Fantasy hex contents
Some of these are much larger than a single hex, but as a starting point I dumped everything I'd written onto this page.
- 1 Named locations
- 1.1 Anakhob Desert
- 1.2 Black Mouth Mine
- 1.3 Cape Reckless
- 1.4 Cyclopean Tower of Sersus
- 1.5 Duncath Harbor
- 1.6 Durangean Sea
- 1.7 Fort Lamprey
- 1.8 Goblin stasis vault
- 1.9 The Godsea
- 1.10 Isle of Sersus
- 1.11 Karnrook Castle
- 1.12 Khunaddar, City of a Thousand Temples (“koo-nuh-dahr”)
- 1.13 Lady of a Thousand Pincers
- 1.14 Lake of the Dead
- 1.15 Long Fall Mine
- 1.16 Looming Fastness of Kithalmun the Glorious
- 1.17 Many-Splendored Bastion of Rijj’ak the Arcane
- 1.18 Oakbriar
- 1.19 Petrified battlefield
- 1.20 Ruins of Kykloth (“kye-cloth”)
- 1.21 Spire of Rhu
- 1.22 Tower of the Broken
- 1.23 Unakhem
- 1.24 Undying Pillar
- 1.25 Vulthar Hills
- 1.26 Weeping Forge of Ath-Xoth
- 1.27 White Beacon
- 2 Location snippets
- Blighted by magic eons ago, the Anakhob is completely dead: Nothing lives or grows here, save the priests of Unakhem. No rain has fallen here for a thousand years, but it’s a place of violent sandstorms and terrible winds.
- The most holy Umrians make pilgrimages through the desert to Unakhem, or to the Lake of the Dead to prove their faith to Umr-Khall. The smart ones pay others to make the pilgrimage and take credit for it.
Black Mouth Mine
- Named for the dark rock that rings its gaping entrance, this is the most profitable mine in Bleakstone. The local skeld (Helmund Urros) sends patrols here regularly.
- In addition to silver, a strange purple mineral is also mined here. The skeld doesn’t know what to do with it.
- This bustling town is home to fisherfolk, hunters, trappers, and all manner of smugglers, mercenaries, and scum. It’s the most prosperous town in the Blackfang Barony, and the baron likes it just how it is: paying fat taxes to make him look the other way, while giving him the best cut of everything.
- Cape Reckless’ ramshackle docks fall apart every winter, and their rebuilt configuration is like a map of power in the town. Ships come and go at all hours of the day and night, and range throughout Bleakstone.
- The town’s largest inn, the Huge Bastard, never closes and can be relied on for a bar fight a day, sometimes two. The innkeeper, Rabb, is neither huge nor a bastard: He’s a font of rumors, trivia, and tall tales, to the delight of many travelers — and adventurers.
Cyclopean Tower of Sersus
- The Cylopean Tower of Sersus is the only structure on the island of the same name. The tower is a jumbled heap of stones, barely standing, surrounded by groves of sickly trees and a vast carpet of dead insects. The trees bear “fruit” every spring: pulsating, jelly-like insect eggs.
- The wizard Sersus experiments with planar travel. His magic strains reality on the island, and although he doesn’t know it his actions are largely controlled by the gharrudaemon Noxitanizzar.
- Not as popular a port as Cape Reckless, Duncath Harbor relies on its calmer waters and reputation as a smuggler’s haven to attract business.
- The village has two walls: an inner wall, the original, made from white stone blocks carved from the enormous skurlith monument to the south, and a newer outer wall made of sharpened logs. Farmers and woodcutters have carved homesteads from the surrounding forest. Villagers inside the inner wall are insufferable in their superiority to the “newcomers” forced to settle in the outer ring.
- Legitimate trade vessels most often head for Skeldmar, while smugglers do their briskest business running up through the Durangean to Umr.
- Duncath Harbor is constantly seeking to one up its hated rival, Oakbriar. The mayor, Elliy Carn, is currently building a third wall outside the second; if populated, it would make Duncath Harbor a town, not a mere village.
