The Plains of Pesh were once a fertile land settled by farmers, and the route of the main road between the Imperial Heartland and the Anhoi Provinces. To the west lies the Empire, specifically the lowland Province of Giants across the fast-lowing Ampash River. To the east lies the Magistracy of Nirhamsa across the broad Anhoi River. As the Empire collapsed inwards, and the Anhoin states rebelled, Pesh was the site of many battles.
It was through Pesh that the Empire tried to bring land troops into the rebellious outlands. The Great Canal, built to connect the Nine Spirits River with the Anhoi for trading purposes, became used for shipping war materials. A huge cubic structure, the Fortress of Forbidding, was built to guard the Pesh terminus of the canal. The flat plains were ideal for land war, and the sight of the many coloured banners fluttering in the wind as the two opposing armies faced each other led to the name of Plain of Banners. However, after many sorties one way or the other, the result was deadlock. Trouble elsewhere in the Empire meant the recall of the Imperial armies and a nominal victory for the rebels. In the Empire, the land is often referred to as Borapar's Shame, after the general in charge of the failed Imperial army.
Too many people had died on both sides for either to truly claim a victory. The Fortress of Forbidding is still maintained by the Empire as a guard outpost, likewise the City of Corbasal in Nirhamsa maintains a bridge over to Pesh. Both sides have sent settlers in to take advantage of the fertile lands, but these attempts were doomed to failure as the settlers soon fled, bearing reports of restless spirits and ghostly armies. The road that crosses Pesh atop a causeway has collapsed in places and is now known as the Shattered Road. Pesh is currently an empty land, home only to restless spirits and other monsters. Rogue banner spirits are particularly common here.
At the southern end of Pesh, where the two rivers conjoin, the land is particularly low-lying and badly drained. The river courses split into a myriad of smaller streams and backwaters as they enter a wild cypress swamp. Some of these channels slow and dead-end, others eventually rejoin to recreate the Anhoi again. This is the Pokan Marsh, named for a particular species of evil spirit creature that are rife in this region. Rumours say that deep, dark pools within the marsh lead down to the Underwater Darkness World, and it is through these that the pokan, and worse, crawl their way into the world. Others say that an ancient hag spirit, the self-styled Queen of Pokan (pictured), rules the dark creatures that live there. She is said to be a powerful sorceress with darkness and drowning magic at her disposal. It is under her malign influence that the ghosts of Pesh proliferate, and it is from here that she makes her plans to cover the world with darkness.
Artwork by Amy Letts
(c) 2008 The Creative Conclave.