Feb 23, 2013

Sandbox - Haaksen (and surrounding) hex contents

So, taking the 25 mile hexes, decomposed down to 5 mile regional hexes, in the map in the previous posting, we can see that each hex from the Sildur Reaches map is represented in some detail.  This regional map is not only showing the basics, in higher resolution, from the Sildur Reaches map, but it is also showing additional details and data - such as the minor roads and villages that are around the trade town of Haaksen, and also locations of encounter sites, ruins, magical sites and so on.

It is convenient, however, to use the hex numbering form the Sildur Reaches map to reference the blown up hexes in the smaller scale map, and to see what is going on there.  Here is a version of the region map around Haaksen, with the hex numbers of the larger hexes, added in.

Taking a look a those numbered hexes, we see that in  2116 we have the Trade Town of Haaksen.  The hex is mostly populated with cultivated farm land, and would be spotted with farms, estates, crofts and thorpes.

North of Haaksen, we have hex 2115.  It contains the minor village of  Nay Var, as well as two notable lairs.  There is also a lake, surrounded on its northwestern edge by swampland.  To the southeast edge of hex 2115, there are some woods, and some hills.

Northeast of Haaksen, we have hex 2215, which contains the minor village of Ator.  Ator is at a point where a minor road crosses a river that runs north and south, from the hills at the northern edge of hex 2215, down to the lake in the southern edge of hex 2216.  Also located here are two notable lairs, and some more farmland.

Southeast of Haaksen, in hex 2216, there is the minor village of Last Rock.  Last Rock is located along a somewhat more important road, as it is also detailed on the Sildur Reaches map, as running from Haaksen (2216) down to the River Town of Gavaar.   Last Rock is on a dry piece of farmland, but it buts up against some swamp that surrounds the lake at the south edge of 2216, perhaps the source of the name "Last Rock".  In the hex, there are also two notable lairs.

Immediately south of Haaksen, in hex 2117, the minor village of Oval Way is located.  This hex is pretty sparse, only have a few minor regions in it's northern and northeastern edge that are farmed, and civilized.  Most of the hex is rolling grassland, having been deforested over the centuries, but there are some hills and woods here, and in the immediately southwestern tip of the hex, there is some swampland.  Other than Oval Way, there are two lairs of note.

Over on the western side, to the southwest of Haaksen, in hex 2016, there is the small village of Calor.  It is in the midst of a region of cultivated farm country occupying most of the hex, along with a road network, two lairs of note, and an installation of interest (church, castle, etc).  The road that runs from the southwest to the northeast, up to Haaksen, is of great enough importance that it is on the regional map, but the the other roads (to the installation in this hex, and also to the one in hex 1916) are much less important, and much less likely to be traveled.

Northwest of Haaksen, in hex 2015, there is the minor village of Santar.  It is in an area of cultivated land, but is also surrounded (in the hex) by hills, and a small patch of woods to the northwest, and a small patch of swampland to the northeast.  A minor road connects Santar with Haaksen, running through the cultivated farm area.  Also in the hex are two lairs of note, and also a site of ruins (perhaps a dungeon? a ruined castle or church?).

The remainder of this area around Haaksen is similarly populated with lairs, terrain, sites of interest, ruins, and so on.  In order to provide a decent key to this smaller regional map, relying on just the larger hex numbers would be problematic (not enough resolution), and using the hex numbering system of the smaller map would be confusing and likely to led to confusion.  So, in order to distinguish the two numbering systems, whenever a specific hex from the smaller map is being addressed, it will be listed with the larger hex number preceding, and separated by a slash, followed by the coordinates to indicate the 'regional' map hex number.  For instance, for the Town of Haaksen itself, it is in hex 2116 on the Sildur Reaches map, but it is in hex 1611 on the regional map - I would list it as 2116/1611.  This gives the larger (25 mile) hex number as a quick reference, and the regional (5 mile) hex number for detailed location.  Below is a list of the locations, and a quick note on each. The first two have more detail, to describe what might occur at each, but the notes are enough for a DM to use these in a campaign. 

1814/0102 - Centaur Camp - The Oakhind Tribe. A group of 18 centaur warriors (4HD, armed with clubs and longbows), and 3 centaur leaders (5HD, armed with lance and shield) will attack anyone approaching a small patch of woods, containing a grove where the tribe has their camp.  At the camp there are 4 more warriors (4HD), 8 females (3HD) and 15 young (2HD).  They are led by an ancient blind shaman (2HD) who has a magic flute, that if played by a neutral or evil priest or shaman can cast a sleep spell once per round, up to 60' away.  The tribe has completely disassociated with the Seely Court, and is determined to remain in this world. The tribe stores its loot (4500CP, 1500EP, 2500GP worth of gems,  +2 shield, and a scarab of protection) inside a ruined temple.

