Isle of the Four Winds Lore
Isle of the Four Winds Lore is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Stargazing on the Isle
Tears do not belong on your face, You are still the brightest star in the skies, So I got this star for you, Reminding us of the day we flew.
Now that star shines ever so bright, And right next to your heart, It will be forever yours, Banishing all fears.
If you hadn't realized yet, You are the true star I met, The star is a symbol, For you I am always grateful.
You held my star in the palm of your hands, The gift from the night skies, I think of you each time I close my eyes, I would give you all the stars, Just to see you smile.
Isle of Winds -or- Isle of Four Winds
From the Personal Files of Raila Deliean, Scholar
Isle of Winds, more commonly known as Isle of Four Winds, is often thought of as a mystery. Its location, geography, and temperament are largely mysterious. While it is thought that the powerful organization known as the Chronomages know more about the island than it lets on, it does not let slip how much knowledge it does indeed have. I have always been avidly interested in the island and its history. I have read document upon document of information that tries to explain its origin, location, history, and modern state, but much of this information has holes so large that I can walk through them into the next room. As such, you can imagine my surprise when I came across some discarded papers that present a great depth of information on the Isle of Winds. (But then, as these are my personal notes, I should be honest here; maybe they weren’t just discarded papers. Perhaps it is true that I had to spend a little bit more coin than it takes to buy a city. But who’s really paying attention to that other than me, a presently nondescript person?) While I was not able to attain all of the documents, such as the true value of the minerals and gemstones on the Isle, or its current geological build and status, I was able to obtain a few of the papers that contain material that is generally considered myth, and in some cases is completely unknown to the public. When I received the report, the seller passed along some information as to the documents’ origin. According to her, the report was written at the behest of an anonymous and private citizen, whose name is never mentioned in the documents. It is clear, however, that the report was written specifically to ascertain the value of the island and how much it was and is worth. I should also note that I learned that the authentic, formal report, the one that I will likely never see, is continually updated per the original contract. This makes me wonder whether or not someone intends to extend an offer on the island, or whether this research is done for some other purpose – whether good or malevolent, I cannot know. I feel it is my duty to protect the knowledge I have gained, and so I will continue to compile and record private papers regarding the Isle of Winds until I have a complete collection. My inventory of this report thus far includes:
Section II: Location of Isle of Winds
Section IV: Lore Regarding Origins of Isle of Winds’ Unique Properties
Section V: Early History and First Settlements
Section XI: Personal Documents and Local Lore Collection
Section II: Location of the Isle of Winds
One of the mysteries of Isle of Winds is that it has never been reached via any normal means of travel*. The Chronomages were the first to document a discovery of the island, and yet they have never made public where it is located. Historical records of geography point to several possibilities for the location of the isle, and the events surrounding the areas support the current "hidden" status of the isle. The prevailing theories as to the true location of the island are as follows:
(1) (-15,180 to -5000) Isle of Winds was a part of the Eilya Islands, a small string of volcanic islands once located in the sea far southeast of where Ta'Ashrim was built. There are accounts of such islands in some records, but there is no current evidence that they actually existed or continue to exist. It is said that the volcanic activity in the chain became powerful enough to disrupt the natural elemental balance of the area. This forced the island into the center of what can only be described as a strong elemental barrier -- which accounts for its sudden disappearance. Documentation does support that there was violent volcanic activity during this period of history, but exact locales are not accurately provided.
(2) (-15,185) Isle of Winds was originally one of several small, uninhabited islands that lay off the coast of Rhoska-Tor that were wiped from the map at some point during the great battle at Maelshyve. It claims that their perceived disappearance was a result of some of the magic being used, and that that is why, from time to time, there are tales of reaching the Isle through means not of the Chronomages.
(3) (-15,180 to -5000) Isle of Winds is one of the islands off of the western coast of the Southron Wastes that was once used by an order of magicians and sorcerers during the darker periods of the Age of Chaos for practice and testing before the demise of their order. There were several islands in the vicinity that they placed magical barriers around to keep their practices private, effectively eliminating outside intervention and detection. It is believed that Isle of Winds was one of those islands, and if the Chronomages had not been interested in the stories about a mysterious island, it would likely have remained hidden for a much longer period of time.
Note: Documents and findings on the isle indicate that individuals and groups have made their way on to the island at one time or another without teleporting, though most cases seem to be the result of violent natural disasters in which the persons described were so disoriented and thrown off course that they have been unable to provide any true bearing as to where the isle exists in the Elanthian seas.
Section IV: Lore Regarding Origins of Isle of Winds’ Unique Properties
The origins of the Isle of Winds are the make of legend and lore, with little to no confirmed historical records as to how it actually came to be, nor how its unique combination of properties -- specifically its hidden nature, tempestuous ocean currents, and unexplained incidents -- exist. Section VIII of this report delves into the geographical and geological nature of the island, which gives direct evidence of its underlying volcanic nature. The proposed locations of the island, in Section II, also hint at how the island’s properties may be interconnected with documented events. This section of the report seeks to inform the reader of common lore as connected to the island’s unique properties.
There are multiple tales of lore that relate their own versions of the island’s origins. Some likely refer to other islands, but have been modified to work as lore for Isle of Winds. Other lore is no doubt the creation of the imagination. And some of the lore may truly indicate what it is that causes the island to behave as it does. Far be it from this area of the report to determine what is truth and what it is fiction, as this section is purely a listing of common lore; it depicts the most popular of the tales and lore surrounding the Isle of Winds. For purposes of length, the report narrows the accounts down into three categories – elemental, religious, and mortal – with one tale to represent each category. Each telling reported here is highly indicative of other similar types of tales connected to the island.
Part I: Elemental
Elemental tales in this report tell of the natural world, including the spirits that inhabit it
A wood spirit, Cah’tal, resided upon a lone island, his time spent reveling in deep jungle growth with similar beings. One day, as he danced along the edges of the jungle, he spied a creation more wondrous than he could ever have imagined existed: there, basking in the water, was a being more glorious than creation. He watched her from afar and was immediately captivated by her beauty.
Little did Cah’tal know that this particular sea nymph, who was named Naleya, was betrothed to a spirit of the wind called Aeydor. Aeydor loved Naleya more than anything else in the world. He came to look upon her as often as he could, admiring her grace and beauty. When she allowed it, he would wrap his swirl of wind around her body. He looked forward to the day, coming swiftly toward them, when they would marry.
Naleya, on the other hand, dreaded the day of their marriage. She and Aeydor had at first shared a kinship, even love. But Aeydor was a jealous of anything she gave her attention to, and he quickly drove away all of her friends. She grew to hate her solitude, and she looked forward to the times when he would visit the nearby islands, as was his obligation. Only then was she out of his sight, free to be herself once more. She dared not tell Aeydor of her feelings, for she had seen him rage before, and she was afraid.
So it was that the sea nymph spent her days idling about on the shores, splashing in the water, miserable without her friends, and trapped in a loveless betrothal.
Cah’tal was intrigued by her, and it was only by chance that he first called out to her when the spirit of the wind was far away. The sea nymph saw Cah’tal, and eager for a companion to talk to, she answered him. They became fast friends; Cah’tal was enamored of her and sympathetic to her story, and Naleya needed someone to speak to and was amazed at the tales of the jungle. They agreed to meet again, in secret. They began to meet regularly whenever Aeydor flew away. Weeks passed, and eventually Naleya realized that she had fallen irrevocably in love with the wood spirit. Soon after, Cah’tal declared his love for Naleya. They sought to create a plan that would allow them to be together, in the open, without enraging Aeydor.
All the while, Aeydor began to suspect that something was amiss; his love was happier than she had ever been, but he could find no cause. So he decided to watch Naleya when she would think that he was nowhere nearby. Eventually, his spying set his sights on Cah’tal, who cradled Naleya in his arms as if he owned her. Jealousy ripped through Aeydor, and he flew in to attack the wood spirit without any hesitation. The sea nymph, seeing Aeydor’s descent, placed her body between Aeydor’s rage and her love. Aeydor could not stop himself in time, however, and the force of his passage left Naleya’s slender body nearly lifeless upon the shore.
Cah’tal was knocked into the brush and would have been vulnerable to any attack, but the spirit of the wind was too horrified to continue his aggression. He instead knelt beside the object of his affection. As Naleya gasped her last few breaths, she begged Aeydor to swear to watch over Cah’tal and protect him. He promised her anything she wanted, desperate for her to remain alive. As her spark of life dimmed and then went out, Aeydor’s promise bound itself to him. He shot into the air, angry and devastated.
Only then did Cah’tal kneel beside the sea nymph. He scooped her into his arms and gifted her small body back to the sea from whence she had sprung. As the swell carried Naleya out to its depths, the wood spirit returned to the jungle, weeping bitter tears of green liquid that fell to the ground and seeped into the earth. He blamed himself for Naleya’s death, for the blow had been aimed at him. So it was that the tortured spirit wandered back into the jungle and chose a fine fallen tree to sit upon. He spoke not a word, remaining everlastingly silent.
True to his promise, Aeydor watched over Cah’tal, and thus over the island. He swirls constantly, never letting anything in, never letting anything out. Sometimes, he dances down by the ocean to remember his love, spraying up mist as he passes over the waves. The waves, in response, throw him away, knowing full-well that he was responsible for the death of the sea nymph. The emotional exchange creates tempests and whirlpools, perils that are just two results of a never-ending war.
