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Author Topic: Nebular Library: Island of Death, gazetteer.  (Read 568 times)

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Nebular Library: Island of Death, gazetteer.
« on: August 06, 2021, 04:22:47 pm »

The Isle of Death

By Yrinarra Sornnar.
With small help from Nyssa Brosca.




The infamous cult of Orcus led this once great place to its current state of despair. But the things that made the island what it is today are not as simple as they may look. There were many small steps toward turning the island into a constantly haunting land.

This work is research on the current state of the isle of death, trying to reveal a few obscure details and record anything uncommon.


The Isle generally can be divided into three small areas. Sable's Swamps, the Lost Village and the Old Prison. These three small regions are not much different from each other and share many common traits, such as constant fog of different states of thickness throughout the whole day, a rich amount of exotic mushrooms and small plants, undead and large numbers of vermin of different kinds.

Sable's Swamp

The Swamp is an acceptable safe part of the island which is most rich in different rare and exotic plants. Small ships as well dock only in this part of the island. Surprisingly, swamps are inhabited by both living and unliving creatures. Large frogs and alligators feed on small vermins and the remains of the undead. Some large frogs are capable of putting down zombies and even swallowing whole zombie kobolds. Alligators feed on trolls and frogs. And unlucky adventurers.

Bullywugs occasionally make visits to the isle, scavenging in ruins and hunting for frogs.

Trolls very likely were always living on the isle but were kept away by patrols from the prison and village nearby, but since now there is nobody to keep them away, trolls now breed and dwell around the southern part of the isle, feeding on small animals, adventurers, and possibly on not so rotted undeads.

The southern part of the isle is the most damaged part of the isle. Swamps consumed this part of the isle and destroyed many towers and fisherman's houses over time. Many guards who died on their posts or were sacrificed in dark rituals now continue their watch around the ruins as wights and mummies. A few poor villagers who were unlucky enough to die of river beasts or trolls are now raised as zombies.

Druidic grove.

One thing that is hard to miss-it is a druidic site which is located in the middle of swamps. Druidic altars and important sites are almost always located on crossroads of leylines which connect with all leylines in regions of different sizes. This one, obviously, has a great influence on the island.

After studying the altar, I have come to the conclusion that the Cult of Orcus performed vile rituals to bind the power of leylines to their will, twisting and corrupting the isle, making it more suitable for their rituals and goals. Upon these days, the altar is still not restored and remains corrupted, forcing all the isles to wither and stay forever in a half-rotting state.

The corrupted altar may be a key reason why the undead always rises. Restoring the altar will not fix this, because the true reasons are located deep in the Old Prison, but the restored altar will at least force all undead outside the prison to return to the soil. And so the cycle will continue.

About the weather.

The corrupted druidic site is present on the isle, forcing the whole isle into a twisted withering state and, at the same time, the altar causes anomaly weather on the isle. No matter what season and day of the year - there is constant fog. Sometimes this fog can be thick enough to hide the isle from sunlight. Though, sometimes isles can be one day warm and another day cold. It is as well as being rainy and thundering. Rarely even stormy. But fog always remains.

Undeads.


Zombies: The most common undead. They are usually animated by spells and rituals, but these zombies persist for days and years. Reanimating on themselves. No doubt, the hazard state of the isle influenced this. Zombies around swamps are the weakest type. Slow, rarely with any armour on. Sometimes there are kobold zombies.

Danger: Very weak.

Wights: Another common undead paired with zombies around swamps is wights. Corrupted leylines and minor infuse of negative energy planes make swamps the perfect condition for wights. Trapped evil spirits use dead bodies and wights rise again and again. Wights are very well known for their endless hunger and search for souls and their tiny parts. With their terrible bites and claws, they drain life essence. The wights who dwell around swamps are fairly in a weak state, but they can still drain your soul.

Danger: Weak

Still, it can drain your soul. A restoration spell will always heal such wounds.

Mummy: Swamps are full of ruins of different sizes, which hint at what before the swamp grew so large, there were many buildings where prisoners were shipped in, as well as a market for villagers and a small village of fishers. But now everything is gone. A few big buildings obviously had a small number of crypts where wardens of prison buried passed away people and mummified them. It is unknown if the cult took roots so deep that buried wardens and villagers were already cursed to be undead or if it was the influence of the isle-but now when swamp and weather expose their tombs, mummies dwell around swamps.

Danger: Weak but still dangerous.

Mummies possess a magical fear aura that can be fatal for unprepared scholars/adventurers. These weak mummies are not exceptions.

As well, they infect with magical diseases if they manage to reach the skin.








Village

The Lost Village is now only named for what is left of whatever was there. Despite its ruined look and an island infested with undead, many living creatures are attracted to these ruins. This includes bugbears, river hags, adult wyverns, and different vermins. In the middle of the village can be dangerous and it is advised to avoid it by using an invisibility potion or other routes. On the edge of the village usually dwell spectres.

The village is much less swampy. Trolls do not dwell deeper and avoid villages. No natural animals dwell here either. Only acid beetles are a common sight here.

Spectre: Spectre is a ghost, remaining from villagers. The most curious detail about spectres in this village is that they dwell in daylight as well. The fog is so thick around the village that it allows spectres to roam around the whole village and not just hide inside dark ruins. They continue their endless suffering existence and search for any living things. These spectres, though fairly weak, still drain some parts of life by touch.

