Hudbyd is the world where most of my campaigns are set. It is a world with a rich history and geopolitical background. The header graphic on this blog is a section of a scan of the first map I drew for the first campaign I ran as a “dungeon master.” That was about 1982 I think. The Tolkien influence in Hudbyd is pretty extensive, but back then the whole RPG hobby was heavily influenced by Tolkien. The section on the map called “Shiredom” is obviously a place you would find halflings of course. I’ve since renamed that area to be less obviously hobbit-influenced.
Hudbyd is actually a small moon of a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a very large and hot star. The orbit and rotation of Hudbyd are oriented such that the jupiter sized planet appears in the sky to be about the size of earth’s moon in our sky, and the sun appears to be about the same size as our sun, so the end result is a world which appears remarkably earthlike from the perspective of the surface of Hudbyd. Solar eclipses are possible, but lunar eclipses are different. Instead of the entire “moon” being darkened, when Hudbyd moves between its star and its “moon” the result is an inky black circle traveling across the face of the moon.
Hudbyd is just one of several bodies orbiting around its “moon”. On occasion another heavenly body passes very close to Hudbyd. These events typically create great alarm for the sentient species of Hudbyd.
The largest continent on Hudbyd is called “Agnara.” It is comparable in size and climate to Europe and Asia combined. Agnara is split up into several nations or nation-states. There is one primary elvish nation called “Elvenholm” where the elven royalty lives and rules. The primary human nation is called “Hanor” or “Hanoria” depending on the circumstances. It is ruled by a dynasty of kings named “Hanor”. Hanorian armies are generally considered the most powerful military force on the continent. Hanoria is generally ruled as a benevolent monarchy and Hanorian forces patrol well outside of the actual borders of Hanoria as peace-keepers in general, or as supplemental forces for Hanorian allies. There are small nations which are the primary habitat of gnomes, halflings and other sentient races. The further east you head on the continent the wilder the area becomes until you reach areas that are home to orc and goblin tribes or nations.
Agnara is the largest continent on Hudbyd. Other continents and/or large islands or island chains are known to exist, although most citizens of Agnara are only vaguely aware of them. Trade ships from Amroth, the capital city of Hanoria, sail to remote locations and return with exotic trade goods, including spices, gems, fruits and vegetables, and occasionally odd beasts.
At some point in the distant past the entire world was plunged into war and destruction. This period is now known to scholars as the “Chaos Time”. During that time the race of dwarves was utterly destroyed by unknown forces. An alliance of humans and elves eventually succeeded in driving back the horrors of the chaos time, but all trace of dwarves had been destroyed.
Thousands of years later a party of brave adventurers explored deep into the Arid Wastes, a land blasted and scarred beyond repair during the chaos time, and discovered clues about the events of those times. Battling dragons, demons and evil wizards those brave heroes eventually discovered the sealed and hidden last tomb of the dwarves, along with a means to restore the dwarven race to Hudbyd. Although at great cost to themselves, they eventually succeeded in their quest and restored the dwarven race.
That more or less brings things to the “present day” in Hudbyd where dwarves are again living among elves, men and other races. Dwarves are still far from common outside the main dwarven city, but they are no longer unheard of and have become highly sought after for their stone work, metallurgy and jewelcraft. Cities like Amroth have dwarven enclaves and dwarven engineering is found in castles, keeps, aquaducts and other stonework.