This is the first of the Hexes for the Mountains of Kaban Hexcrawl posted on OSRToday. As the Hexcrawl continues to be developed, look to see more of the Hexes themselves appear on the site, along with additional content to help support it including monsters, dungeons, maps, magic items, and more.
Each main 30 mile hex has been broken down into a number of subhexes which are 5 miles wide across, each using a co-ordinate system. Below is a map of all of the subhexes in Hex 5-4.
There is a constant sense of foreboding in the air in the general area. People encountered tend to be morose or sad, seeming to struggle through their daily lives. Many are depressed and seem to struggle getting through the day. This may be an artifact of the region, something in the air, or something in the water. There is something wrong about this everything in this area, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what.
2 – 2 The Flying Cow Inn
One of the few rest stops on the road between Caem Lamlash (Subhex 4-3) and Grathen Keep (Hex 3-4), the Flying Cow Inn is a pretty average but well-run affair. Run by the halfling twin brothers Bish and Bosh Bramblebush (who no-one can ever tell apart from the bright green foppish hat that Bish always wears), The Flying Cow takes its name from the brothers’ early explorations and unsuccessful attempts of “airborne cuisine delivery”. Most normal road fare can be purchased here for standard prices, along with 1d6 horses and mules at a 1d3x5% premium at any time.
The inn is a favorite stopping-off point for troops from Grathen Keep. Any patrols in the inn may be caroused with to learn any of the rumors that may be found in the Keep.
2 – 4 Farmland
A broad expanse of land has been converted into farmland here. Most of the farmland is pastoral and well kept, but scattered throughout the fields are large immovable menhirs covered in a number of strange symbols. No-one is quite sure what the symbols mean, and they seem to be in a language no-one understands. Every now and again, one of the symbols on a menhir will flash purple. Animals in fields with these menhirs tend to cluster around them, and crops in the fields tend to grow towards them.
It seems that these menhirs affect the growth of the crops and animals grown around them, mostly in a positive way, but not always. There are a number of tables here to determine how the menhirs affect the crops and animals in the subhex.
Table 1: Farm Field Type
|1-3||Crops. Roll on Table 2|
|4-5||Animals. Roll on Table 2|
|6||Empty. No more rolls|
Table 2: Special
|4-5||Crops and animals are unusually large and bountiful|
|6||Something is very wrong with the crops/animals here. Roll on Table 3|
Table 3: What’s Wrong?
|Roll (1d6)||What’s Wrong?|
|1||Animals have additional limbs or heads, and crops are of unusual colors or shapes|
|2||Animals and crops are infested with vermin or lice|
|3||Crops and animals taste of a completely different crop or animal|
|4||Eating the crops or animals causes illness|
|5||A hidden plague resides within the crops or animals here|
|6||The crops and animals are twisted into odd shapes due to the influence of chaos. Eating them causes alignment shifts, changes in personality, and strange behavior|
3 -2 Field of Shrooms
This large enclosed field contains rows and rows of many different types of unmarked mushrooms. Some of them are edible or have healing properties, any many are just fine for eating, but some are dangerous. The field is watched over by 2d4+2 Shroom Keepers at any one time, who resemble fauns who look as though they may have been partaking of some of products of the field. The Shroom Keepers will sell anyone a small bag of random shrooms for 1gp (roll 1d10 on the table below) or allow the picking of a specific type for 10gp (as long as the type of shroom is known by a character). No-one else but the Shroom Keepers are allowed to enter the field to pick the shrooms. If agitated, they will attack.
Table 4: Types of Shrooms
|1||Satyr’s Beard||Provides a full day’s meal without any side effects cooked or uncooked|
|2||Blue Milkcap||If cooked becomes edible and provides a day’s meal|
|3||Anemone Stinkhorn||Non-edible. Smells terrible. Causes anyone coming within 1’ to make a roll under CON on a d20 or be nauseated for 1d4 rounds|
|4||Bleeding Tooth||Stops bleeding if the red juice from it is placed on a wound|
|5||Veiled Lady||Edible, providing a full day’s meal if cooked|
|6||Greenglow||Bioluminescent. Provides 6 hours of low light up to 10’ within 24 hours of being picked|
|7||Turkeytail||Provides 1d4 hit points of healing when eaten|
|8||Brain Mushroom||Save vs Death if eaten raw, but otherwise provides a full day’s meal when cooked|
|9||Earthstar Puffball||Non-edible, but can be dried and ground down to be used to create ink|
|10||Fly Agaric||If not cooked will cause severe pain and cramping, and death with 15 caps eaten within a short time. Provides hallucinations when parboiled|
3 – 4 Farmland
Use the random tables in Subex 2-4 to populate this Subhex.
