I wrote this for use with The Perilous Wilds, Jason Lutes’ Dungeon World supplement that combines the collaborative storytelling of games Powered by the Apocalypse with OSR sensitivities. One of my favorite things about regions made for Wilds is how you can port it over to your fantasy heartbreaker of choice with a bit of work. Without further ado:
Frigid, Snowy Mountains, Perilous, Neutral, Barren, Resource (gold)
- the creaking of a worn plank beneath your heel
- an unfinished love letter etched along the path of the bridge
- heavy, menacing clouds lumbering towards you
- deep growls coming from under the river of fog
- the silence of the clear sky above
- dark, swirling gaps in the fog, revealing the forests for just a second
- a gentle snowfall making your eyelids heavy
- ancient handholds worn into the mountains
Area • Kaedon’s Staircase
Perilous, Neutral, Difficult
A labyrinth carved into the craggy face of the Skypath’s tallest mountain. Remnants of past expeditions—torn waterskins, rusty pickaxes, broken skulls—cover its floor.
When you forge your uncertain way through the Staircase, roll +nothing: on a 10+, the maze merely delays your travels; on a 7-9, navigating the twisting, turning paths tax you, and you mark one debility; on a miss, the beast that marked you as its prey moves in for the kill.
Encounter • The Music Man
The topmost branches of a tree poke out from the surface of the river of fog. Frantic drumming is heard from under its leaves and a smiling face can be seen leering from the shadows.
Site • Camp 63
The remnants of an abandoned mining camp. Frozen gruel sits forgotten above extinguished fire pits, and collapsing shacks surround the entrance to a gold mine. Its most curious feature is (choose or roll):
|1-2||evidence of another party’s recent passage. You are not alone here.|
|3-4||the word BELOW, etched over and over in the dead tree trunks.|
|5-6||the common hall still standing strong, offering respite from the elements.|
Treasure • The Idol of Nimo’arr
A tiny figurine that fits perfectly into the grip of the wielder’s closed fist. The idol is made out of pure gold, and its face is twisted into a smile wider than its shoulders. The first night that the idol has a new owner, they will wake with a small bite mark on their hand and gain 5 hold. They can spend 1 hold to turn a roll of 6- to 7-9, or 2 hold to turn a roll of 7-9 to 10. When the wielder runs out of hold, their soul is whisked away to the fog of river.
Dungeon • Mine 63
Perilous, Evil, Blighted, Medium Size
The gold mining industry used to be the lifeblood of the Lupahi people, and had it stayed that way, they would have grown to be a major force in the world. Then, news of a miner’s sudden death came down from the mountains, and that was followed by another, and another. Whether it was punishment from Nature herself, or some other, sinister force, the Lupahi were scared off their glorious Skypath.
All that remain are places like Mine 63, testaments to the former glory of their owners and the mysteries they left behind.
Bottomless greed ○○○
The hubris of mortals ○○○
Common Areas (1d12)
1-3 Circuitous hallway
4-6 Shaft leading down
7-8 Exhausted ore deposit
9 Boarded-up passageway
10 Underground lake
11 Opened crypt
12 Collapsed hallway
□ Altar room
Hazard • Old Bridges
Unsafe, Neutral, Difficult
Many bridges on the Skypath are in desperate need of maintenance no one can provide. Often, the signs are obvious: fraying rope, or gaps where planks have fallen into the river of fog. Other times, the danger isn’t known until the unlucky adventurer is already on their way.
When you cross an old bridge on the Skypath, roll +DEX: on a 10+, you don’t fall; on a 7-9, you manage to catch yourself but you lose a piece of gear; on a miss, you fall down into the river of fog, but you may be caught by a tree, or something worse.
Creature • Wili Huli, the Cloud Dragon
Intelligent, Terrifying, Solitary, Huge
Swimming just beneath the surface of the river of fog, Wili Huli lives a lonely existence at the top of the food chain. To say the Cloud Dragon is immense would be an understatement; its body coils around several mountains at once. Wili Huli’s form is constantly shifting. It is said that no one ever sees its face the same way twice (if they are lucky to survive the first encounter), and that the number of arms it possesses at any given time is equal to the number of years before doomsday. Its personality is just as capricious, and the dragon would sooner eat, make friends with, or assign a quest to whoever it meets.
Instinct To entertain itself
- Call down lightning from the sky
- Make them dance like puppets
- Lead them astray
- Cause an avalanche