Soon after the Summoning that destroyed the Duchy of Urdus and created Chaos Portals in the three main cities of Aerisport, Maquosmouth and Urdus, the human survivors, regrouped in Ironmarket, realised they needed defences against chaotic aggression. The four forts were all named after lawful deities, despite the misgivings of people who blamed the gods for the destruction caused in the Summoning.
Rhondus Fort (population 550) overlooks the River Rancor. There are no bridges, but there are boats that can travel across or along the river. The fort not only has a chapel of Rhondus, but also a chapel of Khazep, staffed by exiled clerics who have fled the fallen Temple of Khazep, which fell to chaotic forces during the summoning.
Adonor Fort (population 790) is the regional headquarters of the Knights of
Shining Blades. As well as about 200 troops loyal to Ironmarket and 250 civilians, there are also 340 knights and men-at-arms of the Shining Blades.
Threlma Fort (population 980) has a substantial village attached to it, outside the fort walls. There is a garrison of 300 soldiers and officers, and the other 630 are civilians, either serving the fort or farming (particularly sheep and pigs).
Sturnornel Fort (population 500) deals with raiders from both Maquosmouth and the Howling Forest. It sometimes functions as a base from which adventurers will venture into the Howling Forest, and many woodcutters and timber merchants will stop off here.
Mesabridge (population 420) is of great importance as it is a safe crossing point over the River Rancor. The village is entirely on the southern bank as the north bank is indefensible against raiders from the Talloak Forest. There is no actual bridge, but there are a number of ferrymen who can take people across for a small fee.
Parrion (population 560) is an important farming village that provides a lot of the food for the surrounding area. About a third (380) are halflings living alongside humans.
Charsis (ruined) is strategically unimportant, but symbolic in that military commanders have described Charsis as the first step to retaking Aerisport.
Accerian (population 330) has a bridge over the River Maquos, and is used as a starting point for expeditions downriver into Maquosmouth. Although prone to flooding after rains swell the Maquos, Accerian is in a very fertile patch, and produces plenty of wheat and vegetables, as well as dairy cattle which are used to make strong orange cheese that is popular through the area, especially with dwarves.
Ferrian (population 700) is a weird village that a lot of normal folk are wary of. The fact that many lycanthropes have been encountered in the Howling Forest and that some folk in Ferrian look sort of wild has led to speculation about werecreatures walking the streets of Ferrian in human form.
Whiskerface (population 1100) is a halfling town that is on the edge of the Confederacy of the Ten Peaks. It does not consider itself part of the predominantly human settlements to the west of the Confederacy but keeps friendly relations with both the dwarves and the humans.
Faranil (ruined) is potentially very important, if it can be secured. It is currently overrun by ogres, trolls and minotaurs from the Chaos Portal in Aerisport, but if liberated, it would allow river traffic from the Confederacy of the Ten Peaks through Mesabridge, past Rhondus Fort and out into the open sea towards Teiglin, the Walrus Freehold and other areas.