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English translation of NM2: The Treasure on Crocodile Island

by Håvard

Map I: Crocodile Island.

Map symbols/Legend

Coral reefs

1) Village
2) Temple Ruins
3) Dragon Cave
4) Wreck of the Swallow (The Swallow is the ship that was supposed to carry the Treasure to the Known World, but it ship wrecked by the Isle.)
5) Burial Ground
6) Channel

Scale: 1 hex = 100 m

Crocodile Island
Unless the ship has been ran off course, the Ocean Eagle arrives at Crocodile Island in the afternoon. The weather is nice and the sea is calm this day. It is possible to sail up close to the reef, but the captain would prefer to set anchor at some distance and use rowing boats when approaching the island. The landscape is that of a typical tropical island, a coral island consisting of a large reef surrounding a circle shaped lagoon. Crocodile Island is named after the large number of salt water crocodiles living outside the reefs. Should the boat capsize (usually only a risk under stormy weather conditions), 1d6 crocodiles will arrive within 1 minute, followed by another 1d4 crocodiles per minute. Inside the lagoon, there is only a 5% chance of encountering crocodiles, however.

(Stats for Salt-water crocodiles)

The Island is formed by corals which through millennia have grown around the crater of a partially submerged dormant volcano. In the middle of the lagoon, a small volcanic island was formed a few centuries ago, but other than that, there are no signs of seismic activity. The island is part of a chain of tropical islands with white sandy beaches along most coasts, but with dangerous undersea reefs just off the coasts. Once you get inland from the beach, you will find a region of fertile plant life, huge palm trees, odorous and flower covered bushes, lianas, and tall bamboo trees. The foliage is not as tightly knit as in a true jungle, but some places you have to cut your way through.

Most coastlines are beaches, but some places, especially on the coasts facing away from the lagoon, there are rough coral cliffs. On the island there are all kinds of palm trees and other tall trees. Edible plants are easy to find. There are coconuts, bananas and breadfruit as well as all kinds of berries and edible roots. There is quite a bit of wildlife on the island as well, especially birds. Some birds may be of value due to their exotic feathers or as unusual pets. There are several species of colourful parrots and also a kind of flightless seabird somewhat resembling penguins, only smaller and with brown and grey stripes. The natives call this bird tu’aro and say it tastes good. Also, there is an abundance of fish both inside the lagoon and outside the reefs.

The coral island is divided by several channels, giving access to the lagoon inside, but these are filled with underwater reefs which make it impossible to navigate a larger ship inside. For the same reason, ships cannot move to close to the outer coasts of Crocodile Island as well. However, these reefs do not prevent all communication with the island. Smaller boats or canoes, such as the natives use can navigate across the reefs. Also, a trench runs all the way into the lagoon, and this is where the Swallow navigated seeking shelter one stormy night, two years ago. The ship had already been damaged by the storm when it sighted the island. Fortunately, the ship’s first mate had been part of a previous expedition to the island and knew about the trench. In spite of this the ship was still damaged by the reefs and sunk soon after it had entered the lagoon.

1) Fisherman’s village
There is a small tribe of fishermen living on Crocodile Island. They call their village Roatana, and their tribe the Roa-Hano people. There are about 75 people in Roatana, making a living from fishing and a bit of farming as well as gathering edible plants from the island. They fish using nets inside the lagoon and from canoes at sea. Any Roa-Hano is intimately familiar with the waters surrounding the island, including the whereabouts of underwater reefs. The people here are quite isolated, but are able to get to neighbouring islands in their canoes. Some of the younger villagers go diving inside the lagoon for recreation or looking for pearls or fish. Some of them might be able to help searching for the wreck of the Swallow. However, most will be reluctant to do so because the area where the Swallow sank is rumoured to be the home of a giant squid. Also, this is in the middle of the fishing season, so unless the adventurers are willing to pay with valuable items, they are unlikely to get any help. The villagers will not be interested in shiny buttons or pearls and they have no use for money. Weapons, tools, jewellery or items made of precious metals are things that might be used for trade.

The villagers are friendly though, and if the adventurers get along with them, they will be invited to parties (and perhaps be wed to the chieftain’s daughter). Talking to the villagers, they will tell you that a few places on the island are taboo: The volcanic island, the shadow mountains and the burial grounds. The natives refuse to give any information about these places. As long as they don’t cause any trouble, the PCs will be able to visit the two former locations without consequences. Should they on the other hand desecrate the burial ground the natives will become very angry. All hospitality will be gone and the PCs will be asked to pack up and leave. If the PCs ignore this, they will be met with all kinds of harassment, theft of possessions, etc… and eventually war. The village will be able to summon 30 armed men.

