A Weird Island of Terror – Point Barmy

Point Barmy

The Planes: Outlands — Dump Stat Adventures

Author’s Note: This is a mess. I had an idea for a Ravenloft domain that takes from Planescape and Spelljammer.  It quickly became this gonzo and stupid mess that I wasn’t fully content with.  All the same, it’s perfect for today!  Well, Happy April Fool’s Day.

Cultural Level: Chivalric (8)

Darklord: Captain Piers Dunharbor/Mire-Bleak.  Brigands from across the Phlogiston and into Crystal Spheres unknown, aboard the Grimmest Weather.  His crew’s journey stopped normalcy the moment they left Wildspace within their home sphere and accidentally ventured into the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum.  Before the Vacuum Port was established, it was just a lonely void plane that lead to the deaths of many crews.  Desperation grew into frantic behavior, as the crew became divided and distrustful.  The captain, instead of uniting the crumbling crew, exploited the faults and flaws of the starving and maddened sailors.  He tried to plea and pander to each respective side, turning them to him while failing to stop them from turning against each other.  For countless days, the crewmen feuded, while still revering the captain as the only one they could trust.  However, suspicion arose that they’ve all been tricked into giving the captain favor, while they all suffered amidst each other.  Fortunately, good news came before the manipulated and disgruntled crewmen could mutiny against their corrupt “leader”.  A couple of the crew have had experience with travel on the planes, dabbling in related magics.  But, they were naive and inexperienced in such rituals of the arcane.  A portal engulfed the prisoners of the void and into a worse place, the Outer Plane of Pandemonium.  The awful wind and blasting air were grueling, but thankfully the pocket they landed in was big enough to hold the vessel.  Many of the crew abandoned ship immediately, leaving the captain locked in the brig.  The mutiny lead to a scramble to escape the plane.  The impact had killed a majority of the mages that enacted the ritual, leaving all others stranded.  Feeling unable to help, the remaining mages stayed on the spelljammer.  The Helm too was in desperate need of repair, after all.  After days of searching recovered resources proved scarce or dangerous, with several crewmen going full barmy.  They were locked down with the captain, to torment him.  But, the captain’s will was too strong.  That said, something from “outside” contacted him.  He was alerted by some strange source that the crew can be saved, especially himself, if he can convince one of the mages to enact a sacrificial ritual with him.  Many more days passed, as the crew dwindled in supplies rapidly.  A few caved to the Dunharbor’s sick idea, as one of the locked barmies was cut open like a pig and sacrificed to the dread voice.  To everyone’s shock, it worked!  Mists began to fill the cabins and layers, as everyone felt the vessel being taken away.  With a loud *plunk*, it hit some other land, as the light of the sun crept into still splintered boards.  The captain emerged, to the horror that all of his crew was unspeakable mad.  Plus, the world he has emerged into?  Likely worse than he could have ever imagined.

However, there is a problem that curses Dunharbor.  His crew is irreparably mad, they are unlikely to listen to him and usually stay within the ship.  And even worse, should he try to command one of the villagers to aid him, they temporarily spiral into bouts of insanity.  Dunharbor isn’t aware of the full truth behind this and neither are the locals. The locals consider the captain to be cursed and rebuke him, lest he curse them with mental horror too.  Many consider him to be a cruel warlock or decadent Vistani outcast (or Darkling).  On top of this, the captain has frequent blackouts.  This is because he became possessed upon enacting the ritual, by an entity that had no genuine interest in saving him, but rather themselves.  The creature in question was a shadow thing of the Grey Wastes of Gehenna, captured by the Unseelie Court for their own devices.  Having escaped into the depths of Pandemonium, it found the desperate crew of Grimmest Weather.  Ultimately, the two are damned together and the shadow creature hates this; now stuck to the captain’s body.  Mire-Bleak is the creature’s name, now a sort of co-Darklord.  While it can control its host body, it simply wants to return home to Hades the Grey Wastes.  Unable to do that, it enjoys torturing Captain Dunharbor by foiling every attempt for the estranged pirate to get help.  When not inflicting pain upon the locals, Mire-Bleak loves to send anguishing messages to Dunharbor out of pure malice and hatred, seeing as it can’t escape the host body either.  The shadow thing’s abilities to control its host are also very limited.  While it can dominate the captain’s body for upwards to one hour, this is exhausting and causes the monster to go into a torpor state.  During this moment, the captain tries to gain help or favor from the locals, only for a reserve of energy to awaken his shadowy parasite and wreck everything.  While the shadow creature can induce horrible mental states upon the natives, the captain finds himself incapable of properly defending himself.  Time and again, he retreats to the ship through a series of ladders and steps alongside the Inn of Revolution’s Grasp… a curious construction that almost resembles a hand grabbing Grimmer Weather.

