Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hex Map Encounters in Yane (part 4)

You can follow along with the map here.


13|23. Coastal/Owl Forest. A cave leads to a potential breeding-ground for beholders. Eyes occasionally appear on plants and trees.
13|24. Coastal/Owl Forest. Selkies patrol the water against the intrusions of weresharks. They avoid the rotting Death Hulk from the Ghostmark War on the sea bottom.

14|13. Plains/Coastal. Villagers here never harm a nightingale on pain of exile or death. This is because the town’s ruler, Lady Szorka (female “human” bard 6, n), is secretly a hive mind of 96 alien nightingales from the far side of the gate in Hex 03|17. She used to be 101 nightingales, but has suffered casualties over the years. Szorka wants to replace her missing parts, but does not know how. She would ask the Stag of the Starry Heavens in Hex 04|16 but does not trust him.

14|14. Hill. DRUZMIRE ABBEY. 300 soldiers and 40 Cothic priests under Dovomex the Sanctified (elderly human male cleric 11, ne). Dovomex knows the truth about Coth and fears that the Cold Council of Lahaz will find out; he plans to replace Imperatrix Zulphine if she suspects the truth. Well-fortified and stocked for a seige; source of the Gray River.

14|15. Plains. Fallow Lahazi farmland. The manse of the long-dead sorceress Trovia is here, accessible by touching a graven stone in a pond guarded by a canny river-drake. Information in the manse points to the serpent in Hex 13|21. Among the manse’s treasures are a wand of acid arrow (40 charges), a wand of the teeth that assemble (22 charges), and bracers of the fated folly.

14|16. Coastal/Plains. The road follows the jagged coast southeast to northwest. A family of gnomes lives hidden on the cliffs among the squawking birds, below the road. They indiscrimately sacrifice people to a gull-faced aspect of Angsuma, hoping that one of them is “perfect”; this infuriates Veshara the mer-mutant in Hex 04|15, who takes a more scholastic approach to raising the Claw of the West.

14|17. Coastal/Istarion Agriculture. TOWN OF SHAR. The roads meet here in a town of 900 people. Ruled by Admio Truftan (old human male fighter 8, cn), a retired mercenary captain from the Baronies. Arrogant and independent, he dislikes the officious soldiers of the Remnant, but has a soft spot for their wizards. He is in love with Arlenn the Philosopher of the Lyceum in Hex 14|18 and tries to woo her (ineffectually) with tales of bravado and gifts of bad wine.

14|18. Coastal/Istarion Agriculture. ARCANE LYCEUM. An attempt to recapture the glories of the Old Realm on the banks of the Istarion River. Arlenn the Philosopher (middle-aged human female transmuter 8, ln) manages around 25 wizards (mostly transmuters of levels 1-3). She dislikes the garrison that Prince-General Voronos—the actual Remnant ruler—has stationed, but recently enjoyed a romance with the garrison leader, Captain Vanree. But the captain has disappeared, and no one knows that he was a death cultist who gave himself to the lich Dwar Ambrose in Hex 08|14. The Lyceum also contains a pedestal with the metallic lower body of a woman. If the metal statue from Hex 07|21 is placed there, it (along with the two other statues) will reveal the location of Muro Casmide’s Tomb (Hex 11|19).

14|19. Istarion Agriculture. Cultivated lands for the Remnant. A wolf with a mirror for a face (the result of one of the Lyceum’s experiments) hunts a small woodland, devouring reflections.

14|20. Owl Forest. FORT SULI. The Raining River (named for the aqueduct that begins in Hex 13|18 and that breaks apart here) divides into the Mernescart River (flows east) and the Ardescart River (flows southwest). They part around a tower-tree ruled by Lady Graine (adult female elf diviner 5/ranger 3/loremaster 2, cg). She commands 30 elves and owns the sun pearl, a powerful device for divination and illusion originally owned by Muro Casmide’s dragon, Thundering. Lady Graine has almost found the location of the item’s companion, the moon pearl, but while she can identify that it’s in Hex 07|18, she can learn no more and cannot spare people to find out. Elven tree roads lead east and southwest.

14|21. Coastal/Owl Forest. PORT CANNAI. The elven tree road leads east-west above the Mernescart River. Most of the east coast is impassable, but there is a small, semi-secret port cove here where elves trade with the outside world.

