Now, the setting for my campaign is a brand new island, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be people here. While it is true there won’t be any natives (at least as far as anyone is aware) plenty of people have an interest in this island. Some for a fresh start. Others to plunder the riches of the dungeons. Some for the mystery of this place. And a few have arrived to safeguard against the potential danger this place represents.
The first group my adventuring party is going to encounter is the primary settlement created by the adventures exploring this island. This settlement is split into two sections: the civilian flotilla and the adventure’s stronghold.
The flotilla is a collection of ships and semi-permeant floating structures a few miles off shore. Viewed from the outside it looks like a small floating city, with almost all the accommodations you would expect from a well established settlement. Blacksmiths, eateries, tailor shops, housing, a town square, even a hospital all exist in this floating city. As for why the civilians live off the island, that’s simple. The Island is dangerous. Seemingly random beasts sometimes appear, and it is safer for the civilians to just not be in harm’s way. Not to mention easier for the adventures to drive off the beasts.
The stronghold is the on land coastal settlement of the adventures. While it doesn’t have as many of the accommodations that the flotilla has, it is hardly bare bones. One giant bar services the adventures, with enough partitions that it functions as almost 5-7 bars. Several weapon and armor shops with gear from all over the multiverse. Many so called “general stores” with all the gear an adventure could want. And then you have the administration.
This is a stronghold after all, so those in charge had to fortify it. Several barracks line the impressive outer walls, with enough semi-retired adventures living in them to fight off several Dragons if it came to it. For those adventures not in the full time business of defending the settlement there are boarding houses randomly distributed throughout the settlement… At least they appear random, until you note the even distribution and a few other patterns that guarantee whatever threat the settlement faces: someone will be on scene quickly. Finally we have the administration of the entire settlement, flotilla and stronghold both.
The group primarily in charge of this settlement are “commonly” known as The Insatiable Scholars. This is a group I created for the backstory of an old character I once played. In short they believe Magic has no inherent morality, whether it be a firebolt, the magic to become an undead Lich that feeds on souls, or even healing magic. To them the magic itself is not good or evil, although the consequences of a given use may be. Along with this amoral stance is a generations long quest to learn all there is to know about magic. Understandably, an island connected to all the planes of existence, that seems to spontaneously create dungeons and magic items, presents an irresistible siren’s call to them. With their considerable resources, connections, and raw power they got themselves put in charge of the island’s exploration and investigation.
In game terms this means that the primary contact for my group is going to be a very powerful Wizard. This Wizard is going to be a bit absent minded and quirky, but have a bit more level headed wife to keep him on track. Both are very powerful, but so caught up in administrative work and keeping this place from falling apart that they can’t actually go and investigate as they wish. While they will provide the party with some support, they aren’t going to be able to wave their hands and make problems disappear for the party (the way a level 20 player might).
This is getting a bit longer than I first thought, so I will give a quick round up of the other factions on the island at the start of the campaign. I may return to these and expand on them in a future post.
Firstly there are at least 3 goblin tribes that disappeared into the Island’s interior and disappeared. Are they dead? Fractured into more tribes? Combined into one goblin empire? No one is quite sure. But it is known that at least some of them live on, as goblin raids and ambushes are not unheard of.
Next up is the “local” fauna. Creatures from all over the multiverse appear to just… show up on the island. They struggle for dominance, some going extinct on the island before more creatures arrive to put everything into chaos again. Almost like the island itself is “borrowing” from other places to create a new ecosystem all its own.
It is speculated that some of the big boogeymen of the D&D world also have outposts on the island. Beings like the Mind Flayers, Cults dedicated to Dragons or Demons, covens of Necromancers or Vampires. Almost nothing is off the table. But by the same token almost nothing is yet written in stone.
Dragons (In my dungeons? more likely than you might think)
The last group I have decided will be part of the setting is a “lauth” of dragons. Long story short a “lauth” is a small group of dragons that have agreed to a common goal, becoming something close to a clan of dragons. These dragons need have nothing in common besides this singular goal, so traditionally good and evil dragons may align together.
In my case the lauth on this island will be comprised of several metallic, chromatic, and even gem dragons. No one is quite sure what their goal is, but tow things are certain. They seem to have the uncanny ability to know everything that is happening on the island at any given time. And they have made a habit of intercepting adventurers returning from a dungeon dive to take the magic item they retrieved. Curiously though, despite the dragon’s ability to simply overpower the adventurers and take what they want, they almost always offer a trade for the item in question.