Skull & Shackles
Caves of the Dread Dragon Priest
Notable Settlements: None
Dominant Denizen: Aashaq the Annihilator
Other Denizens: Goblins, humanoids, wyverns
Resources: Fruit-bearing trees, hidden treasure, meat
The land mass known as Dahak’s Fang is really two islands that were divided millennia ago when the gorge separating the island’s halves, Fellhope Canyon, flooded with the surrounding ocean’s water. Dahak’s Fang is a rocky, inhospitable place that has long been the home of Aashaq the Annihilator, an ancient red dragon priestess of the destructive god after whom the isles are named. Aashaq came here some 5 centuries ago and destroyed or drove off the pirates who used this part of the archipelago for shelter, and she established a base from which to lure unholy adherents to her destructive faith.
East Fang: The East Fang is mostly rainforest, and wildlife traditionally found in warm jungles thrives in the humid environment (predatory cats, primates, reptiles, and amphibians), with many individuals growing to monstrous size. Wyverns, including the subspecies molded by Aashaq, also nest around the edges of this island. Several cenotes are scattered about the jungle, offering access to aquatic caves occupied by a rather large and unpleasant clan of saltwater merrows. These caves also exit the land far below the waterline in Fellhope Canyon, from where these merrows launch attacks on any boats using the canyon straits as a shortcut across the Teeth.
Fellhope Canyon: Fellhope Canyon itself has become a legendary destination for some foolhardy, thrill-seeking pirates with more courage than sense. Piloting a small boat from one end of the canyon to the other has been the ultimate drunken challenge bellowed and accepted in many taverns across the Shackles, but very few have actually stuck to their bets in the morning when sobriety and comprehension of the dangers return. The most famous sailor who took the challenge and lived to tell the tale was Hego Gebel (CN male half-orc rogue 4/sorcerer 7). The now one-eyed, one-legged pirate can be found in the common room of the Lusty Mermaid in Quent, and often narrates the story of his misadventures for newcomers who buy him a drink. Most of his compatriots on what is known as the Fellhope Run were not as fortunate, and were eaten or eviscerated along that awful journey. Further inducement may get Hego to share his secrets about successfully navigating the canyon. At least a half-dozen retired buccaneers who live on Spendthrift Ridge in Quent have offered quite a purse for any who can do the Fellhope Run and sail back home with proof of their daring.
Sanctum of the Sorrowmaker: Named after the foul dragon god whom its inhabitants devoutly worship, the Sanctum of the Sorrowmaker is the labyrinthine cavern complex that Aashaq and her minions call home. While the confusing cave system technically riddles the entirety of the western isle, its main entrances are centrally located high on the cliff wall overlooking Fellhope Canyon, and Aashaq’s throne room and bloody temple to Dahak lie deep within.
In addition to the island’s draconic ruler, the caves are also inhabited by numerous servant creatures of loathsome mien, including morlocks, slurks, tentamorts, and oversized vermin of all types. Three of Aashaq’s primary lieutenants, the umbral dragons Borshaggat and Unguliustuk, and the black dragon Meshupullax also call the Sanctum their home, and enjoy positions of power as Aashaq’s favored minions. Devotees of Dahak who populate the festering sore that is Dragonsthrall on Dahak’s Horn are responsible for bringing fresh humanoid sacrifices to these lieutenants as well as to Aashaq. Such victims are hauled deep into the caverns while unconscious and left to awaken confused and lost. The dragons and other creatures that live in these humid caves then delight in hunting the unfortunate souls, toying with and terrifying them before the inevitable kill.
West Fang: Comprising the majority of the island, the land above the West Fang caverns is mostly hilly plains and scattered clumps of rainforest. A few minor goblin tribes reside in the West Fang, including the Biledrinkers (led by Hagluk the Foul), Stinkdragons (led by Bloodgut), and Tongueyankers (led by Motherblood Ghusa). These nomadic goblins constantly move about the island, both pursuing game and evading more dangerous carnivores, and the tribes are in ceaseless conflict with one another. Recently, the Stinkdragons and Tongueyankers have come to recognize each other as potential allies, however, as their relative proximity to Fellhope Canyon means they are both frequently hunted by young dragon devotees of Dahak, as well as by a voracious lesser bandersnatch known to stalk the nearby forests.