Vesna, Goddess of Unity and Elliria
For a long time, Vesna was worshiped without question by just about everyone in Elliria. She made herself known in a number of different ways, never truly interfering with anyone’s lives really. More like providing guidance toward certain paths. Whether people who received this guidance would actually follow it was on them, though. Doubt in Vesna began to grow when horrible things would happen. How could a loving Goddess stand by while the people who worshiped her suffered? The people wanted more from her than she could give. There are unspoken rules associated with these things. No mortals could truly understand this.
Amol, False God
Amol is a scam born of greed and hatred for Vesna. As soon as doubt started to grow in Vesna, there were whispers of the one true God Amol. No one really knows who started the spread, but once the Assault on Avelaine happened it exploded. More and more people were pledging their hearts to Amol, a God that didn’t even exist. Some of the people that preached about him actually did believe he was real, but there are a select few individuals who still are very much aware of the false God.
Avelaine's Downward Spiral
Avelaine was a beautiful coastal city in Elliria where fishing was big business. Initially, only a few ships would be sent out each day to fetch whatever the sailors could find in the Oronear Sea. In the early days, these charters would be solely focused on capturing fish that would be of use to citizens of Avelaine, whether that be as food or materials to create tools. Some fish were even found to be helpful in creating medicines. As more discoveries came about, more and more ships were sent out with newly employed fishermen. With this came the finding of Sea Tigers.
The one that was sighted first was huge, but turned out to be a young one as the folks of Avelaine found out later. All the people on the boat could make out of the creature were its bright yellow eyes, what appeared to be dark stripes along its body, and the ridges all along its back and down to the end of its tail. This creature did not attack, merely surfaced for a time and got frightened by the nearby boat. The fishermen however were terrified, and began to feel like they were ill-equipped for these journeys. They had just come across a sea monster after all. Upon returning to the marina, news of this creature spread like wildfire. People demanded weaponry to protect themselves on these voyages, just in case. This was provided to them, of course.
It wasn’t long after the first sighting of a sea tiger when fishermen actually managed to catch one. This was an accident at the time, and it was an even smaller one than the first one sighted. It was a cub. Even being smaller than the first, it was still massive. Just small enough to fit in the fishing net amongst a myriad of other catches. This was the first time people were actually killed by a sea tiger. Once the net was hoisted aboard, the creature lunged from the pile of fish and pounced on a nearby fisherman. The others looked on in horror as the creature tore into their colleague.
It was this interaction that gave the people of Avelaine a better picture of what they were dealing with, as well as what helped them name them. Even as a cub the creature was quite muscular. Its body was overall a dark blue, with dark, navy blue stripes, and a lighter colored underbelly. It had a very long, whip-like tail that it seemed to use as another appendage. On the ship the creature walked about on all four webbed feet. It had a pretty long snout, ending in a blackened, cat-like nose and a set of razor sharp teeth. Its gills were one of its more interesting features. They were located on either side of its head, initially covered by dark, fin-like structures. When the creature began to threat display, these fins flared out and a thin, bright red membranous tissue erupted from the gills, almost giving the illusion that the creature had a mane. The thing took the lives of two other people on the boat and then was wrangled to a point where it could no longer hurt anyone. The men were shocked that the thing appeared to be fine out of the water, breathing as it normally would even with gills. It was brought back to shore where there was much debate on what should be done with it. It was smaller than the other one that was seen, but it was still large enough to provide some new meat to the market. However, scientists wanted to be given the chance to examine it. This was a new creature afterall. It was eventually decided that they would give over the creature to researchers, who found out some pretty interesting information about them.
