The Forgotten Throne
The Forgotten Continent
A Brief History – The Forgotten Continent
It all began thirty-five years ago, when word reached the southern nations that a band of brave explorers had discovered a vast island hidden in the waters of the northern seas. They brought news of magnificent trees that towered into the sky, mighty cliffs soaring above the tides, and ruins that beckoned like fingers on the distant horizon. But most importantly, they had found a statue standing at the edge of the vast ocean. It was the image of an elven woman that stood a hundred meters high, her features still sharp against the centuries of weather, extending her hand up to the heavens. It wore a tarnished crown of silver, the glint of which had brought the sailors miles off course to investigate.
It was a statue immortalized in legend – it was the Visage of Xillian, who had been the first Mage-Queen of the Ancient world. Her mighty sorcery and great wisdom had united the Elven Kingdoms of old under her banner, and she had ushered in the first great age of peace. The statue had once stood upon the border of the ancient elven homeland as a warning against the other races that this land was protected by the Mage-Lords. Now it had become a beacon, calling the races forth to return to the Forgotten Continent.
Soon councils were being held and summits convened as every nation and faith came together to decide what to do with this unforeseen but history-making development. Some argued that the lands were the rightful home to the elven people, while other argued that these lands had been the birthplace of the Vile, and were best abandoned or cleansed with fire.
But in the end, all the worrying and warning accomplished little. Two-thousand years had left all claims of right and title upon these lands lost to the wind, and now they were waiting to be claimed. Soon, every nation with a navy and every merchant with a fleet had piled their ships with supplies and adventurers and set sail in search of the bounty of the ancient elven homelands.
Many of these ships did not make it – the Ocean of Winds is notoriously tempestuous, and many of the overloaded ships fared poorly in the storms that plagued the region. Some ships made the journey only be smashed on the rocks or split upon the reefs that scattered the shoreline there like waiting predators. Of the hundreds of ships that set sail, only a handful made landfall in the first wave of exploration.
And even then, there was no easy profit to be found. Dire beasts were a common sight, and there were monsters inhabiting these lands that had long ago been hunted to extinction in the modern world. They lurked in the woodlands and the mountains, many of them making dens of the very crypts and vaults that the adventurers had come to find. Some of those crypts housed worse things, and terrible stories were passed between parties of comrades lost to Madness or twisted into Vile abominations.
So it was that for every cache to be found, a dozen bands of treasure-seekers returned to their ships empty-handed, or did not return at all. In the face of such difficult odds, the rush to the Lost Continent faltered. It was now that wiser leaders, who had studied well the mistakes of the greedy and the impatient, set about assembling their own expeditions. Not to pillage as the first wave had aimed to do, but rather to reclaim. Their ships carried with them countless peasants and pilgrims, sent with the promise of vast fields and sacred groves, all to be given freely to those willing to work the land. These pilgrims arrived on the Forgotten Continent, and colonies swiftly replaced the rough camps of the first generation. The Great Northern Pilgrimage had begun.
Soon after the merchants returned, bearing wares to be bartered and passengers who came to seek their own destinies in this brave new land. And so the colonies turned to villages, the villages turned into townships, and soon the southern shore of the Lost Continent was dotted all throughout with the signs that the races had returned.
And yet one question lingered at the edge of the collective consciousness as the weeks of colonization turned to seasons, and then years: where were all the people who used to live here?
It is a question that has yet to be answered.