I have noticed over the years that one of the most exhilirating experiences for any group of PCs is the discovery of some mysterious, uncharted island somewhere in the vast unexplored reaches of the ocean. The longer they are at sea, the more googly-eyed they get when you inform them that some land that doesnt appear on their maps is visible on the horizon. I thought this might make an interesting thread. An easy reference for any GM. Here are nine of my own. Hope to see lots more from all Citadellians! I have a dream…ONE HUNDRED islands by this time next year. :D
Somewhere in the Southern Seas, approximately one hundred miles off Zibaba’s eastern coast, lies the fog-shrouded, cinammon scented island of Kulak-Mepos. Fierce, impenetrable verdant jungle, engulfs the central savannah of this thirty mile island. The inhabitants of Kulak-Mepos are unique. The island is dominated by a race of intelligent and somewhat malevolent Mandrills, who possess a bizarre ability to exude a pheromone that is akin to an orgasmic drug to any mortal female of the human race. Once long ago, tribes of humans inhabited Kulak-Mepos, but the Mandrills slew all the men of the island in an ancient war, and now only the women-folk remain, fawning pleasure slaves, servants, and warriors of the Mandrill kingdom. The Mandrills are fierce in battle, and will immediately attack males of any species who come ashore, while taking any females as willing hostages.
2) The Sericulture Isles of Lestii
Three tiny islands which lie thirty miles south of the penninsula of the ancient and decadent Empire of A’Thun, the Lestii’s have only one purpose. Each of the three islands is covered completely by Mulberry trees, tended to by tongueless workers, slaves of the Empire. Each island also features a hatchery for the fragile silk worms, which are incubated and lovingly fed the leaves of the trees, as well as Loom houses, where the gossamer silk is spun. Almost the entire prized crop of A’Thunian silk, comes from the Lestiis. One powerful A’Thunian wizard and a group of enforcers and supervisers dwell on each of the three islands.
A small island where the climate is so hot, that people go around naked. Men are held in common by the women as well as the land, crops and property. All a woman has to do, is kiss any man of the tribe on the forehead, and that man is hers to do with what she please for three days. The women of Klaam are anthropophagus cannibals, fattening up children they buy from visiting slaver and merchant ships of distant kingdoms and eating them at bloody repasts. This the women say, is the sweetest meat in the world. In cases of dire need, they will also attempt to kill and eat the slavers and merchants themselves. The men of Klaam on the other hand are docile vegetarians.
4) Nameless Isle
Far from any shore, this desolate, sterile four-mile island of rock and scrub is peculiar in that it is completely devoid of life. No insects crawl its land, no birds fly overhead or ever descend here. Other than the sound of the wind and surf, it is utterly silent. Its only claim to fame is a huge throne of blue-green seastone, which stands in silent vigil in the middle of the island. Beautifuly carved by some unkown, antediluvian masters into the shape of a reclining Naga of immense size, runes are inscribed into the seat of this throne in a language so ancient that only magic can decipher the message. If the passage is indeed translated it reads: "Built by Long-Hand-Serpent" and "Upon this throne have sat a Thousand One-Eyed Kings, and a Thousand Kings each sound in both Eyes"
5) B’gom, Island of Idols
Not found on any map, B’gom lies far from any shore. Those few that are lucky enough to discover its shores, first see what appear to be strangely irregular mountains and hills. Upon nearing the island, these are seen for what they are. Giant pyramidic piles of discarded idols of wood and stone, anywhere from half a foot to four foot in length, and stacked by the thousands. The island is completely cluttered with myriad idols representing various animal, bird, and humanoid figurines. A peculiar, isolated group of people call B’gom home. They have a unique religious tradition of worshipping the first thing they see each morning, causing great confusion because of the rapid succession of religions on the island. Since B’gom is populated by many species of birds, insects, reptiles, and animals, one can see just about anything on any given day. As soon as their object of adoration and worship is spotted on any given day, each B’gomian quickly begins to carve a small idol to that creature, from either the plentiful wood, or the equally plentiful sandstone and marble found on the island. The following day, these idols are discarded, and the process begins anew. Over a million idols can be found on B’gom. The folk have one other peculiar tradition. They do not bury their dead, nor throw them out to sea, but merely leave them next to trees to decompose in the humid heat.
An island located somewhere in the uncharted stretches of the Sea of Rust, it is so called because the inhabitants curse the burning midday sun. They are a pale skinned race of gaunt giants averaging seven to eight feet in height, whose skin does not naturally darken, despite the fact that they have dwelled on this fourteen mile island of crags and bushes for thousands of years. They are incapable of swimming and refuse to go into the ocean which surrounds them. They are not aggressive towards outsiders however, and will attempt to regale any visitor with their ancient myths and songs. One of the only attractions on Deathlight is the Tower of the Opal Dragon, a two hundred foot high spiraling structure, which the inhabitants consider taboo. One can only guess at its origin and secrets as the giants of Deathlight will refuse to speak of it, and will grow violent if outsiders even attempt to approach it, or ask the meaning behind its name. The giants of the island also possess a freakish biological aspect. Small white parasitic worms grow and thrive inside their tongues. The giants cut out these worms with flint knives, healing the wounds with herbs, and sell these worms to occasional sailors. The worms are prized by alchemists and assasins of various lands, as they an be used to make a virulent poison.
7) Isle of Philosophers
A sandy isle of wide white sand beaches and gently swaying palm trees, there is nothing unusual about the geography of the island. What is unusual are its inhabitants. Every few decades, two philosophers are brought here form the mainland kingdom of Apaldia, and left to live out the rest of their lives in contemplation. The chosen philosophers are not forced, but look upon the this as a great honor. Indiginous plants, fruits, and fresh water, takes care of their nourishment needs. At any given time, twelve philosophers can be found here. Never more, never less. As the wise men are usually already old and wizened when they reach Philosophers Isle, they tend to last approximately twenty years or so before peacefully passing. Whenever one does pass away and news of the demise reaches Apaldia, paper lanterns are lit outside every house in the kingdom in reverance. The twelve who call the isle home, name themselves "The Discerners of Good and Evil", and spend most of their time debating the merits of both alignments in earnest, as well as absentmindedly drawing figures and hypothesis’ in the sands of the beach, and examining the patterns of bird flocks passing overhead.
8) The Leviathan’s Spine
Who named this island is unknown, as is the islands origin. From afar, the long, mountainous island appears as the upper vertebrae of some gargantuan sunken beast, rising from the murky waters. It in fact is just that. An impossibly monstrous, three thousand foot long, pythonic entity known as the Urjiljosi Leviathan, who swam the seas millenia ago, and somehow calcified, here in the relatively shallow coral sea. Only a few of the most knowledgable sages can even begin to make heads or tales of the legends surrounding this beast and its demise. No one has successfully explored this island, though many have set sail with that exact purpose. Sharks, venomous sea-serpents, massive stingrays, and other more malevolent ocean predators are found in great numbers, swimming the waters around the Leviathan’s Spine, though huge twenty to thirty foot Hammerheads are the ones most often sighted. The skies above the islands jagged cliffs seem to be perpetually cloudy and prone to electrical storms. Sailors will go to great lengths to avoid this sinister location.
9) Isle of Living Diamonds
So named due to the many diamonds which can be found lying in plain site in the stony plains and valleys of this volcanic isle, this island is kept a strict secret by those few merchants who know of it. In fact, its location is a carefully guarded secret of the prestigious guildmasters of The League of Jewellers of the free-state of Gollaban. Word sometimes gets out naturally and many sailors, explorers, and prospectors set sail to find this near-legendary location. Travellers are warned that these stones are extremely dangerous, being in fact diminutive, carnivorous mineral elementals, who will atttack any stranger impudent enough to try to pick them up. The specialized merchants of The League of Jewellers, manage to collect them by using a bizarre method. They toss bits of raw cow and goat flesh into the valleys. The pieces of meat are then "attacked" by the slow moving diamonds. Toward evening, eagles and vultures fly down from the mountains and grab hold of the pieces of meat, with the diamonds still attached, and carry them to their nests. The merchants, who have in the meantime climbed to these nests, frighten the birds away with loud cries and long poles. Quickly and carefully they seperate the diamonds from the meat, while the diamonds are in a sort of stupor from their gorging, put them in large steelcloth sacks, and withdraw. They then return to Gollaban and sell these diamonds to unsuspecting jewellers and wealthy buyers of distant lands. Why the League of Gollaban Jewellers uses this particularly bizarre technique, or how they manage to sell off these diamonds without incident are questions only the Gollaban Jewellers themselves can answer. Many an elegant finger is at this very moment wearing what looks like an innocent ring, but is in fact a ferocious beast waiting for its chance to strike!
Additional Ideas (91)
Sung Grijjang is a small, crescent-shaped isle in the midst of the Tchiengmu Sea. It is unimportant as a port of trade and has a harbor which is unfavorable to massive Imperial frigates and warships, and in addition, it is deceptively difficult to find; thus, it appears on only very few maps.
It is a low isle, lightly forested, and on it's bay there is a tiny village known as Hku. The people are provincial and inbred, the descendants of an early Imperial mapping expedition, and they speak a debased form of the Imperial tongue. Above the village there is a small temple to a sailor's god called Nnehoi, which now goes mostly untended and unvisited.
However, there is one thing of interest on the island- on the opposite side, there is an ancient temple containing a speaking oracle stone. When appeased with the correct sacrafices (which the people of Hku have discovered; they know of the oracle stone and use it, but are loath to speak of it to outsiders), it will answer any question which lies within it's range of knowledge, which is vast. It will not, however, necessarily answer truthfully- the spirit within it is a bitter one. There is only one way to ensure it's honesty, and that is to feed it with human blood.
11) The Isle of Howls
A rocky fan of barren cliffs, the Isle of Howls lies within the Bight of Storms, on the eastern edge of the Tchiengmu Sea. It is regarded as a cursed isle, and the sailors of the bight say that the smell of witchery lies heavily about it. It is almost never visited, and with good reason- whoever, whatever inhabits the island enjoys decorating it's cliffs with the rotting remains of the drowned sailors who are caught in the bizarre tides around it.
The Isle of Howls' only regular visitors are the small, dark ships that come by the dark of night, bearing only dimmed lanterns and muffled oars. Stories abound as to who these visitors are- some say that they are dark priests of an evil god, others that they are infernalists who summon up demons there.
But only the darkest rumours dare suggest the truth- that the dweller on the Isle of Howls is one of the Notmen, nearly vanished from the earth, the strange and fearsome race which ruled in the days before mankind (and who kept mankind as their servants).
This piece of rock is mostly seen by mortals as just that: a bare piece of rock, uninteresting and desolate. But rarely, a sailor can notice from afar strange flashes of light... but still arrive in that place. The island is inhabited by a strange metal-based lifeform, that can assume any shape, and complete the semblance with illusions (call it holograms if you want). Luckily, the creatures are not aggressive at all, they are artists stranded here from an unknown place far away. Here they live their lazy existence, feeding of the sunrays, and occasionally putting on great artistic shows with assuming mind-numbing shapes of unbelievable strangeness and beauty.
They have learned to stay away from humanoids, so there won't be any show if a ship is nearby (but accidents happen). While scary monsters are SO below their artistic potential, they can imitate them with ease. And sometimes, they just keep changing from a random form into another, until the onlooker(s) consider themselves completely crazy/drunken/drugged, and sail quickly away.
This island is one source of the many 'sea monster' stories.
This is actually a group of islands, of which one or more can be met practically anywhere. Floating Islands are large pieces of hardened volcanic ash (pardon me for not knowing the proper name of the mineral), that have broken away from their 'home land'. As they are lighter than water, they float upon it, gathering sea algae, occasionally taking even grown-up trees with itself. Sometimes, they reach the size of a few hundred square yards, richly grown all over (it makes for a good earth).
Of course, their lacking base and being exposed to the attacks of the sea makes for a short life expectancy... most Floating Islands last merely a few days, but there are known cases of them lasting for decades. Floating Islands can serve as an exceedingly random source of wood, or plants/herbs or other necessity. There are stories of victims of shipwrecks surviving here for a while - but there is little water or food, so don't count on it. Sometimes mutiniers are set out on such an island; and for many a sailor that is a fate worse than death.
For see, the island is far from stable - anyone walking on it can break it and end up in water, held and ground upon by the not very hard, but sharp boulders that make up the island. Any prolonged activity can actually destroy it. So if you walk on it... be careful.
Swak Naifeh is an almost insignificant island; it is not shown on any map, and has not had visitors in at least a hundred years. Swak Naifeh is it's name in the language of it's inhabitants, meaning "Blood On The Dirt".
The reason for this enigmatic name is that, simply, there is blood on the dirt. Swak Naifeh is host to two small tribes locked in a constant war and skirmish, replete with savage raids and small battles on the rocky ridge on the middle of the island. One group were the original inhabitants of the island, the others are the descendants of a group of wrecked sailors. Stranded on the island (which has almost no trees and thus is unsuitable for the construction of boats), the sailors began to poach the small game which was all that was available to Swak Naifeh's inhabitants; this began the long island war.
There has since never been peace between the two tribes.
This lush and tropical isle was once the remote home of the magus Zadiraste and his small cabal school of sorcerers. Zad was known for delving into the secrets of Fear powered magic. To this end he collected stories that elicted fear, as well as things that people were afraid of, such as snakes, mice and spiders. All was going well until one of the creatures he had captured turned out to be First-Jointed-Mandible, a crawling avatar of the alien Spider God. Granted the fear he desired, Zad unleashed his magics in an attempt to destroy the hell sent spiders and laid ruin to his school, and much of the island.
