Isle of Dread

The Isle of Dread is located in the southern region of the Wyn Myr Ocean; a region known as the Shining Sea. It is west of the Continent of Avokhar and southwest of the continent of Corwyn. Once populated by the Olman people of Za'Har, the island underwent a terrible catastrophe, which gave it the ominous name "Isle of Dread."

Today, the few remaining Olman live in seven secluded villages along the southern coast of the Isle. The Olman tribes in these villages are quite superstitious and never venture inland past the walls of Tanaroa; their largest village. Inland, the island is quite dangerous, with dinosaurs, and other giant savage beasts roaming the interior. Additionally, several pirate gangs have established bases in secluded coves on the northern coasts of the island. The Isle of Dread has always captured the imaginations of adventurers; for it is the legendary home to the great, black shadow pearls; long rumored to be inside of a lost Olman temple located on the island. These pearls are considered magical artifacts of incredible value.


It is believed that the island was completely uninhabited by humans until about 3,000 years ago. Around that time, great fleets of Olman galleys, barges, and large outrigger canoes left the continent of Za'har, sailed east across the Shining Sea, and discovered the Saffron Isles, then eventually landed here. The Olman soon founded a colony in the volcanic center of the island, which eventually became the city-state of Thanaclan. Thanaclan soon became one of the wealthiest and most influential in the far-flung Olman Empire, thanks in large part to the great amount of treasures harvested from the islands's natural resources. To protect their wealth and their city, the Olman of Thanaclan built a magnificent barrier across the only lowland approach to the interior of the island. Called "the Wall," this barrier of stone and timber was seen as an impregnable barrier to any potential invader. This barrier, which took decades to complete, impressed all visitors to Thanaclan with its sheer magnitude and massive gates. With their wall completed, the Olman of Thanaclan began to prosper beyond their wildest imaginations.


For generations, Thanaclan was a glorious success, but the Olman of the city could not have known they had an unseen enemy. Long before the first Olman settlers landed here, the Isle of Dread had been in the possession of the Kopru; an evil race of aquatic creatures. The Kopru themselves had once commanded a great empire, but by this date, that empire was in sharp decline. The Kopru had a reputation for three things; their great intelligence, their cruelty, and their absolute devotion to their deity; Demogorgon. Working with the Demon-Lord, the Kopru labored for decades in their plans to destroy the Olman trespassers. Kopru sorcerers and priests labored in dark subterranean lairs unfolding their vile plot; the creation of the largest black pearl the world had ever seen. This was no ordinary pearl, but a powerful magical artifact called a Shadow Pearl. Spawned by a gigantic fiendish oyster, and imbued with Demogorgon's demonic powers, the pearl was both irresistibly beautiful and deadly. When the great black Shadow Pearl was completed, The Kopru released the pearl in a place where they knew the Olman would find it. The trap was set.

Olman pearl fishers soon found the ebony prize and triumphantly brought it back to Thanaclan, where the pearl was ensconced on the altar of the high Olman temple, as a trophy from the Gods. But once in place, the curse of the pearl began, corrupting everything it came in contact with. Soon the Olman Gods turned their backs on Thanaclan. The effects the curse grew ever stronger, and the resulting calamities grew. Terrible storms battered the island, crops failed, wild beats began rampaging the city, and a eerie fog descended upon Thanaclan. Soon the very ground beneath the city began to shake violently. In a panic, the Olman priests tried to use magic to cast the pearl into another dimension. But this final enchantment only sealed their doom. The pearl opened and an oily, green mist poured forth, engulfing the entire city. Soon after, a great explosion rocked the central plateau of the island, opening up a gateway between worlds. In a rush of filthy water, the entire city of Thanaclan was consumed by the Abyssal domain of Demogorgon. The entire region was saturated by this dark force, and those not immediately killed were driven insane. This catastrophe became known as the Savage Tide; and gave birth to the ominous name: "Isle of Dread."


For many centuries, the Isle of Dread was thought to be nothing more than a legend, and it was viewed as nothing more than nautical folklore told and retold by seafaring explorers. About thirty years ago, the Isle’s existence was confirmed, however, by an explorer named Rory Barbarosa. Barbarosa’s journal detailed the Isle and its location: thousands of miles to the south; deep within the Shining Sea. Captain Barbarosa always intended to return to the Isle, but he ran afoul of a powerful wizard in Sasserine and suffered an untimely demise. However, his ship; the Gallivant, and its log survived, and soon word spread throughout Sasserine about the treasure-filled paradise Barbarosa had discovered.

Inspired by the tales recounted by Barbarosa and his crew, several groups of adventurers attempted to find the elusive Isle. Twenty-five years ago, one group actually hired Barbarosa's very own ship, although with a new captain and crew. Unfortunately, the treacherous return voyage to the Isle claimed the Gallivant, and many uncounted souls. Finding the isle again seemed a lost cause until Fifteen years ago. It was then that Captain “Mad” Madsen; one of Barbarosa’s original crew, undertook the voyage south. His ship, the Morningstar, survived the journey and Captain Madsen was able to create the first accurate sea charts that finally placed the dreaded Isle on the official maps and charts of the region.

A member of the Captain Madsen’s crew on Morningstar was a young woman adventurer named Larissa Iomundi. Even after returning from the Isle to Sasserine, she was still enamored with the legendary, infamous Isle. Several years passed, and Larissa married a nobleman named Verik Vanderboren. She eventually told her husband about her journey. The two decided to return to the island and settle it. Their ultimate plans included forming a colony and establishing trade routes from Sasserine to the Isle of Dread.

Four years ago, the Vanderboran family assembled a crew of explorers, sailors, and colonists. They also gained the aid of Lord Zebulon Meravanchi, who himself was a veteran explorer of the Sanjaara Jungle of Avokhar. The expedition took two ships, and after a long and difficult voyage, they arrived at the Isle. The Vanderboren journal records the expedition stopped at the following locations on their travels; 1) Port Blackwell, 2) ruins of Tamoachan, 3) Castle Greenrock, 4) Axuxal Islands, and 5) Isle of Ruja.

Instead of pillaging the native Olman of the Isle, the Vanderboran family instead gained their trust and respect, giving back equally (if not more) for what they took in trade. A treaty was forged with the Olman tribes of the Seven Villages, and in return, the newcomers were granted control of the small island of Temute (Olman: “The Abandoned Place”) to build their colony. The main purpose of this colony was to provide trade with the city of Sasserine.

The Vanderboren family then gave the new colony its name: Farshore.