Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fantasy Hack: Appendix III

Timischburg is a small part of a sample setting in which a game of FANTASY HACK could be played.  The gist of it is that it is a region meant invoke Gothic horror themes and tone into sword & sorcery fantasy gaming.  In other words, if Bram Stoker's Dracula and H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham country were brought into a The Lord of the Rings pastiche and then played as if it were Brendan Frasier’s The Mummy, Timischburg would be the result.  Timischburg isn't just Transylvania and Dracula, however.  Pretty much any kind of Gothic or even many versions of modern horror are welcome here and meant to fit.  Vampires are an important element.  So are ghosts and hauntings, werewolves, Frankenstein-style monsters, and there's even a city that's obviously meant to be Lovecraft's Innsmouth, complete with Deep Ones at the bottom of a vast inland sea.

The history of the nation is forged in conflict; the world's greatest necromancer is from Timischburg, and he ruled it with an iron fist for generations.  Although now defeated many generations ago, the legacy of this brutal occupation by the undead casts an indelible pall over the entire region.  The Black Path, a cult that seeks to restore this rule, while deemed both treasonous and heretical, of course, yet seems to flourish in the underworld.  Various other threats loom over the benighted land and its long-suffering inhabitants, and it is widely rumored that most of the various named noble clans are headed by vampires who drink from the blood of their peasant vassals to sustain themselves.

Timischburg  1 hex = 5 miles
Haunted Forest - infamous as the redoubt of a group of woses who brook no trespassers.  Very dangerous to pass through; makes an effective barrier to the world beyond to the north.

Eltdown Fens - actually fens, ings and carrs—all a former lake that is gradually disappearing into marsh.  Rumors have it that the Lost Lake still hides somewhere in the fens, and that as it dries, the ruins of a fabulously ancient benighted city will reveal themselves.  Named for the nearby hamlet of Eltdown.

Eltdown - a small, suspicious little hamlet that has been here since before the rise of the modern nation.  Infamous for a number of inscribed pottery shards found nearby that, when partially translated, proved to be terrifying works of darkest occult provenance.

Thursewood - another dense forest, infamous for the ferocious thurses, or beastmen, who inhabit it.  Even more dangerous than the Haunted Forest.

Mittermarkt - in the shadow of a Lone Mountain, Mittermarkt is most famous for its Academy.

Vetala County - the lands that belong to the Vetala clan.  Mittermarkt is located within.

Strix County - rural, agrarian lands that belong to the Strix clan.  They have no major cities, but the land is dotted with many farming villages and hamlets.

Innsburough - on the shore, technically claimed by the Baron of Strix.  This decrepit fishing town is shunned even by the citizens of an already frightening country.

Vyrko County - lands claimed by the Count of House Vyrko.

Ialomita - a prosperous village not terribly far from Baron d’Vyrko's castle.  Was once the site of the Hellvault Prison, which burned to the ground a number of years ago; the ruins are rumored to be haunted.

Nosferatu County - lands of House Nosferatu.

Grozavest - belongs to no county, but is the capital of the entire nation.  Located along the Black River, its most impressive physical features include the fact that it is always night in city and for many miles around it, an astronomically improbable occurrence to say the least, and the large sealed crater in the center of the city where Tarush the charnel pagan god is, according to legend, buried after his fall along with the Primogenitor Vampires.

Bitterwood - a large, forested part of Ubyr County where the nobles and well heeled often hunt.  Rumored to be frequented by werewolves who remain undiluted from the Ancient Days.

Ubyr County - lands of the Ubyr clan.

Rusalka County - lands of the Rusalka clan.

Dracul County - lands of House Dracul.

Orlok County - lands of House Orlok.

Veszok - large coastal city in Orlok County.

Inganok - relatively large city associated with the onyx mining operations in the nearby chain of volcanic hills and mountains.  Has a very high population of Cursed.

Prezov - city that grew around the castle of the Lord of House Dracul, one of the largest in the country and a rival, in many ways, to Grozavest itself.

Dragomiresti - site of a former town which is now abandoned; a terrible massacre during a three-way House War between Dracul, Ubyr and Orlok.  The conflict was resolved in the capital, but the site of the former town sits still abandoned.

Sighing Farms - farmland worked by slaves and serfs who lived in and around Dragomiresti.  For many years, the farms were undermanned due to the House War.  This resulted in widespread shortages and even famines across the country, but the Sighing Farms are gradually being reclaimed and reworked.  Many of them remain overgrown with weeds and wild beasts.

This list of locations that are charted on the map is not, of course, meant to be exhaustive.  Other cities or towns could easily be worked in all over the place, and hamlets and villages are assumed to be ubiquitous, although largely unshown on this map.  Other features such as additional rivers, brooks, streams, creeks, etc., hill lands, cliffs and bluffs, downs, wetlands, woods, are also assumed to exist that are not shown.

This map can also be used in conjunction with the wilderness exploration rules of Appendix I to create a "hexcrawl" type game where players explore the countryside.

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