In an age of sail, one of the most important of resources is a source of tall, straight and strong trees for use as masts. Mastwood island is one such location.
In order to understand what a Kitsinger island is, you must first understand the people that used to live on Mt. Kitsinger. This is not only a tale of their history but a tale of their making.
Ever since the two major religions of Acqua, that of Jove and Ulmania, were created, their clergy have hated each other with a passion that at times has led to violence. Mostly it just means that they do everyrhing differently out of spite.They have different liturgical uses, different hymms and prayers, different baptism,wedding and funeral services. The priests of Jove favour cremation for the dead in nearly all cases, so the priests and priestesses of Ulmania favour burial.
Where there is enough space this is not a problem, but in crowded Banhoesea it became a major issue.The bodies of Ulamanian worshippers were being buried secretly in the floors and foundations of houses or in soon to be dug up land or in crop fields.After a major outbreak of disease the De Madden Company Central Council, of which all but one worshipped Jove, threatened to outlaw the Ulmanian religion, persecute it’s beleavers and confiscate it’s assets.
The great majority of Sea Witches and a few Sea Wizards were Ulmanian beleavers and called a nationwide strike, trapping half the De Madden Company fleet in harbour.Without magic most could not leave harbour safely and even the ten masters would take a long time to get anywhere.
The Central Council got really angry and arrested the strike leaders, threatening to hang them. The strikers threatened to use their magic to cause huge waves within the harbours and wreck the ships within.A compromise was reached.The strike leaders were set free and Ulmania’s Church purchased a large,partly rocky, mile-long island, with a quarter of the Church’s wealth. This was to be their Isle of the Dead.
All burials outside it were banned with the threat of very severe punishment for those who disobeyed.
That was over seven hundered years ago…
When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.
To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.
It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.
The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.
It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.
GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).