19 October 2015

Random Wilderness

Original Sketch
Here’s a fun thing. Killing time I used the random wilderness tables from the Delving Deeper Reference Rules Compendium to create a little 37-hex micro-setting. My word it’s a dangerous place!

I started off with a town which might be the base-camp and immediately generated a second town in the adjacent hex. The town is now a city. This small area also houses four village (3 farming communities of 100 folks each, no doubt supporting that city of 7,000) and one larger settlement of 300.

There are four lairs; the second of which is an ogre camp (Blackwall Keep, they built it so it looks like a ruin) adjacent to the city! An uneasy peace there methinks. To the north, across a forded river, a mighty sink hole home to a purple worm. No doubt there will be cultists throwing sacrifices by the cartload into that toothy maw. In the mountains to the south is the Fastness if Iban - a lair of gargoyles and in the south east a ruin that is home to a small (20) clan of hobgoblins.

The largest village lies adjacent to the hobgoblins and one of the smaller communities sits between the hobs and the ogres!

Aside from that I generated two fords and a few rivers which I linked either during or after the process, seven mountains, five woods and a single swamp. A trail runs through the swamp but the city looks rather isolated.

I’ve never tried that exercise before (!) but I really enjoyed it and rather than just being an excuse to kill some time, I’m going to use it.

After a short break and a minute or two mulling over ideas, the following narrative emerged from the random dice throws:
Player's Map

T1 and 2: The City (Ridmark)
Ruled by Lord Emile Hesard (M-U7, C) is something of a walled nightmare. A mix of luxurious palatial estates and sprawling slums in a near-ruin state. Hesard maintains an inner circle of wealthy merchants, each of whom suffers under the yoke of the wizard’s Charm Person magic. Beyond the city gates stands Blackwall Keep (L2); a fort built and maintained by the Blackwall ogre clan brought to the area by Hesard to provide protection for the city - there is little in the way of law within the walls.

V1: Eastgate
Village (100 people) that exists to service the city dwellers. The folk are well-paid and wisely choose to live outside the city.

V2: Vale
A small sheep-farming community (100+ inhabitants). Lord Hesard has them send most of their live stock to Blackwall Keep. The plan is to fill the ogre’s bellies with mutton instead of men. It’s an otherwise unremarkable valley village watered by runoff from the highlands to the South and South-West.

V3: Lydmore Green
Another tiny community, this one maintaining 50-head of cattle.

V4: Edgefield
The largest local village (300+ inhabitants) overseen by alderman Edvar Munn (F3, N) one of Lord Hesard’s charmed conspirators. 

L1: The Mountain Fastness of Iban
The monastery has seen no human residents for nigh-on ten years. A group of sixteen malign gargoyles make their lair here (Type C treasure: 4 gems 30 gp and 3 x 100 gp)

L2: Blackwall Keep
A relatively new site (18 months), the fort was constructed by the 12 ogres who dwell here, as such it looks like its been falling down for decades.

L3: Golmund (ruin)
A town ransacked and abandoned decades ago. A hobgoblin war band numbering 30 warriors now call the ruin home (type D treasure: 4,000 cp, 3,000 gp, potion of resistance to fire). The focus their energies on the trade caravans to the south-east so as not to incur the wrath of the Blackwall ogres.

L4: Splinter Valley
A deep sinkhole is home to Blind Tom a purple worm of legendary horror. Some, particularly the city’s elite quietly worship Blind Tom as Zushtu the Eater believing him to be an elder god (type D treasure: 2,000 gp, jewellery 900 gp, potion of giant’s strength).

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