14|22. Coastal/Owl Forest. Winter home of the White Owl Elves. In the warmer months, maintained by stone statues and a few charmed human pirates.

14|23. Coastal/Owl Forest. Contains a forgotten escape route in case the White Owl Elves fell: passing through a circular hole in a certain tree takes one to Hex 21|19. It’s a one-way trip to a hidden cave containing a sailboat with an elven map and enough supplies (except food, which has rotted) to reach the mainland.

15|14. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. TOWN OF CRESH. Population 2,800. Basically part of Lahaz, except not as well purged of necrotic elements. Serious, recurring shadow problem, but the shadows are held at bay by zig-zags. Inhabited streets form harsh zig-zags; street designs feature triple-lightning-bolts. People wear zig-zagging spirals or starbursts on their clothes and mutter that they are more efficacious than Coth. Shipping here trades freely with Keimia but often refuses Olonto ships.

15|15: CITY OF LAHAZ. 22,300 people, but the city could hold many more. Former vampire city, then pirate base, gone semi-legitimate with semi-legal trade. Bisected by the Gray River. Ruled by the Cold Council (a squabbling aristocrat-guild-temple-tribe council who meet in a permanently-frigid catacomb) and headed by the not-as-easily-controlled-as-she-should-have-been  Imperatrix Zulphine (adult human female sorcerer 4, cg). Zulphine distrusts the church of Coth and wants to improve relations with the elves and dwarves.

15|16. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. The road leads west to Lahaz and northeast around the coast. Called the Road of Hogs, as the ruined eastern extent was turned over to different clans who now squabble endlessly over who owns what pig. Branding is applied liberally to pig and person, to seal contracts or indicate payment, or for the satisfaction that comes from a well-delivered branding.

15|18. Coastal/Istarion Agriculture. The Remnant’s legions train and spar here, as if they believe Lahaz can see them. Their huge plume-banners are visible to ships.

15|19: FORTRESS-TOWN OF VALISONNE. A new fortress, as nothing of the Old Realm fortress remains. 4,200 people ruled by Prince-General Voronos (middle-aged human male fighter 6, le), a ruthless and ambitious expansionist who dreams of becoming the next Emperor of Istarion…if he can just prove his worth. He has begun poaching battle-mages away from the Lyceum.

15|20. Owl Forest. An Old Realm road leads to a bridge that crosses the Ardescart river. Prince-General Voronos of the Remnant has petitioned the elves to yield part of their land to cultivation, but they have refused. An elf wizard waits in a grotto under the bridge, waiting to destroy it should Voronos order an advance.

15|21. Owl Forest. The White Owl Elves’ game preserve: a many-tiered woodland full of fat, tasty ducks with a laughably limited ability to fly. Ponds hold fish and the trees grow with apples and other fruit. The whole region is constantly patrolled.

15|22. Coastal/Owl Forest. Halfling explorers from the Kelder Vale have found themselves trapped by elf guard-automata.

16|13. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. Fishing villages. Villagers have captured a glowing angel of the god Tirwein that was sent to stop the freeing of the Claw of the West. It needs to reach Hex 14|16, but the villagers are depending on it for better fishing and will not let it go.

16|14. The seaside tomb of Eshi, a famous hero who fought alongside Muro Casmide. His tomb is guarded by the living screams of dragons and contains one of Trovia’s fangs (see Hexes 13|21 and 14|15) as well as a +2 shivering spear and a helm of the laconic knight.

16|15. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. The Gray River flows, mingles and divides here, forming agricultural tributaries. The villagers remember the local hero Eshi. Born to be vampire-foodstock, he found a serpent’s tooth that could kill nearly anything and used it to slay several undead monsters, including Alufen (killed in Hex 07|20). This is Trovia’s fang. The exact location of Eshi’s tomb has been lost.

16|16. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. A cruel blue-skinned cloud giant, cast out of the sky after a terrible battle, has enslaved a village by stealing their children. The village feeds him and brings him the materials he needs to return to the clouds and claim the Blue Sun Keep in Hex 07|23. But he asks too much food and someone will probably discover him before he can complete his returning-device.

