Verden… the name resonates through the minds of all sentient living beings, it is a name, synonymous with home. Yes, it has many continents, and a diversity of life that brings many wonders, but the shining jewel in this crown of diversity is Eventyr, and it is towards this place that all minds are drawn.
From out of the mists, and the settling dust, images of the three ascended heroes appear in the minds of all. Within the rubble that was Fire Island are the remains of those heroes that took the trials alongside the three. Also amidst the ruins of the small island are the broken remains of the lich generals, finally breaking the links to their masters and banishing the threat forever.
Above and beyond the remains, the storms and tumultuous seas surrounding Eventyr become wilder than ever. Fearful that the powers released on the Island would bring harm to the wider world an accord is made. Unaware of the final victory wrought there, the merchant nobles, from across the nations of Verden, order a quarantine of the island of Eventyr. Nothing is permitted to leave the island under pain of death.
Temples, churches, shrines, and sanctuaries to the old gods fall silent. With the completion of the blueprint of life, the old gods are no more, their essence now extinguished. For a time, there is chaos and mourning but it is not long until the faith of the inhabitants of Verden is once again answered. Some gods manifest once more, but they are changed; they are more closely tied to their followers, more strongly linked to the stories told in their names.
This is not the only change. Ritualists across Verden sense massive changes in the flows of magical energies across the whole world. It does not take long to realise that the energies seem to be flowing into and out from the island of Eventyr. Scouting ships maintaining their vigil over the shores of the island report sightings of great portals opening upon the land, through which creatures only described as daemons issue. The daemons seem focussed only on constructing gates, which also seem to open to locations not of this world.
The three ascendant heroes from the changing of times are some of the first divine powers to manifest. They are;
- Ravidel – Mercurial lord of the arcane (freedom/chaos & arcane domains)
- Mordecai – Wizard of the land (arcane and nature domains)
- Leech – Protector of the natural order (protection and nature domains)
Had it not been for the support of the mages guilds, Verden would have been overrun by demonic forces, as they attempted to spread their influence beyond the island of Eventyr.
The vigilance of the merchant navy and the support of both mages and priests alike ensured that anything these interlopers attempted to do to get off the island failed.
Through the collective efforts of ritualists across the world, a permanent ward was created, preventing teleportation magics from the island to other locations on Verden. This, combined with the military force of the quarantine fleet, meant that no demon that arrived on Eventyr could place foot on another part of Verden. However, the battles to contain the threat were frequent and costly in terms of the lives of the allies.
Generations pass, and with time the attempts to leave the island dwindle. What used to be a daily occurrence gradually decreases in frequency to a weekly, and then ultimately to a yearly event, if that.
All seems quiet… until people start realising that magical items are not behaving as they should. Confounded artificers slave away, working in large groups to try and identify the source of these issues. The conclusion they reach is that magical energies no longer seem to be building up as easily within the plane, and the nature of those energies seems to have changed.
It takes what seems like an eternity for a group of skilled artificers to relearn how to make magical trinkets and items; upon discovering this, they guard their secrets carefully.
With regular trade routes being heavily disrupted, resourceful rogues have developed their own network of black market operatives. A suitably trained and indoctrinated rogue can spot these operatives and identify black market dead drops, allowing them to buy and sell both mundane and more “exotic” goods.
Memories turn to stories, stories turn to legends, legends turn to myth…
Verden, the name that still echoes in the minds of a few of its inhabitants; home, the very word itself. The peaceful accord that formed the quarantine around the now mythical island of Eventyr has become nothing but a ceremonial fleet, with single ships now representing what used to be the greatest naval force of the merchant nobles, whilst the mage guilds have an infrequent presence on these ships at best. The unified presence of the combined forces gives way to the egos of the various trading houses. Each ship is the most vulgar representation of power and decadence, compromising on the military effectiveness of the fleet in preference to style.
There comes a point where the myth of a taboo island beset by otherworldly monsters becomes a challenge instead of a warning. This was certainly the case for the most aggressively ambitious of the merchant nobles.
Allowing their greed for wealth and potential resource to get the better of them, one of the merchant nobles commissions a small group of eight or so adventurers. Their task is to travel through the stormy seas and fog to find the mythical island of Eventyr in secret, reporting their findings to the noble directly.
Just as the noble was beginning to accept their loss as a misguided folly following weeks of waiting for word, a single survivor left the island to report.
Through the storms and fog the mythical land of Eventyr is once again revealed.
The lone survivor, clinging to the remnants of the small vessel that had been used to slip past the barricade, manages to report back to their master. Whilst under the effect of truth serum and the close scrutiny of the arcane masters of the mind the scout reports of an island rich with raw resources ripe for the picking. Strange magical effects manifest, making the island a potential treasure trove of now exceedingly rare magic items.
But the land is not without its dangers. There are natives to the island, varied in form and temperament, most of whom seem inherently distrusting of outsiders. And then there are the portals… structures through which demons of various shapes and sizes appear. They seem to arrive on the island, carry out their business, then leave again, sometimes through the same portal, sometimes through another.
Whilst typically ignored, the scouting group attempted to engage a group of seemingly unarmed demons, the resulting conflict was reportedly bloody and decisive, with the sole survivor escaping purely through use of cunning and stealth. The scout brought back evidence of the treasures that Eventyr holds, waiting to be exploited.
Greed and curiosity will be the making (or breaking) of them all.
The merchant nobles, from all corners of the known world of Verden agree to once again meet under a flag of truce. The gathering takes place on the mage guild’s flagship as a point of neutral ground. Never in living history has such an event occurred and the diverse backgrounds of each of the nobles is clear. Despite them all vying for responsibility and control of the meeting, one outcome is clear. Eventyr, and its resources, should be claimed for the good of the people of Verden. To that effect a huge fleet is formed, and the storms and terrible seas surrounding the isle are once again traversed.
The formation of an initial settlement is not without its losses. The demons that seem to use the land for its resources, or to travel from place to place, exerted great force of arms, both magical and mundane in an effort to expel the new interlopers. When the natives of the isle saw the other forces, they too joined in the fray. At first the merchant forces believed this to be a two-pronged repelling force, but it soon became clear that the native force also wanted to see demons gone.
This is where you enter the story;
Are you a recruit from one of the merchant lords, looking to carve your mark on the new continent of Eventyr?
Are you a native of the isle, whose ancestors may even have been there during the changing of the times, and survived the demons’ landings?
Are you from elsewhere, either liberated from demon oppression, or lost in a strange new world?
Whichever path you choose, Eventyr, and your stories, are waiting to be told…
To further muddy the mix, the demons used slaves and subservient races to bolster their forces; as the demons were pushed back and the chains of slavery broken, these creatures took up arms against the demons. Together, the forces of the merchants, natives and slaves repelled the demons sufficiently to grant the necessary reprieve for the merchant forces to form their basic port.