Twin Rivers

We can treat the Twin Rivers as a starting point for new readers, a familiar place - multiple fantasy races living side by side, an (apparently) idyllic rural backwater as seen in the first chapters of everything from the Belgariad to the Wheel of Time, and include the RPG holy trinity: the Tavern, the Town, and the Dungeon.

Woods surrounding the vale are dangerous, full of monsters and strange things attracted or created by the magic of Zaguristra. Outcasts from the vale live there too; brigands, the descendants of people whose ancestors made the mistake of crossing a sorcerer in some way, etc. The sorcerers don't ask for much - regular food shipments, to keep the damn racket down don't you know we're trying to study - but when they do it's clear that they hold all the power in the relationship.

Villages are home to families of all races, refugees and settlers, many of which have been there for enough generations to lose their ties to the outside nations and groups and consider themselves Twin Rivers folk first and foremost.

The valley and surrounds are home to Trygatha ruins, an ancient, extinct dryad culture - the 'deep root people'. They build large underground structures, which modern dryads consider bizarre. Dwarven or human slaves. Green Man iconography - carvings of faces sprouting and bedecked by leaves. Architecture resembles Aylied (Oblivion) and neolithic British ruins; smooth, square, monolithic, combined with delicate stonework arches, screens and carvings of trees. Chambered tombs, cairns, barrow mounds. Perhaps they were corrupted by the Human Gods, or perhaps they uncovered some natural magic in the area that later attracted the sorcerers to found Zaguristra. Ruins are still filled with traps, monsters of stone and plant, old magics and treasures.