Table of Contents
This island is about 2 and half month's travel to the southwest of Centralia Island, or a month's travel through dangerous waters southeast from Lojem, situated on the equator of Jearn. It is shaped like a crescent, with the opening on the southern end. There, three large mountains peak out of the water, almost completing the circle.
If viewed from the air, The Titan’s Maw (or The Maw for short), in in a crescent moon shape with it’s opening facing towards the south pole, about 8 mets off of this opening are three mountains each separated about 2.5 mets apart from each other, each mountain is roughly 8.2 mets above sea level and when viewed from above almost give look like teeth. The island itself is roughly the same size as Centralia island, though it is a few mets shorter in length.
Environment and Ecology
About 60% of the interior landmass is covered in massive fresh water swampy jungles, 20% is rivers and floodplains, while the rest is coastal beach. many of the trees are bigger than Redwood trees and completely cover the lower levels in total darkness. Despite this, many of the flora have evolved ways of gaining nutrients without the need for sunlight, the island sports a wide variety of mushrooms, many of which can be as tall as a full-grown (average) male elf, most of the mushrooms have evolved bioluminescence and provide low light in the lower swamp floors. Many of the other plants will grow around these large clusters of “glowshrooms”.
For whatever strange reason, much of the Fauna that resides on the Maw are of abnormally large size, a creature of similar species will often be roughly 3-4 feet taller here than anywhere else, some creatures are even bigger, while some have reached titanic sizes. Insects, amphibians, and reptiles make up most of the fauna life along with a few specialized mammalian creatures and the local indigenous people of the Maw.
The exact origins of the island is a mystery and many of the local indigenous groups will have conflicting stories on the exact origin of the inhabitants and the island; what can be understood is that the island is very old and that the groups that live there now are not the first ones to live on the Maw, ancient ruins dot the landscape of the Maw, many of them are flooded or have sunk into the murky ground below, the locals will often avoid these areas believing them to be cursed sites and any object recovered from the ruins are thrown away out of fear. One thing that unites the stories is that the people who have come to live here were lost in a great storm and landed on the Maw many thousands of years ago.
On 02/08/10078, Lord Avery Cromwell III, a new wealthy Lord in Centralia City, hired a few adventurers to accompany him on a short expedition to this island. Below is a journal entry kept by one of the adventurers:
“Having made it to the island, we found that many of the creatures here have grown to enormous height and weight as well as discovering a new creature known as a “Dive Beetle”. I found the journal my father's first mate in the marooned ship of my father.”
In our records, there is a Mae Víz recorded as one of the hired hands, and judging from the content, it appears she is the author of this journal entry.
“Eventually we made their way to a ziggurat that seemed to belong to a group of nomads who seem to worship a being known as “Ameth”. After three of us partook in the ritual known as “Ameth's Breath”, they were teleported to meet Ameth “the great sage”, a giant spirit that resides in the Kurugo. These three talked with Ameth before being transported back to their bodies (at least that is what they claimed after they came back). Enuma and I have decided to stay on the island for four weeks while the rest of party left the island, taking the journey back to Centralia City.”
People and Tribes
The population is 40% Human, 40% Lizards, 10% Elves, and 10% Gila (Human-Lizard Hybrid). The elves are the only people to have established a city within The Great Ring near the north of the island. Much of the human and lizard folk are organized into nomadic bands who travel through the swamp and jungles, some bands will ply a specific river route and build houseboats, sailing up and down these rivers. Only the elves at the Great Ring are sedentary and have established something of a city within the ruins of The Great Ring.
The Humans and Lizards have many different tribes, too numerous to count and most tribes will only ever have about 30-40 individuals maximum, however, the tribes are often united based upon shared cultures and while they might call themselves by different names, a keen scholar will notice a wide array of similarities between tribes. Most of the tribes make their living in fishing and coastal foraging, their diets heavily consisting of fish, shellfish, and crabs; along with nuts, berries, and the wide selection of mushrooms for other nutrients.
The immediate different between the inhabitants of the Maw and those on other islands of Jaern is the massive height and weight difference. Most Maw inhabitants as stated before will tower over most people, 7’1 seems to be the average height of human males while 6’2 is the average for human females, male and female lizards are even larger with the biggest members almost being 10 feet tall (however these individuals are exceedingly rare due to the bodily strain and extreme nutrient needs that were need to maintain such size). Elves will often be around 8 feet tall and more stockily built than normal elves, if it weren’t for the ears and distinct Elvish attitude, one could mistake them for very large people. Almost all the races who live their weigh on average 75-95 pounds heavier than average Jaernians.
There are five distinct cultures that seem to be link to five unique tribes who wield a lot of influence over other tribes, the fifth tribe being the elves who don’t share their culture but hold a unique position called “The Seers” (similar to a priest position, although the pureblooded elves of Titan's Maw still do not have souls).
The Delver culture prizes individuals who excel in fishing and deep sea diving, those who practice the Delver culture often wear cloths made from dried and pressed seaweed and netting, Delvers will often dive into the deeper parts of the Maw and unlike the rest of the tribe, will often swim into and out of the sunken ruins, coming away with a piece of the ruin as status symbols and trophy’s. The founding tribe is the Quezel Bitters and worship the gate guardian Bio (pr. BEE-oh).
