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The Land of Green Ginger

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The Land of Green Ginger

The Land of Green Ginger

[wandering realm on the Outlands]

Wherein a travelling mage of surpassed power decided that the comforts of home should always be with him.

This fabled sorcerer, who some say is called Baha-Nong, while others claim it to be Pi-Ling-Fung, had an immense green thumb and loved to dabble in his sprawling gardens for days on end. Young shoots and fresh flowers would sprout from the ground at the merest touch of his fingers, and he especially enjoyed cultivating his precious ginger and ginseng roots, which he used in almost all his potions of health and restoration. Now green ginger is – to most peasants – simply ginger soaked in lemon and left to change for a day or two. But to Baha-Nong it was the philosopher’s stone of horticulture, for his magical green ginger was a root of such potency that it could cure even a broken heart.

Things would have worked out very well for Baha-Nong if it wasn’t for a series of unlucky events that ended in him being cursed by a Demon Monkey from the Courts of Hell. The curse was that the old mage had to forever travel if he wasn’t to experience excruciating pain. The demon-monkey had sworn that Baha-Nong would die of exhaustion within a month, but the wily sorceror decided to cheat his fate and using all his craft he built the Land of Green Ginger. This magical realm literally fit inside the mage’s pockets, and would unfold for the night at his command. Here he would rest and regenerate using his enchanted gardens, to be ready to travel upon daybreak. Thus the sorceror avoided his fate for 77 years, only to be trapped by the wiles of a malicious enchantress, who tricked him and transformed him into a giant tortoise. But, as with most evil, it redounded upon her and lead to her demise.

To this day the Land of Green Ginger appears at random in the Outlands, opens its doors for a single night, and then disappears to some other location. Its perfumed gardens can prove to a boon and a delight to those with the knowledge to claim their secrets, but the mystic guardians of the place (kirin, fu dogs and hawk-bears among them) still man their posts with earnest zeal. If only someone with the wisdom to appreciate a simple tortoise where to dismiss the enchantment cast upon Baha-Nong, then perhaps the whole curse would shrivel, and the sorceror would be free and happy to pursue his studies once again. Such a person would surely be well-rewarded for their trouble, no doubt with a sample of the eponymous herb and its many derivatives. Till that day arrives, the Land of Green Ginger floats through the Outlands and descends every night to tempt the unwary traveller. No matter what a visitor does, eventually he will fall asleep, and when he wakes the Land will have departed to another place.

Power: Baha-Nong the Sorceror sits like an addle-cove on the edge of a long rectangular koi pond in a misty valley to the east of the palace, contemplating the mystery of the lotus within his small tortoise brain-box. Morose and defeated, the Tortoise slowly wanders the gardens he used to tend, hoping for some reprieve, but so far only one aasimar adventurer has even come close to dispelling the curse. Amidst the other small game, birds and insects in the gardens, it hard to tell that one moss-covered tortoise is actually a powerful wizard (LG/Male/Athar/Wizard 15).

Appearance: This floating realm is usually ephemeral and perched on a diaphanous cloud above the Outlands, but when it descends for the night it becomes solid and resembles a Chinese palace or monastery surrounded by green spaces. Lavish terraces snake across small hillocks and blend seamlessly with French gardens and koi ponds in small valleys, while mist mephits roam the grounds spreading moisture for the plants. The entire realm is perhaps 5 leagues across. Bamboo hedges separate parts of the gardens into flower stands, vegetable rows, arbors and some wild terrain. The palace consists of impressive living chambers, an extensive library which is slowly being overrun by vines, and a shattered alchemical laboratory.

Magical Conditions:
The realm is warded against highly destructive magic, as Baha-Nong did not approve of slaughter and mayhem. All damaging spells, especially those that harm plants, are reduced in power as if the caster was half his level. Spells that fortify plants, such as Barkskin, Plant Growth or Goodberry, are enhanced. Druids receive no special benefit from being here, apart from the amazing abundance of herbs, roots, vegetables and exotic flowers available to those with keen eyes. There is a bonus of +5 to brewing potions and collecting herbs in these gardens, but it’s doubtful that this could be accomplished before the guardians intervened.

Inhabitants:
The Land of Green Ginger is mostly empty, but about twenty guardian creatures tend to the flora and fauna within. Eight hawk-bears and six fu dogs, along with a few civilized vegepygmies and two dedicated myconids, roam the grounds under the supervision of the kirin ool-Shing and eq-Tsang. The guardians are not overtly hostile, but the curse prevents them from assisting visitors and communicating in any fashion. They attack anyone who threatens them, damages the gardens or does something unpleasant to the Tortoise. The fu dogs and kirin will attempt to steer any visitors towards the Tortoise (their master), but their efforts usually come across as eccentric.

Hooks: A kenku mendicant accosts the party as it travels through the Outlands and demands – in some inscrutable foreign language – that they must “Save the Tortoise”. Once the party figures out the cause of the crow-man’s distress, he will use a feather charm to fly them to the realm just as it descends to the ground for the evening. An obscure point of etiquette prevents him from entering the realm, and so the adventurers must investigate alone.

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