In the World of Greyhawk, the Rift Canyon is a massive canyon in the centre of Flanaess. Over one hundred miles wide and thirty miles across, the area has its own ecology around the surface, on the ledges and at the bottom. The angle of the slope from the bottom of the rift varies from 60 to 90 degrees. There are ledges ranging from 5 foot to 5 miles across.

Upper ledges : 7am to 5pm daylight. Down to 3,000 feet below the surface.

Middle ledges : 8am to 4pm daylight. 3,001 to 6,000 feet below the surface.

Lower ledges : 9am to 3pm daylight. 6,001 to 12,000 feet (2.2 miles) below the surface.

Bottom : 10am to 2pm daylight.  24,000 feet (4.5 miles) below the surface.

Due to the depth of the Rift Canyon, much of the geography of the bottom and lower ledges is not visible from the surface. More than ten large lakes and twelve fungal forests are spread throughout the bottom of the canyon. With the massive size of the Rift Canyon you can easily set an entire campaign here.

Rift Canyon Map 6 Megabytes – Left click on the link, then use the download button on the top right.

Areas of Note

Amber Lake

  • Suggested Feature : The lake has clean rainwater and can not be tainted.
  • Critters : Brownie, Dragonfly-Giant, Kenku.
  • Notes : The Kenku follow the Flan deities – Beory, Nerull and Pelor.
  • Plants : Orange lillies from 1ft to 5ft diameter, 10ft to 50ft height.

Laughing Hills

  • Suggested Feature : Large termite mound style Nest of Hook Horrors.
  • Critters : Ankhegs, Giant Scorpions, Hook Horrors.
  • Notes : During random moments day or night, cackling and laughing may be heard, often not Human noises.
  • Plants : Blue Berries grow in abundance in some spots.

Whisper Lake

  • Suggested Feature : Ghosts (Ancestors of the heroes) manifest at twilight and warn of possible future events.
  • Critter : Ghosts, some get cranky if treated badly or ignored.
  • Notes : If anyone is wounded, they may try to possess them to free themselves.
  • Plants : Plants at the waters edge shimmer orange and purple at night.

Withered Crags

  • Suggested Feature : Oeridarian ziggurat with vines everywhere, vines are affected by emotions.
  • Critters : Dragonnel, Giant Centipedes, Vegepygmies.
  • Notes : Ancients carvings next to preserved animal and human skins line some areas of the crags.
  • Plants : Zuchini grow in valleys here.


Other critters in the area : Crypt Things within ancient Oeridarian ruins.

Mordekainen’s Tome of Foes creatures – Sorrow Spawn in Fungal Forests.

  • Shadar-Kai villagers, suspicious of outsiders but not evil.

Secret Stash : Tenser’s stash-One of each non magical weapon and armour, 3 Holy water and 3*3d8 healing vials. Notes on chess tactics of Mordekainen and Otto.


Quests for Rift Canyon Area :

Exploration Quest – Survey area for minerals, plants, magic, anything valuable.

  • Recruiter – Shield Lands military or the ruler of Urnst.
  • Reward – 600 gp each for 6 month survey.
  • Opposition – Packs of Rust Monsters roaming the area.
  • Thing – Player to GM’s left – You find something against your ideal, what is it?
  • Challenges – Climbing, abundant handholds, just lots of climbing required.

Investigation Quest – Clerics have visions of great darkness spawning from northern rift canyon.

  • Recruiter – Clerics from the same Church as one of the PC’s.
  • Reward – 200 Gp each and status as chosen of the church.
  • Opposition – Skulks and Shadows are attracted to the darkness.
  • Thing – PC with highest Charisma-Notices a smell that reminds them of something from their childhood, describe the smell to the group.
  • Challenges – Darkness grows by 50% from magic use and life force, currently 1 mile diameter. Shadow mage feeding the darkness each night.

Negotiation Quest – Stone Giants in southern rift canyon, get them to sign a treaty or break their spirit.

  • Recruiter – Circle of Eight, Archwizard Nystul.
  • Reward – Daerns instant fortress and 1,000 gp each.
  • Opposition – Stone Giants tribes roam the bottom of the rift in this area.
  • Thing – Player to GM’s right – There is something here your parents would want you to have, what is it?
  • Challenges – Dust storm rolls through area caused by lunar conjunction.

Tie-ins for other books :

Suggested GH City box set Adventure cards you can tie to this area

  • Dead of the Howling Hills & Shadows of Terror.

Potential Treasure from Greyhawk Adventures book

  • Stonefist Sword of Rage & Purple Gem of the Vesve Forest.

Want a big Dragon? – Morginstaler, Red Dragon – see Oerth Journal 20

Mage Guild – Sorcerous Union of Radigast City – sending expeditions to the Rift Canyon recently… see Oerth Journal 03