Last night on Global Chat, there was an exclamation of “What on Earth is that monstrosity!” as a player posted a link to an unusual location. (On the Illyriad map, it’s here.) And it is a bit of a monstrosity. A giant heart, beating in the midst of trees and tendrils that look like tentacles, with a few putrid pools scattered about for good measure.
Someone promptly offered to send a military expedition, and a few diplomatic missions have appeared on the map heading in. But my guess is that it won’t be a safe of friendly place to visit: this is the heartland (pardon the pun) of the Melders, after all.
These odd little locations have been popping up at a rate of perhaps one a week for the last month. The Temple of Reason got flagged in the Herald (and after about a week of sending various expeditions, I think I’ve almost worked out how to get a benefit from this). The Heroic Statues popped up before that. And there have been rumors of other locations: people are tantalizing me with unsubstantiated stories of a temple in Kumala, and of a Steampunk brewery near the Middle Kingdom, though I have yet to see these myself.
Personally, I have to admit that I am intrigued. If any players have any insight into more weird sites (what they do, as well as where they are) please do message me in-game – I don’t have time to scour the whole map myself, but I’m very keen to swap information on these locations.
And for the game as a whole this is really nice. It means that players can stumble upon local oddities, and investigate (or ignore) these as they choose.