At times, the sea, as if in search of Cah’tal, will throw her waves high up on the shores of the island. But the waves cannot find him. He broods from his perch on his tree, deep in the jungle. Some say that time has healed his wounds, that he is responsible for the brilliant growth all over the island, and that he oversees a small force of spirits of the woods that consider him the maker of the world. Others say that his guilt has instead festered, turning to a dark malevolence that does not always remain contained and that has, over time, tainted the nature of the other wood spirits in the jungle.
Always, the island, the place where love was gained and lost, remains the only thing that both the Cah’tal and Aeydor have left of Naleya, and so it is that they, in some small ways, keep it safe from true and lasting harm.
Part II: Religious
Religious tales in this report revolve around the Arkati, the Drakes, and similar forms of worshipful beings
Isle of Winds is said to have been the sanctuary of one of the Drakes, Olex’Varanth.
According to lore, Olex’Varanth was an oddity among the Drakes, a runt who was not expected to live far past his birth. He defied the odds and not only lived, but thrived. Despite his diminutive body and stunted legs, his wings spread as far as a fully grown Drake's. The combination of his small size and expansive wing-span made him one of the quickest Drakes in the air. Olex’Varanth exhibited a tendency toward spending his time alone, however, and he had little interest in socializing with others of his kind.
Olex’Varanth found his place of sanctuary far away from the Dragonspine, choosing to live upon the shores of a large island, its environs not anything like the mountainous home of his birth. There, Olex’Varanth thrived among the flora and fauna. Water nymphs played upon the shore, wood spirits flitted about in the midst of the jungle, and a handful of small humanoids resided on the island. Olex’Varanth didn't bother any of them, and he was left to himself.
When the great Ur-Daemon War began, Olex’Varanth fought bravely. He was one of the first to fly into battles, with his quick speed and deft maneuvering key in evading death. It was not until this war that Olex’Varanth was seen as a protector of the island; during the battle, he did what he could to keep it from being scored and scorched by the Ur-Daemons. But soon, he found himself mortally wounded, and as he plummeted from the sky, his keening cry was mourned by the Drakes, who had finally come to truly consider him one of their own.
After Olex’Varanth fell, the island was open to attack. Fire soon fell from the sky and lit the vulnerable mass of jungle. In a matter of hours, everything on its surface had burned down. Only a few of the island's living inhabitants survived the fire by hiding in its cavern system or taking to the sea.
The end of the Ur-Daemon War brought Imaera to the island's shores, but she was unable to heal the land there, and it remained a place of death, filled with the skeletons of trees and brush that no longer blossomed with life. With the lack of sustenance on the surface, the island's few surviving inhabitants had taken to hiding from prying eyes in the very caves that had allowed them to survive, where they presumably subsisted off of the ocean's life. They refused to have anything to do with the Arkati who came to work with them, and after some time, it seems that they were forgotten and very likely died off.
It wasn't until much later, after thousands of years had passed and the sky was showered with ashes from the volcanic eruptions taking place across a string of islands, that Jaston truly noticed the island, which was just adjacent to the one spewing lava and ash. Despite the cloak of death that hung over this particular place, Jaston's charges, the Four Winds, immediately recognized it as the isle that Olex’Varanth had soared on the winds to reach time and time again. All at once they wondered where it was that Olex’Varanth had gone, where he had fallen after his final flight -- for the Winds had been all aflight and set in chaos during the Ur-Daemon War, and thus had not witnessed the tragedy.
What a shame it was that a Drake so bold and unique as Olex’Varanth had fallen with no fanfare or true memorial. Olex’Varanth had always been kind to the Four Winds, treating them as his equal, as if he were one with them. And how he had loved his small sanctuary. They now spoke to Jaston about Olex’Varanth, and their sentiments painted Olex’Varanth as a revered friend. So it was that Jaston and the Winds scoured the lands, looking for where any remnants of the fallen Drake lay.
Finally, Jaston learned from Niima that many Drakes lay in the depths of the ocean, untouched since they had fallen and of little concern to Charl. Niima offered to search the seas for the Drake in question. Never one to turn her back from the rescue of anyone's lost friend, and given her close relationship to Jaston, Niima looked far and wide until she found what she believed were the remnants of Olex’Varanth. With the sea's help, Niima retrieved the remains of the body – simply a skeleton after years and years on the floor of the ocean – and carried it up to the ocean surface. From there, Jaston and the Four Winds helped Niima to lift the Drake to the island that had once been his home, and there they laid his bones to rest at the center of the island's mass.
Jaston implored his creator, Imaera, to once again try her hand at healing the island. This time, when she tried to revive it, the soil no longer rejected her touch but instead responded, avidly, to it. Within weeks, the life that had once existed on the island seemed to rise up out of the depths of burnt destruction, and within years, a thick mass of jungle once again shrouded its surface. Vines and flowery masses grew over the Drake's bones, encasing them until they eventually disappeared from sight.
When flora first began to spring back up, Jaston directed the Four Winds to keep watch over the isle.
The Four Winds follow this directive by keeping a constant swirl around the island, far off from the shore. Their motion accomplishes three purposes. First, they move through the ocean, just near the surface, creating whirlpools and non-navigable ocean disturbances. Second, they keep those who would travel to the island by air from ever getting anywhere near even sighting the land mass. Third, they kick up water from the ocean, sending little droplets into the air that hover in the high humidity and create a fine mist. Thus, the island remains shrouded in a cloak of mist.
When the Winds took up their guardianship, it was as if the island had been wiped off the face of Elanthia. The rare and unfortunate ships or sailors that move in close enough to the ocean disturbances are able to set eyes on an island through the mist, only to find that in the swirl of nature, the Winds will not spare them to live to tell nary a tale.
Part III: Mortal
Mortal tales in this report revolve around mortal desires, needs, emotions, logic, and reasoning. Often they are based on historical events, though often the tales, over time, depart from the true facts.
This tale tells of a woman and her child, and how their time on the island passed. The woman is a different race, age, and height depending on the story. It seems as if her underlying origin is easy to interchange when it comes to folklore. What is not ever changed in the story, however, is the relationship between the mother and son. Her son was a mere child, barely able to formulate full words on his own, though he was well-versed in walking, fishing, and trying his mother's patience. The mother loved her child more than life itself, and she did everything she could to care for him.
As a young girl, the woman had grown up amongst the nobles, and she had bonded with a rakish young duke. They were the first to love and explore one another, but as time moved on, the duke embarked upon other conquests and left his friend to fend for herself. He then only called to her for companionship from time to time because while he did not love her, he was fond of her. She bore this with good grace, for she loved him, but when he married another, she was heartbroken. Even then, he continued to take women, including the young girl herself, to his bed. When at long last she grew with child, he denied any association with it and ordered her to get rid of it. When she refused, the duke threatened her with death.
Despite her hardship, the woman still had a head on her shoulders. She used her close association with the family to take from the noble's home some of his most precious jewels. The young woman then set off to the seaside. With the jewels, she bought passage on a trade ship as a cook, a lifestyle she knew the duke would never think to look for her in.
It soon became obvious to the crew that the woman was with child, but her good nature and delectable cooking kept their mouths quiet, and at night, they listened to her sing hauntingly beautiful songs of shining lands and love and tragedy. On the eve the child was born, he was welcomed by the crew -- despite a rather eventful birth -- and the mother and child were embraced as family. When the ship next came to port and changed out some crew, the woman offered to unburden the ship of her and her child, but the crew would not hear of it. So it was that the child grew into a little boy while at sea.
An unfortunate turn of events found the ship under attack by a warship that wanted to capture its goods. The crew immediately stowed the woman and the child away on a small rowboat and bade the woman row as far away as she could. The crew, it is said, suffered for their actions, but none apologized for it. The woman, desperate with fear, rowed away, never looking back. Although she and the boy soon suffered from hunger and dehydration, after days and days, the rowboat finally grounded upon the shore of a jungle-shrouded island.
At least a year passed with just the two of them on the island before a ship finally spied their smoke signal. The ship's crew was polite enough, and the woman was glad for some sense of civilization, but when the ship's captain made advances on her, she rebuffed him. When he tried to take what he wanted by force, one of the crew members pulled him off of her and received a lance through his gut for the effort. The captain spit in the woman's face and declared that he would leave her on the island.
Unbeknownst to the woman, the captain had taken her son with him. The captain meant to use him for labor or possibly sell him into slavery. But the small thing started yelling for his mother when he caught a glimpse of her. When she yelled loudly across the ocean that she would do anything, the captain responded that she had had her chance, and that the boy would come with them. Her son responded to the angst in his mother's voice, though, and he struggled away from the captain's grasp and jumped overboard.
The boy, not old enough to possibly understand that the water here was much more violent than what he was used to by the shore, did not realize that he was jumping toward his death. He struggled helplessly in the water before going under. He popped back up once more, then disappeared completely. His mother, seeing at once what was happening, fairly flew into the sea to swim toward him. Some of the crew on the ship made ready to jump after the boy, but the captain forbade it and ordered them to set sail.
