The land of Celsus used to be a custom setting within a Dungeons and Dragons atmosphere. Player voting has changed this. The island of Celsus is now renamed to Cathera and is found in the north eastern stretches of The Great Sea on the world of Toril. The following will help players understand the world in which they intend to roleplay.
Orb of Abrogation: Pre-History Setting
The Islands of Cathera and Alagira
A Tale of Three Cities
This tale begins on the shores of a small island, nestled in the northeastern corner of The Great Sea. Along the southern portion of the land, the city of Ephesus established itself just to the east of a great swamp. Its agrarian people found the land to be extremely fruitful. Their numbers rapidly grew. In due process of time, disputes between the populace arose, fueled largely by religious differences. The existing City Council refused to establish an official religion of the state, a policy that remains in effect to this day.
This refusal led to two groups of people traveling northward, into the densely packed forests of the island. To the east, Ithaca was established: it’s Banite leadership rules over the city with an iron fist, seeking to wipe Samui off the map. The followers of Mask typically run the merchant class with their black market organizations. Where as the followers of Loviatar at the lowest class are comprised of those that both enforce and suffer under the yoke of the upper classes.
To the east, a second city, Samui, established itself in the rocky outcroppings of the same forest. This group worshiped the Triad deities, and established their city’s laws accordingly. A short time later, a band of Helmites migrated to the city.
Unfortunately, the bitter fires stoked between the people of Samui and the people Ithaca did not extinguish after establishing their own cities. Almost immediately, the two, distinctly different civilizations began warring with one another. Ephesus has remained a neutral party throughout the years. Many of its citizens believe their refusal to allow religion into politics has saved them from similar loss of life. As Ithaca and Samui kept each others populations in check, Ephesus continued to expand, retaining a firm hold upon the title of being Cathera’s most populated city. It opened a satellite community, Mildon, in the foothills of the Gul Adun mountains.
A Looming threat
In 1371 DR, corruption in the Ephesian City Council peaked. A fallen paladin, Nassau Sannard, used intrigue and deception to gain rule over the city. A few goodly men opposed his rule. Toman, the captain of the guard, led the coup. The rebels would surely have fallen to the near-demigod, Blackguard, had it not been for an Orb of Abrogation. The artifact was beyond Toman’s comprehension. Despite this, the minimal amount of its power he was able to tap into nearly destroyed the Nassau. He and his corrupt city council fled deep into the Gul Adun Mountains. Many fear he will return one day, bringing with him a terrible retribution.
The Great Quake of 1371 DR
In the final month of the same year, a powerful earthquake shook the island of Cathera. Mt. Adun, formerly not known to be an active volcano, sprang to life, gushing toxic gasses, soot and lava across Cathera. The locals feared it was to be their homelands demise. However, an unexplained magic took hold upon the mountain range. A wellspring of water exploded from its peaks, snuffing out the molten rock. It raged downward, hungering to find the Great Sea. During its search, it carved its way through earth and rock. It turned its fury against Ephesus, eating away its northeastern corner before turning northward. The deluge eventually found the coast, but, only after nearly splitting Cathera in half: the cities on the west, and the mountains to the east. The wellspring has never ceased flowing. The river it forged continues to carve out its banks, and has thus been named Rockbite Canal.
A great tidal wave struck Cathera’s northern shores a day after the Quake, completely washing away the islands only, albeit tiny, port: Seaside. It’s docks had been used to ferry people to and from its most prolific trade partner, the city of Ceredia.
Amn Comes to Ephesus
The people of Ephesus forged ahead, like they always did. Having a vast river at their back door provided their formerly landlocked home new opportunity. The nation of Amn soon took notice of the isle’s trading potential and established an embassy within Ephesus. The newly linked sea route with Port Nyanzaru, located in Chult, opens up trade and transport with the rest of Faerun. Other settlements in the region also began establishing trade relations with the city. In a twist of fate, the destructive power of the volcano became the best thing to ever happen to Ephesus.
Welcome to Orb of Abrogation!