Sunday, November 24, 2013
Hex Map Encounters in Yane (part 1)
You can follow along with the map here.
01|18: Swamp of Painted Skin. Diseased swamp. Bog mummies enact the ritual tripartite death (throat cut, skull bashed in, drowned) on whoever they encounter around their shrine—thus creating more bog mummies. Beneath their ritual site is a +2 braining club and a torc of kingly tides.
01|19: Coastal. Stony island with three lighthouse beacons. Intended to warn ships in winter, their real purpose is to keep the Claw of the West in Hex 04|15 from awakening; if extinguished, mi-go will attack and decerebrate people to store them in brain canisters.
02|16: Coastal/Muro Forest. Drabs (talkative crow-parrot crossbreeds) have learned several mind control spells (cause fear, charm person, etc.) from an enchanted mural that recites spells as a teaching aid. Braving the drabs (who can compel people to drown themselves or leap off cliffs) leads to a lecture hall that contains a spellbook with most 1st to 4th-level enchantment spells, a book of panoplies, and a wand of Drusian’s enrapturement (35 charges left).
02|18: Swamp of Painted Skin. CASTLE INDIGO. Old fortress of Simani’s warlord Calrath (wight barbarian). Contains countless undead dangers as well as great treasures, including Calrath’s scimitar, a fan of many fingers, and a coronet of deballation.
02|19: Swamp of Painted Skin. Enormous mangrove trees and waterfalls hide degenerate remnants of drow elf servants of Calrath (Simani’s warlord) and their bloody ink-rites. Their Tattoo Engine is in poor repair.
03|16. Coastal/Muro Forest. Stone heads look out on a misty, treacherous shore ill-suited to landing. The heads are intricately balanced by Old Realm engineering. Within, former pet dogs have gained intelligence and now communicate through howls with the werewolves in Hex 3|18.
03|17. Muro Forest. A magical gate, long abandoned. Sometimes aberrations flap through it. Hidden from almost every angle except from the observatory in Hex 03|18 are golden treasures pulled from some alien realm, including a portable fane, a +1 sword of the wind that blows between the stars, and a figurine of wondrous power (obtunding marmot).
03|18. Muro Forest. THE STARWATCHER’S GARDEN. Observatory of the long-slain necromancer Patabesh, now given over to a pack of cruel werewolves created by the feral vampire heart now in Hex 13|14. Their leader, Angranicor of the Emeralds, tries to convince the intelligent dogs of Hex 3|16 to serve him. From the top of the “garden,” anyone with a looking glass can see a golden treasure far below in Hex 3|17. The Great Rift of Hex 4|17 is also visible.
03|19. Muro Forest. The Lance River flows south-to-north. On the east bank, a massive fungal growth, Mother Mushroom, now guarded by water elemental centurions from Hex 03|20, chokes the landscape and calls out for slaves to feed it.
03|20. Coastal/Muro Forest. TOWER OF THE HYDROMANCER. Perpetually rainy. Not really a tower—actually a converted submarine. Here Tromorios the Hydromancer (middle-aged male gnome water-mage 8, ng) studies magic with the help of a dozen charmed human and ogre pirates. Mother Mushroom from Hex 03|19 recently carried off several of his water elementals. One of the pirates, Scalwash (adult human female rogue 5, ne) is no longer charmed and is contact with the LYCEUM (Hex 14|18), who want Tromorios back for stealing a twelve demon tankard.
03|21. Coastal/Muro Forest. GHENRI. Keimian Village of 800 ruled by Daxxer (middle-aged human male aristocrat 2, ln). People believe a well spirit protects their village from undead and pirates. In truth it’s Corrosion (young black dragon) who hides in the well and prepares for her emergence. She has secretly been tainting the blood of young people, turning them into sorcerer-knights loyal to her.
03|22. Coastal/Muro Forest. In a raised, walled garden, the druid Senya (half-elf adult female druid 8, ng) studies the necrotic corruption beneath her to learn how to combat it elsewhere in Muro Forest. She occasionally needs people to descend into the dark, haunted woods to procure samples.
04|14. Coastal/Muro Forest. A martially-submerged Old Realm temple to Sidian, God of Chariots (now deceased). Unusually susceptible to the moon and tides, haunted by drowned zombies and sacred to the werewolves in Hex 03|18. The vampiress in Hex 08|23 once kept her heart within, but it grew ambitious and escaped.