2) The Temple
On the small Volcanic Island in the middle of the lagoon, there’s a small, run down stone building that was once a temple. The temple consists of a single 5x12m room (4,5 m to the ceiling), and is constructed by huge lava blocks. By one wall there is an altar which has a niche for a religious icon behind it, but the statue is missing. 17 cps and 3 gps can be found by digging in the dirt ground around the altar. The temple is unstable and each turn spent searching through the room, there is a 5% chance that some of the lava blocks shift position. If this happens three times in a row, the whole building will collapse, killing anyone inside instantly. Getting corpses out of the collapsed temple is close to impossible. If the temple collapses, there will be no more help from the natives. The PCs will have broken the taboo and have been punished by the gods.

3) The Dragon’s Cave
The second place which is taboo is a cave high up in a mountain side in the Shadow Mountains. This island is uninhabited, partly due to the fact that the terrain here is difficult to move through but also because those venturing here often end up as a snack for a huge Green Dragon often visiting the island. Should the PCs be insane enough to confront the dragon and be lucky enough to survive, injuring, but not killing the dragon, it will fly away (Most likely to get help from a couple of its cousins to return in order to sink the Sea Eagle and hunt down everyone aboard. Dragons tend to hold a grudge!) It only uses this cave as a place to rest and only keeps a little treasure here; Some gold necklaces, a heap of pearls, and a couple of silver goblets for a total value of 2700 gp.

(Stats for a Huge Green Dragon)

4) The Wreck of the Swallow
It’s about a 7m dive down to the wreck and if you don’t have any equipment or magic to aid in diving, it is going to be difficult to examine the wreck of the Swallow. The water in the lagoon is generally quite clear and even if some there is some sea weed growing near the wreck it is easy to manoeuvre inside the wreck. However, 3 Giant Squids live here.
(Stats for Giant Squid)

Searching through the Wreck you will not find the treasure as it has been removed and buried elsewhere on the island. Inside you will find the body of Nosanje, the magic user who made the treasure map. On his finger, he wears a serpent shaped ring, similar to the one Zarachton was wearing (referring to a member of the Sons of the Serpent- Håvard). It contained a poisonous pill, but it has long since been dissolved. Anyone who touches the ring (without cleaning it first), will be exposed to the poison. The poison will disappear within one day, but if someone with poison on their hands eats or in any other way puts their hands to their mouth (60% chance), they will have to save vs. poison. If the save fails, the victim will fall ill for one day, throwing up and having to rest. If the character does not rest, he will fall into a coma for three days after which he can make another save. If this one fails, the result is death. If it succeeds, the character recovers, but his Con is reduced by 3 permanently.

Holding the Serpent shaped ring close to the treasure map will reveal new markings on the map. These show the treasure being located on the burial grounds in a cave by a broken mango tree.

New Magic Items (From NM2):

Assassin's rod
A person touched by the rod suffers the effect of a Death Spell (Lvl 6). The victim must save at -3 vs Death Ray. It can only be used by a Neutral or Chaotic character. This Rod has charges, like a wand or staff. There are 8 charges left in this particular rod.

Kvassegg (Sharp Edge)
This is a magical intelligent normal sword with Int 11. It can speak five languages: Elven, Dwarven, Common, Latin(?) and Orcish. The sword's alignment is Chaotic. Other abilities: Detect Good, Detect Invisibility, Extra damage, Fly. The sword has an Ego of 22. It's name is carved into both sides of the sword's blade with Dwarven runes.

Ring of Dragon Control
This ring works as a potion of Dragon control, except that you can only control Neutral and Chaotic Dragons. The Dragons will not be hostile towards the user once the effect ends. The ring can only be used by Neutral or Chaotic characters. (Note: This item seems very unbalancing)

These three items were crafted by the evil magic user Ithaq-Talmir along with a Staff of Commanding, a Mirror of Imprisonment and a Staff of the Magi which he used to control the "lands in the North" under his tyrannical rule some centuries ago. Recently they were brought on a ship which shipwrecked in the Thanegioth Archipelago and the items became the Treasure of Crocodile Island.