Tuesday, 16 June 2020

d100 Wonders in the Tundra

Bingo bango bunga
Im so happy on the tundra
It's the place to go
Bingo bango bunga 
It's a land of frosty wonder
where the mammoth flow
pack my sticks and flints and clubs
and I'm ready to go
but no matter what the shaman says
I seem always far from home


So while my setting is inspired by history and the main area is based on Beringia where ancient herds walked from china to north America. But Im happy to throw in all kinds of prehistoric fauna like terror birds. Mostly late Pleistocene but some Eocene animals and feathered and furred dinos are ok. I like flightless birds and some animals from other continents. In the mountains, there are many strange unwelcoming valleys and magic creatures.

These are strange encounters on the tundra and while they might be spectacular they do not have to lead to combat. Fleeing in most cases should be an option. They are more for populating hexes for 
exploring than to find in the existing territory. If you dropped some on a map you could have people hear about some from other tribes in trade.

The tundra is less magical and has less strange remnants of the past than the hidden mountain valleys. It is a new land, fresh with the new order of life and start of the human age. Necromantic wizards are beginning to work together to recover forbidden lore of the age of darkness and their alien gods who fell from the stars.

Oddly if you go into the deeps trolls and dwarves wage war in the Underland and it may not have changed as much as the surface nor will it. To be fair those in the deep fell less far in the cataclysms in the past and some things survived best forgotten. Elves and Dwarves have advanced but hidden settlements. Those that dwell near humans and great wastes are of a lesser sort, broken by cataclysm and determined to keep their arts away from humans. So most of the elves work in wood and dwarves use stone hiding metal from all the younger races that lost these secrets. 

Technology
This is just to cover a variety of settings but the first half most relevant here. More primitive ape folk and white apes often rate 1 or 2. Most tribes are 3-4 and 5 is the highest tech most will ever see. Occasionally some culture moves to 6 but would be considered decadent and influenced by forbidden arts of the ancients. There are tribes dedicated to destroying civilisation from before the age of night ended. Occasional non-humans develop advanced tech or you might find it in the deep where the long night never quite ended. Magical technology can diverge from this but assume more advanced tech offers more types of magic training and fancier temples and palaces. Golem makers made ovens and pumps that were automated which could duplicate more advanced technology.

d12 Technology For My Setting
1 Shun fire, use clubs and sticks and rocks temporarily
2 Use and keep fire once found, spears and stone tools, knots and weaving, sewing
3 An expert keeps secrets of fire and keeps others in fear, gather grain, fishing
4 Fire use common, encourage local food plants, dogs, monolith makers, shields
5 Wooden houses, cyclopean stone walls and tombs, some copper, herd beast
6 Specialist warriors and weapons for war, leather armour, fortifications, bricks, irrigation
7 CIty states, writing, mass archers, phalanxes, swords, helmets, bronze, ox and donkey battlewagons (onagers), united pantheons, state religion, writing, great temples
8 Siege engines to break city walls, roads, empires, horse chariots, alchemy, metal armour, currency, composite bows, ponies ridden for messengers not yet war
9 Cavalry horses big enough for war, iron tools more common and reliable than bronze 
10 Improved steel more common in armour and longer swords, crude cannon, compass
11 Crude handguns, mortars, grenades, gunships and age of exploration
12 Improved mechanics including clocks, printing press, astrolabe, perspective realism

d10 Wonders in the Tundra Types
01 Animal
02 Sky
03 Earth
04 Water
05 Plants
06 Monuments
07 Supernatural
08 Mythic remnants
09 Elder magic
10 Faerieland

