“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allen Poe
“If geography is prose, maps are iconography” — Lennart Meri
If you are playing through Tomb of Annihilation (or planning to do so) you should watch this episode of Survivorman from the Grenada Jungle. Excellent source material for ideas while your players have their characters within the Chult jungles!
THE FACTIONS IN PORT NYANZARU
Port Nyanzaru is the lone civilized hub on a vast peninsula of great wealth. Many factions would like to tap into that wealth, and they all have agents vying for influence in the city or scouting the jungle for opportunities. The Factions are each represented by a single powerful and influential leader who is on good terms with the Merchant Princes. These representatives are commonly called “The Six” and meet for Council meetings in Goldenthrone, an old, regal Amnian palace overlooking
the bay under the watchful eyes of the Merchant Princes and their minions.
“There were times that called for mindless, terror filled
panic, and times that called for measured,
considered, thoughtful panic.”
Why Fight When You Can Navigate?
An atropal is an undead titan creature that resembles an overgrown, dead human fetus. Notable physical traits include rotten skin, patches of exposed muscle tissue, clawed hands, and feet, razor-sharp teeth and eyeholes that have been fused shut. Also of particular note, an atropal will usually have an umbilical cord still dangling from its belly.
An atropal is a weapon and nothing else. They were created during the Dawn War when the gods fought against the primordials. The Dawn War began when the mad god Tharizdun marshaled the primordials against the gods in a bid for universal domination. In his madness, Tharizdun attempted to create life resulting in the nightmarish atropals. Seeing that his creations were faulty, he sealed them away within the Far Realm to be forgotten. Some, however, have been allowed to roam free across the planes, bringing death and destruction everywhere they go.
Atropal are thought to be immortal and unable to be truly killed. Atropals lack eyes, yet they can still perceive their surroundings just as accurately as any sighted being, in fact, they are believed to have True Sight allowing them to see the true forms of beings and objects. They are undead creatures able to bolster others of their kind, using an ability that creates a terrible miasma that can swiftly kill living creatures and repair undead creatures. An Atropal can also sap the life force of living creatures to empower themselves.
Sometime in the late 15th century D.R., an atropal was found drifting in the Negative Energy plane by the lich Acererak and was brought to the Tomb of the Annihilation in Chult to be nourished by an artifact known as the Soulmonger, which caused the onset of the death curse.
The fictional character Vecna (VEK-nah) has been named as one of the greatest villains in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. In his time, he was the greatest living wizard, and with the assistance of the demon lord Orcus, he became a lich. He grew in power and arguably became the most powerful of liches. Although in time, his undead body began to wither and fade, he rose to godhood.
Vecna is usually depicted as a powerful magician resembling a desiccated corpse missing his left hand and eye. A constant theme in the adventures in which the character appears is Vecna’s never-ending quest for power, ending, should he succeed, with Vecna as the only deity in existence.
Vecna became so foreboding as a god that his cultists rarely spoke his name. They would talk of him in whispers, usually referring to his as The Master of Secrets, The Whispered One, The Undying King, Master of the Spider Throne, or Lord of the Rotted Tower. Being a secretive cult, there are no real collections of Vecnan teachings. However, copies of the Book of Vile Darkness are highly prized by the cult for Vecna’s role in that work’s development. The “Scroll of Mauthereign” is a text which offers a twisted version of Vecna’s history and tells his followers that committing evil acts is holy and righteous. Additionally, Vecna cults consider “Ordinary Necromancy” and “The Book of Keeping” as holy texts.
He has few allies, and countless enemies. His greatest, and perhaps only true ally is the mysterious entity known as the Serpent. Within the mortal worlds, Osterneth, the Bronze Lich, as the mightiest servant of Vecna. Also, the legendary lich, Acererak, once served Vecna, but the current status of their relationship is unknown. Among Vecna’s staunchest foes are Kas, Iuz, Saint Cuthbert, the Lady of Pain, Pholtus, the Circle of Eight, and he is also opposed by the Old Faith and the Silent Ones.