- Every domain in Bleakstone can be reached on the Durangean, as can points north. Most crossings on the Durangean are short, and longer ones can be done almost entirely by hugging the coastline. Consequently, most domains in the region haven’t developed much in the way of fleets or navies.
- The Durangean is cold and grey (think Atlantic, not Pacific), but generally calm in all seasons except winter. In winter, it’s a frothing hell-beast that makes all but the shortest journeys a challenge.
- This sprawling wooden fort can house hundreds of soldiers, and usually supports a garrison of 200 troops. It’s supported by a ramshackle village, Lampreytown, that surrounds its walls.
- Fort Lamprey is an unpleasant place, damp and hot, and its garrison is unruly and given to petty banditry and other shady business. The docks are vital to Skeldmar’s trade in silver and other goods.
- Skerl Vanos Angrir the Lamprey, a woman with a swollen face and purple skin (a “gift” of her birth near an obsidian monolith) runs the fort. Her biggest headache is the cult of Noxitanizzar, which plagues the Trackless Coast and poses a threat to the lumber trade from Karnrook Castle that pays to maintain the fort.
Goblin stasis vault
- A subsidence along a river bank has revealed an oblong glass coffin containing a single goblin in stasis.
- This stasis pod is connected to a vast subterranean vault, inside which are thousands more goblins.
- Waking one of them will trigger the protocol that wakes them all.
- This ocean is a holy place for the nations which border it.
- They consider fighting on the Godsea to be blasphemy.
Isle of Sersus
- This small island just from the sea like a jagged tooth, and offers few safe landings. Its lone peak is tall and forbidding.
- No domain in Bleakstone claims the island. No one knows how long its only inhabitant, Sersus, for whom it’s named, has lived here.
- Seat of Skarl Helmund Urros, West-Warden, the most powerful figure in Skeldmar, who holds the territory around the Vulthar Hills. Helmund is a rich man, harsh but fair, and ruthless to his enemies. Those who oppose him are hung by their feet from the battlements to die; if the skarl is feeling merciful, they’re used for archery practice.
- Karnrook is a vast, drafty pile that was built too hastily, but its towering 100-foot outer wall has never been breached.
- The castle is supported by farms that dot the surrounding region, and does brisk trade in lumber. The lumber travels down the nearby River Skayn to Fort Lamprey, and from there to points south.
- Wealth makes Karnrook a target, and the place is a bubbling hotbed of intrigue. Despite the price for getting caught, spies and thieves flock there to see what they can learn or steal. The earth beneath the castle is honeycombed with null slime tunnels, and a powerful slime is active in the region.
Khunaddar, City of a Thousand Temples (“koo-nuh-dahr”)
- The bustling, chaotic capital of Umr is governed by a fractious council of warlocks, wizard-priests, and corrupt merchants who have bought their way into the Cult of Umr-Khall.
- The Voice of Umr-Khall, Imrkhet the Half-God, is completely mad. He rules Umr like a hungry, blood-soaked spider.
- Every building in Khunaddar is required to be a temple or have a publicly accessible shrine to Umr-Khall built into it.
- Umr’s secret police, the Pale Wardens, ensure that Khunaddar’s residents are showing the proper amount of religious devotion (or paying bribes to avoid doing so).
- Constructed around skurlith ruins, its population is too large for its size, and tent camps and bazaars stretch out from its walls in all directions.
Lady of a Thousand Pincers
- One of the largest skurlith monuments in Bleakstone, this one takes the form of a 300-foot high tableau: the Lady of a Thousand Pincers, the loathsome skurlith god, devouring a pile of living humans. Carved of oily purple stone, it’s visible from miles away.
- Over the centuries, some of the lower sections have been pillaged for building materials, and carved graffiti covers the bottom 20 feet or so.
