Eight Hex Locations

Joe Wetzel does good work. (I’m still a big fan of the Dungeomorph Dice he produced.) Over at Inkwell Ideas,  he has an exchange available; eight hex locations, in exchange for access to Hexographer. Today is the deadline! (If he doesn’t already have enough submissions.) So, check it out, try it out, etc.

Here are the descriptions I came up with.

Badlands. Gashed Throat Gully. Wind erosion hollowed a corridor of rippling stone walls and worn sand, rising from the hardpan baked rock up to the tumbled maze several hundred feet higher. The only gap in the jagged cliffs is up the Gashed Throat Gully. Armies have camped on both ends. From shoulder height down, the gully is stained rusty red, and the gully has a metallic stink to it. The dead are uneasy here. The only water in the area is a deep well at the top of the Gully. Carved into the rock behind the well is the phrase “Only One Drink Quells All Thirst.”

Desert. Nomad Ribridge of Thelaxi. Some vast carnivorous beast died here ages ago, in the center of the desert. The Thelaxi are a small tribe of nomads who have fixed skins to the towering ancient bones of the ribcage, living in the sacred space within. In a place where sandstorms can dig through flesh to bone in a matter of minutes, the Ribridge is a known landmark to travelers; the Thelaxi trade shelter and water for stories. If travelers have no stories, and cannot make up stories, the Thelaxi will accept pain and blood instead. No one knows where the Thelaxi get enough water to not only survive but share with travelers. Were that secret to be known, merchants would pay dearly to gain the secrets of water in the desert, in the shade of an ancient corpse.

Farmland. The Brisket Basin of Braggatch. Hundreds of farms take advantage of the strangely rich soil of the Braggatch valley. While it is true cattle thrive there in small numbers, the name of the valley comes from its description as a tender tasty prize for whatever ruler can seize and hold it without ruining it with lots of fighting on the farmland. The only legal weapons in the area are daggers, staves, and slings, but that’s more than enough to protect the crops, flocks, and herds of the cheerful farmers. When they are threatened, the people grow quiet and watchful, and a monster rises from somewhere in the hills and targets the interlopers. When they are gone, the people are cheerful again. No one knows what the monster is, or how it is summoned, but most are just as happy not thinking about it overmuch.

Grassland. The Ticklish Fields of Drunasil. Somewhere in the waving grass is the sunken bowl of earth that used to be Drunasil, stronghold of the horse lords. The grim nickname for the area comes from an ancient legend that Drunasil was assaulted by a necromancer lord and his armies, and after a hard fight the horse lords lost out. Impressed and infuriated by their resistance, the necromancer cursed them to always defend their patch of earth, but then the necromancer had to retreat; the Drunasi had bought time for their allies to gather and march in defense of the area. Legend suggests that you will know if you find the lost ruin of Drunasil because the horse lords and their steeds will find your footsteps ticklish. They will scratch you. You will join them. Best just to stay out of those highlands.

Forest. Losval’s Forgotten Army. The revolution was over, and Losval ran from the bloody blades of the victors. He took his army deep into the woods, and shaped them into trees. When he blew his mighty horn, they would take on their human shape once more, and charge to his rescue. But he did not blow the horn, nor did his son, or any of his line. That was a thousand years ago, or more. No one has a reason to go back into the woods, the deep woods, off the beaten path; still, some curious few have. They comment, if plied with beer and kindness, on the almost-human knots and twists on the tortured ancient trees. And on the almost cruel serenity of the younger trees, which are still ancient. And on the malicious whispers and titters of the younger trees, which are still terribly old by modern standards. If Losval’s horn were to be found, it would probably be best if no one sounded it.

Hills. Womb of the Dark Breath. Streams trying to escape the jealous mountains carved through the bodies of their foothills, riddling the rocky earth and lower forests with caves and channels. The very ground whispers always, chuckling and muttering to itself. Somewhere in the deeps there is rumored to be a cavern close to the pulse of the throbbing earth’s heart, where the water is cooked into the air, and light never reaches. This place is called the womb because it is where all the fungus began, before it was carried through the darkness and spread all underneath the hills. Life down there feeds on the fungus, thrives and grows large and strange. But… still, however strange, that fungus gives life. Even to the dead.

Jungle. The Broken Face of Khal Madacht. The jungle swallowed the shattered rock of this shelf of land. Legend suggests that the soil of the jungle came from the droppings and corpses of the demon army of Khal, which was slain by five mighty heroes before time really began. This legend was likely started by people who did not like being in the food chain; parasites, insects, predators large and small, and defensive plant life have created a savage circle of life in the jungle here. Roads go around this area. Every attack invites counterattack; even cutting through brush is a dangerous exercise.

Mountains. Ghost Tunnel Pass. The pass is not haunted; it is a ghost itself. Sometimes you can find it, sometimes you have to go around. The guides for the area accept this as fact, and no longer find it remarkable. Scholars have suggested it is an ancient dimensional tunnel crafted by ancient magics, or it is a physical manifestation of a ley line through the mountains, or it is a gift of the gods. There are many stories of people who have gone into the Ghost Tunnel Pass and come out decades later, or before, or never come out at all. Also groups have entered the Ghost Tunnel Pass from some other time or place, and emerged bewildered at the foot of the mountains. Exorcist, the town at the base of the trail, has many strange inhabitants indeed.

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