The land called Westmarch was dotted with solitary flat topped hills that were the last evidence of the volcanic activity which birthed this land. One of these hills set in the middle of Westmarch was known to the locals as Picnic Hill. On maps of the area the hill’s name was The Earthwell. It was called this because of the deep pool that occupied the center of the volcanic depression that was the top of the hill. It had been given its new name many years ago when the locals began using the bowl of this old volcano with its crystal clear pool and cool breezes as a place for family outings. Little did they know that beneath the surface of that hill lay a complex which housed minions of the Dark Lord himself.
The Earthwell, or Picnic Hill as it was known by the locals, was located in the heart of Westmarch some 40 miles from Derwath, about 60 miles from Beldwin, and about 5 miles from the nearest road. It was the furthest volcanic hill from the White Mountains and its flat top allowed it to stand out on the flat horizon as a local landmark. The Hill itself rose some 400 ’ off the plain on which it sat and was roughly 2000 ’ in diameter at it’s widest point. On the south side of the hill a breach had been cut through the bowl of the hill by lava many centuries ago which allowed for an easy 300 ’ gradual climb to the lowest point on the rim of the hill. The lowest point of the bowl of the Earthwell was some 150 ’ from its highest point and only 50’ down from the entrance-way through the breach. A small trail has been cut through the breach over the years and leads down into the basin to the edge of the pool at the center. It was this pool after which the hill was named. Its waters were still, clear, and reflective. The depth of the pool had never been determined. Aside from the pool, there was also a number of flat rocks that had been stacked upon each other to allow visitors to have a place to sit or eat. Overlooking both of these features was a cluster of three oak trees by the pool.
- Randell Doty:Tales of the Westmarch