This is the twenty-fourth post in the A to Z Challenge series, where I'm describing 26 different locations in the World of Samardan campaign setting, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, X is for the Xenolith of Devapand.
(hex) Xenolith of DevapandAmbiance: The woods grow rich and abundant in this area, surrounding a natural stone spire that juts up a hundred feet from the earth. The spire is of a noticably different composition from the surrounding stone, appearing almost black under the moss that has grown to cover most of its surface. The ground here is boggy, and the air is humid.
History: This unusual rock formation marks the location of a set of natural springs that provide fresh water to the creatures of the area. The small pond formed at the base of the dark spire of stone attracts many living creatures, including predators. Its isolated location is about the only reason, aside from the local predators, that this oasis has not been claimed by sentient beings.
Encounters: A giant bershun (a huge reptilian creature with a broad head, tapering snout, massive jaws, and a thick outer covering of bony plates) has recently made the springs its home. Grankani (large canine beasts with a virulent poisonous bite that hunt in packs) roam the region, frequenting the pond for water in the evening, when the bershun is most likely resting. Common encounters and hazards are quicksand, vermin and kaskmandi (large armored herbivores possessing bony, turtle-like shells, sharp claws, short spiky tails and are easily irritated and provoked when disturbed).
Treasure: In a dying world, fresh water is highly valuable, and the springs of the Xenolith have that in abundance. The hides of the various creatures that dwell here also have a high market value, for those who can successfully hunt the beasts down.
Adventure Hooks: Adventure hooks for this site could include the following:
- A small group of nobles are seeking hunters and guides to escort them to the Xenolith of Devapand for a hunting expedition.
- A young girl begs mercenaries on the street to save her father. All she knows is that he had departed for the Xenolith of Devapand in search of grankani pelts three weeks ago, and has not returned. Her mother is ill, and she is too young to care for her mother and three siblings on her own.
- Master Fortan Rekadan, a big game hunter, seeks guides to escort him to the Xenolith of Devapand, so that he can bring home the skull of a bershun to add to his trophy room.
- Pansanu Grankaso Kudisakeran is soliciting mercenaries for an extended expedition. Grankaso secretly plans to conquer the oasis surrounding the Xenolith of Devapand, so that he can erect a stronghold and found his own village.
- The Order of the Raging Kaskmand, a mystical society in Mermak, will pay handsomely for a mated pair of kaskmandi from the Xenolith of Devapand. They need new mascots, as their previous kaskmand died of old age recently.
Standard Disclaimer: As I have not yet decided where to set this particular location on the map as yet, I've left a placeholder to remind me to come back to this in the future. Later on, I'll replace (Hex) with the actual hex location, when I put all of this together into a single document.