The Citadel of Procan
A Short History on The Union of Five Burroughs
Herein is set forth the first histories of Five Burroughs. All praise to Eadro, Yondalla, Moradin, Garl, and Sashelas for their guardianship. Brokered in the Troubled Times by the leadership and vision of Corintherus; strengthened and bolstered by the power and wisdom of Tesserwoegrn the Ancient, may our history and union now be set forth.
It is said by by our Elven brothers and sisters that Ynys Mons was in Elder Times a volcano of constant action. Heating the seas around it for 3 leagues or more, spewing of venomous gasses and surging currents of scalding water. The Dwarves say it was a working forge of Mighty Moradin, deep beneath the surface whose heat and smoke vented from its top. Whatever the truth is, this great mountain beneath the waves calls all of us it’s denizens; and we our call it our home. The old explorer, the gnome Darionus the Unwilling measured it’s height as 6000 cubits; diving to the base of the great mount, a very dangerous feat indeed, and one not since repeated. The Dwarves of Priderion have tunneled into the dark basalts, granites, ignimbrites, and shastas of Ynys Mons for centuries now. There they have found gems, platinum, silver, and metals for more lethal designs.It is said, however, by the cleric’s of Deep Sashelas, that a passage to a long forgotten city of the vile Aboleth lie somewhere within the cold wet stone. Long have they warned the Dwarves of delving to greedily and to deep. Pray brothers and sisters that the forgotten passage is never found.
It is around Ynys Mons that our Five Borroughs are built, all on the Great Shelf that surrounds the Central Peak. The Elves, first in coming, inhabit the thick kelp forest of Husherun, the Dwarves the caved cliffs and pinnacles of Priderion. The Halflings inhabit the gentle swells, reefs, and kelp lands known as the Sandy Hills. The Gnomes the great reefs of Coral Home, and the Merfolk the atolls and lava tubes of Mercy’s Shelter.
Great praise to Ynys Mons provider of shelter, hearth and home! The lone mount of the mighty Solnor!
The Pinnacle War
First among us were the elves of lush Husheron. A wide swath of the Great Shelf on it’s western side covered with the reds, greens, and golds of tall kelp trees; some as high as 80’. It is here in the fertile depths, rocky knolled and open gladed tracts of Husheron that the elves first made their home. It was the elves who first named our great mount “Ynys Mons”, “Mount of the Sentry”. Led by the constant Lord Melianthuse, and the shining Lady Yusherack they built and grew the coraled, and stone wonder that is Myncapides. Myncapides, singular in architecture, singular in beauty, singular in merit. Set in a shallow and wide hollow, Myncapides is known throughout the oceans as a beacon of civilization and learning. In those founding days there was only peace.
400 years after the founding of Myncapides came the noble dwarves of the Pinnacle Clan. Long had the clerics of Moradin among them told of a great mount in the far reaches of the Solnor that they called “Ish Therak-for”, “Mount of the Old Forge”. Long had they sought the great mount until they found the Pinnacles of Priderion, whose shape had been inscribed on an ancient bronze tablet, still in the possession of the Pinnacled Dwarves.
But it was with great trepidation that the elves of Husheron witnessed their coming. For many years before, Rolianuse High Priest of Sashelas had a vision of terrifying portent. He saw that among the pinnacles would one day arise a power of great darkness, from a black sea; and from this power would come death. When the dwarves settled and began to carve into the cliffs and pinnacles of Priderion the elves warned them of the prophecy; and sternly commanded them to leave. With pride on both sides came hostility, violence, war and mistrust. The Pinnacle War, a war of dwarf against elf that lasted for 60 long bloody years.
The Pinnacle Clan, ruled by the zealous King Keriak were determined never to leave the lands that prophecy had given them. Nor would he negotiate or explain to the elves of Husheron the reason for their coming. Keriak a noble but stubborn dwarf; whose greatest achievement was his daughter, the matchless Worthenna. Worthenna grew up seeing the unending hostility of the Pinnacle War and grieved. To this wise and beautiful female, “Blood was Blood”. It was Worthenna, aided by none other than the dwarven goddess Berronar Truesilver who turned the hearts of her kin to truce instead of war. Lord Melianthuse and Worthenna came to befriend one another, and managed at least to turn war into truce. But the two peoples avoided each other for hundreds of years after the Pinnacle War all the way to The Troubled Times.
The Fall of Pearlywaves
Far to the southeast lies the now corrupt home of our noble Gnome and Halfling kinsmen; Pearlywaves. The tales of Pearlywaves speak of resplendent shallow waters, coves, and caves, surrounding a group of three small islands that were blessed with an abundance of fish, kelp, and solitude. The Gnomes of Pearlywaves had made a town of coral, pearls, stone, and shell that spoke of comfort and ingenuity of design. The Pearlywave Gnomes (as they came to be called) were unusual among Gnomes in that they preferred the quiet and simplicity of solitude. Few among them were travelers or traders, but those who were born with the “Wandering Itch” were prodigious travelers indeed.