1815/0006 - Bandit's Lair - Durion's Gang.  A small cave complex serves as the chief location for a gang of 120 bandits.  There are a number of chiefs and leaders, but the head of the band is a fighter (9th level) named Gev Durion.  He has a particular hatred of non humans.  Helping him are two 6th level fighters, three 5th level, four 4th level, and six 3rd level group leaders and sergeants.  If the small abutment is approached, where the cave entrance is, the violators of the area will be attacked by approximately 20 of the bandits, with suitable leadership, and riding horses, and carrying light crossbows and spears (with slung shields), and studded armor.  If the cave complex itself is approached directly, then the remainder of the bandits will attack, with ringmail, short sword, and small shield.  Inside the cave complex, the bandit gang has half a dozen trained wolfhounds (3HD) that will attack.  There is a 50/50 chance that an evil cleric (5th level) will be present.  The chambers of Gev Durion have a bear skin rug, with a secret compartment under it - inside is a chest with the gang's loot (although each bandit will have some pocket money).  The loot is 4500CP, 2000SP, 3000EP, 6000GP, 1000PP, 2500 worth of Gems, wand of detect secret doors (18 charges), Ring of Telekinesis, and a potion of Healing.
1816/0112 - Dungeons - Haunt of the Starfallen.  Under a ruined wizards tower.  Multiple levels, home to a beast not of this world.

1816/0114 - Gnoll Lair - Bloodtooth Tribe.  Mostly warriors, but also some women and children, hidden in a rocky dell, with some structures made out of the skulls of storm giants.

1817/0117 - Tayagon (Human Village) - population 750. Buildings made of wood, with a wooden palisade, and  a single watch tower.  Local wolf problem attracts a lot of hunters and rangers.

1817/0120 - Witches Circle - Coven of the Red Moon Goddess. Stone huts in a circle, around a ritual spot, dedicated to Veltin Crimsea (the Red Moon demigoddess).
1818/0223 - Ayafar (Elf Village) - population 400, of Wood Elves.  Mistress of the village is composing a song to celebrate the marriage of Oberon and Titania, and wants to do it far from the Seely Court.  The rest of the village are composed of her extended family and friends.

1914/0501 - Chimera Lair - Rocky nest of chimeras, dwelling in a rocky hollow.  An evil wizard lives with them, and keeps the head of the family under a spell.

1915/0405 - Wolf Den - A mixed tribe, of approximately 20-30 (varies with the season) wolves, and a dozen dire wolves.  The dire wolves are sometimes allied with the Scorched Moon Orcs, at 1915/0706, providing mounts for their goblin slave/scouts.
1915/0503 - Ruined Church - A typical stave church, common throughout the Sildur Reaches, this was once a chapel dedicated to Sister Silpha.

1915/0706 - Orc Lair - Scorched Moon Tribe (population 180 warriors, assorted others).  These Orcs are the enemy of any that are associated with Poritia Nove (demigoddess of the White Moon).
  This includes the Knights of the White Lady.  They have a large body of slave Goblins that they employ as scouts, and sometimes these will ride the Direwolves from 1915/0405.
1916/0511 - Knight's Castle - Berenhome Keep - Sir Otho Fustar of Beren (10th level), a knight that has left the service of the Baron of Na Kram.

1917/0414 - Hobgoblin Camp - Warrior band of the Iron Dream.  Approximately 100 hobgoblins, and allied by a few dozen local Bugbears.  The Hobgoblin cult of expanding the reach of the Goblyn realms by conquest (the "iron dream") is represented here by this large war party.

1917/0615 - Jillip (Human Village) - Population 500.  Run by "The Smith", a retired thief (Pongo Quickfingers), who has become a blacksmith.  

1918/0520 - Ancient Stone Circle - This site often attracts Druids of the Silver Order. A band of intelligent foxes live in the area, and help to protect the circle, they are led by a family of neutral Were-Foxes who are allied with the Silver Order.
1918/0619 - Ogre Lair - Home of the Stoneshaker clan.  They have taken up residence in a crumbling, ruined amphitheater (probably a leftover site of the Old Ones).  Several  very large tents have been erected at the bottom of the bowl shaped marble amphitheater, housing the clan of 16 male ogres, 1 leader, 8 females, an elder male chieftain, and some young.  There is also a family of 4 adult wyverns (and some nestling young) that have allied with the Ogres.

1918/0622 - Wild Boar Lair
- An extended Wild Boar family, consisting of 18 adult wild boars, nest near here.  Living in the area are 3 human were-boars, as well.  The were-boars are protecting a site where a knight was buried (who was said to have knowledge of a buried treasure), they are hoping to awaken his ghost and find out the location of the treasure.

