The Kiryanov Archipelago is a modular region designed to supplement your campaign world. Do your players fancy taking to the sea? We hope that these characters, locations, maps and tokens will help bolster your session notes!
To the southeast of Port Kilton lies the Kiyranov Archipelago, an island chain rife with ancient magic and modern violence. Here you can find legendary pirates both living and dead, alongside esoteric magicians and ruthless traders.
The Royal Ulanov Trading Company
The Royal Ulanov Trading Company is a trading company that runs merchant operations in the Kiryanov Archipelago, between the islands and between the archipelago and the mainland, mainly through Port Kilton. The Ulanov Trading Company is run with little oversight from its nominal owners, the Ulanov Family, but this is probably for the best.
The Royal Ulanov Trading Company are, by and large, straight dealers. They firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and try to enrich their partners as much as themselves. That said, they are a company with Imperial ties, and loyalty to the Empire always comes first.
The Company works primarily out of Fort Bradford, and officially doesn’t deal with the Rock.
The Restless Dead
The Kiryanov Archipelago labors under a dark curse. Sometimes, mostly at night, things rise up from the depths. Destroyed ships. Dead crew. Crabs. Nobody’s quite sure why, but it’s been happening for years.
Most of the Restless Dead have no real awareness, just a vague desire to destroy things, but every once in a while a particularly willful soul returns with its body. These can usually be picked out by their glowing eyes. These smart ones, colloquially known as “captains” whether on sea or land, have some capacity to guide the normal skeletons, allowing them to do complicated tasks like crewing a ship or firing a cannon.
In theory, a Captain can be reasoned with, perhaps even brought around to a higher cause, but their very existence is tied to the curse on this place, and they will crumble if they stray too far from it.
The Dark Artists
A reclusive group of magic users, operating out of stilt houses perching on a nameless, out-of-the-way island. They mix artifice and divination to see things far beyond the material plane, but their skills can be put to more practical uses on occasion.
The Dark Artists’ conclave has expanded recently with the addition of some of the Lemurian refugees, helping the Dark Artists in exchange for aid in finding particular relics from their ruined city.
The Dark Artists are in constant need of supplies, but the Empire is unwilling to trade with these strange heretics.
Yulay, tiefling dark artist: Yulay is a black-skinned tiefling with silver hair. He talks quietly and tends to trail off mid-sentence, thanks to visions from beyond assailing his brain.
Ayrat, elven dark artist: Ayrat is a blue-haired elf with an aptitude for machines. She is more grounded than Yulay and often works as a translator for his ramblings.
The Honoured Rose
A three-masted ship with a figurehead of a woman holding a single rose. Aside from its unique figurehead, it looks surprisingly like an Imperial warship that went missing a few years ago.
Sally O’Conner, captain of the Honoured Rose. Captain O’Conner is a red-haired, green-eyed woman of 30-some years, with a crooked smile and a voice that cuts through even the most raucous brawl. She’s a mostly-legitimate hauler, but she’s a sucker for a sob story. If the party needs to get out of town without the law finding out, Sally just might be the lady they need.
Yunaesa Inasatra, sea elf warlock. Blue-haired and black-skinned, Yunaesa hails from the elven kingdoms beneath the waves. She has a deep connection with something she calls the “whale dream,” which makes her very attuned to the state of the ocean and its inhabitants. When pressed, she’s also capable of some substantial manipulation of the water, but this can be a very dangerous thing to do while on a ship.
Gerasim Stepanovich Kozlov, water genasi artificer. Twin brother to Selena, Gerasim is in charge of maintaining the Honoured Rose’s weapons. He’s quiet and thoughtful, and has a fondness for tea. His father (and thus Selena’s as well) was a steam genasi master thief, allegedly.
Selena Stepanova Kozlova, fire genasi gunner. Twin sister to Gerasim, Selena is a restless and prodigiously clever member of the crew. She has a very keen mind for trajectories, and is usually the lead gunner in any confrontation. Outside of combat, she can usually be found helping her brother work on complicated mathematical equations, which they write on whatever surface is handy at the time.
Eeesz, goblin quartermaster. Eeesz is a blue-skinned goblin with narrow, slanted eyes. She keeps meticulous track of whatever the Rose happens to be carrying, and the provisions for the crew. In times of disaster, she takes the lead on repairs.
