- See also: Lastwall
The Gravelands are located in the Eye of Dread region of central Avistan, sandwiched between Ustalav to the northeast, Belkzen to the northwest, Nirmathas to the southwest, and Lake Encarthan to the southeast.2 Most of the southern Gravelands are open plains divided by the massive expanse of the Northern Fangwood forest, which stretches from the southern Tourondel River almost all the way to the Kestrel River in the northwest. The Gravelands' northern border with Belkzen and Ustalav is marked by the River Esk and the Path River, which flow through the abandoned capital of Vigil on their way to Lake Encarthan.3
After the Shining Crusade defeated the Whispering Tyrant, Tar-Baphon and imprisoned him in his former capital of Gallowspire in 3827 AR, the victorious crusaders founded the nation of Lastwall. Knowing that they had not killed Tar-Baphon and gotten rid of him for good, they swore an oath to keep eternal watch over his prison and never let him threaten the Inner Sea region again. As the centuries passed, however, threats from Gallowspire became fewer and fewer and Lastwall's soldiers spent most of their time dealing with attacks from the aggressive orcs of Belkzen to the northwest. Their zeal and vigilance naturally began to decline as well, and the belief spread among them that their glory days were behind them. The Whispering Tyrant, meanwhile, continued to plan his escape in secret. He learned that the piece of the Shattered Shield of Arnisant that had embedded itself in his hand at the end of the Shining Crusade could be used as a terrible weapon. He sent his agents in the Whispering Way to collect the other remaining shards of the Shield, and placed them in key sites including Gallowspire and Vigil, the capital of Lastwall.41
In the summer of 4719 AR, the Tyrant finished the development of the superweapon using the shards of the Shattered Shield of Arnisant and named it the Radiant Fire. As his agents in the Whispering Way conducted numerous crimes to destabilise Lastwall, he used the Radiant Fire to devastate its capital of Vigil and sent hordes of his undead to destroy Lastwall and its defenders.1
Within a season the nation of Lastwall was no more. Its last ruler, Watcher-Lord Ulthun II retreated to Absalom, while its most influential priest, Aylunna Varvatos, and recently arrived Magaambyan philanthropists are organizing daily evacuations by ship from the port of Vellumis. Lastwall has ceased to exist and the region is now called the Gravelands.1
Hordes of undead commanded by Tar-Baphon's lieutenants roam the countryside of the Gravelands, as do the few goblins and orcs who chose to ally with the Whispering Tyrant. Travelling across the land is to invite death, but despite overwhelming odds, the surviving Knights of Ozem continue to combat the tide of evil, now calling themselves the Knights of Lastwall. Most of Lastwall's surviving citizens have fled by way of the port city of Vellumis, and only the most desperate still stay in their crumbling farms or fortifications. Legendary fortresses like Castle Everstand and Castle Firrine stand empty and grim, as their garrisons, no longer able to count on supplies, were forced to abandon them.1
Lastwall's countless fleeing refugees have created problems throughout the region, especially in the Ustalavic port city of Caliphas where they have experienced particularly xenophobic attacks against them.5
The Gravelands contain countless undead. Among these are feral undead creatures known as festrogs, born of those who have died due to sickness or hunger. They prowl the once-peaceful farmlands of Lastwall in small groups, and often act as scouts for larger undead forces. Rumors have begun to spread that necromancers of the Whispering Way use them to scout vulnerable settlements along the borders of the area controlled by Tar-Baphon and to create terror.6
Mortics, living creatures infused with negative energy, are also seen there, as necrotic pollutants seep into the land, water, and air. Among these creatures, lifeleechers, mortic orcs, are particularly common.7
- “Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 40–41. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 37. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- Inner Sea Poster Map Folio, 1. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 38. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Eye of Dread” in World Guide, 44. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 98. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 174. Paizo Inc., 2021 .