Well, I'm working on a bit of material as a bit of setting expansion for my players and figured that I might end up getting some help here and others may find it interesting anyway. I'm using the 3rd Era stuff that I have as a basis for it. I am going to be referencing a lot of stuff with this.xXxWelcome to the Serpent's Maw Isle.Map (Locations Marked)History
The Isle itself used to be much larger, the largest in an island chain that was colonized by the continent nearly a century ago. The Serpent's Maw used to be a large teardrop shaped island where a nation founded a larger port that served as a distribution point to the smaller villages set up on the rest of the chain where plantations grew sugarcane and various fruits for sale on the mainland.
In the center of the island was an abandoned Valossian city, one of those on the edge of their empire of old. It was nearly in the exact center of the caldera of an extinct volcano, protected by the lip of the crater and rugged terrain that made it a difficult location to reach. Eventually, some enterprising dwarves built a small village along the cliffs, both into the walls of the mountain itself and on floating platforms moored to it, and set it up as a basecamp for adventurers to give them an easier passage to the interior.
Unlike in Freeport, the remnant Serpent people had not degenerated, but still remained rather few in number, but were simply viewed as an oddity, and they stuck to their shrine a days travel inland from the port, having long since abandoned their old city.
Unfortunately, as adventurers reported of the wonders and treasures of the lost city, they signed what would become the death of the majority. Yuan-Ti heard of this lost city of snakes and began to infiltrate the port, finding the lift town unfortunately to small to easily sneak in on.
However, even the port had it's other problems, namely the Brotherhood had infiltrated shortly after the founding, and their clash with the invading Yuan-ti spread out of control, sending many of the heroes and local defenders to a running war across the islands.
The serpent people were recruited, joining with the heroes and as a last resort, they reawakened a portion of the volcano with the aid of a local spirit and won, but at great cost.
A cataclysmic earthquake rent the islands asunder, and in the end only a portion of the Serpent's Maw Isle remained above the waves. It's new name taken from the shape of the caldera's rim that looks almost like the open mouth and fangs of a snake.
Survivors from across the chain gathered at the only remaining settlement, the lift town which lost the underground portions of its mass, but the floating structures had settled in a shallow passage to the flooded interior.
The old temple of Yig was abandoned with the loss of the priesthood, and the locations was taken over by a Hadozee (Stormwrack) colony.
Since the cataclysm, the Isle has been abandoned by the nation that founded it and left to fend for itself.Major Locations#1 : Temple Lake
On the shores of a freshwater lake a short distance from the the port is the Mother's Temple (Local Spirit), a shrine of Yig, and an orphanage.
The Mother's Temple is in the shape of a massive egg, a handful of Serpent People are in attendance, the leader is a female serpent person (Favored Soul
named Mother Ralla. She also tends the orphanage, though it's not as full as it was since the cataclysm, and portions have been converted to longer term housing for those working at the temple, shrine, and the nearby temple of the sea god.
The Shrine of Yig is maintained by the staff of the Mother's Temple, but there are no trained priests of Yig and portions are locked off which contain treasures from the abandoned temple of Yig and from the Lost City.#2 : The Blade Wall
In the shallows up to the deep, a veritable forest of stone and metal blades set almost as a pike wall protect the city from the beast that remains trapped within the depths.
The beast is an Anarchic Megalodon (Planar Handbook & Monster Manual 2) that was trapped there during the cataclysm It's believed that it used to be a normal shark, but the influence of the Yellow Sign and the actions in the last days changed it to the current form. The creature is not always active, and seems to enter hibernation on occasion.#3 : Lift Town/Floaterville
Both names are used, though the second tends to be more of one used in annoyance.
There are two massive stone bridges that cross the shallows with most of the village on floating platforms or on pillars rising from the water. A maze of walkways lead out to the piers of the harbor. The richer citizens tend to live on dry land surrounding the fort.#4 : Temple of the Sea God
Built quickly after the cataclysm, the Temple isn't anywhere near as decorated as those in Freeport or similar locations, but it overlooks the ocean and tends to be well staffed.#5 : The Fort
Constructed by the dwarves that first built the town and then expanded since the cataclysm into a bastion capable of holding the locals. it's position is on a rise high enough to give a clear line of sight across the horizon.
Surrounding it are the scattered manors of the wealthiest residents.#6 : Shrine of the Fallen
A distance from the city itself is a monument crafted by the order of country that colonized the islands. It sits on a small island in the middle of a freshwater lake. The water is from a spring (As described in the Create Healing Spring spell) that is on the island. The water of the lake does 1 positive energy damage per minute to evil creatures.#7 : The Lost City
The top two floors of an immense ziggurat stands above the waved before vanishing into the depths. The main entrance to the interior is where the Beast of lairs.#8 : The Volcano
When the Cataclysm happened, this is where a new volcano tore its way from the island along the lip of the crater.
