Isle of Dread

The Isle of Dread is located in the southern expanse of the Wyn Myr Ocean; a region known as the Shining Sea. It lies west of the continent of Azoria and southwest of the continent of Corwyn.

Long ago, the Isle was populated by the Olman people, until a terrible catastrophe, which destroyed their civilization and gave the island its ominous name.

Today, the few remaining Olman live in seven secluded villages along the southern coast of the Isle. The Olman tribes in these villages are quite superstitious and never venture inland past the walls of Tanaroa; their largest village. Inland, the island is quite dangerous, with dinosaurs, and other giant savage beasts roaming its interior.

Additionally, several pirate gangs have established bases in secluded coves on the northern coasts of the island. The Isle of Dread has always captured the imaginations of adventurers; for it is the legendary home to the great, black shadow pearls; long rumored to be inside of a lost Olman temple located on the island. These pearls are considered magical artifacts of incredible value.


Local History

It is believed that the island was completely uninhabited by humans until about 3,000 years ago. Around that time, great fleets of Olman galleys, barges, and large outrigger canoes left the continent of Za'har, sailed east across the Shining Sea, discovered the Saffron Isles, then eventually landed here.

The Olman soon founded a colony in the volcanic center of the island, which eventually became the city-state of Thanaclan.

Thanaclan soon became one of the wealthiest and most influential cities in the far-flung Olman Empire, thanks in large part to the great amount of treasures harvested from the islands's natural resources.

To protect their wealth and their city, the Olman of Thanaclan built a magnificent barrier across the only lowland approach to the interior of the island. Called "the Wall," this barrier of stone and timber was seen as an impregnable barrier to any potential invader.

This barrier, which took decades to complete, impressed all visitors to Thanaclan with its sheer magnitude and massive gates. With their wall completed, the Olman of Thanaclan began to prosper beyond their wildest imaginations.

For generations, Thanaclan was a glorious success, but the Olman of the city could not have known they had an unseen enemy.


Long before the first Olman settlers landed here, the Isle of Dread had been in the possession of the Kopru; a race of evil, aquatic creatures.

The Kopru themselves had once commanded a great empire, but by this date, that empire was in sharp decline. The Kopru had a reputation for three things; their great intelligence, their cruelty, and their absolute devotion to their deity; Demogorgon.

Working with the Demon-Lord, the Kopru labored for decades in their plans to destroy the Olman trespassers. Kopru sorcerers and priests labored in dark subterranean lairs unfolding their vile plot; the creation of the largest black pearl the world had ever seen. This was no ordinary pearl, but a powerful magical artifact called a Shadow Pearl.

Spawned by a gigantic fiendish oyster, and imbued with Demogorgon's demonic powers, the pearl was both irresistibly beautiful and deadly. When the great black Shadow Pearl was completed, The Kopru released the pearl in a place where they knew the Olman would find it. The trap was set.

Olman pearl fishers soon found the ebony prize and triumphantly brought it back to Thanaclan, where the pearl was ensconced on the altar of the largest Olman temple, as a trophy from their Gods. But once in place, the curse of the pearl began, corrupting everything it came in contact with.

Soon the Olman Gods turned their backs on Thanaclan. The effects the curse grew ever stronger, and the resulting calamities grew. Terrible storms battered the island, crops failed, wild beasts began rampaging through the city, and a eerie fog descended upon Thanaclan.


Then, the very ground beneath the city began to shake violently. In a panic, the Olman priests tried to use magic to cast the pearl into another dimension. But this final enchantment only sealed their doom. The pearl opened and an oily, green mist poured forth, engulfing the entire city.

Soon after, a great explosion rocked the central plateau of the island, opening up a gateway between worlds. In a rush of filthy water, the entire city of Thanaclan was consumed by the Abyssal domain of Demogorgon.

The entire region was saturated by this dark force, and those not immediately killed were driven insane. This catastrophe became known as the Savage Tide; and gave birth to the ominous name: "Isle of Dread."

Recent Events

For many centuries, the Isle of Dread was thought to be nothing more than a legend, and it was viewed as nothing more than nautical folklore told and retold by seafaring explorers.