1919/0425 - Stirge Nest
- A small swarm of stirges will attack nearby travelers from their cavern nest.  There are 18 stirges in all.  Back in the nest, however, there are another 18 giant bats, and a sarcophagus with a sleeping vampire in it.  The treasure (considerable) of the vampire is buried in the sarcophagus underneath the body. It includes a map to a buried (in a rockslide) church in hex 1919/0424, that is haunted by the undead, but which contains some fabulous treasure.

2014/0803 - Hippogriff Lair
- A large family of hippogriffs (6 adults at one time) hunt in the whole region of grasslands around hex 2014/0803.  They nest at the top of a number of singular giant pines in the area.

2014/0901 - Faery Henge
- This stone circle is a portal to the realm of the Seely Court, that opens up every midnight under a full Golden Moon.  In the meantime it is protected by a small band of faery folk (random, roll 1d6 - 1-3 pixies, 4-5 leprechauns, 6 brownies) A Druid of the Green Order and a family of talking, intelligent, giant raccoons live in the nearby trees, and they are on good terms with the Faery.

2014/1104 - Barbarian Camp
- A band of Storm King Barbarians has made camp here.  There are a varying number of Barbarians here at any one time, with 2d6 huscarls (4hd) and 4d6 jarls (2hd) in an encounter.  The huscarls are all female, and will be riding giant bears.  These are Daughters of the River Raven, from Rookroost.  They are in the area, questing for a legendary magic helmet, that is supposedly protected by an ice devil.  They have not found it yet, but are quite jealous of anyone else in the area.

2014/1301 - Bulette Lair
- A pair of nesting bulettes live in the area.  The ground in the region is really chewed up and broken, as they have lived here for a while.  Because of their activity, just walking through the region, passerbies are likely to encounter uprooted carrion crawlers (1d4) that the bulettes disturb.  

2015/0908 - Brigand's Lair
- A large group of murderous brigands have taken up residence in a ruined castle.  There are a total of 120 brigands, half of whom will be out in the local area patrolling, and half in the castle ruins at any one time.  They are led by an evil cleric of Dralizar.  There are supposedly ruined dungeons below the castle.

2015/0909 - Dungeons
- The Crumbled Keep of Epton Sarco - this is an abandoned tower made of some otherworldly ebon stone, topped with a fantastic globe of red agateIt is an abandoned site that was once home to an Old One sorceror, Epton Sarco.  The tower is empty, save for a number of families of vultures that make their home there, but underneath is a multi-level dungeon complex that has become home to warring tribes of troglodytes and lizardmen.

2015/1106 - Kobold Lair
- A curious tribe of kobolds (280 of them) have taken up residence in this area, living in a series of subterranean chambers along an underground river.  They will attack in bands of 20 or so, accompanied by 1d4 giant weasels.  These kobolds live off very large blind cave turtles that they capture and eat, and they wear the shells as armor, giving them an effective AC of 3.

2015/1107 - Santar
(Human Village) - Population 550.  This village is run by a pair of sisters - a 7th level MU named Ylise Starhand, and her sister an 8th level ranger named Sillen Starhand. They have an unnatural hatred of Trolls and attack the few wandering specimens in the area with great gusto.

2016/0911 - Ettin Lair - The ettins (a group of 8) have taken over a small convent of sisters in an order of Saint Varina.  These sisters tended to a field of special grapevines used for the manufacture of sacramental wine.  There are casks of the very expensive wine stored in a hidden wine cellar that the ettins have not found.

2016/0914 - Bullywug Village
- A marshy patch next to a defile full of water has become the home to a small village of Bullywugs (population 120, with 80 of them as warriors).

2016/1111 - Monastery
- Monks of the Gray Bull tend this monastery, taking care of the herds of the rare Gloamsteer cattle.  This is an order dedicated to St. Horace, and the Gloamsteer are used for their magnificent dairy products sold throughout the region to settlements, and the profits (if any) are sent to the great cathedral of St. Horace at Ungams.

2016/1113 - Calor
(Human Village) - Population 700.  There is an artisan here who specializes in wooden musical instruments, especially harps and lyres.  There is always the possibility of a job, escorting the finished product to Brandismore College at the city of Botts.  The village has an ongoing problem with a number of goat headed beastmen that live in a nearby cave.

2017/0917 - Manticore Lair
- A family of Manticores have taken up residence at an abandoned mill, on the mouth to a now overgrown mill pond.  The Manticores have no way of entering the root cellar beneath the empty residence of the mill, but there is a secret entrance leading to an evil shrine, with no small amount of treasure, and a guarded by the undead.

2017/1018 - Haunted Castle
- Haunted Keep of Baz Bakar - Baz Bakar was once a Kozaki sorceror, who built a keep and tower for his stronghold, and took up residence there with a large number of his brother mercenaries.  They were all killed by a band of raiding Storm King barbarians, but Baz Bakar was halfway through the process of becoming a lich when that happened.  He now haunts the keep as a Shade, and seeks to protect the treasures hidden in the dungeon levels.

