Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Deadwind Archipelago (Part 3)

(There are multiple places I found this image. If anyone knows the original artist let me know and I'll make a link here.)

Neverage Isle

Nothing ever ages on Neverage Isle. Eggs never hatch, ruins never crumble, butterflies can't be. An ancient predator stalks its cancer jungle, hoarding the agelessness for itself.

Among the ancient toppled trees, grown so large their biology can't handle their size, are pre-apocalyptic ruins untarnished by time, hidden prehistoric eggs not yet hatched. A glimmering golden tower with gaudy-colored murals and perfectly waxed floors remains lost in a brush-choked valley, containing treasures ripe for the picking. Its inhabitants were probably eaten by the apex predator.

I went with a giant tumor-y flailsnail. Silly, I know. But somehow I liked the idea of a slow, stretchy, careful predator. It buries itself in the sands, waiting months for prey, to swallow it up in a moment. Or it waits, exhausting its prey, a stealthy mountain waiting to unleash an avalanche of sticky flails. 

That, or any sort of predator that, given enough time, could learn its way to apex predator.

Obviously, there must be some selectiveness to the whole never-aging thing. Metabolism functions. Things can die if they are killed. Things can starve to death. Things that don't probably subsist on fish just off the shore. Some disease must function? I dunno.

Some Encounters/Ideas:
1. Garcia Alberto de Greel, Duke of the destroyed Kingdom, obsessed with immortality and finding the fountain of youth (and found it - the whole island), scared and alone.
2. The Apex is swallowing a beached whale whole.
3. A tumorous man grown large sacs of flesh out of his back, while never aging has nevertheless declined in faculties. Surprisingly quick and utterly savage.
4. Four thousand year old cheese in an unrefrigerated box in the Golden Tower. Worth a small fortune to cheese aficionados.
5. An unhatched Roc egg perched precariously atop a long abandoned and wind-eroded nest. Any sous chef or bird breeder would pay a fortune for it.
6. A banana-sized chrysalis hanging from a dew-y leaf. Take it off the island and the Millennium Butterfly will hatch, slowly. It will take months or years. When it finishes it will grant those who witness it a Wish.
7. Giant macrophage rolling over the land with its long sticky tendrils, seeking intruders.
8. Dimenis Huzhoksky has been castaway and seven months pregnant for seven years. She wants off this bloody island so she can rid herself of this damned child, who's grown intelligent in the womb and has been kicking her insides opportunistically. If born this child will eventually turn into the Anti-Christ.

Mansion on the Waves

A baroque mansion on the surface of the sea. The entire thing is an illusion.

And not a very powerful one, either. One can easily clip through any part of it - the story-tapestried walls, the mahogany floors, the marble ceiling, the taxidermy furniture. Whatever mansion this is based on, they had wealth and taste.

The only real bit is a sandbar in which the illusion's source is based. And the carnivorous fish whose spawning grounds rest in the reef in the illusory basement. There, in the dark, fake stone and sharp coral intermix at uncompositional angles.

Buried in the sandbar is a wizard's time capsule. A few spell scrolls, some curiosities, and the skull of Duma Borin which is producing the mansion illusion. The illusion can be dispelled by targeting the skull. But if you don't, the illusion will move as you move the skull. Someone can think of devious uses for this.

Other possibilities:
- A spell in an open book, or otherwise some useful knowledge on the second floor. Players would need to gain elevation somehow to see into it.
- The skull of Duma Borin, when touched, turns the illusion real.
- The skull teleports you to the actual mansion in its actual location, a few hundred miles to the west.
- Reef monsters. Something coming from multiple directions that grapples and pulls. Mini-kraken?

Fate Eater Isle

A near-violet coral outcropping barely rising above the waves. Here one may shed their name and destiny upon Tiamat's altar. Waves on the coral make sounds like electricity. Other than that it is utterly silent - though the wind blows it makes no sound.

Upon the low peak is a beholding hand of red coral, upon that is the altar. There are two things:

The Rainbow Coral Knife can carve away your heritage or your future. Cut your ears, flay your scales, or barber your beard and you will become a human. Bring the knife to your face, cut it off, and it will take your future. Any prophesies or destinies are now void. They belong to Tiamat now.

The Obsidian Burning Basin can consume your name or your past. Something precious, something central to your identity must be burnt, and it must be watched to burn. This will consume your name. All will know you as Nameless until given a new one. Wedding rings, family portraits, mementos, tattoos on skin, any of those will usually work.

Burning your past is a little harder. It's not as easy to rid yourself of as your future, heritage, or name. It requires herculean effort, and it will never be worth it. Ever. Not that it'll matter once the ritual is complete. Whatever sins committed during the act of wiping them out will be forgotten, along with everything else in your past, provided you can gather the necessary reagents. It won't be easy.

Pick setting-specific things for the ritual. Wax candles from the Honeyed Hosts of Glazz'gibrar, Everfrost Tulips from the Lich Queen's court, The Basket Witch's beating heart, a pound of flesh from the Furies' justicar.


  1. The timeless isle is fantastic. It got my brain all excited at the possibilities, which is what good material is for. It’d be a great place for some paradoxical dinosaurs. In keeping with your ‘eventual apex predator,’ I think I’ll use a massive jellyfish-esque monster. Jellyfish are technically immortal anyway, and the suckers keep growing as long as there is food. Sky jellyfish? Tendrils coming from the clouds, hefting the whale off the beach. Also enjoyed the time capsule. Keep up the great work!

    1. Heck yeah! Giant sky jellyfish was on my list for possible apex predators, along with: Most Dangerous Game Guy, Landshark, Giant Crab, Huge Amorphous Macrophage, and Ancient Semi-Autonomous Mobile Gundam Suit.

      Glad you enjoyed it!