while ago I bought myself a copy of The Islands of the Purple-Haunted Putrescence. The name was dropped now and then at Eric´s blog and the reviews at drivethrurpg.com looked like one could give it a try. And of course, little me was curious and on my edge as there was a little flash-sale that allowed me to grab it for about $5.00 or so. All in all, it is still as gonzo as you have to expect when you deal with Kort´thalis Publishing. But if you cut something off here, file something of there and simply drown this or that in the next river before you present it to your players, you will have lots of fun with it (after you washed your hands clean and exchanged the sheets on your bed). It basically has the level of details I would have WISHED “Carcosa” to have: a little more text per hex.
But, this post is not about a review for the title, but about a little fan work: what I miss in the product are encounters where the characters may get their hands on crystals (one way or the other), so I wrote one such possible encounter. Feel free to use it anyway and anywhere you like, so some of the stuff that is mentioned in the text will not make much sense to you if you are not familiar with The Islands of the Purple-Haunted Putrescence…
01#The White-Tree Community
The characters learn that there is a small community (20 members; four of them are woman/girls) of the Children of the Light nearby. They life on a large, grassy plain under an enormous white tree that is the size of a small tower, and are known seeking aqua crystals.
The Community chose the place because the White Tree provides their guard/s a good vantage point and a nearby burrow (that must once have been the home of a creature the size of a Triceratops) provides them shelter from the rain and the Putrescence (when they all huddle together; all their clothes are dirt stained). There is only a hand full of huts: one for each family (3), one for the unmarried men, one for the unmarried women (currently empty) and one for their leader, Erwa (who has not married yet). Usually, Erwa and 1d4+1 male guards are the only adults to be found in the community: the others are out hunting, gathering or searching for aqua crystals. The guards are armed with short bows and wait in the lower tree branches, all of the villagers are skilled climbers and will flee up the tree as soon as the guards warn them (or head into the burrow when rain or “the Sky-Demon” is coming). Those who are to old to climb now that someday, their fate will be sealed: while the guards will try to defend them from above, they cannot flee.
Erwa is a young, broad-hiped human woman with a pointy chin. She likes to pretend that she knows it all and that everything makes sense to her, and she even fools herself at times. But that is a calm facade she maintenance to guide her flock. She truly cares for her people and would give her life if it would be necessary to save them (so, only if it would save “the many instead of the few”). She carries a gnarly wooden staff with three crystals set into it: an aqua crystal on top, and two colorless crystals below it. Otherwise, she is armed with a silvery, alien laser pistol (1d6 shots lefts, re-charges one shot per month by draining cosmic energies).
The community owns 1d4 red crystals that are buried inside of of Erwa´s hut (to protect them from thieves), and 1d8+1 aqua crystals that they buried around the White Tree. The community believes that the aqua crystals are touched by their god, and thereby view them as sacred items. They are willing to trade the red crystals for aqua crystals but won´t even mention the other aqua crystals (out of fear that somebody might steal them): they buried those around the tree so that “the angels” may protect them. Erwa is unlikely to trade anything for women, but if such an offer is made the men will talk to her after the characters leave. If the PC ever return Erwa will come back to that offer after a while (on request of the unmarried men of the community).
Optional Events (1d4):
1# When the bark is chopped or cut, the White Tree bleeds a purple resin. The community knows this but tries to keep it a secret. Sadly, the Purple Worshipers have learned of it and now prepare an attack to drive the community off (and will slaughter them all if to gain control of the tree). The PC may intervene on the sides of the community, on that of the Purple Worshippers, or just learn about it after a while.
2# The creature that created the burrow has returned (or it´s off spring did): it looks like a mixture of a bear and a rascal, the size of a Triceratops and with four spider-like eyes. The beast will drive off the community, and the refugees will be desperate to find somebody to deal with the beast so that they may return home to their “sacred place”.
3# After the PC brought some aqua crystals or did some other deed for the community, Erwa falls in love with a random PC. She wants to marry him and to integrate the party into the community. If the characters do not a least -try-, Erwa will be bitterly disappointed, only to become angry and vengeful after about a day of brooding (and silent cursing). After that, the characters will not be welcome anymore, and their will be no (further) trade, no matter what they bring. If they -try- to live with Erwa and the community, but later find (the marriage / the life) to be an unhappy one, Erwa will be sad but more understanding and allow them to leave and to return if they wish (with no bad blood but lots of sighs).
4# One day, the Purple Putrescence focuses its incomprehensible attention to the White Tree, and completely purples it. Erwa dies that day, as she climbs up into the tree to fight against the daemonic thing that defiles everything that is holy to her, but is quickly devoured by it. In the aftermath of the event, the community loses its fait. One of the women sees this tragedy as a sign that their faith was wrong, that their IS no light and that they should worship the Thing that Rots from the Sky instead! Some of the survivors flee, others join her. When the characters return, they will find a community of Purple Worshipers that is basically an anti-version of the former community. Their new leader, who took this position herself by eating a part of the Purple Tree (and became a Purple Prophet instead of ending up dead), calls herself “Laviara” now and welcomes the characters. She will offer sex with her as a welcome and peace-making ceremony and will want to trade the aqua crystals in exchange for slaves (which the new cult wants to sacrifice to the Purple Putrescence when it returns, and use them “the regular way” in the meanwhile).