2017/1215 - Orc Lair
- A lair that is home to 85 orc warriors of the Bloodspear tribe, and they are led by an evil minotaur called Oryx.  Along with the orcs, Oryx has also attracted a pair of  hill giants to join his band.  The orcs have constructed a wooden palisade around a village of huts made of wooden poles.

2018/0924 - Dungeons
- this curious dungeon is called the Lair of the Animator, and was once home to an Old One alchemist that was determined to create artificial life out of a number of elements.  His creations bear some resemblance to elementals, but they are not summoned.  Amazing treasures await any who brave this strange den of mystery.  The labyrinth exists underneath a simple, abandoned stone keep, with no walls or towers.

2018/1021 - Mongrelmen Lair
- A group of mongrelmen living in a stony hollow, next to a fish pond.  They just want to be left alone, and are willing to kill for solitude.

2018/1123 - Aelastro (
Elf Village) - Population 250 Wood Elves. Home to the Elven healer Elan'ked Ranus.

2114/1501 - Troll Lair
- This hex and the surrounding hexes are plagued with trolls.  They have a nest here, consisting of a ruined farm, with a stone farmhouse, and a large stone storage barn.  There will always be 2d6 trolls immediately at the farm, and another d6 patrolling through every three or four hours.

2114/1701 - Evil Temple
- this was once a stave church dedicated to Brother Rudiger, however now it is peopled by an EHP in a cult dedicated to serving and summoning Mist Walkers, similar to those that haunt the misty streets of Khomaes.  This cult is similar to the Cult of the White Shadow, and has similar members.  The cultists themselves are unaware of the layers of dungeon below the church, equally unaware of the fact that those dungeons are haunted by a race of snakemen.

2115/1505 - Ogre Lair
- 8 ogres have sacked and taken over a ranger way station.

2115/1507 - Lizardman Lair
- A series of caverns in the ground is peopled by a group of lizardmen warriors.  There is a drop in the bottom layer of caverns, opening up to a subterranean river far below.  The Lizardmen arise using hot air balloons, up from their villages along the river (they have a small community, and are at constant war with a nearby community of sverfneblin).

2115/1604 - Nay Var
(Human Village) - Population 550This village is a palisaded wooden style village, and is famous for the curious mushrooms that grow in the surrounding fields.  All manner of healing (and other) potions are made from the mushrooms by a small coven of witches that live in the village.

2116/1611 - Haaksen
- Walled independent trade town of 4,800 humans.  Notorious for the fights of control that take place between the trade guilds and the merchant guilds. A number of adventure and exploration sites exist within the town, but will not be detailed here.

2117/1415 - Kalakaval Kavan
(Gnome Village) - Population 350 gnomes. Run by the retired Illusionist (level 8) Pelindro the Magnificent.  The gnomes have frequent patrols to protect against the hobgoblin riaders of Tiok the Mage (2119/1525).

2117/1615 - Oval Way (Human Village)
- Population 475, known for the horse training that happens there, usually under the eye of HorseMaster Ogren Mise, or his rival HorseMaster Zolar Planty.

2117/1617 - Unicorn Pasture
- Idyllic setting of a family (7 members) of unicorns.  Peaceful, and safe, but watched over by a number of Druids of the Brown Order.

2118/1421 - Moonhaven
(Wolfling Village) - Population 120, this small village is home to an extended family group of WolflingsThis is their Summer home, and they will abandon it to roam and hunt along the Great River during the Winter, where the weather is less harsh.  The site is built over an Old One ruin, which is a set of underground chambers that once belonged to an Old One naturalist named Zola Quine.

2118/1619 - Barbarian Camp
- Roving band of savages attracted to an EHP that serves the Lord of Fire.  These crazed worshippers are full of murder and violence, and most are prone to be berserkers.

2119/1525 - Wizard's Tower
- Alabaster Tower of Tiok the Mage - Tiok is an evil Illusionist that has gathered a band of hobgoblins to work for him, and he sends these on raids against Pelindro the Magnificent (2117/1415), in order to steal his spells and books.  Underneath Tiok's tower are the Dungeons of Ossiam Rood.  Ossiam Rood was once an Old One city that was dedicated to the Lady of Air, but she grew displeased with them, and cursed the City to be shrunken down to the size of a feast platter.  It was preserved (but with all inhabitants destroyed), and lies hidden somewhere inside the Dungeons.

2214/2005 - Knight's Castle
- Castle Thistlerock - This is a Paladin's stronghold, the home of Sir Borofan of the Thistle, a Paladin of the Brotherhood of the Sword.  Sir Borofan's ancestor was one of the paladins that originally formed the Brotherhood of the Sword with Sir Vallimor of Botts.  The whole hex of 2214, and the surrounding area, are patrolled by the Serjents and Men at Arms of Thistlerock.

