The Lore: "Centuries ago, on the night that came to be called The Cataclysm, our ancestors knew nothing but terror and chaos. "The moons collided; the shards fell; the ground beneath their feet quaked; the very heavens themselves burned streaks of white fire from the skies, lighting the trees and their very homes ablaze, with a raging fury beyond compare. There was no talk that night of an Avatar coming to rescue our kin. There was no discussion of the sanctity of the virtues. There was only fear. "In the grip of this fear, in the midst of this chaos, families fled their farms, merchants abandoned the shops that were their lives, citizens of entire towns and city-states scattered to the four winds, in search of safety. Most were lost in the Cataclysm, to the ages. Some found refuge in the barren wastes of the deserts or the murky swamps. Others fought tooth and nail for refuge in the hollows of underground caverns. Others still built their lair of peace together by the water's edge, near the trees. There were even some who found asylum and company in the mines beneath Britannia, or a light of sanctuary in the cliffs. But this is not their story. "Nay, this story is of a brave few who rose above the infernoed wasteland which they had once called their home, to escape the fires, the quaking ground, the scorched air. These souls chose to make their way to the tallest mountain they could find, and upon reaching it, began to climb, carrying with them their young ones, the injured neighbors, the scant possessions, food, and tools they had managed to rescue from the chaos. They clawed their way hand over hand up the mountain until they rose above the suffocating air of the inferno below, all of them coughing viciously, trying to expel the fouled smoke from their weary lungs. At times, one of them or another would admit they had no more strength to continue the climb, but a word of encouragement from another, or hearing a shriek of pain from the grounds below, or seeing another ball of fire from the heavens streaking past - any of these was motivation enough to trek on and proceed upward. "Time was lost during The Cataclysm, and each hour felt to our exhausted refugees like a fabled eternity forgotten in the ages. Yet they dug their numb fingers into the mountain, and climbed ever onward; the air growing ever colder, albeit more refreshing after the fiery nightmare from which they were escaping. Soil gave way to solid rock, and the climbers found it more and more difficult to locate handholds from which to pull themselves higher. Had they any more tears to weep or energy to give, they may have succumbed then to despair, but they pressed on. It was shortly thereafter when the first of them pulled himself upon the spire. "The group found themselves upon a frost-covered flattened area of the mountain, near its peak. It was here they were able to finally rest, breathe some fresh air, tend to their wounds, and build a small fire for warmth, and for cooking what little food the group had managed to bring. After going about these tasks in silence, and sitting for a time of rest and reflection, they huddled together, covered for warmth in what cloth they had, and slept. "At dawn, the rising sun's rays burned through the smoked-charred ashes clouding the sky. The survivors looked down over the seared landscape they had once called home. They mourned the dead, shed tears for what they had lost, and murmured aloud to each other their lost hope regarding their futures. This went on for some time. However, then a man, the one who had led them in the climb, the one who had first reached their refuge, slowly turned, tears drying on his reddened cheeks, and addressed them. He spoke unto them, "'Hear my words, my kin! Although the very stars above rained their fury upon the ground, and burned our homes and farms and forests, we ourselves did NOT burn! We found the courage to rise above the star's fire, to climb to a place it could not reach us! We found our sanctuary here: on this very mountain spire! Whereas this cold frosted air was once a threat, it has become our salvation! Here, we can forge a new life! Here, we can begin anew! Here, we can rebuild our lives and families, and support each other as a whole!' "Upon hearing the man's words, the hopes of the gathered survivors lifted, and by the end of his speech, they cheered together. The group began to work together. Using what little they had, they built some crude tools. They managed to cut down the evergreens growing on the mountain, hunt for food, and build shelter. They gathered every night by the fire to exchange what they had collected during the day and share ideas, or stories from before The Cataclysm, or ideas, or hope. And their community grew, and thrived...." To read more about FrostSpire, click the banner below to be redirected to the website of the Shady Vale Syndicate!