By the time the mother reached where her son had been, the ship was a speck on the horizon. She frantically dove under the water time and time again, searching for her son. And finally, she found him, carried further away by the ocean current, pale and wet, with nary a spark of life in him.
She cursed the ship -- its captain and crew -- for what they had done. She cursed the ocean for taking her son. She cursed any who would come to the isle and violently take away what wasn't theirs.
Perhaps the love of a mother is strong enough to give full force to a curse. Perhaps this woman had magical strength in her that she did not know. Perhaps someone else was watching and heard her cries and truly listened. Whatever the reason behind it, it seems that her wishes were fulfilled.
The ship that sailed away met some dastardly fate, and when it was found, only corpses clothed in expressions of terror were all that remained aboard it.
The ocean around the island began to writhe, as if in misery, and it to this day cannot help but take the lives of those who try to sail to or from the island.
Death… death comes to those who take too much of the island when they have no true need.
As for the woman, she lived with her own sort of curse for some time. After spending laborious efforts to retrieve the boy's corpse, she carried her son deep into the jungle. There, at the heart of the island, she buried him. She herself lived in a natural state after that time and became what civilized people would call a “wild woman.” She would wander and talk to the trees and sing to the flowers, and never did she hurt any living being that made its home on the island. She often talked aloud to her son, and it seemed as though – at least to her – he responded. Years passed, but she remained young and lived well past her natural life span. She tried to kill herself on several occasions, for her grief remained sharp and new – she often felt that this was the curse that she had to live with – but it seemed she just would not die, try as she might. It wasn't until one day when she wasn't giving any thought to anything in particular that she tripped on a vine and fell down a deep jungle ravine, hitting her head and ending her life.
Even in death, however, her curses live on.
Section V: Early History and First Settlements
It should first be established that Isle of Four Winds was not originally known as Isle of Four Winds. Before that, it was the Isle of Winds. And before that, it was originally only known in scrolls and legends as the Isle of Lost Scrolls. This is due to the scrolls in bottles or other safe-keeping devices that washed up upon sea shores across Elanthia every few hundred years. It is also quite clear that none of the writers or those who were on the island described ever found any means of permanently leaving it. Thus, for centuries, it was known by that name. Tales of the Isle were so similar that they were eventually attributed to the same island, rather than multiple and varied locales. It is probable that the scrolls do not all come from Isle of Winds, but it stands to reason that more than a few did truly find their original home there. Several of the aforementioned scrolls and stories are documented in Section XI of this report.
Part I: Early History: Chronomage Discovery and Sale
As documents show, around the year 4300 there were a large number of reports that tell of an entire Krolvin fleet that was out scouring the seas for a lost ship, one with an abundance of wealth and some certain property that, to this day, remains a mystery. That it was of immense importance to this particular fleet is all that is known. In their hunt, they were willing to dive headlong into skirmishes and use more violent methods than were normally attributed to the Krolvin of the time.
It wasn't until several years later that a human ship came upon pieces of what was believed to be a Krolvin ship. They immediately sent a carrier bird to the mainland, saying they had reason to believe the ship from whence these artifacts came had found its berth on the Isle of Lost Scrolls – sailor-talk at the time that simply meant that the origin of the ship’s pieces were a complete mystery. When their own ship finally entered the harbor, it ran straight into the docks. It had not stopped, or even steered properly, because the entire crew had been murdered, and the pieces of the Krolvin ship that they had discovered were now missing. This was yet another strike against the Krolvins, for they were blamed for the murders, despite the mystery surrounding the entire event, which seem to have been washed out of all currently known official records – there are no mentions of it throughout the continent’s vast store of archives. The commoners of the time, however, had no qualms about spreading a tale of excitement and daring violence, and the story was soon enough popularized even among the nobles.
It wasn't long after these stories started circulating that the Chronomages first became aware of the island. Scrying the expanse of Elanthia, they noticed a mist-covered isle and took interest in its obscure and disguised location and wealth of resources. Never ones to miss an opportunity, the Chronomages quickly claimed the isle for their own. After some time, during which they presumably spent researching and exploring, the Chronomages offered the island for sale, with the understanding that they would provide and collect fees on unique teleportation devices to a spot on the otherwise uncharted island.
Whether or not this was the same island that all of the stories came from or not, the Chronomages had no qualms about promoting it as the Island of Lost Scrolls. And it was not surprising that they would quickly receive offers, given the lore and legends surrounding it, and the interest that such stories garner.
Every sale, however, fell through when the prospective buyers set foot upon the isle. And over time, the offers stopped coming in.
Finally, in 4594, a private buyer, who to this day remains unknown, closed the sale with the Chronomages. The buyer then anonymously bequeathed the isle to a small family, the Leiffens, who were of little note previous to their unprecedented inheritance. The buyer's only requests were that the isle remain largely preserved in its natural state, and that the name of the island be reflected as the Isle of Winds, rather than the Isle of Lost Scrolls, in the contracts.
Part II: First Settlement: Leiffen’s Landing
The Leiffens, as noted, were obscure up until this time. In fact, their obscurity has remained rather intact, given their quiet dealings with the island, which are generally only recorded in Leiffen family histories and scattered through private documents that only the governing bodies of the island are supposed to have access to.
In 4594, the Leiffen family consisted of four brothers who had recently met with tragedy; their parents had just months before been killed by a fever that had run its violent and fiery course through the countryside. The boys had inherited all that their parents had owned -- a small farmstead geared toward grain. The eldest boy, Olivir, was a mere twenty three years of age. He was recently married to a young woman named Stylla, which had in and of itself caused a small scandal for both families. The marriage had been a business arrangement, lacking in love, between her family and his, where both families had been less than forthright with their current state of finances and holdings, each hoping to benefit from the union. When all was said and done, both families had been angry to discover the truth of things, and what was left was little more than a shell of a marriage between Olivir and Stylla. The other three boys, twenty, nineteen, and seventeen, were not yet married and still had much to learn of the world.
The Leiffen brothers received word of their new acquisition, indeed a mystery even to themselves, by way of a representative for the Chronomages. Upon presentation of the deed, the representative merely added that the Chronomages would deliver more transporters as necessary. The representative did not leave any further information on how to contact the Chronomages, implying that the order was more than able to ascertain when communication would be needed.
Before vanishing from sight, the Chronomage representative voiced one last warning to the island's new proprietors: that they would not be the first occupants of the island, and they would not be alone.
Although they were completely unprepared for any venture of this sort, the Leiffen brothers put aside their grief for their dead parents to pursue what they hoped would be new and great riches.
They immediately used the Chronomage devices that were gifted to them. They found themselves on a lonely stretch of shoreline that was populated with flora and fauna far more glorious than anything in their farm-born and bred imaginations. After just a few days of exploration, and a few bumps, bruises, and scratches, they had found several caches of gemstones and minerals not too far from their landing point. They collected small samples from each and returned to the Empire. Olivir set out to the nearest major city, Tamzyrr, which was a few day's wagon ride away, and there found that the known gemstones and minerals would fetch them a hefty price. The gemcutter offered a meager price for the unknown pieces, citing that he would purchase everything they found, even if it was considered worthless, so long as he had sole rights to buying it from them. The document was drawn up, and so it was that the Leiffens became the first known entrepreneurs for Isle of Winds.
It must be remembered that the Leiffens were farmsteaders, not businessmen. So it would make sense that their initial encroachment of the Isle was not at all done with any finesse or smooth maneuvering. They drew up contracts where they paid too much. They drew up other contracts where they received too little. They didn’t consult with well-tuned businesses or plans of any sort, and they didn’t hire anyone to help them move forward with their new property. They went in virtually blind. From the start, Olivir declared that he would run their affairs at home rather than from on the island itself, and he made it clear that he was in charge; after all, the contracts and ownership fell to him as the eldest. His brothers, using the Chronomage devices, were able to move back and forth between the island and their small farmstead outside of Tamzyrr with little effort, and certainly with just as little fanfare.
The Leiffens, with but little delay, built a small settlement on the island. Olivir engaged various individuals to come and work on the isle and live in what became known as Leiffen's Landing. It was a ramshackle settlement, with a few hastily constructed buildings comprised of living quarters, a large mess hall, a medical building, and several sorting shacks for all of the goods they found in the jungle and planned to export back to Tamzyrr. In fact, the Leiffens were already exporting some of the gems and minerals they had first discovered, and they began to also export some of the exotic fruits. There was one "road" through the middle of the Landing, and it was here that any major socialization took place. Most adventurers who came to the Landing were more interested in riches than in getting to know one another, greedy roughnecks that they tended to be. Only when the liquor flowed or the pipes were struck up did they really speak to one another, and as secret desires and plans were revealed and stolen, and alliances made or broken, more than a few fights broke out. It is worth noting that despite the positioning and competition going on between the adventurers, those who came to the isle remained tight-lipped about it to outsiders, as they did not intend to share the riches around to more people than were already present.
The Leiffens determined that Leiffen's Landing was somewhere on the southern coast of the isle, but given that no one attempted to navigate the surrounding ocean, they never truly had a bigger picture of the island and its size or where they were on it; it simply never crossed their mind to chart their location when there were already so many riches to claim right in front of their eyes. Besides, none were sailors, and while some of the settlers fished from the ocean, they had no skill in boat making or how to get around a ship on their own. Despite the warning of the Chronomages, which the brothers kept to themselves or possibly even forgot, everyone in the settlement, including the Leiffens, believed that they were the only people on the island now.
