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The Beheaded Beholder Inn

All filth eventually runs into the harbor they say, and this hold no less true for Port Stillwater. Close to the dockside lies the biggest nest of filth you’ll ever encounter; The Beheaded Beholder Inn.

Technically, you can’t behead a beholder, but when you boil off the flesh after a good old fashioned piece of slaying, no one will argue with you. Such a skull hang just above the entrance of the Inn, and this isn’t just a fancy piece of decor either. It’s a warning to those entering of what the owners are capable of, if they think you rightly deserve it.

Igor and Wolda, husband and wife, are the two dwarven owners of the inn, and while their manners can be quite deceptively pleasant, the same can’t be said about their ogre bouncer Grogg, nor the clientele. Only the foolish or hard enter, because there’s no fist-fights here, only drawn swords and axes and the inevitable crushing sounds of Grogg’s massive club when things get too out of hand.

While Igor and Wolda are the owners, they’re both old adventurers, who formed a band with Grogg. Their exploits weren’t legendary, but they got by and the money they earned was spent building this inn.

Igor works as the barkeep in the tavern, while Wolda plays grim songs on her string-fitted axe-lute. Grogg usually just stands outside, making sure the wrong type of people won’t enter; the kind that’ll surely start a knife fight and die trying to get out again. You can only have that many casualties in a tavern before you get trouble with the authorities…

“Enter at ye own peril!” the sign says outside. Better heed the warning, mate.

Fantastic Locations

I’ve been wanting to make portable pieces of setting for a while, either as a campaign starter or a campaign supplement. The point was to make them very high fantasy, with no totally mundane sites or locations, because the dramatically fantastic is way more engaging. We are not playing Medieval World, and portraying a fantastic world is part of our Agenda!

In this regard, I want to pitch a piece of setting that I’m currently creating as a part of my Storium game, and I hope it will inspire you to make your own fantasy settings more fantastic!

The Tempest Islands

In the Sea of Eternal Storms rests a marvel of the world; the Tempest Islands, a subtropical paradise, wild and untamed. With the exception of the marvelous Port Stillwater, there’s not many settlements here.

Above each of the twelve islands floats a Storm Monolith, an immense structure of unknown origin. These monoliths attracts and absorbs the violent lightning, turning the individual islands into serene paradises, if you do not mind the rumbling sound of the eternal thunder. Every few seconds lightning strikes the monoliths and they gleam with a blue light, shedding a soft light on the islands even by night.

Port Stillwater was founded a few decades ago when a ship was wrecked in the storm, and the surviving crew was thrown into the sea. They found refuge on the marvelous islands, and discovered remnants of a lost civilization. Empty houses were carved into the solid rock, and longer up the mountain they found a mine brimming with silver.

They claimed the city as their own and built a harbor and a shipyard. They sent word to near and far about their discovery, and with their newly gained wealth they bought soldiers to keep the peace. Soon after, a portal system was discovered that connected the islands, making it easier to travel between them as you did not have to brave the storms by ship.

They started hiring adventurers to explore the rest of the islands, hoping to amass more wealth. The few that responded have yet to return from their excursions, and most fear that they never will.

The rumors soon reached the mainland and adventurers stopped arriving until recently, when Lord Magdos of Stillwater declared that any wealth found on the other islands was rightfully to be kept by its discoverers. The bold and reckless was quick to heed the call.

These islands are dangerous places, filled with monsters and ruins of civilizations past, as well as wealth unimaginable. It will take some fierce and courageous men and women to reach out and take it.