Let’s Make An OD&D Sandbox Campaign (Part Three).

At this point, I’ve pretty much fleshed out the areas denoted in the Eurychra map, and as mentioned in the last post, grouped most of them up into specific realms, or “kingdoms” (this is a loose term really, but we’ll get more into that later). As such, I figured I would begin this broad overview with those items, seeing as how they predominate the map, and set the tone both politically and historically.

There are already some differences between the map in the last post and the descriptions given below (i.e., in the first entry, the great waste of Eremia has been replaced by the mysterious realm of Amoq). I am in the process of creating a new version, and since I’m doing this on a new laptop, I had to re-download Hexographer (and apparently have lost the old .hxm file, grah). As I mentioned before, the map will undoubtedly go through many changes — possibly more after this much has been detailed, but that remains to be seen. Changes will be noted in italics below, but for the most part the map remains unchanged.

A note on the language abbreviations used with the name definitions: Alv. = Alvarric, or vale-elven; Amq. = Amoqan; Dw. = Dwarvish; Har. = Harwathic; Hyl. = Hylenic, or wood-elven; Ked. = Kedanic (or “Auld Mannish”); Ud. = Udanian.

AMOQ (Amq. “refuge”, this replaces the previous name of Eremia (the Great Waste) on the map). Great blast of arid desert, framed by the Hinder Peaks (q.v.) to the west, and Dread Mountains (q.v.) to its east and south. After his defeat at Bad Galeth (q.v.), Jehar the Usurper was driven here, presumably to his destruction. Legend has it that not only did the people of Jehar survive, but that they prospered, growing into a savage nation. The Hyleni tell of the area being created ages ago when the mad fire-god Ignar was forcibly removed from the world by the goodly-aligned deities. It is possible that some remnant of his evil could be the source from which Jehar’s people derived their power. Nonetheless, Amoq remains a mysterious threat to the free-peoples of Eurychra, albeit one that has yet to show its hand.

ANDLACHEN (Ud. “ford (of the) Andlang”). Free-city north of the kingdom of Udan (q.v.), which is still politically under its auspices and protection, that grew from a trading town frequented by the citizens of that realm, as well as those of Cor Arbirros (q.v.) and Harwald (q.v.). It is now a city proper, walled and protected from the northern Knollands (q.v.), and self-governed.

BRUNHEATH (Dw. “shielded-hill”). Eastern dwarven kingdom, beneath the Dread Mountains (q.v.) and west of the Cilegan River (q.v.). It guards the eastern entrance to the cursed underground complex of Gomlaragravir (q.v.), sworn to defend the surface world from whatever evils that find their way out.

COLUBETH (Ud. “house (in the) clearing”). An established society of humans in the eastern foothills of the Hyperian Mountains (q.v.) who have been rumored to be in contact with the mysterious Urani, or high-elves (q.v.).

COR ARBIRROS (Hyl. “realm of tree-shade”). The kingdom of the Hyleni, or wood-elves. Possibly the oldest known civilization in Eurychra, Cor Arbirros or at least some of its cities have existed since the Elder Age, when the gods and goddesses still walked the earth. The realm is now considered to be the seat of learning and of most forms of knowledge. As of late, however, the wood-elven nation has become more insular, preferring only to deal with outsiders in matters of economic necessity and political urgency. In particular, their dealings with mannish nations have cooled considerably, presumably because they see that race as being unnecessarily violent and short-viewed, taking drastic measure instead of well thought out discourse. While there are some among their race who do not represent these views, those individuals are typically shunned by Hylenic society.

-Akradys (Westfold). The agricultural center of Cor Arbirros, this region has been skillfully cleared of the usually impenetrable foliage to allow more sunlight to its fields and greenhouses.

-Anach-Bor (North Kingdom). The eventual home of the liege of Cor Arbirros, where the current lord (Bathastus) resides with his cabinet and attendants, as well as representatives of all noble houses.

-Bax Thymea (Garden of Spirits). Massive, ornate city of the dead, containing monuments to all the past noble houses, as well as those dedicated to soldiers fallen in battle. Most notably, however, the Bax is known for its many shrines and reliquaries devoted to the god Nomus the Law-giver, patron deity of the realm.

