Isle Of The Mighty


The continent (more of a large island) known as the Isle of the Mighty is a place where the legends and fairytales of other lands are a common reality. It is also considered a sort of foil to the dire Shatterlands, with portals to higher planes being a known presence where the Shatterlands will have planar tears leading to the elemental and lower planes. Talking animals, enchanted heirs, daring knights, terrible dragons, cunning witches, wicked stepmothers, powerful wizards, and more are all a part of the daily life of the Isle of the Mighty, and all natives learn to live side-by-side with each other, though not always peacefully.

With many fairy tales, of course, there must be villains, and there are no lack of wicked creatures on the Isle of the Mighty. While most of the continent is taken up with Brightland and its well-meaning but sometimes overwhelmed ruler, the realm of Darkland takes up only slightly less space, and has its feelers out for any signs of corruption among the Brightlanders, making acts of heroism and great deeds not only a common occurrence, but a necessity in order to resist the constant encroachments of the forces of evil upon the forces of good. This state of conflict is watched over by the giants in their mountain realm of Jormung, with its greatest cities in the clouds above the Isle, who occasionally will align themselves with one faction or another, but by and large are to be considered a people - and almost a world - apart.

As the Isle of the Mighty is generally caught up in its own internal conflicts, this means that it usually has little influence on the outside world. Most of its inhabitants are self-sufficient, and do not require anything further from the other continents, as the land, even in the worst parts, is quite fertile, and able to produce more than enough to satisfy the needs of its inhabitants, and the mountains provide more than enough common ores, and even gemstones and precious metals, to equal any real need for them in the Isle's inhabitants. However, that does not mean that the Isle of the Mighty is unimportant on a global scale. To the contrary, the Isle is home to several of the most powerful mages on Therafim, as well as some of the most powerful good-aligned dragons (and many evil ones as well), and is the resting place of many of the greatest heroes that ever lived on Therafim, interred in the Hall of Heroes beneath the Giant's Stair. Besides this, the Isle is also where some of the most powerful and dangerous artifacts on Therafim were made, and where many of them still exist, locked away or lost, waiting to be claimed. Magic items of lesser power are one of the most profitable exports from the Isle of the Mighty, and the wealth from their sale spreads with surprising evenness to every stratum of society, all over the Isle, ensuring prosperity for all, except when petty greed causes uneven distributions.

Places of Note:
The Throne of Kings: On a hill in the middle of Brightland is a tall tower, the Sovereign's Tower, tall enough to overlook all of Brightland, from the seas to the mountains, and even to glimpse the shadows of Darkland. Here, at the very top of this tower, is the Throne of Kings. With the Throne of Kings, those of royal blood, however diluted, are able to scry anywhere in the world that is not actively guarded, though this is limited to vision only, as though the effect were cast by a 10th level wizard. Actual monarchs are able to hear as well as see in their scrying, and the effect is powered as though a 15th level wizard had cast it. The True Monarch of Brightland, while wearing the crown of Camlann, holding his scepter in one hand, and his sword in the other, is able to not only see and hear any location on Therafim with an effect cast by a 20th level wizard, but is also able to teleport him- or herself and up to twelve others to any scryed location. The ruler of Brightland regularly keeps an elite garrison of troops here, to guard the Sovereign's Tower, and it requires direct written permission, with an official royal seal, to get past these guards without a fight

The Tower of the Lidless Eye: In the middle of Darkland is the Tower of the Lidless Eye, a terrible, forbidding place formed out of a single, magically-shaped mountain of black iron, towering ten stories above the ground. At the top of this tower is a massive metal eyeball, which can be shifted using a powerful magical and mechanical apparatus to view almost anywhere on the surface of Therafim, as though through an impossibly powerful telescopic lens. This is not a scrying effect, instead being the result of an epically-empowered sight-enhancing spell coupled with an immensely powerful telescope ensconced within the metal eye. Because of this, the Lidless Eye can be fine-tuned to view almost literally anywhere, looking through anything in its way, being able to see places normally barred against scrying magic. However, it has some drawbacks, since the mechanism is so complex, and also relies upon sight. Because of this, the effect is vision only, and this vision can be fooled by invisibility effects and other magical concealment, even if mundane concealment doesn't normally work. Also, it requires immensely complicated adjustments that take a team of at least twenty skilled workers to focus the lens properly, which can make it quite easy to overlook small details due to errors in focusing. Finally, the Lidless Eye can only look at one place at a time. The Overlord of Darkland is the one who usually keeps the Tower of the Lidless Eye in thrall, guarded with a powerful garrison, though it does occasionally fall into the hands of others, especially when the Overlord has been defeated, and a new Overlord has yet to be chosen.

