The area around Harbinston was where Sherlock’s adventuring party followed his magical stone tablet map. The map led them all around the region and eventually to what would be known as Sherlock’s Tower. Sherlock used the tower to gain great magical power, but the activation killed two of his companions, Sherry and Egon. His final companion, Burne, swore revenge. Burne returned to Harbinston to protect the town, but he eventually found that Robin Hood style brigandry was the best way to support his community. The bandit problem eventually led to Burne’s death as a new group of adventurers came to the region led by Terroc.
Robber’s Forest was originally called Hardtop Forest. Burne took up residence in the woods around fifty years ago. He and his bandit gang waylaid boats coming down or going up the Black River. They stole tons of wealth and goods to benefit the people of Harbinston. Burne evaded arrest as the region around Harbinston fell outside the jurisdiction of Bradel Fields and Dalleer due to a territorial dispute. Burne’s enterprise was so successful that the forest’s name was changed from Hardtop Forest to Robber’s Forest. When Burne was defeated by Terroc the banditry stopped, but the new name stuck.
Elves live in Robber’s Forest as well, but they have grown more isolationist over the centuries. While Burne dwelt in the woods, he never interacted with or saw an elf. Some claim the elves have abandoned Robber’s Forest, but evidence of their occupation can still be found occasionally. Hunters find their snares cut and apothecaries find their favorite wild gathering spots transplanted.
The Robber’s Canyon is where Burne captured trade goods from merchant boats. Burne built rope bridges over the canyon to assist in his brigandry. The bridges are still maintained by the people of Harbinston, but are now used for travel and pilgrimage. During Burne’s tenure, boat trade between Dalleer and Bradel Fields was drastically reduced in favor of land trade to avoid the bandits. Now that Burne’s band has dissolved, boat travel along the Black River has resumed.
Sherlock became an adventurer to gain more magical power after finishing his wizard apprenticeship. He found a magical stone tablet with a puzzle map and was convinced it would lead him to phenomenal power. The tablet brought Sherlock to a tower. The tower required a sacrifice to activate and grant him power. Sherlock gladly paid the sacrifice with his companions’ lives. Sherlock was granted unlimited magical power and his former friend, Burne, was granted unlimited physical might. Unfortunately for Sherlock, the ritual also confined him to the tower. He cannot leave without dying. Sherlock now spends most of his days gazing into a scrying crystal. He watches all the main events of Cimmeria’s history from the comfort of his palatial tower, unable to directly take part in any of the events despite his endless magical power.
Activating the tower to grant Sherlock his magical power required two groups, one inside the tower and one outside. Sherlock stayed in the tower with Egon while Burne went outside of the tower with Sherry. The activation killed Egon and Sherry. While she died, her ghost remained. She continues to haunt the cabin she died in. Burne had loved Sherry in life, and he hated Sherlock for killing her. Sherry lingers on now, wishing for Sherlock’s death. Unfortunately, the tower also granted Sherlock immortality as long as he remains within the tower. His death and Sherry’s rest are both far in the future.
When Burne became a bandit, he had a distaste for the equipment he had gathered while working with Sherlock. He buried his collected treasure at the center of a crater in the Harbinston Area. This included a Deck of Many Things. Terroc found Burne’s map to the buried treasure and uncovered the Deck. Terroc used the Deck to gather enormous wealth and retire from adventuring.
The Ice Oracle is a magical oracle gifted eternal youth and divine sight by Apollo. Apollo had loved her, but she had not loved him in return. He gave the oracle his gifts, but she still refused him. Angry at her rejection, Apollo cursed the oracle. If her heart would be ice to him, then she would reside forever in the cold. A ziggurat of ice formed beneath the oracle’s feet to serve as her home and prison.
The Ice Oracle lived on due to Apollo’s gift of eternal youth. Few know of her location, but those who do are happy to use her oracular powers. The Ice Oracle will provide a vision of the future in exchange for a gift. The usefulness of her vision is in proportion to the effort expended to acquire the gift. A poor farmer that brings the oracle a cow will receive a vision valuable to them, but a king would need to sacrifice a thousand cows for a vision of equal value.
No one knows which god this temple was originally dedicated to. The ruined structure is now under the control of a chaos demon known as Grembal. The demon creates small portals to allow other of its brethren into the material plane. Aside from that Grembal is content to sit in the temple and defile it with his presence. His minions bring him sacrifices that Grembal consumes without comment or encouragement. Heroes occasionally come to the temple to remove Grembal. He has powerful illusion spells to trick such adventurers. Grembal has been “slain” close to a dozen times. Each time he hides for a few months and then resumes his previous activities.
The Kobold Camp in the Harbinston Area is the largest concentration of kobolds in Cimmeria. The kobolds’ thicket is covered in traps and wooden defensive constructs. Thousands gather there for rituals every year. The kobolds worship the dragons that gave their race life by dancing around an enormous bonfire.
Joker’s Mine was a copper mine started by dwarves after their flight from Fangaroot. When Cogard took his place as King of the Dwarves the miners left and traveled to the new city of Jord. The mine is empty today, but the copper vein remains rich. In the intervening centuries a dragon took residence in the mine.
Joker was a copper dragon with a love for jokes and an audience to laugh at his humor. Sadly, his solitary dragon life left him with few people to entertain and the quality of his jokes left him with even fewer. To maintain an audience, Joker went to Harbinston and demanded a young woman. He did so every ten years for a couple decades. These women lived in Joker’s home, the abandoned dwarven mine. He provided for all their needs and in return, required his captive audience to laugh at his jokes.
Joker’s kidnapping behavior and traditional dragon treasure hoarding attracted the attention of heroes and thieves. One thief was Gul, the half-orc wielder of Korm. Joker slew the thief and added Korm to his hoard and entourage. Joker’s execution eventually came at the hands of Terroc, Amalgami, Salzar, and Atreides when they came to free the women of Harbinston. They killed the dragon and Korm became the chosen weapon of Amalgami for decades afterwards.