Post by amisi on May 1, 2009 10:43:45 GMT -5
created by Moshicus
Name of Island: Utopia Disco
Size of Island:
You won't find the borders of Utopia Disco on any map or chart. Some ships pass through it in a matter of minutes. Others claim to have been lost under its sun-choking canopy for weeks. Some can never find its murky waters in the first place. It is just as large as it needs to be, and not an inch more.
Location: Dream or Fairytale (Or Nightmare, I suppose) Route of the Grand Line
Log Pose Time: Varies! (If GM's are okay with this)
Theme Song: Here. Listen to it while you read!
Flora and Fauna:
Utopia Disco is a strange medly of biomes, somewhere between a thick tropical rainforest and a dark saltwater swamp. One could debate it is not exactly an island at all, as the sight of land is a rare one indeed.
The forest's defining feature is its towering Everbrass Trees. These long-lived giants vaguely resemble metallic bronze-colored mangrove trees, though they are seemingly tall as the Gate of Justice, and wide enough to carve a village out of each. Everbrasss have massive twisted roots that curve in and out of the water, forming elaborate archways, which any crew passing through must navigate if they wish to safely reach the other side. These trees are far enough apart for a ship, if not several ships, to pass through safely, but their dark leaves still spread out far enough to form an all-enveloping canopy that does not allow even a single shaft of light from the world above. This blanket of darkness is so thick that even at its edges, where the sea is still blue and the sky is still bright, it still somehow strangles the sun's rays.
But a party venturing into the depths of Utopia Disco need not worry about lighting for long. As soon as all natural light has been extinguished, the fauna of the island begin to emerge. Neon Slugs; large creatures, thicker than a man, and grow anywhere between 10-30 feet long, exist high up in the trees. Each glows brightly with an ephremeral light, draping themselves across numerous branches, and twisting into strange shapes and patterns. It is said each shines a different color, and it by their gracious light that a ship can sail without crashing into obstacles.
Scuttling about on the lower branches are Snare Monkeys. Long-tailed creatures, with pure white fur, and black mask-like faces; they move quietly from tree to tree, collecting the shining fruits dot the tops of trees like stars on a dark night. They do not communicate with hoots or screeches. Instead, Snare Monkeys use the great Everbrass trees as their method of speech, tapping out a rhytmic calls on the trunks with their long and pointed claws. The sound reverberates through the entire tree as if it were hollow, sending echoes of their message for miles around. The different fingers the creatures use, the different elevation, and even the tree they are using all affect the tone produced, forming a rich, if incomprehensible, language. Their beats become even more complex when excited by the arrival of a ship.
Hidden just underneath the still waters are the Flat Gulls, giant creatures, who get their name from their long but predominantly flat bodies. They live in pods, that flitter in between Everbrass roots, living off of the light-blue mold that grows there. They only rise to the surface in order to expel spent oxygen they have gathered during dives, shooting it out of two rows of holes which go down the center of their backs. They surface as a group, releasing the gas one after another, which creates a distinct chain of whistling noises. Each Gull is said to have a unique sound, but members of a pod tend to have similar tones.
Serene creatures, that float motionlessly under the waves in a semi-comatose state for the majority of their lives. They breathe by extending a long snorkel-like appendadge up above the water, which combined with their oblivious state, makes them an easy and integral part of man predator's diets. Born with a monstrous layer of fat around them, they immediately enter their fasting state, in which they will gradually expend their stored calories until they are old enough to breed, at which point they break free of their slumber, and enter a feeding frenzy; eating as much food as possible in order to provide a sufficient nutrition for their children's long sleep.
Not all the creatures who live in this surreal forest are kind. Occasionally, rising out of the black waters are strange tentacles, very much like that of a Priestfish, save a single curved spike that protrudes from the top. When a Snare Monkey, likely a younger member of the species, ventures to the lowest branches, they sometimes draw near these protrusions. Should it get too close, or worst of all, grab onto one of these appendages, it reveals its true nature. Wrapping around the poor simian in a flash, the tentacle, and whatever beast it is attached to, pulls it down into the depths.
Mimic beasts are strange creatures, caught somewhere between a starfish and cthulu. Their "mouth" consists of countless little stubby hooks, which they use to attach to the bases of the trees. The long arm standing out of the water is their lure. They're blind, but can feel when someone is near their arm, and drag it down to be digested if given half a chance. If they latch onto a ship, they'll detach from the tree, pull themselves up, and attach to the bottom of the ship (Causing rather severe damage, if they aren't removed quickly). Theirs size varies, but as a general rule, the longer the arm the bigger the critter.
There is also said to be a particularly big and cantankerous Mimic Beast named Nidhog, who aggressively patrols the waters of the swamp, and has made victims of the strongest of ships. This murderous invertebrate will actually use his hook to pull himself from tree to tree and chase after ships, or chew his way through a smaller tree's to make it fall on a target. If you are passing through Utopia Disco, stay clear of Mimic's lures will serve you well, but that will not always keep you safe...
While these creatures are in unique and fantastic in their own way, they are not near the summary of the entire swamp’s population. Whether it be the fantastic Lullaby Cardinals, the only reliable way to tell when it is night, the Basstoads, whose hum vibrates for miles around, or even the rare and elusive Angel Stag, whose touch is so touch that it can skip effortlessly across the surface of water, all add to the eerie ambiance which makes seems to permeate the island’s entirety. All the noise of the forest combine into a haunting melody, that is said to cling to a ship's crew even after they have sailed free of its waters.
There is only a single inhabitant in Utopia Disco (And even his existance is somewhat suspect). He is detailed further in the next section.
