Welcome to Hex 18.16, The Head of the Ghavor:
0303/0304/0404/0405/0503/0504: Explorers in the area will be greeted by loose rows of obsidian sculpted into mysterious, helmeted figures and odd, twisted stele with indecipherable cuneiform. The figures have not been carved, but expertly shaped (Stone Shape equivalent )by the lizardmen shamen (below) as tribute to their ancestry and for a secondary purpose. Each weighs 400 to 500#. Astute observers will find the figures to be arranged in a 'Y' shape with the east and west arms of the Y pointing at the position of the star Akbal during spring and autumn equinox. Upon the equinoxes, the shaman goes into a trance at the junction of the Y. The stele act as an amplifier or antenna, which the shaman uses for far-seeing to communicate with fellow lizard shamen scattered across the globe to share information and make their ineffable plans. Even one sculpture would exceptionally valued by collectors or sages, but if any were to be moved or disturbed, it would immediately be detected by the lizardmen, instigating a fierce and terminal pursuit.
0404: A colony of lizardmen has settled near the outlet of the lake. Well outside of their normal environs, the 'Stonetalkers' keep to themselves, taking advantage of the warm lake waters and the bounty of the forests to the north. They show disdain, if not outright hostility, to the 'chattering monkeys' who have colonized the remainder of the island, and with the exception of intermittent trade with other humanoids, keep to themselves. While they may tolerate hunting parties into the area, any more intrusive incursions will be resisted.
The colony (90 individuals: 50 males, 26 females, 14 juveniles) is led by a shaman (7th level cleric/druid equivalent) with 8 acolytes (3-5th level equivalent). The shaman is armed with a trident (+1/lightning 1/day (5d6 damage)). The warriors will be typically armed with obsidian-bladed spears and macuahuitl (as morningstar). The colony is comprised of huts and burrows, which are seasonally inundated.
0505/0605: The River Ghavor springs to life dramatically on the slopes of the eponymous volcano (0704). A huge geyser (0605) gushes forth with superheated water. The geyser, among other springs, feeds into a lake, and is surrounded by smaller geysers, steam vents and mudpots. The north side of the lake is bounded by a wall of obsidian (0505). The river flows westward from the lake.
The warm lake has become home to several species of amphibian, most benign, a few malicious or hazardous:
Rage Salamander (1-2): An extremely territorial flame-red salamander that charges forward, jaws drooling hallucinatory poisons (1+1 HD, AC 7/13, Bite 1d4 damage + save vs poison or suffer acute hallucinations for 1d4 turns (1-4 - Attack nearest PC or NPC, 5 - Abject terrors, 6 – Catatonic).
Thunder-Frog (1-4): These large frogs (1 HD, AC 7/13) puff up to three times their normal size to issue forth a bellowing croak. To another Thunder-Frog this says, "I am sexy," but to other creatures, these vocalizations can deafen and stun for 1d4+1 rounds any caught within a 15' cone in front of the frog. Multiple frogs croaking in concert will multiply the stun effect for 1.5 x the rolled duration per frog, plus cause 1-2 HP damage per frog within the 15' cone. If a frog is injured while puffing, there is a 50% chance it will explode for 1d6 damage in a 5' radius.
While Mt. Ghavor (0704) has not erupted in historical memory, its slopes are almost always snow-free, except in deepest winter.
The area is surrounded by overgrown lava flows and extinct cinder cones (0803, 0305).
0505: A poisonous freshwater periwinkle snail lives in the lake outlet. This nondescript walnut-sized snail has a heavy shell and clusters among the rocks near the lake outlet (AC 2/17, 1 HP, Atk 1 pt + save or complete paralysis in 1d6 turns, death in 1d6 hours; Move 1), requiring significant caution when crossing the river, in the event that one steps on a snail and its stinger pierces a foot. The lizardmen use them for their rituals (They have a racial immunity to the effects of the poison, and use the venom as hallucinogen).
