The Witchling Isles
expansion and growth
“The adventurous voyage”, Second age of exploration (190- 224 years of Freedom):the islanders have won, but they were far than one. as the Empire retreated, the stricken isles started once again to look for resources, for other cultures to learn from (or exploit), but mostly- for danger… the lesson of the Empire had great effect- the unknown can kill you. We had no ships to cross the ocean, or to drive the Empire fully back, but we drove to seek out and learn of (hopefully fight if we can) any dangers to our precious worlds. The orcs and their allies started exploring the desert of Thurka, while the elves explored the southern and western isles.
But many other islands joined, each sending brave explorers far and wide. This was the age of adventures! Many mysteries were uncovered, many wonders seen, many new people, new races, new cultures. A few effects of the First Wave also came to light- there were the wretched half breeds, with which we knew not what to do. Some items and lore of the empire remained, but just a bit (they are VERY methodical about keeping their secrets). And from time to time they even sent their strange human priests amongst us, trying to learn more, spread the faith of their gods (in non violent means) and so on. We did learn how to make the
ship design from a few ships left behind.
For most, this was a not hostile age. We seemed to had enough.
Or did we? For the threat of the Empire still loomed, and so we armed ourselves, taught sword play, sea skills and witch magic. But as the time went, we turned our eyes not on the empire, but on our selves.
The second elf- orc war, “The many islands war” (225- 234 years of Freedom):
who started it first? Does it matter? The orcs armed themselves heavily, the elves as well. One saw the other, and warned nearby isles of the threat, enlisting their alliance. And so each power grew. Unaligned isles grew nervous, and either tried to remain neutral, joined one or the other, or formed small defensive pacts to repel the violence that was to come.
And sure as a Witch can cast a jinx, it did. The war was… messy. It involved so many cultures, so many races, you ended up not sure if who you fought was enemy or friend! Allegiances came up and break up, treacheries abound. At the final stages of the war the elf and orc nations just tried to sort out who of their “allies” could be trusted. The war was short, but much blood was spilled, too much blood, needlessly.
Something had to be done.
Birth of Arkruz (235- 237 years of freedom):it was the
Finally a place was found, on the great Giant’s island, in the place now known as Arkruz. A deal was struck with the giants.
Mention of terms, who made the deal. And the place was built fast. In 3 very fast years the place grew exponentially, everyone wanting a piece. And the “council of the isles” was set. For a first time in a long time, all races set, even orc by elf. Arkruz was the center piece of the isles.
Prosperity, the far west traders,
the hobgob treaty (need a better name) 238-261 years of freedom:
the following era could be considered our “golden age” (as is the human term). There was relative peace, and people prospered. Arkruz, though it had it’s faults (corruption, breeding hive of scum) did manage to uphold some sort of order around the isles. It’s fleet grew, and gave some semblence of assurance.
The elves have developed their famous Wingships at this time, not yet surpassed in speed at our current time.
The Empire was still scheming though. They have found that the hobgoblin island of
Yarullk? Better one?, though they did not believe in their god, they were quite spiritual, following a strange belief incorporating a warrior code with the benevolent divinity of the immense volcano on their islands. Empire agents approached the hobgoblin lords, and offered them better training, better equipment, a better warrior’s life. And they started recruiting them into their army, not many at first, enough to… “test the waters”. The hobgoblins were required to undergo a special tattooing of a magical kind by the nation’s wizard, promising they will not share the secret of their training, on threat of magical vengeance.
Though the islanders noticed this, it was too low a scale to be a threat. And besides- hobgoblins hired themselves to almost everyone, this was not new.
Another important development (how important we’ll learn in years to come) was the arrival of new species, this time from the west. First came the Sebiccai, a race of cat folks, with smooth purring voices, rich exotic clothings and wares (242 years of freedom). Soon after (246 years of freedom) came the Vizikian, a strange hybrid of misshapen humanoids, (think mongerlfolk) with huge strange flat flotilla fleets (how did they make it over the ocean?) and strange clicking, whistling and hooting speech. They only reached Mediolanum and Khzai, where
some culture/ race dwelt and no further east, but their exotic merchandise, and willingness to trade spread like a rumor.
As was mentioned, this was a time of prosperity, and most of all- prosperity of witches. They all evolved, but most of all came prominent the shadow casters, whose touch with the shadow world seem to grow, and give them great power. Their power spread, even into politics. More and more of Arkruz leading council, especially the influential ones were either influenced by Shadow Casters, or were themselves ones.
Still, compared to the rest of witch craft in the isles, it didn’t seem out of the ordinary. Well, at least not to us islanders.