GURPS · Worked Example

World Creation 12 – The Monster-Infested Southern Coast!

(Note: this post is part of my Example of World Creation series.  For a full index to the series, head here. )

(If you want to see where we are, the full world map is here. )

Welcome back to this series of world creation posts.  Today we’re heading south of Valiroth (the Hawk-folk capital, remember?) to find out what kind of monsters lurk on the southern coasts.  Very exciting!

Here’s the relevant portion of the world map:

World Creation 12 - The Southern Coast - Unnamed

Classic Lich - rough one.jpgAs you can see, there are a lot of “Monstrous” Regions along this coast!

A reminder: in this system, “Monstrous” doesn’t just mean “there are some monsters in this Region” – that’s true pretty much everywhere.  No, “Monstrous”  Regions are much worse than that!  “Monstrous” means something like “This area is ruled by a monstrous civilization.”  Monstrous regions are the Mordors and Angmars of the world.  So this is a tough stretch of coastline!

Let’s start in the North and then work our way down the coast.

Sinisthral 3.jpgThe Swamp

Who rules that “Monstrous” swamp right up at the top of this area – just tucked in between Valiroth and the ocean?  This really matters, since that swamp blocks the mouth of the Rulerun River, the main artery of many of the most civilized lands.

What sort of monster holds the headwaters?  A drumroll, please….  there’s much at stake in the next roll…

(Rolling for population type…)

Humans!

Wow, ok – I wasn’t expecting that.  Why are these humans so monstrous, I wonder?  To find out, let’s roll for a Theme…

(Rolling for theme…)

 “Choose any or none.”

Singroth Cultists.jpg
Cultists like these guys, maybe?

Ok – but what shall I choose?  Well, “Underworld” is a possibility – maybe the swamp is held by pirates.  But that seems unlikely – surely pirates wouldn’t last long right next to the heart of the “Militaristic” Valirothain empire.  But what about “Infernal”?  Yes.  Let’s say that a cult of powerful demon-worshipers have gained a stranglehold on this swamp  – and their dark sorceries are so powerful that even the might of the Valirothian army hasn’t been able to shake them, despite having every incentive to do so.  Nasty!

Singroth Cultist 5.jpg
Dark Gods prefer Scarlet.  Everyone knows that.

Let’s name this Region, too: a combining an “Infernal” and a “Swamp” name should do nicely.

(Rolling for name….)

The Harrowed Morass.

Excellent.  Later, I’ll come up with a name for the Cult itself – but not right now.

The first of the “Monstrous” Coasts

Instead, let’s move one step further south down the coast,to the next Monstrous Region.  What dark power rules here?

(Rolling for population type…)

Humans.

Singroth Cultists 2.jpg
Cultists of Singroth

Ok – it looks like this is the same Cult, so let’s declare that this Beach Region and the Swamp Region to the North of it are parts of the same Realm, all of which is “Infernal” in theme.   As for a name, this looks like a job for an Evil Realm name.  (From the Proper Names for Fantasy Locations tables, here)

(Rolling for a name…)

Singroth.

Sure, that sounds pretty evil.  What about a name for the Coast, too?  A “Coast” term plus an “Infernal” modifier should do.

(Rolling for name…)

The Smoldering Shore.

Perfect!

Let’s take a look at the map again:

World Creation 12 - The Southern Coast - Unnamed

The Three Wilderness Regions

What about those three little wilderness regions, right in the center?

Let’s start with the Hills.  This is important, since this as we determined way back at the start of this world creation process, this is the Starting Region – which means that the PCs will be located here when the Game begins!

Who lives here?

(Rolling for population type…)

Humans.

Hermit crab
No, not that sort of Hermit.

Ok, fair enough – that just seems like what I’m rolling today.  This is a “Wilderness” Region, though, so there aren’t very many humans.  Perhaps this Region sometimes contains a few stray human cultists from Singroth?  Or a couple of extremely die-hard Hermit types?  Maybe the Theme will tell us.

(Rolling for theme…)

Religious!

Hermit.jpg
That’s more like it.

Interesting.  It looks like “die-hard Hermit types” was right.  Is this little patch of wilderness sacred to some religion, perhaps?  That might explain the PCs’ presence here.  It might also explain why this little patch of wilderness stays wilderness, despite the fact that it’s entirely surrounded by Monstrous Regions.  I think I see the plot train coming!  Does anyone want to play  a Druid?

Now let’s roll up a name, using a “Hills” name element plus a “Religious” modifier.

