Tuesday, January 28, 2020

More work on the Wild North

Working through the last of the terrain entries for the Wild North. It is a bit of a challenge to try to summarize dozens of square miles in a few sentences and make it a useful inspiration for a campaign.

One reason I added terrain entries is that during the Necromancer Games Wilderlands project I saw how useful they were to summarize an area of the map that would otherwise be a series of separate hex entries.

So after this I will have to go through the text and correct any obvious editing mistakes as well as consistency. Finally I will pick out a few locales and draw small local maps in the same way I did Castle Blackmarsh in Blackmarsh.

Finally I will able to get this edited and into the layout process. Below are some of the latest samples from the text.

The Frostgrims (Hex 0428)
Snowcapped spires reach into sky fencing ice filled valleys. Amid the shadows, Remorhaz (HD 6 to 13) tunnel beneath the ice and snow. Frost Giants (HD 10+3) dwell in castles built on the stony crags. They consider Remorhaz to be a great delicacy and hunt them alongside packs of Winter Wolves (HD 5).

Throughout the mountains are the ruined towers of Thules, Outposts established to harvest crystalline shards of viz that freeze out of the air in the early morning before dawn on the highest peaks (Hexes 0226, 0228, 0328, 0329). The Thules had to act quickly as they would melt an hour after the sun rises.

Searching for Viz
Typically 1d6 viz will appear 1d3 hours before dawn. Each viz takes 1 hour per person with arcane knowledge to find. A serious danger is the thin air, without magic characters have to make a saving throw every hour or pass out. It typically takes two hours of climbing to reach the peaks. The Thules used magic carpets or the fly spells to cut down on the travel time as well as using a lost variant of Control Winds to thicken the air in order to breath properly while searching.

The Great Glacier (Hex 0320)
Once covering nearly all of the Wild North, the Great Glacier is still slowly retreating to the northwest. It southeast face is riddled with crevasses and subglacial caves where icy cold streams emerge. Calving ice sheets are also a danger as in some areas the glacier’s edge forms a cliff 10 to 20 feet high. Travel on the glacier’s surface is also hazardous due to the numerous crevasses and moulins. A moulin is a sinkhole up to 10 feet in diameter that in a few cases reaches down to the bottom of the glacier.

Aside from the dangers of the terrain, the glacier surface is relatively free of animal life or monsters. A few small Remorhaz (HD 6 to 8) lair in the southern third. The white dragon, Rekokardek, is known to lair somewhere in northern third of the glacier (Hex 0215). The glacier’s flat surface makes surprising her almost impossible.

More common are the ruins of the Thules and the occasional Frost Giant castle (Hex 0421) found amid the nunataks jutting above the glacier surface. The ancient Thules used their towers on the glacier as a bastion from which to rule their fallen empire. They experimented with magic involving water and ice, some of which still remains undiscovered beneath the gravel and snow.