Sunday, April 14, 2013

Setting Snippet: Winterfall

Periodically I write a page or two on a new setting.  It's just ideas and concepts, not detailed exploration.

Winterfall was placed north of the Kameurhorns on the Shadowend map.  It developed from a throwaway reference in a campaign handout I had written, the story of The Smith's Wife. Almost none of the references from the note made it into the actual setting design, which drew heavily on Scandinavian mythology - moreso than I generally like to do.

I ran a brief campaign in the Winterfall, but eventually folded most of the setting into the Shadowend proper - you can see it in the Near North and Utgard regions.

What follows is what I actually managed to write down describing the places of Winterfall. I have a map, but either it's not digitized or I didn't transfer it to this computer.


                Arthringlaur (Diamondsdelve)
                Badrul (Dragonsden)
                Mathedrellur (...home)
                Svorndriel (Whitemine)
                Temathdrellur (Darkhome)
                Zelazghul (Silversdeep)

                Bailetais: (temperate to cold marsh) The Bailetais is a thick swamp between the Talven Alasen to the east and the Shrouded Peaks to the west.  It receives year-round runoff from both areas, and is continually wet as a result.  The swamp drains northwards into the Rimesea, and its northern end has a more moderate climate than the southern reach.
                The most infamous residents of the Bailetais are the greenhags that make their home throughout its depths.  They rarely emerge from the swampland, but their strength has grown in the last century, and they have stopped trade along the High Road that stretchs from Valhem to the Kamuergard.
                Farzwold: (dense cold forest)  The Farzwold, or Frozen Forest, covers a large penninsula on the north coast of the Rimesea.  It is the domain of many outcast servants of the Ice, creatures deemed too wild or too independent to keep in Isenhamar or the other Ice-held regions.  A few exiled frost giant clans have settled here, and the forest is thick with winter wolves, harrow hounds (and some mongrel mixes), and dire animals of all kinds.  The leshii of the Farzwold are even more vicious than usual, and the blood of frost giants is mingled in their veins.
Gladsheim: (region)
          Valaskjolf: (city)
          Voska: (town)
Isenhamar: (region) Isenhamar is the stronghold of the frost giants, and lesser minions of the Ice.
Jarnwold: (dense cold forest): The Jarnwold, or Iron Wood, is a thick evergreen forest on the eastern border of Tuonela.  It is home to the so-called Iron Witches, or Jarnvik, a fearsome gathering of black hags and female sorcerers; mostly Vanar, talvijotun, and leshii.  The Jarnvik are currently allied with the Tuonar, but only for so long as their interests coincide.
          River Ylg: (river)  The Ylg marks the southern border of the Jarnwold.  A narrow stretch of rough plains seperates the Ylg from the Fyrfells to the south; this no-mans land is the site of numerous clashes between, variously, Jarnvik, Tuonar, and Aesar or Vanar warbands coming from the east.
Kamuergard: (region)
Kamuerhorns: (rugged to steep mountains)
Misty Isles: (region)
Nichtwold: (medium cold forest) The Nichtwold forms the central portion of the High Forest.
     Orjveim: (region)
     Rimesea: (cold ocean)
     Shrouded Peaks: (rugged mountains)
Surtheim: (region) This broken land lies between the Rimesea and the Fyrfells.  It is a desolate waste spotted with mud holes, hot springs, and geysers, many of which release toxic clouds of gas.  An isolated clan of fire giants control the northern fringe of Surtheim and parts of the Fyrfells; the rest of Surtheim is given over to humanoid tribes and the occasional visitor from the plane of Fire.
Talven Alasen: (cold moors)
Tuonela: (region)
          Nagrind: (town)
          River Gjailar: (river)
          Valgrind: (town)
Valhem: (region)
          Barrvangar: (town)
          River Fathing: (river)

The lands beyond Winterfall are both well-known and mysterious.  Just south of the Kamuerhorns is the  Utgard, stronghold of the giants and their kin.  Further south, over the sea from Utgard and the Misty Isles lie the lands of the Shadowend, frequent targets of Aesar raids, and fertile employment for Aesar and Vanar mercenaries.  To the north, the Far Ice stretches seemingly without end, its absolute dominion  broken only by isolated mountain peaks, and the stronghold of the light elves, Liosgard.  In the east lie unbounded woodlands, domain of the leshii and stranger forest folk, and the lost homeland of the Vanar.  And westward, over the oceans, lie the rocky, dragon-shrouded archipelago of Far Athanor that birthed the Aesar and Ceildin.
The Far Ice: (region)
Utgard: (region) South of the Kamuerhorns lies a stretch land caught between the forbidding mountains and the stormy sea, a rocky, barren stretch of coastline.  This is the Utgard, the Outerland, stronghold of the giants and their kin.  Hill and stone giants are frequent encounters, as are firjotun, ogres, trolls, and all their monstrous bastards. 


  1. Sounds as though it's coming along nicely. Unfortunately, the Kameurhorns mark the northern most edge of the map I have a copy of.

    No Winterfall! Feel my pain! :(

  2. Well, most of the Winterfall stuff was eventually moved south of the Kameurhorns, so it -is- on the map. Utgard is the region in the upper right; Kameurgard is at center-top, as is the Bailetais & Talven Alasen. Tuonela & Jarwold are in Utgard; the Farzwold is south of Kameurgard. The Misty Isles are left-center of the map, just above the Hundred Kingdoms penninsula.