Xenos is perpetually shrouded in mists that reveal tantalizing glimpses of the island as they swirl around. High cliffs of obsidian eliminate any veiw of the interior, save for a gap opening into an inland bay that can occasionally be seen through the mist. The passage is treacherous, and few ships have managed it. Once through, though, Xenos seems a paradise that is a veritable riot of life.
The interior is lush jungle, with abundant wildlife. Food is easy enough to come by: several types of fruit can be obtained from trees, and there is an almost ridiculous population of wild goats. Fresh water is likewise easy to obtain from numerous springs.
Of course, it has its downsides. The island is also positively infested with venomous snakes and scorpions, and there are large predatory cats that seldom distinguish between the goats which are their natural prey and any exploring sailors. But the biggest drawback is that it is remarkably hard to leave Xenos.
Sailors find themselves constantly turning inland, or find that vital peices of their ships have stopped working. Should a ship cast off in the bay, they always get turned around in the ever-present mist and run aground on the beach. The harbor is littered with the rotting hulks of other ships, though they are hard to see in the mist. The only way to leave Xenos is with the assistance of the Three.
The Three live in the center of the island, and are the only inhabitants, aside from the animals. They live in crude dwellings arranged around what was clearly some large obsidian statue of a massive, three headed creature. However, time and the elements have made it impossible to determine more than that.
The Three themselves are very strange. They have no names beyond their collective designation. They seldom appear the same way twice; one group might encounter them as beautiful young women, and the next as ancient hags, and the next as warriors. There is no limit on what they might appear as; any combinations of race, size, and gender is possible. They do generally appear the same way to people who have already seen them. They also seem to know almost everything, and some have hailed them as oracles.
Anyone who wants off the island will have to convince the Three to allow them to leave. Fortunately, the Three are always willing to bargain. However, they do not do or permit anything that does not benefit them in some way, although their motives are often hard to guess or make sense of.
The Three are actually the fragmented remnants of the soul of the Chimaera, a horrible creature with the heads of a snake, a lion, and a goat, and the tail of a scorpion. The Chimaera almost destroyed the world once, in the ancient past, and was subsequently broken into three discrete entities to prevent such an occurence from ever happening again, and then imprisoned on the sacred island of Xenos. The Three have been plotting its escape, reformation, and return to power ever since, and every crew that bargains with them puts them one tiny step closer to that goal. Even a seemingly innoccous request will aid them in some infintesimal fashion. The Three are ageless, immortal, and very, very patient.
Possibly the PCs could become trapped on Xenos, and have to bargain with the Three or find some other way off the island, if one exists. Or possibly some religious sect has gotten a message from their god, alerting them to the the Three’s plans. The Three have already made significant progress, and while they still have much to do, it would be better if someone could undo the damage that has already been done. Perhaps the Three’s reputation as oracles has become common knowledge, and people want to start seeking their counsel…