Isle of Dread
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The Isle of Dread is located in the southern region of the Wyn Myr Ocean; a region known as the Shining Sea. It is west of the Continent of Avokhar and southwest of the continent of Corwyn. Once populated by the Olman people of Za'har, the island underwent a terrible catastrophe, which gave it the ominous name "Isle of Dread."


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 the 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.

ANCIENT 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 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.

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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; an evil race of 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 high Olman temple, as a trophy from the 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 beats began rampaging the city, and a eerie fog descended upon Thanaclan. Soon 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. About thirty years ago, the Isle’s existence was confirmed, however, by an explorer named Rory Barbarosa. 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, his ship; the Gallivant, his map of the Isle, and his log survived, and soon word 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. It was then that Captain “Mad” Madsen; one of Barbarosa’s original crew, 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 from the Isle to Sasserine, she was still enamored with the legendary, infamous Isle. Several years passed, and Larissa married a nobleman named Verik Vanderboren. She eventually told her husband about her journey. The two decided to return to the Isle and settle it. Their ultimate plans included forming a colony and establishing trade routes between Sasserine and the Isle of Dread.

Seven years ago, the Vanderboran family assembled a crew of explorers, sailors, and colonists. For financila support, they also gained the aid of Lord Zebulon Meravanchi; who himself was a veteran explorer of the Sanjaara Jungle of Avokhar. The expedition took two ships, and after a long and difficult voyage, they arrived at the Isle. The Vanderboren Journal records the expedition stopped at the following locations on their travels; 1) Port Blackwell, 2) ruins of Tamoachan, 3) Castle Greenrock, 4) Axuxal Islands, and 5) Isle of Ruja.

Instead of pillaging or murdering the Olman natives of the Isle as prior explorers had, the Vanderborens instead gained their trust and respect; giving back equally (if not more) for what they took from the natives in trade. A treaty was forged with the Olman tribes of the Seven Villages, and in return, the newcomers were granted control of the small island of Temute on which to build their new colony named "Farshore." The main purpose of this colony was to promote trade with the city of Sasserine.

Locations on the Isle of Dread Map


This list is a description of each detailed locations on the map below;