2215/1909 - Ator (Human Village) Population 450.  A sister of the order of St. Lilliane operates a travelers hospital here.
2215/2007 - Ghoul Colony
- A large clan of ghouls haunts an abandoned church and churchyard.  The labyrinth beneath the church contains a number of valuable artifacts and relics of the church of St. Gianna.

2215/2109 - Bandit's Lair
- A small band (45 strong) of thieves led by a 6th level fighter (Gav Harman) make their home in a small grove of fruit trees.  The Bandits have taken over the huts of grove workers, and the small factory of charcoal burners.  They raid the neighboring countryside, preferring to just gather loot, and avoid killing.

2216/1911 - Leper Colony
- An abandoned rock quarry is home to a colony of lepers.  Unknown to all, the rock quarry was once worked by Dwarves, some of whom dug hidden tunnels leading down to a cavern system populated by myconids.

2216/2113 - Last Rock
(Human Village) - Population 600.  Last Rock is a center of trade for the nearby fisherman.  It is run by Edric of Shaff, the head of the Trader's Guild.

2216/2212 - Acorn  Hall (Dwarf Village) - Population 250.  This is a curious surface community of Dwarves.  These doughty lads and ladies are more at home roaming the local grasslands and human croplands, then they are at mining and building great dungeon cities.

2217/1917 - Stirge Nest
- A bizarre cavern complex is home to a weird flock of blind, bloated, underground sheep (they have gotten separated from the deep entrance to Dark Elf lands far below).  A flock of some 18-20 Stirges nest in the cavern, and live off the blind sheep, but will try to it outside to feed on passers-by whenever possible.

2217/2016 - Glade of Tarco
- This is a magical glade, peopled by a band of brownies and a single High Elf Witch.  The Brownies are led by The Tarco, the name given to the current ruler of the band, but as they frequently travel back and forth to the Seely Court, it is unsure if The Tarco is always the same person.  The High Elf, Alisadarna Aniseese, is sworn to protect The Tarco.

2218/1822 - Giant Snake Nest
- A ruined tower is the home to a nest of two dozen giant snakes.  There is a series of chambers underneath the tower that have never been explored ever since the Sorceror who once lived in the tower was eaten by his snakes.

2218/2122 - Aoptero
(Elf Village) Population 200 - This village is built around a fantastic Tree named the Aopteran, which has, in its side, a portal to the Seely Court.  The village is peopled by Wood Elves, and the portal only works occasionallyNot too far from the village, there is a defile through which a stream runs, and a cavern opening under the escarpment of the defile conceals the entrance to a Bugbear cave complex.  Those Bugbears are constantly raiding the elves of Aoptero.

2314/2601 - Wild Boar Lair
- Pack of 24 wild boars.  A Goblin Shaman, and 12 Goblin Warriors, live with the Boars.  It is hard to tell who is in charge, as the Goblins are almost completely feral.

2315/2504 - Pole Nine
(Human Village) - Population 575, Pole Nine is run by a retired Bard, Oggham Beehive.  He has attracted a number of younger Bards and Rangers that help to ward against the nearby Gnolls (2315/2705).

2315/2705 - Gnoll Lair
- The Rawbones Clan - a clan of some 125 Gnolls, constantly on the prowl for food and loot.  Dwelling mostly in a village of clay huts, the Clan is obsessed with killing Elves.

2316/2508 - Griffon Lair
- Family group of half a dozen Griffons, who among other things harrass the nearby Ogres and Gnolls.

2316/2510 - Dungeons
- Hideous Keep of Mas'l the Cruel - The keep was torched by a handful of summoned Fire elementals, answering the bidding of a fire wizard traveling with a band of Storm King barbarians.  The dungeons underneath, however, are still populated by the curious monsters and horrors that Mas'l the Cruel collected during his tortured life.

2316/2612 - Ogre Lair
- A small clan of ogres (12 males, 6 females, numerous young) have taken to living in a half finished walled outpost.  They share this abode with a nest of giant spiders and, and several giant hyenas that have wandered up from the quarry dug for the stones used in the outpost.  It is unknown where those quarry tunnels lead.

2317/2514 - Appleton
(Halfling Village) - Population 450, mostly Halflings, but a few humans.  This is the heart of a small farming and herding community.  It is run by a retired Halfling fighter/thief named Gordo Honeyhive.

2317/2516 - Heopp
(Human Village) - Population 700, this is the home of Sir Farris of Goldenrood, the head of Goldenrood Castle, which the village surrounds.  The castle is under construction, but is always the site of raids from the Orcs at 2318/2418.  Sir Farris does his best to fight off the raiders, but always is looking for help.

2318/2418 - Orc Lair
- An abandoned vineyard, and its stone greathouse and storage barns, have become home to the Stoneknife clan of Orcs (100 of them).  They are led by an EHP that serves the Unseely Court.  These Orcs have been sent to this world from that place, and are on some sort of mission, but it is unknown to all what that mission is.

