Andrew rolled over, trying to avoid the latest rock jabbing him in the back, only to find that larger one he first lay down on at the end of his watch last night was still there. The first glimmer of sunrise was just starting to cast a rosy-golden glow across the stream, dissipating the mist over the water . Andrew sighed and pulled off the blanket. “May as well rise and see if Gerard needs help getting breakfast going.” Of course, Gerard had fallen asleep on watch; why the masters kept him on was a mystery. Andrew stood, ready to kick the lazy grog awake, when he noticed the small bridge across the stream shimmering in the mist. It looked rather decrepit from what Andrew could see, and it had not been there last night.
This island regio was once claimed by a now defunct covenant, and has since been abandoned by those in the mundane world. A stream surrounds the island and appears to have no source; the water just flows around the island like a “living” moat. The only apparent way onto the island is via the bridge. The bridge, constructed of wood and about two paces wide, contains eight arches woven from various types of branches over the path, and only appears at dawn on certain days of the year. The stream it crosses is much wider than the stream visible in the mundane world. The half of the bridge nearest the mundane side is decrepit, with planks missing from the walkway, the railing missing in places, and two of the arches broken. The magic half of the bridge is meticulously maintained, with living vines and bright flowers decorating the arches and railings; the planking is polished.
From the island, the far bank of the stream is shrouded in mist. Crossing the stream from the island leads immediately back to the mundane world. The island is roughly 1500 paces across, is gently hilly and is covered by a forest, with several paths meandering through. Birds and small wildlife can be heard and seen in the trees and scampering through the underbrush. The island rises toward the center, and a low, slightly crumbling wall containing an arch on one side encircles an area about 50 paces across. Within the wall, the forest continues, and at the very center are seven crumbling stone columns. Walking a particular path spiraling around the island toward the center and passing through the arch in the wall reveals the next level of the regio. There is vis to be found on the island, in the flowers, animals, and stones, but the island has guardians.
A family of fauns inhabits the island, and serve as guardians and caretakers. They live in a small cave in the side of one of the hills, facing the stream. Anyone harming the plants, animals, paths, or stone structures immediately gains the attention of the appropriate faun. (Straying off the paths is likely to harm some plant in some way.) All four fauns know the way to the next level, but are reluctant to disclose that another level exists or how to get there, until the visitor gains their trust.
- Trames is a male faun who maintains the bridge and the paths. He is upset that no one has been maintaining the far side (mundane half) of the bridge, and will bar entry to the regio until that is fixed. He can also change the arrangement of the paths, although the path to the next level of the regio is fixed.
- Calx is a male faun and maintains the wall. He sometimes adds a stone back on, and sometimes removes one, all in an effort to make the wall as aesthetically pleasing as possible. He knows every stone in the wall, and has a story for almost every one. He appreciates new and interesting stones to add to the wall. He does not appreciate anyone climbing over the wall, as that would likely displace some of the stones. Calx is the most gregarious of the fauns and can usually be found working on part of the wall or arch.
- Silve is a female faun and cares for the plants on the island. She is the least trusting of the fauns because she remembers the careless harm previous magi inflicted in their hunt for vis on the island.
- Opilia is a female faun and cares for the animals and birds on the island. She is also the most reclusive of the fauns, but will act swiftly if one of the island’s creatures is harmed.
All four fauns can become invisible at will, can use their pipes to induce people to sleep, and can push people out of the regio, landing them back in the mundane world somewhere within three miles of the bridge.