Vindashire

Written By: Stephen Dove - Jan• 31•14

I’ve spent my time this week fleshing out the area of our Road Sandbox that we started last week. This area is called Vindashire; and I didn’t make that up because this area is the scene of Dave Morris’ current game, and so can be considered canon. Indeed Crossgate Manor is found to the north of the region and Dave’s recent Xmas adventure is set in and around this county.

One of the problems with this area, and indeed the whole of southern Albion, is the sheer ‘blankness’ of the region from the canon map of Ellesland in the main rulebook. It implies mostly flat rolling countryside, but that’s hard to make interesting and so I’ve had to seriously improvise.

Vindashire_finished

I ended up imagining a ritual landscape like that found on Salisbury Plain in real life England. The Ring of Nine Maidens is a rip-off from Robin of Sherwood; but hey, so is lots of other stuff in Dragon Warriors!

North of Maiden Moor lies the Murrows; a classic upland bog, full of stagnant pools, sphagnum moss and misty vistas, though the stories told in the taproom of the Murham Inn, of deer becoming beautiful maidens by moonlight to lure the unwary to a watery grave, is surely fanciful nonsense.

South of Maiden Hill is a vast area of pagan burial sites that locals call the Longbarrows. These ancient turf hills attract pagans and treasure seekers; and many a bandit has made his home here, for not a few have been robbed and their doorways left open; the perfect hiding place for outlaws.

The Nantmarsh, to the south of Maiden Moor, is a reed-choked labyrinth of waterways and marshy islands. Strange sounds and lights are often seen in the marshes and the locals will not tread its paths after dusk, for the ancient trackway that leads from the Ring of Nine Maidens to Averly, also continues south into the Nantmarsh. It is said the valley was once a place of worship for the Druids of the Old Faith and that the Nantmarsh was accounted a hallowed place for them. Many a pagan King is said to have given offerings to the Gods of the waters, though the marshes now keep their secrets in silence and few disturb the sere grasses save reed cutters and the occasional hunter.

Moving westwards, the name of the Netherwood is one of ill omen. Not for nothing is this forest accounted perilous, for it is said to be the haunt of Elves, and other Fey things. Indeed, the village of Frith is renowned as a place where the locals sometimes hold Moon-moots. As the moon rises, a bonfire is lit and those who would hold congress with the denizens of the wood await what emerges from the forest. Sometimes the Elves come it is said; and trade wine and tales and sometimes bright treasures with mortal men. The Abbot of Clee Abbey has tried repeatedly to stamp out this practice, but the woodcutters of Frith follow the Old Ways, for all that they go to Church and pay their tithes.

This then shall be our canvas. My next post will start to delve into the mundane side of this region and the political landscape. I’ll start, as I said last time, in Netherford, which is the opening scene of the ‘Cantorbridge Tales’; a campaign I am writing that will take the PCs on a pilgrimage to all the holy sites in Vindashire and will embroil them in a twisted tale of murder most foul, heresy, pagan worship, betrayal and political rivalry. A classic Road Sandbox in the making!

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  1. […] uses the area of Albion known as Vindashire as a backdrop; and everything you need to know about this shire is contained within these pages […]