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Lore of the Orhall Islands
Lore of the Dragonfall and the Star-Men
The “Star-Men,” as the natives of Orhall refer to them, are “the ones who rode the falling star as it trailed a sparkling wake when it struck down the terrible green dragon Satraramatrmix.
Nearly a thousand years or so ago, for nine generations of elves, the dragon ruled the islands with an iron claw, devouring those who displeased her, and enslaving the rest, forcing them to perform menial tasks like cleaning her scales, or weaving fine tapestries or making other items for her hoard.
The people of Orhall prayed to the Aspects of Oxia Gensh for decades, until on the night of the end of the year of the Dragon, a star fell from the sky, colliding with the dragoness, and causing her to crash into the mountain that she laired in, causing a terrible landslide, burying her as well as the fallen star.
Some say the rippling wake of brilliant energy that erupted from the falling star as it collided with the ground changed the people of the islands. Others say that it was the Aspects finally answering the prayers of the worthy. Whatever it was, the people of the islands were all changed dramatically, as were the animals. Many of the people became “three-skins;” many of the animals became as smart as people, and still others simply changed.
One of the priests of the 12 discovered a magical object not far from the dragon’s grave. The shard of crystal glowed with a light of its own, and was the largest of similar pieces of crystal. When held, the crystal communicated with the wielder, and even granted some powers. The crystal at first demanded to return to its “ship,” which had crashed into the mountain. The grateful people, wishing to thank the ones who had freed them from oppression, excavated as much as they could of the ship, the fallen rocks and earth made further digging impossible with the tools and technology that were (and still are, mostly) available.
The priest took the Starshard onto the ship via a hole that had been made in its side during the crash, and was amazed at what he saw. First of all, the ship was made of a strange crystalline substance like nothing that even the cleverest druids were able to recognize. Second, while the ship had clearly been damaged, it was a marvel of arcane technology far surpassing anything that his people were capable of. In several places, fallen bodies in resplendent robes were thrown about by the crash, along with some more simply garbed figures; these were removed and buried with great respect and still occupy a revered place in the village at the foot of the Dragonfall mountain.
Some doors on the ship would not open; after a few moments’ contemplation, the Starshard decreed that only the most worthy would be able to see the wonders which lay on the other sides of the doors, if they even returned to tell the tale, so they have remained closed to this day.
Because of the mountain’s obvious connection to the beliefs of the people and their liberation from the dragoness, the varied peoples of the islands have forbidden outsiders to come to even its foot. Even natives are only allowed to approach the lower slopes, and only the Moonspeakers, along with a few others, allowed entrance to the sacred place itself.
Every three years, as the Aspect wheel turns, the Moonspeakers are chosen by a fairly complex combination of chieftain appointed representative, popular vote, and finally, the Starshard.
In addition to the obvious perk of being able to visit the holy site, the Moonspeaker is respected by all the peoples of the islands, for there are no sentient natives who do not know the tales of the Star-Men, whatever their feelings about the subject of divine intervention.
Many people bring the Moonspeaker their problems, great and small, and the same way that the priests and shamans who lived under the reign of Satraramatrmix carried the woes of their parishioners to the Aspects, so does the Moonspeaker attempt to lessen their burdens through guidance and decree. While the Moonspeaker does not actually rule over any one tribe or nation, even the one that they originally come from, throughout history, some of them have been able to exert varying amounts of personal power and affect change among some of the people of the islands.
Moonspeaker At’Mal’Uamii is one such of these; it is said that she might one day unite all the people of the Islands and lead them to a time of plenty through her wisdom and ability to understand the needs of the many.