d100 Wonders in the Tundra
01 Find remains of a slaughtered herd of beast killed and possibly fresh or just bones, d1000 bodies d4 1=driven into ravine 2=died of disease 3=killed by cloud of underground gas released 4=killed by some deranged monster
02 Mammoth herd solemnly dragging mammoth bones to their secret graveyard inarea trumpeting sadly, mammoth hunting tribe hates anyone meddling in a mammoth ceremony that brings back mammoths from the underworld
03 Huge hives of some kind of giant insect d4 1=ants 2=termites 3=bee 4=wasp
04 Witness some huge ferocious predator ambushing some huge herbivore sparking panic in all local areas
05 Hear trumpeting mammoths communicating over a vast distance, some experts can understand the mammoth gossip d4 1=daeth and danger 2=mammoth birth 3=long lost mammoth kin reunited 4=beware of enemies
06 Hundreds of ground rats migrating hungrily, if you attack them or have open food say in a camp they attack as a swarm biting furiously 5% of those bitten get bubonic plague
07 Herds swarms over the horizon smothering sky to sky best head for hills or be trampled
08 Millions of migrating huge moths rich in nutrition (taste like egg, 1in6 like bacon), everyone can be lazy and just eat for days, many animals do same
09 Unusually warm weather and falling fruit has made some animals drunk and they are unusually silly and bold and stupid d4 1=carniverous apes 2=wild dogs 3=small herd beast like goat or sheep 4=giant herd beast like a mammoth
10 Giant beavers have built a lake with a huge wooden manor, might trade with humans but wary. Have advanced carpentry skills
11 Strong winds blast this area mostly in one direction due to a local wind spirit some locals may know the name of
12 Spirit here brings fog to confound travellers and keep people away from secrets hidden inside d4 1=cave 2=monster 3=stone monolith 4=prehuman ruin
13 A friendly star spirit here keeps strangers who prey to her safe by night in camp
14 An invisible staircase here is sometimes discovered but it is broken part way up. If overcome leads to entry of an invisible (from outside) castle of a cloud giant his family killed by the gods of humans long ago so it hates humans and longs to torment them as prisoners. Possibly clues to a forgotten god might be here to reclaim for humans
15 Wind spirit here hates humans and buffets them with winds at first then lures them with voices crying for help to a strange haunted cave where monsters wait. The spirit has a totem here and destroying it frees the area of evil
16 The black wind spirit sound of the moaning dead of the apocalypse long ago, the sound panics animals and makes humans moody. Sometimes fights to break out within tribes
17 Sky spark brother spirit flies over the area with a magic flint and as often as once a day will shoot a lightning bolt at an evildoer or supernatural being or magician who casts spells without permission on others. Sometimes you see a strange lightning strike in the distance and you might find a charred corpse if investigated
18 The great moon spirits protect a certain path here from supernatural evil by night and the direction and destination is known to local shaman and priests 
19 Bats are seen swarming from a secret cave by night here. Inside goblins farm fungus and ride giant bats around the vast Underlands. Goblins might trade
20 Long ago a great vulture demon lost it's wings here two huge burned patches on the earth and a stone monolith which is the petrified bird demon. Certain wizards know a rite to revive the demon who will seek to restore wings and return to the war on the sky spirits
21 A great bubbling tar pit is here and a 1in4 chance a herd beast is trapped d4 1=mammoth 2=auroch 3=megacerops 4=giant elk. 1in4 chance a preditor is interested and possibly gets in trouble too d4 1=sabretooth 2=dire wolves d4 3=hyenadon 4=cave bear
22 Quake shakes the area
23 SInkhole opens up into a deep cavern chamber, dead animal remains from aeons remain
24 A great pit opens before your eyes as permafrost thaws at least thirty tards across and at least that deep
25 Chasm ideally suited to driving herds into ambushes or falls, remains of ancient kill sites remain
26 Cliffs with deposits of valuable minerals exposed d4 1=coal 2=flint 3=copper 4=crystal 5=ochre 6=salt 1in4 chance is actually poisonous tainted salt that an expert might detect and refine
27 Cliffs with miraculous petrified remains of sea creatures, giants and monsters
28 A spectacular cavern entrance into the Underland, some chambers huge with lightwells and even trees inside. Strange creatures frequent here and some say it is tabu
29 A petrified forest has become exposed with some petrified giant newts or dimetrodons occasionally from a great prehuman magic disaster
30 A crater with something buried deep in centre d4 1=star stones (meteoric iron) 2=remains of a divine being from heavens who fell here long ago but a remnant of their spirit here that can be contacted for lore 3=kaiju gargantuan horror fell here and has slumbered for an aeon 4
31 Spirit here makes heavy cold rain pelts tundra when in bad moods flooding lower areas, streams and other areas become flooded. Animals flee but some drown. Spirit sleeps in a cave in form of a spirit dragon who will listen to those who worship it
32 The area is a huge muddy bog seasonally frozen but geothermaly warm with some creatures surviving here long gone elsewhere d4 1=crocodiles 2=giant snapping turtle 3=giant frogs 4=hydra
33 The area always has visible snow and ice year-round and a small melting glacier is surrounded by muddy gravel sludge. A horrible ice beast finds it a pleasant home d4 1=frost salamander 2=white dragon 3=ice devil 4=ice worm
34  A beautiful clear crater lake is home to a nymph. If given a husband she will allow his tribe to fish and collect water or even settle here
