July 22, 2012

Making Of A Nameless World

I know I should stay focused on the 0e Megadungeon, but sometimes ideas just spot in my mind and I can't help but need to work them out somehow. It all started with the Realm of Zarhad (as hinted in this post I wrote a few days ago) and quickly evolved into something much bigger. Dare I say quite the size of a gaming world. After some more work I think I reached a point where the basic outline is done, thus ready to be organized - and which better way than sharing my ideas here at The Yaqqothl Grimoire?

Having decided which regions I wanted to include, I thought the best way to go was a simple sentence or two with additional notes for climate, culture (which include names) and monsters. In other words, things that help setting the right mood instead of pages over pages of accurate description of history and politics and blah blah blah. That is, if I introduce a Fighting-men NPC named Anthemion who comes from a southern region known as the Thracian Empire, this is pretty much anything my players need to immediately think of Jason And The Argonauts. And this is quite the point.

Realm of Zarhad: North of the Midland Waste and the Desolation of Eibon, kind of reworked Realm of Angmar including Witchking. Only monsters and wicked humans who worship and serve the Witchking dare to live in this terrible place. Climate: Mordor. Culture: Mordor. Monsters: Orcs, Goblins, Giant Amoeboid Horrors, Warhammer Fantasy Chaos Warriors, Trolls, Giants, Wyverns, Chromatic Dragons, Chaos Dragons, etc.

Midland Waste: South of the Realm of Zarhad, east of the Slashed Islands, north-west of the Desolation of Eibon, north of the Thracian Empire. In are Sarnath The City Eternal, Castle Vorndrang, the Eldritch Forest and the Stonekingdom of Kezrar. Big wilderness region with no central govern, dotted with castles (small baronies), abbeys and odd places of pagan worship. Climate: Moorland. Culture: Dark Ages Britain. Monsters: As per the wilderness encounter tables in U&WA.

Sarnath The City Eternal: Somewhere west of the Midland Waste (i.e. close to the sea and the Slashed Islands). Immense multicultural city-state, magically and technologically advanced, ruled by some kind of outer-dimensional immortal sorcerer. Slave markets, magic academy, in-city wilderness, sprawling undercity. Climate: Temperate, coastal. Culture: Somewhere between Jakalla and New Crobuzon. Monsters: Vary according to district, day/night, over/under city, but in general mostly mutated horrors.

Castle Vorndrang: At the very center of the Midland Waste. Classic Old School Megadungeon and campaign tent-pole. Climate: Cold mountains. Culture: Khazad-dum meets At The Mountains Of Madness.  Monsters: As per dungeon encounter tables in U&WA + First Edition Carcosa + New horrors.

Eldritch Forest: Somewhere south-west of the Midland Waste, marks the border with the Thracian Empire. (Also, main reason why the Thracian Empire has not yet conquered the Midland Waste.) Once a verdant and joyful, fairy land, nowadays an intricate vicious forest. Hosts the last refugee of the Elves. Climate: Third Age Fangorn. Culture: Wood Elves of the Mirkwood as described in The Hobbit. Monsters: Giant Vermin, Giant Spiders, Trolls, Ents, Black Trees, Dryads, Satyrs, etc.

Stonekingdom of Kezrar: Somewhere north-east of the Midland Waste. Last Dwarven refugee, bigass mine, engaged in eternal struggle with the Realm of Zarhad. (Also main reason why the Witchking has not conquered the Midland Waste yet.) Climate: Cold mountains. Culture: Lonely Mountain with a sprinkle of Kislev. Monsters: As Realm of Zarhad + Evil Dwarfs + Dark Elves.

Thracian Empire: South of the Midland Waste, west of the Slashed Islands and east of the Desolation of Eibon. In are the Principality of Wraclow and the Royaume d'Averoigne. The main region is called the Republic of Thracia, sort of a Roman Empire lead by bleak Empress Octavia, with advanced technology and magic. Climate: Mediterranean. Culture: Roman Empire. Monsters: Roman and Greek mythology.

Principality of Wraclow: North-east of the Thracian Empire, its mountains marks the borders with the Eiglophian Desert. Truly ancient reign haunted by monsters and bandits. Climate: Cold mountains. Culture: Dark Ages Fantasy Transylvania. Monsters: Werewolves, Frankenstein, Vampires, Skeletons, Zombies, Ghost, etc.

Royaume d'Averoigne: North-west of the Thracian Empire, south of the Eldritch Forest. You know, CAS. Only less renaissance and more medieval. Climate: From moorlands to temperate countryside. Culture: Dark Ages France. Monsters: Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, Color From The Space, Froggy Things in Swamps, Deep Ones, Werewolves, Worms That Walk, more in general unique monsters.

Slashed Islands: West of everything. Dozen small islands inhabited by wild humans and pirates. Climate: Temperate to warm sea. Culture: Pirates Of Carabbean meets Simbad. Monsters: Cannibals, Voodoo Zombies, Slaadi, Lizardmen, more Froggy Things, Deep Ones, Seamonsters.

Desolation of Eibon: South-east of the Midland Waste, east of the Thracian Empire. Include some kind of nameless legendary Egyptian-like empire ruled by mummies (the wicked necromancer Lovecraftian type). Otherwise pretty much The Abominations of Yondo. Climate: Weird Desert (some regions really cold, others really hot, seemingly random). Culture: Sumerian, Egyptian, Acheron-ian. Monsters: All Things Cthulhu.


  1. Nice! I like! :)

    Some time ago, I had the idea of doing a West Marches crawl in the CoC Dreamlands while using a dreamers society as a hub for the different groups of adventurer/dreamers.

    + Averoigne rule!

    1. That sounds cool! I've toyed with the idea of running CoC Dreamlands crawl myself a couple of time ago but eventually never went ahead with the idea. Now I've notes for a "dreaming" sublevel in Castle Vorndrang, so who knows :)

  2. This sounds soo great! I want to read more stuff of this project! :D

    1. The Midland Waste is probably the only region which will get some serious work, since it'll be the basic setting for Castle Vorndrang. But the point of having a sketched world is to leave hints for the players here and there so perhaps I'll add some flesh to these bare notes!

  3. Great article! All the articles you have, they enjoy reading and learning a lot. Your article is very helpful for me. I hope you will continue to write such good articles as well.
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