Centuries ago, the Necromancer King created a vast army of undead and was poised to sweep over the continent. His intent was to destroy and subjugate, enslaving the nations of the world and ruling over all.
The free peoples of the continent joined forces and defeated him by a small margin of victory. Their losses were huge, but the Necromancer King’s army was destroyed, his tower was pulled down, and his body dismembered, burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered.
And yet his legacy lives on, in the Ghost Hills.
The battle took place in an area nearly one hundred miles across. The armies of the living and the armies of the dead raged back and forth over this region, leaving thousands of corpses where they fell. After the battle, there were too many bodies to be buried, or even cremated. It was all the survivors could do to return to their homelands and try to rebuild.
Over the next year, however, all the bodies disappeared. In their place are thousands of barrows and graves.
The Ghost Hills occupy a region almost one hundred miles across. The hills are barren, covered with scrubby, unhealthy-looking grass, bushes, and stunted trees. The air is always misty, dank, and unpleasantly cold; flesh exposed to the air is rarely anything but clammy.
There may be some people living in the hills, but they are uncommon, reclusive, and as unpleasant as their surroundings. There are strongholds (and supporting villages) around the outside of the hills, and patrols are sent regularly through the region looking for signs of active undead, or signs of anyone trying to reclaim the Necromancer King’s power.
- The entire region is shrouded in mist; anything more than 50 feet away is treated as being concealed (20% miss chance), anything more than 100 feet away is treated as having full concealment (50% miss chance).
- There are places where the power of undead has pooled; they are treated as having the minor negative-dominant trait (each round, living creatures take 1d6 negative energy damage).
- The site of the Necromancer King’s tower has the major negative-dominant trait (each round, living creatures must make a DC25 Fortitude save or gain a negative levels; when negative levels equal current levels or hit dice, the creature dies and becomes a wraith).
- Most places that have these traits are well-known (and avoided).
- The necrotic energy has suffused the entire region. This has had several effects.
- Undead are relatively common (mostly incorporeal undead, with some of the more powerful corporeal undead). They are largely the spirits and animated corpses of the fallen, rather than undead that survived the original war… mostly)
- Masterwork items recovered from the barrows and graves are attuned to death, positively or negatively. If they are enchanted, and the primary enchantment is necromantic, or against necromancy (Undead Bane, Holy, Ghost Touch, etc.), the XP cost of enchanting the item is halved.