The only indication of other possible occupants at all, in fact, was the body of the sailor that washed up on shore after they had been there for weeks. They had decided that they would bury the sailor's body, but when they went back to where they had pulled it up near the jungle, the corpse had disappeared. They decided that some forest animals had come to drag it away, though several of the men pointed out that there were no drag marks leading into the jungle from near where the body had been -- only footprints were visible on the stretch of sand. The others argued as to the exact spot of the body, and that the footprints were merely their own, and the matter was dropped and never thought of again.
Part III: Serpentine and Firewheels
It wasn't until the adventurers struck deep into the ground of the isle to pilfer a cache of scaly, green stone – which would later become known as serpentine, and that the gemcutter in Tamzyrr had declared worthless – that anything out of the ordinary occurred to anyone who lived in Leiffen's Landing. Upon this event's day, the youngest brother and all who were involved at the site that day fell severely ill. They ran massively high fevers, developed rashes, and started to bleed without any known reason or cause. Within several days, each had died. Their deaths were not silent and simple deaths, either; instead, each had gone on their trek through the Gate screaming in terror and pain.
After this incident, much of the population that was contracted for work there left. There was fear of catching the same sickness, enough so that the financial incentives could not counter the threat of a horrific death. That left a handful of contractors, who stayed specifically because they believed that with less competition from those who left, there would be a larger share for them to claim from the island’s riches.
Business continued after a short period of recovery, but was once again interrupted when one of the Leiffens, Kairm specifically, decided to export some of the exotic woods. A small stand of firewheel trees were cut down near Leiffen's Landing. Just after nightfall, the sky overhead rumbled with a pending storm, and lightning rained down over the sea. One streak of the sky's fire struck the entire stock of wood that had been cut down from the felled firewheel trees and set it alight. The flames spread across a third of Leiffen's Landing, killing several who slept soundly in their beds and did not hear the noise of the raging inferno until it was too late. As the fire branched out toward the jungle, and just as it seemed ready to engulf the remainder of the Landing, the clouds let loose with the pending rainstorm, and the downpour put out the flames within minutes.
Kairm wasn't found until the following day. His house was the last to have been burnt before the deluge of raindrops plummeted toward the island, and some of the timbers had fallen down upon him. He was still alive and breathing, though he was so badly burned over parts of his body that he required a long period of healing, and even once he was past that, he was never able to move quite the way he had before. He returned home, vowing never to return to the island, despite Olivir’s harsh warning that he would not see a single silver of the profits if he did not come back.
This left one brother, Aaron, on the island. Olivir insisted on continuing to run affairs at home; it is believed that he was quietly skimming some of the profits off for himself without telling anyone. Aaron, severely depressed over the death of his brother so close on the heels of his parents, and the abandonment by Kairm, took up the bottle. He was known around Leiffen's Landing as the town drunk and incapable of running the affairs there, even with the small number of people who remained, and it was reflected in the halt of exports. After a heated argument, Olivir put his foot down and took the reins away from Aaron. He sent his wife, Stylla, to look after affairs. This chaffed with Aaron, but Olivir held the power in the family, as well as the legal ownership of all of the contracts, so Aaron was forced to comply.
Part IV: Stylla Leiffen: Renewal and Unraveling
With Stylla's arrival came the revival of the Isle of Winds business. She was both a stunning and ambitious woman, and upon her reaching the Landing, it became clear that her husband's decision to send her was probably the wisest business move he ever made; she was exactly the type of individual needed to put affairs back in order.
During the first few months of Stylla's reign over Leiffen's Landing, a very strict organization for all inventory and locations of caches and other resources was put in place. Stylla then marketed the island and its resources to other businessmen and importers, touting the unique properties of the items that would be coming from the island. She drew up intelligent contracts and worked with established businesses and traders. She also hired adventurers who were willing to put themselves in harm's way in exchange for a glimpse at a place that so few eyes had ever seen. Under her well-oiled grip, the exports were soon ready to transport out again.
The only glitch in the entire system was the affair that seemed to be taking place between Stylla and Aaron. Stylla had been caught in a loveless marriage for several years already, and upon spending time with the emotionally devastated Aaron, seemed to find something that struck a true chord with her. Aaron, with Stylla's guiding hand and claims of love, not only stopped drinking, but also began to develop a better business acumen. As with all great love affairs, this one did not go unnoticed by the town, and eventually did not go undiscovered by Stylla’s husband. During one of his visits to Leiffen's Landing, Olivir finally discovered the betrayal and, swept up in a rage, viciously stabbed a fire poker through Aaron. At first he said that he had sent his brother home, but when his Aaron's body washed back up on to the shore, everyone knew what the truth must be. With no law in Leiffen's Landing other than Olivir himself, nothing was done or said about the murder; as far as Olivir was concerned, the topic was off limits.
Following this, Olivir ran Leiffen's Landing with a heavy hand. Some of the contractors Stylla had brought to the Isle of Winds left, citing the harsh attitude and unyielding policies of Olivir as unbearable and not worth the trouble. Undeterred by these complaints and a slight dwindling of help, Olivir began to not only export more and more from the island through the means of the transporters, but he started to delve further into the island's interior, hoping that he would find more unique resources and treasures to sell off.
Despite Olivir's violent action toward Aaron, Stylla remained physically unscathed by Olivir. Instead, Olivir ignored her completely. It was as if she had ceased to exist for him. He kept her barred from entering any of the areas where business was conducted or where items were being dug up or captured for exporting, and he also took her transporter away.
It may have been the idea of being trapped on the isle, or perhaps it was being ignored by her husband, or it could even have been the unexpected and sudden death of her lover – but as time passed, Stylla went crazy. No one noticed at first when she was walking around, talking to herself. It was only when she started to be found in the middle of the night, barefoot on the one road that ran through the landing, or clambering through people's living quarters, that those who lived in and visited Leiffen's Landing began to take notice. Other stories began to circulate that painted her as wandering off into the jungle and coming back out hours later without a single scratch or mark on her, looking fresh as the dawn's dew. She would gaze off into the jungle sometimes and scream. Others heard her whispering to herself in strange voices. She also began to say odd things to the people of the Landing, sometimes dire predictions or a strange little poem, and her words always caused a chill to go through anyone who heard her. Every so often, she would call out the name of her dead lover and wave her hands frantically, as if she could see him in the distance. Despite these oddities, which were only lapses in the eyes of the adventurers, she seemed to be herself. Some of the townsfolk suggested to Olivir that he pay more attention to her, but he just waved them off.
When Stylla finally disappeared for good one day, it was as if her leaving marked the true end of Leiffen's Landing. Stylla left a note the morning she vanished into thin air, though its contents remain a mystery – it is only said that her husband grew paler than a white sheet, and that he bit his lip so hard that when the blood ran down it, it flowed in a heavy stream of bright red. He looked up at the crowd around him and threatened them, warning that any one of them that tried to leave before the night was over would be cursed for a thousand years.
That evening, a thick layer of mist crept in from the sea. It started out as a pale blanket that twisted along the ground, but it soon became a thick bank of pure white mist that was difficult to see through. Then, a storm began to brew, and as it heightened in clouds and cover, it became apparent that the storm would be the worst that anyone in Leiffen's Landing had ever seen. Many residents feared what was to come, and despite Olivir's strange threat, several left anyway. It didn't matter, however. Those who left the island were never heard from again. It was as if they vanished into thin air when they used their transporters. [The Chronomages have commented on more than one occasion that that is simply not possible and suggest that those individuals simply wish to remain unfound.] Those who stayed must have witnessed what was undoubtedly the most fantastic storm they'd ever seen before they met their untimely ends.
When Olivir failed to return to the farmstead or communicate in any way, and days had passed, the only living Leiffen brother, Kairm, began to worry. He had no desire to return to the Isle, but he needed to know what had happened. And so it was that when he transported into where Leiffen's Landing had stood, he found himself standing on a long, familiar stretch of beach that was devoid of all signs of any civilization. Some of the storm-wrecked trees and ocean debris still littered the beach, but there was no ramshackle town, no structures or foundations, and no people.
Kairm wasn't certain that he was in the right place, so he wandered down the beach for quite some time. It is there that he claims he looked out into the jungle and saw Stylla. He called her name, but she didn't respond. When he started toward her, she turned away and ran deeper into the jungle. Kairm followed as best as he could, working up a sweat until he was a fair way's into the jungle, further than he had ever been, and there it was that he says he saw her once more, much further ahead of him. She turned toward him and told him, "If you ever loved your brother, and if you ever loved your life, leave this place. Leave it as it was, and don't return!" She then turned on her heel and ran away. He was so struck by the sincerity and fear in her voice that he was frozen on the spot for several minutes. And as the jungle began to shake around him, he slipped on his transporter and winked away off of the island.
Kairm felt, knew in his very bones, that the island bode nothing good for his family. All he had seen from it was a small profit and the death of his three brothers and the crazed behavior of his one sister-in-law. And so it was that he gathered all of the remaining transporters that he could find and locked them away. Effectively, Kairm made it so that the Isle of Winds remained closed off to transport and growth for several hundred years, well past the time of his own death, at a ripe old age, in a simple farming accident.
