Devil's Elbow Geographic Location in Golarion | World Anvil

Devil's Elbow

Devil's Elbow is a small island in the Varisian Gulf, two miles from land and about 18 miles southwest of the city of Riddleport. It is shaped like a crescent and covered in forests of conifer trees. It was the scene of a strange mining boom in 4718 AR, when a meteorite containing a significant amount of the skymetal noqual impacted the island.   Devil's Elbow is known to be cursed, and only the most desperate pirates take temporary shelter in its natural harbor.


  A. Harbor - When Yaris Neraken first attempted to settle Devil’s Elbow, the three piers and houses here were the first structures he built, since they would serve as the gateway between Witchlight and the rest of the world. Situated in the only safe harbor on the island’s shore, the buildings here once served as warehouses and homes for guards and laborers, but they are now long abandoned and partially collapsed due to the falling star; little remains of the buildings but heaps of rubble and a few leaning walls. Likewise, the piers themselves are falling into disrepair, with many planks missing from their lengths, especially at the ends where only a few leaning pilings protrude from the surf.    B. Witchlight - Reaching Witchlight requires a difficult slog up a steep, overgrown trail that winds up the mountainous island, or an even more difficult slog up through dense underbrush. Witchlight itself is located atop the island’s highest peak, affording a peerless view of the Varisian Gulf. On particularly clear days, the distant haze of Riddleport can be seen to the northeast.   C. Western Lighthouse - Originally intended to be one of three watchtowers and lighthouses, tragedy struck this building days after it was completed. The fire partially burnt the building and resulted in the deaths of several workers, forcing Yaris to abandon the site. Although he intended to rebuild, he never got the chance. Now, time and the recent meteor impact have finished the job; the tower has fallen completely into a huge mound of rubble.   D. The Crater - Although it’s clearly visible from the sea, actually reaching the crater site by land is easier said than done. No trails lead to the site, and once one comes within a half-mile of the actual crater, fallen trees and loose soil make travel even more exhausting. The terrain here is difficult, and overland travel speeds are reduced to one-quarter normal. Moving among the toppled and scorched trees makes for a strange and unnerving experience since the only signs of life are the wheeling flocks of turkey vultures in the skies above.   E. Zincher’s Camp - When Riddleport crime boss Clegg Zincher arrived on the island to claim the noqual, he initially chose Witchlight as his base of operations. However he ended up moving the site of his camp to this area. Two decrepit buildings, once homes for a pair of hunters, sit abandoned at the edge of the camp.   F. Eastern Lighthouse - Although just as old as the other structures, this 40-foot-tall stone lighthouse survived the passage of time and the impact of the falling star quite well. Its walls are encrusted with salt and grime, and the wooden stairwell and internal floors have collapsed into a pile of moldering rubble within, but the tower itself stands firm. However, this is the lighthouse that Yaris threw himself off of out of grief. It is said that his ghost continues to haunt these ruins to this day.


Devil's Elbow is home to a variety of mundane wildlife, chiefly the deer, boars, donkey rats, and rabbits imported by the original settlers for food, as well as wild dogs, stirges, and snakes. The giant centipedes brought by the shipwreck are still present on the island and have over time become quite common. Most recently, the falling meteorite has brought several akatas to the island as well.   In addition to the natural and extraterrestrial wildlife, Virashi's ghost also lingers on the island.   Recently, sailors have reported seeing a monstrous humanoid roaming the coastline. The creature has hurled large boulders at the ships to keep them at bay.


For most of its recent history, Devil's Elbow has been largely uninhabited. The island was historically avoided by the local Varisian and goblin tribes due to its single intelligent inhabitant, a siren named Virashi. This changed when a Chelish merchant named Yaris Neraken was shipwrecked on the island. Yaris spent some time as Virashi's captive, but the two eventually fell in love, and Yaris persuaded Virashi to let him leave and bring others back with him to establish a permanent settlement on Devil's Elbow, arguing that this would allow them to remain together while still enjoying the comforts of civilization. Yaris returned to Magnimar and convinced potential settlers and investors that Virashi was nothing more than a rumor, leading to the village of Witchlight being founded on the island's shores in 4680 AR.   Witchlight faced struggles soon after its founding. As the island's terrain is unsuitable for farming, the settlers had to import wildlife to create hunting stock with which to sustain themselves. Witchlight also found itself dependent on imports from Riddleport, and with little of its own to export. The town was further struck by multiple disasters: a fire destroyed one of its watchtowers, and killed several workers; a shipwreck cost the town a large supply of grain and loosed numerous giant centipedes on the island, and a load of sickened cattle brought an outbreak of anthrakitis that killed a third of the settlers. Witchlight's citizens began to attribute this misfortune to "Virashi's Curse", supported by rumored sightings of the siren. After a priest secretly followed Yaris on one of his trips to meet with his lover, the town's population learned of her presence and the location of her cave. The next morning, a mob entered Virashi's lair and killed her in her sleep.   Virashi's death proved too much for the already despairing Yaris, who killed himself when he woke to find his lover's corpse on public display. This in turn was more than the town's flagging morale could endure, and the demoralized settlers soon after abandoned the town entirely for Varisia's other, more stable settlements.   In 4718 AR, 38 years after Witchlight's ill-fated founding, Devil's Elbow became the site of an experimental drow ritual meant to direct a meteor to impact Golarion's surface. The test worked and caused a relatively small meteoroid to impact on the island. The rock itself bore a cargo of precious noqual, drawing several teams of prospectors from Riddleport to the island to harvest the metal, but also loosed several akatas on the island.
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