Torchwood – Aythia Campaign World


Torchwood is an out-of-the-way wood just off the Snowmelt River, north-west of the larger Ashwood Forest in my home campaign world.

Torchwood Location

Torchwood sits about 50 miles north-east of Myrbridge.

If travelling from the city-state, the easiest way to get to the forest is to either travel along the Snowmelt River, passing through the Red Hills, until you reach the town of Lahnworth, and then head northwest some 6-8 miles and you will reach the south-eastern edge of the forest.

Alternatively, you can follow the Snowmelt River, and then the Red River, and then the Broken River, crossing over the Red Hills and into the grassy vale that sits between the Red Hills and the western edge of Torchwood.

Torchwood was named after explorers ventured this way during the autumn months and saw from the distance what looked like thousands of giant torches set ablaze.

The reality was that off-white coloured trees were shedding their leaves, which had turned from green to the reds and oranges of autumn.

The Elves of Torchwood

Torchwood is home to two elven villages, one in the north, and one to the south. The two villages maintain a network between them and they remain close due to familial ties.

The Torchwood Elves are not as xenophobic as some of their cousins, but they still ban logging, and do whatever they must to protect their forest home.

First Contact

The first contact most have with the Torchwood Elves are their Torch Riders.

Torch Riders

These mounted units are part outrider, part scout, who patrol the plains around the Torchwood forest. They are more frequent and in larger numbers to the west and north as the threat from the Red Hills and Broken Mountains, respectively, pose the biggest threat.

Torch Riders often ride in groups of 3-4 riders, mounted on Giant Stags, but can be found with just 1-2 riders, but this is often closer to the forest’s edge.

In game terms, a Torch Rider is a Kit that can be taken by any Torchwood Elf, but are most common among the fighters and rogues.

You can find out more about kits for Old School Essentials in Issue 32 of d12 Monthly.

Torch Rider Kit (for OSE)

Torch Riders are part outrider, part scout that patrol the area around Torchwood Forest.

You need to be a Torchwood Elf, and have a WIS score of at least 11.

Torch Rider play a vital role in Torchwood Elves lives as they patrol the area around the forest and report any issues back to their communities.

Secondary Skills
Torch Riders have a special bond to their mount – usually giant stags – and so receive the Animal Trainer secondary skill for free.

All Torchwood Elves start with a giant stag mount and a composite short bow.

Special Benefit
Swift Riders: Torchwood Elves gain a +2 bonus to all control and trick checks while riding their mounts. They can also draw a weapon while mounted as a free action. 

Eyes of the Plains: Torchwood Elves can see twice as far while on the plains than normal. They also gain a +2 bonus on all perception-related checks while on the plains.

Special Hindrance
Focus on the Plains: Due to their focus on the plains, they are less familiar with staying silent and hidden in forests or woodlands. They suffer a -2 penalty to all stealth-related ability checks (or -10% to Hide in Shadows and Move Silently if a thief).

Regular Check-Ins: Due to their responsibilities to the woods and their fellow elves, Torch Riders need to check in with the village elders at least once per week to impart all they have observed and know.


Kits are a great way to give substance and options to characters at character generation. Find out more about them in Issue 32 of d12 Monthly1, where I re-imagine them from AD&D 2nd edition to Old School Essentials, cutting away the overly burdensome nature.

While You’re Here…

Since 2021 I have been publishing d12 Monthly, a monthly zine, which has a ton of articles for any edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

Printed copies are available in my store. The PDF is available on DriveThruRPG and you can get both, plus support my work, via my Patreon.

I will also be releasing some more products in the near future.

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or my contact page any time.

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