Friday 31 March 2023

Interlude: Encounter Map, Five Hex Radius

 This mini-world is 55 miles in diameter; two or three days' journey, end to end.

We'll take a short content break today. I figure there is another full ring of hexes, each thirty miles from Alakran, and then the material to the south deviates too much from what was developed for the campaign. From that time, although the radial location system will remain, developed sectors will take precedence over undeveloped.

Thursday 30 March 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #89: A Green Spot in the Hills

 Two hexes northwest, three north of Alakran.


This is one of several green valleys or lowlands in the Dhuga, explainable by local ground water conditions; the lack of a river draining the area means that rainfall in the winter collects more effectively in the ground. Scrub bushes and succulents cluster on the ground. It is a favored grazing ground for the nearby rhinos, antelopes, and goats, though they must seek drinking water elsewhere or look for the few pools of it in this area.

But the real reason for this green spot is that within each 25 mile hex in this area, the 5 mile hexes are procedurally generated, using a table that can give rise to settlements, fortresses, odd features, creature lairs, water features, and terrain that varies from the 25 mile hex's general trend - or extends terrain from neighboring hexes into this one.  

Terrain in this system is organized along a geological axis (from swamp to mountain) and a ground cover axis (from desert to thick forest). This hex was randomly rolled to have a lower geological rating by 1 rank, going from low hills to plain; and a higher cover rating by 2 ranks, going from dry to scrub.The rationale for this can be pencilled in later (as in the previous paragraph). 

The 1 mile hex detail seen in the above map is created by me, entirely at will with no set procedure. It can further indicate the direction and extent of the green valley - here running east to west.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #88: Into the Dhuga Hills

 Three hexes northwest, two north of Alakran.


The Dhuga Hills are a gentle range south and east of the ancient city Eryptos. They are associated with the city in song and poetry. A soothing sight, a place for hunting, filled with many green dells and spectacular views of the looming Scarp. Wild antelope abound here, and other beasts besides, as shown in the various hexes revealed and to be revealed.

The poetic conventions of pastoral and venatic ballads concerning the Dhuga have, in this decadent age, fossilized into tropes, stock epithets easily lampooned by means of a random table.


(1) heart (2) love's kiss (3) love's glance (4) love's word (5) righteous jealousy* (6) song

(1) throbs (2) wails (3) runs (4) flies (5) hides (6) languishes


(1) a shy gazelle (2) a gentle hare (3) a royal chariot's wheels (4) a forlorn shepherdess (5) a lost he-goat (6) a hunter's arrow

(1) in the green valley after rain (2) among the hard stones of the rocky hilltop (3) in the fiery hour of sunset (4) in the tender shine of the waxing moon (5) when a lurking leopard is sighted (6) on the rounded flanks of a rising ridge" 

If you need someone cultured to hear your poem, then consider this. If while in the Hills you roll an encounter from 2 hexes away, and that hex is empty but lies in the due direction of Eryptos (8 hexes northwest, 5 north of Alakran), you meet with a hunting party from that city. There will be d6 nobles, 2d6 charioteers and riders, and one two-person antelope chariot for every 3 people in the party (the third riding on an antelope steed of some description). 

If 5+ nobles and 7+ entourage are rolled, it is the party of the Prince of Eryptos himself, known by his heritage-name Radiant Gemsbok of Autumn. With his father feeling poorly, the sixteen-year-old heir is the most prestigious huntsman of the Dhuga.

* An untranslatable emotion-term.  Often the stance of a poetic narrator who celebrates the agony of loving someone who is promised to another.