Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Travel & The Mistmoors

The swamps and marshes of the Ironlands are moors - 6" to 2' thick muddy grassy peat fields with innumerable small streams crisscrossing them. Visibility is far on sunny days, but limited by almost incessant mists that give the horizon a grey-reddish gloom. Deer, dire wolves, and some say worse abound. Old standing stones and mummified peat corpses serve as the only landmarks aside from distant ridgelines and abandoned slate-stone houses.

Travel in the Moors is limited, taking often four or five days to travel as little as 24 miles. (Divide daily movement by 4). The creatures and people of the Moors are often not friendly. Survival is large issue traveling the moors

On a 5+ (check 2x daily) the following encounters can occur. Always roll a reaction check, and decide if lair or treasure nearby.

Encounters in the Moors
2: Peat mummy (as per mummy in rules, 1/4 chance of wearing gold or other valuables, flayed skin of the peat mummy is valuable in fire spells and magical concotions)
3: Ghost: 50/50 seeking lost love on moors, seeking revenge against unknown murders
4: 2d4 Mud ghouls plus 1/3 chance of will o'wisps accompanying
5-6: Pagan clansmen: 1d4 kinsmen skilled warriors, lvl 3-4, + 2d6 clansmen, low wealth but often carrying food or willing to trade; will seek slaves or sacrifrices for their woodsy auld gods if tempted by weakness or wealth. 1/4 chance of encountering in settlement
7-8: 1d12 Bandits or criminals eking out a life away from the Law here on the Moors
9: 2d4 Dire wolves in a pack
10: 2d4 Giant moor shrew colony (carry moor-rot disease)
11-13: even chance roe deer (1d4, 1 HD, 1d4 butt, fleet footed) or elk (3d10, 4 HD, 1d8 butt), grazing
14: Poisonous catfish
15: 1d4 Leeches, giant
16: 1d4 merchant or noble travels, with 2d6 hired guards each, 1 armored wagon each, 1 household or hedge knight each.
17: Moor griffon (attacks on site against horses or pack animals, otherwise circles w/reaction check)
18-19: small hunting settlement, lawful 2d12 villagers, 30% militia, generally loyal to the nearest knightly Lord
20: Caecilian wyrm in muddy hollow
**pagan clansmen, mud ghouls, and bandits all have an even chance of being loyal to the White Witch in her ice palace deep in the cold woods, located somewhere in the NE of the Mistmoors.
The DM should also check for environmental encounters on a 6+ (yes, these can occur in addition to creature encounter):
Unexpectedly deep bog, can drown, easily covered in mud. Can swim out unless weighed down, save or lose self (if weighed down) and/or stuff (otherwise). Almost no way to take precautions against this, but if "try to stick to grassy bits" get a save bonus.
Menhir, 6-7/8 faeries or 8/8 elemental if disturb. can learn new spells or restore a lost spell if study.
Rotting corpses, 1-3/4 animal, 4/4 human
Engulfing fog, even voices hushed, almost always surprised roll again twice a day for 1d4 days 1/4 chance of falling into deep bog. Almost always surprised by encounters, without serious skills will get lost (3/4 chance).

There are a few Causeways across the moors, but these are oft swallowed by the mud without constant maintenance. The Black King tries to maintain one from Blackmoat to Witchtower (seat of the Rannochs), but it will fall away on a 1/4 chance every day of journey. Movement is only slowed to half on the stony path.

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