Part V: Kiyia Leiffen: Rediscovery
In 4914, a young woman named Kiyia Leiffen, Kairm's great great granddaughter, came upon Kairm’s chest, and it was not until that time that the Isle of Winds was re-visited. It was here that Kiyia was first introduced to the tales that had been passed down through her family, and she researched other information on the Isle of Winds and the Isle of Lost Scrolls. [To note, some of her research provided further depth to our own documentation found here in this report.] After deliberation and further thought, she sought out the Chronomages. After some discussion with them, she was granted the ability to transport a full ship to the island with their help. She gathered up a few healthy companions and a ship and asked to be transported just off-shore of where the transporters were originally attuned.
It is true that Kiyia's ship ended up somewhere near where Leiffen's Landing had been, though the natural and untouched beauty of the shoreline would have never betrayed that. She and her companions landed on shore nearest them, a small patch of sand with vibrant growth at its edges, and there built a small shrine to Jaston. They prayed for his guidance in finding a suitable landing spot and exalted to him the beauty of this place. They then returned to the ship and let the winds take them where they would. When they next landed, it was in large harbor-like area. The beach was pristine, and though jungle grew in dark heaps all over, there were some clear areas that would easily support a small settlement.
Part VI: Second Settlement: Mist Harbor
And so it was that Kiyia found and began to settle the area that would later be known as Mist Harbor. Although she invited adventurers and explorers, her initial push was for people who wished to make a home on an island that offered beauty and mystery. In order to keep the population small and intimate, she kept a tight hold on the distribution of the transporters. She also worked out an extension to the existing contract with the Chronomages: in return for resetting the transport spot for the teleportation devices to several areas near where she would build a town, she would grant the Chronomages commerce rights for merchanting facilities within a mutually agreed upon area of the island. The Chronomages warned her that some parts of the island were unstable and would not allow an exact pin-pointed transport spot, but Kiyia felt that it was a fair trade overall, and the contract was signed.
One thing that Kiyia expressed in her own personal journals as being odd was the lack of easy navigation of the waterways beyond some areas of the harbor. She could navigate around the island only so far, and was unable, after a point, to go further around it -- it was as if she hit a wall, where the rocks jagged up or the swirls on the ocean were just too great to overcome. She had certainly come around much of the island to get to where she was, but she was unable to traverse that same path again, and she was both saddened that she could not return to the shrine she and her companions had erected and pleased by the idea that it would remain protected and untouched.
Kiyia is also known for popularizing the name of Isle of Winds as, instead, Isle of Four Winds.
Section XI: Personal Documents and Local Lore Collection
- The Stolen Fish Scrolls
- The Dark Cavern Scrolls
- Inderil Blackwood’s Plea
- Unnamed Journal
- Wixie’s Way to Isle of Four Winds
- The Undelivered Love Letter
- Explorer’s Journals: Aelotoi Vision
- The Affair of Cingh and Niima (The Legend of Charl’s Teeth)
- The Handmaiden's Proposal
- The Jungle’s Dark Shadow Scrolls
Historical Name: The Stolen Fish Scrolls
Type: Lost Scroll
Entry 1 According to my marks along the trunk of a nearby tree, it has been nearly a week since my boat capsized along the coast of this island. I have kept myself alive by feasting on the silver-scaled fish that inhabit the lagoon and supplementing that with various seeds and fruits I have found in my excursions through the lush jungle. I pass the daylight hours by swimming and diving into the refreshing waters and sunning myself by the waterfall. This easygoing lifestyle has turned my misfortune into a sort of strange blessing. Perhaps I could live the rest of my days within this paradise.
Entry 2 Oh how quickly blessings turn back into misfortunes! I believe hidden within the mist-shrouded jungle may be a terror unlike any I have ever encountered. Cowering inside my make-shift hut, I could hear the sounds of something bounding noisily in and out of the waters. As the echoes of splashing died down, I emerged from my hut and walked out towards the moonlit shoreline. The haunting image of half-eaten fish and broken crab shells remains forever ingrained in my memory.
Entry 3 At first I suspected the tiny vole that has been living amongst the tall grasses and brush had caused the late night carnage, but I observed that his only prey were seeds and bark from the trees. The next day, I attempted to soothe my troubled soul by spending the afternoon fishing. But as I sat amongst the jagged rocks, a blur of matted brown fur shot out towards my evening meal. Before my eyes could adjust to the glare of the sun against the deep blue waters, the fish were gone, stolen from me by the sharp-clawed creature.
I may only pray to the Charl that I will not become its next victim.
[This piece of lore was originally written by Corlyne.]
Historical Name: The Dark Cavern Scrolls
Type: Lost Scroll
Entry 1 I spend most of my days in darkness now -- although days is probably inaccurate. The word is sounding strange even in my own head, for days turn to weeks and maybe even years... I no longer have any sense of time passing. Every breath that escapes my lips is a surprise, a reminder that I still live, although at this point, I doubt even that I do. This is a journey I never intended to take; something that Zelia herself could only have had a hand in; a test, perhaps. I am a warrior, although one with the gift of healing, and maybe this is the only reason I still live. Or perhaps the winds speak the truth when it whispers the word Vaikalimara with its warm breath, for the others called us insane, and maybe that's what I am: insane. I don't know if light no longer exists or if this jungle I find myself surrounded by takes it upon itself to hide all sunlight from me.
Entry 2 I can hear them in the jungle, although I don’t know who they are. I hear them move, and I can hear them whisper. I can close my eyes and call upon my empathic powers, and feel both the fear and the hate, and I know it comes from them. They believe I don't belong here, and maybe they are right. They fear I will take what they believe to be theirs, although they have yet to understand what purpose I would have in doing this. They want to kill me, and I contemplate letting them.
Entry 3 I wanted only to learn of my heritage: all those dusty books and the beautiful Talisman, clearly so old, neglected, ignored, but such a beautiful piece of history. I wear the Talisman still, although I have begun to believe it to be cursed. It is my only link to home. The Talisman belonged to my great grandmother’s great grandmothers, a line of witches they said, and ones who practiced magic. The written words said the Talisman was enchanted. I was taken by its beauty; it was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was as if it called to me. I remember being surprised at the smoothness if it, despite the carvings, and when I placed it around my neck, the pulling grew stronger until there was only blackness. I don’t know how long the darkness lasted. I am sure I lost consciousness, and maybe time stopped completely; as I have said, I no longer feel it pass.
Entry 4 The beauty I saw when I first arrived here I now believe was nothing more than an illusion. I write, although with no hope of anyone ever reading my words; perhaps I do it only for myself, to keep from slipping into madness completely.
Entry 5 I have seen them. I am a giant, and yet they tower over me, and I am sure that they are not sisters of mine or of any giant that came before me. The darkness is so thick that I am not sure if I have seen them with my eyes or with the telepathic power that seems to be growing even more powerful within me. I am certain now that it is this place that magnifies my powers, or maybe just draws them to their full potential. I was considered powerful by even my strongest sisters before I came to this place, and it was nothing compared to the powers I feel still growing inside me now. Perhaps that is what they fear. That I will become even more powerful than I am already, and I will take what is theirs, or maybe what is mine. I was, after all, brought here; I believe that now. This place belongs to me, for there is no other here to claim it. I no longer question my sanity; I believe there is no longer a line between things I once considered possible and that which was inconceivable, and no one is here to draw that line but me.
Entry 6 It is a curious thing. I sit alone in the cave that I have made my own. The heat I now find comfort in. I sit alone, yet I am not alone; they are with me, although they keep their distance still. The wind whispers their fears in my ears, and their hate melts into a fearful respect that seeps into my skin. I need only to close my eyes to see their faces, to breathe the air to feel their skin. They think I am beautiful, and compared to them I am. They think I am a god, and again, maybe I am. The memories I used to cling to, the very ones that once gave me hope are now nothing more than a dream I once had. I no longer eat or sleep or even move. I have no use for that which is such an utter waste of time, which I suppose sounds strange since I appear to have nothing else. There is no power here greater than I, and so who will answer my prayers? It no longer matters. This is my destiny; this is the place in which I belong. Even the creatures that roamed this strange place long before me seem to be beyond disputing this. They used to fight among themselves, but they no longer bother. I have become a legend among their kind.
Entry 7 Writing no longer gives me comfort. If there were time or space or even people to apologize for my absence, I would do so. I still believe that I write only for myself, although maybe someday another will find themselves here, and maybe then my words will be found. I find it hard to believe that no other will ever be drawn to a place of such power, and when that day comes, perhaps my words will provide some comfort. I write now for the last time. Nothing can touch me here, and I no longer feel the need to breathe nor is my will to live, or lack thereof relevant. I believe that without even my own realization, I have created a place of peace; no harm can come to me or any other in this place while the magic flows in my blood. The longer I stay, the stronger I become, and the wider my sanctuary spreads. I thought that it was fear that prevented them from attacking me, but it was my will that prevented it. I have become more powerful than even I realized. My empathy has spread through them, making them unwilling protectors of me and yet unable to raise a hand to each other. Perhaps that is my purpose here, to take these beings that I found full of so much anger and hate and bring them peace. My fate is no longer my own to decide. The magic moves through me and beyond me, perhaps making this a peaceful place even for the next to find themselves lost here. That is something I, too, can take comfort in.
