The Rhuovaith (ROO-oh-vayth) is the name now given to the southernmost tip of the western Knife of Rallah, though it's original name, still used in many settlements here, is the Rhoude-Vaithe, which means something akin to the 'lands of wailing' in High Ral. It is dominated by the massive Marsh of Sorrow in the south and west, which in turn gives way to the worst battering of the Bitter Sea. Sitting at the mouth of the Irian Straits and that of the Gulf of Shay, it is not surprising that Rhuovaith is hammered by some of the worst storms seen anywhere in Allornus, and though ships might round the Rhoude Horn on occasion, there are no harbours to be found in the land of sorrow, and little here anyone desires. When the storms clear the mists roll in over the straits from north-eastern Ahlonia. Mysterious, enchanted fogs that rise in moments, engulfing travellers and disgorging them often hundreds of miles away, sometimes months, years, or even centuries later are not uncommon. All of this combines to make Rhuovaith as remote and wild a land as any to the far north.

Tech Code: 5
Governments: The Incorporated Feudal Fiefs of Kelliesholm, Brighthalls, and Haddingsholm; Unincorporated Democracy of the Robbersholm Council; Totalitarian Dictatorship of the Carver's Domain.
Religions: The Temple of the Sun; The Parth Cult; The Kellie Cult; Irik's Seers; Lodge Spirit Cults.
Industries and Trades: maintain formatting
Major Terrain: maintain formatting
Primary Languages: Ralstaan.
Major Settlements: Brighthalls, Haddingsholm, Kelliesholm, Robbersholm.


Physical Geography

The Marsh of Sorrow dominates Rhuovaith, a vast stretch of boggy land, with occasional steamy hot springs. Barren and relatively featureless, the marsh earned its name as a place where a man could forget his sorrows, and many say that some supernatural force steals memories from travellers who dally too long in the marsh. Many chilling tell of ghosts wandering the lonely moors of Rhuovaith, endlessly lamenting a purpose forgotten, and loved ones whose faces they can't recall. Whether it is angry ghosts, the forgetful powers of the marsh, or the unpredictable and repetitive terrain, outsiders who venture from the poorly marked roads are seldom seen again. The green-brown expanse of marshland is covered in dense tufts swamp grass, that give way to treacherous mangroves and quicksands around the coast or on the banks of rivers. The land is divided by countless waterways, but the two greatest; the Oubell and the Rhove, are slow, brackish bodies, surrounded by dense growth and choked with rotting timber and hanging moss. Still, the road following the banks of the Oubell is the most reliable and heavily travelled in the entire province, leading out of Donnaigh and passing south through the moors to Kelliesholm, where the real swamp begins.

The coastline in the northern part of Rhuovaith is made up of the characteristic towering basalt cliffs of Ralstaa, but the southern part of Rhuovaith has been flattened into long grey beaches, backed by stagnant tidal lagoons. Long sand bars make the sea along the coast difficult to navigate, and make excellent homes for sand sharks, though the violence of the sea means that perhaps half a league out the sea floor drops suddenly and dramatically. The horn is all sandy and muddy expanses of bleak coastline with little behind it but days of steamy marsh. Snow is almost unknown, but driving rain and leaden storm clouds are utterly relentless for more than half of the year. In these low altitudes, summer can be warm if, exceedingly damp, but winter can be chill, and the lack of shelter and standing water mean that fever and chills are hard to escape.


At the heart of the horn, in the southernmost lands of Ralstaa, the Renegade Hills rise out of the swamp, forming some of the only elevated, dry land in the province. Rich black soils make for fertile soils, and where they are not cleared deciduous hardwood forests spring up, out of the dank confines of fern choked gullies, to explode into armies of shining green and gnarly brown. And where life doesn't spring, the lands quickly become muddy, or dusty in the short, dry months of midsummer, coating the landscape in rot-scented black in either case. And on these isles dwell countless unique, unknown, or nameless creatures of malign nature and savage aspect, thought of collectively merely as 'the beasties of the marsh'. These beings slither into marshside settlements on misty mornings, to taste manflesh, more often than anyone is comfortable with.