3 – 5 Farmland
Use the random tables in Subhex 2-4 to populate this Subhex.
4 – 1 Griffin Fort
A single lone wooden fort stands at the roadside leading north into the Greenway (Hex 5-3). Surprisingly in decent repair, it is decently staffed and the always on alert. There are a dozen fighting men here, all armed with spears and bows and under the command of Navar Stak, Third Commander of the Griffin Empire. They have been waiting on reinforcements for some time. Navar has received communication that no reinforcements are forthcoming and he is to hold the fort with the troops he has.
The fort has been dealing with local bands of orcs and goblins that have been infiltrating from the Greenway to the north. Although Caem Lamlash is not part of the Griffin Empire, it was originally intended to be. There is still hope it will be one day.
The fighting men are effectively 3rd level fighters with AC 7 . Navar Stak is a 5th level fighter with AC 6 .
4 – 3 Caem Lamlash
As a town, Caem Lamlash does not have much going for it. With less than two thousand citizens at any time, the past few years have not been kind to the town, and there is a despondent air or hopelessness that can almost be cut as one travels through it. Streets are grimy and full of litter, buildings are disheveled and uncared for with broken shutters or covered doors, and there is very little physical presence of law and order. Most who come to Caem Lamlash do so only to resupply as it is one of the few towns on the edge of the Outlands, and they rarely spend much time in it. The town is watched over by the Pitchers, who maintain a guardhouse in the center of town right on the edge of the dilapidated market square; the guards get their name due to the use of pitch as one of the ingredients in making their pitch black (and non-flammable) leather armor.
There are a few inns of different quality for visitors to stay at, as well as some decent suppliers in town, although prices and stock tend to vary. Weapons and armor can be purchased at The Bearhead Smithy and Grot’s Tannery, who act as suppliers to the Pitchers and Grathen Keep.
While in town, some choose to visit the Well of Sorrow, one of the oldest wishing wells in the town, where one can drop a coin or other trinket into and make a wish to get forgiveness for some past transgression to the goddess who is said to sleep there. When this doesn’t work (which is almost always), most people visit The Weeping Crone (Subhex 6-5). Many talk of an underground complex that sits below Caem Lamlash, with the Well of Sorrow being the entrance, but no-one has attempted to venture down to explore it. The well is at least 200 feet deep and constantly full.
- Pitcher Hold (guardhouse)
- Church of the Undying Spirit (temple for the Society of the Undying Spirit)
- Grot’s Tannery (leather armor)
- The Bearhead Smithy (armor and weapons)
- The Edifice (temple for the Circle of Sulkaris)
- Tagnin’s Grotto (magical supplies, low level)
- The Snout and Muzzle (low end inn)
- The Fiery Brand (medium inn)
- The Well of Sorrow (unique location)
- The Society of the Undying Spirit. Led by Imbach Tresgar, male half-elf cleric, the Society looks to transcend death by finding the most effective way to die without losing the soul. All members have tattoos of mystical energy lines on their bodies and agree to be killed by other Society Members at a predetermined time and place using new forms of experimental death. This is a response to the ghosts that continually haunt the town during foggy nights.
- The Circle of Sulkaris. Led by Azara Skallish, female human priestess, the Circle seeks to free the Demon Lord Sulkaris that is bound in the Tower of Zalash (Hex 5-1). They actively recruit adventurers to infiltrate the tower. Members exist on a diet almost exclusively of raw vermin and insects. Azara Skallish is actually a demon called Xallathamas who escaped from the Chasm of Bloodfire in the Ashweep (Hex 3-3) and is looking to free his brethren.
- During foggy nights, the lost souls of those from Caem Lamlash who have been turned into Marsh Zombies near the Church of Saint Dumlaech are seen wandering the town. They attempt to visit their previous places of abode, relatives and friends, and try to tell them something is wrong. Unable to speak, they simply point to both eyes, which are missing the silver coins that were given when they were buried. Guard watch is doubled on these events.
- Grathen Keep comes to Caem Lamlash to resupply not only equipment and foodstuffs, but also to enlist. Each marketday there is usually a couple of representatives at a stall looking to bring people into the service of the keep. If there is a pressing need for the Keep, they may also approach adventurers or mercenaries and talk to them about potential jobs; anyone contacted in this way is given a note that is signed by the Officer of the Day to take with them to the Keep for identification.
- On a rare occasion 1d6+2 Elves from Nelroth may be in town. If they are, then guard presence is increased in case any attempts to start trouble with them. The Elves are usually sourcing strange esoteric items that often are not sold in town, and will look to strangers in town for barter or trade.
