This is a fascinating, beautifully-presented and well-described mining settlement on the very fringes of civilisation, so far away from the centre of affairs that those who mine here are left to their own devices... devices, sad to say, that include many corrupt practices and abuses.
The mining concession is in the hands of the Order of the Red Shadows of Herpa, a religious knightly order which oversees the mining of several valuable ores and the general operation of the settlement, defending their holdings against bandits and orc raids alike. The fertility of the land is poor so extra food must be bought in to feed the community, which as well as the knights includes craftsmen, professional miners and, sad to say, slave labour.
The entire operation is described clearly and in detail, which really brings it to life as a flourishing community. The GM is provided with a detailed map and notes on everything there and, as usual with Columbia Games product, these notes are besprinkled liberally with snippets of information that can inspire events if not whole adventures as you read through them.
The amount of detail is stupendous, everything from mine operations to details on just about everyone you might encounter if you visited the area. Should you dare: strangers are not welcome and viewed with hostility... and if you have useful skills you might find yourself joining the community without the option! The level of detail extends to outline floorplans of every building in the settlement which includes a thriving bawdy house - the miners and soldiers have few comforts, poor dears, so trade in ale and, ahem, other services is brisk.
Several discrete adventure hooks are provided, as well as the snippets you'll find throughout the descriptive text. The first is a way to get the party to the mine, the second involves the mine complex coming under attack, and the last offers an opportunity for the party to thwart or join an escape attempt - as even those not actually in bondage as slaves are rarely allowed to leave by the Order that controls the settlement, escape is a dream shared by many if rarely attempted.
All in all, it's a beautifully-developed settlement that oozes realism. You feel that it is lurking out there somewhere... and should you decide to visit, well, here is everything that you need.