Adam’s Retroverse DM Blog: Entry 8

Entry 8: Quadrant Contents - Solarian Sands and The Tangaroan Sea












     I’m going to merge two quadrants into one entry today because Quadrant 6 does not have a lot that I want to present. It’s chock-full of content, believe me (lol, or not), but, out of precaution due to the possibility of my players reading these articles, I’m not going to be posting anything concerning Solarian Sands except for general knowledge, corroborated stories, and features that can be seen from outside the Quadrant. Where the Iosian Peninsula is a mysterious region within the larger Quadrant (which is still mysterious in its own right), I wanted a whole Quadrant that is, in all practicality, completely shrouded in mystery and plagued with unanswered questions. I find that to REALLY engage the explorational elements of D&D, two variables MUST be at play: a mysterious region that the characters AND players know nothing about, and a reason to go there (challenges that need overcoming, questions that need answering, people that need contacting, and/or items that need obtaining).

     Without those, there is no exploration, because it’s not really ‘exploring’ if your players/character already know where they should and shouldn’t go within the location, and the chances of them unveiling that blank space on your map that’s actually REALLY full (it is, I swear!) are slim to none if nothing about it’s possibilities pique their interests.


  • Solarian Sands. This entire Quadrant is a mystery nearly everyone with the exception that it is, indeed, a desert of some sort. Wide-spread laser storms blot the sky and render airborne reconnaissance impossible while staggeringly high mountains on all sides with no known passes between them makes even visiting this land on foot a Herculean task.


  • The Waterfalls of Cleansing drop from an impossible height from the Quadrant’s northwestern corner and into the Sea of Peace. These waters are so pure (or likely magical) that they entirely dissolve or dissipate the continuous river of sludge from Quadrant 3 that might permanently pollute the sea were it not for their presence. Numerous conspiracy theories flood the forums and sites on the AEN, and all feature the same picture: The Waterfalls of Cleansing as their endless deluge pours over the shoulders of the three titanic stone warriors who stand guard in an armed vigil.


     The second Quadrant that I’m going to feature in this entry is the Tangaroan Sea in Quadrant 7. I’ll be the first to tell you that, while pirates and their stories weren’t the first in my head when I played pretend as a child (let’s set the record straight: my imagination primarily consisted of me being a Power Ranger), their depictions in popular culture were still influential in my upbringing. So, I translate that enthusiasm into this world as region of adventure and tales on the high seas. You might find San Angeles a little out of place, but it fits the tropical/island/beach aesthetic and I also really, REALLY wanted a “West Coast” city in this world, somewhere.


  • Tangaroan Sea. Warm, clear waters and beautiful, feckless beaches. Those are the defining traits of the surf and turf of the Tangaroan Sea. With biomes ranging from the tropical to the mildly temperate, this oceanic Quadrant holds treasures, secrets, adventure, and, most importantly, good ol’ fun in the sun!


  • San Angeles is the largest city on the Tangaroan Sea’s various shores. It is a city of palm trees, beach bodies, and chill/dream/pop wave beats that saturate the airwaves and find their destinations in the stereos of the numerous luxury cars cruising the sunny streets. Everybody is somebody, or knows somebody, and has their favorite lounge, dancehall, or exclusive club. It is the capital of Face 5’s music industry, and only the casinos of Port Silvertooth have more neon lights and signs than San Angeles. Must have for living here: a sense of style, a laid-back demeanor, and a kickin’ pair of shades.


  • The Mahalo Islands: THE premiere island getaway for members of the upper and upper-middle class. This chain of islands was formed by long dormant or extinct volcanoes, but the “newer” islands have been known to spring to life every now and again. They also serve as a forward naval bases for the San Angeleno Navy and the Aurakian paramilitary force, the DRAKEs.


  • Freeport serves as the headquarters and neutral meeting grounds for the many pirate clans that sail the Tangaroan Sea in search of booty, treasure, and phat loot. This large island on the western edge of the Quadrant is led, always, by an elected Council of 8 who vote on important matters and new laws to “govern” the codes by which all pirates must conduct themselves (they’re more like guidelines than actual rules, anyway). Bristling with cannons on every available perch and building roof of this fortified town, few navies have dared to smoke out this wretched hive of scum and villainy (fantastic rum-and-cokes, though!).


  • Black Water Archipelago borders the Reliant Ocean in the northwestern corner. Navigation is perilous, as large patches of oil float about the waters surrounding these islands, and some sailors have even claimed that the oil comes to life, attacking crews and sinking ships with murderous intent.


  • Gato Vino. An entire island east of Black Water Archipelago dedicated to the creation of fine wines. Site of the annual Gato Vino Wine Festival for the rich and famous.


  • Dragon’s Roar. Where most of the volcanoes of the Mahalo Islands are dormant, there is not a single spire that stabs the sky in the islands of Dragon’s Roar that is without smoke and/or fire. Eruptions are frequent here, flinging large boulders of flaming, molten rock into the sky and down onto passing ships that sailed too close. The air always smells of phosphor and brimstone, and the smoke from these peaks often fuses into a thick fog that swoops across the ocean, blinding unsuspecting vessels that, without proper visual navigation, remain unaware of any peril until fire begins raining down on them.


  • The Bioluminescent Atolls are easily the most beautiful islands in the Tangaroan Sea. Normal in appearance by day, any boats who dock near one of these islands at night need only look down at the ocean of glowing life below. Creatures of all shapes and sizes dazzle beneath the waters with such fierce light that the sea seems made of multicolored, swirling, neon polka-dots when viewed from those who fly above.