However, about thirty years ago, the Isle’s existence was confirmed by an explorer named Rory Barbarosa, who discovered the Isle while aboard his ship; the Gallivant. Barbarosa’s journal detailed the Isle and its location: thousands of miles to the south; deep within the Shining Sea.

Captain Barbarosa always intended to return to the Isle, but he ran afoul of a powerful wizard in Sasserine and suffered an untimely demise. However, the Gallivant, his map of the Isle, and his log survived. It was inevitable that word soon spread throughout Sasserine about the treasure-filled paradise Barbarosa had discovered.

Inspired by the tales recounted by Barbarosa and his crew, several groups of adventurers attempted to find the elusive Isle. Twenty-five years ago, one group actually hired Barbarosa's very own ship, although with a new captain and crew. Unfortunately, the treacherous return voyage to the Isle claimed the Gallivant, and many uncounted souls.

Finding the isle again seemed a lost cause until fifteen years ago, when Captain “Mad” Madsen, one of Barbarosa’s original crew, once again undertook the voyage south.

Madsen's ship; the Morningstar, survived the journey and Captain Madsen was able to create the first accurate sea charts that finally placed the long-lost Isle on official maps and sea-charts of the region.

One member of Captain Madsen’s crew on the Morningstar was a young woman named Larissa Iomundi. Even after returning to Sasserine, she was still so enamored with the island, she vowed to return.


A few years passed, and Larissa married a local aristocrat named Verik Vanderboren, who himself was a veteran explorer of the Sanjaara Jungle of Azoria.

She eventually told her husband about her prior journey. The two then decided to return to the Isle together. Their ultimate plans included forming a colony and establishing trade routes between Sasserine and the Isle of Dread.

Seven years ago, Verik and Larissa Vanderboren assembled a new crew of explorers, sailors, and colonists. For financial support, they approached Lord Zebulon Meravanchi; an extremely wealthy and influential noble from Sasserine, who gave them much-needed funds. He also sent along his brother Mathalay.

The expedition finally arrived at the Isle after a long and difficult voyage. Larissa's Journal showed the expedition stopped at the following locations on their journey: first, Port Blackwell, second, the ruins of Tamoachan, third, Castle Greenrock, fourth, the Axuxal Islands, and fifth, the Isle of Ruja.

Instead of pillaging or murdering the Olman natives of the Isle, as prior explorers had done, the Vanderborens instead gained their trust and respect. Verik and Larissa gave back equally, if not more, for what they took from the natives in trade.

A treaty was signed with the Olman tribes of the Seven Villages. In return, the newcomers were granted control of the small island of Temute on which to build their new colony, which they named "Farshore."

This fledgling colony has prospered for several years now

Locations on the Isle of Dread Map


Taken directly from the Journal of Larissa Vanderboren, below is an alphabetical list and detailed description for each of the locations on the attached map:

  • Aranea Lair: An arboreal village of cave-like webs, inhabited by dozens of Araneas, cursed shape-shifting creatures that have the bodies of spiders but human-like arms.
  • Ashfall Isle: A desolate rock, constantly in the shadow of Red Belcher's smokey plume. Few creatures can survive here, due to the ever-present noxious fumes.
  • Badwall Isle: A jagged islet with little vegetation and no shores to land on. Ships that pass too close to this isle discover that Wyverns make their home here, and sometimes crave food other than the local fish.
  • Blackfen: This swamp is the territory of several bickering tribes of troglodytes. These reptilian humanoids seldom travel far from their marshy home. The largest tribe dwells in the half-sunken ruins of an ancient Olman town. These foul creatures worship one of the "Infamous Seven;" a massive shambling mound named Burbalarg, which roams this area, and makes the region extremely dangerous.
  • Blisterhill Isle: This island of barren, stony slopes is studded with dozens of active geysers.
  • Bloodwater Lake: Located west of a large Lizard-folk village, this large lake is infested with dangerous menaces, including freshwater reptiles, and huge schools of piranha. The lake is named not for the hue of its waters, but for the ferocity of its denizens.
  • Burowao: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Great Wall of Tanaroa." Its village Chieftain is Teki
  • Cankerdark: The foul-smelling pits of this large cave network are more vertically aligned than horizontal. They are home to countless clinging and scuttling vermin.
  • Dark Mountain Pass: This ancient Olman tunnel once also served as a tomb. The natives say it is trapped and cursed to protect the graves from scavengers.
  • Dawa: One of seven Olman villages, located on a small adjacent island of the same name. Its village Chieftain is Ja'Kuli
  • Dragonhaunt Hollow: Here, under the canopy of the dense jungle, dwells one of the "Infamous Seven;" a massive Green Dragon named Reksor, which makes the region extremely dangerous.
  • Ember Lake: So named for the red, phosphorescent fish that dwell in its depths, Ember Lake is connected to the surrounding sea by several submerged channels. Aquatic reptiles such as plesiosaurs are common in these waters.
  • Emerald Isle: This lush, jungle isle is relatively safe and secluded. Its largest predators are dire boars, crocodiles, and the occasional anaconda. Several years ago, a small band of pirates set up a base here, in a shallow cove called "Rat's End."
  • the Encampment: This secluded cove has no actual name, but the natives say it was once home to a pirate base. Today, it is abandoned.
  • The Fangs of Zotzilaha: These massive twin volcanoes loom over the surrounding jungle. The natives believe that Zotzilaha; the Olman Bat-God, dwells somewhere in within these dangerous peaks. Once a year, natives from Tanaroa and other six Olman villages make a pilgrimage to a holy shrine, located high on the northernmost mountain, and leave offerings to appease the Bat-God and thereby ward off any future eruptions.
  • Fireshriek Isle: Although this island is dominated by an active volcano, the eruptions, although common, tend to be relatively minor. The western and southern sections are home to many packs of Terror Birds, isolated families of dire apes, and other, smaller creatures.
  • Fogmire: This thick jungle region is perpetually covered in thick, grey mist. The natives consider this mysterious region to be inhabited by demons and other evil creatures, and avoid it entirely.
  • Gargoyle Aerie: This inhospitable reach of ragged mountains is riddled with caves that serve as home to fierce gargoyles.
  • Glasswall Rift: A sizable rent in the mountainside here glitters by day, its razor-sharp walls of obsidian and volcanic glass are home to several Pteranodon nests and monstrous, web-spinning spiders. Tunnel entrances and pits in the rift's bed lead into the extensive caverns that riddle the Isle's foundations.
  • Griff Isle: The largest of the isles surrounding the mainland, this lush, green isle is named for the numerous flocks of hippogriffs that nest here.
  • Huhueteotl's Throne: Once a sizable Olman town, all that remains above the sunken swampland of this forgotten settlement is the black stone ziggurat bearing images of the Olman God of Fire. The natives say that on certain nights of the year, strange fires burn in the swamp, and sinister shapes can be seen moving through the ruins.
  • Kirikuka: One of seven Olman villages, located on a small adjacent island of the same name. Its Village Chieftain is Ka'lani
  • Lizardfolk Lair: Located east of Bloodwater Lake, this village is home to a large tribe of hostile lizardfolk. Just south of the village is the volcanic lake of mud called "Semuanya's Bath."
  • Lost Citadel: This ancient temple is built upon a terrace, cut into the peak of the tallest mountain on the isle's western edge, and is made of gleaming stone covered in an opalescent shimmer which is entirely unspoiled by the ravages of time. When not shrouded in clouds, the temple can sometimes be seen from the western sea or from certain angles, down on the plateau. The natives believe the Gods of Thanaclan sleep here, awaiting the day the isle reverts back to a paradise and they can rejoin their people once again. Legend has it; the temple courtyard contains two pools used to test souls. The "Pool of Truth;" filled with blood, and the "Pool of Beauty;" filled with crystal-clear water.
