Sunday, September 15, 2019

Apparitions of Every Shape: Random Location Generation [Wilderlands]

...apparitions of every shape, make, form, fashion, kind and description, that there was not a village in England that had not its own peculiar ghost. Nay, every lone tenement, castle, or mansion-house, which could boast of any antiquity had its bogle, its specter, or its knocker. The churches, churchyards, and crossroads were all haunted. Every green lane had its boulder-stone on which an apparition kept watch at night. Every common had its circle of fairies belonging to it. And there was scarcely a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit!

- The Denham Tracts: A Collection of Folklore : Reprinted from the ..., Volume 2, by Michael Aislabie Denham

I've posted this quote before. It makes a powerful impression on me. 

I've said before that the text of the The Hobbit is QUITE magical and fantastical. Any claim that Tolkien is "low magic" is contradicted by just how much magic is squirming and pulsing on each page.

As you travel across Wilderland, no village, town, or city should lack a fundamentally magical feature. Each location you travel to should have a magic river, a shape-changing mayor, or be built on a lake. 

If you need some fantastic location quickly, use this table.  

The table is a d21 since I use Tarot instead of dice at my table. You can read across or mix and match. 

DrawNearby there is...haunted by...
1A wellA dragon who sleeps on a pile of treasure
2A dolmenA dozen bloody rawbones who will force you to dance with them--to DEATH
3A hillA troll cat who'll suck your breath if you sleep there
4A bridgeA faerie knight who challenges any man with arms who passes, but will allow ladies to pass unmolested.
5A barrowAn enchanted harp made out of a human rib cage that plays a sweet music
6A springRunning with holy water
7A graveyardA wild man of the wood, a wose, who tries his level best to scare you away
8A hermitageA nuckelavee, who is currently causing a drought
9A hengeAn elf woman who prophecies the hour and method of your death
10A boulderA huge, mean toad (seriously, just, so big), currently sitting on a clutch of snake eggs
11A towerRedcaps who burn magical candles and knock on the stones
12A ruined castleA cruel but sleepy giant who owns a goat whose milk is quicksilver
13A crossroadSpectral warriors who reenact their final battle on its anniversary
14A huge and ancient treeA clurican that gives away gold coins if you answer its riddle correctly and curses if you fail
15A monolithA door that opens to an entirely different part of the country
16A waterfallA shellycoat who'll pretend to fall, and then laugh at people's reactions
17A hot springA horrible old hag who can sell a love potion at a tremendous cost
18An innThe ghost of a drowned woman, singing a sad song about the sins of her sister
19A lakeA huldra who'll lure you into the water and drown you, if you let her; it's said she guards a treasure
20A forestA hermit (who's really a king? who's really a pirate?) who can lay on hands and heal any infirmity
21A mineKobolds (little dwarves with hard heads and soft feet) are guarding a vein of mithril

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