[This piece of lore was originally written by Jeria.]
Historical Name: Inderil Blackwood’s Plea
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
To whom it may concern:
It is readily apparent that the weather will not let up in the near future, as we have been stranded at the harbor for many months now, and the rain has only intensified. The captain has grown suspicious that we will attempt to set sail without him, making our way back towards the coral cove to recover what we left behind. He may be correct; we had planned to force our way through the squall, but we are no fools. Now several of our companions are being discovered, murdered in their sleep. We should have acted sooner, but now his madness has taken over. He claims he has seen visions of Niima calling to him, but I think it is Zelia that he has truly seen.
This being said, not too distant from the harbor there is a hidden cove surrounded by a wall of sharpened coral. In the concavity of this waterway, there is a sandbar where we had made landfall and deposited some amount of our findings. Maintain a southwesterly course until a series of rocks that looks like Charl's teeth come to life comes into view, then navigate south by southeast before moving out into the next pass. It is difficult to miss. Take what you will. I will have no part in this story any longer. It is my only hope that I will be the one to choose my ending and not my captain.
Fortune's Wind Favor You,
Inderil Blackwood, Ensign of the Mourning Balefire
[This piece of lore was originally written by Gwaelimir.]
Historical Name: n/a
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
Special Note: There is debate as to whether the writer of this journal is responsible, in some way or another, for the use of pedals in smaller boats.
Notes by the original collector: The following was from the pages of a water-logged leather journal. The first few pages are smudged beyond legibility. Around the sixth or seventh page, words begin to appear. It isn't until you continue flipping through more pages of the journal that several pages appear to be completely legible. Several of these pages have been torn asunder as though by bad weather or, possibly, by high winds. The rest of the journal's pages seem to have crumbled into dust at some point.
The legible portions read as follows:
I finally did it! I mastered calling upon the winds! Tomorrow, I'll test the sails on my dinghy...
It was a success! All the other sailing ships and tiny catamarans were stranded on such a calm day, but I skimmed along the surface of Darkstone Bay as though I were a toy boat! Tomorrow, I must try a stronger wind!
Too much wind that time! I made out to a strange island, but it seems this storm will never stop! My poor journal is swelling from the humidity underneath the dinghy! I hope it lets up soon so I can make some repairs...
Three weeks and no let-up in sight for this weather... My hands and feet (not to mention my fingers and toes) look like prunes and raisins mashed together in a clump. At least the patching of the dinghy is done. I'm headed out tomorrow, rain or shine. I hope I can control the winds a bit better to avoid any more crashes...
Made it... barely. I crashed the dinghy and I'm not even going to bother with any repairs. Only thing I regret is the fact that my pet rabbit, Oscar, was awaiting my return... Poor Oscar. I was so overcome with grief I couldn't even bury him, just left the dingy there pinning him to the bank. If ever I sail again, it will not be with sails.
Pedals! That's the answer!
[This piece of lore was originally written by Trallihn.]
Historical Name: Wixie’s Way to Isle of Four Winds
Category: Local Lore
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
Notes: As told by several travel guides
There lived a sylph named Wixie, kindly in nature, who made her home in a commune known as Frostacres. This commune housed farmers and traders who relied on the hospitality of Wixie to warm their hearts and make whole their lives. She was most famous for her freshly baked apple pies, which she made in large quantities and fed to any who would accept her home-cooking. It is said that were Wixie not a part of the commune, it very likely would have withered away and died.
Wixie’s cottage was built next to a lake that sparkled with deep blue color and writhed with happy fish. The lake fed into a waterfall that plunged down into a deep, dark forest. The forest, like many dark forests, was plagued with misfits and evil creatures, and they were the opposite of everything that Wixie represented to her commune. Luckily, the forest was far below the commune, and the people of Frostacres never worried about what lay out in the distance.
It so happened, however, that the commune was not as safe as it had always seemed. For outside influences drew some of the people away, and others did not spend as much time there as they once had. During this time, a powerful force crept out of the far-away forest, and there it watched and waited, until one day it decided to descend upon Frostacres.
This force came as a simple old woman, who seemed nice enough upon first glance. As she waited patiently for Boggle, the merchant, to work with her, the townsfolk who had never seen her before thought little of her appearance; they were used to visitors. When it came her time to speak with Boggle, however, she suddenly changed. She clearly appeared the powerful witch she was, and she cast a spell on Boggle, and almost immediately began to take over the minds of the townsfolk.
The people of Frostacres began to succumb to hunger and disease. Wixie, who was immune to the witch’s spell, fought back. She gathered forces from outside of the commune and asked them to help her battle the witch and her magic. And battle they did. During the battle, however, Wixie cast a spell that lifted the commune above the land to protect it from evil powers.
It is said that Frostacres suddenly became too small, that too many people there all at once during the battle was too much for the magic to take on, and so it exploded. One of the people helping in the battle spoke to Wixie of his transporter, which led to Mist Harbor, and Wixie was able to use her magic to amplify its effects; it effectively moved everyone to Mist Harbor just as the explosion was taking place. The witch, of course, was consumed by the blast that Frostacres created.
Although it was an adjustment, many of the commune members found that there was a life outside of Frostacres. Many made their homes on Mist Harbor, while others left to explore other parts of the world. Wixie, it is said, still resides somewhere there, and there are times when the smell of freshly baked apple pie drifts through the air.
Boggle, too, remained, though the vineyard he built was, regrettably, destroyed in one of the storms that so commonly come to Mist Harbor and wreak havoc.
[This piece of lore was heavily influenced by the Travel Guide system’s original information.]
Historical Name: The Undelivered Love Letter
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
Notes by the original collector: Found in the undergrowth with a rusted oil lamp and some shredded canvas is a bloodstained sheet of vellum, its wax seal still intact. It reads:
My beloved Leiria, I miss you so much.
These last few weeks without you have been the hardest I have ever had to bear. Your letter arrived yesterday with the usual meager supplies from the mainland, and I’ve never been more pleased to hear from you. This will probably be my last letter to you for a while, though, as it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for the boat to make the journey upriver to us. The monsoon season has started and even walking is becoming treacherous.
The expedition itself is going well. We’ve already seen many new species of Lepidoptera, and your uncle is keen for us to push deeper into the jungle to find more before the migration. I’m spending all my spare time just trying to keep up with cataloguing all the specimens he has captured so far.
You should see them, Leiria, they’re so beautiful. I’ve actually named one of the butterflies after you because the vivid blue coloring of its forewings reminded me so much of your eyes. A particular cluster of orchids we came across yesterday was literally covered in different species in a dazzling array of colors. The perfume of the exotic flowers was intoxicating, and they were clearly drawn to it. I managed to collect some of the seeds, so hopefully I can grow them for you, and we can attract some butterflies of our own.
Your uncle even has me working at night, as well, because of the countless moths that are attracted to the lamps in our camp. It’s hypnotic at times, watching them spiraling down through the jungle canopy towards me when I’m writing up my notes by candlelight. Not that I can sleep at night anyway with the humidity and the strange animal noises all around us. The relentless rainstorms every afternoon do little to alleviate the oppressiveness, and I don’t imagine it will get any better for a few more months.
I don’t think I’m the only one who is feeling unsettled either. One of the scouts failed to return to camp last night, and I know your uncle is concerned. We’ve been seeing some flickering lights up on a ridge about two miles north of our current position, and he sent the scout to investigate. I’m sure it’s nothing, but with his disappearance and the mysterious sinking of the spare boat last week, it’s enough to make anyone a bit nervous. I have this constant feeling we’re being watched too. I could have sworn I saw several pairs of eyes in the undergrowth the other day. Of course your uncle dismissed it as nonsense and claimed I was being foolish. I’m still amazed he agreed to let me come on this expedition, but then I strongly suspect you had something to do with that. Part of me wishes he had refused, as I would still be with you, my heart, but then I wouldn’t have had the chance to see these astounding insects in their natural habitat. I just hope that one day I can become as famous a lepidopterist as he is and make you proud of me.
Anyway, I should draw this letter to a close now if I’m going to catch the boat before it returns down river this evening. I can hear your uncle shouting about something outside, too, so I’d better show I’m willing and see if I can help him at all, although I’ll probably be in the way, as usual. Be safe my love and know my thoughts are always with you.
[This piece of lore was originally written by Rohese.]
Historical Name: Explorer’s Journals: Aelotoi Visionion
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
It was not long after the rains had reshaped the Isle that I had the strangest encounter with one of the residents. I, like many of the travelers to the Isle, was taking the opportunity to explore. I was fascinated by the fierce beauty and mystery of the place but was beginning to feel rather lost; you see, it’s so hard to stay oriented with the jungle pressing in all around you. I decided to try to make my way up a rather steep incline, soon arriving at a point of height on which I could obtain a greater view of my area and the layout of the land, when…feathers. Feathers, falling like snowflakes all around me, some gently floating to the ground and others carried further down the slope on currents of air. I was soon beginning to imagine what type of tragedy had befallen the unfortunate avian, and whether it should be of any concern to me, when I heard the sound of someone singing. It wasn’t a particularly good voice, but it was clear and strong, and unmistakably joyful. Curious, and rather set at ease by the tone, I continued to make my way up the slope, letting the singing guide me.