The Hunger of the Marsh

The marsh of sorrows' reputation is not mere myth, as any denizen of Rhuovaith will warn unwary travellers who assume it to be merely another bog. Whether is is some remnant of the sundering's brutal touch, or the taint of the mists the billow over the sea from the west, the marsh of sorrows has a strange effect on the mind of those that venture within it. For the first few days passing the marsh travellers feel little more than a malaise, put down to the oppressive humidity and grey landscape. But then it grows to a dreadful hopelessness, until eventually in the grips of a bleak depression the traveller slumps, on the wet ground where he stands, unable to summon the will to ever rise again, and starves or drowns for want of the will to raise his head. As the desert might sap a man's vitality, the marsh of sorrows feeds upon his desire, leaving him unwilling to even go on living. Only the most strong willed have survived the journey to the heart of the swamp and returned, and they are forever changed; mournful, lost, and aimless. And here and there peaceful skeletons sit in the waters, heads sunken to their chests, as if they simply drifted into death as if it were sleep. Sullen sentinels who fell victim to their brash conviction and vane courage.

Political Geography

There are three small kingdoms that stake a claim to the dry lands of the Rhuovaith, the kingdoms of Kelliesholm, Brighthalls and Haddingsholm, each taking its name from the settlement that serves as it's city-state, and rules by Houses Kellie, Parth and Hadding respectively. However the bulk of the land in the marshes is given over in name to the dreadful creature known as the Carver, and the denizens of the refuge of thieves and murderers, known as Robbersholm.


Controlling a horseshoe shaped domain in the drier northern regions of Rhuovaith, Kelliesholm is not so lawless as the two southern lands, but that does not mean it resembles Onen to the north. Indeed, those who find Onen's predilection for piety and Shere's heavy handed rule not to their liking often slip south into Kelliesholm. And though House Kellie takes interest in the lands immediately around their Caer, and the routes there from the north, they leave the wild lands and the various unincorporated free hamlets almost entirely to themselves. But where the Kellie kings do exert their influence, they are unbudging in their dominion.


Brighthalls occupies the western peninsula of Rhuovaith, the Rhoude Horn. Like Kelliesholm, it has little interest in the outlying lands its name is attributed to, but to a greater extent. Kitth, King of Brighthalls, rules only the large township built up around his Caer. Even the roads to the town aren't secure, and robbers and the dangerous beasts of the marsh abound. Kitth has taken to holding richly-rewarded tourneys to attract knights to his land. Knights who may then choose to prove themselves against the dangers of the marsh. Perhaps knights who will even pursue the Carver for him.


The larger, western section of the marshy southern Rhuovaith lies in Haddingsholm, largest and poorest of the fiefs of Rhuovaith. Unlike Brighthalls, where the king has chosen to retract his domain to that which he can administer, the kings of Haddingsholm have spread themselves thin, in the hope of bringing the vast land under their control, and perhaps even carve off a piece of Brighthalls for their own. Sadly, neither Valar nor his predecessors have had the wealth or might to do this, and it has led to a pointless chase around the land, as the king's men move from one place to another, and the robbers and insurgents move away from the warriors, and back into the lands they just left. Still, this has kept Haddingsholm's more expansionist ambitions in check.

Setting Trait (value): name trait

Social Geography

Life in Rhuovaith is different from the civilized lands of Caldare, or Donnaigh, or even from the wilder places in Shaeish Ralstaa, like Wynd. While men fight to tame the Starwood, perhaps in vane, they have given up on the Marsh of Sorrows, and now they cluster in their walled towns, in the shadow of strong tors and caers, not from the savage unknown of this land, but from much more quantifiable, but no less terrible, dangers. The folk here don't live in great tohls as the men and women in the woods do, they must go into the dangerous and harsh swamps for their livings, gathering peat, bleaching, hunting, even growing crops of leeks, potatoes, and other swamp plants. Life is difficult, and many turn to roving robber bands to support themselves, preying on those who were their neighbours, out of resentment of their prosperity, or just sheer desperation. And of course once a man becomes a robber, he is surrounded by robbers, and there is little honour amongst thieves - though sometimes there is fraternity.

Rhuovaith, or particularly the lands thought of as falling within the marsh of sorrow, is not embraced as the wood is by the people of Ralstaa. despite being equal in peril, and perhaps in bounty, they seem to turn to this drab and deadly land less readily, and so Rhuovaith is sparsely settled, and despite spates of ruthless pursuit of vagrant serfs people ebb away from these lands when they can. Many try to cross the northern borders into fairer lands. Most fall victim to the bandits, or else join them. As a result settlements within the fiefs of Rhuovaith are always hungry for labour, and particularly keen to add travellers of dubious status to their citizenry, and in turn this leads many travellers to stay to the free hamlets, and the free hamlets to trade with villages seldom.



c. -1020 D The Ral leave the Isle of Men with the other three last tribes.

0D Rallah ascends, leaving Ralstaa in the charge of her people.