2318/2422 - Gorgon Lair
- A pair of Gorgons inhabit an old loom factory.  The tower over the factory (it was a workhouse for the poor, run by sisters of the order of Mother Kimber) is home to a family of giant bats that have a curious disease (50% chance to catch it if bit, and if so, it will drain 1d3 hit points per day, unhealable until the disease is cured).

2318/2520 - Caverns
- A vast complex of caverns opens up here, and down below it is home to two warring communities.  The first is a colony of Dark Elves, and the second is a large clan of Trolls, led by a half dozen curiously intelligent Rot Trolls, one of which is also a 5th level magic user.  It is unknown how these Rot Trolls developed their intelligence, but under their leadership, the regular Trolls are a strange and challenging match for the Dark Elves.  There is rumored to be a hidden shrine, with a great statue to the One Beneath the Waves, containing a very, very large emerald.

2319/2625 - Stirge Nest
- The decaying skull of a dead large dragon is home to a nest of two dozen stirges.  Somewhere nearby is a cavern opening up to the former dragon's underground lair, which is overrun by lizardmen.

2414/2903 - Kev
(Human Village) - Population 650.  This village is run by a priest of Brother Rudiger, known as Brother Olaf.  He has the population constructing a stave church, but has his hands full with defending against the goblins and boars of 2314/2601.  There are two were-boars living in the Village, and they have provided a lure for the wild boars and their goblin comrades.

2414/3002 - Pegasus Aerie
- A small grove of tall pinetrees grows in the shallow soil on top of a rocky formation out of the grassland.  Among these pine trees lives a family group (5 adults) of pegasi.  These are often harassed by a band of local Stoatmen.

2415/2809 -
Wolf Den - Home to an extended family/pack of wolves (27), and also an integrated but smaller pack of giant wolves (12).
2415/2907 - Knight's Castle - Castle Nightpeak - Home of Sir Yramis Dom of the Ruby Knife.  The Knights of the order of the Ruby Knife have taken a vow of blood to kill and destroy all paladins and other servants of the Church.  Sir Yramis keeps his membership in the order a secret, but he allows clans of hobgoblins and evil men to live on his lands.  He also often provides aid to the Khozaki at 2416/2911, at the outskirts of his demesne.  Underneath the castle are the dungeons making up the Shrine of the Deep, dedicated to the One Beneath the Waves, and run by an EHP named Mepis duSlade.

2416/2911 - Barbarian Camp - This is the camp of a group of Khozaki riders.  They are riding Fethta riding beasts (special giant lizards detailed here).  The Khozaki are wandering riders, wearing brightly colored loose silk trousers, leather shirts (count as AC7), boots and bronze helmets.  They are looking to hire serfs, and are hungry for food and drink. They have recently had a successful hunt of giant wolves from 2415/2809, and are eager to trade the pelts for what they are looking for.
2417/2916 - Giant Stag Hunt
- A Giant Stag and his pack of does lives in the nearby region.  They are tended to by a tribe of primitive worshippers of the Green Man, who dwell side by side with the Giant Stag.  This tribe of primitives contains 24 warriors, and a shaman - this represents the more wild side of the Green Man.

2417/2918 - Won Dar
(Human Village) Population 600.  Won Dar is the home of a small conservatory of Elongar Suu, where monk musicians compose music in honor of summer and the growth of plants.  Not surprisingly, the farmers of the area all harvest extraordinarily large crops and giant fruits and vegetables.  A forgotten cave nearby has a strange stone formation in it that gives off a radiance of evil, and from that cave a particularly aggressive band of giant myconids roam the nighttime countryside.

2418/2922 - Cave Bear Lair - A cavern complex is home to a large family clan of 8 cave bears.  Inside the cavern is an opening to a deeper set of caverns that are home to a family (5) of firecats - the leader of which is intelligent and can speak.  They are protecting a magical portal.

Feb 18, 2013

Haaksen - Sandbox Town

The town of Haaksen (pop. 4,800), which features prominently in the middle of the Sildur Reaches, as an independent town sitting astride the Na Kram - Botts road, is presented here in the expanded view map that I am planning to use for details of the Sildur Reaches sandbox. On the Sildur Reaches map, Haaksen is in hex 2110.

This mapping technique, while old in gaming (I first used it back with Judges Guild products in the early 80s, but also with Harn products in the mid to late 80s), has been presented very nicely, along with useful map templates to accommodate the different views, at The Welsh Piper blog (part one and part two).

Here is the exploded view:

Each little hex is 5 miles across, the five of them combining to make the 25 mile across hex from the large scale map.

This region (around Haaksen) has a number of sizable villages, a lot of farmland (which is dotted with farms, thorpes, and inns), and a number of other interesting features.  The main feature is the large number of lairs (black triangle), but also the ruins (three dots), installations (pillar), and magical sites (henge).  A key will be coming in the next few days.

