Much of the ancient history of Stonemire has sadly been lost since the time of the Shattering. When Mirroweld invaded across the natural land bridge between the islands, the phae of Stonemire were caught utterly off guard. At that time, the island had little to no protection on their flat, forest and moor covered island. With no place to hide, Stonemire’s population was slowly chiseled away over the course of the six year invasion.
S’ral, being the deity of neutrality, did not interfere during this time. For six years they watched more and more of their people suffer at the hooves of Mirroweld and their anger at Vronne’s selfish disregard for life finally caused S’ral to interfere. As another large raiding party came to cross the land bridge, the ground began to shake and tremor. Before the eyes of the Mirroweld invaders, great mountains began to rise from the ground, stretching high into the sky. These mountains effectively blocked much of the invasion, and the phae of Stonemire were able to take refuge in the mountains. Barely a year later, Mirroweld finally withdrew, as many deities across the isles came together to put an end to the world-wide violence.
The first eruption of Elderfrost occurred soon after this, signaling Orvanna’s awakening. Stonemire was caught unprepared, and some phae perished in the fire and ashfall, but most were able to escape and waited until the mountain once again calmed. It is not uncommon for Elderfrost to erupt, but none have been as fierce as the eruption in the year before the Dark Age.
At the start of the Dark Age, S’ral’s absence was quickly noted among the more religious phae of Stonemire. The deity was not reaching out as much as they used to, and all signs from them ceased immediately. Deep beneath the mountains, S’ral slept, their power spent in the act of protecting their people. Over time, as he continued to sleep, the magical abilities of Stonemire dwindled into myth and legend, eventually fading completely from memory.
Over the next two centuries, the herd became more and more familiar with the new landscape of the Mountain isle, as it came to be called. Their greatest strength was in the riches of mines. The roots of the newly-raised mountains were rich with ore and gems. Excavation began quickly, and soon wealth began flooding in. For many years following, little of their way of life changed.
A mere decade ago, the first major conflict broke out in Stonemire since the time of the Shattering. After Egon came into power, he pushed for the herd to move higher and higher into the mountains in order to be closer to S’ral. He felt that the herd had become too lax in their living situation by spending far too much time in the lowlands on the Eastern side of the island. Additionally, by this time, much of the herd’s faith in S’ral was waning. With so long spent without a word or sign from the deity, some questioned whether they ever actually existed. Egon wished to find S’ral and bring the herd back into their faith.
In Frosthold of 732, the herd was hit with a massive snow storm that buried much of their markers and coated the mountainsides in feet of snow. When the snow slowed, Egon personally led a party out to seek out Elderfrost’s peak, hoping to make contact with S’ral. Unbeknownst to them, three fawns followed behind. In a tragic accident, the faws triggered an avalanche, and they could not be saved. One of the fawns was Egon’s daughter.
Forced to turn back, the party brought news of the accident. Adira, mate to Egon and a well respected member of the herd, confronted him that night and the fight spread to the whole of the herd. Theirs was not the only family affected by the death of the fawns, and Adira made it clear that she condemned Egon for his zealous pursuit of a deity that didn’t exist for the death of her fawn. If he had only listened and admitted that they needed all of the island, and not just the mountains, their child would still be alive.
The quarrel broke out among more of the herd, and the result was Egon personally chasing Adira down the mountain and into the lowlands. Much of the herd followed and for a few years, quarrels would break out along the lower mountain sides. Those who split from Stonemire reformed under Adira’s leadership, and they began calling themselves the “Lowlanders”, half out of spite for the main herd’s stubborn refusal to use the land.
In the last few years, tentative trade has opened between the two herds, but for the most part their relationship is full of animosity, distrust, and passive aggression.
Since the splintering of the herd, the two factions have only become more set in their ways. They tolerate sharing land with one another, but their differing ideals remain too great for them to bridge the gap.
Year -8 – The first of Mirroweld’s corrupted armies touched Stonemire shores. The island, at the time, was little more than modest forests and moorland, and it left few places for the natives to hide.
Year -2 – Having seen six years of casualties and assaults on their shore, S’ral has had enough, and uses every ounce of their power to erect a natural barrier between Stonemire and the sea-and-land routes to Mirroweld. After their grand display, they amble into their mountains to rest, too weary to aid Nue in her campaign, but figuring that their blockade of high mountains is enough to stem Mirroweld’s northward advancement.
Year -1 – Mirroweld shatters as Nue is victorious in her efforts. At the same time, Orvanna discovers that she’s been forcefully relocated from her deep caverns near the mantle and pushed closer to the surface than she would like. Her rage causes Elderfrost to erupt, although it calms by the year’s out. There is little more that affects the herd beyond ashfall, making for a prosperous growing season in the following year
Year 0 – 50 of the Dark Age – Stonemire becomes acquainted with their new land. After a few generations, their magic begins to weaken and fade, and by six generations after the mountains were raised, magic had vanished entirely from the native phae. After twelve, they have forgotten completely what their magic used to be. They readjust their lives to accommodate not having magic, and rely on physicality and what they can do with their inborn telekinesis.
Year 51 – 112 of the Dark Age – They begin exploring the mountains, and after discovering rich natural resources, they begin mining. Visiting phae with earth magic from Vinelocke are recruited to help ensure that the mines are safe and repaid with gems and smelted ore to craft with. Visiting phae from Dawnspire are recruited to help with ventilation of the mines so that fewer die from toxic and dangerous gasses. Some of these phae stay or make routine trips back to help with new mines and new constructions, as they are compensated handsomely for their aid.
Year 113 – 150 of the Dark Age – They develop a reputation for being humble and hard-working, and forge a positive relation with the neighboring herds. Their main exports of gold, gems, and valuable ore make them a trading superpower in the archipelago. They build their capital of Ravenmoor Cairn with the aid of their allies to the south to help move, shape, and bind rock and plant alike.
Year 150 – 231 of the Dark Age – Their way of life is largely unchanged and harmonious, moving from rich grazing grounds in the summer in the mountains to safe shelters from storms in the forests. Tales of their god pass into legend, and tales of a strange being within the depths of the mountains that isn’t S’ral become slightly more commonplace. In the interim, Ebonvale Redoubt is built into the mountains as a place to shelter storms and keep a permanent stronghold in them year round. Beacons are placed atop the highest peaks; Icewatch, closest to the tundra, Elderfrost, the tallest peak in the Ironcrag Mountains, and Stonereach towards the south. They are to be lit in times of need.
Year 229 of the Dark Age – Egon becomes the leader of Stonemire after conquering the previous leader in battle and passing all of the tests set before him with flying colors. He is hot-headed, but seems to have the herd’s best interest at heart.
Year 232 of the Dark Age – During a freak accident, the fawns of Egon and Adira are lost in an avalanche. The two blame each other for the accident, and the resulting argument splits the herd in defense of one versus the other. Adira takes her followers to the lowlands, while Egon remains in his lofty mountains. The herd is fractured.