Location - Valapalor

Here’s a trippy location from my pirate campaign.  I’ve stripped out the story content and just given you the essence of the location itself… so what you do with it is up to you.

Valapalor is an island beyond the edge of the world: a fragment of lunar material dislodged aeons ago and set into a slow orbit at sea level.  Its location within the atmosphere makes it habitable for mortals, though the lunar soil yields plant life that is totally unique in the universe.  The physical journey to Valapalor can be made only by means of a water-bridge raised by the magicks inherent in the island itself – which are usually under control of the priestesses who live there, but sometimes function with an unpredictable will of their own.

The island is almost completely covered by a circular temple fashioned of white stone and silver metal.  This is the most sacred temple of Luna, built by her as a sanctuary where her people, the Bast, might offer their worship undisturbed (and undefiled) by other mortal races. 

The temple complex consists of domes, pools, and gardens – in keeping with the matriarchal spirit of Luna, nothing so phallic as spires, obelisks, or columns is included in the architecture. 

The Bast are feline hominids, learned in the chaotic and capricious magicks of their ever-changing, half-dark and half-light mistress, and intuitively possessing secret knowledge no other mortals can possess.

Unlike other mortal races (man, fae, simian, faun, centaur, etc.), the Bast are a matriarchal society – Luna having caused her male children to be born simpleminded and fit only for physical labor.  The only males on the Valapalor, for instance, are eunuch guard-laborers.  …and in my story, a dwarf jester who is kept so the priestesses can cultivate the habit of ridiculing males.

They were not born from their “mother” Luna, rather, they were created with the help of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, who promised barren Luna children in return for her help to overthrow the other gods.  But as Hecate stirred her unholy cauldron, Luna felt remorse (and no small measure of pity and horror at the cold-blooded creatures Hecate was creating), and secretly cast in a portion of her own warm blood.  Thus from the cauldron two races emerged: the Ophidians, or snake-folk, which were adopted by Hecate, and the Bast, which were adopted by Luna.

This explains why the Bast, being felines, possess warm blood and the eyes of reptiles – and why they often behave as creatures who have one foot in the dark and the other in the light.  For even the most civilized Bast is, at core, unpredictable, chaotic, and primal.

Their fundamental differences usually make Bast outcasts among other mortals.  But Luna has given of herself a second time in creating Valapalor, giving a portion of her own physical body to be their perfect home.

Though it is kept almost entirely secret from other mortals, it is the center of Bast culture – and can be visited from any distance through arts known only to them. 

Because it is essentially a “moon made habitable,” Valapalor is both earth and moon simultaneously – making it an intersection point between the two worlds where mortals can contact Luna directly.  It is a place of worship, a place to seek the will of the goddess, and to seek the answers to deep questions – for no secret is hidden from the mistress of the moon.

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