Now that the easy part is done and I have loosely described the seven cities I have to tackle the actual area where I want to set adventures. The lost island of Alusia.
Alusia is set several hundred miles from civilization (500 miles from Kaltricia and 700 miles from Valarre) taking about a week to reach in good weather. In can take 2 weeks to return to civilization as the winds generally move from west to east across the map area.
I have created a large (250 miles long axis) island chain in a fairly remote setting. The question is how remote I want it to be.
There are several options open:
- Lost World - following in the examples of Arthur Conan Doyle, The Isle of Dread. It has been done to death but I have not done it. Nor have I ever played in or run a Lost World setting. But I am not sure I want dinosaurs in my game.
- Skull Island - King Kong, Isle of the Ape. There are numerous examples in gaming literature old and new. I don’t think this is the way to go.
- Monster Island - Chaosium already did this once for Runequest. I have a copy of the setting book and there is much to like about it.
- Lost Civilization - This is somewhat like Monster Island but the civilization need not be serpent men. It could be a lost civilization of men likely with great magic power.
I have not decided on which I want to use. I think it will be a jungle island with primitive natives. These natives will be safely living on a smaller island. The larger island is taboo except for a rite of manhood ritual in which the young men and women can become warriors if they retrieve a diamond from the main island. Only about half return and only half again are successful. It keeps the population down. Now these diamonds were traded to early explorers from the Seven Cities and caused much excitement. Of course the bronze age cities do not have the knowledge to cut diamonds but they still hold them in high regard.
The explorers from the Seven Cities have settled on the dense jungle filled island to the North. The natives never settled this island because the river water makes people sick. But the men from the Seven Cities have found clean water by digging wells. They call their settlement Safe Harbour, because in the early days of exploration it was the only safe harbour. Away from natives who got off on the wrong foot with explorers and away from the dangerous mainland.
I still need to think about what makes the mainland so dangerous. Clearly it is savage beasts but I need to think what type of beasts. I definitely want an ancient culture steeped in magic to have occupied in the island in the past. Leaving behind ruins and possibly serpent men hidden in deep caves.