Category: Location


We never touched the Great Sand Sea, but it touched us. The road from Bahan Hollow to Hellpsort overlooks the southern reach of the Southlands’ most lethal desert. The sun was descending into the Ocean Delb as we walked west. A few paces beyond the road, the cliff tumbled in a frozen flight of sheer-stepped rock and scrag shrubs down and down into the clouds of sand and dust that perpetually shift over the Great Sand Sea.

We continued along, far above–or so we thought–the breath of the Great Sand Sea. The sun set and an evening storm of electricity and shadow quickened and swept inland from the Delb. It spread fast. Before the first of the Six Sisters had pierced the dusk, black and blue lightning leaped from clouds to sky and down. Winds came at us; we had no shelter along the wide road, atop the cliff. We did what seemed best: moved off the road, away from the drop, toward the shrublands.

Dust pursued us, pushed by the storm. Thunder resounded. I looked back, compelled by other sounds, too: howling that was too animal for the wind, a snapping like fire. Sharp sand, like thistles of glass, stung my face.

I tell you that the Great Sand Sea holds eldwyrms. I saw one riding the shadow and lightning currents blown in from the Delb. Before I could look away and plunge into a sheltering cluster of shrubs, I saw its tattered wings like rags and did not understand how it held itself in such winds, how it rode them, its electric carnivorous eyes incomprehensible with joy, terror, or both; I could not tell.

Hellsport, formerly Jannyn or Saint Jannyn, is the westernmost city in the country of Cammaris. An isolated and insular city, Hellsport is bordered on the west by the Ocean Delb and the Natchmure Isles; to the east the mountainous Jags and Buctles rise and give way to a meager stretch of prairie that is subsumed by the Great Sand Sea.

The Mercantile or Port District at the westernmost edge of Hellsport terraces up from Damnaub Bay. Larger ocean-bound vessels crowd the inner bay, with local fishing and crabbing skiffs pushing in and out from the northwest arm. Trade with the Natchmure Isles and lands beyond has increased during the reign of the Princes as predation by pirates has significantly decreased. The Princes remain officially silent about their involvement with or antagonism toward the pirates, though the local population continues to speculate freely.

The closest city is Lamial to the northeast of the Great Sand Sea. Between Lamial and Hellsport is the small town of Crescent Village, which supports Wedgewood Academy, providing food, services, and instructors. As the Academy has suffered decline in the wake of the Princes, so has the village. Southeast of Crescent Village, the Wedgewood abuts the Buctles and thins into the Great Sand Sea.

Tucked into a pocket between the Buctles, the Great Sand Sea, and Margil Lake, the people of Margil Prarie farm and hunt. The Margilites have welcomed the recent establishment of Bronch, a Paltinian community founded in response to the religious repression of the Six Princes of Hellsport. The Paltinians of Bronch depend on the Margilites for food; in turn, the Palintians provide charms, remedies, and rituals to the Margilites.

The Princes of Hellsport have given the citizens certain licentious freedoms that were constrained under Paltinian theocracy. Largely these are freedoms of the body: freedom of movement after dark; freedom to consume all types of meat, alcohol, and drugs; freedom to choose marriage or not, regardless of gender, and the provision of polygamy licenses. Freedoms of the mind have also been granted: the right to literacy and debate; freedom to consume mind-altering or -enhancing drugs; freedom to freely research and practice conjuration, abjuration, and augmentation; and the establishment of Shadow and Lantern Academy of Summoning.

Oh Vannilisp Tar,

In a word, no. I don’t believe you ever laid eyes on the Princes during your time in Hellsport. From what I understand, most of your hours were spent in gibbering revelry as you staggered between poniam dens and liquor pits in High Ock. Besides, your sister has already completed several sections of the Hellsport edition; she has told me that you and she planned to collaborate, but after your draft, which is at least erroneous and probably offensive to the majority of Hellsportans, I have decided to depend solely on Bannia’s material.

I trust that this will not cause family problems. If it does, Bannia has my support at this juncture.

Do not forget that no small measure of your fame comes from more sober, considered material you’ve written for Bousprint. Please be aware that I still hold your critical analyses of Raspician martial arts in high esteem; perhaps after you’ve recovered from your latest excesses, you could return to such material.

I Am,

Asuna Breand, Editor-in-Chief, Bousprint

Let’s see what happens with this. I have a terrible history of starting projects I don’t finish. I mean, look at the last time I posted anything here.

Well. As happens when I drive long distances like I did today, my mind travels and dreams expansively. So now I’ve got this idea for Traveler’s Handbooks: travel guidebooks for imagined lands. If they happen, if I follow through–and that is an if, because I have other writing projects prioritized–they should be ideal fuel for role playing games. A handbook may provide geography and locales, cultural information and flavor, and history for a specific city and its surrounding area. These cities are in a country–the term is used loosely, meaning a geographic region, not a united political state–called Cammaris.

Enough speculation. Let’s see what happens here.

Here’s a map of a silly fantasy world, “Imperial Babdayloon”. I think it originated from a spoof I was writing about Christopher Columbus; this would have been the “Europe” that the Columbus character originated from. Mostly this map was just an exercise in fun. I thought I would post it here in case anyone can find a use for it as a good lighthearted or satirical setting. If you find a use for it, please post in the comments.

Imperial Babdayloon

The second map in the Goul series is below. You can attach it to the top of the first map to expand the caves. Since the title of the first map was an anagram of Cirith Ungol from Lord of the Rings, I decided to make this title an anagram as well: Edond Solnoch Goul = Old School Dungeon.

Edond Solnoch Goul

Blank World 4

Another blank world:

Blank World 3

 

Cirthin Goul

Here’s a complete version of the Cirthin Goul map. Stock this natural labyrinth with crunchy monsters and traps for your players, plop them down in the lower right-hand corner, and see if they can climb their way through the winding passageways to the upper left-hand corner. Those things that look like natural staircases are natural staircases, and the things that look like bigger versions of those with vertical lines are sheer drops that will require ropes or special skillz to scale.