Friday, September 30, 2011

Sword and Sorcery Greyhawk - The Isle of Green Stones

Don't bother looking for this mysterious isle on your map - it is rumored to be somewhere near Midbay in the Nyr Dyv - no one who has gone looking for it has been able to accurately pinpoint its location. This is, in part, due to the thick, moving fogs which usually enshroud the isle. There is also the issue of the questionable sanity of those who claim to have visited the isle.

The isle itself is only ten miles end-to-end from its northernmost point to its southernmost, and roughly three miles across at its widest point east-to-west. It is choked with gnarled, ancient trees, vines, and heavy undergrowth. The isle's moniker comes from the tumbled green stones found all across it. The stones are worked, and seem to have once been part of some ancient city or temple complex. Some stones still bear weather-faded runes and reliefs depicting savage humans, often engaged in salacious acts, lorded over by a race of vulture-headed humanoids. Whether these inhuman beings are an actual race or meant to depict some sort of gods is ambiguous.

What is tempting about the isle to treasure hunters is the rumor of great wealth to be found on the isle. Old legends around the Nyr Dyv, particularly found among the old tribes of Flan descent, place the isle at the center of a lost empire, millennia old. According to these legends, this decadent empire fell into ruin not through the actions of some outer agency or slow decline, but due to a horrible curse that brought them to a sudden, apocalyptic end. A further rumor insists that the broken city sometimes appears as if it had never fallen, on nights when the moon is full.

Visitors to the isle, obviously, risk falling prey to that very same curse.

Random Encounters (d12)
1. Bat, Mobat (2d3)
2. Bird, Dire (1d4)
3. Coatl
4. Vulchling (2d4)
5. Jackal (2d6)
6. Ape, Carnivorous (2d3)
7. Lizard, Giant Monitor (1d4)
8. Amber Creeping Vine (1d3)
9. Basilisk
10. Zombies, JuJu (1d4)
11. Toad, Giant (2d6)
12. Spider, Giant (1d3)

Vulture Helms
These ancient helms may sometimes still be found on the Isle of Green Stones. They are powerful, but convey a great curse. They appear as a gem-encrusted full helm of light, steel mesh in the shape of a vultures head. When worn, they impart a +1 bonus to armor class, infravision, and allow the use of charm person up to three times daily. Due to their curse, however, each use of the Vulture helm's charm ability carries a (cumulative) 5% chance of the wearer transforming into a Vulchling of CE alignment. Only a wish or remove curse may reverse this transformation, and the Helm is lost in the process. Each helm is worth 4500 gp for its value in gems alone.

Spider Knives
These odd weapons may also be found on the Isle of Green Stones. They feature a 9" curved blade with a hilt shaped like a spider. It is held by entwining one's finger among the spider's legs. It functions as a Knife +1, and on a natural roll to-hit of "20" injects a powerful poison into the victim's wound (Save at -1 or die). Unfortunately, these weapons have been influenced by the Isle's curse as well, and on a natural roll of "1" inject the same poison into the wielder.


Hrek Maluk (Thief 6, CN) - Maluk has been stranded on the Isle for 2 weeks now since he and his group of treasure hunters landed. He is the only surviving member, and has been without sleep for three days now as he is being stalked by a group of 3 carnivorous apes. He carries a bag of ancient jewelry worth 3000gp he will gladly offer in exchange for help driving off the apes, though he will, of course, try to steal it all back eventually.

Captain Shurc (F4, N) - Shurc has been living on the Isle for six years. He is quite mad, and claims he can speak to the "great spirits of the Isle". His motives are unclear, as is the veracity of his claims, but he will refuse to leave the Isle to the point of physical aggression. He knows the location of a deep sinkhole filled with bones and jewelry.


  1. I love little isles hidden within the lakes of Greyhawk---great one, Al! :D


  2. PS - great illustration too: where's it from originally?


  3. Its a Smith/Kaluta piece, and while I'm not entirely sure what its from, it looks a lot like Immryr from the Elric books (that may even be Elric in the Crow's Nest there).

  4. Its a Smith/Kaluta piece, and while I'm not entirely sure what its from, it looks a lot like Immryr from the Elric books (that may even be Elric in the Crow's Nest there).

    Good point---perhaps it's the sea maze in front of Imrryr. I don't recall MM ever describing such groping female statues per se, but regardless they are a joy to behold =)


  5. this is a great one-pager for my binder. Thanks, and you should post more!

  6. If you don't have them already, get the whole S&S GH series here:

  7. Very nice. It reminds me of the isle of Xapur from Howard's "The Devil in Iron," and the lost island on the Vilayet in "Iron Shadows in the Moon." Well done! :)

  8. Thanks for sharing this succinct and fun write-up of a setting.

  9. That is an interesting concept, Ravyn. Glad you posted it. :)

    However, I must point out that what you are refering to as a "crow's nest" in the picture is merely a flag or banner waving in the wind. Observe the man standing at the tiller. He is fully one third as tall as the mast itself. No human (even one as scrawny as Elric) could be perched atop that mast. Perhaps a child or a halfling could shimmy up it and hang on without tipping the boat over, but not a fully grown human. ;)


  10. Hi Sir Xaris!

    If you right click on the image and open it in another tab it will blow up to large size, and you'll be able to see the fellow atop the mast a little clearer, pointing at the island.

  11. Al,

    Hmmm... It appears that you are correct. It must be a halfling. :P



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