“The Period of Cataclysm”
It was to a handful of emaciated and distressed citizens that a stern warning was given, withering words spoken gently and with a smiling face: “Make this vile city a better place…or we reclaim it and regrow the forest over its stinking ruins…”
Perhaps it was because the citizens were too hungry to obey to the demand of the fairy folk…or perhaps the fairy folk hindered all the citizens’ attempts to make the city rich once again. Regardless, the city was struck by multiple disastrous catastrophes. Its houses were devoured by bugs, and it is said that the buildings which survived the pests were set aflame by the hands of an insane carpenter. Some stories tell that the fairy and mortal folk united to kill the mad carpenter; others say that he threw himself into the very flames he created. Yet others claim that he was rescued by a beautiful young redhead with whom he fled, wed, and lived happily ever after with.
Once the consuming flames were extinguished, peace seemed to return to the land. The following spring brought a wandering carnival troupe to the Isle during the legendary St. Vitus Festival. Anchoring ships lined up off the shores, and busy rowboats shuttled back and forth between the docks and the ships to carry traders, guests, and goods.
However, it is said that during the festival the sounds of drumming and humming arose from the depths of the forest. It is unknown whether it was caused by the fairies or by the Watcher, or if it was the wrath of the Isle itself…but there came a wave of devastating storms and earthquakes. Whole buildings and uprooted trees were lifted and whirled off into the mists; near the humans’ castle — a castle built by a queen of the Alberic bloodline –, the land cracked and was rapidly filled with the raging seas. The ground began to spit fire, and boiling water erupted from the earth in high geysers. The St. Vitus Village and Abbey went untouched…but on the Alberic side, where the city once stood was now a wasteland of destruction. Only the castle and the Cock-A-Hoop tavern survived the elements, standing proudly among the ruins.
The eerie mists which had always surrounded the Isle wafted closer, blanketing the island and soaking into the land. Once again the Isle laid still, and the survivors carefully began to try rebuild what once was. The forest swiftly grew and flourished at an unnatural speed; tiny saplings poked through the layers of mist, and bird song and laughter echoed through the trees. In less than a year the city’s ruins was thickly covered by large healthy forest.
It seemed as if peace had returned to the Isle of Dee. A human council was created, and as time went by a new St. Vitus festival was held. A hunter became a barkeep, a spring queen a farmer, and a fair maid pregnant. Times were happy, and the Seelie and Unseelie were at ease with the mortal residents of the Isle…that is, until the sea surrounding Dee to churn and twist. Creatures began to rise from the depths, various creatures so bizarre that they were impossible to describe. It is said that some were beautiful and some were grotesque, but they all brought death and carnal desire to the humans.
For unknown reasons, the human councilor went to sacrifice herself to the waters; stories tell that the mer king accepted her plea and took her as a courtesan. Simultaneously rumors began to spread that the elven Cora was the mer king’s lover; she was attacked and dismissed — stripped of her title — by the suspicious fairy folk. While she was punished, the mer king demanded more sacrifices; he threatened to destroy the entire Isle if its denizens did not submit to him.
It is said that an innocent and brave elven child carried the burden of a heavy black pearl: the seal of peace between the elves and the waters. But rumor has it that the pearl was stolen by a jealous soul and replaced by a replica. When the mer king returned to the deep to sleep for another thousand years, the humans hurried to destroy the breed of the waters by hunting and destroying mer eggs. The former human councilor rescued one egg and, together with a mortal lover, raised it per human standards.
Just as peace seemed to have returned once more, thunderous waves from deep within the land shook the surface and the whole St. Vitus mountain collapsed down onto the Isle; the St. Vitus Abbey was swallowed by the earth, and a dark monastery was exposed. The waters began to rage once again, flooding the Isle in a devastating thunderstorm; during the destruction, the surviving population fled to the dark monastery and held a Costume Ball to dance and celebrate the Final Death. Ships were set afloat, and elven scouts announced to have found land nearby; the survivors boarded the ships and fled the sinking island. Tales of the adventures that took place on those ships may or may not be told.
No one knows how long the ships strayed through the magical mists surrounding Dee. For those aboard the ships it may have felt like moments, years, or centuries…but when they found land, they found themselves once again at the Isle of Dee. They had been thrown back in time, seemingly toyed with by the Watchers. The weary and frightened survivors went ashore, intent on a new beginning…