Monday, September 16, 2013

The Wide World Gazetteer

A slightly revised version of very old post, presented by request.
This is for the world of the dwarf thing. I did not key everything, and likely I fucked some stuff up, but I'll be putting in a bit more time on this at the close of the project. For the sake of convenience I have reposted the map.

The Wide World:

The region known (to the dwarfs at least) as The Wide World lies just north of the Imperial Sea. Once, long ago, the area existed as province of the Grall (or Unified) Empire, but in the present, the region is contested territory with many groups fighting for control and survival. Locals look back on the ill-remembered Grall past as a sort of golden age in the same way they look back on the more recently departed Dwarf Empire as a the absolute worst of times. Neither is accurate, but that has little bearing on the day-to-day lives of most. This is not the case, however, for every one; adventurers spend their lives delving into the ruins of the Grall, the Dwarfs and the civilization that existed between the two, seeking glory, riches, or perhaps the power granted by forgotten relics of these lost ages. Dwarfs bear the further burden of the pervasive persecution, which,,aside from the gnolls, is the most enduring legacy of Hex-King Wound's Necro Empire.

The Black Spire is a massive and fortified tower, built of black basalt. One of only a few intact Grall era fortifications in the region, the original purpose of the Black spire is unknown; although it is thought that it may have been a temple. Currently it is controlled by the evil human sorcerer, Rictus, who styles himself as Witch King. lthoigh he is clearly less powerful than King Wound, he has managed to gather about him a huge army of gnolls.

Blyx is situated at the eastern edge of Olde Dragon Swamp. Populated by men and dwarves for the most part Blyx conducts trade with everyone from the lizard men of the swamp to the white apes of the Crags. A council of human wizards known as the Silent Society runs Blyx. The city’s trade is prosperous and the Silent Society uses the wealth generated thus to influence affairs far and wide. Blyxian spies are said to infest every city, church and court throughout the land.

Centarus: A wide open grassland, inhabited by megafauna and controlled by the 12 savage centaur nations.

The Crags, a broken, rocky badlands, represent the sad remains of an ancient mountain chain, worn away by time, and shattered by earthly upheaval. Although oases hide among the rocks in a few places, most of the Area is barren and merciless. Outlaws and savage bands of white apes fight over what little there is.

Glistendome. Built long ago by the Grall, Castle Glistendome resides on the Green Isle in The Witch’s Water and is a mighty fortress city. The city has been held by the elves for thousands of years. When they took ownership of the city, the elves assumed stewardship of the Bird of Omens, the Wood Wall and the Wyrd tree. Like many imperial constructions the castle and the city below are riddled with secret passages and hidden chambers. The Old Road, an ancient imperial thoroughfare, runs west from Castle Glistendome to the shattered gates of ruined Moon Keep.

The Gloomy Mountains: Ancient basaltic mountain range. The average peak is about 12,000 feet high at the summit, although Mt. Thorn and several others a much loftier. The extent of the range is unknown and no records exist of anyone visiting the western slope. In the southern expanse of the range some of the deeper valleys contain microclimatic pockets of jungle. Major settlements in the mountains include Urux, located in the Vale of Sorrow, and the Gnollic stronghold at the Black Spire.

The Witch Wood: Ancient home of the elves, the wood continues to the north and east of what is shown on the map. All manner of beasts inhabit the forest. Although there are many elves living at Castle Glistendome, many more live throughout the forest. The elves trade the products of their magical orchards, and handmade treasures of many sorts, with the men of Blyx and the Dwarves of Kurg.

Jungle of Nar: situated at sea level the Jungle of Nar has a much warmer wetter climate than most of the province. Gargantuan, ancient creatures found nowhere else in the province reside in this storybook rain forest. Mysterious ruins of unknown but obviously ancient origin, perhaps predating even the Forgotten Empire, are strewn through out the depths of the forest. The city of Kurg, a dwarfish whaling town resides at the edge of the primeval forest, along the southern coast of the province. It is perhaps one of the only places in the Wide World where the dwarfs live as something other than second class citizens.