Fort Bradford sits on one of the western-most islands of the archipelago. It looks like a large castle, bristling with weapons.
Fort Bradford is the Empire’s only stronghold in the Kiryanov Archipelago. Originally built by another continental power, it now serves as a waystation for Imperial vessels headed elsewhere, and Ulanov Company tradeships.
The Mess Hall. In Fort Bradford’s barracks, the mess hall is decorated with trophies. Banners. Flags. And, right beside the door to the kitchen, a large iron figure of a pig’s head, taken from the infamous Uncultured Swine.
Ludomor Pasternak, human commander: Pasternak comes from the mainland, and views this posting as an exile. He is more than happy to delegate duties to subordinates or, if need be, mercenaries like the party. He’ll be willing to meet with the party to discuss work, but it would take truly exceptional circumstances to get him out of Fort Bradford.
Alya Borodina, human captain: Alya is a captain in the Imperial Navy, cruising the seas searching for criminals or other enemies of the Empire. She’s a highly competent captain, and her crew is to be feared. Her ship is the Vitiaz, a three-masted ship built for hunting pirates. Her ship, like all Imperial ships, is referred to with male pronouns.
Stepan Timoshenko, human trader: Stepan Timoshenko is a man who can grease the wheels. Every time he pulls into Fort Bradford, he has some new, strange treasure: Gems, magic artifacts, sometimes even whole ships.
The Rock sits on the east side of the archipelago, built out of shipwrecks and other flotsam. It is a haven for pirates, smugglers and other miscreants. It has a permanent population of about 500, but there’s always about that many seafarers there as well.
The Rock is protected from the undead by the Black Bell, which turns any undead away whenever it is rung.
The Church of the Black Bell: Dedicated to Kotthys, Protector of Life at Sea and also of Thieves, the Church of the Black Bell can be seen from a good distance away, marked by the golden statue of Kotthys holding a bell as black as the depths of the sea. Kotthys herself is depicted as a tall, triton woman with pointed ears. Her rituals usually involve pouring sea water over oneself.
Royce’s Prawn Shop: Named as a result of a a slight miscommunication, Royce’s Prawn Shop is one of the major trading posts on the Rock. Looking for some strange crystals? Royce’s can help you. Looking to offload the ship you’ve acquired through mysterious but definitely legitimate means? Royce’s. Want some deep fried shrimp? Not Royce’s. Sorry. Since Riot Royce is rarely actually around, the shop is generally tended by a halfling named Cloud Bophin.
The Flaming Strawberry Inn: This cozy little three-storey inn is marked by a swinging sign depicting a strawberry that is on fire. Half of the bottom floor is rooms, and the other half is a common area. During the day, the desk is manned by an elf named Andrathathath Ath’Athath, and at night it is manned by a lizardfolk named Quk.
Lemurian Shantytown: A small contingent of tritons from the destroyed city of Lemuria have set up on the south side of The Rock, building ramshackle homes out of driftwood and wreckage that has washed ashore.
Meredith, triton priestess. Meredith is a pink-skinned triton who wears a dark cloak, and who is almost always soaked in water. Meredith might be the one person on the Rock who is not in some way a cheat or a liar: Though she speaks very dramatically, she believes sincerely in what she claims about the will of Kotthys and, by extension, the sea.
Riot Royce, human merchant. Black-haired and charming, “Riot” Royce is a man who can get rid of anything. Well, not people. That’s somebody else’s job. But gold, gems, magical artifacts, entire ships? Riot Royce can get it sold. Just don’t ask him how.
Outside of the Rock, he’s known by his real name: Stepan Timoshenko, trader for the Royal Ulanov Trading Company. Nobody but his crew knows about his double life.
Mad Meg, the Pirate Queen: Ruthless. Violent. Old. Mad Meg was once the queen of the sea, a legend among legends. Now, in her old age, she serves as the representative of pirates’ interests in the Council of Salt. Meg no longer has a ship of her own— or, if you ask her, the Rock is her ship— but out on the sea she could still be a force to be reckoned with, were she pushed to act.
The Rusted Knife
The Rusted Knife is a tavern located on the Rock. It’s a two-floor establishment built of wood. The main floor is open, aside from the support pillars, but the top floor is mostly private meeting rooms. The meeting rooms’ tables have several knife marks each, thanks to the inexplicable pirate habit of stabbing pieces of paper when a decision is made.
