Yarali: History and Rumors
Once a popular and respectable fishing town, Yarali was renowned for its luxurious imports and its stunning white cliffs, which could be spotted way out at sea. Private traders often made for the easily recognizable landmark, stopping a few days in the port and unloading some of the finer things they had collected from around the islands'things which seldom made their way to the rest of Bilkan.
A curious, yearly event was the migratory trek of the crabs across Yarali. Once per year, the crabs would swarm from the sea at the northern end and march relentlessly through the village of Yarali, eventually reaching a cove by the Woods of Tranquility where they would lay their young. This had become a yearly festival of sorts amongst the villagers. This however, like many things, all changed with the coming of Blood's armies.
The tale of Yarali is now a tragic one. Unlike most other locations on Tilmar where Blood's forces arrived and attacked until all people bowed into submission and then moved to the next town, in Yarali, they stayed and fortified.
The villagers were turned into slaves with the surviving males chopping trees and building boats under torturous supervision and the females working in the fields, foraging for food to feed the troops, or worse, given as play things to Blood's more higher ranking officers. More and more, villagers went missing or were slain on the spot as examples to the others for crimes no worse than stealing food or attempting escape. Sleeper's Isle, where the village had long buried their dead, now had ceremonies almost daily.
On the final day, when Blood's forces finally fell and the island was liberated, the outcome was not so sweet for the remaining people of Yarali. The village was practically burned to the ground, and many of the remaining villagers were slain randomly by Blood's troops in fits of rage. Those who survived did so by fleeing to the beaches and by hiding in the many caves. When the smoke from their burned village had cleared the air, the remaining villagers of Yarali crept back up to their smoldering homes. With heavy hearts, they began moving the bodies of their fallen friends to Sleeper's Isle.
Yet, as a testament to the strength and resilience of the Bilkanese people, once the last of the dead had been buried, and the last scorched building finally tumbled to the ground, a tear streaked Marsha Availie clambered to a clear spot in the village. She slowly began dragging planks of wood over to the area, arranging them carefully on the floor. The villagers watched, feeling lost and in despair.
"What are you doing, Marsha?" One asked quietly. With a shaking hand, she reached for some nails and a hammer on the floor. She stood with a determined smile as tears flooded her cheeks.
"I'm rebuilding my house." And she proceeded to hammer two planks of wood together with obvious awkwardness. One by one, the last of the villagers of Yarali approached her, dragging wood and hammers and nails with them. By the time the sun set, one small, hastily built hut stood in Yarali with the survivors all huddled in it for the night.
It was slow going, but filled with determination, the survivors slowly began rebuilding Yarali, even though their numbers were few. Unfortunately, no respite came for the people. With their numbers dwindled, a tribe of goblins that roamed the cove and would normally have let them be, now made attacks on the struggling village, stealing what they could. Troops had been sent to deal with this problem and assist the villagers; however, with the sudden declaration of war from the Telish Throne, they were immediately sent back to the border, leaving the Yarali villagers to once again cope on their own. Recent reports from the village indicate they are surviving, but just barely. There is a great respect for all survivors of the Yarali onslaught and a deep sympathy for the things they had to endure. Help is far from coming though.