The Not-At-All Self Aggrandizing Hexed Press Lore24 Thread

Here’s my thread for Lore24, the worldbuiliding sensation that’s sweeping the nation (which nation? dealer’s choice!)

Nothing in here at the moment but a placeholder but that should change… any moment now… (is that the sound of crickets? Shaddap!)


The Eastern Marches

The Eastern Marches border the Great Morass. Each of the Marches is governed by a Warden.

The Southeastern Reach

The most remote of the Marches, it is a sparsely populated country of low hills and heath that border the wetland sea to the east and the jagged highlands of the enclosing mountains to the south.


Stonement is a ringfort that sits upon the largest of the hills in the reach. it is the seat of the Warden, currently Edgarth IV. The Warden’s household commands a permanent retinue of 4 petty lords and 12 men-at-arms. Each of the lords has a small retinue of their own. Additionally, a levy of approximately 30 militia can be called from the surrounding villages.

The hold is constructed of rough-hewn stone blocks reinforced at its base with earh, dug out from the bottom of the hill to form a dike around the perimeter. A single causeway, wide enough for a single wagon, connects Stonement to the surrounding country.



The Heath

An uneven scrubland. Few trees grow here. The ground is difficult. It can prove itself treacherous to the unfamiliar: thick brush screen the undulating landscape to hide quicksands and mires to consume the unwary.

The Fenside

Here the heath gives way to the encroaching swamp. The scrub of the heath compete with murky pools, stands of tall, coarse grasses, and mires covered in blankets of moss.

The Tower Downs

Ragged slopes, jagged upthrusts of rock, and myriad ridges and escarpments. The downs hold back the stony peaks of the Low Crests to the south from invading the Reaches.



Wytherot the Greater Bogwyrm

This adult bogwyrm has moved into a new lair, somewhere within the Fenside…
8 HD; ATT 8d6 (32) putrescent cloud breath weapon, 2 x 1d6 claw, 1 x 2d6 bite; LANG: draconic; SPECIAL: infrared vision, see invisibility to 60’; SPELLS: Detect Magic, Charm Person, Sleep

Wytherot likes to hunt during the dawn and dusk hours, using the heavy fog that rolls off the wetlands to obscure his approach.

The folk of the Reach are aware of Wytherot’s presence but only vaguely. They do not know where he lairs. So far, the bogwyrm is been wary of interacting with them, preferring to operate as a fleeting rumor or a shadow in the mist.

1 Like

Here’s my entry for this week’s community prompt: [a thing] seer/medium, roseate, victorious.

Fortune’s Shell

This is believed to have been the shell of a giant marsh mollusk rumored to live at the bottom of the Great Morass. The inside of the shell, whose color at the edges is a soft pink and progresses to a brighter and deeper color as it curves into the spiral body, has been polished to a fine shine.

It is said that, during times of great need, it may be asked a single question. When the shell is then held to the ear of the questioner, it will whisper a prophetic answer. The wisdom it imparts always has two meanings. Several times in its history, the wrong meaning was heeded, leading to disaster.

The shell currently resides in Stonement, mounted above the seat of the Warden in the great hall.



Bog Zombies

These animate undead periodically emerge from the Great Morass to assault the Fenside and beyond.
1 HD; ATT 1 x 1d6 slam; LANG: none; SPECIAL: undead, resistant to blunt weapon attacks

The zombies use no weapons save their bodies and wear only the tatters of whatever clothing survived their death. Some bodies seem, on examination, to be of exceptional antiquity while others, disturbingly, are much more fresh. On rare occasions, a zombie has been recognized as a friend or family member who had been lost in the Morass or the surrounding areas, in some time past. The zombies do not appear to retain any memories of their past life.

The ultimate origins of bog zombies are unknown. Whatever transforms them after death, it affects their bones which seem to soften and lose much of their hardness and rigidity. The creatures move with an unnatural herk-jerky, almost bouncy gait. The lack of bone-structure makes them somewhat resistant to the blows of hammers, clubs, and other similar weapons, whose force of impact seems to dissipate through their liquid mass.



The Fen Watch

In the Eastern Marches, all able-bodied children of the Marches must serve a year and a day in the Fen Watch. Some continue to serve after their mandatory appointment ends.

Known by their brown and green cloaks, the Fen Watch patrol the shores of the Great Morass and defend the Marches from the things that come all too often out of the depths of the wetland sea.