Firstly, the creature had an organ similar to one found in a common household pet that allowed them to breathe air. Although it’s similar and appears to provide the same function, the organ is significantly more intricate in the sea tigers. These things could come up on land whenever they wanted. This of course was cause for concern, what with the overfishing that was occurring at the time. Researchers did think of the possibility that these things would come up on land to feed if they ran out of food in the sea. Anyway, research continued and it was found that the meat had some sort of toxin in it that would be poisonous if eaten. Researchers also noted that this was probably a female version of the species, at three meters long with a two meter long tail. This was just assumed as the first sighting had been just a bit bigger and had perhaps been a male. This was very much incorrect as they would eventually find out. Even at the sizes that the researchers of Avelaine knew about, they were suggesting that they back off on the fishing on account of them being concerned about them being able to come up on land and attack. The response was to create more weapons to combat these creatures and begin exterminating them as well.
There were a number of protests amongst the cityfolk about this unethical treatment of wildlife and fishing, most of which included researchers that worked with the captured specimen directly. They tried to warn that these creatures would be dangerous if trifled with, and that the captured creature only attacked the way it did because it was provoked. The fishermen as well as the higher council of Avelaine dismissed these concerns, not even a little bit worried that the overfishing as well as the extermination of sea tigers could have significant consequences. They had no idea.
The overfishing continued, and sea tigers were killed right and left. Occasionally they would fight back and people would get pulled into the sea, further solidifying in the minds of the fisherman that these creatures were dangerous and the extermination was in fact needed. What they didn’t realize they were doing, in a way, was introducing another accessible food source for the sea tigers. With the lack of fish left for them, the sea tigers began to get more aggressive with boats and some would even follow fishermen back up onto land.
These ruthless killings of the sea tigers continued for quite some time before anyone noticed that something strange was happening. One day, there was an outsider coming into the city, seemingly from the coast. Avelaine occasionally gets random people that walk along the beach for a while from both the north and south and happen upon the city in their travels. This person was different, though. They approached in a long ragged cloak, and no one was able to make out their face. It seemed like they were making an effort to stay hidden under that cloak. People mentioned weird noises coming from under the hood as they would walk by, almost like they were attempting to talk. It didn’t take long for folks to get unsettled and the guard was called to action. The figure was approached by a couple of officers, but didn’t seem to acknowledge them when they were addressed by them. It would be noted later that the only thing the officers were able to make out was a low, sort of gurgly voice say, “Just… passing… through…” One of the officers grew frustrated and yanked on the figure’s cloak. This is when cityfolk had their first encounter with the octopeds. Beneath the cloak was a gross imitation of a thin man, but it seemed the creature was having a hard time keeping the form/illusion. The creature’s attempt at human eyes was all wrong and one of the arms was just a long, dragging tentacle. There was an incredibly loud screech emitted from the creature and it began to run back toward the coast even as its human form deteriorated. The officers gave chase and eventually caught the creature and, with the help of some nearby fisherman, were able to net the thing.
This creature too was handed over to researchers, though many people just wanted it killed. This sea monster was somehow able to imitate human form and speech, not well, but the illusion was there. Why would it do that? What sort of intelligent creature were they dealing with? It was later found that the octopeds were able to communicate with and mimic other species with ease as well, including the sea tigers to an extent. This was how the octopeds were able to relay information.
There were more incidents of octopeds trying to infiltrate the city following the capture of the first octoped, each more disturbing than the last it seemed. They were learning to mimic the human form well and maintain that form for much longer periods of time. What began to cause significant issues amongst cityfolk was when it was found that the octopeds could mimic specific people in the community. People who were trusted. How could anyone know absolutely for sure that someone was who they said they were and what were these things up to anyway?
Assault on Avelaine
The sea tigers began their attack eventually, making quick work of the marinas. Quite a few people stayed back to try and fight them off, but there were far too many of them. Most people fled the coast. Those who stayed would find that the nightmare was far from over. The octopeds began acting as lures for people who stayed back, drawing them out of their hiding places with a friendly face. If anyone was foolish enough to entertain these tricks, a nearby sea tiger would be ready to pounce.
