Serial Settings 1: Ubiquity ~ Week 35

The entry this week for Serial Setting 1 for Ubiquity adds an additional entry point into the lives of the residents of the deadly 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.

35) The Echoing Song, Various Underwater Caverns, Windlet Island Chain

Under the warm, blue waters around the islands in the Windlet chain, the cruel evidence of volcanic action can be seen more clearly than even on the shoulders of the defiant Mount Cairn itself. Deep trenches, caves, curving cracks, and immense boulders draw the eyes of subsurface explorers and lead them down ever deeper into the dark depths of the Pacific… or deeper still.

If obsession can be said to have a home, the mariners and submariners of this region find that theirs is rooted here, spurring them on to even longer dives, to greater depths, with higher risks.

Those who dive with skill, to challenging depths – particularly those who risk venturing into the hidden places of the underwater world, sometimes hear things which they cannot explain, and which some pass off as hallucination, or the effects of depth or the result of airflow problems.

They hear singing. Some hear a solitary voice, others hear choirs. Few who live in the region can claim to have heard it only once, if they talk about it at all. Even in an age of exploration, talking about some things can get a man branded as insane, or a liar.

Much could be learned about the music if the divers could be persuaded to open up about their experiences with it. For example, it comes in regular intervals and has predictable durations. It has seasonal variations, and those with long years of experience diving on both sides of the reef have had the surprising experience of hearing new pieces replace old and back again several times as the year goes through its cycle.

The loudest music has been heard emanating from a huge cave below an underwater outcropping about 800 metres off the Southernmost shore of Greater Windlet, but the greatest clarity… where the listeners become certain they are hearing words, not just notes, can be heard in the deep fissures in the channel between Hansel and Gretel.

Men of the sea hear stories sourced as much in fantasy as reality, and as often as not are simple lies meant to shock, beguile, and entertain. Many a rum-soaked night will hear this secret spilled in taverns across the islands, and speculation that perhaps… just perhaps… there is truth to the idea that something sentient dwells under the sea… something that might not be ready to reveal itself to us yet… except through its echoing song.


Seek and thou shalt find!

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