The Furrows

The Furrows[1] is the name now given to the vast Ustalavic wasteland that was once the potentially rich countryside known as Furcina, or the Furcina Plain, blasted and poisoned by the forces of Barstoi in 4693 AR.[2]

Location in Ustalav

The Furrows is part of the Dragosvet Plains lying in the most eastern part of the county of Ardeal.[3]

  • Its north-eastern border is the internal border between the counties of Ardeal and Barstoi; to the north of this border is the settlement of Sturnidae in Barstoi.
  • Its western border is simply the extent of the devastation of the Furrows into Ardeal.
  • Its south-eastern border is provided by the Kingfisher River. This river is the border between Ardeal and three Ustalavic counties as it travels past the Furrows:
    • First Versex up river, in the most southerly flow. Across the river here is located the settlement of Carrion Hill;
    • Then Varno in the mid flow;
    • Then, finally, Barstoi for the northern reaches down river.

History

Furcina

Furcina, or the Furcina Plain, was the most eastern part of the county of Ardeal and part of the larger area of Dragosvet Plains. The area was fallow but had the potential to be productive farmland.[4]

War Without Rivals

In 4687 AR squabbles between Ardeal and Barstoi over the Dragosvet Plains turned serious when Count Aericnein Neska of Barstoi accused his opposite number in Ardeal, Count Olomon Venacdahlia, of wantonly wasting the potential of the Furcina region. Neska then invaded Ardeal to seize Furcina and so started the civil war known as the War Without Rivals.[2][4][5]

In 4689 AR, Venacdahlia gathered an army to reclaim Furcina. Their counter-attack was met with stiff opposition from Neska's troops who dug miles of fortified trenches and were able to stubbornly maintain their positions against the larger army of Ardelians and conscripts from Varno. Thus started four years of seemingly interminable, grinding warfare: hundreds of lives would be lost for the gain of a paltry few yards.[2][4][5]

By 4693 AR, Neska was forced to admit defeat and withdraw his troops and grant Furcina back to Ardeal. However: Neska issued orders for the retreating troops to burn and salt the villages, fields and forests of Furcina. This despoiling of hundreds of square miles of land left nothing but a haunted wasteland which, from that point, became known as the Furrows.[2][4][5]

The Furrows

Today, the Furrows is little changed since Neska's destructive retreat: the land is still disfigured by the many trenches, the burning from fire and the despoiling by Neska's men. This gives the land a coating of ash and cinders which can be picked up by the wind forming dust storms. Essentially, the whole land is dead and poisoned. Furthermore, the battlefields are haunted by the ghosts of the soldiers killed in the war and much worse (see Inhabitants below).[4][5]

Inhabitants

A vast array of undead, corruption, hauntings, madness and evil now inhabit the Furrows including: Animate war machines, imps, mandragoras, mohrgs, necromancers, oozes, quickwoods, shadows, skeletons, vermin swarms, will-o'-wisps, xill, zombies, restless corpses of fallen soldiers, memories of lingering massacres, crazed fey,[5] and the head of Lecit Ghazts.[6]

Places of Interest

There are a number of locations of note within the Furrows:[5]

Wider Implications

Green Faith

Druids of the Green Faith regularly travel from all over the Inner Sea region to the Furrows to examine the wasteland and, perhaps, to determine some way in which they could alleviate the land's suffering.[7] Rarely, some life succeeds today in the Furrows but only barely.[5]

Pathfinder Society

The Pathfinder Society maintain an interest in many Ustalavic sites and the Furrows is one of the more important ones. Pathfinders arrive from all over the Inner Sea region at the Vodavani Lodge in Caliphas, and then proceed to explore the Furrows.[8]

Sturnidae

As well as the loss of men, reparations and face, Barstoi also has a longer legacy of suffering associated with its war and the formation of the Furrows: when the wind blows aright, a pall of grey ash from the wasteland is blown over the town of Sturnidae; it lands on the fields tainting the crops and the food with decay. Furthermore, locals report seeing visions of the war in the clouds of dust, such as marching peasant soldiers and charging knights.[9]

References