Years later, the island has largely recovered from the fireblast damage and the school itself has become shrouded in new vegetation. The First-Crawling-Mandible of the Spider god remains, brooding over an island now choked with spiders, most are tiny, though a few have swollen to the size of large dogs. Even these behemoths kowtow to Mandible, though it is no larger than a fingernail.
Well documented on the crude charts of the Snake Rider culture that has claimed a vast swath of the Southern Seas for its own, Oharshu is nevertheless a place of fearful mystery and superstition to both these ferocious race of sea-faring raiders and the more immeasurably more civilized and enlightened costal merchants of Caladin who seeking protection from the dangers of venturing into unknown waters, sometimes accompany the former on their great long-boat voyages to the distant and exotic ports that are inaccessible to the large but rather clumsy and wreck-prone galleys of the royal naval authorities of Calan.
Oharsu is not one of these ports. In fact, its very name is derived from a bastardized version of the Snake Rider word for ''Place Of Vanishing Ones''. Legends abound of the foolish ones that dissapear forever upon setting foot on the islands For this reason, no merchant or trader well accquantinced with these parts, will consent to set foot on it.
The appearance of the island itself would at first sight,seem to contradict this grim reputation that surrounds it. From a ship's crow-nest, a sailor will catch a glimpse of a serene and beautiful coast ringed all around with lush groves of coconut-groves and almost artistically sculptured mounds of golden sand-dunes. Peering closer, he will soon discover little stone huts dotting the cast-line. If the crew's interest is piqued sufficiently enough, they will decided to make a landing and investigate the little stone huts.
There to their amazement, they will find groups of beautiful women gathered on the shore expectantly, as if awaiting their arrival. Out of place in so sultry a climate, they are all either ravishing red-heads or brunnetes and are clad in absolutely nothing, save flimsy minisucle skirts of woven grass.
Casting come thither looks at the brawniest and most formidable looking voyagers, they will inform the visitors of the great riches and prizes that await the warriors brave enough to venture into the interior. Many captivated by the hypnotic beauty of the damsels will respond to their challenge, and none of them will ever return to be seen again.
For the island is home to a surviving thane of the ancient Kasmir. Fleeing the destruction of his people by the vengeful gods whoa had grown wrathful with their arrogance and decadence, he sought shelter in this refuge where he believed that their wrath would not reach. He was was wrong.
Sending their divine orders of warrior immortals to in ferocious pursuit, they soon surrounded his pyramidal fortress built in the lush heart of the island. Storming it, they bound him with chains so mighty that even his enchantments could not break them and had the one feared mage-lord sealed in a pit beneath his former stronghold.
There he would remain for eternity, given much time to reflect on the failings of his people, as well as his own past excesses.
But the gods were still not content. Intent on having their little jest, they promised that they would release him if he could find the one warrior capable of defeating him in single combat. An impossible demand for one who had been the mightiest warrior among the Kasmir. Once a source of arrogance for him, it would now be his undoing. An irony worthy of the gods indeed.
But the thane refuses to surrender hope. Always he casts his illusions to bring forth new warriors that descend into his dark hole to do battle with him, enticing sojourning sailors to land at his island with the aid of the damsels he has created. But his efforts extend beyond that alone.
His island is home to a menagerie of numerous savage and bestial warriors, all of them collected from the numerous lands by the minions he has recruited from among the ogres that inhabit the island. Venerating the thane as a god, they sail forth to other shores and bring with them the fighters that may be able to win their lord's freedom.
Ferocious eel-men from the submerged continent of Tarrod recruited from the elite armies of their cruel Empire, savage human loathing Shura plucked from the seas of Acqua that summon the ferocious strength of their shark deity when engaged in combat, and even water elementals and vicious demons summoned from other realms by the enchantments of the thane.. All come to do battle with him, greedily awaiting the prizes that will come to them should they defeat him.
First, they will fight and begin slaying one another in a blood-soaked battle royal that takes place in the jungle. Usually lasting for the course of an entire week, each participant will have to slay any living sentient thing he sees, until he is certain that of all the participants, only he remains alive. Then this formidable fighter will begin his trek into the island's interior, braving the numerous ambushes sprung on him by the silent venom tipped poison darts of the ogres and the atacks of the ferocious man-eating giant pythons reared by them, throughout the course of his journey, and halts only when he reaches the pyramid and enters the great pit that lies beneath it, via a a chamber through which the thane is barred from leaving his prison.
In those dark bowels, he will engage the imprisoned being in battle, a struggle that tragically for both parties, always inevitably ends with the brash challenger being slain. The rules of his jailors demands that the thane fight with his full strength and there are none who can face that and emerge alive.
So the thane continues to lie despondent on a throne built from bones of his vanquished foes, awaiting the one that can finally defeat him and free him from his long bondage. For that shall also be the one whom he will enlist in his vengeance against the gods, seizing control of that warrior's mind in the moment of his liberation and utterly bending it to his will.
Tightly interwoven with the sea that surrounds it, Savarra is rather an archipelago, though the sea between the isles is very shallow - so shallow that during low tide, the islands are joined. A vessel that anchors between the isles may find itself stranded a short while later.
The islands themselves are lush and verdant, thanks to the frequent rainfall, but they are nothing compared to the lagoons and pools in their interior, under them and in their vicinity - colourful reefs populated by myriads of strange ocean dwellers, surreally beautiful underwater gardens.
Visitors will also quickly notice that all cliffs that rise above the waters during the ebb are covred in writing hewn into the stone, which cannot possibly be the work of the native humans, who, while they are, surprisingly, amphibious, are carefree simpletons delighting most in basking in the sun, and making love.
In fact, the sea houses a community of highly intelligent cephalopodes, brilliant thinkers who find it quite difficult to communicate with land dwellers. The natives managed to find a way of communication, and ask the 'Bubbling Speakers' whenever they need to know anything - which is a reason why they never needed to think much for themselves.
A few sages who visited the isle have gleaned substantial knowledge from the cephalopodes, yet presented the ideas as their own after returning home.
Those who set foot on Kinadu are surprised by its barren surface - despite the numerous streams no signs of life are to be seen. In addition to this unsettling fact, there is constant tingling across the whole skin, and also something like fleeting touches.
Most leave Kinadu, unsettled and scared.
Likewise, navigator-mages suffer strange visions near the isle, and their instruments give strange and totally incorrect readings. Thus, most leave the strange piece of rock swiftly behind them.
The reason is a fount of raw magic, not the tame stuff wizards use. Bubbling up in the center of the isle, it has given birth to strange life slightly out of touch with reality. Thus, all the vegetation and animals are unreal to the casual observer, and may even pass through them. But to highly sensitive individuals, the isle is a dense jungle with perplexing shapes of trees, and incredible animals.
Should a wizard wallow in the energies of the fount, he will find his powers magnified, much to his delight. Yet, with time, as the raw magic changes him, he will become out of touch with reality like all those peculiar creatures on the isle, and, to most observers, fade out of existence. He will have a need to return to the fount from time to time to maintain his existence, and, often, slowly change in appearance.
Some of those thus affected become sages or hermits, while there is at least one case where the Luminous Eye, as he was called due to his radiant eye sockets, was a justicar to the Tess-Thera wizards' guild, fully real to all the culprits.
The Karu explorer Nung Wku sighted these islands in his long journeys, but he never visited them. In fact, though they are sometimes marked on Imperial maps, they have been so rarely visited that some still believe them to be mythical.
Wku's Isles are murderously hot and very arid, but those expect to find only oven-hot rocks are surprised to see them teeming with life, if only life better adapted to the baleful sun. The islands (there are two, close to each other, resembling a single island cloven in half) are made of volcanic rock which has settled in huge black slabs, like piles of books and plates shattered together in the sea. The lower parts of the island are coated in low, greyish shrubs, scratchy thorn bushes which have adapted to the nearly waterless environment. The islands feature almost no trees, except for a few gnarled, stunted salt pines on the western island's lower slope.
However, the most prominent sign of life on Wku's Islands are the iguanas. These ugly marine lizards teem upon the Islands' shores in outrageously large populations, incredible masses of scaled beasts which coat the rocky soil during their breeding season. They crowd the waters as they dive and swim for squid which they devour in great quantities.
In a small sea cave on the eastern island, a small dinghy smashed long ago and left it's sealost inhabitant's body trapped in a crevice of a rock, still clutching an object which some in a faraway mainland would kill to possess.
20) Defiled Graveyard Island
When Imperial sailors first sighted this island, they thought it was one of their culture's funeral temples, crumbling to pieces in the sea. They called it sraikkung nishhueh, "defiled graveyard". It is a pyramidal island made up of black and red stone, and it's sides are dressed in dark, low pines; it's peculiar geography has given it the appearance of a stepped ziggurat (akin to Imperial funeral temples).
Defiled Graveyard Island is also honeycombed with tunnels, and in further accordance with it's namesake, at some point in the past, a cult or monastery of some kind resided on the island, and used these tunnels for burial caves, lying their mummified dead on shelved walls. Atop the island, there is the ruinous remnant of this ancient community. A curse lies on this place- a sense of despondency and dark anxiety strikes those who enter it, and many cannot bring themselves to leave... That is when dark things emerge to prey upon them.
The Seaclans submit all their honored (and somewhat honored) dead to the sea, to continue the circle of water souls. What about the rest?
For those of a less than honored status, or someone who should be "of the land", there is Rocksoul island. This sparcely green island is filled with graves. Each one is marked with three good sized stones (the size of cannon balls) piled together. The resting's name is carved on the stones. Spread out among the island are soul stella. These standing stones are carved with ancient markings (that nobody currently understands) to protect the dead, prevent undead, and preserve the living.
There is a good dock here that is often used. There is almost always one ship docked here.
Quite oddly, off the coast of Falhath is a good sized island dominated by a central stone massif that is really too small to call a mountain. The ruler of the island is one King Gray Stonemantle, a mountain dwarf of some reputation.
It was nearly a century ago when the wyrm came and smashed the halls of the Stonemantle Clan, and left their home in ruins. Rather than fight to death over gold and trinkets, many of the dwarves fled. This marked one of the last Dwarven migrations out of the Thorondrim mountains. Stonemantle the Elder led the remnants south but not stopping anywhere. Few locals or nobles were keen on the idea of a horde of filthy and hungry dwarves on their doorstep and fewer were interested in trying to stop them. When they pressed on south past the Bosque River valley there was a collective sigh of relief.
Stonemantle then led the remnant to build rafts and crossed the Straight to an uninhabited and all but forgotten island. Once there, the dwarves set back to their traditional tasks. They dug stone out of the massif and made for themselves new homes, and worked to rebuild their lives and to acclimate to the new climate. Beards were cut short to better deal with the new heat, and with no orcs, worgs, trolls, ogres, goblins, or dragons, armor became less and less prevalent.
Now under the leadership of Stonemantle the Younger, the clan suvives on a semi-tropical island all but cut off from the rest of the world.
From a distance the island appears, a central peak rising above a sharp bluffed coast. Birds call and wheel overhead. The face of the island is grey and green, a thick carpet of moss and lichen, some hearty plants that can survive close to salt water. The smell of the place is beyond foul, the stench of 1,000 generations of marine albatross and seagulls.
The island itself, less than one mile by three miles is a drifting chuck of ice that for some reason has not melted in the warmer waters. The surface has built up a very thick and noxious topsoil of bird excrement as well as the leavings of marine mammals who will beach on the lower parts of the island as it drifts through the oceanic current.
Palordi has a unique position in the world. It is nearly half way between the two Great Lands. Thus it becomes The Supply and Rest stop on the long journies between The Great Lands.
Palordi is larger than most islands found in the waters between The Great Lands. (There are some other smaller islands nearby that are part of the Palordi chain and claimed by them.) Palordi is quite warmer than expected. The winds here are near constant and always warm (down wind from Condori Islands?). Even the frequent rains are warm. Thus, It is lusher and greener than any other island in this broad blue. Two long dormant volcanos (Aahi and Behi) created the islands are are responsible for the rich volcanic soil that these people use in their terracing agriculture.
The Palordi had a typical islander lifestyle before seafaring became sophisticated enough to allow regular travel between The Great Lands. Since then, the beautiful Palordi people have become quite cosmopolitan, adapting elements from both sides of the Great Lands. Their city is an ecclectic mix of styles found from both Great Lands. They have almost abandoned their own traditional cusine in favor of cooking local ingredients (and a few transplanted ingredients) in styles similar to the Great Lands. Their city is now a central trading hub for all the other islander cultures. While trade is slowly becoming "brisk" between the Great Lands, some traders come specifically to Palordi for their goods.
Note: The Great Lands are either two continents, two sides of the same large continent, or two countries seperated by a HUGE waterway.
Potential Arth Biome between Second and ThirdLand OR more usefully, between Third and Mask/Forth-Land
Called after some Captain ____Beard that almost shipwrecked here, and discovered the island that way. It is small, barely five hundred by three hundred yards, the top rises less than ten yards above water level. The shallows around are a bit larger. A piece of rock, there is little but the most primitive life here.
The island itself does not lie on any trade routes, though it is not far from several. Somebody took the pains and created a basin to collect rain water. Wise captains know about this reserve, in case they are running out of water and are close. It is a mark of decency to keep the little water-catching canals in good shape, and not spoil the place for someone that may need it later.
The last interesting mark is the load of magnetite. (Or..?) It is actually quite deep, inside of the 'mountain' whose tip makes the island. If ship navigation relies on a compass, beware of coming too close - reading it may provide wildly inaccurate results.
The seas around the Condori islands are warmer than they should be. (Can you say, underwater volcanos making islands?). This had made the waters teem with life. The fishing is good in these parts, but nobody lives here... and few will fish here.