(Rolling for name…)

Monks’ Crag.

Couldn’t be better!  Those die-hard hermits will be happy – they’re having an impact on the map.  Hermits love that.

Now for the other two tiny “Wilderness” Regions.  I’ll roll up Population Type and Theme at the same time.

(Rolling for population type and theme…)

The results: the first beach Region is “Human” and “Dangerous;” the second beach Region is “Seal-folk” (AK.A. Selkies?) and “Dangerous.”

SelkieWell, it’s starting to become clear why there are no monsters here: the hills are sacred, and the coasts are just too dangerous!  What about names?

(Rolling for names…)

Razorbeach and Sealsands.

The first of these, I rolled up using a “Dangerous” modifier,  and the second I just invented, since I wanted to refer to the Seal-folk sometimes found here.  But I want to name the whole area, too: to do that, let’s roll for a “Wilderness” theme element and a “Beach” term.

(Rolling for a name…)

The Promontory of Outcasts.

No – it’s not a promontory.  Reject that!

(Rolling again…)

The Bay of Idols.

Great!  That’s perfect, since we already have “Monks’ Crag” looking out over it, and as everyone knows, Monks and Idols go together like Dragons and Dungeons.

But there’s yet another Monstrous Region to the South of the Bay of Idols!

You’re right – heading South again, we run into another long stretch of Monstrous coastline. Who lives here?

Evil Merfolk 1
Into the Dark Land Of Kilgorm, thou shalt not pass!

(Rolling for population type…)

Merfolk.

Great- so we have evil merfolk ruling the beaches here. No wonder this whole area of the ocean is Monstrous!  A Theme for this Region?

(Rolling for theme…)

Magical.

Well, that fits just perfectly – merfolk are pretty magical types. Let’s roll up an Evil-themed name for this Realm.

(Rolling for name…)

Kilgorm.

That sounds quite evil to me.  I wonder how these evil Kilgormian merfolk get along with the infernal cultists up the coast?  Presumably they’re more civilized: Kilgorm has two towns, whereas the cultists in Singroth have none.  Maybe Singroth is just a demon-infested wasteland, for the most part, whereas Kilgorm is a proper (evil) civilization?

There’s one more Monstrous Region down here, and I’m tempted to make it part of Kilgorm, but I think it might be fun to roll it up by itself and then see.

(Rolling for population type…)

Merfolk again.

Wow – ok, clearly the dice gods are telling me that this region has to be part of merfolk-ruled Kilgorm.  So let’s unite the two Regions into one Realm, and then roll for a Theme for this second part, just to make it distinctive.

Evil Merfolk.jpg(Rolling for theme…)

Dangerous

Intriguing – it seems as if the south-facing beaches are consistently coming up as “dangerous” on this area of the coast.  Maybe this whole coastline gets buffeted by strong southerly winds, making south-facing beaches tough and perilous, particularly for shipping?   Let’s name these beaches.

(Rolling for names….)

I get “Darklingshore” for the magical coast, and “Baleshore” for the dangerous coast.  Both seem pretty evil, as well as dangerous, so they suit a realm ruled by evil merfolk.

Last Region for today!

Ok, moving on to the last Region for today: the tiny Wilderness area down south. Who lives here?

Evil Merfolk talking
Two diabolical Kilgormian Merfolk cut a deal…

(Rolling for population type…)

The odd Human or two, evidently.

(Rolling for Theme…)

I get a “Choose any or none” result. Ok – but for inspiration, I roll again, and get “Underworld”. Sure, I’ll take that – maybe this Wilderness area is where scoundrels and robbers from the semi-civilized Regions to the South of here hang out, and do secret deals with the evil merfolk of Kilgorm.  The name of this region?

(Rolling for names….)

I get “Runaway Beach” and (somewhat hilariously) “The Bay of Depravity”. Sold!

That’s it for this stretch of the southern coast! And it’s starting to look pretty interesting – we have a whole mess of aquatic evil down here, totally surrounding a tiny patch of sacred wilderness  which, as luck would have it, is precisely where the campaign begins…

Here’s the area map as it now stands:

World Creation 12 - Singroth and Kilgorm

In the next post, we’ll follow the wicked Merfolk of Kilgorm out to sea to find out what brand of Evil lurks in the Deeps…

And as always, here’s the big world map again, in case you want to see where we’re headed.

Worked Example - Stage 7

Here is a bigger, zoomable version of the map.

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