35 A bubbling mineral spring of warm water with colourful mineral deposits and bacterial growths like some other world. Some local ice baboons like to wallow serenely here
36 A beautiful lake here is inhabited by a monster that hates humans d6 1=marshhag 2=plesiosaur 3=deranged lake troll 4=aquatic wight in tomb flooded long ago 5=kelpie 6=kraken
37 A huge chunk of strange coloured ice with a terrible huge creature inside
38 The boiling geyser erupts from hotsprings several times a day like clockwork but sometimes become more frequent between quakes. Mist around the geyser site for hours after the eruption
39 A strange area of bogs and wetlands ruled by an evil spirit that can see through every creature born in the swamp or catches swamp fever. The being is cruel and capricious and has a tribe of horrible inbred cultists living in stilt houses or reed rafts
40 A salt flat area of stinking marsh with flat areas that seasonally are dry and caked with salt that some come to collect but they don't stay long. Some say some kind of salt creature dwells here leaving husks of dried corpses encrusted in salt crystals. Salt encrusted zombies and skeletons arise from those murdered.
41 A gigantic tree some visit as a sacred site and worship the great tree spirit. Some communicate with the spirit that occasionally appears as a tree nymph
42 Strange thick razor grass here slashes up unarmoured creatures and is one to two metres high. Most avoid it or need to make protective wear. Huge rhino like beasts graze here and a strange prehuman ruin is in the centre
43 A forest here has a tribe of monkey folk who live in a treetop village connected by vines and woven platforms. They are wary of open areas or strangers who probably want to eat them
44 Two fused trees form an archway which acts as a gateway to a fairyworld
45 Forest of gigantic trees many have hollow spaces inhabited by d4 1=animals 2=elves 3=halflings 4=gnomes
46 Magical tree with 2d6 fruit with a magic effect that keeps for d4 days if picked d6 1= healing 2d4 2=STR +d4 for hour 3=gives vision of future peril 4=cure poison 5=cure disease 6=restoration
47 Forest of living tree guardians unwelcome to human or bigger animals but might negotiate with a druid
48 A great tree with a doorway and stairs inside. Tree inhabited in trunk, branches and roots by magical beasts and faerie folk and the upper branches and lower roots connect to other worlds 
49 Circle of trees sacred to elves and tabu for humans. An elf lives in each tree with a bow and several friendly animals serve them
50 Forest with village of people really tree spirit folk channelling. Sometimes they all hide as trees till strangers leave
51 Stone circle where the sarsen stones are petrified giant tyrants who ruled long ago and possibly might be awakened by evil wizards or magic 
52 Huge ugly squat toadlike stone rock shunned by modern peoples, a wizard cult once worshipped here and those who sleep near have nightmares of a witch and demon frog orgy
53 A whicker figure 12 yards high, once a year druids gather to fill it with animals and criminals and burn it to ensure fertility. Some volunteer or are chosen by priests and anyone interfering will be attacked. Willing sacrifices hoped to serve the gods and feel cheated enough to hunt rescuers and kill them sadistically
54 A stone circle used for monthly, seasonal and yearly rituals including ones where locals drag a sarsen stone a few hundred yards 
55 A rectangular stone plinth with huge reptilian feet broken off at ankles remains of a reptilian civilisation. Other stones are scattered and almost all inscriptions are destroyed unless you dig
56 A crumbling mound of clay bricks, many reverting to mud and vegetation grows around it, some bricks have inscriptions detailing ancient kings, some relief art on wall shows beast headed monster kings with human and orc slaves bringing tributes and sacrifices 
57 A black basalt tower with stairs and no windows, apparently the upper levels were lost long ago, inside the stairwell are wizard symbols useful as spell research. The basement is a ancient prehuman dungeon with magic experiments and relics left by dying beings 
58 Artificial hill mound of enormous size with stone-lined shrine halfway up and a sealed tomb inside dedicated to ancient wizard slaying warrior race mostly gone now
59 Cavern complex with multiple cult ritual areas and galleries of paintings and signs used by wizards and priests and druids for aeons. Many come here on pilgrimage from far away
60 Plain of half exposed ancient crumbling statues of trolls. Some say this was where first trolls born from rock or were chaos trolls struck by the sun and petrified. There are dozens visible and the buried ones are more intact and could be revived by wizards. Most troll races became extinct warring the gods in dawn times
61 Huge diagrams in earth depicting animals spirit lords here that shaman visit to contact, made to be seen from above by sky spirits of shaman dreamings. Used by local shamen to contact spirits of long-gone animals. Shaman gather here once a year to walk over the line paths beating drums then spend three days in a spirit lodge built of wood  
62 Huge carved wooden totem of a god of a tribe passing this way long ago. The tribal god will accept offerings and the cult might be recoverable here
63 Strange smokey spirits arise in shadows of woodlands or more so at night, a ruined temple mostly buried has an evil relic responsible and certain evil wizards would crave it 
64 A spectral beast of enormous size stalks by night area but by day its footprints are visible and scent scares other beast d4 1=one eyed dire wolf 2=rotting angry woolly rhino 3=gigantic black auroch bull with red eyes 4=displacer cat. If destroyed it returns a year later unless body is found and burned or blessed