938 D Viran Uth-Rallis marches into Rhuovaith. The various kings of Rhuovaith surrender to him.

972 D Viran Uth-Rallis dies in Tohl aged seventy-one.

998 D The Carver appears in Rhuovaith.

1110 D Carin Uth-Rallis is crowned High King.
1114 D Present Day.

The Coming of the Carver

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Folk of Rhuovaith

Rhouvaith's inhabitants are a more pragmatic sort than elsewhere. The relatively little wealth that there is to be had, and the difficulty of life, has made them practical minded, and often gruff. They are a mistrustful lot, but though they are slow to cleave to trust another, their loyalty is often fierce once won, leading to communities spurning outsiders aggressively, and holding together closely against outside interference. But they are proud of their struggle, and proud of the strength it takes to live their days in this poor land, and almost apologetic should the find the means to move on to easier lands. Many, especially in Haddingsholm, are resentful of their various lords for not affording the protection incorporation should promise them, and for the most part they distrust their kings as much as strangers.

Flora and Fauna

In the northern plains Rhuovaith is grassy, blanketed in waving blue-grey blades reaching for the sun, concealing beds of cool-hued wild flowers, as well as wild barley, blackberries and occasional tangles of nettles. Small copses of maple, birch, and beach are also fairly common, and now and then between the shoulders of two low hills little glades form around streams and springs, where pale lilies, and dark lily pads grow in the shade of drooping willow trees. As the lands grow wetter darker spruce and hemlock emerge, and swamp grass and spear-sharp mangroves emerge. Ivy and moss choke other wildlife as they climb from the oozing terrain, and the canopies of trees droop with sodden greenery. In the lands overseen by tor and caer corn, oats, wheat and barley grow, as well as all manner of root vegetables, especially pumpkin and parsnip, and carved pumpkins are common all over these settlements. Sweet potatoes used to brew a heavily spiced spirit used to "keep the damp at bay" known as the Rhuoven Drop also thrive.

Opossum, squirrels, hares, foxes, deer, big black swamp rats, otters and badgers remain omnipresent except in the depths of the marsh itself, where all life ceases to try to take hold, with wolves, bears and wild dogs isolated to the dry northern lands. In the wetter lands toads, lizards, venomous spiders, centipedes and bright-hued spitting frogs, and truly massive dragonflies dominate the region, alongside fat fruit-bats and their midnight-hued, blood-thirsting cousins. Bloated and ravenous cane toads are prey to stealthy constrictors and even small freshwater alligators are not uncommon, as are freshwater trout and pike. Storks, herons and gannets fish, and small white-billed ducks seem to thrive despite occupying the very bottom of the food chain, with birds of prey venturing from Donnaigh and points nor-east now and then to thin the rodents. Crows are especially prevalent, and plague civilized lands with their raucous cries and sinister gazes.

Within the marsh the clamour of life quickly recedes into eerie silence, and travellers who penetrate well into this watery doom find only cloying mist that clings to them like tendrils, ascending broad islands of tangled roots and grass and rot, bedecked in overgrown and warped weeping willows and all manner of mushrooms and toadstools, including the king in gold, and the speckled stonefruit can be found in the thick, black soil. The dense treetop thickets known colloquially as ‘widow makers’ (due to their propensity for falling on unsuspecting traveller’s heads) frequently live up to their names.

Notable Individuals

Her Majesty Queen Roevene, The Carver
The Carver is a creature out of a child's nightmares, but sadly for the folk of Rhuovaith she is all too real. There are many stories about the origins of 'Queen' Roevene of Rhuovaith, but the most popular is of a woman who dabbled in sorcery to attain eternal youth, and cursed herself in wielding the wrong powers. Whether she truly is a queen or not, not histories can tell, and whether her house was stripped from the histories of Ralstaa, or the title merely tells of her dominance of the region is unclear. Roevene, now known as the Carver, is a magician of great power who makes her home at the heart of the marsh of sorrow. It is said that she has agents hidden throughout Rhuovaith, and other parts of southern Ralstaa, who snatch the most beautiful young women in the land from their homes, and bring them before the Carver. It is said that she then steals their faces, and wears them herself, as a way to maintain her youth and beauty. More than once, a family with a missing daughter has heard tell of her travelling about the marshes in the night, so whether their shades are imprisoned in the marsh by this grisly transference, or whether the Carver takes on the form of her unfortunate victims is unclear. But what is clear is that only the fairest will do. Those who bring a suitable girl, however, will find the Carver willing to trade favours. Of course, they will have to brave the marsh to make such a deal.

