D&D 5E Dungeons and Dragons World - The Elderberry Tales

This is a world I've been kicking around.

Several threads here started me stewing on this a long time ago.


Peasant Revolts in 5e

Giant Snails in medieval manuscipts

as well as

and finally

I have made a medieval world that mixes in traditional Christianity, the Canterbury tales, the Norman Invasion, Medieval Myths and legends, Doggerland and the Smurfs :p.

#DnD #TTRPG #Worldbuilding #Fantasy #MedievalFantasy #ChristianFantasy #Pilgrimage #DivineMagic #MythicalCreatures #Homebrew #RoleplayingGame #TabletopGaming #FantasyMap #Storytelling #EpicAdventure

Here is my overview

I'll post the next parts over the next month or so.
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had a day off so got this early.

in particular it was a blast figuring out how reliquaries are actually benign necromancy and figuring out how that happens when your pc dies.

This is the book that started Elderberry Tales. It was written by a dear friend of mine and honestly was a blast. Think of this as a sneak peak. big question is to whether to use the same font when I get to my own monster manual. Should I?

and thus we put in adventuring options for the elderberry tales.

now I'm kinda stuck and want to use this chat to figure out.

I have mapped out the world (see attachment) and well, I have a pretty solid vision for the world, but unsure how to flesh out the world.

My inspiration is the travels of john mandvelle and classical medieval cartregraphy for the world.
The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, by John Mandeville

I ultimately went with the doggerland map, as the doggerland was raised as a response to the bastard's invasion of england.

I want this fantastical medieval/early renaissance feel for the world, especially through the world of a medieval peasant, but having trouble mitigating this by using a real map and avoiding the overt racism inherent in the book.

Any ideas?


  • elderberry tales without labels.png
    elderberry tales without labels.png
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Okay let's take this in chunks starting with the Holy Roman Empire. As always opened to any and all suggestions.

Holy Roman Empire and Its Allies​

In 1066, the Holy Roman Empire was under the rule of Emperor Henry IV. The empire was a complex and loosely connected collection of territories in Central Europe, including modern-day Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of Italy, France, and the Low Countries. They will see it a threat to their public order, but it's not uniform across the kingdom.


  • Duchies and Principalities within the Empire: Many German duchies and principalities would likely support the Emperor's stance, seeking to maintain stability and their own power structures.
  • Papal States: Depending on the relationship with the Pope, there could be varying degrees of support. The Pope might support the Emperor if the rebellion threatens the church's influence.
  • Kingdom of Denmark: As a neighboring power with interests in the North Sea region, Denmark might align with the Holy Roman Empire to curb the influence of a rising rebellious state.

Peasant Folk Response:​

The peasant folk of the Holy Roman Empire and neighboring regions would have mixed reactions to the rebellion in Doggerland:
  • Supportive Peasants: Inspired by the divine intervention and the transformation of humans into orcs, goblinoids, and other species, some peasants might see the rebellion as a sign of hope and divine favor, leading to uprisings in their own territories.
  • Fearful Peasants: Others might fear the wrath of their local lords and the Emperor, choosing to remain loyal to avoid harsh reprisals.
  • Religious Interpretation: Many would interpret the transformations and the raising of Doggerland as a direct act of God, causing religious fervor and pilgrimages to the new land.

Noble Response:​

The nobles of the Holy Roman Empire would have varied responses to this divine intervention:
  • Opposition and Suppression: Most nobles would oppose the rebellion fiercely, fearing the loss of their power and the spread of similar uprisings in their domains. They would likely call for military intervention.
  • Religious Justification: Some might use religious rhetoric to justify harsh measures against the rebels, branding them as heretics or enemies of the established order.
  • Strategic Alliances: A few pragmatic nobles might seek to negotiate with the leaders of Adamar, recognizing the potential for a new balance of power.

Contextual Integration:​

Political Context:​

  • Emperor Henry IV: The Emperor would likely see the rebellion as a threat to his authority and the stability of the Empire. He might call for a crusade or military expedition to subdue the new state and reclaim Doggerland for the Empire.
  • Papal Influence: The Pope’s stance would be crucial. If he views the rebellion as a divine mandate, it could lead to a schism within the church. Otherwise, he might support the Empire’s efforts to restore order.

Social and Cultural Impact:​

  • Transformation of Species: The miraculous transformation of humans into orcs, goblinoids, and other species would be seen as a sign of divine intervention. This could lead to the creation of new religious sects or cults venerating these transformations as holy events.
  • Peasant Rebellion: Inspired by the events in Doggerland, peasant rebellions could erupt across Europe, challenging the feudal order and demanding better conditions and more rights.

Supportive of the Holy Roman Empire's Opposition to Adamar​

  1. Duchy of Bavaria:
    • Reason: Bavaria was a significant power within the Empire, with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and preserving its autonomy under the Emperor's favor. The duchy would likely oppose any rebellion that threatens imperial stability.
    • Response: Military support for imperial forces, strong suppression of any local uprisings.
  2. Duchy of Saxony:
    • Reason: Saxony had a complex relationship with the Emperor but would oppose any peasant rebellion to maintain noble dominance and prevent similar uprisings.
    • Response: Mobilization of forces to support the Empire, political maneuvering to strengthen noble authority.
  3. Kingdom of Bohemia:
    • Reason: As a kingdom within the Empire, Bohemia had a vested interest in supporting the Emperor to maintain its elevated status and protect its borders from instability.
    • Response: Providing troops and resources to imperial efforts, reinforcing borders to prevent rebellion spread.
  4. Duchy of Swabia:
    • Reason: Swabia was another powerful duchy that relied on feudal structures for its wealth and power. It would strongly oppose any threats to this system.
    • Response: Active participation in suppressing the rebellion, harsh penalties for any sympathizers.

Neutral or Hesitant Responses​

  1. Margraviate of Brandenburg:
    • Reason: Brandenburg was a frontier region more concerned with local defense and internal stability. It might be hesitant to fully commit to imperial efforts.
    • Response: Limited support, focusing on local security and internal stability.
  2. Duchy of Lorraine:
    • Reason: Lorraine had strategic interests in maintaining trade routes and local stability. It might prefer a more cautious approach.
    • Response: Diplomatic support, limited military involvement.
  3. Duchy of Carinthia:
    • Reason: A smaller and more remote duchy, Carinthia might see little direct threat from the rebellion and prefer to avoid conflict.
    • Response: Minimal involvement, focusing on local governance.

Sympathetic to Adamar or the Peasant Cause​

  1. County of Tyrol:
    • Reason: Tyrol's mountainous regions had a strong tradition of local autonomy and might sympathize with peasant struggles, seeing parallels in their own local governance.
    • Response: Diplomatic neutrality, potential covert support for peasant causes.
  2. Duchy of Thuringia:
    • Reason: Thuringia had a history of religious and social reform movements, which might make it more sympathetic to a cause perceived as divinely inspired.
    • Response: Diplomatic caution, possible passive support for peasant movements.
  3. Duchy of Lower Lorraine:
    • Reason: Lower Lorraine, with its diverse population and frequent political shifts, might see an opportunity in supporting a new power to balance imperial control.
    • Response: Diplomatic engagement with Adamar, limited military involvement.

Peasant Folk Responses​

  • Supportive Peasants: Regions with heavy taxation and harsh feudal systems, such as parts of Bavaria and Saxony, might see peasant uprisings inspired by Adamar.
  • Fearful Peasants: Areas under strong noble control, like Swabia, would likely see peasants fearing retribution and staying loyal.
  • Religious Interpretation: Pilgrimage sites and regions with strong religious influence might see varied responses, from fervent support of Adamar as a divine sign to staunch opposition to protect the Church’s power.

Noble Responses​

  • Opposition and Suppression: Most nobles across the Empire would strongly oppose Adamar, seeing it as a threat to their power and the feudal system.
  • Religious Justification: Nobles might use the Church’s authority to justify harsh measures against the rebels, branding them heretics.
  • Strategic Alliances: Pragmatic nobles, particularly in border regions or areas with less direct control from the Emperor, might seek alliances with Adamar to shift the balance of power.
Locations of Notes

The Holy Roman Empire in 1066 was a vast and diverse region with numerous key locations that could be imbued with rich fantasy connotations. Here are some notable places within the Holy Roman Empire, along with their potential fantasy extrapolations:

1. The Black Forest (Schwarzwald)

  • Fantasy Connotation: A dense, dark, and enchanted forest home to ancient spirits, mythical creatures, and hidden magical groves. It could be a place where druids gather and ancient rituals are performed.
  • Extrapolation: The forest could have sentient trees, hidden fairy realms, and portals to other mystical dimensions. It might also be a sanctuary for those fleeing persecution or seeking forbidden knowledge.