Danger: Weak

Still, sometimes it can be hard to hit it with weapons. It can drain with touch.




The Old Prison

This part of the isle is very different compared with other parts of the isle. And it is extremely dangerous. The Old Prison-the heart of corruption, the place of a hundred ghosts and undead. Where souls are tormented to their day, where suffering never ends. The shadow of the past still keeps this place in its claws.

The prison is surrounded by a few labour mining wells that have been long abandoned, as well as a few towers on the shores and docks. But always guarding shadow fiends never allow any boat to come closer. This part of the isle is mostly completely inhabited only by undead. No living life is present. Only a few insane cultists and graverobbers make their camp around the graveyard, but they are usually quickly killed by ghostly arrows.

The Old Prison itself can be separated into two parts. Its surroundings include courtyards and dungeons. The surroundings of the prison are somewhat safe to explore, but the entrance of the prison is usually guarded by ghostly archers who always aim for weak spots. Usually, archers are assisted by ghost mages who still have the ability to weave and cast a few dangerous spells.

All buildings inside the courtyard were destroyed and burned to the ground except one building. Temple. It is hard to say what deity originally belonged to a temple where cultists under disguise were performing their vile rituals. Many books inside were simply ruined. No flags or symbols remained.

Under the temple was built a large dungeon, two levels and with many cells where prisoners were kept. The barracks were located in the very same dungeon, close to the cells. The dungeons are currently in a dangerous state. Many parts are ruined, and a few corridors have collapsed or flooded. The deeper part of the dungeon is connected to local caves by a secret door. The caves are very natural and lead to large grottos. Very little remains from the past, but there are a few buildings and signs of the black market. Even one boat in the grotto was still docked. This cave suggests that it was the lair of a cult and the base of their operations, where they were buying and trading slaves/prisoners and other questionable components, books, and tools.

Undeads:

Spectral warriors
Spectral warriors, perhaps, are the weakest type of undead that can be encountered within the walls of the Old Prison. These spectres wear armour and usually hold large weapons, which suggest their origin as wardens.
There are very few spectral mages. They are very weak and use very weak spells. They can be mostly ignored or quickly destroyed.

Danger: Medium.
They are skilled at their spectral weapons. They can be hard to hit since they are half-visible.

Bloody Bones

Another somewhat weak type of undead is not uncommon in dungeons and caves under the prison. Since this place is unholy and many rituals are performed, it has strong affection if someone dies here. Blood bones are a likely manifestation of the remaining presence of Orkus. These bones are what was left by unlucky adventurers and graverobbers who died in that place.

Danger: Weak.
They do not possess any special abilities, but usually and commonly use magical longswords. They are easy to hit with weapons and are not very skilled with their swords.

Ghosts
The most dangerous and most common type of undead dwells in dungeons and in the courtyard of the Old Prison. These ghosts are remains of prisoners who died in dungeons and rituals and are now forever trapped there. No matter how many times they are destroyed, they appear again in a few hours. These ghosts can be separated into five types. From weak to strong:

Warriors, human mages, elven mages, elven archers, human archers.

All ghosts use spectral weapons and possess great skill with whatever weapons they have. They are all half-visible and hard to hit. Few mages who haunt cells and rooms have few strong spells prepared to unleash on anyone who disturbs them. Archers, the most dangerous ones, always aim for weak spots and shoot with great accuracy. Many ghosts usually wear clothes that hide their faces and bodies, but few ghosts have an obvious elvish origin and stand out from other ghosts.

Danger: Very High
Always destroy mages first. Ruins and the environment can be used to avoid archers.

Revenant

Shambling corpse in rags and with two sharp blades. These few undead dwell around dungeons under the prison. These revenants are prisoners who were murdered in a more cruel way than others, and they seek revenge to this day. This may suggest that cultists still exist but in undead form. Because ghosts of cultists trapped as other souls-revenants can't find rest and rise again and again to seek their murderers, even if they are a long time dead. Revenants remain small in numbers but can be dangerous. They are very skilled with two short blades and always aim for the weak spot.

Danger: High.

Doom Knight:
Wardens of high ranks and prisoners who were paladins and knights of different deities turned into this undead. But they are not very dangerous compared with other undeads in dungeons. But what makes them stand out from other undeads and still be dangerous is their ability to cast a few spells, which are usually: Dispel Magic and See Invisible.

Danger: Medium
They can be very dangerous if they start dispelling behind lines of undead.

Bodak
Infamous undead for their death gaze. There are very few of them and rarely groups of them in dungeons and caves. They are very weak, but if one is slow enough or can't sneak to bodak to knock it down from shadows or invisibility, it always has time to use its death gaze. The origin of bodaks in prison remains mysterious. Were they pulled from the Abyss or is it what remains of a very few most insane cultists who willingly took part in the transformation ritual? It remains without answers, but they always appear after their bodies are destroyed.

Danger: High.
With deathward potion/spell: Very weak.

Conclusions:

The Isle of Death is a very curious place with a rich past. The Old Prison still holds many uncovered magical artefacts and different sorts of items that one scholar or experienced adventurer may seek. Though there is small hope this isle can be purged and restored, it will require a large amount of power and time.