Evgath, a large island to the south west of central Polaqu, is an island feared by many people. Legends of Evgath have spread to the Isles of Rime and beyond. This island is entirely inhabited by the living dead.
Evgath, being so close to the ice rim, is several degrees below what it is on the islands slightly northeast of Evgath. None of the areas have actual names (due to the lack of living population), instead places are known by geographical bearing or by names given to the battles that were fought there.
The northern bay
This bay, located in the northern section of the island, contains so many of the sunken ships from the third crusade that it contains a virtual reef. Vessels passing through this area very quickly lose their seaworthiness.
The swamp in the northen bay
This is the location of the landing of the second and third crusades. It was one of the later claimed territories of the second crusade. The mass of battles fought on this already forsaken soil has turned it into mud (holy water). Travel through this area is very difficult, as are battles. Many ghosts and spectres reside here, making full use of their unimpeded ability to traverse the area.
This inner sea was one of the hardest battles that was fought during the second crusade. The undead, once maimed, simply jumped into the sea of unholy water and repaired themselves. It also provided the more intelligent undead with an effective weapon against the good aligned crusaders. Swimming in this poisoned, unholy, disease ridden sea is advised against.
Central mountain ranges
These mountains were the last to be claimed during the second crusade, and many of the necromancers' graves lie here. Airborne non-gaseous undead enjoy the peace and quiet of the many caves at altitude. The presence of evil magics is visible here.
The soldiers' tactical use of the terrain's dead foliage here basically handed them victory of this region on a platter. The crusaders easily made their way north east through this forest. It is now inhabited by undead natives, who are being taught the aspects of cover and visibility that the crusaders made use of.
This was the first landing point of the second crusade. Many structures still remain from the second crusade here, though they are now defaced and inhabited by undead. Unfortunately, some of the undead have learned the operation of the trebuchets and catapults that were left here after the second crusade.
After the success of the battles in the southern forest, the crusaders landed immediately to the east of this forest, where they fought their way outward to the edges of each of the mountain ranges. This area was not as easily taken as the southern forest, but the crusaders sustained relatively few casualties during the battles in this area. This was also a landing point for the third crusade, but none of the ships made it to land. They were destroyed one by one along the eastern shore of the island.
North west forest
Those crusaders landing just to the east of this location then moved up to claim the forest while a second landing team to the north moved southward. It was an incredibly successful battle, until the crusaders came to the inland sea.
North east mountains
After the second wave of crusaders conquered the forests, they moved on to claim this mountain range to gain an altitude advantage. They then set up many seige weapons to attack those undead in the eastern plains. These weapons were left here, but only face inwards, so ships who pass to the north of this area are safe from trebuchet fire.
Everything permanent on Evgath is (or was) dead. All plantlife is dead, thanks to Gedar the exile (see below). All the pools of water are poisoned and unholy, although the water is visibly undrinkable.
In the beginning...
A very long time ago, Evgath was inhabited by clans of oversized humanoids. These people lived (mostly) in peace with each other and nature. The humanoids avoided Evgaths enlarged beasts by hiding in caves and climbing trees. Unlike most places, both dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time on this island. This was all to be disturbed, however....
Gedar, aka the exile, would play a much larger role in this islands history than he ever thought likely. Upset at being discarded from the druidic community in Ingsissa, he fled both the shame and violence that would await him in his home town by leaving the island on a boat, hoping to never be found again. On his raft, however, the exile discovered the mysterious ability to sustain himself by desecrating the water around him. After a few years floating around on a rowboat, the exile landed on the island of Evgath. His plain thirst turned into a malicious thirst for power, as he destroyed almost all of the plantlife on the island of Evgath.
An unstable ecology
Having an immense portion of the Evgath flora annihilated proved severely detrimental to Evgaths fauna. The humanoids turned from simple clan people into bloodthristy, cannibalistic hunters. The animals went awry, first went the herbivores, then later carnivores would eat carnivores. This continued for a short time (many years) before the population became so small it could no longer sustain itself. The last few living things on evgath perished.
