Anphillia Early History
During the tempest which created the world, great volcanoes erupted across the planet and numerous islands were formed as many of the volcanoes rose out of the ocean and spewed forth countless tonnes of lava. Several such volcano’s created a small archipelago in the great watery expanse which became known as the trackless sea. The largest of these remote islands is today called Anphillia.
The island still bears the marks of its fiery creators, several weather smoothed mountains strike high into the sky and the largest of these mountains now lays host to the island’s only Blue Dragon. The Wyrm's name Taluk, originally Elven in nature is tal- (city) luk (to swallow).
c. -37000DR during Toril’s most recent ice age, much of the trackless sea was covered by an enormous glacier which stretched for thousands of miles and encompassed Anphillia. It was during this time that the isle received it's first humanoid inhabitants in the form of giants, orcs, trolls and the like.
As this ice age came to an end, Anphillia once again found itself isolated in the ocean and the creatures that had taken residence on the isle dominated the landscape. The island was not found again by humanoids for several dozen millennia.
It was around -7600DR, following the fall of the Telantiwar Drow empire that Anphillia was discovered by its first civilised race through a connection to the underdark below the island. Drow scout parties recorded visiting a large island and documented the rich ore and mineral deposits, untouched since it's formation.
The Drow did not stay to take the resources or form a city however, considering the underdark area under the isle to be too readily accessible from the surface. Their expedition records thought lost to the ages, changed hands for coin many times over the centuries and eventually was left forgotten in the royal library of Tethyr.
Anphillia Recent History
Our story beings in earnest with King Alemander Anphis IV of House Tethyr in 1331DR. His court wizard, the first in several millennia to successfully translate the ancient drow parchments, convinced Alemander to dispatch his own expedition to uncover this resource rich land.
After many moons on rough seas, the scout ship 'Blue Dolphin' found a the series of islands and weighed anchor in deep water upon the southern edge of what was by far the largest island. The initial exploration was difficult, with thick brush covering many parts and untamed monsters roaming free. However, even in their short trip they found many valuable ores and mineral deposits, which was promptly reported back to the King.
In order to both tame the island and establish a viable mining operation, in the spring of 1333 a trio of cargo ships led by the Royal flagship set sail from the port of Velen. Their primary cargo, a royal guard detachment under the command of Guard Captain Gord MacCleaven along with a strong mining force of indentured servants.
This mining operation was successfully established on the isle, proclaimed in the name of the king as 'Anphillia'. The operation was managed from a fort just inland dubbed Ramsallis, the island garrison also maintained a small outpost to the west and a series of mines across the island including a bitterly cold mountainous area to the north east.
By 1335 news had spread to many naval folk of this distant archipelago far across the trackless sea, a useful way point on the perilously long voyage between the continents of Faerûn and Maztica. Over the coming years an independent trading port became well established in the south harbour by the wealthy and cunning merchant Captain Ranzing with traders from Amn and Waterdeep flocking to the isle.
For some years the merchant port of Ranzington as it became known, flourished in tandem with a successful Tethyrn mining operation across the island. However in 1347, King Alemander of Tethyr was killed along with much of his family, and in a stroke the royal garrison on Anphillia was cut-off and isolated.
In contrast to the years of chaos which then followed across Tethyr, MacCleaven enforced an increasingly strict order in Anphillia. This was met with rising discontent amongst both the people of Ranzington and the indentured labourers. Seeing an opportunity to take control of the mines, 'Lord' Ranzing, spent years secretly arming and inciting a miners to revolt against the stern MacCleaven.
Meanwhile in 1336, a small peaceful community founded by Lady Shilar settled on one of the smaller islands in the archipelago. Rumour has it that Lady Shilar brought her followers here to destroy a great lost evil, however she and her followers refuse to speak of such matters to outsiders. They are a somewhat reclusive people with little interest in taking sides in the war although they are known for their desire for peace.
In autumn of 1347, the great blue wyrm, Taluk, arrived on Anphillia and took up residence on a high mountaintop overlooking the isle. Less than a month after his arrival, the dragon is disturbed by an adventuring party from Ranzington and Taluk questioned then devoured the explorers in short order, finally descending upon Port Ranzington.
The mighty dragon laid waste to the western side of the town, two moored ships and several establishments in the city. The blue dragon threatened more death and destruction if he is disturbed again. This infamous day is referred to in the port city as 'The day of terror'.
In 1364 the revolt was both sudden and bloody, Fort Ramsallis was left in ruins and Captain MacCleaven fell defending the retreat of a still sizable force to the western outpost. The leader of the rebels, a surly dwarf called Hullet claimed the guard captain's scalp with the down-swing of his axe and took his captain insignia before unceremoniously burning his corpse.
Having lost the element of surprise, the rebels regrouped, rearmed and fortified their position in mountains to the North East, establishing Fort Axfell whilst the remaining soldiers did the same in their western outpost, which they named Fort Cleaven.
As the months turned to years, tension and regular skirmishes between the two forts continued although neither had the strength for a comprehensive victory over the other. Both forts sent out calls to the mainland for people to join their cause and help the win the war for Anphillia.
The year has recently turned to 1372DR, the Year of Wild Magic and both Forts' Axfell and Cleaven have sent out renewed, urgent calls to the mainland for able bodied men and women to join their respective causes. Whether they come seeking honor or glory it matters not, all that truly matters is to finally win the war for Anphillia once and for all.
However as spring approaches, an unnatural chill has settled on the island. Could it be only the superstition of weary soldiers, or may it be a sign of things to come?