The partial map posted, which of the 4 Points of Light settings is it from?
In the middle of Southland
Southland is meant to pay homage to the early days
of role-playing. Back then, high-level play was about
building and defending your own barony. Since the
original game was about dungeon crawling, players and
DMs that wanted outdoor adventures were forced to
turn to other games to meet their needs. One solution
was the game Outdoor Survival by Avalon Hill, which
included a board that could be used as a wilderness map
that players could explore. Dave Arneson, one of the
authors of the original edition, originated the use of
this board and placed it south of his main campaign. As
his campaign progressed, several of the players began to
clear the map of monsters and build their own baronies.
It is in the spirit of those early days that this area is
named Southland. A land of few realms and many wideopen
spaces, Southland is an area where your players
can establish their own realms.
Here on the wild frontier, adventurers struggle to
push back the wilderness. Mile by mile they push back
the monsters and move the boundaries of civilization
forward. Opposing them are the Blood Fist orcs, the
dark elves of the Underrealm, and renegades from the
Grand Kingdom, yet there are allies to be found within
Where the Sarduin and the Darkwine rivers join, the
Grand Kingdom has founded its first major settlement,
Castle Westguard. The settlement is growing due in
large part to the thriving trade between the Grand
Kingdom and the Dwarves of Bolzak. The dwarves
send shipments of weapons, iron, and gold through
their port at Nilik, which is then shipped by barge to
Castle Westguard, and finally moved by caravan over
the Golden Pass to the Grand Kingdom. The dwarves
also trade with the halflings of Dunshire, who barter
grain and fruit for protection and iron ore.
South of Westguard lies the elven realm of Silverdim,
the last outpost of the elves in Southland. Over 200 years
ago the Bloody Fist orcs, led by the dragon Arcador,
invaded the elven homeland of Silverwood. The orcs
laid waste to Silverwood, slaughtered many elves, and
claimed the forest as their own. After the orc invasion,
the remnants of the elves regrouped and traveled east,
eventually establishing a haven in Silverdim. The
Silverwood remains dominated by the orcs to this day,
and has been renamed the Blood Forest.
The dark elves of House Ardize have established an
outpost at Nightportal Keep, and have decided to
expand their power to the surface world. They have
recently made contact with the evil Baron Beldon, who
dwells in a castle to the north, beneath The Sunset
Rim. Beldon is an infamous traitor from a kingdom to
the north, and rumor has it that the baron betrayed his
king and fled to Southland to escape an almost certain
execution. Currently, he deals in slaves and contraband,
and has carved out a small realm for himself on the back
of these nefarious activities. The Baron has welcomed
the advances of the dark elves, and a tentative alliance
has grown between the two evil powers.
Scattered throughout the Southland are the ruins of
the Bright Empire. A thousand years ago, the Empire
was a shining force for good until their own hubris
brought them down. Today, the relics and artifacts of
the Bright Empire are eagerly sought for their potent
power, despite the rumors that the gods have cursed
many of them.
A section that is standard to all the maps where I talk about the premises for the maps and what needed to be done to place the map in your campaign.
Southland can be any frontier region of a kingdom in
your campaign. Any ancient empire in your campaign’s
history can work in place of the Bright Empire. The
Underrealm is a common feature in many fantasy
campaigns, and House Ardize can be replaced with a
suitable dark elf enemy of your choice. If no dark elves
exist, any non-human, evil race can be substituted.
The Bloody Fist Orcs are numerous enough that even
a determined party of high-level adventures won’t able
to destroy them in a single fight. Their lair may be
destroyed several times, but they will keep coming back
until the players can scour the Blood Forest clean of
The trade between Bolzak, Westguard, and the Grand
Kingdom has established a rudimentary economy that
players may expand when they establish their own
baronies. Threats to this economy can serve as the basis
for many adventures as the brigands of Castle Beldon
raid the caravans and river routes.
The Mist Falls
A rainbow cloud of mist marks these spectacular
hundred-foot-high falls. On a clear day the mist cloud
can be seen two hexes away. Legend has it there is an
entrance to the fey realm hidden behind the falls. Baron
Beldon has sent two expeditions to find this entrance,
but none have returned.
Ryne Creek forms the eastern boundary of Baron
Beldon’s lands. The baron’s cavalry patrol the creek
down to Wicking Lake.
