The Blinding Lands: History and Rumors
A rocky, treacherous island contains the inhospitable region known as The Blinding Lands but very few call this wilderness ravaged by ice and wind by this name. To most, the region is known as Black Ice Isle, a land of mountains, forests of sturdy pine, ferocious animals, and folk forged in ice and blood.
Savage and untamed wildmen are the island's only inhabitants. They were first contacted during the expedition of exploration of 1021. Barbarian hunters, primitive men of great strength and resilience, half-breeds, and the heartiest of other humanoids roam the land in small familiar tribes whose only goal is to survive. The land has chiseled its inhabitants into a fierce folk living an almost bestial existence: the weak are left to die, fire is hallowed, and only the strong survive.
A passage written by Ghefelt, an anthropologist of Leringard, in the spring of 1021, describes one of the island's clans:
We, men of civilized lands'scholars, clergy, and arcanists'were surprised as we finally approached the tribe of hairy men that we called Marii. We had observed and gained their trust over a period of many weeks and were greeted with roast deer meat. Of all the days we had watched them, not a puff of smoke was seen from their camp or their sturdy tents; we immediately understood it as a sign of respect. We came to understand that it was a sign of friendship and alliance as fire was only used sparingly. The greatest honor bestowed on another person or clan was to allow them to touch the flames of the chief's firepit, an honor that only the wizard Eroll of our group was granted after teaching their shaman how to defrost and dry wood by touching it with the Al'Noth.
Our stay with the clan was very insightful. We watched an end-of-life ceremony in which an old man, having finally lost his ability to chew his own food, was given a ritualistic stone axe and the skin of a bear and set out voluntarily to hunt for the tribe's next meal. We first thought it was a hunting ritual of sorts for we thought it ridiculous to send a man to his death, but we were told that the old man was taking the path never to return. He was to die at the maw of the greatest beast he could find. The whole clan, our group included, would fast for 3 days as a sign of respect for a man that managed to die of old age; a rare occurence in their tribe. On the fourth day, his life would be remembered during a feast and the hunt for the beast that dared take such a revered man from them would start.
Savage, brutal, and chiseled out of rock, wind and ice were these men, but they are only the fruit of the land where they live and notable barbarians.
Native historical records do not exist; only the stories told by explorers and adventurers that trekked across the isle tell its tale. Nothing new is ever discovered about the past of this land.