Organized in companies, they follow a military hierarchy with a Grand Marshal at its head. Local lords will often treat the Fen Watch with some degree of deference and they are able to operate independently across the Marches.


Fen Watchtowers

The Fen Watch have constructed a number of towers along the coast. These towers serve as barracks, way-stations, and defense outposts.

The Fen Beacons

Beacons atop each of the towers are lit at dusk and maintained during the night.


When you encounter the Fen Watch, they are…

  1. …huddled over the confused remains of a vicious kill; the violence of the assault confounds attempts to identify the attacker or the victim.
  2. …tracking a gang of smugglers across the heath and heather.
  3. …encamped; bandaging wounds, sharpening blades, taking a watchful rest.
  4. …in a desperate melee with a gang of bog zombies; blades drawn, a swirling blur of living and dead dancing clumsily in the mist.
  5. …in ragged flight across the fenland; stumbling, dragging the wounded, wide eyes looking forward and never back.
  6. …digging a shallow grave in the moor; bodies covered with cloaks, the only sounds are the shovels cleaving into the dirt.



Because of the ever-present danger of the wetland sea, traffic on it is limited to the giant beaver fur trappers. That trade forms the backbone of the commerce between the Eastern Marches and the rest of the realm. Other forms of commerce or even transit upon the wetland sea is forbidden.

Yet this does not deter some clever or wretched folk from covertly poling the waters in search of the things that the sea washes up onto the shores. There is treasure to be found but also death, either from the sea or from the Watch if they are found out. It is a desperate job but not without the rare, life-changing find of an unbroken cask of expensive wine or a suit of armor from another age-- the sale of which will alter their lives forever, if only they be the ones to find it.

Smuggling is usually a solitary work (who can you trust? how many bodies have been found knifed in the back? and everyone is quick with a knife in the Fens) or else the hidden trade of a family. There are no guilds in the Eastern Marches and none of the local lords have yet risked their lives and lands to sponsor such dangerous pursuits.




The Legend of Lothar the Pirate King

Talismans, really flattened discs of tin or copper with the rough image of a star stamped on them, are sometimes found either hung around necks on chains or stuffed into the pockets of captured smugglers. They symbolize belief in a legend that few will speak about without those outside the network of believers. It is the legend of Lothar, king of the pirates.

Lothar was not born to noble blood or wealth. He was a child of the Fens. Desperate and ambitious, he was also a smuggler. Like many smugglers, he too was swallowed up by the wetland sea but, unlike them, he emerged whole again, stronger, and with a grander idea than simply gaining wealth through scavenging the swamp’s detritus.

Legend has it that he found an ancient keep on an island just far enough off shore that it only appears as a distant shadow in the mist. On some nights, it is said, you can see the lights from the walls flickering in the night. From that outpost, he gathers his forces, biding his time, for when the time is right to claim a kingdom out of the fog and fend for his very own.

Not everyone who disappears into the mist is truly lost. If you are brave enough, daring enough, Lothar will find you. You will have a place in his halls and when he claims his realm, lands and lordship will be yours.

No signs of this island fortress have yet been found. Nor is there any memory of a child named Lothar being born in the Fens. Yet the talismans continue to be found and downtrodden eyes often send their gaze into the mists of the wetland sea, looking for the silhouette of a castle in the fog and the lights of hope glittering in the darkness.




Through the mist and heath, you see…

  1. A lone figure, shoulders stooped, a misshapen burlap sack slung over their shoulder (what do they carry?)
  2. 1d4 scavengers, mud-soaked, peaked caps pulled low, long daggers unsheathed (what act was disturbed?)
  3. 1d4 scavengers crouching around a dark hole in the ground, makeshift shovels, piles of overturned earth (what have they found?)
  4. A freshly covered patch of ground, 1d4 scavengers, dank with muck, slick with sweat, makeshift shovels (what have they buried?)
  5. Disturbed ground, corpse parts folded and planted among the heather and moss, blood mixed with mud and water, silence (what destroyed them?)
  6. 1d3 forlorn figures kneeling in the muck, gathered around a stone carved with whirlpools of swirls, low murmured hymns spoken in hushed tones (what do they worship?)

The Devouring Tarn

Week 2 Community Prompt: [Place] abomination, steel, mystical

Where the fenlands meet the tumbled stoney fingers of the Tower Downs, there is said to be a cursed pool.

Legend says a powerful Yonderthing was slain there and its body corrupted the pool in which it fell.

