Days of High Adventure
Dungeon World: A Closer Look

Chris Brackett | 8 Oct 2009 21:00
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Hullbite Bay

South of the Blighted Lands is Hullbite Bay. Once a thriving commercial port at the western end of the Brunston-Rocport trade route, the port city of Rocport is now nearly forgotten. Its former glory lost under a pall of decay and neglect, part of the city's misfortune is the result of the raising of the Wyrmspines, which also caused spine-like protrusions to grow from the seabed of the bay. The bay is now a navigational hazard, shunned by all but the most foolhardy ship captains. The other reason for the city's decline is the cease of travel on the once-busy road to Califrax, of which the city was a major hub.

Wood of Wonder & Kraken Bay

Many argue that the region between Westkeep, Thunder Point, and Hagshead is the best place in the World to live. The lands here are fertile and relatively peaceful, and have been so since long before the Day of Tears. Most believe that this is due to the influence of the Master, who is said to reside in the forest known as the Wood of Wonder (or Weirdwood, or simply the Wood, if you're a local). Full of strange and wondrous locations and beasts, many believe that the Wood is the Master's playground wherein he indulged his more whimsical side. Although it is often full of such whimsy, the Wood can be equally dangerous and is thus traveled with care, if at all.

Westkeep, occupying the enviable position to the northeast of the Wood and west of the agricultural heartland south of the Trollwoods, is the largest and wealthiest city in the World. The surrounding countryside is home to several halfling communities - the only ones of their kind.

Grimspur Mountains

Said to be the oldest mountain range in the World, the Grimpsurs are home to the first and largest dwarven settlement. Though encountering a dwarf is a rare occurrence - and encountering someone who's seen the halls of the Grimspur dwarves rarer still - there is no doubt that the race still thrives here: Human traders from the nearby cities regularly do business with the dwarves. (Such traders are from families who have done so for generations.)

Haunted Hills & Glumwood

While the lands surrounding the Wood of Wonder are believed to be blessed by the whimsical aspect of the Master's nature, the lands east of the Grimspurs are believed to be cursed by his nature's darker aspects. By day, these lands sit under a perpetually overcast sky. By night, the skies above are full of clouds that drift slowly across the moon, which is either full and bright or pale and gibbous - there is no in-between. All the local villagers are wary of strangers, but if pushed they may begrudgingly share - in the form of stern warnings - that ghosts walk these lands, that witches lurk in the deep woods, and that all manner of baleful creatures stalk the night.

Cragkeep, home to the Old King who has watched over the local lands for ages, may only be reached by a half-forgotten road that traverses the forever fog-shrouded moors to the south. (Unless the traveler is mad enough to attempt to cross the Haunted Hills or Glumwood.) Some say the Old King is under a curse, doomed to dwell in the sunless lands forever. Others say he's an ancient vampire. Others say he's a lich, or maybe a ghost. A few even say he's the Master himself.

The Sunken Kingdom

This series of irregular islands is littered with ruins of the once-beautiful kingdom of Lissa the Caregiver. Once home to schools of healing, both magical and natural, and a center for art, it was said that Lissa's kingdom was the most beautiful in all the kingdoms and cities of the World. On the Day of Tears, after Califrax destroyed Rolgar and his lands and the two surviving Dead Gods turned their magicks against one another, much of the beautiful kingdom lay at the bottom of the sea.

These islands and the waters that surround them are now shunned by mariners, who believe them to be cursed by those who perished there on the Day of Tears. It is believed that their restless spirits hide beneath waves, waiting to pull unwitting sailors to their deaths.

Chris Brackett is a web monkey by trade, but in real life he's a veteran gamer and author of several tabletop miniatures games. He spends far too much of his time working on his RPG-focused game blog, A Rust Monster Ate My Sword.

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