-Cheranoth (Sutherland). This city oversees the nation’s wildlife preserve and hunting grounds. While hunting is seen as both necessary for the common diet as well as a recognized facet of wood-elven heritage, it is now strictly overseen by hunt masters who only allow activity during the given hunting seasons.

-Dom Canal (House of Judgment). The seat of the Nomite clergy, as well as that of the Hylenic Senate, which defers to the king in matters of jurisprudence.

-Makolon (Far Post). Once an occupied trade point which supplied caravans to and from the western sea-elven realm of Hesperia, it has long been abandoned in light of Cor Arbirros’ increasingly insular practices.

-Nao Adelphai (Sister Temples). Abandoned temples of the sister goddesses Thera the Huntress and Tropha the Gatheress, whose worship is now officially forbidden by the Nomite clergy. Nonetheless, the temples have managed to not only be demolished, but are often adorned with sacrifices and offerings.

-Pedimeth (Middlemarch). Known as the Welcome City, it is best known to visitors to Cor Arbirros. Offered are numerous lodging areas and guildhouses, as well as storage buildings and various suppliers. In the current light of the realm’s attitude towards outsiders, Pedimeth is all most visiting parties ever see of the wood-elven kingdom.

FID, TOWER OF. Massive, roughly cobbled spire, which appears more to have extended from the earth below more than built above due to outcroppings of stone which seem to reinforce its structure, is the residence of one of the more mysterious figures in Eurychrian history — the arch-mage Fid. What is known about him could scarcely fill a single parchment, but what is rumored a room full of vast tomes. Few have ever even seen the man, much less know anything about him. What is known is that even the denizens of the Murkmire steer clear of his influence, so if anything his presence provides some stabilization to the area.

GILDUR (Ked. “rugged wall”). Land held by an independent sect of wizards and devotees of the goddess Cutha Gwynhagar (Kedanian Maid of Magic). The people are said to be of a goodly sort, but strange in their ways and customs.

GOMLARAGRAVIR (Dw. “Hall of the Stones Singing”). Immense underground city, located in the extreme southwest of Eurychra, now lost to the ages. Little to nothing is known of its history outside Dwarven society. The kingdoms of Lendalar and Brunheath (qq.v.) keep soldiers at each sealed entrance, and forbid any to attempt entering. Even Hylenic scholars are at a loss for what made the ancient dwarves leave their former homeland, simply citing that “the ancestors of the current lines of Dwarven kings had suffered some tragedy so great that it drove them to abandon all they had ever known, if only to spare their lives and those of their forebears.”

HARWALD (Har. “high forest”). Kingdom of the Harwath, northern cousins of the men of Udan (q.v.). Known informally as the Northmen, like their rugged and heavily forested land, they are a hale and secretive people. Predominated in its southern reaches by the Harrow-moors (q.v.), the people of Harwald are embattled, at odds with all sorts of fiendish enemies spawned from the cold marshland, as well as the western Knollands (q.v.). Nonetheless, they maintain high spirits, wishing to be taken by their patron god Haern the Hunter after dying in battle.

-Budhalm (Foothill). The northernmost province of the realm, and the highest populated area, given the protection of the Hyperian Mountains (q.v.). It consists of mostly women and children, protected by a watch overseen by an earl operating at the behest of the king.

-Cressland (Horseland). The area is devoted to the breeding and training of the stout mounts which provide transport throughout the rugged realm. The horses are renowned throughout Eurychra and are prized as preeminent work animals, and thus are often traded by the Harwath as a high commodity.

-Midwich (Middlewood). The capital and royal province of the land, with the king, his subjects and family, as well as the largest garrison of warriors, ready to mobilize or protect their liege.

-Hillsedge. An abandoned fort at the Knollands eastern reach, rumored by the superstitious Harwath to be haunted by dark spirits.