At the top of the slope, at the cliff’s rocky edge, I found the source of the voice to be an aelotoi. She seemed to know I had been coming, though I admit I made a rather noisy entry. After a quick once-over, the aelotoi beckoned me closer. She looked harmless and happy enough, so I came closer. From within a small bag at her hip she withdrew a handful of feathers and thrust them into my hands. Judging from their condition (they were sort of soggy and some were bloody), I think these may have been the remains of her last meal. "Throw them!" she told me, and I did, happy enough to get the mess out of my hands. For the next few minutes I stood on the edge of a cliff with a singing aelotoi, throwing handfuls of feathers into the wind. When the basket was empty, we both stood there, admiring the mess we had made. It was kind of pretty, watching them scatter all over, twisting and swaying, some rising, and some falling. The downy ones went so far over the jungle that they seemed like they might just sail right out to sea. "Why did we do that?" I asked her. "An offering to the wind", she explained, continuing to stare out over the jungle, her wings lifting in the breeze.
She asked if I was lost, and I explained that I wasn’t really lost, as I had no destination in mind; I was just exploring. She told me how she had seen many of us "explorers" lately and warned me that I should be careful. The jungle was a strange place with secrets of its own. She seemed most concerned that I stay out of the mist, should I encounter any. She explained how it comes in from the sea and creeps up on you silently, reaching out with tentacles to circle around your ankles like an animal, searching, sniffing, licking your skin with its moist touch. "It has many tricks", she warned me. "Don’t say your name in the jungle, or call out your companion’s; it will use this to lead you astray." She said it changes things, closes a curtain over them, and makes them disappear. She suggested always hanging a wind chime at your camp for good luck. She didn’t know what it was or where it came from, maybe the breath of a dragon or a cloud that refuses to lift. Either way, the sun cannot save you, can’t burn through the thick canopy of the jungle. Only the wind can help. Blowing the mist back, lifting the veil.
I don’t know if any of this is true, but I found it fascinating as a source of the local lore. I can see how one may get lost in the jungle when it is flooded with mist, straying off the intended path, stepping off a cliff or into the jaws of a crocodile or leopard, never to be heard from again. For these predators use more than their sight to hunt, and the sound from the wind chimes might scare them away from your camp. And the warning about names, the voices she spoke of? Perhaps parrots practicing some dangerous mimicry. More than that, she was an aelotoi, a confused refugee having lost her ability of flight. No wonder she worshipped the wind as much as the birds and butterflies of this isle. Regardless of the validity of her story, I still sometimes find myself at the peak of some hill holding flower petals, feathers, or dried leaves and then letting it all go.
[This piece of lore was originally written by Alisis.]
Historical Name: The Affair of Cingh and Niima or The Legend of Charl’s Teeth
Category: Local Lore
Type: Post-Mist Harbor Settlement
Notes: As told by Kiira Derelay, a patron of the Scuttlebug Tavern
Folks can talk all they like about Charl’s Teeth and how they came to be. I’ve probably talked to half those scholarly sorts, coming to our Isle, thinking they’re gonna unearth every little secret we’ve got buried here and there. Had one of those pointy-eared, whatcha call ‘ems, Ill stems? Ill stems sounds about right, didn’t look like his sickly legs’d handle pedaling a boat out into the waters for more than a few minutes at a time. Any rate, I tried to warn ‘em at the least.
Fella came back to talk to me about them big black rocks out in the water. He got all huffity and puffity about our fine establishment, like he was doin’ us a favor by steppin’ his fancy feet in our home here. “What can you tell me about the nature of those obsidian structures in the western sea?” Told him he better pull up a seat and set down a few coin if he was plannin’ on getting’ a story. I think he was tryin’ to case me out a bit, see if I really knew what I know I know.
“It is my belief, as a Scholar of Geomancy at the Library of Aies, that there are underwater lava flows that are erupting in close proximity to your town,” he went on to say. Now that’s a lotta words to be callin’ himself, first off. I think he mighta even taken some pleasure in lookin’ at me lookin’ puzzled as I was. Second off, he didn’t even shut himself up after that. Kept right on goin’. “There are also conjectures that there may be a cracked portal to the Plane of Fire according to Specialists in Elemental Summoning.” He even waved his dainty little girl fingers at a crack in the bar, like I didn’t know what a crack was. I’da cracked him upside his head if he kept it up.
So I says to him, “Look here, you. I don’t know who you’re tryin’ to impress with your fancy ‘jimomancy’ or that you work for some library of asses,” and he took offense and corrected, “Geomancy. And it’s the Library of Aies, thank you.” Whatever, I figure. He’s still lookin’ like an ass to me.
So I says to him, “You’re comin’ here into my tavern, insistinating on tellin’ us about our Island, huh? Lemme tell you, your story ain’t impressin’ any of us in here. You wanna know about them rocks out there? You see, it is my belief, as a Scholar of the Scuttlebug, Song, and Swill, that you don’ know the halfa what you’re talkin’ about. Sit yourself down, an’ I’ll tell you a little historicality about our locality.”
So I hiked myself up on my stool, gave ‘em a prod in the chest with my walkin’ stick, tryin’ to aim him towards a chair. Almost knocked him over in his fancy coat an’ everything. I told him I was gonna sing him a song of Cingh and the nimble nymph known as Niima. Surprised him, I think I did. Bunch of layabouts in a ramshackle tavern heard of that raging fire called Cingh.
Yeah, we know about them elementals. Been talk for years and years that our little Isle is really the home for one of them big ones, big steamy one, the kind you get when you mix a fiery one and a watery one. Well they say that one big fiery one, Avregol, he’s stuck down there yellin’ at that dwarven mining island, but they got that other one, Cingh, that don’t nobody know anything about. I reckon that’s cause he’d been stuck out here in our waters, and it ain’t like it’s easy for them scholars to get themselves over here by normal means. Thank the Seas for that, too.
So they say the big fiery elementals, they’re nothing but fire and ire, burnin’ up whatever they can find. But ya figure, and you’ll forgive me for getting’ all mushy for a second, that the only other thing that burns with that kinda fire is love, passion. The Cingh was like a big ball of passion. He took himself a mortal form, looked like some big giantfella with burning red hair and this piercin’ gaze that looked like it mighta burned you alive if you stared too long. He commandeered himself a ship and was sailin’ in the waters, probably not too far from the Lagoon. They say he saw a buncha dolphins boundin’ in and outta the waters, and figurin’ on whim he’d follow ‘em, they ended up leadin’ him straight into a coral reef. Smashed the hull of the ship wide open and into the water he fell.
Well one of them dolphins turned out to be the lithe lady of the sea, the little flirt herself. She saw Cingh go tumblin’ into the sea, big handsome fella that he was, and she swam over and rescued him from drownin’. At this point, that scholarly chap looks like he’s rollin’ his eyes. I done turned his research into some love story. So I keep on goin’.
The nimble Niima dragged his body into some hidden cove and tried to resuscitentated him. He musta spent a few days out cold, but Niima watched over him day in and day out. All the color in his hair had dulled and his body was sickly and ashen looking.
Finally he came to, and there she was, this spritely spawn of the sea, kneeling over his body. He took one look at her and all the color in him came back. His hair lit up like fire, his skin took on a rich ruddy bronze – and I have to take me a second to collect myself from this delicious mentalized image I got – and he stared deep into her eyes and she was seized with passion. Holed up in this hidden cove, their affair lasted for as long as her disappearance went unnoticed.
But there’s the problem. The chideful child of Charl was gone from the sea for too long, and Charl became aware of her absence when the tides began to stay out instead of comin’ back in. Scouring the waters, he came to the western sea, found the shipwrecked remains near the Lagoon and hunted his daughter down, knowin’ how she was wont to rescuin’ seafarin’ men in distress. When he finally caught up with her and Cingh in the cove, he flew into some terrible tempest. But that Cingh was no slouch and was ready to defend himself to stay with the lively lass.
Charl raised himself up and smashed down at the cove with his trident, imprisoning Niima behind prison bars of coral deep in the cove and knocking Cingh back out into the sea. Well Cingh shed his humanoid form and revealed himself as this towerin’ pillar of fire, risin’ up out of the water. Charl reared back and tackled him hard and they both fell into the depths of the sea.
Now, I don’ know if you’ve ever tried to control a fire of some huge size, but they’re hard to pin down in one spot. Charl got Cingh down into some of the deepest waters where the chill gets so cold you’d be lost to the frost in no time at all. Hot as he was, Cingh started to feel the pain and his fires started to cool rapidly into a frozen stone of obsidian. This just made him madder ‘n madder, fuelin’ his fires even more. Charl lost his grip for a moment and Cingh quickly shot for the surface, but not without leaving part of his body behind, lost to stone.
As Cingh got closer to the surface, Charl caught up with him once again. There ain’t no escapin’ the Stormlord in his own domain. He grabbed him again, dragged him down, and Cingh’s body started to freeze into stone once again. Cingh’s fires flared up once again, burning Charl and he erupted towards the surface again. Each time he escaped, Cingh attempted to circle back to the cove to get his lovely lass free and take her with him, but his pursuit was always foiled.
