Friday, 27 January 2012

Elkhorn Island

Elkhorn Island, just north of the Godsblood Straits, is sparsely inhabited with no major settlement. Before the Summoning it was claimed by the Duchy of Urdus. However, it is generally accepted that what went on there was not accurately recorded. Some say that there was a cult of chaos on the island that performed some sort of unspeakable rite, while others say that a flaming green star crashed to earth there three hundred years ago.

These days the biggest population is the shrine of Adonor which sits on an old site that contains ruins that predate the Toutus Empire. There are five clerics here, one of whom is always a high priest. They will not say why a shrine is maintained here, and especially why a high priest is required, but they are friendly and helpful to visitors. Visitors are warned not to stray too far from the shrine, as the clerics do not patrol the woods.

The woods of Elkhorn Island include a selection of wildlife, including a clan of werebears (most of whom are true-breeding, not infected). The werebears have a truce with the lawful clerics of the shrine, and the two groups do not interfere with each others' business.

The truth about the island is disturbing. There was an ancient temple of Bhael on the site where the shrine of Adonor now stands. Chaotic cultists flocked to it from all over Toutus until BY 1312 when the Toutus Army invaded and put a stop to the cult. However, in its final hours when the cultists saw the army approaching, they appealed to their dark overlord Bhael to assist them, and a powerful demon fell from the sky. This demon slew many Toutatian soldiers and a few cultists as well (the forces of Chaos do not care about collateral damage). The force of soldiers had come prepared, and advising and assisting the commanders were some powerful clerics of Adonor. They used powerful clerical magic as well as divine assistance from their patron - first they tried to banish the demon back to the Planes of Chaos, but somehow it resisted. They did manage to imprison it deep under the cultists' unholy gathering place and put it into a deep slumber.
As the Toutatian soldiers gathered their wounded, buried their dead and finished off the cultists who were trying to flee, the clerics decided to maintain a vigil over the imprisoned demon, and thus a shrine was established on the site. The strong aura of Law from the shrine counteracts and suppresses any malign influence the buried demon might have on its surroundings - the clerics know and encourage this as they do not want the island to become more tainted by chaos than it has been.
The one relatively accurate description of what happened in Elkhorn Island is written down in a book called "The Abominable Cults of Chaos Worshippers", but very few copies of this still remain.

Forces of Chaos might well seek to unleash the demon, but getting past the lawful clerics would be a problem. If it were unleashed, it would cause as much death and destruction as a mobile Chaos Portal, and creatures and worshippers of chaos would flock to the demon as the most powerful leader of Chaos on Kaelaross. Certain members of the Traitor Legion know this, and the contingents of Traitor Legionnaires both in the Salty Forest and on the Island of Lost Souls are well-placed to sail to Elkhorn Island if they could overcome or bypass the clerics of Adonor.

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