Damang Island (5e Environment)
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|By Dr. Mapzo
Damang Island was a formerly uncharted piece of land floating in the Great Sea. Adventurers had only recently discovered its existence. Far from being unpopulated, it sports a healthy population of pandafolk.
The island is of a tropical climate. Part of the reason it has remained hidden is due to a strange amount of mist which obscures the island from eyes at sea. This mist is the color of the sky, which blends the island seamlessly into the horizon. It requires a DC18 Wisdom (Perception) check to spot Damang through the mist. This mist is also a sort of air lock on the island's climate, allowing it to support a large amount of plants with its warmth. Strangely, once inside the mist, one can see outward towards the sun and sea without trouble, as if the mist were like one-way glass. During the times of dawn, the mist shimmers like gold on the mountaintops of the island.
The island environment sports a lot of plants, bamboo in particular. This crop is raised by the local pandafolk for food. A wealth of flora, including edible, aromatic flowers, and tropical trees also flourish here. This climate is perfect for also growing rice and tea. Near the panda villages are irrigated paddy fields that serve for farming. Save for the sandy beaches, the rest of the island is almost entirely covered in greenery. There is a spring near the pandafolk settlement, which runs throughout the island, and hosts freshwater fish.
The island's sole sentient inhabitants, the pandafolk, have one central city, Damang-Ran. They are not extremely technologically advanced, though they have things like water wheels and complex farming techniques. The houses in Damang-ran are made primarily of bamboo, with straw for roofs. Most never reach even two stories tall. The city is located amid a web of five villages spread further around the island. All these settlements are built close to the stone temple where the pandafolk commit to their worship of the emerald sky serpent, Rangdam.
Pandafolk are the primary inhabitants of Damang Island. Their society is primarily built on peaceful living, rather than war and acquisition. There are five clans of pandafolk on the island, which are symbolized by a single creature. They are the Turtle, Yeti, Serpent, Jaguar, and Fox clans. While they have their differences, they all worship and revere the tenets of Rangdam. The pandafolk of this island cite that they are actually pilgrims, bottle-necked from their entire race a long time ago due to migration.
In accordance with their legends, pandafolk believe their existence was once in peril. Their race would have been obliterated by stronger beings if not for the grace of Rangdam, the emerald sky serpent, who granted them the five envoys that led to the creation of their five clans. This deity-like dragon spirit is a "god" in the translated sense. To the pandafolk, Rangdam is an amalgam of all forces of nature which demand respect. Pandafolk are highly attuned to their own selves as a part of nature, which makes many of them keen sensors of inner ki. Exercise with this energy allows them to heal by stimulating their life force.
Other creatures on Damang are relatively natural, which is why the pandafolk often leave them be. The pandafolk defend themselves when necessary, but they understand that wild beasts have to survive as everyone does. Most of them are miscellaneous creatures that one would find in most tropics, like constrictor snakes, poisonous snakes, pigs, and monkeys. Within the stone temple, which is actually built into a cave, there are creatures like bats and spiders.