Two days’ ride south of Summerfort is the beginning of the Dawnfields. This vast area of plains is thick with tall grass and deadly monsters. While the Southron Road cuts a path for travelers to take through its northern reaches, even then only the most experienced or foolhardy dare to traverse it.
No one knows much about the Dawnfields. They get their name from the way the grass seems to glow when the sun rises, and that’s as much knowledge as most have. The Southron Road only goes through a small corner in the northeast before turning east towards safer passage. The monsters that inhabit the northern reaches are largely plains cats and other non-sentient beasts. While dangerous, they generally won’t attack large groups. For this reason, most who travel down the Southron Road do so in caravans.
The monsters further south, however, are entirely a different story.
The Dawnfields cover roughly 60,000 square miles. It would take ten days to ride by horse from the northernmost tip to the southernmost tip, assuming no trouble with monsters. There are several young rivers full of crystal clear water that cross these plains, and more than a handful of lakes fed by those waters. The most dangerous creatures congregate around these water sources.
Most of the deadliest monsters are singular creatures created by wild magic. Said to be touched by Shora, the goddess of magic and change, these horrific beasts vary greatly in appearance and abilities.
Below them in strength and ferocity are the Dread Lions, immense lions the size of elephants. Dread Lions roam the southern reaches of the Dawnfields and always hunt alone. The very few adventurers to see such a beast and survive tell tales of these monstrous cats devouring people whole, leaping across rivers, and running down the fastest of horses.
After that, the hierarchy gets far more complicated. The Dawnfields have a complex ecosystem, and the wide variety of monsters that live there co-exist in various ways. Some even have truly symbiotic relationships, such as the venomous but immobile crescent vipers and the seed bees that bring them prey.
There are treasures to be had in the Dawnfields, but unlike the artifacts from the multitude of ruins around Summerfort, they are not ancient relics of power or long lost knowledge. Plants with remarkable healing properties exist in bountiful numbers hidden beneath the tall grass. The mana beetle, which lives only near lakes in the Dawnfields and nowhere else on Eiridia, builds its iridescent home out of crystallized magical energy. The Dawnwater trout, also unique to the area, has scales that purify the water it swims in.
A wise, careful, and well-armed party could profit substantially by obtaining some of these treasures.
Curious to learn more about the Dawnfields and what lies within? Be patient, and in 2014 your patience will be rewarded!