Delphina’s Womb is an island made up of a labyrinthine series of natural stone arches somewhere off the Darbrish coast. These arches are large enough that even the largest ship can easily sail through them. Delphina’s Womb is a place where truth, direction and vision are born.
Ships sailing through the twisting tunnels of the rocky island are tugged, guided and buffeted by strange currents. Captains who hold a question in mind while traversing Delphina’s Womb are said to emerge facing the direction in which they can find the answer.
Upon emerging from the Womb, captains find their navigational equipment useless and must instead sail by their guts and wits until they land on a shore that will start them on their journey towards the answer they seek – though the answer may be found on the waves before land is even in sight.
Sometimes the answer will present itself immediately. For example, a captain looking for a particular person may encounter another ship at sea with that person on the crew, or they may stumble across the person once they reach shore. Often, the answer will take more time to find. Perhaps the person the captain is looking for is nowhere near the shore they land on, but they hear the person’s name in a dockside tavern or meet a relative or friend of the person they seek.
If the question the captain held in mind is more abstract – such as “What is my true calling?” – an opportunity may present itself after traversing the Womb. Perhaps another ship in trouble will call to an honourable heroic soul, or a job flyer in a tavern will catch the captain’s eye.
Delphina’s Womb works in mysterious ways and it appears to have the power to alter fate, chance and coincidence to bring answers to those who come looking for them. Nobody remembers who Delphina was, but many believe she was an oracle goddess who drowned in the place where Delphina’s Womb now lies.
Because of the powers attributed to Delphina’s Womb, crews often use it as a method for resolving disputes. If crews are divided, they will sail through the womb with a question in mind asking which faction in the crew should be followed. Even cutthroat pirates take the Womb’s decisions very seriously and traversing it usually settles any dispute.
However, crews also use the Womb for more malicious purposes. Many pirates dealing with mutineers or other trouble makers choose to maroon them in Delphina’s Womb, saying “let Delphina sort ‘em out”.
Survivors of Delphina’s Womb speak with fear of its dark rocky shores. Giant crabs inhabiting skulls of dead humans scurry through the tunnels and feast on those unfortunate enough to be stranded there. Delphina’s Womb is haunted by the ghosts of those of those who have committed suicide there – who now try to claim the lives of others who land there. It is said that malicious spirits of the sky and sea make Delphina’s Womb a neutral ground on which to hold battle.
Anyone who makes it out of Delphina’s Womb is very lucky, indeed – perhaps even blessed by the dead forgotten goddess.