5 Votes


Hits: 7298
Comments: 6
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.1
Condition: Normal
ID: 722


December 31, 1969, 7:00 pm

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The Isle of Crustaciano


The Merchant Crustaciano, a bizarre crab-like being, runs a famous trading center from an muddy island in the Middle Sea called the Isle of Crustaciano, a name which makes merchants and moneylenders everywhere salivate and tremble with greed.

In the tranquil center of the Middle Sea, there is a small island surrounded by muddy beaches, sandbars, and silt shallows. The isle is barren and horseshoe-shaped, and would be otherwise unremarkable if it weren’t for the massive, gold-and-jewel encrusted, palace crouched atop it. The mud beaches of the island are the site of a large marina, usually full to capacity with ships even in the worst of weather, and a sizable community has grown between the palace and the marina. The community is composed of seven full-sized bazaars and three districts of houses. In the bazaars, goods from all over Creation can be found, from such standard goods as the ever-present mudfruit and maize, to esoteric items such as Xoct’s Sauce, Atosian metals, alkahest, and even trained Tyrant Lizards. One bazaar is a massive slave market, and even the most rarely obtained slaves can be found here. The town is unremarkable, much like one would find in any half-affluent trading city. The real draw, however, is not these amazing bazaars, nor the staggering amount of goods and money that change hands on a minute-to-minute basis here, it is the palace, known as the Palace de Crustaciano. The massive thing looks as if it were built from a jeweled golden and silver coral reef. A great set of stairs leads up to the always-open doors of the place. Within, a massive hall stretches off into a distance that the island that it sits on simply could not contain, and it is, obviously, a magical space. Within this jewelled hall, the floor, walls, and ceiling are much like the exterior of the building. They are a coral reef in which every coral, every plant, every fish is jewelled and of precious metals. There is no water, and the fish swim through the air. Within this coral treasure hall, there is a bazaar that beats every bazaar outside, and which has everything they have and more. If one is to take the staggering task of reaching the end of this place, one would come to the home of the Merchant Crustaciano himself. Within, the massive, crab-like entity runs the entire island and all the bazaars below. He is assisted in his administration by Runs-Like-Deer, a former forest barbarian who is his freed slave, and Shadowleap, a fey that joined Crustaciano out of the pure chaos and mercurial-ness of her faerie soul. The crab-man runs his city purely because he loves trade, and loves to see it conducted. He keeps the city closely policed, and has a strict code of laws posted at the docks in gold and silver that say:

I. Thou shalt not obstruct trade
II. Thou shalt not seize property without reimbursement
III. Thou shalt remain civil and non-violent

-If the PCs need a strange or bizzare item.
-If the PCs are searching for a rare relic that is out on the open market.
-If one of the PCs has been pressed into slavery.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

August 7, 2004, 7:37
This is certainly an interesting setting. I would have given it a higher rating, but I would like to know more about Crustaciano as a character other than being a large crab-like entity.

I do also have a few questions for you to consider. Since the island is mud and silt, what keeps it from being eroded away by the action of the ocean. This might also be what makes the island have a viable port, since a viable port will need to offer respite and protection from storms and rough seas.

I imagined the palaces and shops having an organic look to them, as if they grew out of the mud made of gleaming gold and jewels. I could also see two foot long shrimp like creatures that saw to the daily maintainence and cleaning of the island. The more I think about it, the more I put the animals associated with a reef into the island, a half-moray sherrif, loyal to Crustaciano of course. An octopod creature as a rival, since octopus eat crabs and such.

Just my two cents
Barbarian Horde
January 27, 2005, 23:13
scrasamax- i like your version
January 27, 2005, 23:47
Yes, well, not one of my better submissions. Go look at "In the House of the Yellow Priest" or "The Boots Too Fine For The Earth" or something.
May 1, 2013, 23:04
I love the picture painted here, and the crab merchant himself is .. Odd :)
Voted valadaar
March 6, 2014, 19:49
Only voted
Voted Dozus
November 7, 2016, 7:47
I'm surprised this is rated as low as it is. I rather like it. Great atmosphere and imagery, and some bonus points for the names that perfectly match the few characters. So what if it's not majorly plot driven? Sometimes you might just want to throw in a neat place for its own sake.

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Ideas  ( Items ) | August 7, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

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