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Midgard for the Masses 4: Danger and Darkness

Midgard for the Masses 4: Danger and Darkness

The vast lands of Midgard are rich with opportunity and chaos befitting every kind of adventurer. But certain locations are better suited based on the type of game you want.

For a complete Midgard overview, browse the The Midgard Worldbook. Every place you see in this series has a detailed write-up there. The resources section following each location offers places to look for additional information.

For hardcore adventurers, two popular Midgard regions are famous for dark and dangerous paths; the Shadow Realm and the ancient forest of Margreve.

Walk the Path to the Shadow Realm

Unlike haunted or forgotten places on the Material Plane, the Shadow Realm is another plane of reality. Shadows cover the land, rivers run with thick shadow instead of liquid, and the notable absence of color dulls even bright lights. Survival requires strategic decision making that accounts for the environment.

The Shadow Fey are nobles here, changed by the shadows and the darkness. They are cruel and relentless, but they maintain a standard of decency and living within their courts. They may express cruelty, but their guests may not. The shadow fey have authority over the lower ranks, the goblins, and the peasants. And occasionally they have use for adventurers to further the Court’s ends. They may ask you to retrieve items, fight back ghouls, or recover a wayward fey. But even as patrons, the shadow fey are not benevolent. Every kind transaction comes with a price tipped in their favor. 

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the Shadow Realm is the umbral vampires. Neither fully shadow or undead, they exist in a limbo of hunger and unfulfillment. The archmages of Oshragora slowed time as their magic became more powerful, and then, in an instant, their magic lapsed. The Oshragora citizens were thrust forward in time. As their ageing caught up, they found themselves neither dead nor undead, now umbral vampires cursed to stay in Oshragora.

The bearfolk of the Moonlit Glades are a spot of openness among the gloom. The druids and the bearfolk work together in the glades, protecting the bearfolk and preserving a semblance of magic. Rumors spread that the bearfolk need new druid protection from the ghouls who threaten their sacred lands.

The Twilight Empire is the Ghoul Imperium. The black-toothed ghouls absorb whatever they can from the living or the shadow fey. They consume all from within their realm. The Twilight Emperor, called Black Fang, uses magic to control the legions who serve him.  

Shadow Realm Resources

The Book of Ebon Tides is the premiere source of adventure related to the Shadow Realm.

Courts of the Shadow Fey is a 148-page adventure taking PCs from the mortal world to the heart of Shadow.

Warlock Lair 51, Casting the Longest Shadow involves shadow goblins and a kidnapping into the Shadow Realm.

Welcome to Old Margreve

The Margreve is older than time, older than the gods themselves. It exists almost as a pocket dimension along the borders of Zobeck. The forest breathes, grows, and harbors beautiful and terrifying realities.

The forest is a dense, lush landscape with thick roots growing across the floor and a heavy canopy blocking out sunlight. The smallest creatures to the largest predators exist here, just as they might in other forests. The exception, is that most people tend to come out of normal forests alive.

Famed griffons roam, free from their servitude at the Griffon Towers. They resist being tamed and want no part of whatever the travelers are up to. While they can fly, urging or commanding a griffon to fly requires extreme skill and exquisite control; they are unpredictable and temperamental.

Many avoid the forest altogether due to tales of missing travelers. But those who do go through the dense forest avoiding a surer fate. Bandits on the main road waylay nearly anyone trying to go around. A myriad of reasons might lead you to take your chances in the forest. Don’t worry—you are not alone! That’s the beauty of the Margreve Forest . . . someone or something is always watching.

  • Zobeck requires more resources from the forest. It’s okay, really! They’re not concerned about your safety. Make sure you take two axes, and never split up. However, they have a list of woods and herbs they would like you to collect and return to Zobeck. Honestly, the city is eager to see you off. They always ask about next of kin, but it’s a standard procedure for independent adventuring contractors.
  • Ghouls have been spotted within Margreve, and the local druids are worried for the sake of the forest. Can you banish the ghouls back to their Shadow Realm?
  • Minotaurs have been culling wood in the far side of the forest. It will take several days to walk through the forest and find the minotaur camp. Once you do, they might not want you to report back whatever they’re doing with the wood.

Margreve Resources

The Margreve Player’s Guide contains everything a character needs to come out alive . . . or at least die a hero’s death.

Tales of the Old Margreve contains twelve adventures for levels 1–10, all set in the ancient forest.

Warlock Lair 23, Wrath of the Bramble King is a tale of the havoc wreaked outside the Margreve when the Bramble King’s crown is stolen.

Find out more about Midgard!

Ready to find out more about this amazing place?

The Midgard Worldbook is your first stop for Midgard! This packed-to-the-rafters campaign setting tells you all about the world, where you can start, and plenty of places where adventurers can meet their ends.

Want to go deeper? Our Patreon zine, Warlock, publishes brand new Midgard content every month! And at a slightly higher tier, Warlock Lairs features unique adventures set in Midgard!

Or cut straight to the chase and get material bundled in Warlock Grimoire! Each Grimoire collects several issues of the zine together for ease of reading!

And don’t forget this is the last week for get Midgard books at 30% off!

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