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Harbourlee Rock

by Irving Galvez from Threshold Magazine issue 23

Image: Harbourlee Rock location
Caption: Part of Five Shires map from Thorfinn Tait


Harbourlee Rock is an island in the Gulf of Halag off the coasts of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos and the Five Shires. For many years this was just a landmark for sea merchants and pirates that saw the rock just as a reference for their travels.

In Klarmont of 998 AC, the Black Eagle Baron sent explorers to Harbourlee Rock to see if they could use the isle as an Iron Ring slave camp, out of the reach of the Ducal authority in Karameikos. After exploring, the scouts reported that the isle could be used for that purpose. Baron von Hendriks decided to take control of the rock and sent a small force of 30 humans and orcs to start operations there. For nearly six months everything was perfect. A big slave village and market were built, as well as a small dock with capacity for up to 2 medium ships. But, as always, the Black Eagle soldiers were not too disciplined and started attacking merchant ships that passed near the rock. After an attack on a Five Shire merchant ship failed, word spread in the Five Shire that the Black Eagle had taken possession of the island.

In 999 AC the Five Shires sent a war galley to the isle and a battle to take control it took place. First, the halflings overran the Black Eagle forces, taking control of their camp and the docks. But the Black Eagle sent more forces and the battle of Harbourlee took place. Tension grew between the nations. Duke Stephan met Ambassador Jenkin Flintfoot at Specularum and the Harbourlee Treaty was signed. This treaty primarily stated that the attacks had to stop and that a group of halflings and Highforge dwarves were going to check the true position of the island relative to the national borders. The result was that a portion of the island lay in Karameikian coastal waters. The rock was divided: 80% of the isle was allotted to the Five Shires and 20% to Karameikos.

Duke Stephan decided to give administration of the Karameikan section of the rock to his cousin, Ludwig Von Hendriks, arguing that it was logical given the proximity of Harbourlee to the Black Eagle Barony. The Five Shires territory was given in administration to Sea Shire sheriff, Jaervosz Dustyboots.

Dustyboots, after learning that Karameikian part was going to be controlled by the Black Eagle, built a wall and tower to keep a divide between the two nations’ territories. Von Hendricks responded by constructing a tower to protect his territory.

In mid-999 AC the Eagle Fly incident took place, bringing new tensions to Harbourlee Rock. While Black Eagle soldiers patrolled the perimeter wall, an infantryman, Varis Reffnicov, deserted by running and jumping the wall into the Five Shires territory. He was immediately captured by halfling guards and taken to prison. After talking to him they realised Varis just wanted to escape the Black Eagle. The next day Black Eagle lieutenant Gregory Milic asked the halfling deputy, Hildigrim Hardfoot, to return Varis. But the Five Shires refused and decided to bring the matter for discussion at court in Specularum. In the end, as always, Duke Stephan did not believe all the atrocities they told of his cousin and decided that Varis could choose where to stay. Varis chose the Ffive Shires and since then he has served as a soldier in the Five Shires territory, mostly because Hardfoot knows how uncomfortable this is for Von Hendricks.

Image: Harbourlee Rock Map

Population (Total 49)


Population in Five Shire Territory 30 (29 hins and 1 human)

Harbourlee Dock

This is a small dock. It can have 2 medium ship. This was originally built by the Black Eagle men (see History section above) and it is now the main landing point for the Five Shires to the isle.

Harbourlee Village

Originally this was the Iron Ring camp. But after the battle of Harbourlee in 999 AC the halflings constructed more buildings. Most buildings are houses for the soldiers to live in. They also have a big warehouse with food, drink and weapons.

Harbourlee Tower

Was built to secure the border with Karameikos. Here there are always soldiers and archers ready to battle.


A small building constructed to bring more help for navigation purposes. It is always burning in the nights.

Harbourlee Battlefield

Here is where the battle for the isle took place. There are graves of the fallen halflings that are honored daily.


Population in Black Eagle/Karameikos Territory 19 (13 Humans and 6 orcs, hidden in the Iron Ring Cavern unbeknownst to the Five Shires troops)

Eagle Watch Tower

It was built after the Five Shires built Harbourlee Tower. This is the only construction on the Karameikian side of the border. It contains the soldiers’ barracks and storeroom. There is no dock here, so supplies have to be transferred on small boats from ships out at sea.

Iron Ring Cavern

Black Eagle soldiers found a small cavern system that is now used by the Iron Ring. Here they keep slaves and stolen merchandise. A group of 6 orcs guards this place.


Lieutenant Gregory Milic is a 43 year oldTraladaran male. He is responsible for all operations on the Karameikian side. He answers only to Von Hendriks. He is also in charge of the 6 orcs of the Iron Ring society. Although he does not hate halflings, he cannot forget that, thanks to the Eagle Fly incident, he will be forgotten in Harbourlee Rock. He is a level 5 fighter, (STR 16, INT9,WIS 8, DEX13, CON13, CHA11, AC 4, HP 32) he wears chainmail armor, shield and uses a normal sword (skilled).

Deputy Hildigrim Hardfoot was sent by Dustyboots to take charge of all activities in the the Five Shires territory. Hardfoot personally asked for this job because some time ago a Black Eagle raid killed his brother. He has been waiting for an opportunity to avenge his family. He is taking all possible risks to make the conflict bigger so he can happily kill Black Eagle soldiers. He is a halfling level 6 (STR 13, INT10,WIS 10, DEX16, CON13, CHA13, AC 5, HP 36) He wears leather armor and is skilled in short bow.

Varis Reffnicov is the 22 year old soldier who causes the Eagle Fly incident. He was 18 when he was forced to enlist as a soldier in the Black Eagle Barony. After a raid in Luln, he tried to escape but was captured. He had to watch his father and mother die for his actions. After that, he was sent to Harbourlee Rock as a soldier. He finally escaped. Now he has been training on the Five Shire side and has gained respect among the halflings. He is a 1st level fighter (STR 13, INT 9, WIS10, DEX 9, CON 9, CHA 9). He has leather armor and a normal sword.

Image: Border map

A normal day at the border wall gates sees two soldiers on each side standing face-to-face tensely watching each other. On the towers, archers spend the day with their weapons pointed at the opposing tower. On the Five Shire side, two patrols of 4 halflings walk along the whole wall perimeter. On the Karameikian/Black Eagle side, a patrol of 5 humans walks the perimeter.


What neither side knows is that somewhere on the island is hidden a great pirate treasure. The treasure coffer containing gems with a value of 10000 gp is somewhere in the mountains and its owner, Captain Dead Beard (see ”Twin Soul Rocks” in Threshold Magazine issue #16), is seeking to retrieve it at any cost.