Thursday 22 June 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #173: A Village Most Remote

 Fifteen hexes north, two northwest of Alakran.


Behold Hiyashna, population 400, the hub and sole village of the vale that can be reached by striding up the River Ul to the north of Gagaz-Parku and to the south of its brother peak, Zaratta-Parku. Groves of date, almond, and ethrog cluster on the slopes nearby, all the way up to the Scarp, and the lowland is heavily irrigated and cultivated. Native-quarried gray sandstone and feldspar makes up the walls and roof-tiles of the low-squarish houses.

This remote place never sees the taxman, leaving its tribute for collection with the monks who dwell downstream. Free of authority and levy, it is a gathering place of outcasts and misfits, including three natural-born sorcerers persecuted by the scholarly line of wizards; genetic freaks and misfits from all over Dulsharna, with the blood of goblins, dragons, fiends, genii and who knows what else; and religious misbelievers and unbelievers of all kinds. These folk congregate in a drinking-house called the Unwelcome Saloon on the south side of the village, while the normal people frequent a rival jug-house to the north called the Wasteful Provider. The oddballs, however, are tolerated for the benefits they bring to the community and the fearsome reputation that keeps intruders, if not away, then at least respectful.

Along with the eclectic population comes a resolutely skeptical attitude toward religion. The villagers may  believe in the existence of the gods, but stoutly disbelieve in their ability to do anything on earth. The miracles of clerics and the like are attributed to just a socially sanctioned, dishonest form of sorcery. "If a man calls a miracle, it comes from a man; show me the miracle that comes without calling, and I will believe in its god," goes the refrain. And they are true to their word. If a miraculous event is seen by them to occur without human intervention, and clearly traceable to a known god, then d12 villagers will follow any representative of the god who presents themselves. If the number rolled is 6 or less, one of the villagers will be one of the special characters previously described.


  1. You're almost halfway through, aren't you? Here's the thing. The bold adventurers in my campaign are about to come out of one of many lands of the dead beneath their sacred desert, little suspecting that the months they've spent there (about 20 sessions) have seen a thousand years pass in the overworld, and where they're coming out (a place where offerings are still made to kings mummified anf entombed many ages ago) is nowhere near where they first entered the dead underworld. Which hex of your wonderful crawl should I plop them in? And can we (or I, a reader) expect or hope for some kind of overview of the history and current powers of the setting? As in, when the PCs ask a captive gnoll or hapless shepherd what the heck's Dulsharna, what will I tell them?

  2. Yes, halfway through is looking more and more like I take a break from the hex work and post some of the general background material of the campaign that I gave players on roll20. Hang on!

    There are many "mummy tomb" type modules out there and your players sound like they might be mid-level, so you can use one of those in place of the Serpent tombs (#5). The Shroom caves (#87) were my connection to the sprawling underworld that the players never took. Alternately, you can use the mini-adventure of the Leng spider to get them up the well and into Za-El (#58).

  3. brilliant! I'll slap them in #5 and they'll have a potential base in Alakran and a good close look at the Scarp nearby. :)