65 The crumbling ruin of ancient city inhabited by lesser undead that become common by night, walking routes they did in everyday life
66 An evil spirit lurks the land invading the dreams of humans and taunting them with visions of prehuman horrors of the past
67 A monolith here attracts werewolves. A d4 are always present and these can change at will and many others roam area subject to moonlight to change. By day most will be human and try to meet strangers to deceive them, even offering to guide strangers to a great campsite
68 Crumbling stone temple home of a deranged ancient vulture man priest in filthy bejewelled robes, can be tricked into teaching elder lore and fond of honey. Has a library of ancient tablets. Only a matter of time before someone kills it
69 Huge cliff face with carved tombs of lizardfolk, crazy lizard worshiper cult say area tabu and death for outsiders
70 Ghost ground a bad place where buried people or animals arise as undead. Evil wizards come here to study and collect soil for spells but many zombies and skeletons prowl here and fights attract more
71 Huge footprints where a great spirit strode long ago
72 Huge rocks where a giant was slain long ago 
73 Rocks once runaway wives of a vengeful wizard who is also a nearby rock
74 Elongated hill with bulge said to be where a great spirit threw a war club
75 The gigantic skeletons of primordial being long dead from battles at end of dawn age, wizards collect fragments and a tribe of huge warriors here kill wizards on sight
76 Huge odd-shaped hill said to be a dwelling place of elves inside
77 Huge petrified monster broken into chunks in some ancient battle with the gods
78 Strange stony hill said to be formed from skull of a giant
79 Section of river said to have been where a god dragged corpse of a monster
80 A smoking lone mountain where some ancient monster is imprisoned and being tortured by fire and poison
81 Great crumbling green stone pyramids with sea creature motifs, degenerate cultists worship place as holy to an elder sea demon
82 A great circular ruin of marble and onyx, where and elder prehuman empire teleported slaves to other such locations around the world. Some of the circle areas might still work and have inscriptions in the black unholy tongue of demons
83 A strange stone pylon with no opening unless touched by a wizard where a doorway fades into being. Inside a control altar with glowing gems can influence local weather and climate but it is easily abused and goes haywire
84 A strange stone pylon with no opening unless touched by a wizard where a doorway fades into being. Inside a control altar with glowing gems can open a gate to the age of darkness when monsters ruled that stays open for 24 hours. It can only be turned on once a month
85 A strange stone slab with sarcophagi like slab for a person to lay in. Was used to drain the life from sacrifices to a now-dead demon and now is mostly useless. One day some other spirit or demon or cult will try to repurpose it by attuning with the relic
86 A great buried temple and inside is a great copper bowl with a black liquid ichor horror inside who guards inscriptions (usable for wizard research) against outsider's eyes. An idol to a hideous toad god of sorcery overlooks the chamber
87 A broken down step pyramid overgrown with shrubs and trees. An old shaman here knows a secret way inside but warns you the vampire bat goddess guard its secrets
88 Great stone snake idols on stone steps partially exposed by elements buried under gravel and mud debris of glacier
89 A great crack in earth with partial remains of an intact ancient city now exposed and occupied by goblinoids and monster faction including serpent cults, a dragon cult and a frogfolk clan. Many unsafe elder relics and tablets have been found here
90 A lake with a sunken ruin visible on bottom intact with carved stone dragons and a great temple to tiamat. An aquatic dragon lives here with a great treasure and sleeps for decades unless disturbed by smell of human flesh 
91 Two standing stones with a third on top forming an archway that opens to faerieland under the full moon and lights are seen in the area
92 A ruined heap of stone remains of an elf citadel fallen long ago and some fine ivory and amber carved trinkets have been found in the rubble
93 Stone statue of ancient demihuman carved into a rockface
94 Area abundantly fertile with more elves, faeries, sprites, goblins, dryads and nymphs living close to each other much like the faerie woods of the dawn times
95 Mushroom rings everywhere and lights by night where faerie and elves and changeling creatures dance and travel to other worlds on certain constellations
96 Elven nobles from otherworldly come here to hunt with werewolves as dogs to hunt human slaves. Distant faerie trumpets are sometimes heard when a hunt is on
97 Elves seen flying an exotic steed type here d4 1=griffon 2=pegasus 3=giant hawk 4=giant owl, locals assume there is a secret faerie gate in a high up place
98 Lake where many have seen underwater village and some even see marine beast folk walking the flooded streets. Others have vanished here also. The surface tension of the water acts as an otherworldly gate at times and some magic fish have been caught here
99 Dense woodlands hide a faerie tree fort populated by d4 1=bright elf 2=dark elf 3=sprite 4=pixie
100 A strange attractive woman has been seen in these parts with green skin who offer her lovely breasts to strangers. Some dryad or nymph or elf witch but those who dally with her vanish

No comments:

Post a comment

I love and welcome feedback but not spambots
Good feedback and suggestions inspire me to write more