Fragments of Vessels
“The tribes have not always been peaceful, but they have always been respectful of one another, as they respect the harshness of the shadowland. This has always been true of our people, with the exception of one time in the tribes history, known among tribesmen as the Fey-blight.
It started with the discovery of one tribe camp burned down. The ashes of our shadekin mixed about the ground, indistinguishable from the grey of the earth. Tribes differ as to the name of the fallen Clan, but none differ on the specifics of brutality. Their tents were razed, the bodies piled high in the middle of town and burned, not given the dignity to be consumed by the wildlife or our homeland. This was but the first of many attacks.
The following days the tribes found nothing but war. Every morning, with the rise of the cold sun the attackers would sweep out of the wasteland and lay siege to the camps. They carried strange silvered weapons and wore garments made of dead foliage. Eventually they were identified as the Feykin, and the horrors they beset upon the tribes knew no end.
It was in the third fall of the Culling Moon when the Stranger arrived. He wore similar clothes to the attackers and a mask made of wood, but did not harm us. Rather, he offered a bargain. He claimed to offer help in fending off the Feykin, and in exchange we were to serve him. All the Clan leaders of our people gathered to consider the man’s words, and unanimously called for the Stranger’s trial by circle, as is our way.
The symbols were drawn, and the prayers said, and when the fighting commenced the stranger used glistening bolts of horrid magic to fell the noble warriors of the Clan leaders. The tribes revolted, angered at the cowardly use of arcane works in the holiest of contests. They rushed forward with claw and blade, hook and maul, to tear down the desecrator in his hubris. But his magic proved too powerful.
One by one, the leaders of the old clans were killed off by the Stranger’s magics, until none could question his dominance over us. The remaining clansmen bowed to him, pledging life and loyalty to the Stranger in exchange for mercy. All the clans submitted, each forsaking their true names in service to the foreigner. All except one.
The Talon Clan, last of the old tribes, walked away from the cowardice of their brethren. Unwilling to pledge service in the name of foreigners, but they did not escape without loss. Their leader, Aslam of the Hollowed, had been struck down by the powers of the Stranger. But as a fresh wound will scar, the Talon Clan took up bastion in the wastes and rebuilt their tribe out of the honor they preserved.
The Stranger’s decree to the fallen tribesmen was to wage war upon the Feykin. To do this, he forced the tribes to abandon their clans and become one clan under his rule. In honor of the Stranger, and in the decadence of their blasphemies, they built a tower rising above the wastes to house their new society. They called it The Spire of the Waste.
The Stranger put upon the fallen tribesmen to learn his magics, to abandon their worship of The Raven Queen, ever-passing, and of Fenrir, the cold lighted, and instead worship him. All the while he sent the fallen brothers to the Feyrealm, waging his own war with our bloodmates.
The Talon Clan kept to the old ways, in spite of their tribesmen’s heresy. But they were not allowed to live in peace. Just as the Stranger sent the fallen tribesmen under his service to raid the Feykin’s homeland, so too did he turn them upon their brothers. After six months of attacks from the Strangers Tribe, the Talon Clan had but three remaining members.
That is when the Wanderers came….”
-from the writings of Krin the Claw-footed, Scribe of Howling Sands tribe
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