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World-building: A First Look at Angistoth Castle

November 15, 2015

Blackfear Dungeon Level Zero_v3_small
This week once again my life has been very much filled with the Mindjammer Kickstarter (scheduled to start the day after tomorrow, Tuesday 17 Novembercheck it out!), so this week’s world-building map for my “Ximuria” setting for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls is very much a work in progress. However, I hope it’s interesting. 🙂

This is the very first glimpse of “level zero” of Blackfear Dungeon–the aboveground ruined castle complex which was once the seat of Bayaal the Black, the Tyrant who ruled the Ebonclaw, the Seventh Claw of Salama, the Empire of the Leopard Empresses. The Ebonclaw fell fifty years ago on Blackfear Night, when the Wizard Blackfear came to Angistoth, vanished into its dungeons, and released the terrifying demon, Angor, which laid waste to the castle and its village, and threw down the whole Claw, which thereafter became the Wilderness of Toth.

The map is a first draft, with no colour or real detail–it shows the main areas of the castle ruins, but currently doesn’t show all the burned out castle buildings in the outer bailey and castle ward (it was pretty much a small town in there when the demon breathed its fiery conflagration). I’ll start putting those buildings in next, along with a bit of colour, as the map really needs it!

As far as the rooms inside the towers and buildings are concerned, I’m still thinking how to do that; some of the towers still have more than one storey standing, and although the castle is ruined and abandoned by the folk of Toth, it’s quite obviously prime real estate for countless monsters. I’m thinking I may end up providing subsidiary maps of each building–so the two floors of the Troll Tower (and the dwarf party still trying to rescue their cannon from the goblin Terrorsaw riders on the three-floor Queen’s Tower. Those Terrorsaws are awesome!).

I may show some detail of the ruins of Angistoth village (the bit outside the walls, whose inhabitants fled to form Trollbridge–see last week!), although to be honest I’m not sure how much of the village really is left, and how meaningful it is to show–it was fifty years ago, the buildings were mostly wood or half-timber, and the whole place was stomped on and burned by Angor pretty thoroughly. It may just be worth stripping out the bottom of the map and focussing on the castle and Trollstones. We’ll see!

In other news, I now have sketch maps of the six underground levels of Blackfear Dungeon (and a whole host of room descriptions), and a rough map of Halagad, the City of Mists, former capital of the Ebonclaw and now the main city in the Wilderness of Toth. That’s a cool place, and fathoming its structure and politics has once again fed into the background for the Ximuria setting and the deep secret within Blackfear Dungeon. Were the Sabretooth Tribe really from a different world? Or from the distant past? And why did Blackfear bring them from the mists beneath the Falls of Halgar directly into Halagad to challenge the power of the High Cultess’s Leopard Warriors?

I’m itching to find out. 🙂

Cheers – and happy delving!

Normandy, 15th November 2015


The Ximuria setting is (c) copyright 2015 Sarah Newton. All rights reserved. Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls is (c) copyright 2015 Ken St Andre, Liz Danforth, Rick Loomis, Steven Crompton, and Jim Peters. It’s also available now from

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