Bay of Peace: History and Rumors
Perhaps once an inland island, the Bay of Peace is now open to the sea and forms an ideal place for sailing and fishing. Halfway along the Bay's perimeter begins the border with Bilkan; although, this is ignored by the locals, war or not. Along with a healthy population of fisher folk, the natives of Enka often come down to fish and rarely so do a few residents of Gi.
For most of recorded history, the bay has been just what it is today; a superior spot for fishing and sailing. Swimming was also a part of the bay's history, until after Bloodstone landed and the beaches and hills ringing the bay were covered in shacks, huts, and houses of all description. The salty tang of smoked fish was everywhere and wild blueberry bushes grew all the way to the beach. Rumors and stories told around campfires say the Shark Lord swam these waters long ago. The halflings of Enka have a fable that tells of this time:
One day a young halfling lad was tired of catching small fish for his supper. He saw, far out on the Bay, a rock that was dry at high tide. Through strong currents and sandbar sharks he swam, holding his knapsack of gear and food aloft, and finally, he reached the rock just as he was too tired to keep going. The boy began to fish and caught more fish and bigger fish than he ever had before. Just as he was preparing to eat his midday meal, a giant Bay White jumped out of the water, the biggest he'd ever seen, and demanded food. "I am the Shark Lord, and I am hungry!"? the huge beast yelled.
The boy was terrified and threw the first thing he could grab into the shark's waiting mouth; his lunch, including his mother's home-baked juicy blueberry and cream pie with the cinnamon pie shell. The Shark Lord bit and swallowed, and then yelled in his booming voice, "That was tasty. You may live."
A few days later the boy was at his rock again, braving deep water and a soggy lunch to get there, when the Shark Lord returned. The giant creature once again flopped out of the Bay, demanding food, and once again the boy threw his lunch into the cavern of razor-sharp teeth before him.
This went on for a few more weeks, each time the boy taking dangerous risks to fish on his rock, and every few days the Shark Lord demanding and receiving the boy's lunch. One day the boy arose late and was running to get to his rock when he realized he'd left the smoked fish, jerky, roasted nuts, dried figs, wedge of sweet farmer's cheese, and slices of rich creamy blueberry pie at home. He almost turned back, but wanted to fish so badly that he went on without his food. "Maybe the Shark Lord won't come today,"? he thought.
Sure enough, the Shark Lord came demanding his tribute. The boy, desperate, threw some of his fresh catch into the Shark Lord's mouth, but the gigantic beast spit them out and yelled, "I eat fish all day! Give me pie!"The boy could only shrug and say, "But I have no pie today."? And with that, the Shark Lord gobbled up the boy and called to his children under the waters and left.
The motto? Never forget to pack a lunch!
However, sharks in great numbers had not been noticed in the waters in anyone's living memory before the events of 1392.
As with the rest of the island, after Bloodstone's destructive landing and the various diseases brought by his fiends and unliving minions, the bay was left war-torn and scarred. Huge divots were rent into the shoreline where the landing boats rammed on to the land. Everything that moved was killed for pleasure. Homes were burnt or smashed and trees and the beloved blueberry bushes were set ablaze. The large numbers of unfortunate souls caught in the suddenness of the invasion were discarded into the water when the army was done with them. Sharks returned to the bay to feast on the floating bodies of the dead, and many of the few survivors succumbed to skin diseases and a sickness of rotting flesh.
It was shortly after the army of adventurers and allies cleared Blood's forces off the island that the first of what the natives call goutaro were seen in the tall grass off the beach. At first thinking them children, contact was attempted, only to find these creatures were not in fact human, halfling, elf, dwarf, or any other race known to Tilmar; instead, they were merely shaped as a biped with a layer of diseased slime coating them. They looked as if they were gnomes shaped out of dung then left in the sun. However, the appearance of the strange creatures did hasten the cleansing of the land; they seemed to absorb the taints. It only took one tragedy to figure out that a human with a disease of any kind would be attacked and killed, and that the creatures are obscenely strong for their small size. Locals generally leave them be and some now pay them respects for the healing process they have catalyzed.
As for the rest of the bay, trees are being replanted, houses rebuilt, and thanks to the druid Brisbane, blueberries once again scatter the hillsides. The sharks appear to be a permanent new addition as well.