0506: Hrada Peak and a second, unnamed peak (0706/0805), south of the lake, dominate the topography of the southern portion of the area. Hrada is an extinct volcano and home to a family nest of Blue-laced Wyverns, recognized by their lustrous iron-black scales with iridescent blue edging. Adult (4): HD 6; AC 3/16; Atk 1 bite (2d8) or 1 sting (1d6+poison); Move 6 (Fly 24). Juvenile (2): HD 2; AC 4/15: Atk 1 bite (1d8) or 1 sting (1d4+poison); Move 6 (Fly 24) (6 total, 3 will always be present).
The extinct volcano has a number of lava tubes, some dead-ended, some interconnected within the heart of the volcano. Many of the tubes have been explored by the lizardmen in search of evidence of lost cities and artifacts that may provide the information and means to bring uplift and renaissance to their race. Explorers to the tubes will have a good chance of encountering one or more lizardmen exploration parties (3rd-5th lvl leader with 3-6 companions). Hidden deep within one of the tunnels, among other artifacts of inexplicable purpose, is The S'thter: A tome of pictographs and cuneiform etched on wire-bound sheets of mica dating prior to the Age of Man. It is a history of the lizardfolk's 'lost' city, allegedly located in the Desert of Glass. It documents the history and advances of the race prior to the coming of the humanoids and the race's subsequent downfall. The book may include information on advanced 'magics' known to the ancestral lizardfolk. Although they have not yet found this relic, if it is located by explorers, the lizardfolk will attempt to recover it be any means necessary.
Whispers you may have heard about the area:
1) Cutting down the largest tree in the forest will release a grateful imprisoned god (F, and kind of a dick move)
2) Stone statues in the forest walk during the full moon (F)
3) The lizardmen seek ancient secrets and magics (T)
4) Wyvern eggs, when eaten, are proof against all poisons (F)
5) Lava caves riddle Hrada Peak, and have been barely explored (T)
6) A wall of black glass borders the Ghavor headwaters (T)
7) The river flows from a steaming valley (T)
8) The lizardmen practice rituals during the equinoxes to raise their dead (F)
Wandering critters, forest:
1. Giant wasp
2-4. Boars/wild hogs (3-6)
5-9: Deer/elk (2-12)
10. Gnomes riding boars (3-6) (Hunting or exploring party from another part of the island, looking for mushrooms)
11-12. Black bear
13. Mountain lion
14. Giant snake (Constrictor – 3HD, AC 6/13, 1d4 + constrict (1d4/round))
15. Feral chickens (4-8) (Ruins surprise chances next turn, but you might find eggs...)
16. Lizardman hunting party (4-8, 50% chance of 3rd-5th lvl leader)
17. A very confused, sun-burnt yeti.
18-20. Odd noises, probably just the wind...
Wandering critters, in and around the lake:
1-4. Lizardman hunting party or patrol (3-6, 50% chance of 3rd-5th lvl leader)
5. Rage Salamander (1-2)
6. Thunder-Frog (1-4)
7. Very large carp or other fish surfaces in the lake
8-9. Giant axolotl (2HD, AC 8/12, Bite 1d4, attacks only in defense)
10-11. Patch of poison periwinkles (2-12) in shallow water
12-13. Nesting pair of large Steamer Ducks (1HD, AC 8/12, Bludgeon(x2) 1d4, Move 3 (Fly 12), very territorial)
14. Black bear
15-20. Nearby geyser or steam vent erupts. PCs in range receive 1d6 scalding damage.
Wandering critters, mountain:
1. Giant eagle
2. Mountain goats (Will tend to flee, although ram will be territorial (¼ chance))
3. Snow snake (2HD, AC 6/13, 1d4+cryo-poison (save or 1d8 cold damage), white fur camouflage, surprise 5 in 6 if in snow)
6. Grizzly bear
7-8. Wolf, single or pack (4-8)
9. Ravens (2-6) (If party camped, 20% chance of stealing food or random shiny thing)
10. Snow leopard
11-14. Marmot (1-4) (Chatters at party, ruins surprise chances next turn)
15. Lizardman exploration party (3-6 with 3rd-5th lvl leader)
16-20. Nothing, but did the mountain just rumble?