Serial Settings 1: Ubiquity ~ Week 24

The sixth month of this year’s Serial Setting for Ubiquity continues to expand the roster of curious residents and useful locations of the mysterious Windlet Islands. The Serial Settings series of posts is intended to provide usable setting material for busy GMs. Series 1 is for those looking to run Daring Tales of Adventure or Hollow Earth Expedition.

24) “Muddy” John’s Place, 1 km North of Windlet Cove Settlement, Lysette Isle
Bake your problems away~

Lovingly built from rare woods then polished and stained to perfection, the large pavillion referred to as Muddy John’s Place is an attempt at adding heavenly peace and comfort to this perilous paradise. Decorative hand painted signs admonishing visitors to be mindful of their trash and to keep an eye peeled for snakes, are matched in abundance by ones advising them to relax, forget their worries, and to stay as long as they need. The main features of the site are a wooden pavillion, a ‘mud spring,’ and a meditation garden.

The mud spring, or mud hole as most locals refer to it, sends billows of steam skyward from its smoothly undulating surface. Seen as medicinal by many, and just as fun by the young, the site is often visited by families looking to relax and soak away their troubles. From time to time the mud gets too hot to bathe in, or lather on, but there are other things to do if that is the case.

Uninvited Guest

One thing to be cautious of is that the indigenous wildlife also finds the mud hole appealing. Perhaps the greatest danger is dozing in the mud and falling prey to a vicious and venomous viper.

The pavillion is an open octagonal structure with 16 carved pillars, a carefully curved roof adorned in the asian style with small figures of the 12 animals of the zodiac running along the structural supports from the peak to the roof’s edges, a tightly joined wooden floor, and a central fountain of smooth, polished obsidian, with a circular section of floor surrounding it of light marble .

A roof for all ages

Around the pavilion are rocks and trees of odd shapes and curious design, arranged with an artful sort of chaos around a well-trimmed and maintained set of paths and clearings in the jungle. No matter the heat of the day, there always seems to be a breeze to cool the brow and set the greenery in subtle motion.

The caretaker and architect, John Walker, welcomes all to his ‘shrine to peace’ but rarely interacts with visitors. He will step in to aid those in need, or suggest that those who are disruptive should move on, but will otherwise keep to himself when people are about.

Most come to enjoy family time together in a relaxing if not entirely safe place. This place is far safer than most, and only the unwary tend to fall prey to danger. Even they can rely on the timely aid of Muddy John in most cases…

Usual Suspects: “Muddy” John Walker

Originally a surveyor for the company, John Walker took a leave of absence about 15 years ago and has not been called to duty since. It is not generally known if he retired, was let go, or has reached another arrangement. It is known that he often receives the Gasts for picnics at the pavillion, or goes to visit them at their dwelling on holidays. In the intervening years he has worked on making the land around the mud hole a place for peace and reflection, and sometimes just good, muddy fun.

As he almost always has some mud on him somewhere, the nickname ‘Muddy’ John was inevitable, but despite his good nature about everything, the locals do not call him by this sobriquet directly to his face. When talking to him, the locals call him Mr. Walker, and will be mortified if a visitor should use him by the name by which he is more commonly referred. He is of average height, and losing muscle tone and refinement in his old age, but still seems like a strong and capable man. He has the hands and face of an outdoorsman, and is never far from his tool belt with its wide assortment of wood-working instruments. He is both builder and artist, and it shows.

His hair is as white as the snow that the islands never see, and his eyes are a muddy color, somewhere between green and brown. His face is made for smiling, and laughing, and he loves to tell jokes to children more than anything. Still, there is seriousness in him, and anyone who has seen him dispatch a predator seeking to prey on those who come to this place for rest, will see a very different side to him. Not brutal or sadistic, but very, very deadly.

Rumours: heard primarily among the working families of Lysette Isle

  • His father was a close friend of John Gast’s father, as he is to John Gast himself
  • Something happened during a survey of Mount Cairn, and he has never been the same
  • Gast fired the doctor who came thousands of miles to treat Walker and claimed the surveyor needed time in an institution
  • He once received a visitor from a monastery deep in China to meditate in the pavillion, the visitor did not speak a word
  • The snakes avoid Muddy John, but in their spite, are extra attentive to children
  • Sometimes he gets drunk late at night on some strange concoction of his own devising and yells about people coming from the mud
  • He has a treasure hidden somewhere in the garden around the pavillion
  • He cannot stand to eat with people

Truths:

Soon!

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