Gerbil Wars

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The Doclopedia #1

Islands Of Adventure: Duck Island

 

One hundred and seventy five years ago, a group of 500 members of the Church of the Living God climbed aboard four ships and set out for a new life in what their leaders told them was an island paradise free from sin and far away from any regular shipping lanes.

Five years later, every last one of them was dead from a rare disease that had most likely come to the island with a crewman of one of the ships

Duck Island is so named because the only survivors of the original settlements are ducks, which then bred to very large numbers. All of the humans and mammals that came to the island died. Although chickens, turkeys, geese and a few other domesticated fowl also survived, they did not breed as fast as the ducks. There are now upwards of 100,000 ducks on the island.

The island is roughly L shaped, with the shorter part being about 15 miles long and the longer portion about 27 miles long. On average, the island is about 6 miles wide. It has no mountains and the tallest hill is only 300 feet above sea level. Being in a subtropical zone, most of Duck Island is lushly forested. There are several creeks and one small river.

Fast forward 120 years, to when the Pirate Captain Black Angus Dundee rediscovered the remote island and decided that it would make a great headquarters for pirates from far and near. Sure enough, he was right and within a couple of years, the first town, Duckport ( Captain Dundee had a good sense of humor) was established. Over the next 50 years, Duckport grew and prospered into a wicked & sinful city that housed the greatest collection of rogues and scalawags on the planet. Anything goes, as long as you abide by two important rules: Follow The Pirate Code and Never Ever Harm A Duck. That last one will get you shot without hesitation.

Besides Duckport, the island is home to the smaller towns of Rum Bay, Cutlass Cove, Riverbend and Hilltop. Several small villages dot the islands interior, as do the manor houses of the Seven Pirate Lords & Ladies. There are quite a number of farms as well, raising everything from vegetables to cattle.

Even with all of the rather extensive settlement of the island, more than half of it is wild and unexplored. Although no large predatory mammals live on the island (aside from the pirates), there are plenty of reptiles (especially saltwater crocodiles and pythons), insects (scorpions, fire ants, spiders) and even birds ( modern cousins of the prehistoric “terror birds”) that can injure or even kill a human. There are also more than a few insane people running around the forests, most of them armed with knives, spears and clubs. Of course, you stand about a 10 times better chance of dying in Duckport or one of the other towns than you do in the wild. 20 times better if you turn out to be a spy for one of the many kingdoms that want to eradicate piracy.

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