Serial Setting 1: Ubiquity ~ Week 8

This serial setting for Ubiquity continues with the third major community focal point for the Windlet Islands.

This series of posts is intended to provide a usable setting for busy GMs looking to run Daring Tales of Adventureor Hollow Earth Expedition.

 

 

8. The House of Stars , Windlet Settlement, Greater Windlet Island

If the activities of the House of Stars were known to the more western-centric community leaders, such as Reverend Paul Conklin, the mostly harmonious relations between the various cultures sharing the island would definitely suffer from tone deafness.

The House of Stars is ostensibly a museum and archival facility funded by the company to perform several research and analysis functions. It produces scholarly papers on the region’s flora, fauna, geology, history, culture, and economics. In addition, it monitors the research of other experts in the field; providing grants for those who do exceptional work, and alerting the academic community to the frauds and tomb raiders it uncovers. It does all of these functions well, and maintains a clipping service with full translation services which is kept as up to date as possible given the remote location.

The true activities of the House of Stars are more of a religious persuasion, however. Initially, the cultural pursuits of the House were to record and preserve the various permutations and expressions of South and Equatorial Pacific myths and legends for future generations and academics. This has grown into more of a religious community complete with the internecine nonsense that plagues communities of faith without a clear understanding of what their faith entails.

This particular community can only agree on remaining underground, at present, but in all other matters of faith has become divided. Three main factions have begun to form: those who wish to share with other communities of faith and interact in a spirit of tolerance, those who wish to keep their faith secret for fear of persecution, and the small but growingly vocal minority who wish to carve out and reclaim territory so that neither of the other positions will be necessary or possible. Although none of the members of the underground espouse violence or are predisposed to launch their plans in the immediate future, it would not take much to incense the extremists.

That no one on the islands is a native in the strictest sense occurs to no one.

 

Usual Characters: Faipa

Known only by his first name, Faipa is the curator of the museum, and projects a sense of warmth, welcome, and the gentle hospitality of the sunny beaches and beautiful climate of the Lysette Islands. An orphan, raised by various volunteers and foster families in the company, Faipa has been encouraged to learn as much about his culture as he could while being given a clear understanding of life far from the islands. Now in his fifties, he speaks a dozen languages, has traveled the world, and is one of the world’s foremost experts in religious iconography.

His hair has grown into a striking iron grey, which he wears long and wild – even when dressed in a suit to greet foreign dignitaries. He has a brilliant smile, but due to his fondness for spear fishing near the reefs as a child has a body covered in brutal-looking scars.  Those with an opportunity to see Faipa fishing will see a master at work. Those who look upon his scars with a critical doctor’s eye may note – if the context is right – that many of these scars seem more like those gained by knife-fighters than fishermen.

Faipa leads the movement seeking to keep the religious life of the islands underground and is willing to go to any length to keep the others in line. Although his group’s stance seems safe and moderate, they are in actuality a hardliners waiting for their numbers to grow enough to seize control. That said, Faipa’s faith is strong and should a religious find in the jungles or elsewhere in the island’s volcanic depths of certain significance be uncovered, he will shift his stance in a heartbeat to join the extremists to rise up and sweep the foreign invaders’ religion from the Isles.

Faipa has no family, but has been a traveler most of his life. It may only be a matter of time, and setting the right bait. Should he decide to marry, it will be as much for reasons of social power and influence, as it will be for attraction. Decades of forced smiling has turned the man’s face into a mask, and his heart into an empty space looking for a cause.

Rumours:

Potentially heard anywhere on either island; Faipa and the museum are famous.

  • He is famous world round for his religious studies
  • He has lectured in the major universities of the world
  • He once killed a shark with his bare hands
  • The fish now jump into his hands rather than struggle – they know it is hopeless
  • He knows more than any other living man about the history of the islands
  • He dreams of opening a traditional house building company in his retirement
  • Faipa is the son of someone highly-placed in the company
  • He goes on retreats into the jungle with a select few to ‘sing down the stars’
Usual Characters: Kannon

Kannon is the young protege of Faipa. He is the son of a fisherman and an artisan and seems to embody a balance between the practicality of filling one’s starving belly with the importance of filling one’s starving mind. Although his mother prefers to work in the stones of the island, Kannon expresses himself in the merciful approach of his fishing, and in his wood carvings. His work for the House of Stars includes acting as a guide, creating new displays, restoring wooden artifacts, and teaching languages to the children. Kannon speaks several dialects of the languages spread across the islands, and is also versed in French, English, Latin, and German.

His hair is kept very, very short, and his tan shows that he may not understand the purpose of shade trees, caves, and homes. He spends all his time on the water. A talented fisherman, he is known to have sought instruction from each expert he has met. He fishes with hands, knife, spear, net, rod & reel, trap, and song. It is said that when he sings, the fish leap into his canoe.

Kannon is growing concerned with Faipa’s beliefs, and finds himself excluded from more and more of the retreats which are happening more and more often. Kannon has become the defacto leader of the movement seeking to share and the religious life of the islands and embrace understanding of others’. Like Faipa’s, his group’s stance seems safe and moderate, but they will not tolerate a perversion of their religion to one of exclusivity and war.

Kannon has no family, yet,  but is very popular with women young and old.  Most of the old-timers assume that by the end of the year or next spring at the earliest he will be wed and well on his way to being a father.

Rumours:

Potentially heard where the locals gather; Kannon is a beloved son of the islands.

  • He is going to get married and leave the islands to study in Europe
  • He has already fathered a child and is seeking to hide it
  • He once convinced a shark not to attack him
  • The fish come when he sings
  • Something has happened between him and Faipa which upsets Kannon greatly
  • He believes the locals should develop a tourism business on the wings of aeronautical progress
  • Kannon is really Faipa’s son
  • He wants to marry a foreigner
Usual Characters: Keoni (known as Irawaru to his inner circle)

Keoni is a dock worker and boat maker. His visible connection to the House of Stars is minor, but he is an important part of its community life. Keoni supplies the boats and other nautical trappings for displays, tours, and study as required by the House. In addition, he serves as a guide if need arises, and as a traditional musician during festivals.

His hair is long and he is as tanned and fit as Kannon and Faipa. Like Faipa his body shows marks of struggle with nature and violence with his fellows, but unlike the elder, he does not take pains to dissemble or disguise these injuries. Keoni feels that if man were not meant to struggle, the universe would be wholly different.

Keoni, as a mysterious figure his followers refer to as Irawaru leads the movement seeking to grow strong and powerful enough to drive foreigners from these islands and others. Keoni believes the jungle holds powerful secrets and that the company is doing something in the mountains which will upset the gods and bring ruin to all who dwell here.

Despite his fanaticism, he is one of the most perceptive and intelligent men on the island. Nature has blessed him with great physical and mental talents and he is biding his time and setting things in motion so that he may capitalize on both.

Rumours:

Potentially heard only among his friends in unguarded moments. Keoni is private.

  • He once killed a shark with his fist
  • He is the strongest man on the island
  • He can crush stones in his hand
  • He killed a French sailor in a brawl on the docks in front of 20 witnesses, but there were no repercussions
  • He knows more than any other living man about the history of the islands
  • He often stares at the mountains, lost in thought
  • He resents Faipa, but will let no one criticize him
  • He tells myths and stories to a select few at parties on the beach where they dance and chant around a fire with a roast boar

Truths:

So much awaits discovery!

 

Statistics:

Nosy!

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  1. […] It is not a night to be missed, and all are welcome. Many of the festivities are presided over by Faipa, but the pledges of service are received by the […]



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