The Summer War brought even further devastation to Avelaine. People tried to organize and take Avelaine back, but the sea tigers were resilient and learned their tactics quickly. They were able to adapt accordingly, and make efforts useless. There also may have been some players on the inside making things even harder for the people of Avelaine trying to defend themselves and their home. Avelaine was left in ruins, abandoned by its citizens for the foreseeable future.
Development of Elisora
A settlement was formed of peoples migrating from the coast. The first group staked their claim in a beautiful region surrounded by forests and filled with plenty of resources with which to create a community. As they began to build, more and more people would show up, usually from the coast. There were others though that would come from other directions as well, which did make certain people curious about what else was out there. Who else? These newcomers were always welcomed into the community with open arms. There was a lot of work to be done after all. As the community grew, it seemed like certain people within the community were taking charge of the situation rather than doing work with everyone else. It was a group of six people, Bren and Gwyneth (humans), Kailu and Liluth (elves), and Ladoros and Phellia (tieflings). They were part of the initial group of people to arrive at this spot, and they deemed themselves to be worthy of governing this community as it grew. Most were in agreement with them, but there were others that weren’t a fan of this idea. Those that opposed this motion were fewer than those that were for, however, so generally people stayed quiet about their grievances. Time went on and the settlement grew to a point where the powers that be wanted to establish a name for their place. They eventually agreed on the name Elisora.
Turmoil Amongst the Peoples of the Elisoran region
As Elisora grew, so too did the issues between different groups of people. The cost of living in the city kept rising to a point where it was impossible to stay there and continue to be able to feed yourself. Not to mention there were people that held certain ideologies that were less than desirable. In general, people were feeling like the city was going downhill. So some of these people started developments outside of the city where they would ideally be able to grow their own foods and not pay the obnoxious taxes associated with living within the city. As this kept happening throughout this time period, the Greater Council of Elisora decided they needed to take action. If people were going to keep leaving, bigger claims of land would need to be made in Elisora’s name to encompass these outer villages surrounding the city. So that’s what they did. The people in the outer developments did not have the power to fight back on these claims, especially not when compared to the power that the city of Elisora now had access to. All they could do was protest these actions, which did work to a point.
(individual characters decide for themselves whether they personally support the demon uprising)
Demons begin ravaging the outer towns/villages. The body count starts piling up, and it seems that the outer villages are the ones getting hit the hardest by these attacks.
Villagers believe that someone in inner city is unleashing demons on them to stop the protests. They would of course be doing this in secret though, as this practice is highly illegal and punishable by life in prison, or death depending on the damage done as a result of this crime.
Accusations are thrown around, become yet another subject of protests. The powers that be deny having any involvement in these crimes, and further claim that no one in the inner city could possibly stoop so low as that. Following that, they suggested protesters look inward for who could possibly be doing this.
The demons end up targeting the villages for some reason. Perhaps because some of them are already suffering in many different ways and that makes them a tastier target. This person keeps summoning in an effort to finally succeed in exacting their revenge on the inner city, but keep failing. Eventually, this character ends up finding a way to summon within the city without getting caught and demons begin additionally attacking those in the city. This really puts a fire under the powers that be and they are quick to come back to their claims that someone in the outer villages is carrying out these attacks.
Religious conflict is also a thing. There are people in both villages as well as the city that believe certain people are responsible for the attacks. In fact, one of the biggest churches in the region is co-owned by a myriad of different species.
Some people are also considering migrating further inland, following a river that continues to run east of Elisora since this region is no longer safe to live in.
The demon attacks make it harder for the inner city of Elisora to get the goods they request of the villagers, not only because the villagers are also losing materials and crops due to demons, but it is also dangerous for the city guard to go out and fetch these things from the villages. There are more designated times set aside for this process, and they ask more of villages each time now so they don’t have to worry about going as often as they did before. This of course poses a problem for the villagers as they are left with even less than they had before and additionally makes it more dangerous for them to go out for longer periods of time in order to go get what they need from the city.