Days of High Adventure
Dungeon World: A Closer Look

Chris Brackett | 8 Oct 2009 21:00
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East & West Trollwood

Collectively known as the Trollwoods, the massive forest that occupies much of the central lands of the World is divided into two sections. East Trollwood and the grasslands that surround it are some of the most beautiful lands in the World. The human cities of Greenhold and Brunston are thriving communities, and a multitude of small villages and outlying farms dot the forest's glens and dales, and the neighboring countryside. The elven city of Moonsmeath, the only of its kind, rests in a serene hollow deep within these woodlands. Some say that the city may only be found by those whom the elves wish to find it; indeed, there are few non-elves who can truthfully tell the tale of their experiences in the fantastical fey metropolis.

As one travels west from Moonsmeath, the pleasant woods become denser, darker, and more unwelcoming. The well-worn paths of East Trollwood are choked out by the encroaching briars and over-hanging trees, and ultimately disappear entirely. This is West Trollwood, as dark and dangerous as the eastern woods are bright and friendly. It is said that these woodlands were once one of the favorite sites for the Dead Gods' adventures, and that the spawn of creatures they battled still dwell deep within the forest's sunless depths.

At the southern edge of this unhealthy wood sits Thornberg, an ancient city that serves two purposes: The first is to act as a stop on the Brunston-Rocport road. The second is the unenviable purpose to serve as protection for the small communities that lie to the south of the forest. The city keeps a permanent army - the only city in the World that does so. Service in the city's army is mandatory for any healthy resident, for a minimum of two years. (It's also not unheard of for travelers to find themselves conscripted in times of need.)

Wyrmspine Mountains

The range known as the Wyrmspines was once no more than a series of low hills. However, on the Day of Tears these hills suddenly grew into mountains, blocking any landward attempt to flee the rain of fire that simultaneously began to fall on the kingdom of Califrax. Unlike the destruction of Rolgar's and Lissa's kingdoms, there were no refugees from the soon-to-be Blighted Lands. Those who attempted to flee to the east were either crushed by the erupting hills, pitched from the sides of the mountains as they grew, or driven back to perish in the rain of fire.

These mountains, abnormally shaped like sharp teeth or spines (thus their name), are host to a seemingly endless array of evil creatures. A narrow pass northwest of Drakenmoor is the only means of traversing this range - should anyone be crazy enough to seek adventure in the Blighted Lands.

The Blighted Lands

This desert was once a land of fertile plains, the land of Dead God Califrax's kingdom. The largest city in the land was, surprisingly enough, called Califrax. (The Dead God's egocentric nature is well known.) This city was a center of learning and development, both magical and scientific. Stories are still told of the wonders a visitor would see here on a daily basis. Prior to the Day of Tears, however, this appetite for discovery became more and more bent on developing weapons and war machines. It was Lissa, the Caregiver, who sundered Califrax and the surrounding lands. It's believed that her reason for raising the Wyrmspines and trapping the residents of the kingdom was not an uncharacteristically bloodthirsty desire to kill all who lived therein, but to prevent any of Claifrax's techno-magical war machines from escaping.

Over the ages, there have been many large, well-publicized attempts to raid the lands for their lost treasures of knowledge and power. On the rare occasion that any of the adventurers on these quests returned, they brought less in the way of riches than they did of warning: They told their stories to few and in only hushed tones; tales of frightful war machines and maddening mutated beasts stalking the sand-swept barrens of the Blighted Lands, and a pristine city that is inhabited by the phantoms of those who once dwelt there.

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