Monday 28 April 2014

Isle of the Unknown part I

What with the bruhaha over Isle of the Unknown recently (thanks to The RPGPundit), I thougth I would flip through the book randomly to see if I could find a use for the book in The City in Darkness. I bought the book in order to serve as some weird fantasy inspiration and although I haven't looked at it since my original readthrough, I think it did the trick.
Will the book actually provide me with some practical ideas though? Translating from an island setting to a city could be problematic, especially with all the animals presented in the book. Let's see how it goes!

Hex 0114: In a humble cottage of unhewn stone lives a pious 4th level cleric who keeps but does not wer a red surcoat with a white cross. His broad sword and mace hang in easy reach upon the wall. Seven years ago, the cleric first experienced the miracle of bi-location. While still in his dwlling, he foun himself also in the Land of Water and Copper far over the Western Ocean. The people of this land were beardless and had straight black hair and red skin. Though nearly naked, these people were crowned with gaudily bright feathers of great length and intricacy. Most fabulous of all, even their lowliest ranks wore golden jewlery. In this far land, gold is so common that it is used as a mere decoration. Even small children, naked save for their golden jewlery, walk wheresoever they will be unafraid and unmolested. The stone cities of these people stand amidst jungles beneath the shadows of vast, stepped pyramids. The cleric will show to trusted visitors a curiously-carved golden torc (worth 200 g.p.) given to him by this exotic people. If the cleric is slain, he has a 15% chance of still being alive because he was in two places at the time of his "death". – Isle of the Unknown p. 8.

Jackpot! What a cool idea. This one will be a cinch to translate. 

Deep in the Lurming Pit, a cleric lives alone in a room. Amongst the horrendous filth and poverty, he walks in a daze, seemingly obvlivious to it all. When questioned, he will regale anyone who will listen with tales of the bright land. The cleric, Anders, talks of walking in two world at once. One dark and depressing, the other bright and wonderful. While in this world, the sun never rises, in the other, it never sets. The bronze skinned dwelers of Andaluvia walk naked, save for the strings of pearls and gold that hang around their necks. In Andaluvia there is no hunger as the home hearths are all powerful, people give freely of their crops, produce and wares. If small children listen to his stories long enough, he will distribute strange, tiny gold coins with odd symbold on them.

Hex 0713: The delicate influence of the Enchantress of Petals, a 6th level magic-user, keeps winter and autumn at bay in this secluded mountain vale. Garbed in dresses made of flower petals, her fresh and tender beauty makes it impossible to attack her unless a saving throw is made at -3. She can entice flowers of any sort to grow to maturity within minutes, and she can make animated rose bushes with long thorns to both defend and attack. – Isle of the Unknown p. 31

More difficult, but light is important to the people in the city, especially for the poor who almost never see natural light. Light and vegetation and the one who brings them would be venerated indeed.

The nave of the chuch of the verdant lady is a small chamber filled with natural light and vegetation. Honoured people are sometimes invited there to meet the lady herself, a delicate nyph like woman who tends to her glade with care. She can cause the plants around her to bloom on command. Access to her is strictly regulated by her church, but the petitioners around the front doors always number in the hundreds. The 'disciples' of the lady have a dark secret however, the lady is a dryad, kidnapped from her forest home. Despite the distance from her home glade, she still feels an innate connection to that place. The disciples use this fact to their advantage, holding her hostage against threat of harm to her trees. Unless she greets her visitors with a warm smile, and performs her green magic, the disciples will cut down one of her trees. 

So far so good, Isle of the Unknown is providing me with ample inspiration from the first two random entries I flipped to. More to come, hopefully I encounter one of the cool statues, and hopefully not an electric blue dog that shoots poisonous frogs from it's mouth.

You can buy Isle of the Unknown from LotFP

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