Feb 17, 2013

Sildur Reaches - Sandbox Map

[I have let this blog go mostly dormant, since September of 2012.  That was when I started teaching my first semester as a Professor at Columbus State University, and I have been busy.  However, I was working away on a number of different parts of the Valley of the Old Ones, although my current gaming interests take me in the directions of doing the next inter-river region of the world, the Sildur Reaches.  I am developing this in the manner of an Old School sandbox region, for players to explore and adventure in, without an over-riding plot or adventure theme.  The first step, of course, is a hexmap of the region . . .] 

So, here is the map of the Sildur Reaches, developed using Hexographer (a fantastic program, I highly recommend it).  Each hex on the map represents 25 miles across.  This is a region approximately 1000 miles wide, and about 600 miles from north to south.  My plans, for sandbox gaming, are to pick one or two areas, and then do a higher detail (smaller scale - probably 5 mile hexes, similar to the old Judges Guild village book hexmaps) treatment, showing lairs, adventure sites, dungeons, ruins, etc.

On the map can be seen the two main cities of the Sildur Reaches, Botts and Na Kram.  Also a number of other features.  In the western part of the Reaches, a lot of the details from the previous work on the Greywater Jarls is visible, including a number of the Steadings of the Jarls.  Here is a list of the main features, by hex number, of this map.

0115 - Furlingga Gnolls (tribal area) Home of a number of roaming tribes of Gnolls.

0303 - Steading of Icewall - Icewall is the name of the northern most of the River Jarl steadings.  It is the home of a very powerful clan of Storm King barbarians, the Isvater clan.  The current head of the clan is Kolfinn Haukson.  He is an old warrior, ruling his great clan, and his huscarls, with a firm but fair manner.  He has a daughter, Vigdis Kilfinndottr - who is young, lovely, and given to romantic adventures.  She has a group of friends, all young ladies, who attend her on all manner of adventures.

0508 - Steading of Rookroost - Rookroost is the name of the steading of the Daughters of the River Raven.  It was once an impressive castle, built high on a rocky abutment that rises some 200 feet above the surface of the Erantor river, which runs out of the Great Owl Forest, to join the Greywater River.  Today, the remains of the ancient castle are still standing, but the steading itself is built into the stone mound that it stands upon.

0512 - Steading of Clearwater - Near the point where the Greywater River passes under a great arch, to run beneath the King's Highway, there stands two fascinating structures. The first, of course is the tall, wide raised up artificial ridge that the King's Highway is built on.  As detailed elsewhere, this artificiality was built by the Old Ones, probably by Ba'a Zarn the Builder.  Up against this raised up ridgeline rises the small castle (steading) of Clearwater.

0516 - Northwind Steading - The furthest south of all the River Jarl Steadings, Northwind is further south than the King's Highway, almost half the distance between the King's Highway and the Great River.  Some way south along the river, is the great ferry crossing of the Greywater, marking the point where the road between the baronies of Huygen and Na Kram cross the Greywater river.

0612 - Steading of Mead Hall - There is a skald's song that starts out "Mead Hall, Mead Hall - Home of Heroes Brave and Tall!"  And it has, indeed, been a home for many heroes over the years.  If there is a Steading of Storm King barbarians that fits the stereotypes that Westroners believe in - it is definitely Mead Hall.

0706 - Steading of Bright Iron -The current Jarl of Bright Iron is called Garret Fingolsson.  His name is a curious one for a Storm King barbarian - since it includes a Westroner first name, but it was the name his father (Fingol the Just) gave him.

0708 - Stone Houses (ruins) - Immediately southeast of Bright Iron, just on the outskirts of the tended agricultural lands under the protection of Jarl Garret's fyrdmen, lay the lands of the Stone Houses.  The Stone Houses are curious round structures, long since out of use by their original inhuman builders, made of stacked stones.  The are similar to a Broch, or round house, that is built by some of the distant Storm King barbarians, however the roofs are all long since rotted off, and some of the stone walls are crumbling. What is curious about the structures, is that they are built for giant beings.  Larger than an ogre, whomever it was that first peopled these stone houses must have been of a great stature, perhaps 15 feet tall?  The typical stone house (as pictured below) has a first story that is partially underground, and then usually two more stories above that, and a peaked roof.  Sometimes the roofs are present (when they were made out of slate or other stone) and sometimes they are long gone (when they were made out of material that would have rotted with age, such as wood or thatch).  The typical structure is approximately 70 tall (at the peak of the roof), and about 80' across the base, at ground level.  Of course, there is variation, so some exist that are taller or shorter, and either bigger or smaller around.

0801 - Rockhome Dwarven Kingdom - Rockhome is a city built into a mountain's roots, it is the capital of a kingdom of Dwarves that exists largely underground.

0811 - Orc Clans (tribal area) - Home of a number of tribes of roaming Orcs.

