August 23, 2010

Garhelm - The Map

This is Garhelm:
Map of Garhlem
If you want a better look, trying downloading the PDF: link

Yep, as you can tell from the scan, I banged it out on some old notebook paper.  I make no claims to be a cartographer, so I have no clue if such a landmass is even feasible.  I think it looks pretty cool, though, so I don't really care.  There is no scale as I wasn't really sure what I wanted it to be and figured I'd tackle that as needed.  I just wanted a rough idea of the campaign world so I could place important locations, namely cities and dungeons.  You'll note names from the standard Necromancer Games (NG) heavy hitters (the Stoneheart Mountains from Tomb of Abysthor, Fairhill from the Crucible of Freya, Bard's Gate, the Vault of Larin Karr, and, of course, Rappan Athuk) as well as The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth coming out of retirement. Yep, that is Green Ronin's Freeport way to the south. 

I had big plans for the campaign, but they weren't realized after the deaths in the Vault of Larin Karr.  My general plan was for a sandbox campaign once the party had finished up there. I planned to include a world map with the loot at some point and then let the players have at it. Since I had never shown the map before, I was hoping that would be kind of a neat surprise (i.e., the idea being that few people in Garhelm have much sense of what their world actually looked like). 

I started the face-to-face campaign in Fairhill, which is the setting of NG's The Crucible of Freya.  I don't own that module (although I did play it as a player under Sam's DMing), but I used the free maps from NG's site [link (you’ll need to scroll down a bit)] and added my own NPCs and descriptions.  That worked out quite well and allowed me to impart the flavor of Garhelm right from the start.  I might write those up if I have a chance (unfortunately, I don't have those as electronic files, so no easy cutting and pasting).  I don't think I used Fairhill for the online campaign, likely because Sam was playing as a character.

Anyhow, here is a key of sorts to help you decipher things (I left off anything I thought was self-explanatory):
  • Barbegazi lands: Barbegazi are a neat, semi-evil race ice gnomes from the Tome of Horrors II (and, I just realized, actual Swiss mythology: link).  You can check them out in the ToH II free sample: link
  • ToA: Tomb of Abysthor
  • Volk: Vault of Larin Karr
  • The Pass of Dulane-Far: An underground, underwater tunnel connecting the mainland to a severed peninsula. Tunnels also connected this island to other nearby islands.  I believe I envisioned this pass having been closed off to contain the horrors of the island and the tunnels, but I’m not sure.  I do think it is one of the cooler things on the map.
So, there you have it.  Garhlem.  Some time in the future, I’ll put up my version of Fairhill and perhaps some of the home brew adventures I had for this campaign.


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