Purple Mountain
“Elephys, the sacred mountain of The Twilight Man, the towering crystal spire of enigmatic wealth and discovery… or lonely death…” – fragment from an ancient elven waysign

Capital: Eleporphyrene
Settlements: Eleporphyrene (12,000), Elfport (4,000), Luminarym (7,000), Mechius (6,500), Oseer (6,000), Purple Hall (2,000)
Ruler: Eminaius the Old, Oligarch of the Synod
Government: Oligarchy
Races: Boggle, Duergar, Elf, Erkunae, Half-Orc, Hobgoblin, Orc
Faiths: Djinnlord Qarryn, Drothos, Ferrakus, Linium, Myketa, Najim, Tulis, Veiloaria
Resources: Gems, megadungeon, mercenaries, metal (iron, gold), porphyrite
Languages: Dwarf, Elven, Goblin, Orcish, Protean, Undercommon
Border Conditions: Variant (Porphyrite border around the mountain expands and contracts unpredictably)

History
Before the time of The Calling, the lands between the Stygus River and the Fireyes were a barren volcanic tableland from which the Elemental Magma Lord Drothos extended his power into the world. During the time of the NewGod Wars, he visited earthquakes and volcanic eruptions upon his deist foes. Too great a foe to ignore, warlike Ferrakus and enigmatic Shankhil slew Drothos in an epic battle that created the create the Crevasse, shattered the Petrified Forest, and sundered Drothos’ body with the rising of Elephys, Purple Mountain, as full of mystery as the Doorman himself. With Drothos dead, the connection to the elemental plane of magma was gone, leaving an endless maze of empty magma tubes, and the porphyrite badlands known as the Shard Wastes. Within that violet moonscape, the gathered arcanists raised Eleporphyrene, the Castle-City as a victory monument for the subsequent settlers to inhabit.

With the destruction of Drothos, the land surrounding Purple Mountain began to flourish, and many wizards, Ferrakan dwarflords, and would-be kinglets came to the mountain to plumb its otherworldly riches and claim their little kingdoms. Vast forests grew in the volcanic soil and the elves, who had previously shunned the area, began to colonize the wild lands, as the reparations of war; they took over Eleporphyrene, and have dwelt there ever since.

Others came as well, including expeditions from far off lands in search of wealth and porphyrite. Among the newcomers were orc tribes and bands of displaced hobgoblins and erkunae from the shattered empires of Erkusaa and Karkoon.

Current Events
A schism has been growing between the great elven houses of Eleshurius, Galifrex, and Odallas for the past dozen decades or so, that threated to tear the region apart. House Odallas is building ties to the mountain dwarves and duergar in an attempt to sway their support. House Eleshurius has established a secret alliance with the expatriate erkunae of Elfport to raise an army of elementals, and House Galifrex has been breeding hobgoblin super-soldiers for generations.

The elven people are dwindling in numbers and losing vitality. The younger generations of elves, indolent from centuries of security, show little interest in civic duty and instead invest their time and energy in decadent, pleasurable pursuits, far removed from their primal forest roots. The orc clans, meanwhile, despise the weakness that has infected their old elven allies and are distancing themselves in preparation for securing their own kingdom in the west or retreating into the Shard Wastes and hinterlands of the Petrified Forest to pursue their own goals beyond the view of others.

The duergar and lesser dwarves serve the Elven Synod and supply porphyrite arms and high quality iron armor to them. They are happy in their role as intermediaries between the elves and the true source of genius, hidden cadres of boggles. Many duergar youth are growing rebellious and jealous of their elven benefactors, going so far as to adopt elven styles and culture, much to the consternation of their elders.

The draw of the honeycombed halls of Purple Mountain has been a boon to the nation whose official name Ele’Kireen, but the secret depths of the violet spire have become more trouble than they are worth, attracting foul acolytes of dire beings instead of stalwart adventurers to root them out. The people of the outlying communities have never been crazy about a ‘dungeon’ as a draw for foreign coin, and may force the leaders to do something, soon.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Purple Mountain are:

  • Eleporphyrene, the fairytale castle-city in the midst of the Shard Wastes, houses the Elven Synod, a chaotic mix of clan leaders, arcane and divine spellcasters, and lobbyists for the three Houses of Ele’Kireen. Most supplies and diversions are magically created here, and the city is described as surreal in the extreme, self-contained and introspective.
  • Elfport is as seedy a seaport as ever has been seen on the Bay of Smoke. Gritty, grubby, and densely built, in the tradition of the erkunae that dominate the place, ancestors of an exiled House of G’sho’laa’n’rr. Its trade is mostly with adventurers, as Kelephae and Calopia are more desirable ports.
  • Luminarym is the ancient seat of the House Eleshurius. This city of stone rises from the domain of the fallen Elemental Lord and extends out into the shattered Petrified Forest beyond. Elven youth from all over the region flock to the dens of iniquity in the Dark District of the city.
  • Mechius, hewn from the cliffs of the Great Crevasse near the Purple Mountain itself, is known everywhere as a city of invention. Wonders of artifice from the duergar flow up and out into the world through its gates. The city sprawls out eastward into the plains above and the fortress of House Odallas sits atop the city, as its crown. It guards the only easy route from the west side of the Crevasse to the east.
  • Oseer—a city of commerce—is the gateway to the prosperous lands of the south. Constant activity ensures this city never sleeps. It is bustling with travelers and merchants preparing for, or recovering, from the long journey, thousands of whom regularly crowd around the tall walls in vast tent cities.
  • Purple Hall has long been the seat of House Galifrex and the gathering point for those delving into Purple Mountain’s mysterious regions seeking fortune and fame. The hobgoblin fortress of Thik-Khalis sits athwart the western rim of the Great Crevasse leading into the depths of the wild underworld of Purple Mountain. Three hobgoblin brigades maintain barracks and training grounds around the fortress.

Intrigues

  • Myketan priests from House Galifrex recently discovered a cabal of erkunae elementalists operating in Purple Hall. They are convinced that this is a plot by House Odallas and are openly calling adventurers to “investigate”. Signs point to the mines of Mechius, but House Odallas has forbidden adventurers to enter the mines on pain of death.
  • Duergar youth have been disappearing and they blame House Galifrex and its insistence that an elemental incursion has occurred beneath Mechius. The duergar elders have called on adventurers to locate and return their youth and punish those who stole them.
  • The chief of the Bladesaber Orc tribe died in glorious battle during an expedition to the Petrified Forest. His guard was able to return his remains but the magical totem he bore was lost. The orcs are so desperate that they have called on the Adventurer’s guild in Luminarym to aid them in its retrieval.