- Mystery Meat and Green Things, 1 GP. It consists of whatever meat the tavern owners can find, along with some vague vegetables.
- Baked Oysters and Acket Fruit: Baked oysters served with sliced acket fruits, imported from the triton city of Thalacia. 5 GP.
- “Lucky Thunder,” a mix of triton eel-spirit and whatever rum happens to be handy. Gives you a static shock when you drink it. 2 GP per shot.
- Red, beer that is red. Tastes faintly of copper. 5 SP per pint.
- Green, beer that is green. Tastes faintly of mint. 5 SP per pint.
- Blue, beer that is blue. When a character drinks Blue for the first time, roll 1d6. On 1-3, it makes their mouth numb for the next ten minutes. On a 4-6, they find it to be quite delicious and suffer no ill effects. 5 SP per pint.
At the eastern end of the archipelago, just south of The Rock, is an active volcano, and it is on this that the Forge has been built. A crafty group of dwarves have carved spillways and vents to direct the magma out of the volcano whenever it spews out. They use the heat of the magma to heat their forges, which they use to make all kinds of things: Cannonballs, nails, swords, guns…
Sometimes the Forge explodes. Don’t worry too much about it.
Skorm Blazeforge, dwarven smith: Dhuv’s twin brother. Skorm is a dark-haired dwarf who only speaks Dwarven, and spends most of his time screaming it at various pieces of metal while he hammers them.
Dhuv Blazeforge, dwarven smith: Skorm’s twin brother. Dhuv is a dark-haired dwarf who spends most of his time wrangling his brother while they build things. He speaks very formally when speaking in Common.
Torret Ashmaul, dwarven merchant: Torret is from a different clan than most of the others. She’s here largely to work as a liaison with the rest of the people of the archipelago. Her Dwarven handwriting is very elegant, but her Common writing is atrocious.
Tresevain is a large, roughly circular island covered in vegetation. The walls at the north and south sides appear to be sheer cliffs, but the east and west sides have beaches and gradual slopes.
The walls at the north and south are actually mostly illusory— a channel cuts straight through the island, big enough for a ship to navigate. Somewhere in the archipelago is a magic lantern, formerly owned by Handsome Harvey, that allows any ship carrying it to enter while the lantern is lit.
Bradford’s Rest, a spire of rock covered in grass. Its only notable feature is the grave of Captain Ivan Bradford of the Imperial Navy.
Coconut Cay, a small, round island. Coconuts can be found here.
Rimdover Isle, This island is covered in vegetation, which conceals a cave in its central rock. In this cave lurks the Captain known as Mohawk Mike.
Jagged Caldera: A sunken volcano where one face has collapsed, flooding the caldera and creating a gap wide enough for ships to enter.
Adventure: Handsome Harvey’s Hoard
The legendary pirate Handsome Harvey’s riches are hidden somewhere in the archipelago, can the party solve the mystery?
The party may hear of Handsome Harvey’s Hoard from any sailor in a tavern, if they’re coming from outside of the archipelago. If they’re inside the archipelago, the Dark Artists or the unscrupulous folks on the Rock could be good sources for this information.
This adventure has a few key points the party is meant to hit: They have to find Harvey’s body (so the Dark Artists can make a compass), the Key (with the help of the Dark Artists’ compass), and finally figure out what island the Hoard is on. And how the key works.
Below is a table of information about Handsome Harvey, grouped by how obscure the information is.
Handsome Harvey Lore
- Handsome Harvey was a famous pirate.
- Handsome Harvey was good looking.
- Handsome Harvey’s ship was the Uncultured Swine
- Handsome Harvey has been dead for about ten years.
- Harvey was hanged.
- Hanged pirates’ bodies are tied to a post in the foreshore. (The foreshore is the area between the tide levels.)
- Harvey’s gold is stashed somewhere in the Archipelago
- Ships pursuing Harvey often lost track of him around Tresevain.
- The Uncultured Swine was sunk just off Bradford’s Rest, and its figurehead is in Fort Bradford.
- Harvey’s ship had a magical key.
- Harvey’s stash is in Tresevain.
- Harvey’s corpse was tied to a post facing into the archipelago, unlike most pirates.
Harvey’s skull is needed to find the key because it’s magic, but another object important to Harvey might also work. If they don’t find the skull or never pick up on that hook, something significant from the wreck (the ship’s bell, some particular treasure from the captain’s quarters) would be a good substitute.