KHADATH (Alv. “deep secret”, note that the current map does not correspond with the description below; that will be fixed). Lowland nation of the Alvari, or vale-elves, within the southern dale of the River Andlang (q.v.). The next-oldest elven civilization after Cor Arbirros (q.v.), Khadath was settled ages ago by those of the first tribes of elves who wished to be rid of their former kingdom’s Nomic ideology. Unlike the realm of the Hyleni, which is overseen by a strictly patriarchal government, Khadathic society shares the brunt of rule evenly between both genders, even going so far as to have mated pairs as joint leaders of their nation. Also unlike Cor Arbirros, Khadath has maintained a close relationship with their allies, in particular the northern mannish kingdom of Udan (q.v.).

-Caer Amphis (Vineland). The largest agricultural province of the realm, so named after the massive vineyards which proffer vintages that are celebrated throughout Eurychra. They are so beloved by the dwarves in particular that when a group of hill-giants from the southernmost Cragged Peaks (q.v.) were sighted heading north, the king of Lendalar (q.v.) sent an entire garrison of stalwart dwarves to aid in defending against the invaders.

-Fanarel (Clearing). The western agricultural province of Khadath, which is more devoted to cereal grains and fruit groves.

-Krimnach (Cliffs-edge). The largest city-state of the vale-elves, serving as capital and seat of government.

-Meryma (Riverside). Historic first settlement of the tribe of Thariel, the elven leader who would eventually become the first queen of Khadath. It has long since been abandoned, but features a monument to her (Thariel’s Well) and their ancestors’ flight from Nomic oppression.

-Vardanath (Hillguard). Former fort erected to protect the southern agricultural lands, this before the current (albeit uneasy) pact with the mad arch-mage Fid (q.v.) was in place, to protect the vale- elves from the Murkmire in return for limited trade.

LENDALAR (Dw. “Dale-land”, note the mountain range has not yet been extended). Western dwarven kingdom, directly south of the desert realm of Amoq (q.v.), separated by the lowest reach of the Dread Mountains (q.v.). Like its sister kingdom Brunheath to the east, Lendalar was founded by an exit from the forgotten city of Gomlaragravir (q.v.), where their standing soldiers remain ever watchful.

UDAN (Ked. “forest”). Central mannish kingdom extending along the run of the River Andlang (q.v.). Originally known as Kedan (‘east’) when the first tribes of men settled there after their exodus from Hesperia (q.v.), the realm was renamed much later after a savage civil war (which resulted in the Battle of Bad Galeth (q.v.)), the migration of many of their people to the north (to found the kingdoms of Colubeth, Gildur and Harwald (qq.v.)) and a long campaign against the foul denizens of the Hinder Peaks (q.v.) drove the remaining kingdoms to consolidate under one crown.

-Balcagost (‘ridge-keep’). The central agricultural center of Udan, this area benefits most from sunlit clearings and the rich soil supplied by the dale of the Andlang. From sprawling fields, fragrant groves and ample pastures, it is truly the heart of the realm, as it supplies its neighboring city-states with the majority of their food throughout each year.

-Eburelon (‘white-oak’). Named after the tree prevalent in the region, Eburelon eventually became the capital of Udan after its fifth king Foregund managed to convince his fellow lieges to combine their resources and better protect the realm as a whole. Now the White City is regarded as one of the greatest in all of Eurychra, a spectacle of art, architecture and natural beauty, as well as the pinnacle of mannish society.

-Magdal-Ayin (‘watch-tower’). Positioned between the northern Rivelwood (q.v.) and the southern reach of the Hinder Peaks (q.v.), the city-state of Magdal-Ayin primarily serves as a means of defense. The northern garrison of the Udanian reserve is stationed here, ready at a horn’s blast to assemble.

-Malacath (‘southern rise’). The home of Udan’s southern garrison, it is better known for the High Temple of Baal, now known as the kingdom’s patron deity. Originally the first such temple built in the name of the sun-god, it was later renovated by Foregund after taking over kingship of the entire realm.

A huge post, yes — but the first peek at what will be an ongoing work. I am having a blast at this point, with this turning out to be a solid foundation for lots of world-building to come. I’m sure at some point I’ll be porting stuff out to .pdf files (with illustrations and good ol’ Century Gothic type), but for the time being we’re still working out the broad strokes, here. More to come…

 

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