- This site is still sacred to the skurliths, who skulk and burrow their way back to it despite the barony’s best efforts to stamp them out. Skurliths are common here, and most travelers hurry through the nearby hills to avoid attracting their attention.
Lake of the Dead
- The Lake of the Dead is a large, unnaturally calm body of pale, unhealthy-looking water that tastes like rotten meat.
- The site of centuries of ritual water burials by the priests of Unakhem , the northern half of the Lake of the Dead is haunted. Perpetually shrouded in mist, the murmurings of the dead can be heard there whenever the wind is still.
- The southern half is fished regularly by halflings, who sell its fat albino fish throughout Bleakstone without telling anyone where they came from.
Long Fall Mine
- This dangerous mine is accessed via a precipitous vertical shaft. In addition to rich veins of silver, it occasionally yields gemstones.
- Because extracting silver from Long Fall is slow, it’s often ignored by the skeld who oversees it (Helmund Urros. Thievery is rampant, and many miners seek any way to escape the mine's dangers.
Looming Fastness of Kithalmun the Glorious
- A previous ruler of Umr had this three-story tower built of imported marble to house one of his “pet” warlocks, the unbelievably attractive Kithalmun the Glorious. There are nude portraits of Kithalmun in every room.
- The original Kithalmun died years ago, but the impostor who took his place has thus far not been unmasked as a fraud. He pretends to be immortal. His specialty is fertility magic, and he only accepts payment in human tears.
- It routinely rains toads in this hex. It’s said that they’re Kithalmun’s only source of food.
Many-Splendored Bastion of Rijj’ak the Arcane
- Every surface of this gaudy, luridly colored tower is covered in glowing runes, inside and out. It’s home to deeply insane wizard, Rijj’ak, who specializes in constructing golems.
- Weird, unearthly howling can be heard within a mile of the tower, varying but never ceasing altogether. The tower’s magic is proof against this, and it’s blessedly quiet inside.
- Bizarre guard golems patrol this hex, along with cast-off and escaped golems, many of whome would love to get revenge on Rijj’ak.
- This fortified village is famous for its alcoholic cider made from prickly apples, which are unique to the Karthwood, and for having the ugliest villagers in the whole Blackfang Barony.
- Houses in Oakbriar are roofed with the thorny branches of prickly apple trees, and the village’s log wall overhung with bundles of them (think barbed wire). The village militia, 50-strong, guards the walls. Orchards and farms dot the nearby countryside.
- The mayor, Banick Blackroot, is always hungry to increase Oakbriar’s prominence in the region. His current project, supported by most villagers, is the building of a great temple to the Crossroads.
- Oakbriar has a fierce rivalry with the village of Duncath Harbor.
- This bleak stone expanse formed in the middle of a pitched battle between Blackfang Barony mercenaries and a horde of degenerate skurliths. Nearly a mile in diameter, it spans both sides of the road.
- At its center, the combatants are simply frozen in the heat of battle: some are mid-swing, others lay dying. Towards the edges, humans and skurliths were reacting to the expansion of the bleak stone: running in fear, shoving aside their companions in the vain hope of escaping petrification.
- Detouring around this expanse is difficult due to the hilly terrain, so travelers generally just move through it on the petrified road.
Ruins of Kykloth (“kye-cloth”)
- This ancient skurlith city fell centuries ago, and little remains but its cyclopean walls and tumbled towers.
- At night, sinkholes throughout the city emit an eerie purple fog that fills the entirety of this hex.
- Several bands of brigands claim the ruins as their own. The strongest are the Wolfsisters, led by Sannix Kalbrath, and the Ambian Scourges, led by a devil-possessed husk that calls itself Mammukh.
Spire of Rhu
- Carved in the shape of a tree swarming with spiders, this looming 80-foot skurlith monument is full of holes, causing it to howl and wail in the slightest breeze.
- Baron Blackfang exiles mad folk and other undesirables here. They say the spire speaks to them of mysteries, past and present.
