History & Geography
Before the autumn of 2258 (I.R.L 2016): Nestled between the northern sea and the Bakuran Mountains on the continent of Maud’Madir, in the world of Arthos, sits a once bustling port city called Prospero Port. Originally named “Prosperous Port” by a rather unimaginative sailor, the accent of the region and time turned it into something a little shorter. The city is surrounded by a grand wall of stone and magical protections that keep the people of the Port safe from the monstrosities of the mountains at it’s back.
There was a time when it lived up to its previous name, full of trade and coin, but the trade routes through the mountains did not stay free of problems for long. With the tales of merchants bounty traveling through the passes, came bandits and all manner of evil creature, drawn to the mountains by the promise of an ill gotten fortune. Not long after, ships stopped docking in port, because their goods could no longer be guaranteed safe passage to their destinations. As time passed, the city fell more and more into poverty until the Prosperan Council called upon Countess Xandrielle, a powerful High Elven druid, to establish a hamlet in the mountains that would take on the task of reclaiming the trade routes. (See Tempest Grove.)
After the autumn of 2258 (I.R.L 2016): Along the waters edge, surrounding the docks, is the first settlement of Prospero Port, affectionately named Old Town. Many people of Tempest Grove hail from this area of the Port, as it is the poorest district, and the promise of land and wealth drew many to the proposed hamlet. The establishing of Tempest Grove lead to the reopening of many trade routes between the mountains and the surrounding continent. The docks are scheduled to be busier than they have been in decades this year, thanks to the efforts of those in the Grove. Many people in the Port are finding their businesses picking up and their bellies fuller these days.
A hamlet on the side of the Bakuran Mountains, about a two hour walk from Prospero Port. Settled on the ruins of a site by the same name, it is comprised entirely of tented lodgings after a primary expedition of tradesmen were sadly lost to the evils of the mountain in their attempt to provide infrastructure. Due to the harsh winters of the northern continent, inhabitants relocate to the Port for the winter months. (See Season Descriptions below for further details.)
In the past year, much development has taken place in the Grove. A small Mages Guild has been established, as well as a flourishing Companions Guild and compound for those wishing for more protections from the mountains most malicious visitors. The population has also more than doubled since it’s original manifestation in the summer of 2258.
Every city must have its agricultural support, so not far outside the walls of Prospero Port, along the coast, sits the village of Darkholme. Entirely comprised of farmers and their families, the people of Tempest Grove lend their support to the kind folks there when trouble comes their way, in exchange for supplies and hearty meals.
The Mermaid’s Song Tavern
A robust little tavern owned by the lovely Savie. It is situated in the district of Old Town, across from the docks of Prospero Port and while it has always been a popular spot for the people of the Port, the people of Tempest Grove have become common patrons.
Season 1: The Lost Caravan (Summer-Autumn of 2016)
Forty years ago, a group of Ajaunti who did not properly follow the traditions of their people came together in an attempt to create their own caravan. They wished to find their own place and travelled to Prospero Port, where they gathered enough resources to travel up the mountain and create their own caravan. However, when they took up home in the ruins of Tempest Grove, something strange began happening.
What the people of the Port did not know, was that the Mama of the caravan, Elira, had possession of an Orb of Power. This caught the attention of a particular demon, who referred to himself as The White Prince. He had inhabited the form of another, and manipulated the creatures mists to poison and enrage the people of the caravan. He fed off the fear, the hostility, and was amused by the pain of the people as he searched for the Orb. However, he was not at first able to find Omen, the Orb of Mysticism, as Elira was hiding it quite effectively with incredibly rare ritual magic.
The Prince was smart though, and knew if he could just keep close to the caravan, someone would eventually make a mistake and the Orb would be revealed to him. In order to achieve this, he left a piece of himself in his sword and set up its discovery by Elira’s husband, Alabaster.
Eventually, a day came when Elira was summoned to the Port, in order to find a solution to the strange, violent insanity that was beginning to consume her people. She was frightened of them discovering Omen and what that would mean for the caravan. So, instead of taking Omen with her, she left it to her husbands care. With Elira gone, and the Orb unknowingly handed over to a man that had been slowly corrupted by a demonic sword, the Prince saw his chance.
He abandoned the beast of mists, leaving it as nothing more than a husk of it’s former self, and overtook the body of Alabaster. However, it underestimated what Omen was capable of and was paralyzed as soon as it became aware of his demonic presence. But, not being an orb of particular motivation one way or the other, it chose simply to disappear into the caravan and assume the form of an Ajaunti girl.
The Prince, now with a new body, pursued Omen. Who plunged itself further and further into the act until it had hidden its own memories from itself and blended in seamlessly with the people of the Port, to which it had fled.
