Maelstrom Isles

Overview

Seven hundred and four years ago the world shook and the skies were turned a deep violet; this was the Lavender Day, the day a great blast scarred Aerth. At the centre of the blast was the kingdom of Tamar – the most prolific human kingdom of them all. The blast shattered the earth, sent great shock wave around Aerth, ripped at the fabric of the planes itself, and left a swirling and powerful magical orb at its epicentre – an orb that sank into the the earth and created a vortex that twists till this very day.

Teeming with arcane energy that vortex, the Maelstrom as it came to be known, violently stripped huge segments of the continent off, splintering the borders of several countries, and shattering the entire cosmopolitan kingdom of Tamar into thousands of pieces. Gargantuan chunks of land plunged downward creating a new sea. Other pieces were infused with arcane and interplanar energies, and remained hanging, suspended in mid-air beneath the dark iron-grey clouds that flickered with red lightning overhead; a never-ending tempest that remains even today, forever swirling above the Maelstrom. These days, the supernatural floating pieces of detritus are known to the people of Seath as the Maelstrom Isles.

Turned away by neighboring nations, the few survivors of the far eastern section of now-shattered kingdom of Tamar, constructed flying ships from the strange floating debris that littered the aberrant landscape and began to search for a new home. Unknown to most then but common knowledge now is that a single relatively thin circular strip of clear weather exists above the maelstrom at about halfway between the eye and edge of the tempest overhead. The storm abruptly ends at this distance, exposing the sky, and completely relents but only for about one hundred miles after which it continues seemingly unaffected by this curious patch of calm. Coming to be named the Cerulean Ring, the floating islands within this strangely serene storm-free ring were settled by those homeless survivors.

Subsisting then on piracy, several small communities emerged on those islands creating a loose commonwealth of pirate-governed island-states. Since then, the predominately pirate constitution of the populace has dwindled (due to the reassimilation of Tamarian people into the world) and has mostly been replaced by a community of legitimate trades people, privateers, and other honest folk. Those originally loosely-knit communities have grown larger and more dependent on one another and have created what has come to be known as the Nation of the Storm. Although diplomatic relations between other kingdoms and nations aren’t too bad, the Maelstromers are famous for their hostility toward outsiders as they still carry a grudge for being shunned by the worlds’ nations so many years ago.

Having been directly exposed to the strange extraplanar energies of the great blast many of those original survivors and their offspring were physically altered. Effects vary, but the following “imprints” left behind from the Lavender Day are common:

  • patches of oddly coloured skin
  • an aura of air currents
  • onyx black eyes or perhaps surreally coloured eyes
  • light or shadow clings to some
  • tiny arcs of arcane energy that flicker along the skin
  • ghostly translucent hair of varying colours
  • insubstantial strips of body parts (a finger or a hunk of flesh)

Except in very rare cases these effects are mostly superficial, but there are those who have derived fantastic abilities or extreme disabilities because of them.

Maelstrom Isles

The Cosmoscape Chronicles Torvum