Despite it’s reputation as a “kitchen sink” setting, mostly due to the inconsistent tone set by third party authors, I’ve always thought Shadow World had a unique feel driven by Terry’s artistic sensibility. I’ve written about the Many Flavors of Shadow World before and I’ve always appreciated the blends of genres: fantasy, sci-fi, anime and even goth and horror. Despite my own lack of interest in standard fantasy tropes, I acknowledge that there is still huge interest in the “Dark Lord/Dark Master” trope in roleplaying and pop culture.
Luckily, Terry has included this trope in many parts of Shadow World! Putting aside Lorgalis and other “Dark Lord” NPC’s in his fleshed out works of Emer and Jaiman, the Master Atlas outlines some other parts of Kulthea that might be readily adaptable for a traditional “Against the Darkmaster” style campaign.
Where might one look? Wrangôr
Per the Master Atlas:
Wrangôr: This is a realm of Lugrôki (Orcs), and Lugrôk-hybrids,
the result of centuries of captured slaves being
interbred with the Lugrôk population. This has
created a race smaller than the true “High
Lugrôki” but able to function during the day as
well as at night. They are no less ugly, however.
This program has been under the Dark Master,
a shadowy dictator who, with his War Troll
guard, resides in a citadel outside the port city
of Vashtak. The “Dark Master” of this realm is a Dyar Elf, a
powerful Mystic who rules through terror and
brute force—concepts which the Lugrôki understand all too well.
This is the only substantive reference to Wrangôr in any of the books, typical of the short summaries found in the Master Atlas. Wrangor is located on the eastern part of Thuul, the continent west of Emer that is begging to be fleshed out! It’s proximity to Emer’s southern reaches makes it accessible to adventures based out of EMER book III.
In short, if you enjoy the straightfoward nature of an evil Kingdom and a mysterious Dark Master, Shadow World has that too!
Has anyone run adventures in Thuul?