Prologue: The Prophecy
Written here are notes found in remains of a log in the Library of History. It is transcribed in the hand of scribe Oryn of Crescent Valley:
Eve of the Storm Moon, year 392
Few speak of the times before the War of Sky and Sea waged. None alive can recall a time before the war.
No direct attacks have been made since year 388, but the aftermath remains, slowly draining Aethyros of life as more and more witch factions feel the need to align themselves with either Sky or Sea. The Priestly Tribes, pledged to the gods, refused to align ourselves with a faction, and both Sky and Sea attacked, marking us as traitors to their identically hubristic causes.
We retreated from the mainland to the eastern islands, once inhabited only by fae. While there was conflict between the fae and witches in times past, they have welcomed us onto the islands and have offered much help. The Clerics worried about debt, but the sidhe assured there was no debt towards us; the only debt any witches needed to pay was the Sky and Sea covens to the land they are destroying.
We had saved what we could carry, and sidhe and gnomes helped us build on the rocky outermost islands. We built three libraries: Prophecy, History, and Devotion.
I have been appointed as head scribe of Cleric Dedric, who will be visiting the Sea Faction’s territory in south Aethyros. He and Cleric Yr hope to have the Sea Faction agree to the Priestly Tribe’s neutral stance in the War. Cleric Iri fears more attacks in the future, but she heads north with Cleric Rayne to speak with the Sky Faction.
I pray that Cleric Iri’s intuition may be wrong, but I feel in my heart that, as always, she is correct.
The Sea and Sky Factions have never favored the Priestly Tribes, rumors stating they sought to connect to the gods themselves. There is word the leaders of the Factions even call themselves High Priests and High Priestesses.
I fear their pride is what has driven the gods away from Aethyros.
These are dark times; Death may be the only of the gods left wandering the land. She sends Her white-robed children from house to house, field to field.
Even the children of Sky and Sea cannot block out their screams.
Even they cannot outrun Her hounds.
Head Scribe A’nir, Library of History
Note from Oryn of Crescent Valley: The neutral stance of the Priestly Tribes is still not observed by either Faction, though they have not attacked since the fires at the end of the year of the year 412.
Hope rests only in a prophecy Cleric Iri, First Oracle of the Islands, realized upon visiting the Sky Faction’s territory:
Hate fueled by pride cold as the arctic froze the land in a constant winter of war, but there will come a day when love with passion hot as the sun will draw them to the spring of peace.