  • Mantru: The secrets of this mysterious village are known to very few beyond the edges of the isle's central plateau. The natives below the wall refuse to go near the place, and warn anyone else from doing so. In their tradition; it is "taboo."
  • Mora: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Great Wall of Tanaroa." Its village Chieftain is Ko'ata.
  • Nameless Isle: This island was never named by the Olman, but it is avoided by them. The natives believe dangerous, savage beasts dwell here, and none of the explorers who travelled to the island ever returned.
  • Panitube: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Great Wall of Tanaroa." Its village Chieftain is Uri'alo
  • Phanaton Village: This village is made up of entirely of wooden platforms strung throughout the tree-canopy. It is inhabited by Phanatons, native raccoon-like creatures about the size of a halfling.
  • Rat's End: An abandoned pirate base located on Emerald Isle; largely constructed from the husks of ruined ships.
  • Red Belcher Isle: An active volcano known as the "Red Belcher" makes this isle uninhabitable to all but a few flocks of tenacious wyverns and pteranodons.
  • Reefs: Six major reefs surround the Isle of Dread. Each is infested with dangerous sea creatures such as monstrous crabs, dire eels, and mashers. Perhaps most interesting is Thunder Reef, situated to the south of the island. The natives believe one of the "Infamous Seven;" a massive electric eel named Baargrauth, prowls these waters, feasting on any Olman who stray too far while fishing.
  • Rivenskull Cave: This is actually several dozen caverns connected by narrow fissures. The natives say the caves are inhabited by hostile Olman tribes, described as savage and mutated, with blue skin and horrific bone-like protrusions that can be used to impale the bodies of their enemies.
  • Scorpion Isle: This rugged island is infested with all manner of scorpions. The natives believe one of the "Infamous Seven;" a gigantic scorpion named Ceratta-katha, prowls this island.
  • Skinrazer Rock: Like Blisterhill Isle, dozens of geysers can be found on this inhospitable swath of stone that barely raises two-dozen feet above sea level at its highest point. In many places, the rock itself is searing hot to the touch, heated from below by pockets of lava and superheated steam.
  • Skyscar Peak: The highest peak on the Isle of Dread, the slopes of Skyscar Peak are said to be the favored nesting ground of a huge Roc.
  • Standing Stones: Ancient Olman ruins abound on this isle, but few can match these two-dozen immense monoliths. The natives say these enormous stones stand here to mark the tombs of ancient Olman rulers of Thanaclan.
  • Tanaroa: The largest of the seven Olman villages, revered by the natives for its "Wall," which serves as a mighty barrier between the Olman territory on the southern part of the Isle and the untamed jungles beyond. Its Chieftain is J'kal, who is assisted by his Witch-Doctor; M'vembi
  • Tar Pits: Often visited by the natives to acquire tar for crafts and boat-making, the pits also provide a necessary resource for the people of Farshore. The pits are extremely dangerous because one of the "Infamous Seven," a massive tyrannosaurus named Temauhti-tecuani, prowls the region.
  • Temple of the Jaguar: This ancient, abandoned temple was built by an extinct tribe of catlike humanoids known as the Rakasta.
  • Temute: This island, means "The Abandoned Place" in the Olman tongue, and is home to Farshore colony. It is surrounded by several islands of similar size, most of which contain an Olman village. This allows for frequent trade between the colonists and the natives.
  • Thanaclan: Once an important city-state in the sprawling Olman Empire, the natives call these ruins the "City of Broken Idols." The ruins sit upon a gigantic caldera in the center of the Isle; a place called the "central plateau."
  • Thanegioth River: The largest river on the Isle of Dread, its frequent rapids make it a poor choice for travel by boat. Additionally, the river ends in the heart of the Blackfen, not a place that many wish to find themselves.
  • Tunnel Entrance: This small coastal cavern on the far northern tip of the isle leads to a dangerous Troglodyte lair.
  • Usi: One of seven Olman villages, located on a small adjacent island of the same name. Its village Chieftain is Ale'oho
  • Valley of Madness: Although the plant known to the Olman as "Locoweed" can be found in many areas of the Isle, it grows thickest in this secluded valley. The natives say one of the "Infamous Seven;" a mighty ankylosaur named Chakaranka, dwells here and vigorously defends its territory.
  • Wreck of the Gallivant: The natives say one of the "Infamous Seven;" an ancient Dragon-Turtle named Emraag, considers these waters as his personal lair and has never taken kindly to his territory being disturbed. Over the years, Emraag has attacked several passing ships headed on expeditions to the Isle, the largest of which was the Gallivant.