Get Mediaeval Home
Here's something I threw together from some unusual Location rolls in the
World Builder's Guidebook. My working title for the land is Hydrophobia, but
no doubt, if you use it, you can think of something more serious.
(Hydrophobia) is a land dissected by several broad rivers, draining from
chilly upland lake country south to the coast of the great Ocean, Hydra.
Tribes of the Tricksters (Human)
The Iron Age humans of the northern lands follow spirits such as the Small
Bear, Crow, Fox, Black Snake and Squirrelhawk, whom they regard as their
ancestors. Lesser orders of shamans are guided by prominent ancestors of the
tribe, and spirits of the rivers and mountains.
Each tribe has a number of powerful leader figures - the headman who settles
disputes and directs planting and harvest, the war-leader who oversees
training of all in battle and keeps a network of scouts and spies, the
champion who can out-fight anyone else in the tribe (they are not known for
their brains). The shamans of the Founder often support the headman, shamans
of the Ancestors support the war-leader, and shamans of the Land stand aside
from politics, but this is by no means universal. Many adventures could
centre on political infighting within the heroes' native tribe.
Thunder-Walkers (Cloud Giants)
The bays of the south coast and Hydra herself are ruled by a race of giants,
whose wondrous cities and palaces of ice are borne high above the waves
through ancient pacts with the elementals of air and water. The sciences and
arts which flourish in their cities astonish any backward humans who somehow
find their way in.
The Thunder-Walkers are served by a large and ferocious race of soldiers,
the Water Dogs (gnolls), who rove the seas and raid the coasts in light,
fast galleys. Their cleverly built ships, rapid-firing crossbows and
fearsome falchions have brought disaster to most human assaults.
The giants are known to keep magnificent shrines to the famous heroes and
sages of their race.
Dark Ones (Ixitxachitl)
Some of the most feared sorcerors of the Thunder-Giants traffick with an
evil-natured unhuman race that roams in schools through the waters of Great
These tyrannical fish-men bring great danger to the major rivers and lakes,
with their petty kingdoms and blood-thirsty cultic raids.
The boat-folk are well-known to all of the powers of the land, but at home
nowhere. They cross freely between the giantish cities and the wild human
lands. Most pay homage to the spirits of whatever land they inhabit, but
their own, seldom seen order of Guardians protects the halflings' rights.
Heart of the Ocean (Tritons)
This fabulous place is rumoured to lie far to the south. In a maze of reefs
filled with fish of every colour, which magically overflows with clean cool
water, a colony of mysterious and magical outsiders enrich the ocean and
oppose the evils of the Dark Ones and Water Dogs.
Just for fun, you could set the first adventure on an island in a coastal
delta, where the heroes have the choice of every bad guy in the campaign to
ambush them. (The ancient temple would, in fact, be guarded by various
constructs and traps. Then a band of halfling looters could catch the heroes
on the way out, to take all the treasure without facing any of the dangers.)