16|18. Coastal/Istarion Agriculture. The landing-point of the cloud giant in Hex 16|16. The crater is tainted by thunder magic and children born to the villagers there have displayed strange sorcerous powers.

16|19. Coastal/Owl Forest. Elven “smithy” and “factory”: antelope with fine horns, ironwood trees, yaks with glossy hair (bowstrings), hard leaves for armor, and other elfy stuff like that.

16|20. Owl Forest. The Ardescart River divides into the Sirruth River (southeast) and the Frotha Lacha River (southwest).  Huge, intoxicating (and dangerous to outsiders!) flowers mark the elves’ potion- and magic-ingredient-harvesting territories. Expect to be eaten by hostile plants, or impregnated by amorous ones.

16|21. Coastal/Owl Forest. The Forest Heart. The life force of the forest. Tied to the growing life in the northern forests; if destroyed, those forests will wither in hours. Guarded by Croian the Wise (female adult elf druid 10, ng), but she is frequently called away for other tasks.

17|06. Coastal/Sathini Forest. The treasure of Captain Zar the Cruel is buried on this little island. Zar buried thousands of gold pieces, as well as the cutlass of curs, a necklace of triumphant metempsychosis, a crown of the ruby sunrise, and a rod of the wheelmaster. Unfortunately, whoever finds the treasure, greedy dwarves will appear and claim that it is theirs due to baffling dwarven laws that make no sense to non-dwarves.

17|07. Coastal/Sathini Agriculture. Secret training camp for the Crooked Path Assassins, a group of Keimian fanatics exiled for their murderous policies. 15 assassins under Grandfather Waro (elderly male human rogue 5/assassin 8, ne). The Crooked Path currently considers abandoning its political ambitions to become a high-end assassination cartel, perhaps by aligning with Olonto.

17|08. Coastal/Sathini Agriculture. The road to Olonto hugs the coast and looks out on farmland. Ghosts from shipwrecks wander the wooded beaches. They will share the location of their shipwrecks so they can find peace.
17|09. Coastal/Sathini Agriculture. The road hugs the coast. Fishing villages. A few people remember the card-reading woman a few years back who gave helpful prophecies and then mysteriously disappeared. (Andrio, from Hex 07|10, killed her at Lord Heroch’s order.)

17|10. Coastal/Sathini Agticulture. TOWN OF TRILIANA. 1,200 people under Lord Heroch (middle-aged human male aristocrat 8, ne), who married into aristocracy after amassing a shipping (and pirate) fortune. He fears that ghosts or oracles will reveal his crimes, and has necromancers and oracles put to death using his assassin and tailor, Andrio (adult human male rogue 5/assassin 2, ne), who is secretly a member of the Crooked Path from Hex 17|07.

17|15. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. TOWN OF ADOMASTAR. The farthest extent of the old undead city’s ruins. 1,000 people live beneath tall, empty gray columns covered in mouths. Lord Phune (elderly human aristocrat 5, n) rules. He believes the city itself is an undead entity that hates him; Dovomex the Sanctified in Hex 14|14 has used this fear to gain an ally against the Cold Council. The Little Gray River spills into the sea here. Trade is brisk and only moderately haunted.

17|16. Coastal/Lahazi Agriculture. Long-legged birds hunt through the marshes where the Gray River spills into the sea. A Crooked Path assassin from Hex 17|07 has learned to mimic their movements and appears invisible until he strikes. He practices on fishermen, not yet ready to offer his services for a fee.

17|19. Coastal/Southern Plains. Seven long-abandoned towers stand in the sea, connected by spiderwebs. Pirates have captured an enormous spider from the White Owl Forest, a favorite of the elf-children, and the elves want her back.

17|20. Owl Forest. The Frotha Lacha River flows north-south. An elf princess waits in a tower, supremely bored, watched by her avian tutor. The elves plan to use her to secure an alliance with a larger elven nation like the Banwood. She has Bara’s gift for controlling owls, and sends offers of rescue to “brave knights.” None have gotten close to the tower.

17|21. Coastal/Owl Forest. A shipwreck tangled in the huge roots. One passenger, a human sailor, is still alive, but an offended storm god that serves Angsuma caused the wreck and plans to hunt him into the woods.


Only one part left!

No comments: