Dertflinghan the Damned

Deep within the Transylvanian countryside under the oppressive shadows of the Carpathian mountain range lies the tiny hamlet of Dertflinghan. It was once a sprawling medieval town occupied by noblemen, tradesmen and merchants that flourished economically well into the late 17th century.

However, a mysterious curse swept across the land, and now, Dertflinghan and the surrounding forests are so cut off from the outside world that most of the continent isn’t even aware of its existence . Only madness or the pursuit of glory (or perhaps a mix of both) would drive a man into this doomed wilderness beyond the borders of civilization.

The Town Proper

The term “town” is used loosely here. Dertflinghan is more accurately a hamlet, or better yet, an insignificant collection of vulgar buildings built upon the overgrown ruins of the old town. The stone fountain in the town square is the only remnant of its former greatness, and even that lies unused and scum-ridden.

Roads to Dertflinghan

The most likely entry point to the village will be the Old West Road. As the name implies, the road heads west through many uninhabited hills, forests, and bogs, and with luck, will eventually take a prudent traveler to the great cities of Eastern Europe, and from there to the train lines that lead to the rest of the world beyond.

Once in the town square, turning right (south) will lead to other small rustic villages, river fisheries, and logging camps, but not before passing large tracts of forest, and most notably, the Old Graveyard of Dertflinghan.

Those who come this far into the wild are obviously mentally-unhinged , but for those who are afflicted with the most uncontrollable adventure lust (or brain fever), continuing through the town on the Old West Road will take travelers to desolate lands devoid of occupants. Well… human occupants anyway.

Surviving in Dertflinghan (i.e. Not Starving)

Subsisting in such an unforgiving environment takes a level of determination that most Americans and Western Europeans wouldn’t even have the capacity to fathom. The small number of townsfolk all take part in tilling the soil, planting crops, and storing as much of the harvest as they can to get them through the winter alive.

This enclosed pasture houses the town’s meager collection of livestock throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

A humble bounty – potatoes, apples, and turnips.

Surviving in Dertflinghan (i.e. Not Getting Killed)

How human beings survive in such a hostile place is a mystery. Woodsmen and hunters up and down the Carpathians speak of unholy beasts and ancient curses. Tales are told around stone hearths of evil creatures hunting men in the night and stealing children away from the fields at dusk. Every day as the sun drops to the horizon, the townsfolk stay within the fenced perimeter of the town clutching crucifixes and nailing wolfs bane above their doors .

There are times when those foolish enough to be outside after dark have sworn seeing glowing eyes looking down threateningly from the forest hills outside the palisade.

Why don’t these folk pack up their belongings and head west to a more civilized country? Are they so determined and proud? Are their ties to the land made of something stronger than outsiders can understand? Or perhaps it is something more sinister…

Modelled and Painted By: Jason (aka JET)

Thoughts & Commentary

During the summer of 2008 I started building the Old West town of Assumption, Oklahoma. As we played Legends of the Old West and I kept expanding the town, I came to a realization – I found the process of creating a story through war gaming just as enjoyable as playing the game itself. I also realized that Wild West gaming wasn’t the only “adventure gaming” genre that I would be pursuing during my geeking career, and ever since the Fall of 2009, I began pondering a new project.

After much consideration, and many possibilities – Pulp, Lost World, Darkest Africa, and so on – I settled on Gothic Horror. This time around I had the advantage of lessons learned during the Assumption project. The most important lesson I learned was fairly obvious; writing reports of adventure games is similar to filming a movie. Like a movie, after characters (the models) and plot (the games), the setting was the key to a good story. It was then that I had the idea of creating a number of fixed “sets” to serve as backdrops for our games. Dertflinghan is the first finished “set,” and the road and town square pieces are designed to ensure that the town is laid out the same way every time we play.
Thanks for reading,
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