Tower of the Broken
- This low, wide coastal tower is stained and crusted with sea salt. Its outer walls are covered in incantations drawn in blood. The incantations are refreshed regularly.
- Home to a cult that practices devil worship, eats nothing but fat white worms (which wriggle out of the bay in droves nightly), and impales their sacrifices on stakes around the tower.
- The cult’s leader, Jasuffson Magnus, is the bastard nephew of the Baron of Blackfang, exiled to cause problems for the barony’s northern neighbor.
- For centuries, the holy village of Unakhem has been charged with burying Umr’s many priests in the Lake of the Dead (2508-2609). Corpses are purified in the Anakhob Desert, weighted down with mortar-filled skulls, and sunk in the lake.
- By decree, the population of Unakhem is limited to 314 priests. The Pale Wardens visit often to ensure that this holy number is maintained.
- Unakhem is feared and shunned by the people of the Blackfang Barony to the south, but attracts wanderers fascinated with its death rites nonetheless.
- This 300-foot obsidian monolith emits a cloying, noxious stench that the wind sometimes carries along the nearby coast. The pillar is all sharp angles, four-sided and coming to a squared-off point at the top. A vast heap of rotting flesh and bones surrounds the base of the monolith, and gives off a distinct odor of its own.
- The gharrudaemon Noxitanizzar is imprisoned here. It controls the wizard Sersus as well as a thriving cult of deranged humans who live on rafts and travel up and down the Trackless Coast. They prey on humans and animals alike to gather flesh for their master.
Windswept, desolate, and rich in silver, the Vulthar Hills are the source of much of the wealth in Skeldmar. The largest hills are actually giant-barrows, the burial mounds of giants who ruled the area in ancient times.
Weeping Forge of Ath-Xoth
- The greatest temple in all of Umr, the Weeping Forge is a vast structure built from titanic blocks of purple crystal, carved in the shape of an upraised human head wearing an expression of agony. Ath-Xoth is the fabled Left Hand of Umr-Khall, a vigilant warrior-god who protects the people of Umr.
- Umr-Khall’s faithful are expected to visited the Weeping Forge as often as possible. Fell rituals are conducted there without cessation, and those found wanting in their faith never return from their pilgrimage.
- Second only to the Voice of Umr-Khall, the Exalted Priest who runs the temple is one of the most powerful people in Umr. The Exalted gives up his or her name upon attaining the office, and most last two to three months before going irrevocably mad.
- This ancient skurlith monument is a pyramid that stands 100 feet tall. Made from a powdery white stone, it was once decorated with enormous paintings of scenes from skurlith history. These have largely been worn away, but the stone beneath them glows brightly at night, serving as an eerie lighthouse for ships in the area.
- Skurliths live beneath the pyramid in great numbers. They come out at night to gaze vacantly at the glowing walls, and are generally less aggressive than many of their cousins in other parts of Bleakstone.
- Legend holds that a skurlith of titanic proportions, perhaps an avatar of the Lady of a Thousand Pincers, lairs deep within the pyramid, but no entrances have ever been found.
Slightly more developed snippets
Grim Battlefield: A battle took place here long ago, and the victors drove 20-foot bars of pig iron into the ground and skewered their enemies’ heads upon them. Today, they’re little more than skulls, some with scraps of desiccated flesh still adhering to them. The battlefield has otherwise been picked clean, though rusted arrowheads and similar items can be found if searched for. Roll for age of heads: 1-3 pre-collapse, 4-6 post-collapse.
Crucified Corpses: In a clearing, 1d12 bodies have been crucified upside down on crude log crosses. The crosses have spars of even length (like so: “+”), marking them as having been made by fanatical worshippers of the Crossroads. Roll for age of corpses: 1-3 fresh, 4-6 d3 years old.
Miasma: A miasma of purplish mist clouds the air, making breathing difficult and muffling distant sounds while amplifying nearby ones. The mist is immune to the effects of mundane or magical wind and weather, and never dissipates. It extends to a height of roughly 20 feet. Roll for diameter: 1 entire hex, 2 1.5 miles, 3-6 500 yards.
