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Seven Lines for Seven Islands (White Elephant for Mockery, part 1)

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  • Seven Lines for Seven Islands (White Elephant for Mockery, part 1)

    Originally posted by Mockery View Post
    I've been waiting for the opportunity to make a new artifact. Let's do this.

    As it stands, at some point next-year-ish I'm going to be playing in a game set in the West. I'd like a location or a character I can weave into my character's backstory.
    In the interest of helping out, here are seven one line western locations. If you tell me which of them you like, Mockery, I'll see what I can do about expanding on those a bit more.

    Isle of the Invincible Willow - dominated by a giant willow tree, the Alchemist Lords of this satrapy develop new drugs for the Realm.

    Isle of View - a sacred island said to cause dreams of your destined love. Peleps Chedika has started surveying the island for a Manse.

    The Siaka’s Belly - shark infested coral reef said to be full of jade and pearls. Nigh impossible to sail through.

    Isle of the Adamant Cliffs - tall cliffs shield a large, hidden bay that was claimed by House Peleps as a shipyard.

    The Lagoonwood - an area of freshwater and trees sitting in the ocean that is currently claimed by a Guild logging operation.

    Makana - until recently claimed by the Guild, the enslaved locals rose up, killed the merchant prince, and reclaimed their island.

    Isle of Black Lilies - a cursed place from which no one returns. The sorcerer V’Neef Deracha is currently trying to mount an expedition there.


  • #2
    Okay, now that the holidays are cooling down I realized this is here.

    So...I'm gonna say that I'm eyeing Makana right now. All of them are excellent for plot hooks, but for my character I'm going to have to go a smidge less fantastical.


    • #3
      Is it ok if the Makanans got some divine help when they kicked out the Guild or should that be more ambiguous?



      • #4
        Ah, divine help is fine!


        • #5
          I know this took awhile, so I guess I get to be first and last

          Honored Grandmother V’neef, may this missive find you well.

          Our current mission is progressing apace, but a development has occurred about which I felt I must notify you.

          We have been using V’Neef Deracha’s “expedition” as cover for why we’re buying lumber from the Guild at the Lagoonwood and, thus, having to sail near the Siaka’s Belly Strait. We haven’t finished charting it yet, but my elementals are working hard and I think we might be able to start recovering the black jade in less than a month.

          However, the last time we were in the strait, we encountered a canoe with a dead Westerner inside. She had a very unusual “story blanket” with her and, between it and the gossip I’ve been gleaning from some very handsome Guild lumberjacks, I think I can transcribe and annotate it to give you a good idea of what happened on this island, after which you’ll need to decide whether we should notify the Immaculate Order or not.

          Many, many seasons ago shiny man1 came bearing pretty promises for the awake nuts. The trade was made.

          Later, the shiny man returned with the rest of his tribe, bearing shiny weapons and coated in scales like fish. They told us to serve them and bring them many many of the awake nuts, lest they kill us. This was done. The shiny man and his tribe did not leave.2

          We attack shiny man and his tribe, but their scales turn our best spears and they breathe fire at us.3 We cannot hurt them.

          The shiny man give us sleeping hunger nut, so we must do what he say or feel the hunger that is not.4 He beats those who do not take it, or anger him, or anything else.

          We ask Fish for help. Fish does not answer.

          We ask Island Mother for help. She does not answer.

          We ask Great Ocean for help. Ocean ...does not answer.

          We endure.

          Shiny man builds large stone hut to live in, away from the air and sun. Away from us.

          Shiny man grows old. We think his tribe leave without him, maybe. Swaying Tree is sure of this. She serve him in big stone hut. Put fish bones in food. If Fish not help when alive, Fish can help when dead.

          But, after Shiny man die, Shiny woman come and things worse5. Many taken away. Swaying Tree taken away.

          Swaying Tree return. Command Shiny Woman and her tribe to leave. Say that, if they do not, they will die.

          They do not.

          They die.

          Now home is ours. But, what of sleeping hunger? What of Fish, Island Mother, Great Ocean? Swaying Tree in charge now, has much magic, but what trade did she make?

          What happens now?6

          From this “story blanket” it’s difficult to tell what “Swaying Tree” has become. She might simply have bargained with a God or Raksha or she might have become Anathema. Regardless, with an island that close to the jade beds we’re planning to mine, I think we need to know more about her plans and goals. But, if we tell the Order about a possible Anathema ruling an island, it will draw scrutiny to the area.

          I’m confident I can use a minor Air elemental to scout the area and spot any big, obvious problems without much chance of tipping our hand, so I will summon one in preparation of your decision on the best course.

          May your wisdom show the way.

          Your Most Humble Grandson, V’Neef Tomo.

          1) The author is most probably referring to the Guild Merchant Zekkish, as he suddenly cornered the regional market on Kola nuts 40 years or so ago and he was training his daughter to take over his business (see note 5). He recently vanished under suspicious circumstances, which is another clue.

          2) Clearly he wanted to have his own little kingdom as much as he wanted the Kola nuts.

          3) These are likely firedust weapons, but I suppose he might have bribed a fire elemental or hired a Dragon Blooded champion.

          4) This is almost certainly Betel Nut and the author is referring to addiction with the term "sleeping hunger"

          5) Zekkish's daughter, Guild Merchant Tal'zek, apparently thought slaves had a better profit margin than Kola nuts.

          6) The author's lament here seems to be regret that they cannot go forward as they have, but neither can they go back to what they once knew. If Swaying Tree manages to exploit this turmoil to turn them to worship of her or her "backer" that might grant her a worrying degree of power or a Fae foothold in Creation, or any number of other dangerous things.