World-building: First Map of the Wilderness of Toth
So this I’ve been dedicated to the Kickstarter to fund a massive expansion of my far future transhuman science-fiction RPG and setting Mindjammer, which thanks to awesome backers has been unlocking some very cool stretch goals. If you’re looking for an action-packed, modern, 21st century style far future SF RPG, or you just want to help fund Mindjammer Press and my RPG writing efforts (such as this blog), then please stop by and pledge – there are some great pledge levels (£20 / $30 gets you loads of great stuff – even a version for Traveller!).
But, I’ve still somehow managed to squirrel away some time to do some world-building, specifically focussing at last on producing that first map of the immediate campaign area for the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls XIMURIA setting I’m writing. And, without further ado, here it is!
As you can see, it’s a work in progress; no real colour yet, and the mountain ranges need to be filled out hugely (especially the Ishbari Mountains to the east, separating Toth from Goblin Hinternesse–they’re wide and pretty impassable). There’s much more detail to come, but the main areas are blocked out, and the story behind the locations you’re seeing all makes sense.
Fifty years ago, this area was the Claw of Bayaal the Black or “Ebonclaw”, Seventh Claw of Salama, the Lair of the Leopard Empresses, also known as the Leopard Empire. On a terrible “Blackfear Night” the tyrant Bayaal was thrown down, and his land ravaged and returned to anarchy. Since then the Leopard Empire has been unable to regain control, perhaps overstretched from its distant capital of Salama to the north, and the Wilderness has had to fare as best it can. Goblins and other foul beings have made huge inroads from the Ishbari Mountains in the east, overrunning the former hobb shires of Helwast and driving that pastoral folk into exile, and the former dwarf realm of Gebni’s Anvil is now Angismaw, a foul goblin and orc pit over a troll nest ruled by a demon!
Life still goes on. Lord Girrien Endol now rules Halagad, largest city in Toth, and maintains a delicate alliance with the elves of Inheliath, where the Xinqari elven Leopard Riders intrigue and plot, having overrun the wall at Elfstop. There are sightings of dragons in the Dragon River Gorge, and it gets more and more risky to send caravans from Prentatorn, City of Merchants, by land.
And there’s adventure, too. Dwarven exiles mount expeditions to free the Anvil, and the mysterious Wizard of Gim-Gemel, the Dwarfstar, works on something unfathomable, with strange belching sounds beneath the earth. There are rumours of uprisings and the tyrant’s return; stories of Serpent King ruins stirring again; and Terrorsaw-riding goblins dropping from the skies to attack the mysterious Sabretooth Clan of the Ul-Gata Hills–are they really time travellers from the distant past, brought to Toth by the Wizard Blackfear for some unknown cause?
Dungeons, ruins, deep forests where Trows wake from slumber, old magics and prophecies, and a fallen tyranny dreaming to be replaced by good. Welcome to Toth!
Cheers – and happy delving!
Normandy, 22nd November 2015
Mindjammer Kickstarter at http://tinyurl.com/jammerkick
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 www.deluxetunnelsandtrolls.com.