Many of the legends and rumors surrounding Utopia Disco revolve around some great treasure, or some lurking monstrosity. Few, if any a sailor, comes back gibbering of a small old man, who somehow manages to make a living in the crazed swamp. Descriptions vary, as does almost anything involving such a fantastic place, but a few of the facts they all agree on: He lives in the center of the swamp, underneath the largest Everbrass Tree. He has a roaring furnace, which some people say burn with the souls of those who get lost in the forest. And that he bends steel as easy as an artist sculpts clay.
Town(s)/Village(s)/City or Cities:
There are no towns, villages, or solid traces of human civilization to be found. Though, there are some colonies of monkeys who, should someone be brave or foolish enough to climb up to, might be inclined to share some secrets of navigating the forest safely. If sufficiently bribed, of course.
Survive the island! There are monsters and critters hiding in the water. Just getting through is a challenge.
Find the Monkey's Stash! Snare Monkeys sometimes slip onto passing ships and pinch cargo. Who knows what they've got hidden awawy?
Find the Wondersmith! Some say a legendary smith lives in the center of the swamp, waiting for something worthy of his skill.
Catch a Live Priestfish!: Chefs from all over the seas have heard about the savory flavor of the rare and elusive Priestfish. These creatures sell for a hefty price on the cooking market, and are worth double if caught during their breeding season, where the creatures are most ripe. Unfortunately, this is also when they are the most aggressive. But still, the risk is worth the price.
Kill the Beast!: No one knows how, but the foul beast Nidhog has begun to hunt outside of its swamp, even being so bold as to strike near other islands. Nearby Marines have tried to root it out, but when pressed, it retreats back into its den in the Disco. So they have taken to putting a bounty, for anyone willing to chase it into these dangerous waters...
Utopia Disco is a difficult island to document, but some historians have attempted ,over the passage of years, to compile the stories that come out of that place. Ships travelling in the region have been reported as missing for months, only to emerge claiming they had only been lost for a single day. Some come back telling extravagent stories of the impossible things that they saw, some never speak of it again. Some never come back at all.
It very rarely reacts with the log pose, as most people caught in the swamp claim to been heading to an entirely different island when the bronze-barked trees suddenly rose around them. Scholars attempting to track down its exact location come back empty handed.
Perhaps the most curious stories would be those of a man who lives in Utopia Disco. One of the survivors, when placed under a regressive trance, was able to give his recollection of encountering this engimatic figure.
"From the outside, you can see enormous trees, as wide as small islands themselves, jutting straight out of the water haphazardly as they reach towards the sun. Leaves of any number of colors cast shadows down below, where the arboreal giant’s massive twisted roots weave in and out of the sea. Upon closer inspection, the bark of the trees is unusually smooth to the touch, and makes an almost metallic resounding sound when tapped.
As your ship is drawn underneath the canopy, the water begins to be diluted, its color now a murky brass. The waves cease, blocked by the intimidating flora. You steer your sails underneath the towering roots; you might have been worried about hitting your mass, but you now realize that a single gap could host a ship several times the size of your own. You turn around and see that the sky has turned into a midnight blue, despite the fact it was just past noon when you entered. Wary, but determined, you open several lanterns continue on.
The water is becoming murkier, and you keep expecting to get stuck, but a strong wind keeps you moving forward. As you continue on, light begins to reappear. You give a sigh of relief, believing yourself to hit a patch of sunlight, but you quickly discover that this is not the case. Huge, glass-like flowers jut from the trees above, radiating bright neon colors that illuminate the swampland below. You see strange shapes, skirting in and out of the light, heedless to your presence. It was that you felt something... something strange tingling inside your bones. It was a feeling you’d had since you arrive, but until now you’d pushed it into the corner of your mind. This feeling grew stronger, as the vibration reached almost an audible level. The hum is quickly joined some sort of tapping, which rage out form the top of the treetops and vibrated down the trunk with an almost musical beat. As you press on, you can almost swear that voices have now join in, accompanying the other instruments with hauntingly dulcet tones. You’ve begun to swallow nervously now; your initial bravado at proving the rumors wrong had been steadily replaced with a growing uneasiness. After much deliberation, you decide to give it a bit more time. But only a bit. Something about the melody… something about it made it hard to concentrate. For some reason, focusing on driving the ship is seeming less and less important, as your mind is filled with fantastic thoughts and daydreams. It’s alright though. Even though you’ve let go of the wheel, the ship seems to know where to go.
You are yanked out of your contemplation by a jerk, as your ship finally meets with something hard enough to offer some sort of resistance. At first, it seems as if momentum will carry you through, but after several minutes of stillness, you have determined that you are indeed stuck. Vivid green foliage covers the ground, which sinks down with your weight pressing on it. You continue moving forward, driven by the strange beat that seemed to pierce down into the deepest corner of your soul. The faint light from high in the trees begins to intensify, wrapping around you and setting your mind on fire. Images of friends and family seem to greet you as you pass them; scenes from your life and the lives of others play out for you like a play. Anything and everything seems to come and go as it pleases, and your ability to differentiate reality from this supernatural fiction is diminished. By now, your body is starting to grow sluggish and unresponsive, and a stray root sends you crashing to the forest floor. You try to push yourself back up, but your arms can’t find the strength. Something saps at your will, a groggy haze replacing the determination you had to reach the center of this enigmatic place. Your eyelids shutter open and closed, and begins to fade. The last thing that hangs loose in your memory is soft footsteps in the moss, and a golden-toothed smile…"
"“Not yet, cha’ild. You got tah have a stronga dream fairst. Then, mehbeh then, Ol' Wonda will make you something niiice."