This is a part four in a series of posts that will outline my homebrew campaign that utilizes the Vornheim Complete City Kit.
After I finished with the races of my Vornheim campaign I started thinking about locations near my city.
As I’ve stated this will be a Sandbox-ish game. I knew that I was going to apply broad brush strokes with my surrounding locations as well as a desire to allow the players to add on and put their own flavor into these areas.
I am not going crazy with an abundance of locations. More can be created/discovered as the players move about the Great Graveyard.
I wanted this world to exemplify the Weird Fantasy feel and thus I looked at how to make ordinary locations A) have a Weird edge to them. B) Include a dangerous feel to them, as this world now belongs to beasts, monsters, and stranger things. And C) To have “horror” implied in some of the locations since I was channeling Cthulhu here.
All of these locations have been created and named by me save for River of Unfathomable Despair. That is a name taken from the Vornheim book, however the description is all mine
Locations of the Great Graveyard
Forgotten Forest– This forest of gorgeous Evergreens is coated in a perpetual mist. No one knows what is in the forest. All who enter and manage to leave have forgotten what transpired during their trip.
Sands of the Defeated– This large desert is blanketed in wet sands. Hardly anyone dares to traverse this dangerous terrain due to the vicious Water Bears that roam the area.
River of Unfathomable Despair – This tossing river has a grey sheen to its waters. It is said that anyone who bathes in its rushing waters will sprout tentacles and become a mumbling morose within a few days. The water of the river is collected and purified at Vornheim foundries.
Plains of the Slithering Shadows– This area grows much needed grains and rice for Vornheim, however danger lurks everywhere. It is believed that this area is cursed and that the very shadows will consume you if not careful.
Shattered Mines- The real life blood of Vornheim is here, Baby’s Tears. The mines are fraught with peril but a contingent of guards and mercenaries stand guard around the clock to prevent looking and theft and to watch out for threats to the miners. Some brave or desperate miners work further into the mine where the webs of the Wailing Widows are harvested. These miners make more money as the job is much more dangerous.
The Monster Tree– A gigantic roving tree that laments the death of the world. It attacks anything that gets too close to it. Only when it is near the Forgotten Forest does it seem to calm down.
The Valley of the Screaming Dead– This valley lies below the cliffs of Vornheim. Looking down one cannot see the valley floor because of a thick mist. This mist is actually wailing ghosts that scream in agony and frustration at their death. The floor of the valley is covered in shambling corpses hungering for the flesh of the living. The Flesh Gates keep the dead locked in and make the citizens of Vornheim feel safe.
The Necropolis- This large mausoleum style cemetery is where all Vornheim citizens come to rest. Those of lower status are buried in wall graves. On the one year and a day anniversary of their death their grave is opened and made ready for another occupant. Exhumed bodies are taken to the Valley of the Screaming Dead.
The Shapeless Dark– An area of nightmares. Those who get close and look into the void are said to go mad by what they see.
The Dungeon Below– This area was been found to be rich in Baby’s Tears about 30 years ago. During the initial digging expedition an avalanche occurred that exposed a long forgotten doorway. The door has been opened and now brave souls venture down seeking fame and fortune. Not many return, but those who do talk of ruins, dangers, and riches.
Bat Wings– The three portals are just off the cliffs that sit above the Valley of the Screaming Dead. These portals lead to a different dimension that the Air Captains take their ships through for trade and adventure. The phenomenon got its name due to how the portals resemble a bat flapping its wings.
Lake of Dreams– People can view the dreams of the sleeping at this intensely blue lake. With special tools and some crafty magic it is possible to capture someone’s dream and make it yours. Few do this however since it is extremely dangerous and one mistake can cost you dearly. When dreams die they float to the mouth of the lake and enter the River of Unfathomable Despair.
Collaborative World Creation
I gave each of my players 4 of these locations and told them I wanted them to write up an event or piece of history that happened there. I’m hoping this gets the player to be more invested in history of the world since they had a stake in putting it together.
I also told them that each of them would be creating the feel/theme for one of the portals of the Bat Wings (now whether or not the players ever actually enter one of these dimensions is another thing altogether) and that we would create parts of Vornheim together (but what exactly I didn’t impart on them).
They are still working on their parts of the world. Since we have only had one session (more on that soon) I’m not rushing them. I have what I want/need to go off of if they decide to go there.
Tomorrow Vornheim Creation and Interesting Tidbits