Monday, January 7, 2013

The Virgin Woode - The Next Nod Hexcrawl

My original map of the region*
The Virgin Woode is a narrow coastal plain backed by a wide swathe of wooded hills. The woodland is composed of such trees as oak, hawthorn, elm, birch and magnolia. It runs along the eastern coast of Antilia, from the Bloody Mountains in the south to the Trow Hills in the north. To the west it is bordered by the Purple Mountains.

Upon the disappearance of the Emperor of Nomo and the subsequent decline and fall of that empire, the tributary city-states of the Motherlands sought to claim a portion of their old master’s power. This was first attempted in a series of ineffective wars, as no one city-state was powerful enough that it could best its rivals, separated as they were by vast tracts of wilderness.

Begrudgingly, the aristocracy was forced to turn to “vulgar commerce” to rake in the gold, chartering adventurers to delve into the underworld and merchants to ply the seas or take caravans through the wilderness. The city-state of Guelph really got the ball rolling by their establishment of Port Janus at the midway point in Mother Ocean between the eastern landmass and western landmass. From there, they skirted the Blustering Main and founded the colony of Argentum in Hybrasil, discovering rich veins of silver, gold and electrum.

As the Guelphlings moved this metal back home, the filibusters of Tremayne began sallying forth from their normal haunt, the Tepid Sea, and conducting piracy on the high seas. With the galleons of Guelph so harried on Mother Ocean, the merchants of Antigoon were able to move through Mother Ocean and through the stormwracked Blustering Main to found their own trading post in what came to be called Dweomer Bay, after the strange magical radiations of that landscape.

Eventually, Port Janus fell to the pirates of Tremayne, cutting Argentum off from its metropolis (confusing, I know, but I’m actually using the word “metropolis” properly here). Dweomer Bay continued to thrive, though, as the Virgin Woode beyond produced cargo ships more often than treasure ships, and because the Antigooners and their ilk proved a seafaring match for pirates, where the landlubber Guelphings did not. The wars between the colonists and the pirates continue to this day, of course, but Dweomer Bay’s libertine attitudes and focus on commerce has been an attractive lure to adventurers in search of lucre, merchants desperate to escape overbearing nobles and every weirdo in the world yearning to let his or her freak flag fly has kept brave, hearty souls traversing the pirate haunted waters of the Blustering Main to Dweomer Bay or one of the many village and towns that now dot the shore of the Virgin Woode.

These colonists, scalawags, adventurers, roustabouts and ne'er-do-wells have much to fear, though. By land, the fey and the wild elves harry them at every turn; many a trapper has survived a bear attack only to perish under the gnarled foot of a treant, who marks the occasion with no more than a casual shrug of its woody shoulders and a scrape of the foot on a handy boulder. By sea, an ancient empire has arisen "from the silt" - the aquatic elves of Atlantis desire to expand their empire on land, and seek to choke off the commerce that is Dweomer Bay's lifeblood.

Wild elves, cunning fey, avaricious Atlanteans, dangerous elven ruins ... there's plenty to see and do in the Virgin Woode.

* I just recently resurrected an external hard drive that had a ton of my original work on the Land of Nod! So excited!


  1. Sounds cool, looking forward to seeing it detailed.

  2. Nice map, I like ye olde timey look. I like the concept of early Americas colonialists vs. the native fey, plus pirates cruising about. Very interesting mix of ideas.

  3. Very cool! Was that map inspired by the Virginia coastline? The Chesapeake bay isn't very pronounced there, but it reminds me of an early map of the area around, say, Jamestown.

    1. Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay, yes, but only inspired. I was going for that mid-Atlantic feel.

  4. neat idea and map. I look forward to seeing more of it.


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