  • Aranea Lair: An arboreal village of cave-like webs, inhabited by dozens of Araneas, cursed shapeshifting 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. Little lives here.
  • 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 fish around Badwall.
  • Blackfen: This swamp is the territory of several bickering tribes of Bullywugs. The froglike humanoids seldom travel far from their marshy homes. The largest tribe dwells in the half-sunken ruins of an ancient Olman town. The Bullywugs worship Burbalarg, one of the Infamous Seven, who roams this area, making it extremely dangerous to make war with the Bullywug tribes.
  • Blisterhill Isle: This island of barren, stony slopes is studded with dozens of active geysers.
  • Bloodwater Lake: This large lake is infested with dangerous menaces, including freshwater reptiles, huge schools of piranha, and worse. 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 "Wall of Tanaroa." Village Cheiftain is Teki
  • Cankerdark: The noisome 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 also served as a tomb, and was trapped and cursed to protect itself from scavengers.
  • Dawa: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Wall of Tanaroa." Village Cheiftain is Ja'Kuli
  • Dragonhaunt Hollow: At least one true dragon dwells on the Isle of Dread, a green dragon that the locals call Reksor. It is said that she slumbers under the canopy of this boggy jungle. She is said to be one of the Infamous Seven, evil gods that are reborn 100 years after their deaths to continue to plague the Isle.
  • 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. Its largest predators are dire boars, crocodiles, and the occasional anaconda. This relative safety is the reason why a band of pirates set up their base here several years ago, in a shallow cove called "Rat's End."
  • The Fangs of Zotzilaha: Twin volcanoes that loom over the surrounding jungle. The Olman hold that the bat god, Zotzilaha dwells somewhere in the numerous caves along these dangerous peaks. Once a year, villagers from Tanaroa and other Olman villages make a pilgrimage to these peaks. They leave offerings to appease the Bat-God and ward off future eruptions and earthquakes.
  • Farshore: An outpost established by Verik and Larissa Vanderboren. This Island is home to many citizens of Sasserine. For more information about its residents and specific features of Farshore.
  • Fireshriek Isle: Although this island is dominated by an active volcano, the eruptions (while 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 smaller prey.
  • Fogmire: A mysterious and evil place, always covered in thick, grey mist. Locla say demons and other evil creatures dwell there and avoid the place.
  • Gargoyle Aerie: This inhospitable reach of ragged mountains is riddled with caves that serve as homes for a dozen gargoyle tribes.
  • Glasswall Rift: A sizeable rent in the mountainside here glitters by day, its razored walls of obsidian and other volcanic glass home to pteranodon nests and monstrous, web-spinning spiders of all types. 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 there.
  • Huhueteotl's Throne: Once a sizeable Olman town, all that remains above the sunken swampland of this forgotten city is the black stone ziggurat bearing images of the Olman God of fire and the passage of time, Huhueteotl. On certain nights of the year, sinister fires burn in the swamp, and strange shapes can be seen cavorting atop the ruins.
  • Kirikuka: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Wall of Tanaroa." Village Cheiftain is Ko'Ata
  • Lost Citadel: This glittering aerie is the last bastion of the "gods " that survived the destruction of Thanaclan. The citadel is made of gleaming stone covered in an opalescent shimmer that is entirely unspoiled by the ravages of time. The Olman believe their gods sleep here, awaiting the day the isle reverts to a paradise and they can rejoin their people again. Legends record that the courtyard contained nine stone archways and two pools— Truth (filled with blood) and Beauty (filled with crystal-clear water)— used to test souls. The temple is built on an impossibly high terrace cut into the mountains on the isle's western edge. It can sometimes be seen from the western sea or from certain angles on the plateau.
  • Mantru: The secrets of this mysterious village are known to very few beyond the edges of the isle's central plateau. None who dwell elsewhere on the isle have ever visited this cursed village and returned to tell of it.
  • Mora: An Olman village lead by the Chieftain Ka'arta. It has recently lost its Zombie Master, who had betrayed the village and joined with the Kopru. The village is made up of four clans, each dedicated to one of the totem animals: Ape, Boar, Tiger, and Sea Turtle.
  • Nameless Isle: This isle was never named by the Olman, but it is avoided by them. Large numbers of dangerous creatures live on this isle, which ward locals away. All expeditions which have gone to the isle have perished at the teeth and claws of the great beasts which live there.
  • Olman Villages: Known to Farshore colonists as "the seven villages", there are several Olman villages which dot the southeastern portion of the Isle, beyond the great wall of Tanaroa; The largest of these villages.
  • Panitube: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Wall of Tanaroa." Village Cheiftain is Uri'alo
  • Phanaton Village: This village of arboreal platforms is inhabited by Phanatons; raccoon-like creatures about the size of a halfling, that are natives to the Isle. Other Phanaton villages exist nearby, but none are as large as this one.
  • Rat's End: A ragged, abandoned pirate base; largely constructed from the husks of ruined ships. The settlement is believed to have been completely abandoned for some time.
  • 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 Isle of Dread. It is said by the Olman that Baargrauth, one of the Infamous Seven, lives here, feasting on Olman who stray too far while fishing.
  • Rivenskull Cave: This is actually several dozen caverns connected by narrow fissures. Rivenskull cave is inhabited by five warring tribes of savage humans, throwbacks from Olman due to exposure to the mysterious primal fogs that sometimes visit the Island's reaches. The Olman have described these savage humans as mutated, sometimes with blue skin and horrific bone-like protrusions that can be used to gouge the bodies of enemies. They say that when they are slain they explode in dangerous, acidic fluids.
  • Scorpion Isle: This rugged island is infested with all manner of monstrous scorpions, including an enormous ancient monster the size of a house which the Olman call Ceratta-katha; one of the Infamous Seven.
  • 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 peaks on the Isle of Dread, the slopes of Skyscar Peak are a favored nesting ground of Rocs.
  • Standing Stones: Olman ruins abound on the Isle, but few can match these immense standing stones in sheer spectacle. Two dozen enormous monoliths stand here, said to mark the tombs of ancient Olman princes.
  • Tanaroa: A large Olman village lead by the Chieftain J'kal and his Witch-Doctor; M'vembi. The village is famous among the Olman for its mighty wall. The wall serves as a mighty barrier between the Olman territory on the southern part of the Isle and the untamed jungles beyond.
  • Tar Pits: Often visted by Olman natives to acquire tar for many of the crafts and boat-making that the villages do, the tar pits also provide a necessary resource for the citizens of Farshore.
  • Temple of the Jaguar: This mysterious temple once housed a cache of magical weapons from an extinct tribe of catlike people known as the rakastas.
  • Temute: This island's name means "The Abandoned Place" in the Olman tongue, although it's not clear why it carries that moniker. The island is comparatively safe, and houses the colony of Farshore. It is surrounded by several islands of similar or larger size, most of which contain an Olman village. This allows for frequent contact between colonists and Olman, and offers the colony of Farshore some measure of defense.
  • Thanaclan: Once the heart of the sprawling Olman Empire, this ruin is now known as the "City of Broken Idols." What now lies here is unknown. The set of ruins sits upon a giant raised plateau in the heart of the Isle of Dread.
  • Thanegioth River: The mightiest river on the Isle of Dread, its frequent Rapids make it a poor choice for exploration by boat. Additionally, the river ends in the heart of the Blackfen, not a place that many wish to find themselves.
  • Troglodyte Tunnel Entrance: This unassuming coastal cavern actually represents the most direct route to the deep caverns and aberrant reaches beneath the Isle of Dread. Though Troglodytes have been seen in the area in the past, it was not discovered until recently that the Crimson Fleet had dealings with these creatures.
  • Tribe of the Lizardfolk: While there are many lizardfolk tribes throughout the Isle of Dread, this is the largest of them all. Here lies the volcanic lake of mud called "Semuanya's Bath."
  • Usi: One of seven Olman villages, located below the "Wall of Tanaroa." Village Cheiftain is Ka'Lani
  • Valley of Madness: Although the plant known to the Olman as "Loco Weed" can be found in many areas of the Isle, it grows most thickly in this secluded valley. The great Chakaranka, a mighty ankylosaur and one of the Infamous Seven calls this area its home, and defends its territory with vigor.
  • Wreck of the Gallivant: With the newfound interest in Farshore, many expeditions have begun from far-away Sasserine. The ancient Dragon-Turtle Emraag; one of the Infamous Seven, considers these waters as his personal lair and has never taken kindly to his territory being disturbed. He sank several ships on their way to Farshore, the largest of which was the Gallivant.
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