Each of the six islands in the region are of good size, taking a day or three to cross by foot. They too are warmer than expected, as the warm seas warm the air around them. There is often a thick fog in the region, especially near the shallows around the islands. The islands have a great riot of life and fertile soil. Still no one lives here, with nothing more than a temporary dock showing that people have touched this land.
The reason for this: Condori Dragonlings. These dangerous amphibeous predators call these islands and waters home. They are the top creatures here and brook few others.
This formerly volcanic island is slightly off the beaten path. It is on the map as a navigational listing, but there is no charting of the island as it is too small and with no resources. It appears to be little more than a volcanic mountain with a small strip of sand and land around it. Occasionally there is smoke rising from the volcano, so people tend to avoid it.
This is all true. But there is more.
If one carefully sails towards the island from a north westerly direction, you can find a deep channel that a ship of moderate draft can navigate. (Warships or large ships or too heavy of ships are prevented from sailing it). Sailing towards the island with rigging low, you will eventually sail up a narrow "islet"/ river covered in a deep canopy of green.
This islet will bring you to inside a volcanic amphitheater. Long ago, this volcano exploded with such force, it hollowed out the mountain. The sky and sun can be seen from this cove. Signs of long habitation show here. There are two docks in various stages of disrepair, some huts (some partially carved into the mountain, others standing on stilts in the water) holding supplies and sleeping bunks, and pens where pigs, slaves, or prisoners were kept. There is a rough stairway that leads from the huts to the rim of the volcano. Along the rim, there are some camouflaged watch point.
This island has been used as a pirate or smuggler base many a time. The secret of the cove has been found or lost over and over again. So at any given time, some crew may be using it as their personal home port.
There might be treasure hidden here somewhere on the island. The two most likely points covered pits in the cove itself or just around the entrance to the channel an easy free dive (this would be to lighten the ship so it can go in). However, these are just suggestions. There might even be a small ship here in the cove.
Not too far away from a large island colony is Jacobin's Island. A small splinter group for the colonists broke away and moved to this island. They fell under the banner of Jacobin, after being "oppressed" by the colonial ruler of the time. Making some rafts, they floated themselves and some livestock to the new island.
Jacobin's family set up a nearly dynastic rule over the island. The family is in charge of every large plot and any other governmental service. The Jacobians have managed to "tame" most of this new island. However, it is not as refined or civilized as the main island. Most of their goods are locally made, rather than imported from the Homeland. Though rough hewn, the goods are of equal quality (when possible) to "civilized" goods. (Unlike the larger colony which is bound to the Homeland because of its lack of manufacturing).
The inhabitants have disdain and snide comments about those of the larger colony. Those people are weak, simple, and lack any nerve, verve, or testicles. If there is a joke, they are the butt of it. (Of course, the main colonists call these people savages, gone natives, and madmen who eschew civilization... so it is reciprocated).
The Jacobins are physically larger than most people in the region (or from the homeland) and more distinctive (lighter hair, darker sun drenched skin, high cheekbones).
True to its name, the natives on this island are quite well-fed, with many being fat and most children resembling walking balls. They do eat at any point of day, and procuring food takes the most time of their waking hours. Fishing, hunting, farming, raising animals, gathering roots and fruits, all that and more is their primary activity.
For this, they say, they have a strong reason: anyone who eats only a little gets sick sooner or later. Centuries of experience have shown this belief to be true, and left appropriate marks on their culture. Strangers, who are usual sickly thin individuals, will be invited to great feasts, and encouraged, almost forced to eat enough for them to not die. But this is the only annoying feature, the islanders are pleasant otherwise; they will most gladly show anyone how they hunt and process and eat their food, even teach their skills. Be warned though, that they on occasion resort to cannibalism, so those that seriously anger them may end in the cookpot. They also need to keep their numbers from over-growing the island's potential - how they do it is not known.
The island itself is green and fertile, big enough to support a tribe of eaters, but not two tribes or more. A peculiarity is a lack of a certain vitamin/trace element in the local plants and creatures, one that can be overcome only by eating larger amounts of local food... or possibly a different way, which the locals have not hit on so far. For now they are content do with eating a lot.
Here, long ago, a sea mount rose from the ocean floor towards the surface. It came close to becoming an island, but failed to truly breach the surface. Corals and other things built upon these shallows. There is quite a kelp forrest along the sea mount's sides.
Along came the sea clanners. Originally they found this area to be a navigation hazard with some good dive fishing. As various ships came along for resupply of food and kelp for crafts, there was always a ship or a raft in these waters. Over time, a floating town - a town ship - has built up, moored to the shallows here. The core of the town ship is made of flats, rafts and such linked together. Older ships were dragged into the shallows to form larger "buildings", call Wegways. Upon the ships various cabins and tents are secured. The clans group together in their areas, clan flags showing their territories. The dimensions of the Township varies as older crafts and new rafts/ flats are added. New decks/ flats are produced without wood by the weaving together prepared seaweed. There is limited farming, distilling/ purifying to provide needed lifestuff. Oils are used for lighting and heating, when needed.
This Town Ship has an artificial cove/ harbor created by the positioning of enough flats and ships. Real slips have been created inside here for better securing of ships. Still there are those that simply lash their ship to the edges of this floating town ship.
This is not the only Town Ship, but it is one of the few that are actually moored to something.
At first glance, it seems to be a peaceful place, there are no temples of blood gods, no demonic lairs, and no benthic behemoths laired in sight. Exploring further inland on this small sandy isle provides little more insight. There is plenty of food and game to be found, considering the size of the island.
Closer to the center of the island roars a constant bonfire, fed by the stiff and uncoordinated movements of men and women with crippling injuries. Their savaged flesh bears testimony to the horror of leprosy. Open sores weep, limbs are missing, eyes gone, and cheeks flapping torn and open. Yet, despite this seemingly horror, the natives are neither hostile or dangerous outside their illness.
They are the remnants of a society that was native to the islands but was decimated by illnesses unknown to them, born by merchants and traders looking to pawn beads and glass trinkets for gold and precious mother-of-pearl. As such, they do retain a good deal of material wealth in gold and jewels that are passed on from generation to generation, though this is likely to be the last...
Nidzheb lies of the coast of the island kingdom of Skijtani. Skijtani is ruled by a puritanical and conservative dynasty of religiously-orthodox kings, who look harshly upon moral flexibility, and have instituted a battery of harsh prurient laws known as the Sabshin Laws. These Laws strongly repudiate prostitution (one of Skijtani's most famous industries), and proceeded to outlaw all sale of the human body, especially in a sexual manner.
When the Sabshin Laws were instituted, the madams of the numerous brothels in Skijtani's capitol city gathered and hatched a plan, one which engendered Nidzheb.
Nidzheb lies just outside what is commonly decided to be Skijtani waters. It is a small green island crowned with twin rocky peaks, and in it's central harbor there is town which is made up of nothing but brothels. Each of the luxurious villas in the harbor is a whorehouse, open for business, and when the port of Nidzheb is open (which is all of the time), a green flag emblazoned with an eel, the time-honored symbol of the prostitute, flies from the central meeting hall.
Nidzheb sees tens of thousands of customers a year, all of the sex-starved and teeming masses of frustrated sailors and Skijtanians who cannot indulge themselves within the borders of the island kingdom. Nidzheb is flooded with money, and is ruled over by a counsel of the madams and pimps of the island, who meet each month to see that the Whore City's needs are met.
Thrusting out of the ocean is Keshta, the Pillar of Ice. It is truly made of stone, though it rises so high into the sky that the island tableu is frosted with ice and snow.
Be it a quirk of nature or deity, an island sized lava plug rose slowly upward from the seamount below. Breaching the surface, it slowly continued to rise, being lifted by the slowly extruding EarthBlood (lava), building the pillar and lifting the rough island to the sky. It breached the surface in the earliest of human time (when people were plying these sea lanes). It has raised slowly over the last few thousand years, raising a thousand feet or more into the sky.
On the island tableu, the oddest assortment of creatures exist. These tropical animals and plants have slowly adapted to this cold, cold, environment. Birds have become larger and wilder of feather. Palm trees that are pine like, dropping oddly shaped leaflets in the winters. Cats and mice that are three to five time the size of normal creatures. And then there are the leaping creatures. In addition, an entire exotic ecosystem lives in the caves and vine covered sides of the pillar.
The People of the Pillar, the Keshte, are islanders who have adapted to this new environment. They feel privileged to live in the god like world (as they live close to the heavens, where it is cold and angel rain (snow) exists. (When compared to the sweltering temps down below and the number of islands without water, they see this as a paradise). Thus they are both humble and arrogant. These people have also become excellent climbers and diggers, creating tunnels in the pillar. The Pillar has become a stopping point for many a water born tribe. It is also the only daytime navigational mark that these waters have.
Madril is a northern island, in the mist shrouded north sea. It is difficult to get to, if you don't know the exact way, as the winds don't lead to it. The large rocks about the island make brining in a large ship nay impossible, but smaller ones can make it if proceeding slowly - and only from the south, as the northern rocks are treacherous and the northern land's end being sharp cliffs.
All these rocks all show signs of shaping, each vaguely appearing as a fearsome face or monstrous creature. Be it strong magics or time worn carvings it is hard to say.
The island has been inhabited since the First Men. It is only the fact that the fishing is not so strong here, that keeps the island inhabited. The locals are distinctive in look, mixing those that you would expect and the red haired, golden-green eyed people of the Kelsh (those that displaced the First Men).
If this wasn't "odd" enough, these facts are not the "interesting" part of the island.
Only the South of the island is inhabited. Running across the middle of the island is a Great Wall. Five men tall, and beset with towers, runner's paths, and archer points, this wall protects the Human world, from the other side. There is only one giant sized gate, with mansized gates inset in those huge double doors. The wall might have one person walking its link at a given time. The walker keeps the watch over the perpetually mist shrouded North.
What is in the North? Legends vary. By all accounts, it is a fey land of some kind. And not those normally know, but a fey world that even other fey say is "odd". The Fey Lords and lands of the known world are not in charge here, but other older and more powerful fey live in that place. If legend is actually true, the entire north of the island seems to be a touchstone - a place merging a fey realm with the "real" world of Men. It would also be the easiest to traverse point. Only a simple wall marks the boundry and is the great line of defense between this fey realm and the world of men.
There has been no travel by anyone across the wall for centuries.
This horseshoe shaped island is the home to several small fishing villages and a handful of farms. Not that anyone on the island has ever seen a horseshoe, or a horse for that matter. The "shoe" makes for a good bay, and each village has a strong and safe port inside of it.
The peoples here are a happy folk, who will celebrate just about anything at the drop of a hat. The island has a strong musical tradition, with the "amateur players" here being better than most minstrels of other places and singers that could charm anyone. The Bard, the most famous Bard of them all, originally came from this island.
This loch is just a stone's throw from the sea. In fact, the villages here were "farming cousins" to the fisherfolk to the east. When it was Obervan's Valley, there was the Keep Village and the Hollow's village. When the "Rumblings" came, the landslides and related floods, sealed the valley, dumped a great deal of water into it (until that river was diverted by another rumble), and the Hollow's village was lost.
Now the Keep and its' village is on the Keep Island. The Loch's water level has risen some since the Rumblings, but has stabilized to a comfortably safe level. There are plans to make a bridge to cross to the shore, linking several rocky outcroppings to make a small road.
A set of River/ Water Fey have "moved into" the Loch in general and The Hollow in particular. They live in a slight mockery of the farmer's life. It is a reflection of surface life. The Humans and the Fey have limited interaction, but are on friendly enough terms when they do.
This island is nothing special from a distance. It is an overly large sand bar with a couple of trees, a few big rocks, and a number of bushes. If spied upon carefully, there is a actually a small primitive dock built here. It is suitable for any long boat (Dingies and launches).
There are not animals here, other than birds. Well that is not true, there is one cat... that looks soo old it might be undead. (The critter is soo fearful of people it will take a ship's worth of men or a lot of magic to catch the scrawny critter).
If one travels to the middle of the island, there is a spring here. It pours into a tiny pond that then overflows into a tiny creek which empties to the sea. This is the sweet water that the island is named. The water is not sweet, but it is the only fresh water to be easily found for a dozen of islands around.
However, there is a catch. The waters shallow a far distance out, so the unwary helmsmen can run aground without knowing it. Given the island has little to no resources, a ship could be stranded here.
This island is just what it sounds- it can be seen in the distance as a hazy cloud of ash which hangs over the sea. It's five black, shattered peaks, huge heaps with slopes of talus and jagged death-cliffs, surround a central lava lake. They periodically erupt and destroy vast swaths of each other's slopes, in the process creating gnarled new rocks in the ocean. The rocks, shores, and slopes are peppered with hidden lava tunnels, pools of bubbling mud, blasting geysers, and foul subterranean gases which leak from the rent skin of the Earth. The isle is, then, an ever-changing spectacle of recreation- it's shape is never the same as it was before.
Setting foot on the island is, at best, insanely hazardous. But even a brave adventurer who challenges the dangers of this island and survives (miraculously) will have little to show for it.
(Really, just sort of a way to piss off your players. "What?! We trekked through this flaming wasteland FOR NOTHING?!")
"we spent days waundering this place for nothing?!"
"I don't know why you did it actually."
"It was there... there had to be treasure there somewhere..."
"Why did you think that?"
"It was on the map!"
"So is Akron Ohio (insert middle sized city of low to no repute) and there isn't any there either".
Named after some sailor that spent here a year after attempted mutiny, this small coral island is utterly uninteresting. Yes, there are plants and trees and some animals, but little water, and it is too small for any permanent settlement. Distant from other islands, it is an occasional stop on long voyages. The small derelict hut is still standing.
