroes? Or will their moldering corpses be forgotten in the Fallen West?