The Mother is said to rest deep within the now dormant crater.#9 : The Temple of Yig
Damaged in the quakes and eruption, the last priests stripped the temple of everything they could carry to take the relics and books to safety. Most died on attempts to return for more of their history, leaving only one behind who perished shortly after the Cataclysm, but with no heirs to his knowledge. The temple overlooks the volcano and used to overlook the old city as a reminder of the past.
After the earth settled, a group of itinerant Hadozee moved in, making things difficult for anyone attempting to gain entrance and find anything that remains. The inner sanctum remains sealed though and promises great reward to those who might find their way into it.
Along with that, one major relic remains undisturbed that might be the key to eliminating the Beast. A dormant, gargantuan bronze serpent (Monster Manual 2) remains within the temple, the chief of the Hadozee village nests in its coils though.People of interestGovernor Markus Blackstone
The elected leader of Lift Town, he's an old Seacliff Dwarf (Stormwrack) Marshal 9 (miniatures Handbook) with hair turned white, but remains quite strong and has an odd fascination of maps. He used to be a sailor in his youth amongst other things, he was one of the few dwarven settlers of the town that survived the cataclysm when the tunnels flooded before they could be fully evacuated.
He lives in a small house on land owned by his brother that was intended as a guest house, though his brother doesn't mind the company since Markus tends to never stop working anyway.
One thing that Markus does on the side is trade copies of his maps for those others have, and tends to be quite friendly with anyone who worked or works as a navigator or mapmaker. He's a useful resource for adventurers looking for a map, especially if they have some old ones of their own.Ricard Blackstone
A middle aged Seacliff Dwarf (Stormwrack) Expert 4. He operates a curios shop down in the city and tends to pass on stories quite often. His brother is the only family he has left, his wife died in the cataclysm.Rin
A half-elf Warblade (Tome of Battle) 6. She's rather young for his position as the head of the guard, but she devoted himself to perfecting his skills with the sword. Still rather brash, but reliable and capable she ended up with the position and still seems to be settling in. She lives in the Fort and tends to have a fair bit of luck with various games of chance, and is always looking to learn new games if only for new challenges there.Mother Ralla
Civilized Serpent Person Favored Soul (Complete Divine or Miniatures Handbook) 8. An ancient serpent person female, her scales are a milky white. She is a friendly old woman who tends to use her ability to change her appearance to let others be most comfortable in her presence.
She refers to Rin and Prestor as her children, having raised both of them from a young age in the Orphanage.Prestor
Human [Yuan-Ti Tainted One] (Savage Specied) Swordsage (Tome of Battle) 6. Prestor's appearance does not reveal much about what happened to him, but when angered bits come out. As a child, he was taken by the Yuan-ti invaders and they did something to him that made him more like they were. He was among a dozen rescued, but the only survivor of that number. He remains near Mother Ralla, working as an unofficial bodyguard and is highly protective of the orphans and those working in the temples and shrines.
Most view him as a nearly unemotional person, remaining cold and distant only getting more so the larger numbers of people around. He is Ralla's agent when it comes to situations outside Lift Town and in the rest of the world. But harm Ralla at your own peril if he's nearby.
Prestor is also likely to be the easiest way to add the Serpent's Maw Isle to an active campaign, perhaps being sent to Freeport to investigate the rumors of Serpent People living there either for Ralla or to ensure that the Yuan-ti he hates so much aren't the ones responsible for the rumors. If K'San is present (Cults of Freeport), Prestor is likely to be a direct foil for him in many waysBalock
A Hadozee (Stormwrack) Barbarian 5. The chieftan of the Hadozee colony, Balock is an unusual example of his race, more brutish than most and yet a capable leader for those under him. While the colony isn't that large (Nearly 60, half of which are elderly or children), he seems to have plans to expand. He has a severe dislike of snakes, and buried the bronze serpent he believes is a statue before using the mound created as his nest. Though, with a heavy rain, portions are revealed.Malo
A Hadozee (Stormwrack) Spirit Shaman (Complete Divine) 4. Malo is Balock's second and the spiritual leader of the tribe, but is also a thief. Unlike Balock, Malo wants to drive the other races off the islands, or at least gain free access to their valuables.ReligionCult of the Mother
The mother is a spirit similar to Oona, but benevolent in nature rather than malicious. Her worship started after the fall of Valossa, and her priesthood is primarily female. Early on there was some minor conflict with the priesthood of Yig, but in the end there was peace between the churches. Most of the priestesses tend to also venerate Yig, and tend to link the Mother to the elder deity in many ways.
She is portrayed as a Coatl or a hybrid of a dolphin and sea snake, and there are rumors of her direct involvement in the final battles before the Cataclysm and in the protection of those she deemed innocent.
Her symbol is a hatching egg, and most of those who venerate her carry a small stone or wooden egg with them as their symbol.
Her Domains are Community (Complete Divine/Book of Exalted Deeds), Family (Players Guide to Faerun), Life (Ebberon Campaign Setting), and Scalykind (Players Guide to Faerun)