The most interesting feature is the islands origin, which no one knows now about. Ages ago, a race of underwater creatures, intelligent and prideful, has decided to do the unthinkable: they have built a tower, from the deepest sea floor up to the sea level, in an effort to reach and truly deserve access to the upper reaches of the world. This variant of the Tower of Babel has been similarly refused by their gods. Or perhaps, they have exhausted themselves in their effort, or have fallen to war or disease. No one knows, and no one will probably know. The dry-land races never knew, the sea races have forgotten or kept but parts of legends. The Tower is long over-grown with coral, turned to stone.
There is still a small chance, that someone will slip through the growing coral reefs, and find a way to one of the few openings remaining. There he could find underwater cathedrals, and rooms and tunnels built one upon another, leading all the way to the bottom of the sea. Who knows what could be found there...
Bridgewell Island is actually two adjacent islands, each one a good sized hilly affair - each a good two days hard walk to cross. The terrain, flora, and fauna, of the two are to be expected for the location. The people are fairly normal, for island folk, colonists from the "main land". They are fishers, farmers, herders, weavers, and makers of intricate stone items (the masons are still here, there just isn't much for them to do except carve items). There are many roads here, each one paved with flag stones to keep them from being mucked and myered by the ocean rains and wet.
Between the two islands (though the natives consider them one island) is the world's largest bridge (this can very from 100 yards to 1100 yards depending on your world). (I envision a solid stone bridge of the viaduct style, but you can insert what you want). The locals spent a decade building the bridge and it is the symbol of local pride and power. There are two main support pylons built up on rocky outcropping between the islands. The "roadway" on the bridge is sized for two of the smallish local carts. There is a great deal of traffic on the bridge. There is even a market of sorts on the edges of the bridge. Narrow carts and thin little shacks (some of which hang over the outside of the bridge) allow for tradesmen to sell here to both folks (and without the sales tax on the islands proper).
There is a friendly rivalry between the Easterner and Westers. Easteners and Westers compete in drinking, fighting, kickball, romance, races or any other contest imaginable - at the drop of a hat. Island pride is very important here. While they will compete with each other for bragging rights, they will defend each other from outsiders just as quickly. So if you see a drinking contest between two islanders and make a comment, then you will find yourself in a contest between you and the local champion (or the best they can come up with on short notice).
Note: It is commonly known that the women here are known to be fiery and beautiful. They are more equal to the men here than anywhere else. In fact, jobs normally held by men elsewhere are often held by women here.
Cevlak's island was named during the heyday of the Old World Empire, and was ruled by the Minotaur Preceps Cevlak. The Isle was given her name as she was the one who almost single-handedly changed it from an outbound and nearly desolate island into a thriving port and resort community. The island was home to hundreds of palaces ranging from ornate and baroque to the sublime. The main draw of the island was as an escape from the incessant warring and politics of the Imperial Dynasty.
Being both a very loyal sorceress of the First Magnitude, she was able to accomplish many of the islands features by use of magic. The most prominent feature is the collossal bronze statue that overarches the entrance to the main port. On the eastern prominence a horned woman lacks hands with a horned man who rises from the western prominence. This was done as though the minotaurs were common in those days, they were still greatly outnumbered by the humans.
Today much of the island is overgrown with weeds and such as the port activities all but ceased with the end of the empire. The statue still stands, but is now covered with nodules of oxides and bronze rust.
Off the coast of the mainland, in an area infamous for riptides and hull grounding sand bars is the lair of the Red Hawks, the most vicious of pirates, slavers, mercenaries, and smugglers in the Cerulean seas. The island itself is a rather normal warm temperate, with only small local animals and the creatures that the Red Hawks have imported.
The Captain of the Red Hawks commands the central citadel, a fortress build of cut stone and slave labor. From it he can survey half of the island, and can easily withstand an assualt from amphibious forces. There are a number of covered ballistas along the main wall, as well as a variety of crossbows that with signifigant power can punch through even thick armor plate.
Flying the feared Hawk banner, a red hawk on a black background, his small flotilla of ships have become the dominant power in the area, able to outrun and outmaneuver any royal warship they cant outgun. The fortress can be penetrated, and the wyld-magic infected Captain and his forces can be battled by a small infiltration team of elite warriors...
South of the mainland, a barran and sun burnt isle is often the destination of many a man scorned or wronged by powers greater them himself. There he will find the island, its shores barren and brown, an expanse of baked and broken stone, all piled around the feet of an ancient and long dead volcano.
At the peak of the dead and broken volcano there is a stone alter, at at it's head is a stone effigy of vengeance, a man with serene countenance, bearing five swords in five arms, his sixth arm extended to recieve the offering. This is the Shrine of Vengeance, and voyaging here and placing a suitable offering on the table, and a weapon in the hand of the statue is asking to be ridden by vengeance itself when the time comes.
Invested with a divine...or infernal shard dependant on faith, the seeker returns to his plotting and planning, bolstered by the spiritual strength of the shard. And when the time comes and the moment of revenge is at hand the shard evaporates, infusing the warrior with a final burst of power. This could turn a normal warrior into a blade spinning dervish of death. Alternately, it could be just what the wizard needed to cast the ultra-mega fireblast spell to defeat his opponent.
There is a cost however, to being ridden by vengeance. Once the final act is completed, the victor will have only a few moments to a few days to enjoy their success before they collapse to the ground, dead. The power of vengeance is terrible, and exacts a heavy toll on the soul that it burdens.
The Western Shield is a rocky island that thrusts out of the sea in defiance to those that would pass. Upon the these rocky cliff is the towering Shield Keep. It is not a Keep properly, it is a true castle - Nine Grand Towers linked by massive curtain walls. Siege weapons of great power are set upon each tower, ready to repell any navy sailing (or sky skiffing) towards the King's Landing. (The savy sailor would notice the buoys ranging out from the island which are distance markers). The eastern part of the island has a small cove port gouged out of the rock, protected by armed towers and a chains strung across the cove opening. Here is the The Sword of the Shield, a tight fleet of six corvettes to help finish off any seaward attacker (harrass them into range of the towers, to stop any outriders who escape, and finish off anything still floating).
The island carries quite a stock of grain and water. In addition to supporting itself, it is a supply point for the Coastal Guard in the Mid Waters. There is actually limited farming here inside the curtain wall.
The Western Shield is under the providence of the Hand of the West, the supreme naval and marine commander for The Land. While The Lord Arperer is at King's Landing, his son Belial flies the Sunset colors and commands the forces here.
On a rocky island off the coast, the First Men buried their Kings and Big People (nobles and importants). Here there are hundreds of Barrows and other tombs. There are even some modern headstones, as those who still claim "The Old Blood" wish to be buried here.
Since the mystique of the First Men has been worn away by the centuries, the Barrow Island is now a magnet for scholars and tomb raiders (often one and the same). All the easy to find tombs have been opened. However there are still others that have yet to be found. There are dozens of fools a year who search the island for First Men treasures and knowledge.
see Barrows of The First Men
A strange name for a strange island. Coming closer, you see the sparse trees and brushes on the brown earth, a large island with a small mountain, and a small bay large enough for a medium ship. If you actually land, the brown earth will be revealed as mud: sticky, gluey, slimy disgusting mud, covering the whole island, deep from a few inches to yards in some places, making it difficult to move, and in some places a risk of getting stuck. There is a small stream here, a dirty affair turning the mud around into a swamp, where you can be drawn into, so beware.
The whole island - except for the mountain - is covered by this mess. Sailors hate it and claim it is cursed. More likely, it is the swampy aura of the place, the difficulty in moving here, and few resources all contribute to rare visits. The only thing of note are large colonies of birds and mosquitos. Other than that... forget it.
Reason for the unusual muddy terrain: unknown.
Note: To make this island work best, there will be a Golden Beach tideward on the mainland. The beach's sands (or rocky sand) is flecked with gold (or what appears to be gold). This will often lead people to the island.
Off the coast a ways, between a long strech of underinhabited coastland, is The Island of the Golden Man. Here, gold is plentiful. The very rocks of the island itself are made of gold (or gold laiden ore). Thus smaller rocks and river rocks on the island all have the same gold flecks in them. Even some of the plants have golden streaks in their leaves.
On the island, on a hill that would overlook the island and the sunrise but the trees have all grown up to block it, is The Golden Man. This is the patron God of the island, carved by a peoples unknown. The Golden Man is represented by a large roughly carved humanoid male with one hand raised. It might of been finely carved once, but centuries of storms have worn it down. It is the size of four men and not moved without magic or a crane. The statue is made of the same gold flecked stone that the island is composed of with bits and pieces of a golden leafing still remaining. It is said that the Golden Man will only allows the wealth of the island to leave and be true, if worshiped in the proper old tongue.
There are several prayers floating around out there, each claiming to be the One True Prayer.... much like there are treasure maps to a variety of false pirate holds. The way people can keep these claims up is that the prayer only works once for each person, so they got their money and are now selling it to others.
When removed stones from the island, any gold laiden stone will sparkle a tiny bit less (it could just be your imagination.....). When traded away, it will be found to be Iron Pyrite... Fools Gold... not real gold at all. Dwarves, if they traveled to the island across all that ocean, would recognize it as such immediately. However, testing on the island seems to come out as brittle true gold.
If someone is foolish enough to try and remove The Golden Man, the trip back will be stormy, rough, and every rock on the coast will be magically attracted to the ship's hull. This will be happenstance of course, as nobody really believes in a curse of any kind. But it will be enough that nobody will trade for the Golden Man, thus it becomes an albatross (in the Old Mariner sense) around the neck of the thieves.
This is a good sized island, the size of a small country. It boasts three mountains, a number of hills, two cities (each with its own sheltered cove/ harbor), six towns, and a sprinkling of farming villages (supporting the various's merchants and lordling's holdings(plantations).
Paercher's island is the biggest prize in the blue region. It is not only self sufficient, it can be used as a naval supply point and trading station. Thus is it the most fought after prize by the maritime nations. More naval battles have occured over Paercher's island in this sea going era than any other cause. The sea is littered with the carcasses left from the many naval battles. Until recently, it has always been naval battles that have decided the fate of the island.
As part of a peace treaty, two somewhat antagonistic countries now own half the island (one city each). Things are polite, but strained. Neither side is willing to start the next war, but both see it as innevitable. Still the forms are observed, as each side hosts diplomatic balls and other affairs. There is a great deal of military pomp and puffery in each city, with bright uniforms, parades, and flags. Behind it all is the fact that there is a huge military presence here. Each port is home to a task force of blockade breakers and marine carriers. There are city walls and other defensive points being built by soldiers waiting for the other side to attack.
The natives are quite put out by the new restrictions set down by their new rulers. The poor are against these new taxes and the travel papers required to walk over the two creeks (which form most of the dividing line between the two sides). Lordlings (land owners, usually rich, were nobles from countries that were previous rulers of the island) are learning the deft art of playing both sides against each other. However they are tiring of the artificial restrictions they are placing on trade and travel. And the vows of loyalty are particually a sticking point. Even if the two countries do not go to war, the natives might actually rebel against them.
The Manor o'Loch is the ancestreal seat of the Kelenzies, lords of a long and honorable lineage. The island is a bit south and east of center of the lock. It is good sized; able to support the large mansion, the old keep towers, a small formal garden, a tiny food plot, a few horses for riding, and a very small (and stocked) wooded hunting preserve.
The loch is your standard large placid lake ringed by mountains and hills. It is smooth as glass and dark as sin. The only ripples occur when there are boats or the fierce winter storms occur. It has no monster of legend or truth. The mountains to the North were once Griffin homes, but have not been so for several generations.
The island is a kidneybean shaped, with a pier in the center of the bean's bend. The pier turns into a small road which leads straight to the manor home. There are two other hidden piers on the back of the island. They are are not common knowledge. They were built to facilitate the escape of the family, should it be needed.
This is just a tale that sailors tell....
In the Doldrums, that region of the ocean near the equator characterized by calms, light winds, or squalls, there exists a chain of three islands. Being in the Doldrums they are hard to reach and for reasons that no one can explain, there is no wind anywhere near these islands. One must either row a hundred or so nautical miles or be carried there by drifting on the currents. Upon these three islands are the People of Nepturna.
The People of Nepturna are survivors of the great cataclysm. It is here, and only here, that The Great Civilization survives and thrives. Here wonders unseen for millenia are common place. Charriots that ride the air, buildings as tall as the clouds, walls that can pass one's voice to anywhere in the islands, are everyday miracles there. The people of Nepturna are said to be immortal, able to be reborn in new young bodies, upon death. There numbers are few, as every now and again an immortal is not reborn. They keep their people strong and numbers large enough by capturing sailors and passengers who are lost in their waters. Of course, staying in such a place is not so great a burden, as they treat them as guests.
How do we know this? Over the centuries, less than a hand's worth of people have ever managed to return home. It is said that the treasury of Polycrathis has a gem from Nepturna.
The island is relatively large, almost ten miles by eight miles; there are several tiny islets and cliffs around. A single piece of rock looms above it, clearly of volcanic birth.
It is green with a thick jungle of a forest, housing a few tribes of natives. Though primitives, they had contact with civilization before, evidenced by their mastery of smelting and smithing, metal not uncommon here; strangely enough, there is no mine on the island. The valuable resource comes from trading with a race of underwater folk, they collect it on bottom of the sea as little concretions (a product of microbial life forms, that litters the sea bed in numbers uncounted). In return they receive tools and weapons they have no means of creating. These business relations have been in effect for centuries, so are a matter of tradition and many rituals for both sides, but also secrecy from strangers. Disrupting these negotiations means breaking a taboo of the highest order, so much do all the tribes agree.