The Hall of Heroes: Buried beneath the Giant's Stair, the Hall of Heroes is a monument to many of the greatest heroes ever to have walked the face and depths of Therafim. This sprawling tomb was a joint effort between humans, dwarves and elves, drawing on allies of all three races to create a place that would stand as a monument to heroism everywhere. In actuality, while it is a monument to heroes, and has their likenesses and stories on many of its surfaces in word and image, few actual heroes are buried inside of the Hall of Heroes. The real purpose of the Hall of Heroes is to train the next generation of heroes for their roles in life. The Hall judges those who pass beyond its gates, and calls up magical creatures from the outer planes as well as shuffling its own interior to provide appropriate challenges for each set of visitors, as groups and as individuals. The Hall of Heroes is almost a living place, or a massive construct, tailoring the experiences of each person who visits it to perfection. Most who enter the Hall of Heroes come out with a greater understanding of themselves, and return to their normal lives with more wisdom than they had when they went in. A rare few, however, come out filled with a sense of purpose and vision, and often return again to the Hall for additional training, which gradually becomes more and more dangerous, even potentially lethal, as the would-be heroes become able to survive the challenges. Treasures are also to be found in the Hall of Heroes, the remnants of days long past, and sometimes, especially for those of very great personal resolve and great experience, items formed from the very personality and needs of the hero.

As an added twist, the evil forces of Darkland know the danger of a place where champions can be trained to fight against them, and take steps accordingly. There are several hidden passages that lead into the Hall of Heroes from the Underdark, and from these passages, the Darklanders often creep in and help infest the Hall of Heroes with challenges that are too dangerous for visitors, traps and monsters and worse, thus killing off, crippling, or demoralizing potential competition before it becomes a problem. These "added content" portions of the Hall of Heroes seldom last for long, because of the ever-changing nature of the Hall, but they are nevertheless a constant danger to would-be heroes who go through it.

Terrain Features:
Bitter Wine Lagoon: On the south side of the Giant's Stair mountain range is the Path of Scarlet Symphonies, leading between Brightland and Darkland. On the north side, on the coast between the two realms, is the Bitter Wine Lagoon, home to a small but thriving community of people and creatures from both realms that have grown tired of the conflict, and have decided to live apart. This sheltered lagoon and the town of the same name attached to it is the major port of trade between the Isle of the Mighty and the rest of Therafim. Here, it is not uncommon to see a manticore and a halfling haggling over the price of fish, and similar surreal sights unknown in most of the rest of the world, and almost anyone can find a place in this community, provided that they keep the peace.

Giant's Stair: Since the mountain range in the middle of the Isle of the Mighty is also known as the lowest point of Jormung, the realm of giants, where stone giants and hill giants make their most common dwelling, it is commonly called the Giant's Stair. Climbing the Giant's Stair mountain range is also the only known way to reach the cloud kingdoms of Jormung, where its storm giants, cloud giants, and titans live and rule, and the most common path taken by giants when they descent to visit the rest of the Isle of the Mighty.

Path of Scarlet Symphonies: This is a long road, with incredibly hard bricks made of baatorian greensteel, leading between Brightland and Darkland, with the Goblin Market (described in the entry for Darkland) right in the middle. It is the only point of paved overland travel between the two realms, and is heavily guarded by soldiers and champions of both sides at all times, as well as the site of many battles between the armies of each realm.