The Wreck of the Uncultured Swine: Off the shores of Bradford’s Rest lays the wreck of the Uncultured Swine, ship of the famous pirate Handsome Harvey. It was successfully boarded and captured by the Imperials before being scuttled, and much of its cargo was offloaded. The ship’s bell is still in place, and Handsome Harvey’s Very Nice Hat is in the Captain’s Quarters. As is his very comfortable chair.
Rimdover Isle: The Key is here, thrown overboard by Handsome Harvey while he was being chased. Now it’s held by Mohawk Mike, a skeleton Captain who doesn’t understand its purpose but realizes it’s quite valuable. He’ll fight to keep it but the party may be able to convince him to give it up… For a price.
Other Important Things
The Key: An elaborate glass-sided lantern. Will allow passage into Tresevain when lit. When capture was inevitable, the Key was thrown overboard near Rimdover Isle. A fearsome Captain carries it now, knowing it’s magic but not knowing what it actually does. No matter, he thinks. Somebody will come for it eventually and he’ll squeeze it out of them.
Captain Mohawk Mike: Undead pirate with a blond mohawk, a large sword and a lantern (the Key). Mike carries some sort of magical handgun on his belt, but he needs to drop either the sword or the lantern to use it. It shoots sickly green bolts of energy and does about as much damage as a hand crossbow.
Encounters at Sea
One of the Empire’s valiant ships is heading towards the party’s ship. Good news if they’re on their side, bad news if not.
Imperial Mood Chart
1d6+Heat (0 to 3, Game Master’s discretion, based on how much trouble the party has caused recently)
|3-4||Dutifully suspicious, any open contraband or suspicious behaviour may provoke hostility.|
|5-6||“You Are About To Be Boarded.”|
|7+||Opens fire when able, with murderous intent.|
Scoundrels who roam the waves searching for whatever they can take.
Pirate Mood Chart
1d6 + Visible Wealth (0 to 3, Game Master’s discretion)
|1-2||Unconcerned, they don’t think the party has anything worth taking.|
|3-4||Something has caught their eye, they are unsubtly checking out the party’s ship, but will not act further without provocation.|
|5-6||Attempting to board. They think you have something worth stealing but aren’t looking for a blood bath.|
|7+||They’re fully intent on killing whoever’s on board, but will only sink the ship as a last resort.|
Drifting Masses of Corrosive Foam
A strange, white foam drifts across the sea in front of the party’s ship. Plowing through it will damage the hull, but going around will take time.
A cargo ship passes near the party’s ship. The crew seems disinterested in the party.
Gargantuan Sea Creature Masquerading as an Island
An unusual, rocky island appears to be in a place it shouldn’t be. Unbeknownst to the party, it’s actually a gargantuan sea turtle. It won’t react unless they get too rowdy on its back, and they next time they pass this way, it will be gone.
Enraged Hammerhead Sharks
A pack of hammerhead sharks begins ramming the underside of the party’s ship. They appear to be absolutely enraged. Some of them have harnesses for riding, but no riders.
Drifting Ghost Ship
In the distance, the party spots a ship. Its sails are pointed the wrong direction for this wind, and it has no visible crew. It appears to be abandoned. It could be filled with treasure, abandoned for some mysterious reason, or it could be filled with pirates looking to take advantage of a curious crew.
Large pieces of shell-like, iridescent material drift in the water. Pieces of a destroyed triton city. They may hold valuable treasures, or the material itself may be worth selling somewhere.
Map and Asset Downloads
We hope that you’re now eager to run some or all of the Kiryanov Archipelago! As our parting gift, we have made this collection of ocean-faring battle maps and assets.
The Everything PackProduct on sale
The ShantyPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Sailing ChefPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Sailing Chef Pack$5.00
Colossal TurtlePWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Sea Monster TokensPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Volcanic ForgePWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
The GalleonPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Docks of the Dead Pack$5.00
ShipyardPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Coastal ShipwreckPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Ocean Surface AssetsPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Ocean Water TexturesPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Sailing Ship AssetsPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
ShipwreckPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
The SchoonerPWYW: $1 or FREE $1.00
Feel free to Right Click > Save our character tokens too! They are .webp image files (or .png if you first click and zoom in) that are compatible with Roll20, FoundryVTT, and most modern virtual tabletops.
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