1004 - Steading of Seawyrm - Seawyrm is the northern most steading of the River Jarls along the Upper Greywater River.  It is still a long way short of the edge of the Destriel Mountains, so the Upper Greywater is quite broad and wide by the time it reaches the shore where Seawyrm is constructed.

1011 - The Scorch - Southeast of Bright Iron, further south east even than the Stone Houses, there is a region along the border of the Orc Clan lands known as The Scorch.  This is a rolling plain, among some gentle swells of the land, where all life has been burnt off.  This was done during one of the wars between the Huscarls of Bright Iron and the Orc Clans.  It was meant as a reminder of the edge of the Orc Clan Lands that Bright Iron would tolerate. 

1018 - Town of Jinette - A walled independent town along the road between Na Kram and Huygens to the west. Population 4,250.

1107 - Sword People (tribal area) - These tribes of vicious and primitive savages are found mostly to the east, across the open plains between the Upper Greywater and the Shadow Woods.  These plains are known as the Blood Veldt.  The Sword People are a simple, bloodthirsty culture of savage barbarians that live in crude tribal groups (with simple shelters of sticks and skins that they erect), and make their basic economy by hunting the wooly rhinos of the Blood Veldt, and the herds of giant reindeer.  Occasionally, and all too frequently, they will have some sort of religious frenzy where the young warriors of the tribes will go on a blood frenzy, traveling in random directions, and slaying any and every living thing they come across, leaving the dead just to rot.  This is where the name Blood Veldt comes from...

1115 - Mongrelbeast Herds - East of Mead Hall, out across the Fields of Aton, between the Greywater River, and the Barony of Na Kram, roam the Mongrelbeast Herds.  These are herds of giant elk, as found in other regions of the valley north of the Great River, but the herds here have been affected by some foul strain of Old One magic.  A long time ago, a savage primitive people, similar to the Sword People north of the King's Highway in the same region, would wander and travel with the Giant Elk herds that have been trapped south of the King's Highway, since it was constructed.  These people, called the Elkmen, would wander with the herds, culling some now and again for food and skins, but mostly living with them in peace, and for protection.  The Elkmen had semi-domesticated some of the beasts to pull their great wheeled huts.  The king of the Elkmen lived in a massive giant wheeled hut called the Roaming House.

1303 - Village of Aderbak - Several days northeast of Seawyrm, towards the southernmost fingers of stony ridges coming down out of the Destriel Mountains, there is a curious village.  It is a small village made of stone buildings, and surrounded by a stout palisade, to aid in warding off the Sword People who venture that way.  The village's name is Aderbak, and it is known to be the home of both the Princess of Roses, and the thorny portal.

1417 - City of Na Kram - Baronial seat of the Na Kram Barony.  Home to the Dungeons of Borleos, a fearsome prison. Hol Kram, the Cathedral of Starry Wisdom, dedicated to Saint Gianna the Oracle, is located in Na Kram.  Population, 18,000.

1502 - Kingdom of the Great Bears - Home of a race of intelligent, magic using cave bears.

2116 - Town of Haaksen - Independent walled town at the crossroads on the road between Na Kram and Wall Morton. Population 4,800.  The Hospital of the Pierced Pelican is here - a religious hospital run by Sisters of the order of St. Brigid.

2812 - Town of Wall Morton - Independent town, with main buildings built on poles in the great Vinemorton Swamp, along the King's Highway. Population 5,200, although mostly outliers.

2819 - Town of Gavaar - Independent trading town on the northern bank of the Great River.  Home of the Corsairs of Iron, funded by the Shiaress of Gavaar. Population 4,700.

2821 - Town of Roesen - Independent trading and fishing town on the southern bank of the Great River.  Rival to the Shiaress of Gavaar, the Patriarch of Roesen funds the Ka'Bleez Marine - a small flotilla of patrol craft to protect trading ships from harassment by the Corsairs of Iron. Population 5,400.

3111 - City of Botts - Baronial seat of the Barony of Botts.  Home to the bardic college of Brandismore, and also to the Grand Lyceum of Abjurative Sorcery.  The Bardic College of  Brandismore is located at Feyd Hall.  The Lute Master of the Hall is Mistress Leanarra Gwayne.  The school of Abjuration is located in the heart of the city of Botts.  It is a walled campus of several buildings built upon a shining plaza made out of curious metals from a fallen asteroid. The head of the Lyceum is the Abjurer Glub Nar (male, human).  Tolbe Cathedral (the Orphans' Cathedral) is located here, and is dedicated to St. Lilliane.  Population, 17,500.

3507 - Fire Mountain - This curious volcano is riddled with layers and layers of caves and cavern complexes.  It is home to a number of dragons, amongst other fouler creatures.

3809 - Town of Willow - Walled riverbank town that runs a ferry crossing the Fa'Ars River. Population 4,400.