I present the eighth post of my A to Z Challenge series, where I describe 26 different locations in the World of Samardan campaign setting, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, H is for the Hurashand Woods, Haven of the Free.
(Hex) Hurashand WoodsAmbiance: One of the most fertile sites in the region, the Hurashand Woods are particularly lush; adventurers should have little trouble foraging for food here. Death lurks in the shadows of this great prosperity, for predators and bandits could be hiding in the dense foliage and canopy, waiting to strike. Even in luxury, one should never drop their guard...
History: Over the last three generations, the Hurashand Woods has taken on a reputation as being a safe haven for escaped slaves. A small band of escapees known as the Hurankaplem ("Freeman's Tribe") claims this site as their own, jealously guarding it as a symbol of their restored freedom. While nomadic, the Hurankaplem rarely travel more than half a day's walk from the heart of these woods, except to raid nearby villages or strike at caravans.
Encounters: Escaped slaves fiercely patrol this area, and are particularly violent in dealing with slavers and slave-owners. "Morkapada" ("Death's Mother"), a great hatagat (large felinoid pouncer with elongated dagger-like teeth and a preference for feasting on mounts and other large creatures), also dwells in these woods with her brood. Common encounters and hazards include insect swarms, carnivorous plants and pit traps.
Treasure: The Hurankaplem have accumulated a large amount of wealth from their raids on villages and caravans, which they use to purchase that which they cannot steal, as well as to fund their clandestine operations to free more slaves. The Hura-Pansanuba Ganana Safakeran possesses a crystal-powered harness of the Ancient Ones that grants her flight, similar in performance to that of airships.
Adventure Hooks: Adventure hooks for this site could include the following:
- A group of local merchants seek diplomats to negotiate a tribute arrangement with the Hurankaplem, so that they can trade in peace. If their competitors end up being attacked more often, creating a market for their goods, so much the better.
- House Sanadasan, a merchant house of slavers based in Torkabalem, has put a bounty on the head of the Hura-Pansanuba Ganana Safakeran, but will only pay when proof of her death is delivered to them.
- Koranu Drako Rapaban hates Hura-Pansanuba Ganana Safakeran with a passion, particularly because the flying harness she wears once belonged to him. The Koranu is soliciting the assistance of "procurement specialists" to retrieve the harness and leave behind a signature item so that she is aware of who stole the harness from her.
- Master Fortan Rekadan, a big game hunter, seeks guides to escort him into the Hurashand Woods in search of hatagati, preferably Morkapada.
- Muda Hanaminan, a Rakran herbalist from Pordel, is hiring adventurers to retrieve seedlings from a variety of carnivorous plants that grow in abundance in the Hurashand Woods.
Reader Notes: I've been getting some great comments from other A to Z Challengers who are discovering Samardan through these posts. For those who are curious and just started following, Samardan is a fictional world of the Planetary Romance genre. These notes are intended to help others run roleplaying games based in this setting. In addition, I will eventually turn my hand to writing fiction in this world, so having an established background to draw on will help me should I suffer writer's block. I appreciate all of your supportive comments, and I hope you continue to enjoy the series as it unfolds.
Standard Disclaimer: As I have not yet decided where to set this particular location on the map as yet, I've left a placeholder to remind me to come back to this in the future. Later on, I'll replace (Hex) with the actual hex location, when I put all of this together into a single document.