The Cursed Isles
The Cursed Isles are the demesne of Vargas the Mad and his crew of cultists and Enlightened followers.
Vargas' crew constantly patrols the waters within their cursed abode, protecting them from intruders. Intrepid pirates have identified the following vessels as being part of Vargas' cabal...
|Raft of the Dead - The smallest of Vargas' vessels, the Raft of the Dead carries a number of dangerous combatants that are frequently released onto attacking vessels to wreak havoc aboard ship. Zombies and, in some cases, other members of Vargas' crew are only able to board a player vessel if their own ship can get close enough. You'll definitely know by their horrible groan that they've arrived and are looking for lunch!|
|Sinister Sloop - Adept at plying the deep blue waters of their home, the Sinister Sloop's dedicated crew of cultists pay no heed to the notion of being outgunned: they will rabidly take on any interlopers foolish enough to cross into their territory.|
|Cursed Cutter - Piloted by the most lucid of Vargas' frothing followers, the Cursed Cutter will stop at nothing to prevent your ship from landing at the dark heart of their domain.|
The Fog of Chaos
The Cursed Isles are protected by a dense bank of choking fog, the Fog of Chaos, which has been known to have a debilitating effect on sailors traveling too close to the Islands.
The Fog is in constant flux around the Islands, moving unexpectedly, almost as if it were aware of the encroachment of unwanted visitors.
Zombies and Cultists
As in all Sea Monster Lairs, the Cursed Islanders are sometimes tempted to raid vessels with an eye to taking them over. These attacks normally begin with a number of solo Islanders boarding the vessel, designed to test the mettle of the crew. The risk of a zombie mutiny grows as more Islanders board the ship.
The ship's officers or anyone who has been appointed to coordinate the defense of the ship may decide which volunteers should be involved in repelling the invaders and also decide when to attack. Pirates who have volunteered to help defend the ship can continue with their normal duties until the attack is actually launched.
If an overwhelming number of Islanders board the vessel, they will begin the battle themselves, in an attempt to seize control of the vessel. As the very ship is at stake, all hands are called to help defend. If the Islanders win the battle, they win the entire vessel and own it forevermore, booting the crew and using it to patrol their lair and surprise any other unsuspecting adventurers.
How to Find the Cursed Isles
Voyaging to the Cursed Isles requires a special map. On subscription oceans all prospective monster hunters need to be active subscribers while on doubloon oceans, all crew members must have a bravery badge for the ship to set sail.
Raiding the Cursed Isles
The biggest challenge for an approaching ship is to avoid boarding zombies and Islanders and to get to the Island itself as quickly as possible.
In addition to Islander ships and rafts, there are several environmental challenges around the Cursed Isles, including the rare and frightening cursed whirlpools!
Reaching the Cursed Isles
But dodging these dangers and making it to the Island is only half the battle.
The true treasures of the Cursed Isles are stored in the middens the Islanders have accumulated around their realm. To seize these abandoned treasures, Pirates must make their way to the Islander's village and fend off ferocious attacks.
After each attack, the crew will have the opportunity to forage treasure from the abandoned middens. But beware, each successive attack by the Islanders will be stronger.
Beware the Cursed Isle Homunculus!
The Homunculi of the Cursed Isles are beings that are artificially created through a mixture of alchemy and arcane ritual. Each Homunculus is composed of all manner of dreadful substances, poured into a jar and fermented with just the right herbs and incantations. The result is a monstrous servant willing to do the bidding of those nefarious Cultists and Vargas himself!
When challenged by interlopers, the Homunculi defend their creators with uprooted trees. Unsurprisingly, these trunks function as improved sticks in battle, causing their attacks to only drop blocks of a single color on their opponents.
When to Retreat
The crew will need to make a decision during their time on the Cursed Isles. Just before each successive attack, they will have to choose whether they should retire with their winnings or stay and face another Islander onslaught.
It should be a tough decision! The Islanders will be sure to take as much of their treasure back as they can before releasing you (assuming you don't decide to join their cult).