Being the true record of the journeys of Magister Perplex d.W.
Efferd 27 1007 BF
In the fourteenth year of our Almighty Emperor Hal
The Principality of Kosh
and its inhabitants
Journeying from the Duchy of the Northern Marches to the Principality of Kosh along the Third Imperial Road, one cannot fail to see the mighty basalt towers of the Kosh Mountains rising up to graze the heavens with their jagged and awesome peaks. Griffin Pass is impassable for much of the year and should only be crossed with a local guide. Having crossed this treacherous mountain pass, the road leads down through stands of krummholz and storm beaten firs to pass through forests of mighty pine and beech trees presently leading to the heart of the empire and that most precious jewel - the Principality of Kosh.
Weary travelers may stop to enjoy a cool sip of the kingdom's famed Kosh Ale at one of the many taverns that can be found along the wayside. By fair weather keen-eyed travelers will delight in the panoramic view of the southern counties that one can enjoy from the more elevated taverns. From these wayside taverns one can look out across the rolling hills and the glittering waters of Lake Angbar, clear across to the headwaters of the Great River.
Mighty Ingerimm, the patron of this beautiful land, watches lovingly over the toils of the citizens of the Principality of Kosh and peace reigns over this happy folk. One wonders whether this is due to the proximity of the basalt towers of the Kosh Mountains - a stone that is known to suppress evil - or to the plain, honest disposition of this gentle folk, or perhaps it is due to the fine ales they so artfully brew. Kosh's famous Ferdok Pale Ale is a beer of unmatched purity and taste and is brewed according to a closely-guarded recipe that is passed down from generation to generation.
The "Kosh Brewster's Laws" date from 40 BF and constitute the first known record of a tradition that is now more than 1000 divine cycles old. Life in the Principality of Kosh is anything but a life of leisure - impoverished Barons have been known to drive their own plough and it is not uncommon to find a maid of noble blood making cheeses or stamping sauerkraut - but come the evening young and old, rich and poor, can all take pleasure in a merry conversation and a tankard of this finest of beers.
Many Dwarves live and work here alongside the Human folk. The City of Ferdok, home to Kosh's most famous ale, is even ruled by an Angroshim (as the Dwarves call their kind) - Count Growin of Ferdok.
As we enjoy our second tankard of beer and a bowl of hearty casserole, we spy from our elevated position out across the land once more. The keen-eyed traveler can just make out the trading vessels as they sail up the Great River from Havena to deliver their wares to Ferdok's Ugdan Harbor. From there the goods will be transported by horse and wagon deeper yet into the heart of the Empire, to our golden capital - Gareth. The great City of Ferdok has always been the hub of trade between East and West.
The large dark patch that lies beyond Ferdok is the Dark Forest. A place that is only mentioned in whispers, so fearful are the citizens of Kosh of the druids and witches believed to haunt this shady realm. Even Trolls and other bizarre Monsters are believed to lurk in its undergrowth!
On clear days - perhaps in the autumn twilight - the keen-eyed traveler might even be able to spy the distant peaks of the mighty Anvil Mountain Range bordering the Kingdom of Almada. In the mines and forges of that dwarven barony the ovens never cease to burn and the crashing clamor of hammer and anvil rings in the air as the tireless dwarven folk go about their labors.
The mountains are home to some of Aventuria's richest mines and one of mighty Ingerimm's holiest sites - the Hammer Cave. Or, as it is known to the dwarves - Malmarzrom. The Kosh Mountains are also home to the great dwarven fortresses, including the magnificent halls of Murolosh.
Innumerable are the miracles that a traveler may encounter in the Principality of Kosh. The sacred relict of Peraine in the pilgrim city of Tallon and the Temple of Ingerimm in Angbar are particularly worth visiting. But I grow tired of writing - and the rosy-cheeked barmaid has just brought a third tankard of ale to my table... I shall end my writings for today and lean back to enjoy the songs and merrymaking of the bards who have now entered the inn, bringing with them an array of flutes and bagpipes.
And before the light of day gives way to the cool mountain night, I shall go out to watch the darkness spread its wings of shadow across the valley floor...