Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village
I'm starting a new D&D homebrew campaign, and at this moment more concerned with encounter locations than the region or world itself. Loosely working with my Celanta map - I'm gonna change it for this new campaign (cold on top, hot at the bottom), as well as having a Conan-esque flavor.
Unfortunately my players want D&D 3.5 fantasy, not sword and sorcery, so I'm taking out the demi-human races, but leaving the current level of magic, spell use and magic items. I want to be like Conan, like Jason and the Argonauts, like Odyseus, like Beowulf - the heroic age, and still keeping the players happy... this is a home brew.
The PCs will be barbarians from the cold north, a land still locked in the Ice Age with Plieostecene mammals (mastodons, cave bears, etc.), ogres, hags and giants with the last few remaining dragons in the world.
To the south are the Old Kingdoms (land of the Celts), the Empire of Cer and the Nine City-States further south, Egypt-like Umir (Lich Priest King) ruling a desert kingdom steeped in magic south of that, a steaming jungle rich with monsters and ruins beyond that, and a ruin of lost city from a past age at the horn at the World's End - only sea is south of that... it is the Campaign to World's End.
[WIP form, no furnishings yet...]
Craefort is a hill fort village, inhabited by the nine extended families of the Pictish Great Clan, Crae. The fort is built against a hill, with a stockade of great Sentinel Spruce trunks surrounds the base of the fort pierced by a single gate. The fort is really a network of interlocking longhouses, with larger common areas between.
1. The main entry to the fort from the yard with the stockade, is called the Hounds Hall, as the forts hounds are kept here, the houndmaster is quartered here with his dogs and family. The stablemaster and animal handlers of his extended family is in the longhouse chamber adjacent to the Hounds Hall, so he can be kept close to the stables in the yard. A ladder of stairs reaches the next level of the fortress.
2. Crafters Common and surrounding longhouse chambers belong to the various craftworkers of the clan including: timberwrights and woodcutters, spinners, wool-dyers and weavers, smiths and stoneworkers. Also on this level the longhouse chamber between areas 2 and 4 houses the Clan Sorcerer who works permanent enchantments through tattoos onto the clan warriors.
3. The old tower is a stone structure built by a Crae ancestor in a forgotten age long ago, the height of 3 stories, though only the base, stairs winding up to the roofed Watch Deck atop. The base serves as the fort's smithy, the most important craft of Crae. The Smiths longhouse chamber is beside the tower. A 10' rise of ladder steps access the tower from the chamber below.
4. The Chief's Great Hall - surrounded by the closest kin to the clanhead in four chambers. The men here serve the highest posts of the clan - Clan Druid, the Runemaster Bard and the Clan Champion, the longhouse chamber nearest the Great Hall, is Chief Malcolm Crae's abode. A short ladder of stairs rises from the Sorcerers chamber to halls of Crae.
I don't want my barbarians to be limited to warriors and shaman only, I desire a more complete culture of classes, though their isolation from the south still makes them barbarous in the comparison.
This will serve as the typical Pictish stronghold, though I may create a walled roundhouse farmhouse, a hamlet of 2 longhouses with a stockade, and a broch tower of a more powerful clan. Perhaps a couple monster caves too.
After that, I'm leaving the north and beginning the march south through the Old Kingdoms of Celts - the next part of the campaign to World's End!
PS: I'll be adding those other encounter areas to this same thread.
Christmas Bonus: the Ogre Den
OK, a last minute Christmas Bonus to stick in your stocking... the Ogre's Den. I needed a little fantasy to brighten an otherwise mostly historical thread.
But I like to think on theories about Neandrethals, if mankind didn't interbreed them out of existence, we may have caused them to become extinct taking away shared resources to hunting them down.
If a small population of Neandrethal survived up to several thousand years ago living in the mountains hidden away from humans, but were larger, stronger, a distinctly human-like non-human race that wielded stone-age weapons... wouldn't you call them ogres? Could the last remaining neandrethals have been origins of the idea of ogres - just a thought.
Attached is the Ogre Den, an encounter for my World's End campaign, basically a cave in the mountains with an entry way, where a guardian ogre and his trusty dire wolf would sit searching the horizons for "man sign". A tunnel leads in. The larger chamber to the left houses the living quarters for the main ogre band with 6 ogre-sized bedding piles of straw around that roaring fire. No doubt smoke would be filling the upper reaches of this chamber exiting out the entry way - the cost of staying out of the weather.
The smaller chamber to the right is the Shaman Hag's chamber. [In my world there are no female ogres, instead there are annis hags who are my ogre females. Ogres are a matriarchal society led by sorceress/druidess hags. They are eager to eat the flesh of men, and hunt them vigorously during the bleak months of winter.
A caged area to the north of this chamber holds victims both for sacrefice but for food as well. Two bed areas are there, the bottom right bed is nearest the "fireplace" niche is where the hag sleeps. At the center of this chamber is the sacreficial rock with a celtic symbol of eternity carved from its surface soaked with the last victims blood.
Merry Christmas, enjoy!