Dremel, by the way, is a sleeping spirit the islanders worship and placate with sacrifices (not human ones, for sure). This is no surprise, as it embodies the volcano the island chain is based on. Luckily, it is practically dormant, only rarely does it stir, letting off a little steam. During such times, it is required to offer someone's left hand as a sacrifice; the trick being it must be offered willingly. Therefore, one-handed people are held in high esteem on the whole island.
More than 150 miles from the mainland, this island is well outside of normal trade routes and shipping lanes. It is scarcely more than a few hundred square acres of land that protrudes rudely from the ocean. The odd thing about the island is there is a natural material that permeates the soil and causes it to leave behind stains on skin and clothing that are difficult to remove. The plants on the island have dark spots on their leaves, even easily recognizable plants that are normally uniform in color.
The island is a nexus of sea life as the run off from the island frequently causes blooms of microscopic sea life that attracts a wide variety of other creatures to the area to feed on the bloom, and other animals who do so. The island is also ringed by abundant and deep kelp forests, some of which are large enough to create small sargassos, or tangled mats able to snare smaller ships and swimmers.
A rather common name for a very popular and heavily visited island, so heavily visited that many commoners do not even think of it as an island. the six square miles of Little Largo is for the most part flat, being thickly piled alluvian sediment. The river from the mainland changed course some hundreds of years ago and cut the end of a peninsula off, creating the island. Plant growth and human building have contributed to the rest of its growth above sea level.
The largest part of the island is dominated by orchards that grow olives and dates, both of which are in heavy demand in the area. But the most obvious feature is Arx Suonas, a dominating ampitheatre built of lustrous white marble. This ampitheatre is host to some of the most popular musicians, bards, and acting troups in the Kingdoms, and has hosted Kings and Pontiff, Arch-Mages and warlords, merchants, commoners and thieves.
A small shrine is located on the southern tip of the island and is dedicated to Saint Larghetto, the singing saint.
Located a few hundred yards from the mainland of Zehin, Folis island is a long and narrow island that shelters a long stretch of coastline. The center of the island is high and rocky, and most of the island is covered in light to medium forest trees. Reaching the island is not difficult, and a strong swimmer can do it in a relatively short time.
The main attraction of the island is a creature that the natives call a Striped Deer-Horse, as it resembles a deer in the head and shape of the torso, but it has the defined muscles of a horse, and the general built of a smaller pony. Flighty, these animals browse from the trees, nipping at leaves and watching their surroundings warily.
Some speculate that there are hidden predators on the island to explain the animal's behavior, though in truth there are none. The last of the Zehin Lions vanished shortly after the Nightmare war, though the deer-horse and its black and white stripped legs survived.
(Deer-Horse is an Okapi)
Halfway between the gaols and the seafront, Clinchpoop's Folly is a woebegone island that is covered with a scab of lean-tos, ramshackle tenaments, and shipwreck built shanties. This midden of humanity makes the Thieves Quarter look clean by comparison. The roadways are scant feet wide, and ankle deep mud from chruned soil, ale, urine, and a dozen other fluids that bear not being mentioned.
Half of the island does some work mending nets, and making fish suet, a rather disgusting hard takc made of minced fish that is dried and smoked to preserve it. This along with Orc-ale and grog is the foodstuff of the islanders. The rest of the island is contested between squatters and rowdies, those looking for a few square feet of earth to call their own, and those looking for a drink, a whore and a fight.
The entire place stinks of fish and sweat, of churned offal and very rarely, the salty tang of the sea.
Unlike many islands, this one is unique as its surrounding sea is moving in slow motion. it's waves crash against the shore at the rate of a wave envery two ro three years, but the tides of the moon have nothing on the tides of the sand. Sitting in the middle of the Sea of Sand, this is a rocky island that offers refuge from that soft and dangerous waste. Oddly, the island consists of a stone ring/wall roughly 300 or so feet high, and a granite spire that soars over 100 feet into the air. The interior of the wall is a space of some six acres that is fed by a geothermally heated hotspring. Plants flourish around the spring, and the spring itself is choked with all sorts of insects and invertibrate life.
Caves have been hewn into the base of the granite spire, and there filters of sand can be found for purifiyingf the spring water. If drunk raw, the water causes nausea, cramps, and diahrea. If filtered through the sand it becomes safe to drink. The spire is a nesting ground of sorts for a variety of desert birds, and the bowl is filled with a great variety of lizards, insects, as well as large and rugose desert toads that are the top predator in the oasis of stone and water.
This large volcanic island is still quite active, tremors are minor but frequent, actual lava flows rarer. The most imposing product of the island volcano are however the large quantities of gases and smoke and soot that get pushed through this strip of earth. The whole island is covered in thick mists that make it look unnaturally and threatening, a home of a great evil... but it's all just stories, the old sailors agree after telling a few spooky ones. The smoke can be seen rising for many miles on most days, and occasionally the fires at night; both serve as a well-known orientation point.
Stories of treasure abound of course wildly, but few risk the choking atmosphere for a search - it is hopeless to approach the island without mouth and nose covered, and eyes protected as possible. The dense mist and choking smells alone are sufficient distraction for any prolonged visit. No one would live here.
But the island is not empty: people do inhabit it. Primitives forming a small tribe, their minds clouded forever, unable to imagine any other way of life. So they slowly move around covering their faces with mosses that thrive on the island, half-blind searching for what little food there is amongst the rich but frequently burned flora. Maybe they have been primitives before, maybe they shipwrecked with one of the ships whose skelets line the coast, or they have been put here for mutiny... nobody knows, and they would be the last to remember. They still have some feint memories of a different world, but this is where they are, and such is their fate, without any chance to leave it (some have actually the remains of beliefs from before, that this place is hell and their punishment). So far, they have not met any outsider, as they keep clear of the coast for some reason.
Should they ever leave the place, they will never recover completely.
This island is off in the vast bay, separated from the island kingdom of Chank Di. It is a low and broken heap of slag and shattered marble, barely cresting the surface of the waters (which, around it, are shallow); the island, upon closer examination is made up of chunks of ruins- the portions of old palaces, in fact, collapsed statues and sculptures, shattered reliefs, toppled columns, masonry blocks, and more.
The name of this isle is a sarcastic appellation, laid upon it by the people of Chank Di in sardonic memory of the King Tun Wuy, known as Tun Wuy the Imbecile. A hedonist, wasteful, and cruel, Tun Wuy constructed thousands of opulent palaces and temples to his Divine Kingship throughout Chank Di. When the rebellion came, uniting the peasantry and the nobility, Tun Wuy never saw it coming. His last sight was this island, the remnants of his thousand palaces, toppled and cast into the sea, stone by stone. His headless corpse is buried just beneath the surface of the artificial island.
Tamapour has very little going for it. It is mostly a large flat rocky outcropping not too far from the coast. The soil is thin and only a few palms and ferns grow, supporting a moderately sized lizard and bird population. The one thing it does have going for it is location.
It is in an offshore winds location, so the storms that plague the islands to its south avoid it. However, more importantly, it is in a perfect latitude for a geosynch launch.
The island has a large hollowed pit used to contain dispersion of launch fuels. There are very few buildings on the island. The most important are the largest, Central Control (The Green Cube), The Hyatt Tamapour (An eight story affair with open lanai to take advantage of the weather), and The General Electric Building (A cavernous warehouse assembly building where various launch platforms are mated to vehicles and playloads). The docks are a large affair, almost as half again as large as the island. Here massive container ships bring in launch vehicles and payloads for the daily launches. They are shuffled about on rail lines to either the General Electric building or one of the smaller centers.
Most of the workers on Tamapour actually live in the apartments that are built upon the docks. Most others live on various boats and boat flotillas docked or nearby the island. There is work on an shallows/ undersea habitat to add a tourist attraction AND provide much needed housing and space on the island.
This island is not too far from the Palordi and Condori regions of the Ocean. It is not quite the paradise those islands are, but it is still special. It was colonized by the Palordi people some hundred or so years ago. Here, they live in a state closer to their original culture, though some of the Palordi cosmopolitanism and artiacts are found here. It is more than a mere "colony" of the Palordi. It is the home of the Shanos, the golden pearls.
The island is surrounded by a good reach of deep sandy "shallows" and a number of rocky reefs. The "shallows" barely qualify as that, being quite deep. Here the Divers, who have a (near) magical ability to hold their breath, withstand the cold, swim, and see in the murk, dive for the Shanoco oysters and the Shanos prizes. The Divers find "wild ones" as well as help cultivate them. The Shanolori shepard the entire reef and shallows eco system, making sure that it is healthy so it can provide "good fortune" to the island. (A healthy island is a lucky island... and one blessed food, better weather, and wealth). Think of them more as shepards than fishermen. Theirs is a near magical mariculture.
Shanos are the famous Golden Pearls. They are good sized (10-12 mm) round pearls (though some tear drops are found). They have a wonderful golden luster and shine. They are quite rare, as this island is the only source of them. The rich cold waters mix with the warm waters supporting the Shanoco like no other place in the Known World can.
See from a distance, the tall near central peak of this island appears to be a giant shark fin emerging from a foggy patch of sea. It is truly a large mountain being visible from quite a distance. The fin moves headward into the prevailing wind, sometimes splitting the low level fog that is moving across this area of sea. In fact this region of ocean always seems to have a band of fog, about five feet tall from the surface of the water.
The island itself is filled with rugged terrain and steep ravines. There is a variety of hardy greens and trees in this rocky terrain. The shorelines are craggy cliffs with the occasional "pass" between the rocky hills and mini-mounts at the shoreline. The near center of the island has a large central valley that sinks deep below sea level. This deep valley's bottom often fills with rain water and is home to a dangerous and violent ecosystem.
Given the winds, the cooling rocks, and the trapped water, the valley is always "fog enshrouded" with the mist emerging from the valley (as well as creating the local low pressure layer making the odd band of low fog in this area of the sea).
In the center rear of the valley the "fin" shoots up. It's erruption is what created the valley it is set in. Wind and rain has sculpted it to a fin like shape.
The Sea Clan folks have have shrines here to the Shark Masters (spirits). So as you stumble through the the rocky ravines and rough trails, you will stumble into a number of carved stone shrines to these spirits that seem almost abandoned, overgrown with quick growing vines and ferns of the island.
The largest and holiest of the shrines is on the headward edge of the "Fin" about halfway up. The climb is torturous. The animals of the Fin tend toward poisionous (and the plants are not that nice either, an tangling and crushing vines are also found). It seems even the ecology embodies the "power of the predator". Those that can perform the "Rite of The Shark" here are said to receive a great boon, being empowered with Shark abilities and enhanced combat skill. Note: This could be a chicken and egg thing, as to get here you need to have honed instincts, sharp senses, and good combat skills).
For many years Mayer Island was a place for the noble and well to do to go and recreate. The ferry would take people here every day for most of the year. (If playing a modern: There was even a sea plane port). Once there, there were beaches to frolic on, woods to walk in, riding trails, and a boardwalk to stroll (if modern: with rides and such). For nearly a generation, this was "the place" for upscale time off. Here was the unofficial "court" where the upper crust would interat. Alliances and Business Deals were made over dinner and drinks. Except for a few torrid affairs and sorid duels, it was all fairly civilized. But all things end.
Hard times and War occured on the mainland, combined with a few years of freak weather, that caused the travel trade to end. By the time the Troubles were over, people had "moved on" to new places and things.
The few people tht did live here, had to leave. (Most of the workers came in on the ferry anyways).
Now Mayer Island is a ghost town. It is filled with boarded or abandoned buildings, flaking guilding, cobwebs, dirty velvets, and dust. The Ruins of a bygone age are here.
1) Just a good visual for any number dramatic scenes.
2) Install a secret lair here for a mad genius, would be conqueror, or evil temple.
3) There is a gatepoint here, linking "now" to this forgotten glory time. By strolling the right part of the boardwalk (through the wrought iron gate, you can walk into the past. And effect things. Eventually you will fade back home, if you don't return to present by strolling back.
The Sandlemen are a cabal of rich and powerful in both periods. They protect the secret of the boardwalk's gate to keep their advantage. They utilize their knowledge of the future (only a 70 to 100 years really) to make themselves obscenely wealthy, to live well (usually in the past), and to escape legal entanglements (one man has escaped justice for embesellment and murder by slipping into the past). The group spending a good deal of money and effort searching for other "slip points" between times and to keeping their secret. They will do just about anything they feel they need to, as the see themselves above the rest.. as they have the real power... knowledge of the future.
The local waters are called The Blue because of their vivid blue color.
Jetting up out of the water is a pointed hill island. It is am emerald hill full of rich seagrass. Upon this hill, near the top, is a Chapel. The Chapel was purposeful built to emulate the style of an Northern Style Church of the previous Era - most specifically The Chapel at the Holokrine Holy Monastery.
What prompted this decision is an odd quirk of weather. Given the "calm" created by the local high cliffs, the fog stays as a low laying carpet, making the island (and the chapel) look as if it is wreathed in clouds. The general geography resembled the image in the Monstean Chapel, that the Local Church was inspired to build their own vesion here.
The building is a scaled down version of the original chapel. It has a tall central somewhat pointed dome resting on four imposing pillars of the lateral walls. The dome is made of reddish tiles. The outside walls are dotted with triangular recesses, made of imported brownish grey stone. The pointed nave roofline is the same red tiles.
The inside is very evocative of the original. It is filled with a warm glow of candles, the warmth of wooden benches, and many tiny statues of holy figures. A fresco in the apse depicts the many trials of the holy faith, with an The Sainted Holokrine behind the alter.
