A good central concept for a believable sailors' purgatory. I agree that it could be rewritten slightly for greater clarity, but it didn't bother me that much. I wonder how intelligent the crabs are -- they almost seem like a sort of celestial being in disguise. Overall, well done :) Definitely consider submitting this to AG's A New Take on Hell.
Thanks everyone, for the comments and votes.
I didn't envision the crabs to be sentient. Their only purpose is making sure no soul that is still stained with sin proceeds onto the island. To that end, they have the ablilty to sense out impurity, but there is no way to reason with them, because they only really have the rudimentary intelligence of an arthropod. Of course, that's just my interpretation, other users may decide that they are low ranking angels, assigned to this task.
I went back and rewrote the repetitive section of the second paragraph, it should be easier reading now.
I wrote this piece in response to the codex on Hell, but I don't know how to link them. I looked at the codex submission, but I can't find a "suggest submission" button anywhere. Should I just add a comment with a linkback to here?
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Simply put, this is an elaboration on the basic DnD setting, which cannot be blamed for excess ingenuity. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'd like to see something new, special... and the basic DnD halflings have their own chapter in the... Races of... Destiny? Or races of the Wild, or whatever. So, my 0.02$ would be - if you write them up, you may as well make them something special. As for a race/culture write-up in general, go to greater breadth, depth and allocate space to topics according to story potential and importnace. So far, you may consider it a finished product, but not one I'd a) use b) rate highly.
Wagon propulsion: wagon axels and wheels could be under an "animate object" spell, turning with of their own power, or, they could be pulled by clockwork or otherwise inorganic ponies (perhaps wooden pony amatures, carved and articulated, then animated with magic)
Canine affinity: what if their love of dogs stems from the fact that a percentage of halflings are natural animagi, that is, they can assume the shape of a dog at will