There are a number of rumors that players may come across during their visit to Caem Lamlash. The following table may be rolled on up to 1d3 times each visit to the town. Information from this table is gathered from speaking to residents, hearing rumors or gossip, or from contacts. (T) indicates the rumor is true, and (F) indicates it is false.
Table 5: Rumors in Caem Lamlash
|1||The dead are often seen to be walking near the Church of Saint Dumlaech (Hex 5-4, Subhex 7-1) (T)|
|2||A strange plague affects Grathen Keep, affecting anyone who visits there (Hex 3-4). (F. Partially)|
|3||The fair folk can be found gathering under the moon at the Stones of Forgh (Hex 5-2.) (F)|
|4||There are great treasures and terrible treasures to be found within the Tower of Zalash (Hex 5-1). (T)|
|5||Azara Skallish of the Circle of Sulkaris is not who she seems to be. (T)|
|6||The Torabak (Hex 1-2) was once King of the Granite Dwarves, but a curse was lain upon him. (F)|
|7||The dead in The White Fields near Grathen Keep (Hex 3-4) lie peaceful. (T)|
|8||The people of the Kualan (Hex 1-3) harbor a great secret. (T)|
|9||Nothing lives in the Fire Forest (Hex 4-2). (F)|
|10||The Elves of the Forest of Nelroth are to be feared as they eat those who stray from The One Path. (T. Partially)|
|11||The mountains are full of half-men and creatures of darkness. (F. Partially)|
|12||At the Ruins of Tala Shar (Hex 1-4), deeds done by mortal men will be the undoing of the world. (T)|
|13||A goddess sleeps at the bottom of the Well of Sorrow. (F)|
|14||The wizard Zalash is at home in his tower, sleeping. (F)|
|15||Not everyone who visits the Weeping Crone returns. (T)|
|16||The Shroom Keepers at the Field of Shrooms used to be human, but eating the shrooms changed them. (F)|
|17||There are a number of secret ways into the Mountains of Kaban. (T)|
|18||Travel upon the Greenway (Hex 5-3) is always safe as long as you wear blessed rose water. (F)|
|19||The ghosts of the dead walk the streets of Caem Lamlash during foggy nights. (T)|
|20||Something terrible sits at the bottom of the Wound (Hex 3-1). (T)|
4 – 4 Farmland
Use the tables in Subhex 2-4 to populate this Subhex.
4 – 5 Farmland
Use the tables in Subhex 2-4 to populate this Subhex.
5 – 1 Watchtower Ruins
The ruins of a previous watchtower lie here, and have been taken over by a group of goblin harriers, who are using it as their base of operations. These goblins are part of the Two Fang Tribe, specialist in using various snake venoms on their weapons and in using snakeskin to make armor. They are among some of the groups that have been harassing the Griffin Fort, but lately have decided that that they want to break away from other goblins and their pact with the other goblinoids who are hiding out in the Greenway (Hex 5-3). They’ve heard rumors of a great serpent that lives in the Evermarsh (Hex 2-3) and are planning to strike out to discover it, either to kill it or worship it if it proves too powerful.
There are 3d4+4 goblins in the group here, with a 4th level chieftain and a 3rd level snake priest here. Although the goblins all know how to draw venom from snakes and apply it to weapons, the snake priest is the one who tends to all of the snakes, using snake charm. The chief owns a set of drums of stunning, which he likes to give to a kamikaze goblin who (seeing it as a great honor) runs into the middle of a group of enemies to play and stun them before the rest of the goblins swarm out against them. The goblins favor venom-tipped spears and bows, and get -1 [+1] from the snakeskin armor, which includes a shaped cowl in the shape of a snake head, complete with fangs.
5 – 2 The Eye of the Titan Arus
Lying in an open field is an almost perfectly smooth onyx-black oval stone that stands slightly angled showing thirty feet above ground. There is no indication of how this stone managed to come to the field, but it is clearly embedded deep into the earth itself. A small trench is dug around it as though in the past someone may have tried to remove it and gave up. The stone is spoken of by locals to be the eye of the mad Titan Arus who lost it during a fight with his brother Orus (who is now allegedly part of the mountains in Hex 4-1) after they clashed in the sky during a one of the massive storms that shook the world centuries ago; the eye itself fell to the ground and has been in the field ever since, waiting for Arus to return and reclaim it.
When struck, the stone rings hollow with a deep pulsing metallic ringing. The surface of the stone remains unmarked from such strikes, and magic weapons may cut into the stone but barely do much damage. It is slightly magnetic and iron weapons that come close to it are attracted to it and become stuck to it, requiring some work to pull away from it. The stone does detect as magical.
6 – 2 Marshland
The ground is difficult to travel upon here, doubling the travel time through it. 1d6 Marsh Zombies roam here during the night.