04|15. Coastal/Muro Forest. Beneath the waves here, a mutant mer-creature called Veshara the Seeper works to awaken an ancient, slumbering power called the Claw of the West. She needs three things to awaken the beast: 1) to extinguish the watchtowers in Hex 01|19, 2) to find and execute the “perfect sacrifice” in the cliffs of Hex 14|16, and 3) to banish the watchers in Hex 21|06.
04|16. Coastal/Muro Forest. The Stag of the Starry Heavens (magical beast, cn) dwells here. Occasionally appearing like a man with a stag’s head and occasionally as a stag made of stars, he came through the gate in Hex 03|17 ages ago and longs to return. He can teach a skilled (level 5+) bard, sorcerer, or wizard the methodology of returning and effect his escape, but doing so will open the gate for over an hour, letting unwelcome things through. He will offer fine clothes and private planets to anyone who helps him. Most local wizards know about him and teach their apprentices to avoid his honeyed words.
04|17. Muro Forest. Great Rift. A steep rift with a nest of harpies. (They are as rude as custom dictates, but also knowledgeable of astrology.) Ritualists know that they can summon the colossal ghost of Ahn Roch, the first cleric to bind the gray god Coth, by calling to the birds from a special peak here. The Stag of the Starry Heavens in Hex 4|16 knows the rite, and it can also be found coded on the ceiling of the Capitol Building in Lahaz (Hex 15|15).
04|18. Muro Forest. The Lance River flows south-to-north here. It is nearly impassable except for a Sword Bridge that can only be crossed by the pure of heart (good-aligned). Neutrals fall into the water, evil characters are sliced in half and become (two) perytons. Each side of the bridge has a castle guarded by two elderly fallen paladins, brother and sister, who knew Muro Casmide, betrayed him, and now shoot arrows at one-another because they cannot pass the bridge. One has the stone hand of the statue in Hex 06|20.
04|19. Muro Forest. The dragon Memory of Rain (male adult copper dragon) dwells here and will offer rides in a gilded cage to anywhere on the island for a fee of 1,000 gold pieces. Slow Apes (permanently affected by Memory of Rain’s slow gas) dressed in velvet jackets and short pants attend to the dragon’s needs, but will explode into action (hasted) if the dragon or his treasure is threatened. His treasure includes thirteen elemental-themed swords, which Memory of Rain explains are intended for a company of future heroes who will arise 55 years from now.
04|20. Muro Forest. Painted zombies rest here inside a flower-covered barrow. Painted zombies were Silani’s favorite servants. They are much like regular zombies but with SR 15. If their Spell Resistance works, they absorb any spell of up to 3rd level cast on them (in addition to benefiting normally from spell resistance) and unleash it the next time they hit with an attack. They have a 10% chance of having a spell already. Their barrow contains a +2 suit of unfurling chainmail and a haversack of recollections.
04|21. Coastal/Muro Forest. Hidden pirate cove surrounded by fruit trees planted by Lord Muro after his defeat of Silani. 32 assorted cutthroats led by Captain Chotwaithe (middle-aged male human rogue 3/sorcerer 3, ce) aboard the Storm Villain 2. (The first ran aground after stealing a cargo of enchanted pigs from Hex 19|17.) The captain knows about the horn in Hex 05|22 and has plans to seize it. He fights with a +1 bident of sonic elemental command and favors storm magic.
04|22. Coastal/Muro Forest. Seal rookery. Hundreds of seals descend on the beach during summer and winter (different species at each time). Those that remain during the off-season are often selkies. Because selkies once rescued Muro Casmide, the beach is sacred. Hunting is not allowed, and several Keimian rangers watch the water. The selkies have recently lost a newly-turned half-breed, currently stranded in Hex 10|17. An amulet carried by one of the rangers can help stabilize her form until she reaches the ocean.
05|14. DROOM. Fishing village, population 150. For almost a century, the village has flung unwanted children off the cliffs. They are gathered up by an immortal prophetess who uses their minds to extend her computational power, allowing her to predict the future. Wizards and hierophants journey here to speak to her. Characters will have to wait in line behind 1d6-1 extraordinaries to see the prophetess.
05|15. Coastal/Muro Forest. Long-abandoned city-temple to Heptinion, Old Realm God of Good Counsel (now dead). Sea elves have taken up residence and if treated well, will describe the coastline and its hazards. Aqueduct remnants lead to Hex 05|16.
