Just off the merchant trade routes in the Rozgali sea is the black lump of rock, chucked upwards by Magasta in a fit of anger at a Yelm during the Godswar. The mermen know it as “Magasta’s Spear” but for the sea farers who call it home it’s merely “Black Dog isle”. The town that sits beneath the spire of rock that points skydomewards is home to pirates and their families. Some are hard working sea farers whose families have always raided the shipping lanes, others are new hands at this game either seeking adventure and excitement or escaping the chaos that the Hero Wars has caused in their homelands.
First impressions as the heroes sail into port
‘Land ahoy!’ the look out calls. Everyone rushes to the aft deck to look and the more keen eyed men point out the thin black needle that points upwards alone in the sea. As the sea dogs start preparing for land fall, you watch the needle get bigger and bigger against the sky, and start seeing the buildings that make up the port that huddles round the base of the rock. Jeffran, an old hand too infirm to help out below, sees you gazing that the island. “So this be yer first visit to Black Dog Isle? I thought so.” He flashes you a toothless smile, mocking your naiveté in a friendly manner. He gazes towards the island that is now looming on the horizon and continues”Quite a sight that there black rock pointing up in defiance of the Sky. They say Old Magasta threw it up from the ocean bed in anger at Yelm one day”
‘Ar see that spire there?” he says pointing towards a tall white building with a tower “That be Bad Man’s Temple. Capt White who runs Black Isle owns it and hires it out to who ever wants to use it. Usually ends in trouble. Far too many friends of mine have been buried in the grave yard behind it. Not right for a sea dog“ Jeffran suddenly starts grabs your arm and points to a large squat white building with a red dome above the Temple. “That there be Capt White’s palace. It’s a place fit for a king, and old Capt Ravage, who owned the isle before he lost it playing cards to White, used to live like one there. I went to many of his wild parties. Capt White is a strange sort. Has the occasional ‘Dinner’ for visitin’ lord, but otherwise the doors are shut to the likes of me and ye”
You can now see the individual winding streets made up of tall rickety buildings. “See that there Lad that’s the street of a hundred temples. Not a religious man myself, but Capt White has encouraged all sorts of priest to set up shop, as long as they pay some ‘rent’ to him.”
The docks are getting near, a large dock that takes up the entire sea front of the town that perches under the shadow of the spire. Many large ocean going ships are moored proudly along the front, their masts proudly showing pirate colours. The docks even have a shipwright. You can see the shell of a large black ship in its dry docks.
Finally your ship is brought in, and as the gang plank goes down Old Jeffran jumps up with more vigour than you expected of a man his age. “Well I’ll be begging your leave good sirs.” He points to a large bustling building across the docks. “Me old lady and couple of the finest pints of ale are waiting there at the Paltry Parrot, the best pub this side of the Middle Sea”. With that he hobbles down the gang plank, past the sailors unloading cargo, and rapidly disappears into the busy Inn.”
Black Dog isle is one of the adventure locations in the upcoming “Dead Man’s Scrolls” adventure that appears in Hearts in Glorantha issue 6.