6 – 3 Marshland
The ground is difficult to travel over here, apart from the main road, which has been seeded with stones and pebbles. Travel times are doubled through it. 1d6 Marsh Zombies roam here during the night.
6 – 5 The Weeping Crone
In the middle of the empty moor can be found a hut inhabited by the old crone called Magare, said by many to be a either witch or healer. Magare offers a number of services to visitors, but requires payment in tears and sorrow of some kind only. She is effectively an 8th level magic user and has access to a number of magical spells and items as the GM sees fit, but there is more to her than at first glance.
Payment for trade of Magare’s services is based upon a sliding scale of the types of sorrows that people are willing to pay with. It is possible that a sorrow may be removed permanently when being used for payment, and depending upon the type of sorrow offered the value changes, and there are consequences that can occur from sharing the sorrow. Magare will not accept the same sorrow more than once for any trade if it is not removed.
Table 6: Sorrow Sell Costs
|% Removal||% Side Effect||Example|
|Lesser||10 gold pieces||80%||5%||A simple regret, a bad decision, a road not taken, a bad thing said|
|Minor||100 gold pieces||40%||10%||The loss of love, the death of a family member, a minor indiscretion|
|Major||1,000 gold pieces||20%||20%||Failing to act to save a love one when one could, the death of a lover, going against one principles in a major way|
|Ultimate||10,000 gold pieces||10%||40%||The death of a loved one at one’s own hand, betraying a god, betraying a loved one|
If a side effect occurs during the transaction, use the following dice when rolling on the Sorrow Side Effects (Table 8) below. Effects are cumulative.
Table 7: Sorrow Dice Type
Table 8: Sorrow Side Effect
|1||Cannot sleep for the next 48 hours|
|2||A nervous tic for the next 1d6+1 days|
|3||All actions at -1 for the next 1d4 days due to nervous disorder|
|4||Physical wound appears on the body doing 1d6 damage|
|5||A mental trauma of some kind (phobia etc.)|
To pay Magare, one must drink a potion of her devising and remain with her for a certain amount of time within the hut alone and undisturbed. After drinking the potion, the drinker is blinded and deafened to all but Magare’s sibilant voice until the potion wears off after 1d3+1 hours. After the transaction is complete, Magare will provide the traded services.
If anyone opens up Magare’s hut (which requires some strength or magic to do) while she in session with someone, they will see that she has transformed into some form of demon. This is actually the Sorrow Demon that she has bonded with and that gives her power made manifest and swapping places with her in this reality temporarily; it feasts upon sorrow and loss and must constantly be fed to allow Magare to keep her powers. Due to the presence of the Well of Sorrows in Caem Lamlash and the constant supply of people with sorrow in the area Magare decided this was an ideal place to stay and feed her inner demon. For every day that that the demon does not feast upon a sorrow, Magare is subjected to horrendous pain. Going without a sorrow for over a week causes the demon to create welts and wounds on her body where others cannot see. Not being fed a sorrow for over a month will end up killing Magare.
7 – 1 The Church of Saint Dumlaech
Dedicated to the memory of the Saint Dumlaech of The Lost, this dilapidated church and graveyard stands sentinel in the foreboding marsh on one of the few remaining areas of solid ground in the area. The building itself is cared for by the two priests Scub and Faltas, who are responsible for interring the dead in the marshy graveyard that stands next to the church. Scub is a pallid portly man whose oily skin looks as if though it is about to slough from his body at any moment while Faltas is lanky and constantly scratching himself as if infested, publicly pulling on fresh scabs on his body and eating them. Both seem on edge at all times. Both are 2nd level Clerics, and are not very devout.
There is a charge of 2 silver pieces per body for anyone brought to the Church and adjoining graveyard in the marsh for interment. These coins are supposed to be placed upon the dead’s eyes so that they may travel to the next world when laid to rest in coffins. However, the two priests have been keeping these from themselves, as well as not bothering with using coffins to store the dead. The priests keep their ill-gotten hoard of 168 silver coins in a cloth sack under a loose stone near the main altar in the church. Once they reach 200 silver coins, each of the priests plans to secretly kill the other, dump the body in the marsh, and escape with the loot.
The priests’ greed has had the side effect of causing the dead to rise as Marsh Zombies during the night. It is these creatures that have the priests terrified.
2d6 Marsh Zombies roam here during the night. They often try to get into the Church to get to the silver coins to put them on their eyes and get some eternal piece. The priests of course think that they the Zombies are after them. They may well be.
7 – 2 Marshland
The ground is difficult to travel upon here, doubling the travel time through it. 1d6 Marsh Zombies roam here during the night.
The Mountains of Kaban is not open content.