Statue Garden: Stone statues of people and animals litter the area. All are broken off at the ankles or knees, and they’re in various states of disrepair. Some are planted in the ground in small groups, as if having a conversation, while others lay on the ground in disarray. Many of the ones that have been “posed” are wearing non-petrified clothes. The ground beneath them is not petrified, so they were clearly brought here from somewhere else. Roll for the age of the clothes: 1 brand new, 2-6 d6 years old.
Abandoned Village: An abandoned village can be found here, the roofs of the houses long gone, most of the walls toppled, and vines and wild grasses growing throughout the area. Skeletons, long since picked clean, are scattered about. Most appear to have been cut apart, with arm bones sheared through and skulls cloven in twain. The village has been looted, but damaged, rusty, and overlooked mundane items lurk in forgotten corners.
Tree of Endless Flame: A leafless tree, 40 feet tall, stands on its own in this area, engulfed in flames. From 15 feet up, where the branches begin, the whole tree is ablaze—but the fire does not consume it. If a branch is broken off, the magical flame becomes ordinary fire (and burns out normally, as well).
Ruined Keep: A burned-out keep, little more than four partial walls and a pile of rubble and rotten wood, can be seen from some distance off. There are scorch marks from cooking fires, bits of moldering bedding, and other signs that the place has seen use over the years since it fell into ruin. Check for a random encounter; if one is indicated, that’s what lives here. Otherwise, it’s empty—for now.
Unnatural Well: An old stone well pokes up from the ground here. In dim light or darkness, a faint bluish glow emanates from the well. Mist obscures the shaft after about 20 feet, never dissipating, and the well is 500 feet deep. At the bottom, it is blocked by rubble; atop the rubble are the corpses of some of those who have ventured into the well. Their bodies have not been touched since their death, so there may be a significant amount of treasure down there.
Summoning Rune: A strange symbol 100 feet in diameter has been burned into the ground here by members of an ancient cult. Torn-apart animal corpses in various states of decay litter the area; it smells terrible. The symbol is a summoning rune that exerts a “magnetic” force on nearby creatures, drawing them to it. The cult used (or still uses) it more directly by enhancing the summoning effect with their own magic. Check for a random encounter, and if one is indicated that’s what it just summoned. Roll for current state: 1 in use right now (3d8 cultists are present), 2-5 used within d3 weeks, 6 not used in decades.
Bloody Altar: A dolmen serves as a crude altar here. Brown stains mar the stone, and strange runes are graven into its surface. The ground for 50 feet around the altar oozes fresh blood when anyone walks on it, regardless of the season. Roll for usage: 1 long abandoned, 2-5 used within the past week, 6 in use right now.
Gnomish Cannibals: Twisted by unknown magic, a clan of cannibal gnomes dwells in a cave here. A curtain made from human skin covers the mouth of the cave, and their terrible kitchen sits just outside. They have little in the way of possessions, but crude implements of butchery, pots and other cookware, and valuables looted from their victims can be found in the cave. Roll to see how many gnomes are home: 1-2 all 5d8 of them, 3-4 none (for now), 5-6 only 1d8 of them.
Hill Face: A face 50 feet tall has been carved out of the stone in the side of a hill. The face has exquisite features, with a straight nose and high, noble cheekbones suggesting Falkanian blood. Its expression changes daily, though never while anyone is watching it and not always at the same time each day. Some in the region regard its expression as a portent of events to come, usually the immediate future but sometimes further out. Roll for expression: 1 wrathful, 2 betrayed, 3 anguished, 4 resolute, 5 faint smile, 6 serene.