In his hunt for Omen, the White Prince came across many beings, which he infused with his corrupt magic. First, was a mother dryad and her clutch of tree spirits, which he turned grotesque and filled with the desire to create madness among the living.
Second, was a blind girl who had been traveling up the mountain with other towns folk and supplies. Furious and intent on finding Omen, the White Prince killed her companions. Once she had been driven insane by the corrupted dryads and was proven not to be Omen, the Prince imbued her with his magic as well. She began collecting the eyes of the fallen travelers, merging them with her flesh in order to see all threats that may come her way and to aid the prince in his search for Omen.
A third was a water nymph he’d found near a swamp, and when she refused to use the far reaching waters she had influence over to help him, she too was dealt with violently. Her body was stretched and mutated, her sentience ripped away, and was left as little more than a massive ooze that sought nothing more than sustenance and consumption of all it could reach.
Yet another was a young faceless woman who approached him, confessing her love for Alabaster now that Elira was not near. Finding this humorous, and seeing the potential for a very helpful companion. He changed her into a siren whose song would draw in all who heard it. Commanding her to instruct them to report any sightings of the Orb of Power.
Soon, Elira returned to her people and was told of how Alabaster had been possessed and disappeared into the forest in search of something. They had not dared to stop him, but regardless, many more of their people had fallen to the violence of their unknown disease. Distraught, but determined not to let further harm come to her people, Elira made the decision to use the most powerful ritual she had collected in her travels to rid them all of the White Prince. However, she knew it would come at an incredible price, for her husband could not be saved in the ritual, but had to instead be lost.
When finally the Prince returned to the caravan, furious and crazed with his desire to claim the Orb of Power, Elira trapped him in the ritual. When the ritual came to its final step, she stabbed her lover but not before a deep chuckle filled her ears. He pulled the dagger from his chest and turned the blade on Elira, unknowingly completing the ritual.
But it had not been performed perfectly, leaving a fracture in the spell that made its indefinite status a mystery. Gravely wounded, and without Omen’s help, Elira died within the circle as the White Prince and his creations were locked away…
*40 YEARS LATER
Mount Bakura had become increasingly more infested with monsters and bandits as the years went by, making it nearly impossible to transport goods over the mountains. The ships stopped coming because trade through the port was no longer lucrative and low risk, and supplies stopped coming over the mountain in exchange for goods. As a result, the economy ground to a halt because it could no longer sustain itself causing the standard of living to decrease substantially.
The council of Prospero Port made the decision to charge Countess Xandrielle, a high elf with substantial druidic power who was familiar with the mountains, with the task of establishing a new hamlet at the ruins of Tempest Grove. The purpose of the new encampment would be to rid the mountain passes of whatever evil lay there in order to facilitate safe travel, which would hopefully mean the reestablishing of trade routes by sea.
A first expedition was went up the mountain to create structures and amenities for those who would eventually live there, but their communication stopped not long after their arrival at the ruins. The decision was made to send a group of volunteers up ahead of schedule to find out why letters had stopped coming from the expedition.
When the group arrived, they were met with the horrifying realization that the camp was not only abandoned, but there was now a host of monsters that forced the mind to see terrifying hallucinations. After the beasts were driven away, an Ajaunti woman, named Yvania, who had accompanied the countess, was able to sense some kind of magic near by. What they found was a fading seal of protection on the ruins.
The new expedition chose to break the decrepit seal in order to create a new one, which succeeded, but at the expense of opening what had once been locked. Granted, in its condition, it was quite possible things had already been leaking through.
In the months that followed, various creatures came forth from the ever growing portal, and more than a few corpses were experimentally thrown in. A woman who cursed those she touched and gleefully stole their eyes, a faceless siren whose song enslaved those who heard it, and a glob like creature that tried to consume the town, just to name a few.
When finally the last shackles of the seal were broken, the White Prince emerged from his prison to seek the Orb of Power once again. But having been warned of his reemergence by the monsters of his influence and those of older generations, the people of Tempest Grove had worked diligently to acquire the components necessary for the ritual to be completed once again.
A sacrifice was to be made of Yvania, despite protest from her lover and offers of others in the hamlet, who had discovered it would be her final passing. When the time finally came for the ritual to be performed, the people of Tempest Grove fought valiantly and sacrificed greatly to ensure the ritual would be completed.
As the final step was to commence, Yvania’s form changed into that of a glowing orange orb and revealed herself to be Omen. The Orb of Power stripped the Prince’s soul from Alabaster’s and cast him into the void, tearing away the corruption of the dryads in the process and sealing it in a new prison.
Though courageous lives were lost, and many were left wounded by the terrors inflicted by the White Prince, the people of the Grove were resilient and stood their ground once more. Together, they were reclaiming the cursed mountain.