Stone snapers will create jewelry and ornaments made of semi-precious and precious stones, those who follow the Stone Snaper culture will often work closely with the elves to maintain The Great Ring as stone masons, architects, and laborers. Some individuals know ranks of Stone magic and are held in high regard (most never make it past rank 4 of Stone magic). The founding tribe is the Rocs who ply the waters near the Great Ring and are subservient to the elves. Their gate guardian is known as Pith (pr. PIETH).
Moongifted culture is odd in that many of them believe only they can control the tides and the moons of Jaern. Moongifted ingest large amounts of hallucinogenic drugs to induce trance like states and visions on a weekly basis, they believe they are the true spiritual guides and not the elves. Many of the Moongifted are nomads in trade and will cultivate glowshrooms for food and trade. The founding tribe is the Moth Masks who travel to the three mountains to praise their gate guardian Ameth (pr. AH-meth).
The Bone Kin culture are the most martially inclined of the cultures, many of them know how to make weapons from polished bone and know a secret technique to bind ones bone weapon to the user, making their weapons far more durable and deadly than they should be, this technique is taught to the young as a coming of age ritual, individuals will often hunt the large beasts of the island or any ship foolish enough to come close. The founding tribe is the Jaws and their gate guardian is known as Ma'at (MAH-at).
The Gazer culture belongs to the elves of The Great Ring, the elves keep their culture from spreading by staying in their city and having minimal interaction with the other tribes. The Gazers act somewhat like priestesses of At'ena, believing they can see the coming tides of time and predict the future of the island. Many of the tribes believe in these elves and will offer tribute in the form of food and gifts, this belief leads to hostility with the Moongifted culture, but it never comes to blows due to the Gazers powerful position. The Ring Dwellers are the founding tribe and their gate guardian is known as Typhos (pr. TAI-fuss).
While many of the beasts of the Maw are awe inspiring with their massive size. However, they pale in comparison to the gate guardians who are of apocalyptic size and strength. Only five of these Guardians exist and nobody really knows what or how these creatures came to be, many of the tribes will have wildly different mythologies surrounding their origins. But all agree that these gate Guardians keep the Maw safe from threats. The Gate Guardians each inhabit different parts of the island, sleeping or in a state of dormancy. Each tribe offers sacrifices of food and prayers for protection and prosperity. Two of the gate guardians actually possess the ability to communicate in a coherent way that individuals could understand (mental communication creature ability), the other three possess no such abilities but are able to understand small amounts of Paroli (3 ranks).1)
The deep delver, the oceans vessel, the storm breaker. A massive whale like creature similar to that of the Blue whale, some say it was the one that broke the great storm and brought the original inhabitants to the island, now Bio lays in the deepest abyss, awaiting the day when the people of the Maw must leave the island.
The carved one, the shattering fist, the stone teacher. Pyth resides in the deepest caverns of The Maw, some say sleeping near the great inner sun (the planet’s core). The only gate guardian to resemble that of a person, upon further inspection and should anyone ever live to tell of this discovery, Pyth is the only artificially made gate guardian, a Golem. Legend says when the invaders come once more to take the island, Pyth will rouse and heaven will shatter only to be remade by the teacher.
The silver wings, the dreaming sage, moonborn. Ameth is one of the two Gate Guardians who possess great intelligence along with their great size and strength. Depictions of Ameth show a great silver beetle with two wings, one light and one dark to represent the moons of the world, the dreaming sage Ameth left the world when the people of the Maw arrived after teaching them the dust path, legend says the Ameth sends dreams and visions to those chosen, and one day the dreaming sag will return from the realm of spirits to lift the dreamers up into the realm of spirits.
The reaper, Earthbones, The Bone collector. Maat is depicted as a great bone serpent with 8 arms, his body coiled around the island of The Maw. Maat teaches strength and some believe is responsible for the great growth of the creatures and plants, their souls nourished by his boney flesh. When the first people arrived they were weak and hunted by the children of old, but Maat gave first his bones and taught them to bind them to their very souls, turning weakness into strength.
The old father, the seeder, the great Maw. no one knows what it is that Typhos looks like, only the elven seers know of his true enormity, many say that the island is his mouth and that on the last days of Jaern will Typhos awaken and swallow the island, he will fly on gilded wings ,as Jaern withers into dust, to a new home and seed a new world for his children, and thus the cycle will start anew and the next Guardians be born to guard paradise.
After defeating one of the massive creatures of the Maw. Party has discovered the existences of Titan’s essences.
Titan’s essence is unique to the Maw in that it is the reason why the flora and fauna of the region has grown to enormous size, here is the explanation as to where it comes from and how it works.
Titan’s essences comes from the Gate Guardians themselves, they have grown in enough power that they begin to produce the magic energy naturally, so much so that it produces a runoff effect to where they are leaking Titan’s essences. Normally it would not be a big deal and it wouldn’t be noticed very much, the problem comes from the fact that there are five gate guardians, this massive runoff of Titan’s essence that comes from the gate guardians gets naturally absorbed by the plants and ground, as creatures eat the plants, they gain a small portion of that essences. In simple terms, the more a creature eats the more essences it accumulates, predatory creatures often grow rapidly since consuming other living creatures with titan’s essences causes their essence to pass onto the predator. By killing larger monsters, the inhabitants are also able to gain a portion of that essences too (and subsequently adventurers too.)