Among this gentle folk lived the Halflings of Old Bellycove. It is not recorded when the Halflings came to live among their Gnomish brethren, but there association is obviously a long one. The Halflings made their town in a deep cove on the third island; carving homes into the stone and coral walls of it’s tranquil blue waters. Here there lives were simple and blessed with abundant food, conversation, and fellowship. The light that filtered from above was said to be of the purest sapphiric color, whose sight could bring tears to the most hardened visitor.
It was off the shores of these uninhabited islands that the Gnomes of Pearlywaves and the Halflings of Old Belleycove made their home for over 500 years. Sadly, it was not to last.
Omens and auguries began to speak of the coming of death, an old and vile evil that would be unleashed. The omens spoke true, for on the night of great storm a ship of surface dwellers foundered into the waters of the three islands. A ship manned by unscrupulous buccaneers whose sole drive was the accumulation of plunder, death, and rape. Inadvertently the buccaneers had taken an artifact of terrible power on board; a murk swirled skull of foul crystal that called out to the Dead, and slowly turned the living to corruption with an insatiable hunger for flesh.
Their ship broke apart like a child’s toy on the reefs of Sharks Point and sent the greed infested buccaneers to a watery grave; they would not stay dead. The skull fell to the sea floor and there it called out to the Dead and animated the recent dead. A black cloud of death spread through the sea around the reefs and with it came death. It was by unfortunate chance or perhaps the horrid design of the skull that the Gnomes of Pearlywaves and the Halflings of Old Bellycove buried their dead at Shark’s Reef. Soon the corpses of their ancestors began to rise consumed with a cannibalistic hunger for living flesh. It was only a matter of days before the Gnomes and Halflings were overcome and forced to flee their once pleasant homes.
The Gnomes of Pearlywaves and the Halflings of Old Bellycove wandered the seas until they found the beacon of Ynys Mons. Tired, hungry, and almost bereft of hope they arrived just south of the southern reaches of Husheron and there they were taken in by the mercy and compassion of Lady Yusherack. Long may her beauty last! It was then the Halflings of Old Bellycove settled in the Sandy Hills just south of lush Husheron, and the Gnomes of Pearlywaves settled and made the ingenious comfort of Coral Home.
Here they remain.
The Merfolk of Mercy’s Home
Many years passed after the settling of Coral Home and the Sandy Hills. And although the ingenious gnomes and noble halflings lived and worked alongside one another, the Elves of Husheron and the Pinnacled Dwarves kept largely to themselves.
It was then that a series of fell omens appeared to the peoples of Ynys Mons. Late one night a terrible storm descended on the great shelf and the night was filled with terrible shrieking winds and the in the myriad lightning flashes in the dark clouds above the outline of faces of pain and terror where illuminated in their shapes. It was even said that some heard strange voices in the waters and winds.
Next came a series of earthquakes that shook the Great Shelf in violent shifts of cracking stone, rolling sands, and cascades of broken coral. So violent were the movements of the rolling earth that the famed Citadel of Berronar crumbled into rubble killing all the dwarves within and sealing them beneath hundreds of feet of shattered stone. None of these poor souls were ever seen again. The earth moved and brought suffering and death to all the peoples of the Great Shelf and many grew fearful that some great calamity was building.
Then came the Winter of Dark Omens. As all who live here know the winters are mild and given to rain. This winter was different. The cold waters of the north and huge blocks of ice were seen not far from the spire of Ynys Mons. With cold water, came famine. The fish fled far to the south, forcing hunting parties to range far from home, with some hunters never to return. Some fish was found, some crops of kelp survived, but many went without. These were sad and desperate times. But, thank the merciful gods, all dark times must past. Spring slowly came, but still the people were desperate for food.
A mere week later scattered groups of injured and starved Merfolk began to arrive near the shores and sheltered coves of the Bountiful Atolls. Led by the matchless Gerian Hopebringer and Jarinth the Resplendent the merfolk had only just fled with their lives from the ruthless insanity of the sahuagin Gerimstorist the Vile. In a massive midnight raid the sahuagin surprised the gentle Merfolk of Grey Isles and many died in clouds of innocent blood. Even their mighty King the aged and experienced Shessoon fell by Gerimstorist’s hand. An act for which there can be no forgiveness. In that battle it was Gerian Hopebringer that rallied his people, severed the left hand of Gerimstorist, and broke through the surrounding enemies and fled with those merfolk who still remained. And it was with Jarinth the Resplendent, preistess of Eadro, that healing was brought to those who fled through the wide Solnor, to the shelter of Ynys Mons, and the Bountiful Atolls. They would however arrive to a sour welcome an begin the Troubled Times.
