4E Proposal: Adding the Crystal Isles with a connection to the Isle of Opposition

jbear

Visitor
I'll just copy paste this from the general thread, as I've reread Mewness' suggestion which included starting a thread about the topic.

I'll copy paste my post in the general thread:

For my adventure 'A Call for Lovers' I want to place a group of islands on the map called the Crystal Isles. My intention was to justify its development and hustling bustling cosmopolitan flavour by say it is on the main trade route between Daunton and the Jade Kingdoms.

Mewness has just pointed out that most travel happens via the portals from the Isle of Opposition and suggested perhaps changing that slightly to accommodate the Crystal Isles.

Having just read up a bit on the Isle of Opposition, its fluctuating nature of destination is already built into the history.

My thoughts are that perhaps Bloodstone, the largest and most flourishing of the 18 islands of the Crystal Isles could be home to another portal, perhaps of a more stable nature. Perhaps it could be preferred for journeys from the Jade Kingdom to Daunton and the, just as the Isle of Opposition could perhaps be preferred for the journey from Daunton to the Jade Kingdom.

Or perhaps the tuning has shifted with the recent activation of this new Gateway and the Isle of Opposition and the Crystal Isles have connected. The Crystal Isles could be fairly close to the Jade Kingdoms. So from Daunton you'd travel to the Isle of Opposition and arrive in the Crystal Isles, slicing valuable time off the journey and avoiding treacherous waters, and back the other way the same route would be taken.

I'm kind of writing as the ideas occur to me. I'd love some feedback on this. If the Isle of Opposition were to be slightly altered I understand that would need approval.

So, throwing it out there. My players are getting closer to having their PCs ready, so it won't be long 'til we kick off and it would be good to have something like this a wee bit clearer. Not that it will make a big difference to the adventure, but it would be preferable that the place where events take place at least had some coherence and grounding in the whole setting, if not for more than a dash of flavour.

Many thanks for your thoughts, responses, critiques, questions, proposals, or suggestions!
J

To add Mewness' suggestion:

A certain faction controls the gate in the Jade Kingdoms. (Perhaps a non-desirable ill reputed faction that extorts and over charges clients and tends to tax goods in a very "unofficial fashion"). An opposing faction has set up an alternate route that passes through the Crystal Isles. (This faction perhaps could be of a much more reasonable nature, undercutting the steep prices of the jade Kingdom gate and making the most of the rich and diverse resources found in the Crystal Isles to encourage trade. Perhaps travel is longer to and from the Crystal Isles but reputedly pleasant, inexpensive and profitable. The arrival of goods a guarantee. this may change as the corrupt Jade Kingdom faction begins to wage war on its increasingly successful competitors)

The more I feed from Mewness' idea the more I like this last option the best.
 

Lord Sessadore

Explorer
Using the Isle of Opposition would probably be the most seamless way to add the Crystal Isles. Plus, that's basically the purpose of the Isle of Opposition (that's why the wiki says the portals' connections shift now and then - to allow DMs some freedom with the setting).

I agree that I like that last idea too, it gives the Crystal Isles a place in the setting without just retconning all of the old travel between Daunton and the Jade Empire. You could even say that the Crystal Isles have a set of sometimes-shifting portals similar to the Isle of Opposition if you like.
 

jbear

Visitor
Okay, I'm going to refine the proposal:

The gate from the Jade Kingdom to the Isle of Opposition is controlled by a non-desirable ill reputed pirate faction that extorts and over charges clients and tends to tax goods in a very "unofficial fashion". An opposing faction, the Crystal Masons, organised by Count Varis of Sybar, has set up an alternate trade route using an alternate gate that passes through the Crystal Isles which has recently been attuned to the Isle of Opposition. The Crystal Masons are of a much more reasonable nature, undercutting the steep prices of the Jade Kingdom gate. They also make the most of the rich and diverse resources found in the Crystal Isles, encouraging an increasing flourishing trade.Travel between Daunton and the Jade Kingdoms via the Bloodstone Gate is longer but reputedly pleasant, safe, inexpensive and profitable. The arrival of goods a guarantee. This may change as the corrupt Jade Kingdom faction begins to wage war on its increasingly successful competitors.
 