Kurg: At the the close of the Second Summer, the dwarves who fled the horror unleashed at Urux (then called Bal-Rindurr) settled far to the south of the catastrophe and took up the hunting of whales and other giant beasts of the sea. Since this initial settlement, the folk of Kurg have prospered, and the settlement has changed but a little. Following long tradition the city minds its own affairs, taking its living from the jungle and the sea.

The Lurch: As a name, “The Lurch” refers both to the large dormant volcano just south of the Screeching Stones and the stunted malformed woodland that surrounds its swollen eminence. The Serpent People made a city here once, deep in pre-imperial times. Over the epochs, successive volcanic events buried and sealed away several iterations of the great city. Each time the volcano erupted the serpent people would return and create another layer. These cities exist now, one piled atop the other, all entombed beneath the flank of the great mountain.

The strange and twisted woodland, which surrounds the volcano, is famous for its carrion stench and populations of giant insects.

The Moon Hills: Fog shrouded, lycanthrope infested and wizard haunted highland region. There are many minor imperial ruins in this region. Warring clans of Halflings reside in cold, ramshackle castles separated from one another by leagues, brought together by hatred and an endless cycle of blood feud.

Moon Keep: Ruined Grall site. An intact funerary complex is situated beneath the remains of main structure.

Stargleam’s Wall: Perhaps the signature relic of the Second Summer. The elvish king Stargleam had this wall built in order to hold back the forces of the first Witch-King, Wound, but something went very wrong. Stargleam’s chief advisor and Wizard, Althon betrayed him by secretly defiling the Wall with forbidden rituals. As a result a presence entered the spaces between the walls within the great wall. Things fell apart. At first, the wall crumbled and resisted repair. Later, over the course of a single night remembered now as the Grief the soldiers manning the great wall went insane and slew one another- down to the last. Mores elves died in that one night then during the entirety of the Summer War up until that point. The elves were effectively undone, the few who remained fled to Camirill. With the elves defeated, the Summer War entered its final phase. Althon raised the thousands of dead soldiers along the wall as mindless revenants of savage aspect. He set them upon the forces of Wound- only to have the Hex-King wrest control away and add the revenants to his already vast armies.

Old Dragon Swamp: roughly 100 years after the Grief, a dragon came down upon the elvish countries. His wrath devastated the land and transformed it. where once there had been a lake now there was a stinking smoking fen. Although, he is rarely seen these days, it is commonly believed that Igor still resides in the swamp. Igor is the most powerful single entity in the province. Many worship him as a god. His agents move in every walk of life, throughout the province.

Urux: At the end of the second summer, the dwarfs who worked and lived at Bal- Rindurr had advanced the arts of mining and metallurgy to new heights. The dwarfs, however, unknowingly crowned a murderous necromancer. The ruinous legacy of this act still lies heavy across the land. (But is covered in more detail elsewhere)

The Witch Wood: ancient haunted forest, long believed to be cursed. The elvish court and people were driven to the witch wood after Igor destroyed Camarill. In exchange for a place within the wood, the forest god Mogu, made the elves bind themselves to the forest through a magical ritual. The ritual made the elves the stewards of the forest. Mogu has remained silent since the time of the great ritual, but it is rumored that he will return if he grows dissatisfied with his chosen stewards.

The Witch Water is a haunted lake which contains Glistendome and the island upon which it was built. At night, shimmering spectral shapes slide to and fro beneath the waves and when the moon is full the ghostly ruins of cities long forgotten can be seen aglow upon the lake floor.


  1. Lots of adventurous hooks there, and the map had kind of a Known World feel, which is cool.

  2. Lots of cool stuff, lots of empty space to come up with cool stuff in play too. BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

  3. Great stuff, your maps, all of them, are the kinda maps i want to navigate with