As far as our immediate concerns go for the first few sessions of the game, we’ve accomplished all that is necessary for play; however, there’s some important planning that we should begin sketching out for the future. Our game world needs to have a general plan laid out that will answer a few major questions that might come up later in play. As Gary Gygax would note:
. . . it is a good idea to have a general plan in mind immediately. The general geography of the ‘world’ should be sketched out. If you plan to make it possible to visit other worlds, times, or places the general outline of all such areas should also be sketched out. For example, you might wish to have the Moon an inhabitable (and inhabited) place which can be traveled to by means of a Flying Carpet. A description of this lunar world should be located somewhere as well as a means of getting there, but only AFTER you have something solid in the way of maps and the like . . .”Gygax, 20
Since I’ve yet to run the first session of the Valley of the Three Forks campaign I’m a bit hesitant about drawing out the whole world ahead of time. I would rather sketch out a few things around the world that my players may encounter if they move beyond Wolf City and the Wolf Ruins that dominate the valley.
The Wild Children of Kelsey Wilson
Throughout the land are the Wild Children of Kelsey Wilson. They travel about in caravans and float along river ways on pillow forts crudely constructed on log rafts. They play music and sing nonsense songs about death, getting high, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Wild Children were formed nearly two hundred years ago after the singer Kelsey Wilson began a tour of the Seven Kingdoms and crossed the Mountains of Judgement into the Lands of the Loathing. It’s said that while in the Lands of Loathing that she discovered the psychoactive drug known as “Teck.” When she returned to the Seven Kingdoms she brought with her an army of psychedelic disciples who preached the “good word.” Fifty years later Kelsey Wilson disappeared though the disciples continue to believe that she’ll return any day now, brining with her a new drug that will further expand their minds and allow them to transcend the mortal world.
The Brothers of Old
The first Brother of Old, Sorrow, was discovered by the warrior Wu Fung during the Campaign of Sorrows. His army had been traversing the Mountains of Judgement, to invade the Seven Kingdoms, when Wu Fung saw the gigantic head looking back at him. As he rode closer, he found that giant was actually a massive statue of a man crawling across the valley. Its face was twisted into a mask of fear and below its mute scream was golden portal. The march was halted, and Wu Fung is said to have studied the portal for twenty-seven days before he finally walked through it and was transported to the second Brother of Old, Patience. Patience, like its companion, was a massive statue crawling across the valley. Its face was set in a sublime mask; and below it were two portals: one golden and one violet.
Unfortunately for Wu Fung he could not have chosen a worse time to step through the portal as the Valley of Leibowitz was currently the home of an Ork Warband. They tore him to ribbons before pouring through the golden gate and engaging Fung’s army. Similar fates have befallen each of the discoverers of the Brothers of Old.
To date five Brothers of Old have been found: Sorrow, Patience, Rage, Contemplation, and Curiosity. There is a gate unexplored below Curiosity, but no one has yet to cross through it.
The Seven Kingdoms
The Seven Kingdoms, the Holy Lands of Rue, the Promised Lands of Ibbi-Suen, are the names given to the Empire of the Grey Havens. These lands run from the Forlorn Lands in the north down to the Whispering River some 2,000 miles (3,218.69 km) to the south. On the west they are bordered by the Mountains of Judgement, which no army has successfully crossed. To the east is the Ocean.
The Empire of the Grey Havens is the most prosperous and powerful nation to exist in a thousand years. Its kings and queens have been chosen from among the empire’s greatest heroes with new ruler gaining the thrown through some heroic feat. Yet even the most righteous of heroes can be corrupted . . .
That’s a good start for the world that we’re going to be explore as it allows me to grow the setting and hasn’t locked me into a world that I can’t expand. I’m not too worried about mapping everything out just yet because I’ve given myself some borders to work with and for this early stage of the game that’s all I really need.
Gygax, Gary. HOW TO SET UP YOUR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CAMPAIGN – AND BE STUCK REFEREEING IT SEVEN DAYS PER WEEK UNTIL THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING! EUROPA. April 1975. pg 20. DIGITAL. https://archive.org/details/Europa_6-8-1975-04/page/n19
The Gygax ’75 Quick Links
The Setting of the Campaign
The Map Around the Dungeon
How to Build the Gygax 75 Dungeon
The Dungeon Level 1
The Dungeon Level 2
The Dungeon Level 3
The Local Town and All the Trouble
The World Plan
Conclusion & Links to Other Challengers!