The Sunset Rim
The Sunset Rim is an escarpment averaging 60 feet
high. It runs for nearly 50 miles, forming the base of the
Redstone Mountains. The rim’s base holds numerous
caves inhabited by tribes of troglodytes, except near
Baron Beldon’s realm, where the baron’s slavers use the
caves as holding pens for their humanoid stock.
This is the largest lake in Southland. Eight miles long
and five miles wide, it reaches depths of 100 feet. The
local fishermen claim to have seen a crystalline city of
unearthly beauty within the depths of the lake. The
southeast shore is infested with harpies.
These woods are inhabited by giant aurochs along with
packs of worgs that prey on them. The woods are also
known to have a huge variety of herbs, including many
rare varieties eagerly sought by alchemists.
1114 Westfield (Hamlet)
A dozen long, wooden barracks and a stone manor house
make up this hamlet. Here Lord Farris (Ftr6) runs a
latifundium with nearly 100 slaves (nearly all human),
5 guards (Ftr3), and 10 overseers (Ftr1) who supervise
slaves in the fields. The slave labor in Westfield supplies
nearly all of the food for Castle Beldon (Hex 1214).
Westfield is also home to Captain Travis (Rgr5) and his
four slave hunters (Rgr3), employed by Baron Beldon
to hunt escapees. They often patrol the land, out to ten
miles (two hexes) around the various settlements.
1214 Castle Beldon (Castle)
Baron Victor Beldon was once one of the Grand
Kingdom’s most powerful nobles. Twenty years ago the
king died and the baron unveiled a plot to force the
succession council to name him king. He failed; and
when the new king was crowned, Beldon was named
a traitor. With his life in grave peril, Baron Beldon
gathered one hundred of his most trusted men and
fled over the Westwall into the wild. The baron found
several small hamlets and conquered them, settling
there with his men. When his scouts found a superb
location for a castle on the Sunset Rim, the baron forced
the people of the conquered hamlets to relocate. After
Castle Beldon was built, the survivors were separated
into two hamlets and forced to work as slaves, growing
food for the baron and his men.
With increasing trade between Bolzak and Westguard,
Baron Beldon began to recruit desperate men eager
to raid. The arrival of the dark elves provided much
needed allies. Victor Beldon’s new opportunities have
allowed him to plot his return to power in the Grand
Castle Beldon is built on a low mesa next to the Sunset
Rim. The only pathway snakes upward on the remains
of a collapsed ridge that once connected the mesa to the
rim on the southeast side. The other faces of the mesa
are sheer cliffs ranging from 50 to 100 feet high. There
is a spring present at the top of the mesa. The pressure
of an underground river forcing its way up the cracks
forms the spring.
Baron Victor Beldon (Clr11) is a priest of the blood god,
Azeel. His personal guard is commanded by a captain
(Ftr7), and consists of 5 guards (Ftr2). There are nearly
120 bandits and light footmen living at the castle, along
with 100 slaves and 20 camp followers. Along with the
bandits, the baron supports a coven of 4 dark wizards
(Wiz8, Wiz6, 2 Wiz2) to provide magical aid. He has
an acolyte, Saldor Balsign (Clr6), to lead his men in the
blood rites of Azeel.
1409 The Crocodile Hunter
A giant crocodile (10 HD) lives along the northwest
shore of Wicking Lake. There is a 20% chance per day
the party is ambushed if they stay within 200 yards of the
shoreline. The crocodile’s typical attack is to rush out
of the water and grapple its target with a bite, and then
drag the victim back into the water until he drowns.
1411 Ruined Glory
This site was once a tower used by the famed hippogriffs
riders of the Bright Empire. The tower has long since
fallen into ruin, and only the foundation remains. A
hundred years ago, a crack in the foundation formed,
allowing access to the bottom basements of the tower.
The tower is currently occupied by 24 wererats (1 HD),
20 giant rats (1 HD), and dozens of regular rats (1/4
HD). In a forgotten chamber are the remains of the
harnesses and gear once used by the hippogriff riders.
A dozen full sets can be salvaged and repaired.
Author Note: There is another locale, not on the preview map, that relates to the above.
1413 Mistfield (Hamlet)
This hamlet consists of several barracks and a stone
manor house. The slaves of Mistfield grow delicacies
for the baron and his men. Because of the Mist Falls,
the area is considerably wetter than the rest of the
baron’s lands, allowing various fruit orchards and vines
to be grown. The hamlet consists of 80 slaves that tend
the orchards, 3 guards (Ftr3), and 8 overseers (Ftr1) to
supervise the slaves.