Library of Howling
History of the Cauldron
Some two thousand years ago the lands were shrouded in darkness. The time was called the Era of the Godwalkers, because it was said that the Gods themselves walked the lands. It was also a time of dragons and terrible demons. Most notable among them, especially in these lands, was an evil Demon Queen by the name of Burning Night. Bringing evil into the world, there was a great war among the Gods and the Demon Queen which destroyed much of the lands, especially the southern tip of the continent, turning a great peninsula of mountains into scattered and broken islands. Upon a northern tip, there was a powerful volcano that was said to be the battle fortress of the Demon Queen and is named after her: the Mountain of Burning Night. Since that time, this and other volcanoes have been active and now there stands three prominent volcanoes standing guard over a large island. They are called the Three Masters: Mountain of Evil Breath, Mountain of Fiery Blood and the Mountain of Burning Night. The Gods vanquished the Demon Queen and neither she, nor the Gods, have been seen in the lands since.
The island is now known as “Aranmor” which means the Cauldron. It’s also known as the Isle of Fire and the Isle of Demons, the reason for which will soon become apparent. The volcanoes are just as active under the water as they are on land and the seas literally boil. With the covering of ash and the warmth of the seas, the island became a lush tropic. Simple people moved south to the island and settled it. They were known as the “Nureti” or Sons of the Soil. They were peaceful animal and nature worshippers. They created a city over the centuries known as “Tarek Nev” or Quiet Heart.
At some point a few centuries from now, a woman and a man came to the Sons of the Soil. It is unknown whether they were born of these people or not, but their appearance caused a great disturbance within the people. The woman’s name was Vicious, the man’s Builder. By all accounts, they were both great mages and together built one of the mightiest empires in these lands from the home of the Sons of the Soil. The peaceful ways of the people changed drastically. They built powerful warships that could single-handedly take on navies. They consorted with demons and sacrificed prisoners of war to dark gods. From this point, history would refer to them as the Black Sons since their resemblance to the former race is all but gone. The language, as far as history tells us, is the same, but some of the nobility of the Black Sons spoke a different language that is barely recorded.
The Black Sons under the command of Vicious would rule for almost a century. They didn’t occupy the lands they conquered but demanded tithe in the form of wealth, magic and slaves. They terrorized the lands and no one could stand against them. In fact, no navy could even attempt an attack on their home island because of the fury of the seas and the strength of the Black Sons’ magic. The time was so dark for these lands that it was said that Burning Night herself had come back to wreck revenge upon the world now that the Gods had gone to the Heavens.
Almost as swiftly as the Black Sons came and took power, they departed. Their ships were no longer seen, their raiding parties absent, their dark couriers silent. The accounts of what happened are legends of an army of Angels, or “Valkyri” by the barbarian tongue, spirits from the Northern Gods sent to smite the Black Sons for their villainy. This further inflamed the stories that Vicious was Burning Night reborn. No solid account of this battle or it’s outcome as been found. Only wild tales and rumors are recorded and most of the witnesses these tales come from are said to be insane.
Since, for nearly three centuries the island has remained dormant. The raging seas keep people from being able to search and explore the island. Shipwrecks and accidental discovers are either never heard from again, or only lone, raving lunatics survive. They tell of strange, vicious beasts and demons haunting the night. There are tales of shipwrecked crews, left with no hope of escape, turning to cannibalism, demon worshipping and worse. There are stories of weird, magical monsters plaguing the coasts closest to the Cauldron. The Mountain Tribes, fearless, bloodthirsty barbarians who live in those hills tell strangers that there is nothing there worth dying over. They say to travel there is just to feed the Sea Serpents, no death for a warrior.
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