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, 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.
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 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).