Ruined Falkanian Monastery: The spire of this impossibly ancient monastery fell onto its roof at some point, bringing down most of the building; time and weather have done the rest. The monastery is little more than a pile of rubble, but the traditional Falkanian runes, weathered but still visible, that cover every inch of the place betray its origins. Roll for the presence of Falkanian coinage: 1 none, 2-3 2d12 gp that takes an hour to find (check for a random encounter), 4-5 4d12 gp that takes two hours to find (check twice for random encounters), 6 2d6x20 gp and the ruins are the lair of the result of a random encounter check.
Bleak Stone: Caravan: A merchant caravan traveling this section of road was turned to stone long ago—guards, wagons, drovers, and all, as well as the road under them and the ground for some distance in every direction. Many of the statues have been defaced, and some have been smashed entirely. Rubble is strewn about the area. Wagon ruts and bare grass mark where travelers have worn a new path around the expanse, rejoining the road on the other side.
Bleak Stone: Frozen Stream: A stream has diverted itself around a stretch of bleak stone roughly 50 feet in diameter, forming a fast-flowing creek around one side and a sluggish rivulet around the other; on the far side, it resumes its normal course. The petrified expanse encompasses a section of the original stream, every ripple and rill visible in the stone.
Bleak Stone - Petrified Village: This petrified expanse subsumed an entire village in the midst of being attacked by tribesmen from the Great Moor. The entire eerie tableau, from the terrified villagers being hacked apart to the howls of rage on the faces of their killers, is frozen mid-battle, perfectly preserved.
Bleak Stone - Mound of Corpses: Shortly after a massacre took place here, decades ago, this field was claimed by a petrified expanse. The grasses, shrubs, and flowers of the field itself have been smashed and broken, and bits of stone are strewn about. On one side sits a petrified pile of human corpses—men, women, and children—10 feet high and 20 feet long, the bodies stacked like cordwood. Atop and around the pile are fresh bodies, killed within the last few days; they’ve been stripped of valuables, but still have basic equipment. Roll for who they were: 1 Kardan League scouts, 2-5 bandits, 6 adventurers.
Bleak Stone - Shrouded Village: This small village of crude thatched huts was occupied when the bleak stone came, and several dozen villagers are in the center of town, peering out of doorways and windows, and otherwise milling about. The village is well-preserved, and the stone structures haven’t been defaced or vandalized. Every single statue of a person has been wrapped tightly in a weathered canvas shroud and tied up with thick rope. Despite being over 50 years old, the canvas and rope has withstood the test of time. People from nearby villages sewed and applied the shrouds out of respect for their dead, something that was not uncommon in the early days of the bleak stone.
A stand of twisted trees wholly unlike those around it, the ground between them carpeted with strange white flowers. The weathered corner of a small chest pokes out of the ground; inside it is a severed head wearing a filigreed plate helm worth 400 gp.
The tattered remains of a tent, its central pole still standing. A few rusty weapons are scattered around.
A heavy stone lid covers a bubbling pool of thick purple liquid with eyeballs floating in it. Anything submerged in the pool rots away, but eating an eyeball allows the eater to see through the eyes of one random intelligent creature within 100′ for 10d6 minutes.
Hermit’s cave, spartan and neatly kept. The hermit knows many things about the surrounding six hexes, and is (1d6): 1-2 home, 3-4 watching from nearby, 5 away, 6 dead.
Shrine to Kozal-Groth-Omol, God of Tumors. Animals and plants in the area are afflicted with terrible growths. 3d6 Omolite cultists are (1d6): 1 off abducting someone, 2 performing a sacrifice, 3 waiting in ambush, 4 praying, 5 massaging their tumors, 6 murdering each other due to a schism.
Abandoned homestead, its roof caved in, being used as a lair. Roll a random encounter; that’s what lives there.
Wildcat silver mine: one unstable shaft, a long ladder, piles of tailings, and 2d6 slightly crazy miners. The miners live in crude huts nearby, and one is always on guard.
Rhazolite monastery, home to 6d10 monks with purple eyes painted on their foreheads, at the center of a small farm. They have a robust library and will offer hospitality to anyone who helps till their fields.