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The Dragon Isles


The Dragon Isles consist of no less than thirty or so separate islands, of varying sizes, in a fifty-mile chain running on an approximately north-south line about thirty miles off of the eastern coast.

The Dragon Isles

The Dragon Isles consist of no less than thirty or so separate islands, of varying sizes, in a fifty-mile chain running on an approximately north-south line about thirty miles off of the eastern coast.

Dragon Home Island

Dragon Home lies about twenty miles from the southern end of the chain. The island is a rough wedge shape with the thin end pointing a little west of north. At a little over five miles long and a little under three miles wide at its broadest point, it is by far the largest island in the chain.

In addition to a variety of plant and insect life Dragon Home supports several species of lizards, iguanas, tortoises and other reptiles found nowhere else. The largest of these, and the islands’ top predator, the giant rock lizard is essentially a larger version of the common rock lizard found throughout the mountainous regions of the mainland. Growing up to twelve feet long this is a truly impressive animal and its resemblance to the mythical beast is where the island, and indeed to entire chain, got its name.

Fisherman’s Cove

Fisherman’s Cove, a sheltered bay situated on the western coast of Dragon Home, is the site of the only permanent human settlement on the Dragon Isles. This small fishing village, also called Fisherman’s Cove, is home to only fifty or so families.

Being professional fisher-folk they are expert sailors and, at times when the fishing is poor, will happily ferry crazy mainlanders (like the PCs) around the islands, for a suitable (highly negotiable) fee of course.

There is a regular ferry service between Fisherman’s Cove and the mainland. This runs once a week (weather permitting) and also serves as a mail and parcel delivery service. However, since the islanders are largely self-sufficient, this is barely breaking even and there are constant rumours of its imminent closure.

The Dragon’s Causeway

The Dragon’s Causeway is a line of six smaller islands, each about half a mile across, strung out in a ten mile long line to the south of Dragon Home. Offering rich ocean currents and the protection of high craggy cliffs, these are a haven for seabirds of all kinds. Other than this they have no indigenous life forms.

Maxon’s Island

About five miles north of Dragon Home lies a roughly egg shaped granite column, rising a little over one thousand feet out of the sea.

There is one sheltered cove where a boat may land safely. Here there is a small sandy beach, boxed in by high cliffs on all sides. The cliffs are extremely hard to climb and there appears to be no way up. The only other feature is a natural cave in the rear of the cove.

Three hundred years ago this was the island retreat of the hermit Maxon, a holy man who famously wanted to be left alone to "commune with the gods of wind and ocean". Notoriously cantankerous, and possible just a little insane, he would turn all away. It is said that even the monthly supply boats where required to simply deposit their cargoes on the beach and leave.

The island is long deserted now but legend has it that Maxon’s ghost still haunts the cliffs, turning away any boat that attempts a landing.

Whale Island

Whale Island is a small, roughly circular island barely a quarter of a mile in diameter, located five miles from the northern end of the chain.

It is little more than a bare and inhospitable lump of granite, but it does have one redeeming feature. Two long spurs of rock extend from the southern and eastern sides, curving together to form a natural harbour some half a mile across.

During the winter this island serves as whaling station (hence the name) but in the summer, when the whales all migrate to cooler northern waters, it is virtually deserted.


The jagged rocks and treacherous waters around the Dragon Isles can prove fatal to an unwary sailor, especially in rough seas or poor visibility. For this reason the chain boasts no less than six lighthouses (on the northern tip of Dragon Home, the southern island of the Causeway, on Whale Island, about halfway between Dragon Home and Whale Island and one each on the northernmost and southernmost islands in the chain).

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
September 10, 2007, 8:58
I have linked it to One Hundred Nine Islands (and I'm not sure if the numbering isn't off now, but anyway...). It is a solid background piece with enough to detail to stage the next adventure in. If something is missing, then it may be a little extra spark... but it's pretty good already.
Voted Scrasamax
September 11, 2007, 3:30
Very loose and ready for interpretation, this submission gave me a feeling of Galapagos islands, but I didnt notice any finches so it is all good. This is a solid base to build from.
Voted herrozerro
October 5, 2010, 12:32
I like them.
Voted Cheka Man
October 5, 2010, 14:31
A nice little island chain.
Voted valadaar
November 8, 2013, 11:20
A good set of islands salted with a few nice details.

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       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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