Evgath was discovered by a small group of research wizards, who tracked the exile's path to Evgath. Upon landing on the island, the wizards found themselves ill from the thickness of evil in the air. Their lust for fame forced them through the dense, dead jungle to find the remains of the exile. Their trek into the center of the island was cut short the next day when they were overwhelmed by the darkness of the island. Every one of the wizards and their escorts turned immediately evil, and necromanic. They revived the fallen animals and humans of the islands in the hope of finding information about the exile, and amassing an unbeatable army.
The first crusade
After hearing stories about Evgath, the island of the dead, a single galley of paladins, knights and clerics was sent with a group of historians to the island. Within a week, enough of them perished and were assimilated into the armied of the undead, that only a few survivors manned the ship back to Ingsissa. The crusaders were so hideously unprepared they stood no chance against the legions of undead. But those that returned passed on information to the clerical councils, allowing for a second crusade to be prepared for.
The second crusade
Humanity's second crusade to Evgath was far more successful than the first. Galleys of holy water, support troops and fresh water were sent alongside fleets of paladins, wizards, clerics and knights. After barraging sections of the islands with holy water bombs fired from trebuchets, a landing spot was cleared and ensorcelled to repel the oncoming undead. A few more such spots were set up and then a series of tactical maneuvers (its not too tricky to outsmart undead) brought the crusaders inward. This time the necromancers and Gevar the blighter became involved; empowering their undead minions, converting the weak-willed enemy to the dark side and unleashing magical attacks. A bloody war followed, with reinforcements being called from both sides (the necromancers had a considerable advantage here). At the end of the war, only a few paladins and clerics stood at the top of the mountainous ranges that housed the final battle. The victors returned home to live out the rest of their lives in fame and luxury.
But of course, as undead do, the dead returned to life. The necromancers were clever enough to cast restorative spells on themselves and in a few years they were back to resurrecting their followers. Gedar then set about enchanting every square meter of land with spells to enhance undead. The necromancers, who were now dead, had much time on their hands and decided on a new revolutionary approach to undead creation: quality and quantity. Their revived undead were additionally as intelligent as they were in their previous lives. For the natives of the island this was not a great improvement but for the soldiers and magic users who died in the second crusade, this is a huge advantage. If this wasn't enough, the fallen paladins became blackguards and began to train the undead to become better soldiers. Evgath was amassing a force not to be reckoned with. But of course, no one listens to reason when evil is involved....
The third crusade
Upon learning of the return of the undead of Evgath, a third crusade was sent with one mission: complete eradication. This time, an army twice the size of last was sent, with far better technology and tactics, and thus the crusaders could smell victory over the stench of seaborne life. Success proved more difficult than expected, however, as things often do. Before landing, many of the ships experienced buoancy problems and also problems with the crews health. This was due to the undead soldiers, who had spilled out to underneath the waters, and performed unconventional operations. When the crusaders finally landed, they found many of their useful spells failed. In addition to this, as soon as the first crusader stepped onto the land, an assortment of what seemed to be organised platoons of undead launched a well-planned attack on their vessels. Not only did the crusaders lose the battle, not a single man returned from the crusade. Needless to say, their second victory only provided Evgath with more soldiers, blackguards and necromancers. It became clear that with every win and every loss Evgath would only become more powerful. It was because of this that humanity decided it would wait until it knew it could completely destroy the inhabitants of the island before they launched another crusade.
-People need to make constitution checks anywhere on this islands, due to the cold. -People need to bring their own water, there is no drinkable water anywhere on this island -Evgath undead have more HD than regular undead of their type. -All undead also fight intelligently (although how intelligently depends on the type of undead, and its also up to the DM). In any case, they fight more intelligently than regular undead. -DMs might also consider upping the speed, attacks, saves and ACs of the undead (and the CRs, equivically) -Undead near the central mountains should all be spellstitched
See also Geography of Polaqu.