05|16. Forest. LAKE SCATHO and surrounding villages. Created ages ago by the Old Realm by flooding an existing town to serve as a reservoir for the temple in Hex 05|15 (Aqueduct remnants lead there.) The temple gong occasionally reflects golden in the sunlight. It contains the ghosts of those who died, but with the gong’s hammer (found in Hex 07|14), the gong can project the wrathful ghosts at enemies. A road leads southwest to the mountains and aqueduct remnants lead to Hex 05|15.
05|17. Forest. A wise lynx has learned the trick of anchoring itself in the soil to feed from the nutrients there. This has infuriated a nearby treant, who has begun to devour the sheep of a nearby village. “Redclaws” is sneaky and has become a local legend.
05|18. Hills. A druid, Hothalikki (adult male human druid 6, n), leads a behemoth with trees growing out of its back, seeking a place to plant. He and his behemoth have come from across the sea, but does not know that he came because of the mad treant in Hex 05|17.
05|19. Hills. The Lance River flows south-to-north here. On its banks, hidden by stones and shadows, rises the petrified remnants of Silani’s mount, the Behemoth Worm. Currently occupied by Chole Dax, a wizard thrown out of the Arcane Lyceum for dueling. Chole Dax’s more significant treasures include a rod of nine moons and a placard of the arendator.
05|20. Muro Forest. NEEDLE TOWER RUINS. All that remains of Simani’s fortress: needle-like spines blackened by dragon fire and scoured by armies of knights. A garrison of 100 Keimian soldiers and 12 knights led by Madame Gathry Numenai (middle-aged human female fighter 6, lg) stands watch over the ruins. They have lost several scouts to Chole Dax in Hex 05|19 but can spare no more time investigating.
05|21. Muro Forest. A wide black road here leads to and from the Needle Tower Ruins. Occasionally a knight can be spared to watch the road, but often youths and maidens riding black mares can be seen running errands to and from various parts of the Lower Planes, black hair streaming behind them. They may stop to make sport of mortals.
05|22. Coastal/Muro Forest. Lichen-encrusted skeletons guard a horn that, if blown, will call a dozen of the black riders who frequent Hex 05|21 to service.
06|13. A treant sits meditating as he has for 30 years, hemmed in by skeletal archers with enchanted, everburning arrows. A wight with minor druidic powers prevents the treant from magically calling for help.
06|14. Fen of the Harbinger. A giant-sized ruin contains a floating sphere where two serpent-women are imprisoned. They have not tasted freedom for ages and need only the Lesser Golden Globe (in the Inn of the Screaming Hog, Hex 06|16) to escape. They can exercise power over worms and albinos, even from their prison.
06|15. Muro Forest. An illusion of the Old Realm, complete with towers and temples, that has beguiled several scholars, trapping them amidst its grandeur.
06|16. Muro Forest. THE INN OF THE SCREAMING HOG. Devils meet each other here at the crossroads once every few months. An ignored bard sings of the Tomb of Muro and the Three Statues. The inn's owner sleeps with his head on a golden globe, believing it whispers the secrets of financial success in his ears--it is the globe of the serpent-women in Hex 06|14.
06|17. Hills. The Old Realm Road runs east-west. Just off the road is the underground fortress-tomb of the Corpse Tiger General, one of Simani’s warmasters. A handful of Remnant villagers make pilgrimages to worship and sacrifice to him. The door remains magically locked unless the password is spoken—the password is on the hermit in Hex 19|17. Significant treasures include an eternal tea sachet, gloves of the vastator, and the General’s own +1 flesh-scorn shield.
06|18. Mountains. TOWN OF GRAWNICCA. Population of 950 dwarves. Their leader, Sindwar Pomiri (old male dwarf rogue 4, n), favors gaining help from the ancestors in case the Necrotic Empire should return. His castellan, Sindwar Nazor (old male dwarf aristocrat 2/necromancer 4, ne), has secretly made contact with the Corpse Tiger General in Hex 06|17 and plans to surrender the dwarf cities to him.
06|19. Hills. LAST WALL INN. The proprietor, Udolphus (middle-aged male halfling ranger 4, n) spies for the Olonto. He currently seeks several enchanted pigs native to Sathini, which wander the Muro Forest (a wandering encounter). The Nebulous River begins here.
Originally I'd planned to start with an outline of Yane's population and more about the island's geography but then I realized that was super-boring, so here are some useful plot-hooks scattered around the landscape. I probably have about four more pages of these.
The italicized location indicators ("hills," "Muro Forest," etc.) are for wandering encounter tables that I have not yet written up. The magical items are, for the most part, fanciful and non-canonical.