The Temple of Elemental Evil
Three days’ ride northwest of Hommlet, Verbobonc was once a province of the Archclericy of Veluna. In recent years, however, the Viscount of Verbobonc has declared the city and surrounding region as an independent province. The city sits on the southern bank of the Velverdyva River and provides a center of trade between Veluna and the kingdom of Furyondy.
Long before the coming of humanity, Verbobonc was an elven settlement set on a wooded hilltop overlooking a spot where a minor tributary, Gillendyl’s Run, enters the Velverdyva River’s wide expanse. The small river town featured an impressive elven tower fortress surrounded by yet more tall, thin towers, narrow walkways, lofty houses, and parkways filled with delicate wood and ceramic statuary. Considered a safe haven on the great river, a market place developed along the riverbank attracting goods from near and far.
The local elves shared their lives and livelihood with the good gnomes of the Kron Hills to the south, banding together to battle off threats from the north and east. Verbobonc, then, was a military town, aligned with the gray elves of Enstad, though a political entity unto itself. Her elven patrols ranged into the deep Gnarley Forest to the east, the Kron Hills to the south, and through the Iron Wood to the west. The surrounding hillocks still hold relics of those ancient days, slowly crumbling towers of unsurpassed beauty, troves of buried arrowheads and still-useful armor. It is even said there remain elven Old Places, sacred refuges hidden in the magical folds of wood and hill.
As civilized humans entered the Flanaess and most elves receded into the woodlands, Verbobonc gained more importance as a trade port on the Velverdyva River. At this time, many elves quit Verbobonc, leaving the town to the gnomes and the new arrivals. Humans soon took over the great elven fortress for which the ground dwelling gnomes had little interest. What few elves remained were content with their ipphouses. Thus began a new period in the history of the region, in which the two majority races worked together to improve and grow Verbobonc into a state of its own, not beholden to any greater power. They constructed hundreds of new buildings, mixing a distinctly gnome architecture with the existing elven structures, and more human styles. In this spirit was the slogan “Earth and Stone, Man and Gnome” carved above the city’s east gate.