In honor of the Sainted Holokrine, the basement (with tiny windows letting in sunshine) is a library of some note. A few monks from the original monestary have relocated here to take care of the building and the books. (The clergy and staff live in a small building mostly dug into the hill on the other side of the island, linked to the church via a long tunnel.
It is interesting to note that in the center of the library floor has a copy of the Wardstone from the original.
The Land was plagued by a new type of undead. These zombies would not be destroyed in the normal ways. While slow and easily defeatable, they were "nigh indestructable" (able to simply grab parts from another to replace things or function along shambling without a head). There was no way to destroy this new menace. A council was convened to deal with the issue. After screaming and hand wrangling had died down, a wizard in the back simply said, "One does not destroy something invunerable or indestructable, one traps it somewhere it can do little to no harm."
With the that, the Island of Containment was selected off the coast. Enchantments were laid, to keep things from escaping the shores of the island. The creatures were herded to pens, then transfered to ship, then a "Pen launch". The Pen Launch is a cheap disposable boat with high sides to pen the creatures in. It is pushed to touch the shore. The creatures shambled to shore.
Over the years, they have destroyed all the living things on the island. (The island is now folliated by undead plants, grey and carniverous). They have taken to canibalizing each other to vent their destructive impulses.
Other things, besides the plague zombies, have been shipped to the island. The zombies have destroyed just about everything there by all accounts, but somethings still survive.
So far the wards have held. Nothing entering the island band has ever been able to escape. (Even the human that accidently sailed his ship too close to drop off his load of zombies).
A small set of ships circle the island, just to make sure and keep innocent sailors out of it.
Of course, have you ever seen Escape from New York?
Gartheia is one of the more secure pirate islands in the south sea. It's shape is similar to an immense flower pot - there are no decent ports or harbors around the circumference of the island as the stone cliffs overhang the waters lower then mast-height. In order to gain access to the higher parts of the island requires similar strategies to scaling a castle wall, with the disadvantages of having to do it from a rocking ship.
The pirates of the island have built, at great difficulty, a set of hoists and derricks to load and unload their ships. There are even plans to build one large enough to lift smaller ships completely out of the water, but these are still just plans.
Once on the upper portion of the island, it appears similar to many other islands in the region, albeit rocky.
The island itself is a massive block of sandstone which is gradually rising from the ocean due to geological forces. The actions of tides and normal waves are eroding the sides of the island as it rises.
See the Hopewell Rocks on Wikipedia. It has an illustration of the idea - the real rocks are much smaller then what I'm putting forth here. Yes this is a shameless plug of my home province.
Awalana is a huge island for these waters. It would make a wonderful place to live, except all the ocean tribes find the place sacred. It is not there's to live on, though all four of the ocean peoples in the region have "campsites" or minivillages that they can inhabit while visiting on the shore line.
Why is Awalana sacred? It is about the Fair People, they of Ocean Foam skin and hair like sunlight, with eyes like the orchid. They visited these waters, living on this island. They taught The Ocean Tribes various crafts and magics durring their time here so long ago. Saying that they would eventually come again, they left to the East.
If one explores the island, or has a guide, one will be taken to a deep valley on the island. There you will a site that no one truly has ever seen. The Arch.
The Arch, is just that, an arch of a white gleeming metal. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) at its widest point. The cross-sections of its legs are equilateral triangles, narrowing from 54 feet (16.5 m) at the base to 17 feet (5.2 m) at the top. The walls of the Arch are metal, but of a kind no one knows.
The top of the arch stands above the trees, peeking out like a rainbow over the forrest.
Inside the valley the trees are odd, filled with nooks and "caves" of sorts. There are small stone stellas distributed throughout the valley. There are even artifacts of the fair people here, a few left behind garments or personal items. If one knows magic, one can feel it here.
The name of this small island comes from a powerful wizard of old, that used to live here, and summoned some great evil to this place... actually, it was a conflict between him and his rival, a dark sorcerer whose name is now forgotten. They are all but dead now, but the traces of their conflict still remain.
A small tribe lives here, terrified of the waters around. For in them are hidden undead creatures, ordered to slay anything living on the island. Fortunately, Merden's spell of some kind still persists after the centuries, and hinders them from entering the island. So the land itself is safe, but the ocean is not. At day the undead stay below water, and can only reach those who are in water themselves - or they can damage the hulls of nearby vessels (and there are half-sunken wrecks around the island that attest to this). During the night, they are even more active, and can walk up to the shoreline, as long as they stay in the sea.
Those who call this isolated place home have tried many times to get rid of the creatures, but they are very hard to kill. Even with help of powerful outsiders, no more than a handful of them was destroyed, always at a great cost of lives. As there are at least several dozen, it is not even sure if they can create more of their own, or they could be slowly whittled down. Until that day, this island should be avoided.
The tribe willingly accepts any who survive an attack, and is eager to share its women due to a threat of interbreeding. Wealth they have little (well perhaps the wrecks hide something...), but there is a ruined tower covered by vegetation, that may contain some of Merden's possessions.
The Clyden was a clan of noble reputation and long standing with the crown about these parts in times past. Their lands extended this far to the south at one time. Off the coast, there is a small island. To be honest, it is nothing more than a large rock. On that rock, there is a small shrine. It is a small white marble building with a marble roof. All the materials were imported to the island from other Cluden lands. A priest comes and attends the location now and again, but for most of the time, nobody is there. This tiny one room "church" holds several philatory (transparent reliquaries to contain and exhibit the bones and relics) from "Great Members" of the Clyden clan.
Every now and again, a person who claims Clyden blood, will come here to pray or find themselves, to take on the mantle of the clan.
Now this can be a spiritual or psychological empowerment. It could be a physical empowerment, activating latent abilities (such as magic) in the blood. If this clan is like the Wildmen (Doc Savage, Tarzan, and Shadow are all interrelated) and the other great clans, these people could be destined for great thigns.
Perhaps you have to inter a bone of a friend or mentor on this tiny island. Or return a philatory stolen to that island.
If you go modern/ near future...
Now times have changed and the Clyden have been all but lost to the sands of time. Yet in those bones hold the genetic codes to "great power". Now it is a race to get to this tiny little rock or prevent those old bones from reaching the lab.
Designed for an Urban Fantasy game
This is like a dozen or so islands in and around the Sound and the Channel. A small bedroom community with a main dock, post office, a general store, a tiny cafe, and three little shops. The ferry runs every three hours, so it comes back and forth 3 times a day, 4 times on the weekend. There is a minimum of building here. The roads are pressed, but seldom paved. Jeeps, horses, and mountain bikes (with the occasional snowmobile) are the vehicles of choice. The houses are nestled between the tall evergreen pines. It is a quiet and peaceful place with a magic all of its own.
Somewhere on the island there is a gate to a fey land. There are a couple of Shidhe, who dress fairly modern, that travel to and from via that gate. They hit the ferry and go into the city for a day or so at a time. The locals and ferrymen think they are island natives, but nobody quite knows where they live. In fact, they show up to parties and get togethers and, thanks to the glamour, every one thinks they were invited and are good friends.
The Fey like the island as an anchor. It provides stability and doses of reality that their unstable fey realm needs. In exchange, they ensure the island is always natural and peaceful. The weather is never as bad on the island as it is for the rest of the ones in the Sound or Channel. The plants always are in bloom. Nothing evil ever happens here. They even gift the children as God Parents. The children here are nearly magical.
Some lesser fey do come out and play on the island. Unlike the Shidhe, they can not travel as far from the gate. However, there are a couple of Household Fey that do tasking around the island.
Just because of the ambient magic, the people who live on the island are subtly changed. They become "prettier", slightly taller and thinner, with clearer skin and brighter eyes. They are more creative. (There are two somewhat famous authors on the island and one famous without being dead painter.) This effect is more pronounced in the children. Some have nearly outgrown several genetic defects living here.
Because of the glamours, nobody can really talk about it all the nice things. Mostly it is a ofuscate, as people can not just put their fingers on what is different there. However, under the presence of a fey hold stone or enough energy or salt or iron, they might be able to think clearly about it.
Even the power of the weakened pantheon was unable to destroy this storm, now termed Nethernimbus by the few survivors, but they were able to direct the storm to an isolated island several days sail west of the devastated Ku! coastline. There the storm was bound by the gods, held in place by a set of powerfully enchanted ward-stones. The storm remains there still - a manifestation of hate and of man's inhumanity to man. None who have approached the island have returned, for the winds have lost none of their power, and these winds have the touch of wraiths!
This island is surrounded by an invisible magical barrier, placed by the gods of a near-dead people, and held up through the handful of priests who still live. The barrier blocks Nethernimbus from escaping, but does not stop the reckless from attempting to land upon it. Only the truely suicidal would try, since the yellow-black raging winds can easily be seen whipping around the island.
Should the remaining priests all meet their end, then this lethal storm of undead power would be unleashed to again bring death to kingdoms!
Most open places on the Vworld are fairly ... what is the polite phrase.. not sensoryrealistic.. no... Graphically Simple. You know what I am talking about. Oh heck, they look like a child took out a box of crayons and scribbled in neon.
Hugo's Island is one of the few Open Place zones that taps the true potential of Vworld. Here, the sensory experience is true to life. You can experience every sense your rig can provide.
The Island appears to be a tropical island resort or the mid 20th century. Everything there fits that motiff, including allowable avatars and garb. The island is roughly ovid to maximize the use of the zone. It has miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water - the kind you only see in old movies.
At the north side of the island, is the wild zone. It is accessible only by a "hike" through the tame tropical jungle, complete with waterfalls, fog, and a number of extinct animals. There is a cliff area suitable for diving too. (And there are some secret surf spots here but you have to be "in the know" to find them and you will have to bring your surfboard.) The resolution in this zone beautiful. The fractal expansion was artfully done. And it is stunning to the eyes the sheer beauty of this pre-Event island.
The south side of the island is the civilized end. It has the same pristine beaches, but with the occasional sun shade scattered about. Up just off the beach at the tree line, there are bungalows that can be "rented" for a time, if one desired privacy. There are a number of "outdoor bars" scatered along the south beach, as well as activity points where you can pick up avatar equipment for the use. The kayaks and surfing spots are quite fun. As one moves inland from the beach your paths will surround you with a tropical paradise and a few more centers of activity. (Some of the centers are "canned centers" with some modifications made to their sensories. So you will be able to go to Fuji's with a new look to it and McD as well.) All paths eventually lead to the central resort.
The Central Resort is where new people "land" upon accessing the space. If your avatar's appearance is "inappropriate" you are locked out until it meets the strong guidelines. If it is somewhat appropriate, you are shunted to a storefront where you can buy "period clothes", hair, and such. The storefront has a selection of stock eyes, faces, and bodytpes as well.
It appears to be a large multistory resort hotel with a few rooms, two beautiful pools, two restaurants, and six or seven nightclubs. The Central Resort is from the Spilex Hotel, another canned piece, but it has been so retooled only the most dilligent will notice.
The AIs here on the Island are reasonable. All the "natives" seem quite affectionate and friendly and can even make some limited small talk, but you can tell they are AIs. After all, they are friendly resort employees.
As one progresses north along the beaches or along the paths, things will thin out more and more. Eventually you will be in the "wild zone" of the North Island.
They have recently begun a beta test for sailing and sailboarding.
Hugo is on the island much of the time in the Central Resort. He is the original designer. Now he leads the small cadre of amature developers who contribute to the project. He is a friendly freethinking sort. He likes to meet and play with people. He has been offered several generous offers to buy the site. He has refused all of them. He likes the open nature of the site. The site is supported by the storefront and contributions of visitors (you can contribute at any point of action site). You can also buy Hugo's Swag from appropriate vendors.
The island is a wonderful piece of amature work. It rivals, if not exceeds, many professional sites.
No one is sure if it is a magical accident, the hand of a God, or the master work of an insane genius.
From a distance, it appears to be a perfectly normal island. It is a small rocky island. When you approach, you see the island is mostly grey rather than the normal colors one would expect. Landing upon the island, one learns the truth.
Every almost every plant or animal is made of what appears to be masterfully carved stone. The deer are all statues in a perfect tableau. The Trees are all carved out, some with tiny birds and owls in them. There are small rabbits statues spread around the island.
The stone has worn down due to the elements and time, but at one time it must of been perfectly carved. It is possible the entire island was carved out of one massive block of stone. It is possible. Unlikely, but possible. This leaves some mad magical accident, but there is no trace of a wizard or habitation there. The hand of a Higher Power? It is possible, but what deity is that wrathful?
The only green is moss or a few plants that grow in the cracks of the island.
This wind-swept island is dominated by an unusual monastery, a structure of ancient, weathered stone, surrounded by lush gardens of oddly misshapen plants. Those approaching the monastery may catch a distant glimpse of robed monks hurriedly retreating behind the stout walls of the place.
The monks avoid contact with approaching mariners for several reasons. In addition to their vows, which dictate a life of quiet seclusion, they aren’t human. The creatures dwelling upon this island are “serpent folk”, a lingering remnant of the reptilian species that once built great cities on the mainland, but which is remembered only for their degenerate descendants.
These reptilian monks celebrate strange and cruel religious rituals, to which they will admit no warm-blooded creature. They will send forth an envoy to deal with strangers, a massive and ancient leader of their sect, who will communicate only by writing (or drawing) with his claw upon a waxen tablet. While they will not seek conflict with outsiders, they are not a pacifistic sect: Their elders will not hesitate to unleash lethal and ancient magical powers against those who threaten them.