The fetid water of the pond thickened into something approaching quicksilver. Lethargic bubbles rise from beneath the steely surface and collapse to release a putrid gas. It is said anything forged of iron submerged in the sludge will melt away like wax in a flame.

The body of the Yonderthing lays still at the bottom of the tarn, preserved as it was the day it died and, some whisper darkly, waiting.



Skin-Shapes, also known as Werethings, generally, or specifically as werewolves, werebears, among others, are not, as commonly believed, folk who are gifted or cursed to take on or shift into a bestial form. Instead, skin-shapes are the abominable result of corrupted spirits manifested into animal forms.

These forms are rendered monstrous beyond the scope of the natural. They are gifted with a sapient intelligence turned always to evil and chaos. They are a bane upon the land.

On rare occasions, a skin-shape with a humanoid-animal hybrid form has been found. Such skin-shapes are capable of speech and have been noted to lead and command the more animalistic Werethings.

It is not known who or what is responsible for the creation of skin-shapes or if any forces govern where or when they appear. Some believe there a connection to necromancy but nothing has been proven.



Sub-Hex Features

  1. A fog-shrouded mire
  2. A maze of trackless moors
  3. A trapper’s hut
    4 A smuggler’s hideaway
  4. A Fenwatch camp
  5. A cluster of standing stones
1 Like

Informants and Reports

An unbaked idea for gathering rumors and information

The idea is to mechanize information gathering a bit as a downtime (or some other long-ish time frame) action a player-character can take.

At a high level, they might have a sprawling network of informants and spies ala Varys from Game of Thrones.


At a low level, it would be much as it usually is: becoming friendly with a tavern worker or two.

There’d be two (I think) phases: increasing the network and then polling the network for reports.

Increasing the network would be about the recruiting of informants which could be played out or abstracting into a cost and a roll.

Informants could be ranked in what sort of things they can find out and how reliable they are (not all information gathered should be true!)

Polling the network should cost time, potentially other resources such as money (which itself could be outsourced to factors and accountants at some point), and more die rolls to see how much comes back and how true to the mark the returns are.

I think there are nice opportunities to encourage organizing, such as folks to handle paying and managing the network while the PC is off on adventures, as well as secondary investments into communications— whether it’s by horse, pigeon, raven, or some other less mundane means.

I also think it could serve as a way to leverage a class advantage— if we’re thinking about, for example, some alternate thief or rogue perks, or a spy type character class.

I have no particulars as yet but I like it conceptually.

1 Like

I realized this morning that my entry yesterday might actually fall outside Lore24 so here’s a bit of lore to go with it.

Communications in the Fenlands

The roads across the moor country are too few and of too poor quality to allow for swift messages by horse and attempting to move at speed off road would be the foolish last act of a most desperate creature.

Birds, which have found use elsewhere in the realm are used rarely here. Something about the constant rolling and roiling fogs that surge in from the wetland sea disrupt their otherwise sure sense of direction. They become disoriented and lost.

Thus it is the job of ordinary folk, chosen for their speed, endurance, and land knowledge, to carry messages by foot across the fens from town to keep to lonely tower.

Because of the importance and danger associated with their occupation, messengers here have a much higher standing than elsewhere. Harming or obstructing a messenger is a high crime.

1 Like

Commom Dress in the Fenlands

By and large, folk of all ranks in the fenlands dress in a tunic with leggings and a voluminous cloak.

Wealth is expressed in the length of the tunic. The longer the tunic the more removed its wearer is from the mud and muck so prevalent in the fens.

Materials, fringes, and intricate patterns in the clothing also signify wealth. The simplest clothing is made of plain, rough-spun wool or, in the case of the cloak, fur pelts.

The most common color is brown, followed by green. At the courts, other colors are to be found but are never common. The Fenwatch are marked by the brown and green stripes of their cloaks.


Foraging in the Fenlands

  1. 1d3 edible tubers (3 in 6 chance poisonous)
  2. 2d3 edible tubers (3 in 6 chance poisonous)
  3. 1d3 edible fungi (2 in 6 chance poisonous)
  4. 2d3 edible fungi (2 in 6 chance poisonous)
  5. 1 hour of firewood
  6. 1 medicinal poultice worth of ingredients
1 Like

Occupations in the Fenlands

  1. Cutthroat
  2. Bandit
  3. Smuggler
  4. Tinker
  5. Forager
  6. Goatherd
  7. Fenwatch
  8. Craftsman
  9. Merchant
  10. Courtier
  11. Noble
1 Like