Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
The Scorpion Desert is a wasteland of sand and vermin. The heat here during the day is nearly unbearable for most mortals, and the nights so cold that what little moisture remains in the air here settles as frost upon the rocks and shrubs that break up the otherwise endless view of sand.
It is said that the Scorpion Desert was not always this way. Long ago, the land was a lush paradise named Elith’Val that rivaled the Mystic Isles in beauty and life. It was the home to some of Narola’s most-favored fey, who lived and thrived here. The fey spent millennia actively dissuading the Jagdaani and Xethans from entering their land. Subtle magic kept the land hidden from the interest of Verith Nuul as it rose to power.
In the aftermath of Verith Nuul’s destruction of Arridas, refugees from various nations made their way south and discovered the paradise north of what used to be Arridas. The fey, after seeing the devastation wrought by Verith Nuul, took pity on these refugees, and for the first time in their history, offered to share their paradise with mortals. The refugees quickly set up their own nation, Kellaran, to help others who had suffered from Verith Nuul’s wrath. When Verith Nuul discovered Kellaran, they quickly, if reluctantly, bowed to Verith Nuul’s authority, and sent tribute north in the form of resources taken from the land. The land, after all, had plenty of riches to spare.
When the Scorpionmen began to pour north from the Arridan Wastes, the Kellaranians armed themselves and fought alongside the native fey to keep the scorpionmen from their shared paradise. With their combined efforts, the scorpionmen were forced further south, a situation they did not appreciate. Raids from the south were a constant threat for the rest of Kellaran’s existence.
After the fall of Verith Nuul, the people of Kellaran slowly came to realize just how valuable the natural treasures of Elith’Val were, and how rich they could become by exploiting the land to its fullest. The Darkwood forests were cleared, mountains torn open for their mineral riches, even the blessed water of the pools drained for their magical properties. The wizards of Kellaran even learned a way to artificially boost their powers by draining magic from the land itself. Kellaran grew bloated on the riches they earned through the exploitation of their paradise. All the while, they grew more militant as they fought off incursions from scorpionmen, Jagdaani, and Xethans jealous of their success.
As their paradise was torn apart, the fey of Elith’Val slowly withdrew their support from Kellaran, leaving them to fight their battles alone. After the sacred glade of El’Erefal was torn down by ambitious Kellaranians, the fey of Elith’Val decided they had enough. They slowly began to fight back against the encroachment of their paradise, sabotaging the efforts of miners and lumberjacks.
The leadership of Kellaran, having grown paranoid from constant warfare against their outside enemies, decided that they could not fight wars against outsiders as well as those they shared the land with. Kellaran struck hard and fast against the fey of Elith’Val, slaughtering them in a merciless war of genocide. As the last of the fey fell to Kellaranian magic, the voice of Narola boomed throughout the land.
“You have destroyed that which I loved. For that, I will destroy all you have built.”
Within days, the pools of Elith’Val dried up, the plants withered and died, the veins of minerals ran dry. Wells brought up nothing but sand and vermin. The people of Kellaran watched helplessly as the paradise they had once lived in fell apart into dust and sand in less than a week.
Kellaran’s enemies took their vengeance on the Kellaranians. Armies of scorpionmen and Jagdaani ravaged the once-prosperous cities, tearing them to the ground. The Xethans allowed refugees to enter their lands, but refused entry to the spellcasters that had once blighted the land with their magic.
These mages, denied refuge from their enemies, soon banded together to create a ritual that would blast their enemies, invaders and Xethans alike, in a final grasp at revenge. At the final moment of the ritual, Narola took away the mages’ abilities, stripping them of all magical power or the ability to control it. The blast resulting from the ritual going out of control destroyed the mages and obliterated the final citadel of what was once Kellaran.
Since then, the land has become known as the Scorpion Desert. It is home to little but sand and vermin, a remnant of the curse Narola placed upon the land.