The Island of Kheth.
Dragonborn explorers first discovered the island in 808 DY and named it Azun’zadi. A cursory examination revealed that it was infested with terrible monsters, so the explorers left it alone. By the mid-nine hundreds, Azun’zadi had become a favorite hunting ground for Dragovar warriors and nobility. Eventually they expunged the worst of the island’s inhabitants, leaving it ripe for colonization.
The island today is mostly civilized, with a few dark areas and caves where monsters continue to thrive. The island’s best-known landmark, apart from the small coastal town on its eastern shore, is an ancient ruin on a hill marked with serpentine statuary, and beneath the ruin, a partially collapsed dungeon complex adorned with serpentine motifs.
Various dragon overlords have claimed the island over the years, renaming it accordingly. In 1100 DY, a green dragon named Kheth wrested the island from a copper dragon named Irindol and renamed it after himself. Future visitors would thereafter refer to the island by its new name or suffer the consequences.
Tyrak’n is the largest settlement on the island, built upon its eastern shore. “Tyrak’n” is short for Tyrak’s Town, named after the human explorer Tyrak von Zarkyn. In 1369 DY, Tyrak came to the island in search of treasure and encountered hill giants and orcs wandering the hills. After much bloodshed, Tyrak’s crew defeated the giants and orcs and took their gold. Tyrak used most of his spoils to build a trading post that has since grown into a small town. Tyrak established trade routes to other civilized islands, and the Dragovar rewarded his intrepidity by making Tyrak the island’s magistrate.
Tyrak’s grandson Cyrik is the current magistrate and oversees all business in Tyrak’n. Nothing ever seems to slip past his guard, thanks to his wife Thariel, who has an uncanny gift for knowing everything about everyone in town.
The wooden palisade that once protected Tyrak’n has partially been replaced by a new stone wall. Construction of the fortified wall is progressing slowly due to a lack of funds and skilled stonemasons, but Magistrate von Zarkyn is determined to complete the work in the next year or two.
The buildings of Tyrak’n are mostly single-story wooden affairs, with a few notable exceptions. Von Zarkyn Manor is a two-story stone house with a turret in one corner. Across the street is the stone Temple of Avandra. Tyrak’n also has an old stone garrison tower atop a hillock, although it needs work and is currently encased in wooden scaffolding.
The caravel that brought Tyrak to the island over a hundred years ago is now a permanent feature of the town docks. The Talisman has been gutted and transformed into a tavern and brewery. The Talisman’s proprietor, a jovial tiefling named Lucius, is also the proud brewer of Tyrak’n’s notorious Impstinger Ale. One of Lucius’s longtime acquaintances, Captain Ghordan Raiko of the Lantheon, is a merchant who brings trade goods to Tyrak’n every month. Raiko’s arrival is always a cause for celebration at the Talisman.
Nineteen years ago, a ship called the Morrow’s Folly ran aground during a rare torrential storm. The skeletal wreck lies just outside of the town proper and has been thoroughly plundered. The survivors of the wrecked ship (notably the captain and several very young children) were taken in by the local citizenry and still inhabit Tyrak’n to the present day. Captain Morrow has tried his best to help raise the children, but he refuses to speak about where he was taking them before the storm hit.
Kheth, the Green Dragon
The island of Kheth is named after its current overlord, a sly and paranoid green dragon the size of a killer whale. Kheth demands tribute from the island’s other residents, but the tribute isn’t exorbitant (monthly cattle and gold), and once appeased the dragon keeps to himself.
Kheth’s claim of the island has not gone unchallenged. Seven years ago, another green dragon came to the island, presumably to usurp Kheth’s rule, but Kheth drove it off after a fierce battle. Visiting sailors sometimes speak of a copper dragon making wide circles around the island; some speculate that the dragon is Irindol, the island’s previous overlord, whom Kheth displaced long ago.
According to Magistrate von Zarkyn, Kheth is quite knowledgeable about the world. However, the dragon rarely imparts information free of charge, often demanding a donation to its growing hoard or some other service in exchange.
Kheth lives in a cave that overlooks the northern shore. A narrow footpath leads up to the mouth of the cave, which is encrusted with sharp crystals. Kheth has a handful of kobold lookouts that watch the cave entrance and patrol the hillside.
This lonely hill is a day-and-a-half’s walk from Tyrak’n. Atop it rests a crumbled ruin, in the middle of which sits an old stone shrine. The ruin was probably an abbey or temple dedicated to some ancient snake cult, as the grounds are strewn with toppled statuary depicting snake-headed men. The green dragon has a few kobold minions that patrol the forest near the hill, probably to discourage exploration of the ruin.
The Mysterious “Ghost Giant”
Citizens of Tyrak’n who explore the misty southern beach at low tide occasionally spot enormous footprints in the sand, leading to and from the nearby woods. It is commonly believed that a giant lives somewhere on the island, although it has yet to reveal itself to the people of Tyrak’n. Jegger Trout, the captain of the guard, believes it’s a hill giant, but attempts to locate “the Ghost Giant” or its lair have proven fruitless.
The island of Vorkon can be seen from Kheth’s northern shore. The savage orcs and ogres that inhabit Vorkon belong to the Firespear tribe, so named because they like to douse their spears in flaming pitch. These fell creatures have dark gray skin covered with warpaint, but they don’t wear much armor. The Firespear chieftain has never been seen, although there’s a standing bounty of 1,000 crowns on its head. (The bounty was issued by Magistrate Lenya von Zarkyn in 1420 DY and is still honored by the current magistrate.) An active volcano rises up from the jungles of Vorkon, spewing a thin plume of black smoke and white ash into the sky. If Vorkon has a dragon overlord, no one in Tyrak’n has seen it.
Other Islands Near Kheth
Most of the other islands within easy reach of Kheth are barren shards of volcanic rock jutting angrily out of the sea. They serve as perches for harpies that feast on fish and the occasional sailor. The closest Arkhosian islands of consequence are the Sister Islands, Castanamir and Mheletros. Io’galaroth, the City of Caves, is hewn out of the dark cliffs of Castanamir, while Mheletros is home to a massive Dragovar prison-fortress called Zardkarath.
The island of Kheth is triangular in shape and roughly 50 miles across (north to south). Beaches line the north, east, and south coasts, with sheer black cliffs to the west. A rain forest dominates the island interior, which rises and falls, creating a series of hills and gorges. The forest provides Tyrak’n with a ready supply of wood, rich topsoil, fruit, herbs, and meat, not to mention goods that can be traded to other islands for grain, wool, and various other commodities that Kheth can’t provide. Kheth is a subtropical island. The summers are warm and humid, with frequent showers of misty rain. The heavy rain usually comes in the winter, when the temperature is mild during the day and cool enough for long sleeves at night. Thunderstorms are common, but the sea remains calm throughout the year. Once or twice each winter, the island is peppered with hail, but these hailstorms turn to rain quickly. Tyrak’n is the only settlement on Kheth. The remainder of the island is home to harmless subtropical wildlife as well as stirges, fire beetles, snakes, spiders, scorpions, boars, and the odd spitting drake. Before the island was colonized, Dragovar nobles used to hunt rage drakes on the island, but there don’t seem to be any more of them around (which is a good thing).