Days of High Adventure
Dungeon World: A Closer Look

Chris Brackett | 8 Oct 2009 17:00
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As part of the rotating Days of High Adventure column series, I'm bringing you Dungeon World, a free tabletop fantasy RPG setting for old school adventuring. As promised in the last installment, here's a closer look at the regions of Dungeon World. The Dungeon World map is available here.

Kingdom of Ice

Formerly the kingdom of Rolgar, the Dead God of War and Keeper of Justice, the once-fertile hills and valleys of these lands are now blanketed in snow and ice. The sky is always gray, and a cold, biting wind howls unceasingly across the icy hills, bringing without warning blizzards that can last for days. High atop the tallest hill in the Kingdom sits Snowspire Castle, the God's former seat of power. Legends say that the Dead God's physical remains still sit upon his throne in the highest tower, watching over the frozen remains of his domain. No one really knows if this is true, since none dare brave the icy wasteland long enough to make the journey to the castle.

Black Water Bay

Some say that the powerful magicks that plunged the Kingdom of Ice into perpetual winter still ripple and eddy amongst the unfathomably dark waters of Black Water Bay. Others claim that these waters were haunted long before that day; that they are in fact a "hole" in reality, from whence the Master and the Dead Gods sailed into the World. A few even believe that those who have the knowledge to do so may sail to the realm of the Dead Gods' home via these waters. Regardless of the speculation, the unsettling fact is that most who attempt to sail these waters simply vanish without a trace.


On the southern edge of the Kingdom of Ice lies a land of rolling hills and valleys known as the Frostwolds (or simply the 'Wolds by many). Although most denizens of the World consider this cold region too inhospitable, life nonetheless thrives here. While the northern lands are stalked by creatures that thrive in the bitter environment, the southern portion is more temperate and is home to several large clans of hardy nomads. Most of these people claim to be descended from the refugees that fled Rolgar's kingdom in the days leading up to the Day of Tears. These clans now worship the Dead God of War and Justice, although the belief systems of each are different and disputes erupt regularly - sometimes resulting in blood feuds that last for generations.

At the southern edge of the 'Wolds lies its only city, Hilltown. The city's sole purpose is to act as a center of commerce between the northern clans and the rest of the World. Because of that, Hilltown is the largest center of commerce in this part of the World.

Mournpeak Mountains

Cloaked by a perpetual shroud of gray clouds, the Mournpeaks were once home to the second largest dwarven city in the World, back when this range was known as the Moonpeak Mountains. The halls and mineshafts of the Moonpeak dwarves penetrated the roots of the entire mountain range. The cataclysmic shock waves that shook the eastern lands of the World on the Day of Tears laid these passages low, however. Most of the Moonpeak dwarves were lost - the few who survived fled and took up residence with their cousins in the Grimspurs. Their halls and shafts now lay in empty ruins, their former glory forgotten by most mortals.

On the side of a mountain at the southeastern tip of the range sits the crumbling remains of a mighty fortress: Crowskeep. Once a stronghold that protected the main gate of the Moonpeak dwarves' city, the fortress is now mostly in ruins. It's rumored that foul beasts now dwell within, preventing all but the most daring and clever adventurers from gaining entrance to the remains of the ancient city.

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