I have Book I ready for playtesting. It will undergo lots of changes in the next month, but for now I can turn my attention elsewhere in the project.
I want to deal with geography, but I am not sure I can yet. Mike did a map of Aventyr previously. I am going to do a version that is less “hexy” and more freeform. However, I think I need to change some things up.
I plan to have a central knot of impenetrable mountains that is the overall clanhome for all the dwarves of Aventyr. Then there are arms of mountains that radiate from that point, along a tectonic fault line and with smaller ranges branching out from there. This will serve as the focus for the main clans. One will be the clan in the center, looking after the most prestigious symbols and territory of the clan. Then others will be based around that point, and each one will trail off down a line of mountains.
Other specialties will be built in, but that’s the root concept. I’m currently leaning towards Clan Stondraeg guarding the seat of power, most isolated from the outside world. Clan Stonebreaker serves as the bulwark between goblin woods (jungle?) and the mountains. Clan Thunderforge along the edge of a desert where saints are purified and the Gods of Ur hold court in a temple compound wrapped in a mirage, or a mountain of power.
If I don’t hear from the other backers, I would likely assign one clan to live in cliffs and have several ports, seafaring dwarves. Another great clan would be specialized monster hunters, guarding the deep and the marsh borders against the ravenous and weird.
I will also be reworking the map so it has some features of interest, and the coastline is not a single lump of land. Give the territory some elbow space.
I also have not heard from anyone who backed at a level to contribute background on the other races. In order for all this to fit together, it helps to have some back and forth. Establish a background for the world (now done) then see how the histories of these people fit into it, and what role they play now.
Geography and history are interlinked. This is important. So before going much further on cultural issues, I want a better sense of how it all fits together.