There's been some discussion of sailing craft in the blogosphere of late. The discussion has mainly been focused on ships, and that's cool, but what I am really interested in is where you are going. If you don't know, then might I suggest Mysterious Island? It's a wonderful place, chock full to the brim with horrible monsters, nasty vermin, and perhaps a band of Cthulhu-worshiping pirates. It is a fine place for a vacation, I daresay.
Mysterious Island marks the first in an occasional series of posts about interesting places to send your player characters. Periodically, I will post a map along with a few comments. As is my custom, I will refrain from keying these maps, or providing too much in the way of detail, preferring that you do that yourself. I don't promise that these posts will follow any sort of regular schedule, or be about any particular type of locale, but I do expect that they will at least be on par with what you see here.
Nobody ever likes The Fine Print, but it is a necessary evil. As such, let's get it out of the way forthwith. Like other maps that I post here from time to time, I am sharing this under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If you follow that link you will be able to read about the conditions that apply to this work. In a nutshell: (a) you can't use it commercially, (b) you must attribute it to me, and (c) you must share any derivative works that you create. With that out of the way, I present Mysterious Island...
Mysterious Island is a small island, just over 1½ miles wide. It exists wherever you want it to, so long as it can rest in a deep, blue body of water. Stick it in an ocean, on a lake, or even on its own demiplane. Although small, it has a variety of terrain types and should prove a fun, if brief, romp for player characters.
There is a small, rocky beach to the north and a larger, sandy beach at the top of the island's only navigable lagoon. The remainder of the coast is either scrub, low-lying salt marsh, or steep, treacherous cliff. At high tide the ocean rushes forth to fill the island's lowest land. This creates a huge tide pool, dividing the island in twain.
To the east of the tide pool is a salt marsh. The soggy land is almost uniformly covered with a variety of cordgrasses. To the south, the land rises to a promontory. The terrain is grassy, rocky, and occasionally choked with scub. The headland is separated from the remainder of the island by a steep gorge filled with crashing sea water. On the far side of this gorge squats a hideous tower, brooding on the cliffside.
To the north lies a thick, virgin woodland followed by steep hills. Although dense, the wood quickly turns into shrub land as one ascends the hills. The lands immediately before the cliffs are covered with grass, punctuated by large rocks. Many of the rocks have been stained white by the presence of innumerable birds.
Who or what lives on this island is, of course, up to you. If your players are a-sailing, then perhaps they will bump into this place. Otherwise, might they receive a nudge via an old map or a well-placed rumor? Who can tell! But if you need a map of a mysterious island with a dark secret, then this might just be the ticket. Some DM assembly required.
I'd like to give a big, special thanks to Creative Coquette for selecting the colors and drawing the sea monster. Everything needs a sea monster.