A little ways off the coast is a phenomena that unnerves the inexperienced or supersitious. It centers around this a moderatley sized rocky island and extends for leagues in every direction.
The island has dozens of tall standing stones and natural bridges, wind and waves and sand carving the soft stone of the island. Now the prevaling wind slices through the stones creating a number of high pitched and timbered sounds. It sounds like several "people" screaching and crying. As you approach the island, the sound is deafening. If you land on the island, the sound is loud but not deafening.
There is a small chapel/ shrine on the island that used to have an attendent. The Shrine has two parts. The first is for lost sailors so they can find their way to peace or home. The second is for those that no one weeps for.
A little known fact is that once a year, a ship sails out to the island with a number of pilgrims.
It seems out of place there off the coast. It is too strange not to be true. There, sticking out the water, is a large light golden brown rock with soft rounded edges. It appears like a giant dinner bun (the size of a small village) floating in the ocean.
This odd stone formation seems to be nothing but a naviational marker and a piece of trivia for sailors.
Not too far off a main landfall and along trade winds is Bodhi Island. It is not what one expects in this part of the ocean. Here is a small Buddhist Colony and Monastery, with as many of the appropriate elements as they could muster.
The monastery is eclectic, combining Indian, Chinese, and Korean monks... as well as a few Zen Monks who keep to themselves.
In the Temple courtyard is a beautiful tree. It is under this tree that people will travel half way around the world to stop and meditate. The tree was successfully grown from a clipping of THE BODHI TREE (or its direct descendent) that sheltered The Buddha during the meditation that led to his supreme enlightenment. It is said that meditation in, around, and under the tree can bring great wisdom and power.
The colonists are lay members of the monasteries and their families. The island does not have a growing population. It counts on immigrants to the monastery and colony to replace any losses.
As the story goes, "There once was a pirate who wanted to become legitimate...." Rather than become a privateer or just retire, Cptn Wilder set to shore at one of the pirate islands and began to build up the pirate base he and his small fleet of three ships had used over the years. He unlimbered his somewhat tarnished noble credentials and set himself up as "The Govenor".
After "freeing some slaves" on a near passing ship (well he was mostly legit, he gave them their freedom. They could buy passage back to their home (working to earn it) or simply just live here. A few other farmers and skilled workers were imported (many after being freed from the Gaol of a French Island nearby). The Town of Port Freedom began to grow. A few plantations later, The Black Cove Island began to truly prosper.
Now the Govenor's son is running the ship of state for him. This free state is a haven to privateers, pirates, and those who do not like huge docking fees just to take on supplies.
This island is good distance off the coast. Upon first inspection, nothing seems wrong. It is a nicely forested island.
If you are looking for this sort of thing, the main animal on the island is The Fox. There are foxes in the trees. There are foxes in the underbrush. There are massive foxes that seem to hunt other foxes. (Oh occasionally you can find a rabbit, but really, it could just be an odd fox. Sure there are birds and a few other creatures, but there are truly too many foxes, in kind and number, on this island to be properly explained.
There is an explanation, this is The Fox Island.
The spirit of the island is obviously a fox spirit. Such a spirit is playful, mischevious, and a shapeshifter. If you know about Kitsune or Native American Fox Spirits, you are on the right wavelength. All magics not empowered by a fox spirit will be limited here.
Most of this island is barren rock filled with geysers and hot springs and fumeroles. The rocky surface is often brittle and can crack and send the unwary traveller into knee deep boiling water. Almost all the spings and pools are dangerous as their highly alkali or acidic waters are scalding hot. When the large central geyser erupts it can be seen on the horizon from miles away.
Several of the smaller geysers have been vandalized by visiting sailors who have jammed rocks, sticks and rubbish into the vents.
Only a few small plants grow here, their seeds having been brought by the wind from far away. The dominant lifeform here is small lizards.
When the captains of passing ships peer with their spyglasses, they can make out hundreds of small boats pulled up on the shores of Shearwood Island. Weathered and cracked, half-buried by sand, some of the boats have clearly been there for years or decades. The local sailors have dozens of tales of horrors beyond reckoning, mysterious terrors hunting those who land on the forboding island, but none of these tales answers the question: Where did all those boats come from?
No one appears to dwell on the desolate island, and those heavily-armed parties that explored the place didn't find anything, so where DO all the boats come from? It turns out that a tribe of undersea ogres lives nearby, and enjoys snacking on passing fishermen. Some decades ago, their leader encountered a powerful mage, who bound him never to sink a ship, but to allow them to land safely. In order to pervert his geas, the ogre cleverly forced boatmen onto the nearby island, where he was able to do as he wished with his victims. His successors, understanding nothing of this taboo, faithfully drive the boats of their prey to the island as their ancestors once did.
It is a large island, but little inhabited: it lies in the north, far from the beautiful girls of little clothing and morals. The winds are always strong here, the rains frequent, the locals hard-faced. Refuge will they offer to those in need, but their trust is hard to earn. Few ships sail in these waters, though.
But on the island's inside, life is different. It is still cold and windy, but comfort can be found, in walks through the grassy plain, or next to the fireplace (think of an advertisement on Ireland). Small groups of houses litter the plateau, their inhabitants never leave. You see, this is the refuge of powerful men of the Empire, men that went too far. Some are in exile, others went on their own, due to enemies or crimes, or simply knowing too much. There may be former spies living out the rest of their lives, or magicians who burned out all of their talent. They are well cared for, but most of them never see their homeland again.
This too may be the award for serving a country.
Along the rocky Cliff Coast, in the long stretch between the (small) city of Torren and the (large) town of Bale Harbor, is The Island of Piernith, Corin, and Byle. It is a good sized island some 14 miles (22km) by 4 miles (7km). It is a rocky, hilly island thrust out of the sea a mile or two (3km) from the shore. The people there fish, raise goats for dairy and wool, and are passible shipwrights.
The name of the island comes from the three villages there.
Piernith is the largest and first one founded. It is in and around a tiny protected cove. It has a grand temple church, and a number of larger buildings. The local magistrate for the island lives there.
Corin is a midling village a bit from the ocean's edge. The people of Corin work the island, harvesting salt, peat, wood, and the limited coal supply here. Though rocky, there are shipwrights here. They also do most of the farming and sheep herding, though in truth the actual farms stretch from Corin to Piernith to the north.
Byle is tiny village on the east side of the island. It is a community of stern practioners of The Faith. These people fish, herd, and have a strong metal working tradition. Byle is on a shallow slide that had been used as a hold over by Piernith fishers and others.
The inland part of the island is mostly farms and ranches, each family having a good home and a good sized grant of land. The rocky soil has lead the farmers to create low stacked rock walls along every property line and road/ path.
The island was always called by which ever village you were talking about. When there was finally a royal accounting of the region, with an official map, the island was named after the three towns.
One would wonder what will it be called if a 4th village is founded.
Not widely known outside of the local area, this island is somewhat misnamed, as it's more like a paradise than a rock. The island is completely tame, taken care of by each family of the nearby town in turn. There is one building on the island, overlooking the beach opposite of the mainland. The view of the sea is absolutely gorgeous, making this the perfect honeymoon spot. Every couple married within the village is given the island for a week-long honeymoon period.
A certain local superstition has arisen about the island, namely that any couple who spends their first night together on the island will be especially fertile. Whether or not this is true hasn't been verified, though the local population is definitely above average for the country.
Most open places on the Vworld are fairly "graphically simple" and not sensory realistic. vPacific.v3 is simple and not sensory realistic. However, unlike when used for most vPlaces, this is not uncomplimentry. The place has two things that other places truly need: an art director and a style sheet.
The island is done in a "Cell Shading" look, similar to a old style cartoon. This gives a simplistic color pattern and shapes, but it is done at such a level that it is artistic rather than primative.
The entry point has a strong lock. Your coloring will be shifted to Cell Shading automatically, however the effect is less than complimentary in most cases. If you are less than ideally dressed, the site will throw a red Retro Hawaiian Pattern shirt on over your avatar. (Which can be comical if you have a Ninja, Trenchcoat toughguy with Katanas and Blasters, or Burly Fantasy warrior). Most people who come here, arrive with appropriate inventory native to the look. Most of them design it themselves.
The island is a cartoon tropical island. It has a volcano in the middle that goes off every now and again. It has palm and coconut trees everywhere. There is a lovely "by the beach resort" done in classic 1950s teaky tacky - The 50s being the inspiration for "the new looks" on the vWorld over the last few years. There are plastic AIs doing the hula in the background, or serving things. There are even tiki masked jungle natives and a village in the island's interior, if you go looking. There are even some tourists on the beach that are AIs just to "fill things out".
The vPlace seems boring to most people. There is no drama, no games, and little to do. That is okay by the regulars, as it keeps the riff raff out. vPacific is a place where designers, developers, meshers, and artists go to hang out. Here they share ideas, concepts, data, inspiration, and personal gossip. The site has message rocks. You stand on one, and you can review any messages left for you on the site.
The site is really an open secret. The vPacific Island.v3 is a kit name from a few years back. It is named so people will search a directory and just gloss it over looking for other things (and islands). However, if you know the right people, you will find this site's location in your mail box sometime in your career.
There is a reason as to why it is so "artistically primitive". Developers/ Designer/ Meshers all live and breath VR. Like architects (in training), they need to spend time in places that are "ugly", so they will not keep trying to enhance them, tinkering with the environment, OR unconsciously duplicate them.
If you stay around often enough and are accepted by a few admin types, you will gain access to a "white board" and or "white spot". A white board will allow you to play scenes (or view other places you have access to) on the vWorld. Thus you can show off various pieces you are working on. (note: you can only see a whiteboard if you have one OR you have been invited to view it). A white space allows you to "step outside" the normal v-space to a small developer space. This allows you to show anything.. including hyper-realistic materials in this little "bubble" of whitespace. Again you have to be invited into a bubble to see the contents.
As a matter of designer, these white tools are the backbone of the site. Everything else is just "filler" to make being here a little more interesting.
Note: This is a place of developers, Gods of the Vworld. On top of that, here the people with white spaces can be godlike. If you bother one of them, they can stick you into a white space (a forced invite glitch exploit), unleash something awful upon you (greyware mostly - being digested by a giant sand worm seems popular recently). Your avatar then experiences all the suffering and if they are truly awful, they have a jack lock exploit added so you have to feel it to the bitter end.
Thus you make come here to track down a developer or wares maker, but realize that you are at a disadvantage. And the net is not always a friendly place.
Actually several islands, but we count them as one
You can find this design in a number of places if you waunder the ways.
*In an Ancient's RingWorld.
*In The Lake of Time, just off The Road, near The City, you will find these islands.
*In The Astral Sea.
It seems to have many echos in many realms.
The Paleo Achipeligo is a spiral cluster of atoll islands. In English, a ring shaped set of island islands on the rims of undersea volcanoes.
Each Island represents a different geological Age (or Earth or Earthlike worlds). The lagoons (which are quite large as are the islands) are sealed so that sea creatures inside them can not swim out into the general ocean. The islands vary in size. The innermost island is the Cambrian island and has Cambrian sea creatures in it's lagoon. All of the inner islands are completely barren. Each sucessive island outward on the spiral represents a later geological age.
Cambrian Island is completely barren with no plant on animal life on it. In it's lagoon are a wide variety of aquatic Philae, including some that are extinct elsewhere. There are many strangle body arrangements including Halucinegea, an animal with 7 pairs of limbs. Many animals have hard shells. The lagoon is fairly shallow.
Ordovician Island is also bare. Creatures found in it's lagoon include: sponges (Porifera), corals (Cnidaria), bryozoans, brachiopods, trilobites, snails (gastropods), clams (pelecypods), squid-like animals (cephalopods), crinoids (Echinodermata).
Silurian Island has a few land plants and coral reefs in it's lagoon. Also within the lagoon are: bryozoans, brachiopods, trilobites, snails (gastropods), clams (pelecypods), squid-like animals (cephalopods), crinoids (Echinodermata),
Devonian Island is the first island to have land animals. They are all insects. Sharks, brachiopods and trilobites live in it's lagoon along with sea lilies and rugose corals.
Carboniferous Island is covered in dense fern jungles. and has 3 foot dragonflys, 6 foot amphibians and 10 foot centipedes. The air on this lagoon is very oxygenated, you will feel energized by it. However, any fire will cause practical fireballs.
Perminan island is the largest. In is an active volcano, much like the Big Island of Hawaii. It's climate is desert and is inhabited by large reptiles like the fin-backed Dimetrodon. It is the last island to have trilobites in it's lagoon.
There are three islands that represent the three ages of dinosaurs. The Triassic Island in mostly swamp. It has large mammal-like reptiles in addition to dinosaurs.
The Jurassic Island is mostly Coniferous jungle. Giant Redwood can be found here. It is inhabited by large tree eating dinos like: Stegasaurus, Apatasaurus and Brachiosaurus and the dinos that eat them like: Allosaurus.
And the Cretaceous Island in mostly grass lands. It is inhabited by grass eating dinos like: Tricerotops and Anklosaurus and by the dinos who eat them like: Tyranosaurus and veloceraptor. There are also lizard-men here.
Eocene island, has a large, raised Plateu that is high enough to still be in the ice age (like Killamanjaro) The Plateu is inhabited by mammoths and the Neanderthals and saber-toothed Cats who hunt them. It also has lower ellavations that are warmer. There are cave men here as well as other hominids of every kind.
If you use these islands, you might need to browse wikipedia to refresh your memory as to what some of these animals are.
This small group of island is pretty far out, hundreds of miles from the next piece of earth. There are five; three are just minor atolls. There is a large rocky island with difficult access, no harbor and no water. Finally there is Henningman Island, smaller but habitable.