They kept at this for days, but each time Cingh escaped, he left behind a column of stone and got weaker and weaker. Eventually there was nothin’ left but a ring of enormous obsidian shards pokin’ out of the water’s surface from where Cingh’d gotten away and tried to bound out of the water but got caught once again. Once the western sea had been all but blocked off with these bars of stone, Charl chased Cingh out further into the expanse. Where ever he ended up after that is unknown, but he was separated well-enough from the little Niima and his fires quenched that his passionate attempts to pursue her once again was no more.
An’ there ya have it. Them rocks out there we call ‘em Charl’s Teeth cause they’re like the clenched jaw of a father tryin’ to protect his daughter from troublemakin’ folk. An’ I’ll warn ya, I says to the dainty elfin fella, if you head out into them waters and try to find that hidden cove where Niima was held, you’ll end up feelin’ Charl’s wrath, too.
He looked at me like I was some damn-blasted fool with that story, and he just shook his head, stood up, and walked himself on out. Probably figures he’da had better luck at the eastern harbor with all them snootier folk. Truth or not, least it makes for a better tale than that scholarly nonsense.
[This piece of lore was originally written by Laphrael.]
Historical Name: The Handmaiden’s Proposal
Category: Local Lore
Type: Lost Scroll
This is a legend of a young couple whose star-crossed fate lies deep within the jungles of a mysterious isle. A handsome lad had fallen in love with a handmaiden and decided to propose one evening. Gazing into her pale blue eyes, he turned to his flaxen-haired beauty and said to her, "My love,
There’s a reason I’m down on one knee. Soon we shall marry, My name you will carry, Together forever we’ll be!"
Of course the maiden agreed, and they soon planned to leave the town by boat. In the still of the night, the two cast off, only to capsize in the rough, choppy waters. They emerge, unhurt, and soon find themselves along the shore of a tropical island. The lad, hoping to hide the fear in his voice, tells his love,
"Together and safe we both be! Let us explore this strange land, We’ll go hand-in-hand, This is paradise right by the sea!"
The two begin their walk along the darkened grasses of the island, stopping every now and then to steal a kiss from one another. As the night progresses, they decide to rest underneath the thick foliage of a tropical tree.
A sound startles the lad, and as he turns over to shield his love, he discovers that she is no longer there. He runs quickly and swiftly through the jungle, screaming her name, but to no avail. Keening a cry of pure grief, the lad turns back into the trees and continues his search.
No one knows what happened to the fair maiden and her forlorn mate. However, some say that if you listen carefully to the winds blowing through the jungle canopy, you can hear his lament echoing across the island:
"I lost my love to the wavering trees, The jungle has stolen my heart, Strange forces tore us apart, Gods answer all of my pleas!"
[This piece of lore was originally written by Khalyse.]
Historical Name: The Jungle’s Dark Shadow Scrolls
Type: Lost Scroll
Entry 1 Earlier in the day, we stopped to take a small meal. As we did so, a strange chattering noise drifted past my ears. Curious, I looked up, and there I saw a creature like none I have ever seen before. Gangly-limbed and covered in a reddish-orange fur, the creature moved through the trees, swinging from one branch to another. The long fingers on its legs and arms, as well as it's rather mobile tail, allowed for quickness and ease of motion. We have been making incredible headway into the jungle.
Entry 2 Green, everywhere. It astounds the mind just how much there is, as if life itself first took breath in and from the jungle. Flora in vivid color lends an exotic splash to the already splendid environs. Why, just a moment ago, we passed an orchid: its petals were wrought in such brilliant shades of violet and blue that I nearly drown in the exquisiteness of it all. Even here at the edge of the jungle, I know that the mysteries within the canopy of green will be immersed in beauty and wonder.
Entry 3 It seems as though the jungle will never end. We go forward, endlessly, and we have yet to reach the coast. Where is it? The footprints continue to show up around our camp, but we still cannot determine what it is that haunts us in the dark. Not a night goes by now when I wish we had not lost the lantern oil. I hear noises, sometimes, that are not of this world. The jungle creaks and moans. The trees talk to each other. Great crashing sounds sound in the distance. What is out there?
Entry 4 Small footprints have plagued us with questions. We cannot identify the creature they belong to, but when we wake in the mornings, they are all over our camp. Our sentries see and hear nothing, yet it is undeniable that something is in our midst. We have taken to eating some of the swinging creatures, as we have had no other meat for weeks. They are difficult to catch, and when cornered, a great foe indeed, as they do not give up without fighting. The meat is tender, though, and quite welcome to us.
Entry 5 This morning when we awoke, one of our party members was missing. While it seems quite strange that he would leave without telling us, it was far more distressing to find that he had taken the remainder of our already low rations with him. Additionally, he saw fit to steal several other important supplies, and now we find ourselves with little in the way of the comforts of home. Fortunately, our mapping supplies are intact, and we made great progress further into the jungle today.
Entry 6 As we move further into the jungle, we are finding it increasingly more difficult to clear a path. The trees close in from all sides, and it takes immense amounts of chopping to get through some areas. When darkness falls, it seems almost as if the trees themselves are moving; when we wake up in the morning, whatever we have cut away has grown back ten-fold. I am certain, however, that it is just our imaginations playing tricks on us.
Entry 7 It has been nearly two weeks since I have written, as I cannot write at night now. The oil for our lamps was lost when one of our packs of supplies got swept downriver. We were deceived by the calm surface of a wide river we had to cross: the undercurrent was surprisingly strong and some of the river denizens had sharp teeth. We lost some of what we carried in our haste. One of our party members was also badly wounded, and he was covered in blood as he emerged from the water.
Entry 8 Though we discussed returning through the jungle, the three of us opted to carve out a small canoe, our tiny, ridiculous ship. But it floats. We collected days' worth of fruit and fresh water to take with us. When we pushed off into the sea today, I shed tears for the first time in this entire ordeal. For our terrible journey. For my lost companions. For myself. I only hope we return home safely, but I am putting my penning into a bottle. For safe-keeping. In case something should happen to us.
Entry 9 The coast, the coast! We found the coast, but oh, what misery. Only tall sandstone cliffs. What is there for us? Hunger. Misery. And the signal to turn back, to retrace our steps back home. We lost our crazed companion two days ago -- just two days before our goal -- when he slipped and fell down an embankment. He was alive when he reached the bottom. Then a loud shattering noise came from the depths of the jungle, preceding his one piercing scream. The silence that followed signaled his demise. Entry 10 I do not know how I even still have the sensibility to write! Our party was ambushed by some creatures I have never before seen, and monstrous they were! I cannot accurately describe them; I am ashamed to admit that I fled at the sight of them. I know that I am not the only one, but it is my shame, and the shame of three others, that has left us the only surviving members of the party. We found each other in the jungle, and when brave enough, went back for the others. Only fingers and toes remained.
Entry 11 No longer are the footprints shadowing us in the night. We have moved away from a string of waterfalls and now travel through jungle that is covered in mist, day and night. At times the mist is so thick that we can only see several feet in front of us. Our wounded party member passed away three weeks ago, and it has been difficult to keep a cheerful disposition. We have even made it a rule to tell a joke a day, to try and keep our spirits up. But strange whispers in the mist keep them dulled.
Entry 12 Today we found a rather delicious new fruit to eat, something to keep our stomachs full now that our supplies have dwindled to a meager store after several weeks of travel. Long and plump, the fruit bears a greenish casing, which, when peeled, gives way to the gooey yellowish-white substance beneath. Surprisingly, the substance is quite delicious, though rather starchy. I believe it is something close to our bananas, though the taste is distinctively different. Each day the jungle amazes me more.
Entry 13 The jungle is alive. It swallowed three of our party members three days ago. We were struggling through an extremely dense cluster of vines, when out of nowhere, the vines picked up our friends -- one by her ankles, the others by their necks -- and snatched them away. We tried to save them, but we could not find them. All we could do was follow their cries, but every time we came closer, they moved back in the direction we had just come from. Fear coats our party now. We must find the coast.
Entry 14 The most beautiful sight is currently all around me. A waterfall, its crystal clear water dashing down into a dark pool, is the gem of this portion of the jungle valley. Blossoms of every color and kind thrive in the spray of the water, and the cliff itself is lush with growth. This is what I came looking for on our expedition, this exact measure of beauty and wonder. We have decided to stay here for several days to recuperate and relax before moving on.
Entry 15 Something is following us. Something large. The stench of decay comes when it does, and we can hear it breathing, panting, at all times of the day. Few moments come as this, where we know IT is gone. Only then do we rest. It is no normal creature, I fear. It is the jungle. The jungle is alive. I must stop writing now, for we fear it has retur....
Entry 16 We are moving at a quick pace, desperately trying to leave this prison of green. I look a wild woman: my hair is greasy, my person not washed for weeks, dirt powders my limbs, and dried blood streaks my fingers and face. We all have the appearance of ghosts. I see my terror mirrored in the eyes of my fellows. One of them has gone crazed, babbling to himself, and it has been difficult to keep him with us. We refused, however, to leave him behind. We have lost too many already. IT follows us, always.
[This piece of lore was originally written for the Isle of Four Winds Festival and was found by multiple adventurers during the summer of 5107.]