What of Point Barmy when not dealing with the Cursed Captain?  It was conceived as a rather libertine and free space within The Outlands, false history. The lands around the crashed spelljammer appear quite ancient, with motifs at home in the other two domains of the cluster.  Stone and metal buildings exhibit qualities and aesthetics much akin to Sigil.  The Spelljammer itself is perched atop some manner of tavern building, much akin to an existing establishment in The Cage.  The people try to live on free principles, trading through community need rather than coin.  This commune is one with very little conflict, and those who study The Art prefer to do so in the name of knowledge rather than control.  According to lore, the commune was built as a more peaceful and less orderly escape from Sigil, not far off the Gate Town of Glorium, the way forward to Ysgard.  As the locals will tell you, they were one day attacked by “sky pirates” akin to the Githyanki.  The leader of the band of thugs was empowered by a dark entity as he brought destruction through conquest upon the land.  Ultimately, the sages of the commune sacrificed themselves to shatter the minds of the brutes, but the captain himself was too strong.  They cast upon him a Curse, the inability to directly harm a commune member.  But, they accidentally left him the ability to break others’ minds.  As the lands cried out for aid, they were only met with other troubled settlements that materialized, as a dangerous fog began to block them from Glorium.  Try as they may, they can do little to fully stop the evil pirate lord, merely drive him away.  As a slight against him, they were able to magically steal his ship and dock it on top of a magical inn building, which drained the Helm of majority functions.  Seeing as the rest of the crew are too mentally and emotionally damaged to venture far beyond the broken spelljammer, they often remain within the beached behemoth.

The Port Town commune has a number of notable fixtures and people within it.  Winton Flanton was a gnomish mage who allegedly joined the community in search of a peaceful place to study.  It was by his hand that the revolution against the mad pirates was started.  He was stricken down, with his book-filled home converted into the “Point Barmy Library for the Public” in memory.  A volunteer militia of mages and warriors roam around the borders, following reports of fiends and other dark terrors.  While they blame the captain, these are the Mist Fiends of Reality’s End.  These community defenders reside in “The Battery of the Defenders”.  Without deeper knowledge, the natives blame the pirates for poisoning the land.  But, unless the pirates take a violent hand against them, the militias and sages won’t try to kill them.  Within the center of the commune, the “Theater for the Enriching” is a community gathering spot to share plays, music and other forms of the arts.  It is here where the usually peaceful folk gather to display culture.  And for visitors willing to learn of their ways, it is often here that they’ll direct them first.  In all, it’s fortunate that the defenders have fended off fiends and war bands alike.  The mainlands are far nonviolent and frail to deal with the harsh realities of their foes, let alone the entirety of the Demiplane of Dread.  Even when the somewhat infrequent blasts of dangerous weather hits the commune, it proves devastating.  Their quick recovery is an ultimate saving grace against any cataclysm that’s not strong enough to immediately destroy them.  Is this to say this is paradise?  No.  The people here are foolishly idealistic.  Plus, they’ve already been infiltrated by Yugoloths from Reality’s End.  The Neutral Evil Fiends seek out all weaknesses and flaws of the struggling settlement.  And like captain before, they intent to help sow division.  Even without them, Winds of Pandemonium batter the settlement at night.  The people have become restless and their sanities put into question. Those who dare to wander in the wind gusts for too long are seldom heard from again.  Other shadowy creatures have emerged in tunnels that run just beyond the town.  Less interested in possession, they express a savage and feral hunger.  Currently, they are confined to this underground, but some have emerged during the evening.  It is possible that Mire-Bleak brings them into reality when its power kills others somehow.

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

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