His Majesty; The King of Kelliesholm, Elden 'Finemouth' Ur-Kellie
Equal in size to both other kingdoms combined, Kelliesholm is certainly the greatest single power in Rhuovaith, but Elden it's young King is quite aware of just how little that means to the rest of the world. Though this proud youth has done his service as a paige, his early call to rule has left him with little experience of the lands outside his homeland, and when he looks to the tiny impoverished fiefs of Haddingsholm and Brighthalls - scarcely more than cities - and compares his own modest domain with them, or even with Onensholm in the north, he sees prosperity and influence. Some say that this has given the King of Kelliesholm bravado unbecoming of a king, but others admire his confidence. Whatever the case, a few sessions of the Oerocrast will surely teach the youth his place in the world, and in the mean time the illusion of grand strength he has brought to the fief has driven some of the unlawful elements lairing in the borders of Kelliesholm back to the marshes.

Jack Thrice of Robbersholm
It is rumoured that Jack, the most powerful and wealthy man in Robbersholm, and thus its ostensible ruler, acquired his odd name because three times he has survived lawful hanging by the neck at the hands of the Ralstaan road wardens. Of course this may well be a rumour started by Jack himself, but the marks on his throat prove that at least once he has walked away from the gibbet. Nowadays Jack doesn't take chances. Known for his fine humour, and his generous hospitality, Jack has not risen to the place he occupies in the city of outlaws without also being an efficient and ruthless taskmaster - after all, he has not gained the moniker 'king of bandits' out of vanity. Or at least, not entirely out of vanity. Still, Jack is a reasonable man, and an expert at judging the value of people. Those who have dealings with him are often surprised to find he is not a ruthless tyrant, but a charming man who can be trusted to keep his word so long as it is to his advantage. The Jack who is not to be crossed only surfaces when people stand in his way, and few people who meet with that Jack live to tell of it.

The Basolak
The mysterious Basolak, for that is the only name he has ever given, is probably the best known personality of the settlement of Robbersholm. It is said that this procurer of rare and unusual goods can lay his hands upon anything a man might require - for a price. They also say that for a greater price he will deliver the head of anyone that an employer might want dead. Whether a black marketeer, assassin, or master thief, the Basolak has a reputation for mystery and potency, and when he chances to pass through Robbersholm all are wary of this living myth. Many whisper that he is an agent of the Carver, but so far no one has seen him snatching young girls. Of course, no one has seen any one else snatching them either, but still they vanish.

Today in the Marsh of Sorrow…

The grapevine in this rich, wet, black land grows lusher, and more bountiful than most - that is to say that rumour and word of mouth are shockingly swift moving and abundant in this sparsely settled region. Rumour suggests that Jack of Robbersholm is seeking aid in confirming his borders. It seems that the road wardens have been raiding his territories, and waylaying his agents, and he's seeking to bolster his muscle with some genuine might. In other news from Robbersholm, a group of temple of the sun pilgrims lost in the countryside are said to have been taken hostage, though who might pay a ransom for people so far from home remains a mystery.

Meanwhile, seldom a day goes by without people uttering, in hushed tones with fearful glances, the name of the Carver. And while the Carver has not made her presence felt in Rhouvaith for as near to a decade as any can count, this only makes people more suspicious. While rumours of her origins range from her being a jilted lover of Viran Uth-Rallis, to the queen of the fairie folk, to the half sister of Rallah herself. Since she does not wear her true face, and has not in the stretch of recent history, it is likely that only Roevene knows. Speculation as to her silence is equally rife, and while some say that she has died, or fallen to the peril of her own evil spells, most are not so hopeful. Some believe that she is marshalling an army, from amongst the trols, or more fearful still a company of ghosts. Others say that she is working some terrible spell, and more still claim that she is at large in the countryside, wearing a new face. If so it is unknown who or where she might be.

The Knives of Rallah, High Kingdom of Ralstaa
The Shaeish Kingdoms Caldare, Donnaigh, Rhuovaith, Kileirey, Balleymoore, Cannavin, Wynd, Breconn, Coulbaigh
The Lleweith Kingdoms Avalaigh, Haeliard, Lammornia, Branddale, Talladale, Bradenthyr, Tohl
The Starwood Cwmbran, Kentallen Wood, Uerenuell
Tuarvael Castrette, Serlot, Friesse
The Dunsain Kingdoms Byrnham, Blackstone, Craigbyrn, Duncarrick, Strath Gorge, Garynshae, The Clanlands, Aulorn's Gate
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