Discovered and forgotten several times, it took a while to colonize it. When the Stepping Fish got into a difficult storm, it was helped out by the prisoners it transported. The captain was so thankful, that he offered them freedom of a sort - they were fated to repent for their crimes far from their homes. Here, at least nobody would order them around, or force to work. They could build their own future.
The small colony grew and shrank. After initial problems with a lack of women, the population stabilized on about four hundred people, which was too much for the island. When they were about to be declared an official colony, they asked the crown to be relocated elsewhere. Their wish was granted and a larger island found, all of them moved away. A few of them returned in the next decades. Now it is a quiet place, that used to be larger.
Flattown is a good sized island in the Pymean Delta that empties into the Western Ocean. It is dead center in the flow just after the Northern Cole and the Western Cole merge into the Pymean River. It is a ten minute trip by pole boat to the shorelines. It is about an hour and some to get down to Old Town dock or two hours getting back.
Here the fishing and hunting is good. The lands (mostly) protected by the levies around it are fertile. While Soy for feed is the main crop (shipped up rivers), any number of other crops are planted. The buildings are an odd mix of ramshackle wood and brick. The main business in the town is "stop overs" for river boats going up and down the Delta. There is a small entertainment district which employs most of the population of Flattown, providing things that more respectable ports of call don't provide.
The Island was just called Flat by the boaters. The village here is called a town because most boat owners won't or can't (by charter) stop at the villages along the river... only the towns.
This Island is cross posted with the villages
It is a small place, round atoll with some earth and a bit of greenery. No one lives here, there is a seep if you don't mind the slightly salty water.
The main feature is a fine harbor, built during the last war, now left to the elements. The navy used this place to protect damaged ships and do some basic reconstructions, some wrecks may be found around it. No trees were left after that time, but a small patch of coconut palms was planted when the war was over. It tries to survive the winds and birds.
The only other preserved structure is a small beacon, inhabited by crabs.
It is a close-knit archipelago without a permanent settlement. Deep in subarctic waters, it wasn't discovered for some time. The large number of seals made it quite popular, the many sharp rocks less so. The seals were butchered within a few decades, ships sink here until today.
Attempts to set up a colony failed, the place is cold, windy and rainy, all colonists gave up and returned home. Now it just sees the odd merchanter passing once a year.
- Desperation Island - northernmost, here crash the most ships and remains are strewn all around. The rock contains just enough greenery to starve on. Some five miles from its closest neighbor, most survivors gather their breath and move on. There is a provisorial cover constructed.
- the Northern, Landro, and Lifesaver Island are the remains of the original volcano, each better for a stay than the one before. There is food, water and a few shacks to await for rescue. Landro has a peak of over four hundred yards, Lifesaver is the flattest and most of the year covered from winds.
- the Mean Children are a set of rocks and islets spread around the eastern side. It is suggested to not approach them unless in good weather and with good maps.
Rabbits have been brought to the islands and seem to do well, rats were also part of the shipment. Both have multiplied wildly, up to the point where cats had to be introduced to limit them and have since gone feral. They keep the pests at bay now, the birds keep to the many rocky outcroppings. If you try, you can survive here until someone arrives.
A large atoll with a few small islets, the biggest of them is completely overbuilt with houses. They are the remains of an abandoned military facility. For some reason the place became disputed between several kingdoms; now it is forgotten. The fortified houses are very hardy and will last for years. The inside is spartan, the lagoon makes it a good place to weather a storm; there is nothing to eat or drink though. There are some weapons buried on the island, well preserved in oil. Otherwise it's looted down to bare walls.
The islands, named after a captain Morningdale, who first sighted them, but couldn't land at the time, are quite remote from most routes. It is cold here and the weather is not friendly. All islands are of volcanic origin, with steep cliffs complicating the access. There are some seals and whales live in nearby waters, about the only reason why ships come here.
It took several attempts to colonize them, now there are over two hundred souls.
The archipelago consists of:
- Morningdale Island - the largest of them, with the best access, it was the place of the first colony. After the volcano came alive and exploded, the colonists evacuated. The damage wasn't that horrible, but they prefer to stay away from it. Only the whalers camp here.
- Bird Island houses the colony now, it is smaller but appears safe. Named after the large colonies of birds that are ever-present.
- Inhospitable was sailed around several times, until an expedition managed to get to its inside. The cliffs have in places over two hundred yards, this place will one day be the dream location of mountaineers. Now it is mostly ignored.
The colonists live from fishing. Agriculture is sparse and animals survive, but do not thrive... some of the introduced animals have died out on their own.
It is a classic small island in the north pacific. However, it has a small artificial volcano and a number of ruined buildings. This was once a "lair" of a mad scientist/ super villian. The buildings are futuristic, but show massive damage, fire damage, and small arms hits. The buildings look to be stripped of most of the intersting technology, and some of the other parts. There are some personal effects still there though, and some really awful art on the walls. If you search, you will see the underground access points. The various underground complexes and tunnels are mostly collapsed and not as stripped as the above ground places. Most of the monorail system and the satellite launch pad actually seems intact. If you could get the power plant going again, they could work.
If you visit this island for too long, you will eventually be greated by some agents with dangerous looking blasters.
(I have another mad scientist lab in the works).
A location marking roughly half the distance between the Western and Eastern continents of a world, this island derives its name from the fact that the North-Eastern portion of the island looks like an eagles head in profile. In particular, the Eagles eye is a dormant volcano, which is the source of the hot springs that liberally dot this uninhabited island.
While the hot springs have minor restorative properties for small injuries and in general relieves tiredness, there is a hidden danger in soaking in them. A species of tiny crabs reside in these hot springs and their legs exude a substance that paralyses human nerves within seconds once in contact with skin.
As its name indicates, the prominent landmark on this island is a lake at its centre by the name of Lake of Mirror. This island has a tropical climate and is lush with greenery and teeming with wildlife. Tribes of primitive human live here in peace.
The natives of the island believe that gazing into the lake on a cloudless sunny day allows one to gaze into ones souls. The shamans of the native tribes often gather on such days on the shores of the lake to meditate and exchange lures with each other as well a undergoing the ritual of cleansing ones soul of impurities. In addition, the youths of the tribes come to consult the lake for their *true names on their 14th birthdays.
* The children of the tribes are all named at birth by their parents. But once a child reaches adulthood, which for the tribes is the age of 14, this childhood name is not in use anymore. Instead, the adult has to find his/her true name. According to tribal custom, an adults true name is discerned via consultation with the Lake of Mirror.
Ships are passing with some frequency between the islands, minding their distance due to treacherous underwater riffs. Sometimes they pass but dozens of miles from Bufferton.
Bufferton is the only survivor of a shipwreck. He will most happily welcome any visitors. He lives pretty well - in a sturdy hut, raising a large number of animals and is quite the expert in fishing by now. He will have a difficulty bringing it up, but will agree immediately to a journey home, or anywhere, today, this minute. Some of the animals can be slaughtered or taken alive for the journey, a few he'd like to spare and set free, as they were his friends for several years.
It is not that simple. The ship went under because of damage sustained in a fight. A vampire has gotten on board and started picking on the sailors. They killed him eventually and got stranded on this island. One of them was infected. What happened after, nobody will ever talk about.
The vampire lives now in caves, a few miles from Bufferton. They have an agreement: he will be left alive and care for the animals; the vampire will not bother him and help as much as possible. The animals serve as his food. A little better than a feast, after which he would starve.
They have been actually friends, old Bufferton and he. They do talk on occasion and are still friendly, except, for Bufferton being terribly sure that one day, the hunger of the creature will be too great, or he will appear too weak... he must get out of the place.
The vampire is not strictly evil. He will learn of a ship landing and may try to get out of his own. If Bufferton goes, he'll go. He will stay in cover for as long as possible (and he was a sailor before, so he knows about ships).
Depending on how long it takes to get to civilization and how attentive is the crew, they may never learn of this passenger, witness a few strange events, or have a vampire problem on their hands. Bufferton will probably try to hide the evidence, still very afraid for his life.
The island is a mile in size, with flagpoles set up in the sea around it flying yellow flags. It has a stream and plenty of easily harvestable fruit, but the people on it are suffering from a virulent plague and have been quarantined here to avoid infecting those on the mainland. Anyone landing here and staying for longer then a few minutes has a chance of catching the plague.
Light Water is not really an island as Surface Dwellers call them. It is a good sized sea mount with a broad top plain, that is a good eight to ten fathmoms below the surface. Here, The Lemurian/ SeaFolk live in the relative shallows of their "island" (like they do in the relative shallows close to the main lands). They herd fish in their kelp forest, but mostly partake of the great schools/ herds/ pods that make their way by Light Water every year. There is also a mining operation here into the mount itself. The town here is quite prosperous supporting a year round population. Its wealth comes from being a central trade location and a waypoint for Lemurian Clan Migrations. A few of their buildings nearly reach the surface. For those that can dive, say the town below is quite beautiful. There is a floating dock here, marking where Airships (surface ships or for those of the Light Blue Ocean) should dock.
See that rock, jutting out from the water? It's kinda round, if you want to, it resembles a boat. And it's west off the Kingdom's coast, that's why the name.
But it is badly accessible, took a few years to build that lighthouse. It's said the people, that need to vanish for a while, go there. I heard the old viceroy went there on his own, like into exile.
But it's not just a lighthouse. It keeps an eye out on pirates and enemy fleets. Well it used to, when the old king was around, he always expected that sort of thing. I think the new king is smarter than that. Now get me some grog.
Deep in the Eastern Passage, the Isle of Guilt raises its black mount, clearly of volcanic origin. There is but one specialty: nothing grows here, nothing at all. You will be lucky to find a strain of moss here, or an insect of any sort. And it is large enough to support some, a large lake is at its center, collecting water from the many rains.
They call it Guilt, ships leave here their mutineers to their fate. There is enough fish around, but soon will be they plagued by the lack of other foods. The life of a guilty man is short and miserable.
The water seems to be wholesome, yet most sailors avoid it unless they have to. It is a creepy place.
It is a large island far in the north without permanent settlement. There are shacks built by the sealers that regularly drop by during summer and autumn, the rest of the year it is empty. The coast is well mapped, nobody has yet bothered to look into its rocky inside.
The expeditions were less successful in the last years. Besides seals, there are large colonies of seabirds. One particularly annoying is the 'Mackerel Hound', an ugly large bird, a weak flyer but good swimmer. After a few attempts to harvest them for their long feathers, the birds started uniformly attacking any humans approaching their nests. Physically they are just a distraction, but they like to harass its targets en masse, and are able to spit out the highly acidic contents of their stomach, that can actually hurt unprotected skin.
The seals have learned to hang out around these birds, and what should be easy hunting has changed into veritable battles with declining profits and many injuries. The sealers are looking for ways to avoid them, or they'll have to abandon these grounds.
The island was named by its discoverer, who sought new fishing opportunities for mackerel. There are few fish around.
101) Chaffer Island
A minor trading port surrounded by larger and more prosperous ports and islands, Chaffer stands out in its very laid back approach to maritime trade. There is a certain expectation of polite conversation and gossiping that must be met before trading is seen too. A pair of merchants might spend three or four hours chatting, drinking, and such before wrapping up their business. Many busy merchants find the island and its customs infuriating, and take their business elsewhere. But the bonds created by this long period of conversation has created an informal league of traders who know of each other's families, histories, and exploits. Chaffer Island traders are much more trusting of each other (unless they know who is really the sort to leave on a stone island) and they pass trade tidbits and news among each other.
The Island itself is middling in size, temperate, and aside from constant gossip it is also known for it's mellow tea and fishcakes.
102) Arrowford Island
Arrowford Island is a good sized island in a good sized river than runs wide and deep in that part. It has a good stand of trees, two hills, a small pond, and a lot of rats. The locals use it for the occasional bird hunts. The kids use it as their "place away from the grown ups".
On a Friday night or any night with a bright moon, usually in the deep part of Summer, all manner of small boats find their way out to the island. Youth from both sides of the river slide in, tie their boats off, and join the party. There are three places where people congregate on the island. On any given night, one is in action. Music, drinking, eating, and everything else you would expect, happens. Many camp on the island, others sleep in their boats, and a few stupidly move their boats back to their home docks (or have a designated captain to do it). Of course there have been incidents on the island.
While the number of assaults is beyond number, there have only been three deaths. One was particularly grusome. That was Jackie Gallows. The details have only gotten bigger and more dark in the thousands of retellings over the decades; and they started quite grim. Some say Jackie haunts the island.
Jilly at the Diner swears that the Jackie's ghosts stopped someone assaulting her; his body was found in a tree the next day. Jilly's story is not that uncommon, though most people won't speak about their brush with Jackie. Some were just scared shitless; others were taunted/tormented. A few Jackie stories that people are willing to talk about, are truly macabe.
If you were taking stock in this sort of thing, and listening to the stories, you would notice the same trend that Old Man Munden - the local self appointed historian - has, that there are more stories and that Jackie is doing more and more damage to living people. More people are being frightened to near madness, more people are being hurt, and with two more recent deaths on the island (both attributed to Jackie taking vengence), Jackie is becoming more than merely restless. It is like she is getting stronger and more violent.
And she is no longer on the island.
Jeff Sanders was making out with his girl in his car on the riverbank, and perhaps going too far. Jackie - gruesome and supernatural - appeared. She shattered his windshield and destroyed all four tires. Both kids ran while the car was being mangled.
The evidence is pretty compelling, something happened to that truck. If you listed to Old Man Munden, he is telling everyone who will listed that Jackie is comming for them. Eventually nothing will slate her desire for blood.
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