The Troubled Times
Gerimstorist would not forget his mutilation at the hands of Gerian Hopebringer. Across the Solnor Germinstorist subjugated clan after clan of sahuagin, allied with scrags, weresharks, and tribes of goblins, kobolds and other fell creatures of the sea. He vowed to his fiendish god Sekolah that he would find Gerian, slaughter his people, and all who allied with him.
When the Merfolk came and settled the Bountiful Atolls they did not know that the atolls were common hunting ground for all the people of the Great Shelf. The people sent envoys to the beleaguered Merfolk and warned them to leave, for hunger is a terrible diplomat. Gerian and Jarinth were desperate for their peoples plight and refused to leave trying to explain why they had come, and why they could not leave.
Hunger drove the people apart. Dwarves and elves began to quarrel anew. The gnomes and halflings refused any onto their part of the Great Shelf and hunting parties came to blows. Any unity that was once forged was starting to die. Soon fights became skirmishes, and war between the noble peoples of Ynys Mons loomed.
The Great War
Three moons later great black clouds appeared on the southern horizon, forked with lightning and blasting forth a foul wind. Unknown to our people a great army led by Gerimstorist was approaching. With the aid of an ancient evil Gerimstorist had found where the merfolk had fled, and he had come with a new ally, the black dragon Merishakion the Blackhearted.
But in the hour of our greatest need, in the most troubled times our people of the Five Burroughs had yet faced, came the greatest benefactor. The wise and resolute storm giant Corintherus riding his constant friend the ancient bronze dragon Tesserwoegren. As if called by some compulsion that they could not refuse the people of the Great Shelf brought their heads above the water and looked to the top of Ynys Mons. There, landing on it’s dizzying height, was Corintherus astride Tesserwoegren whose bellow shook the waves.
“Behold people of Ynys Mons! Your testing is at hand! From the south comes a host of sahuagin, scrags, kobolds, and goblins. Led by the vengeance of Gerimstorist, aided by Merishakion the Blackhearted, and all intent on your annihilation. You will stand now only if you fight as one people. Today you live or die as one!”
So it was that Lord Melianthuse, and Lady Yusherack of the elves of Husheron, Lady Worthenna of the Pinnacled Dwarves, the Joint Gnome and Halfling Council of Elders, and King Gerian Hopebringer with Jarinth the Resplendent were taken by Corintherus to see for the first time the center of Ynys Mons. There they made council with Corintherus and together made a battle plan. A plan to throw the army of Gerimstorist and Merishakion back to the abyss that spat them forth.
The Battle of Coral Walls
So it was that a small party of elves was to lure the army of Gerimstorist into the open waters beyond the Old Coral Wall. The peoples of Ynys Mons arrayed themselves in a great line behind the Old Wall and waited for the enemy to come to them. The elves and dwarves held the center, the gnomes and halflings arrayed to left, and the merfolk held the right. There they waited.
The elven hunting party lured the army of Gerimstorist to the open waters of the Old Wall acting as if they were surprised and were fleeing to warn their people before the army arrived. Thinking to catch our people off guard, Gerimstorist ordered his army to charge and catch the fleeing hunters before they could raise the alarm.
But the elves could not out swim Merishakion who ended their lives in a bellow of black acid. May the sacrifice of these brave elves never be forgotten, as long as our people still ply the waves.
Emboldened Gerimstorist believed he had surprise and his army surged towards the Old Wall. As they neared, the waters erupted in bolts from the unerring crossbows of our people shot over and through the Old Coral Wall, a hail of death to greet our enemies. It was then that Tesserwoegren shot from the sky like a meteor and grabbed Merishakion and threw him like a plaything from the sea. Our people surged over the wall and met the army of Gerimstorist with a ferocity that shocked the vile host. From behind came Corintherus, and all the leaders of our people cutting into the surprised rear ranks of the enemy and filling them with panic.
In the melee Gerian Hopebringer and Jarinth the Resplendent met Gerimstorist and fought him side by side. But the might of Gerimstorist was not to be laughed aside. Gerian and Jarinth were on the edge of defeat when Tesserwoegren threw Merishakion from the sky spewing acid as he fell. And like a mountain Merishakion fell in the midst of Gerian, Jarinth and Gerimstorist. Clouds of acid spewed from the broken body of the old black dragon, and in it’s midst Gerimstorist was horrifically scarred but not killed. In agony Gerimstorist fled from the battlefield and oozing puss, blood and bile vowing he would return, his heart more filled with hate than ever before. Routed and in disarray we slaughtered our enemies so they would never forget the sight of Ynys Mons.