The Ancient Kings campaign (a 3.5 game I’ve been running for about a year now, which is about to reach level 11) has switched gears to a full-on hex-crawl as the party is searching for clues as to the location of one of their major foes.
Over the last two sessions, they have traveled over three weeks northwards, heading to the land of dark days to find the spider-tribes that live there. Along the way I had to expand our regional map to something a bit… larger.
At the end of the last session, they arrived at the Tree City just off the north edge of the map (I’ll have to draw a hex map for the further northern region for the campaign to continue!). Each hex is 24 miles across – the distance they can travel in one day using their flying dragon turtle ship.
1. The Citadel At Sabre Lake – this has been their base of operations for most of the campaign. It’s a border city of the Empire, mostly ignored if it weren’t for the fact that it is the last bastion between the Empire and the Satrapy to the northwest.
2. The Seer of Sabre Lake – a beautiful seer who gave them their first major quest. She operates out of an old ruined amphitheater on the opposite shore of the lake from the Citadel.
3. The Colossus of GriffinTop – a 70-foot tall animated (and mostly intelligent) stone statue guards the entrance to a dwarven settlement of some kind, although there is no sign of activity around the region of the GriffinTop dwarves…
4. Crystal Lake & Falls – a pure and clear mountain lake that bears many totems of the Muddy FaceSmashers, a tribe of unknown humanoids (but probably goblinoids of some kind). Footprints around the lake also indicate the presence of a very large bipedal lizard in the region.
5. Monastery of 88 Flowers – a stone fortress built into the mountainside, the monks of the monastery share a vow of silence and and intense xenophobic dislike for visitors. However, their vows make them quite hospitable in actions, if not in demeanor.
6. The Ruins by Corvel – The ancient ruined city of Corvel was said to have magical defenses that were powerful enough to destroy a flying city that the Kale brought over from another dimension in the great war. One of the ruined defensive towers has opened itself to exploration with help from the elements. Here the adventurers met with an expedition from the Satrapy looking for this super-weapon. However, the Satrapy team had been ambushed by a horde of goat-men, and the party aided them, explored the contents of the ruins, and then were ambushed upon exiting the ruins by an old enemy of theirs.
7. The Stepped Well – near the river in the hills is an ancient stone stepped well. The party witnessed a group of 4 manticores here offering something seemingly of value to a single wild dog that was sitting by the well. A curious sight, but one that wasn’t curious enough for them to stop and investigate. A day’s travel north of here they flew past a 12′ leather shoe sitting on a hilltop… another strange sight for the log books, but not bearing further investigation.
8. Vale of Statues – in the morning light they spied a misty valley decorated by hundreds of stone statues, all facing the river, each with their hands held above their heads as if in supplication.
9. Dead Rat Landing – a small city on the south shore of the inland sea, the party ignored it as they were aiming further north, towards the famed Tree City that is the last bastion of civilization in the north and that is just across the inland sea from Dead Rat Landing.
The actual hexmap I used as the basis for the above combined vignette map is below (most of the detail is in the north-south line in the middle of the map, because I knew that’s where they would be traveling).