Serial Settings 1: Ubiquity ~ Week 29

This week’s entry of this year’s Serial Setting for Ubiquity is a look at one of the natural wonders 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.

29) The Nesting Grounds, Rainbow Point, Greater Windlet Island

Although the islands are tropical, there is at least one seasonal event that attracts a lot of attention from the locals: the annual nesting of the birds at Rainbow Point. So compelling is this display that visitors’ descriptions of the event among the other islands in the region and as far as Hawaii, have begun to attract tourists just to see it.

Rainbow Point refers to a rocky spit of land jutting out from a small, wide spit of heavily overgrown, uneven terrain which maintains an uneasy balance between the heavy foliage of the jungle, and the tenacious grasses which ring the beaches. Rocky ground, split and cracked from volcanic bombs and lava flows of the past, combined with abundant plant life, makes the spot ideal for the nesting birds which flock here each year in numbers too great to count. Birds often of unknown species and unknown origin in bright rainbow colours nest here under the brilliant rainbows of tropical sunlight slanting though gouts of volcanic steam which give the point its name. It is a sight to remind even the most citified viewer of the wonders of nature.

Some speculate that it is for the birds that the point is named, but no matter on which side of the minor debate a person stands, most agree that seeing the brightly plumed birds jetting through the sky framed in natural rainbows is glorious.

Separating the point from the island proper is a narrow rocky stretch of ground which does not seem capable of supporting vegetation, and will often be partially submerged during higher tides. This seems to make the point the absolute safest spot on Greater Windlet in terms of natural predators, but a few early accidents have confirmed that most of the berries and fruit on that small, isolated spit of land is poisonous to humans, despite being a haven and respite for birds.

Usual Suspects: Cherie McBride

Most residents make their way here every year or so, and a festival spirit is beginning to form. One resident who wishes that were not the case is one of the resident artists, primarily employed by the Company for more mundane work, but often left to her own devices to try to capture the scenic wonder of the island chain. Sadly, so beautiful are the islands, and so alien, that her works have been labelled as fanciful by critics on the continent, and dismissed to obscurity.

Cherie is a woman of average height and build, nearing her fifties, and starting to show the small signs of a lifetime of dreams left unfulfilled. She is a photographer, illustrator, and painter. Her technical drawings are in high-demand, particularly from inventors working in entirely new areas with few or no frames of reference among existing devices. She has a strong talent for ‘seeing’ what has been described to her. Her hair is streaked with white, but she does make attempts from time to time to dye it using natural ingredients found locally. The results are… interesting. Her eyes are a pale, and slightly unhappy hazel, that can become as hard as stone when she sees something of which she does not approve. Being a staunch conservationist, there are many behaviors among the tourists and sailors which upset her, not the least of which is the careless disposal of trash. The skill she has honed as sharply as her art is her ability to deliver a tongue-lashing to an unsuspecting litterer.

Rumours: heard primarily among the older residents, and the small community of artists

  • She refuses to do portraits, or even discuss them
  • She claims the birds do not arrive from other islands, they just appear on the point
  • She used to have close ties with the upper management of the Company, but seems bitter now
  • Her art is used in Company holdings all over the world
  • She travels to Hawaii twice a year, but never stays away long.
  • She hikes, swims, and practices what she calls ‘trail medicine’ regularly, often corresponding with doctors locally and around the world who do work in dangerous tropical areas
  • She used to dance on Broadway, but left that life, changed her name, and disappeared… here
  • She receives many works on anatomy, geology, mining, and archaeology each year



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