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Dino Island

Page history last edited by Guy Hoyle 14 years, 6 months ago

"Everything is so frackin' BIG on Dino Island!" -- Major Mace Mattock

 

     Though Dino Island is not far from civilization (The City of Bloodhaven is less than a hundred miles away by sea), it is wisely shunned by all but the most foolhardy of travellers; even famed explorer Jaquie Cuisinart shudders at the mere mention of its name. Despite the name, the island is home to far more than mere dinosaurs; most such creatures are huge, and all of them are hungry.

     Dino Island is completely surrounded by colossal coral reefs; folk tales dating back dozens of centuries hint that the reefs themselves are either haunted or intelligent, in a weird, alien way. Thousands of wrecked ships, from primitive canoes and three-masters, to atomic submersibles and hovercraft, testify to the deadly nature of this natural maze. Rumors of a passage through the reefs are persistent, yet unprovable. In addition, the bottomless seas around the island are prowled by giant squids, needle-jawed mososaurs, mega-turtles, and other flesh-devouring sea monsters. Mutations abound. Approach by air is equally deadly, as pterodactyles, dragons, Jovian Man-Of-Wars, and swarms of sky piranhas have been observed from a distance.  

     Once ashore, information becomes less scientific and more anecdotal.  What little exists reports that enormous versions of everyday creatures such as ants, spiders, and lizards infest every ecological niche available to them.  The dinosaurs which give the island its name are nigh-ubiquitous. Godzillas, Crater Lake Monsters, Haunted Quicksand, and Manion Devils are especially prominent. Deadly flora such as jungle flowers and scavenger spores thrive on the flesh of the living.  Mutations abound. The carnivorous nature of so many of the "native" population of the island is, in itself, a mystery. How do so many ravenous creatures find enough to eat in such an isolated ecosystem? Popular consensus amongst scientists estimate that the entire population of the island should devour itself within a matter of months; how they sustain themselves remains a mystery.

     Despite the presence of such a predator-heavy environment, there is evidence of intelligent life upon the island. Surprisingly, a primitive population of humanoids (an amalgam of many different races; mutations abound) maintains a hunter-gatherer culture that includes worship of the colossal beasts that rule the island. These savages also prey upon those unlucky enough to survive the deadly approaches to the island. They offer up the comeliest to their monstrous gods upon gore-spattered altars, or trussed up where the beasts can find and devour them. Others who are not lucky enough to meet such a sudden fate become food for their cannibal captors, or suffer other fates worse than death. What few retain their freedom must find themselves slipping into insanity as they scrabble for sustenance, trying desperately to escape their island hell.

     In the past, many have attempted to establish a foothold on Dino Island, despite the dangers.  The celebrated Lost Library of LaLaLa is rumored to stand intact in the ruins of its monstrous experimental zoo/garden. Star-explorers, some even pre-dating the Vulkin Star Empire, have visited and left traces of their passage (including the much-rumored phasic techno-dump).  None knows the origin of the Lying Gjenie of Dino Island, though many desperate pilgrims have risked their lives to consult her.  During the Glittering Puffball Dynasty, Dino Island became a popular vacation destination for the Nyzene Glamazon Witch-Queens. Here the notorious crimelock Vortiger "Blinky" Vlinkerbach established his infamous hideout, the Black Hole, which could only be reached by teleportation.   Even more mysteriously, evidence exists of an advanced civilization that once ruled the island which may predate even the monstrous inhabitants.  Centuries-old maps exist that depict ancient cyclopean structures and temple-laboratory complexes. Rumors of entire cities built of rare metals and precious gems draw the foolish and the greedy to an almost certainly violent death.  Mutations abound. Elves sing melodious songs in reverent falsetto of a lost elfin race which once populated paradisical gardens.  Dwarfs speak of lost caverns and catacombs in wistful whispers, close their eyes, and shudder in their secret places.  If scientific theories of a subterranean "Inner-Vanth" underworld are true, the gateway would almost certainly be here.

 

     Despite the obvious folly of visiting this enormous sea-girt deathtrap, this mysterious island will almost certainly continue to exert its tractor-beam upon the hearts of pioneers and other foolhardy adventurers.  Though the biggest creatures in all of Vanth may dwell upon the jungle-choked landscape of Dino Island, the biggest monster of all may be Dino Island itself. 

 

--Effluvius Vox

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