Mewness

Visitor
You know, I was trying to come up with a new faction to add to the setting (it may be needed for the Serpent's Skull adventure, if things get that far), and something like this might fit in with my plans.

What I need is a fairly powerful, mercantile faction that has established itself in the Kingdom of Jade (and in other places) but is not native to the Kingdom of Jade (where its foreignness earns it some distrust). This faction is not actively evil, but not actively nice either--it does fairly ruthless things to improve its bottom line while trying not to piss anyone off too much.
 

jbear

Visitor
Cool sounds like that will work!

Maybe the faction has a few figures who have been given charge of this area of business (Travel Gate), and they are cutting in on the profits without the boss knowing (ripping off customers and hence pissing them off) and it is affecting trade and opening opportunities for growth in the Crystal Isles. The figures who are responsible have put the blame on the Crystal Masons to divert attention away from their won embezzlement/blame.
 

Mewness

Visitor
Wait, which faction are we talking about?

I was assuming that the faction that controls the original portal is from the Kingdom of Jade (but is corrupt).

Actually it occurs to me that the Crystal Masons could serve my purposes even if they're relatively nice--all that's really needed is for them to be foreign to the Kingdom of Jade (and thus distrusted by the locals).

The only issue is that they need to have been around for ~30 years or more because

[sblock=minor Serpent Skull spoiler]This is the faction the recruited Ishirou when he was a young man, and he's in his fifties now.[/sblock]

By the way jbear are you familiar with the Pathfinder setting?
 

jbear

Visitor
Not very familiar with Pathfinder setting. Little bits that are relevant to my characters. But nothing that involves factions and the likes.

Ahaaaa! Gotcha. Yes, the Crystal Masons definitely have another less kind face to them I think. They get things done when they need to be done. But not malicious. But definitely no messing about. The play both sides of the game but don't step on toes unless completely necessary.

Okay, I'm on the same page.

And the Jade Kingdom faction stays overtly corrupt and rancid. Right?

They have been around for more than 30 years because they have their fingers in many pies :) ANd fortune has shone upon them with a 'fairly recent' tuning of the gate. (Maybe 5 years or so?) And Count Varis, clever man that he is, has made the most of that opportunity as the Jade Kingdoms faction has continued to soil their own reputation. Recently this has become a booming business. And Varis is very interested to have the entire region calm and not in disputes, because that is bad for business. If nice doesn't work, he might have to try it another way. He will go there if he has to. But he prefers not to have to.

Is that what you are thinking of, kind of?
 

Neil1889

Visitor
Could the Crystal Masons be tied to/perhaps run by the Tiefling merchant dynasty mentioned in Rain's background?

1.) It'll save me re-writing too much. :p

2.) As Tieflings, they may be regarded as "not quite one of us" by the Kingdom of Jade's successive rulers anyway, even if they have lived there since *a long time ago.* Within the Kingdom of Jade, they may have filled an Untouchable role that doesn't fit within the courtly caste system (not unlike certain real life minorities in this world).
 

jbear

Visitor
With your Tieflings I am kind of imagining them having close dealings with the Crystal Masons. I'm still seeing them as separate and independent, but they are well aware who is at the top of the pecking order, so they happily co-exist and benefit from each others contacts.

Will that work?
 

Neil1889

Visitor
With your Tieflings I am kind of imagining them having close dealings with the Crystal Masons. I'm still seeing them as separate and independent, but they are well aware who is at the top of the pecking order, so they happily co-exist and benefit from each others contacts.

Will that work?
OK, fine. Things will still have to be moved around to the portals (even by sea) and sold at the otherside of them somewhat out of their easy reach.
 

covaithe

Visitor
I haven't read all of this thread closely, but I just want to note that there's no need for a formal proposal to add new areas / islands / factions / whatever. L4W's setting is designed to be changed and expanded easily, particularly by DMs for their adventures. See the Charter section on world building for more.

Obviously you're quite welcome to discuss your worldbuilding in this thread and get input and feedback and whatever, but you don't need anyone's permission. Just do it.
 

jbear

Visitor
All right, thanks. Mewness just suggested I start a thread because it was altering the already established information on the Isle of Opposition, but we've turned it around and really just given some flesh to the other end which is happening on the Jade Kingdoms side.

To add to the wiki, does that require approval?
 

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