2. Aachen

  • Fantasy Connotation: The imperial city where Charlemagne was crowned, it could be seen as a center of divine power and authority. The Cathedral of Aachen could hold relics of immense power and serve as a gathering place for paladins and holy knights.
  • Extrapolation: Aachen could be depicted as a city of light, protected by ancient wards and guarded by celestial beings. It might also host an order of knights dedicated to preserving the Emperor’s divine mandate.

3. Cologne (Köln)

  • Fantasy Connotation: A major religious center with a rich history, Cologne’s cathedral could be a site of miraculous occurrences and divine interventions. The city could be a hub for clerics, theologians, and alchemists.
  • Extrapolation: The cathedral could possess hidden catacombs containing ancient scrolls, holy relics, and even the spirits of saints who offer guidance to the faithful. The city itself might be protected by a magical barrier that wards off evil.

4. Nuremberg

  • Fantasy Connotation: Known for its craftsmen and traders, Nuremberg could be a center of arcane artisans and magical inventions. The city’s markets could be renowned for selling enchanted items and rare magical components.
  • Extrapolation: Nuremberg could have a secret guild of artificers who create wondrous items and mechanical marvels. The city’s underground could be a labyrinth of workshops and hidden forges where magical constructs are crafted.

5. Regensburg

  • Fantasy Connotation: A key trading hub and political center, Regensburg could be depicted as a city where political intrigue and magical espionage are rampant. The city’s libraries and academies could hold vast amounts of arcane knowledge.
  • Extrapolation: Regensburg could be home to an order of mage-diplomats who use their magical abilities to influence politics and maintain balance. The city might also have hidden portals to other planes, used for clandestine meetings and secret exchanges.

6. Vienna

  • Fantasy Connotation: Situated on the eastern edge of the Empire, Vienna could be a city of mystical confluence, where eastern and western magical traditions meet. The city’s scholars and wizards could be known for their knowledge of both arcane and divine magic.
  • Extrapolation: Vienna could host grand magical universities and ancient temples dedicated to the study of both magic and religion. The city’s outskirts might be patrolled by guardian spirits and enchanted constructs protecting it from external threats.

7. Mainz

  • Fantasy Connotation: As a major religious center, Mainz could be a focal point for divine magic and religious authority. The city’s cathedral might be the seat of a powerful archbishop with considerable magical power.
  • Extrapolation: Mainz could have holy wards that protect the city from undead and demonic forces. The cathedral’s crypts might house ancient relics and serve as a training ground for exorcists and holy warriors.

8. Würzburg

  • Fantasy Connotation: Known for its vineyards and beautiful landscapes, Würzburg could be depicted as a place of natural magic and druidic power. The city might be surrounded by enchanted vineyards that produce magical wines with healing properties.
  • Extrapolation: Würzburg could have a druidic circle that protects the land and communes with nature spirits. The city’s festivals could be occasions of great magical displays and blessings.

9. Bamberg

  • Fantasy Connotation: With its unique architecture and rich history, Bamberg could be a city of magical scholars and historians. The city’s libraries might contain ancient texts and forbidden tomes.
  • Extrapolation: Bamberg could be home to a secret society of historians who use magic to uncover the past and protect the present. The city’s buildings might be enchanted to preserve their beauty and resist the ravages of time.

10. Speyer

  • Fantasy Connotation: Speyer, with its grand cathedral, could be a place of powerful divine magic and religious relics. The city could be a pilgrimage site for those seeking miracles and divine intervention.
  • Extrapolation: Speyer’s cathedral might house a powerful artifact that protects the city and grants visions to the faithful. The city could be a bastion of light, warding off dark forces and serving as a refuge for the righteous.
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