The Day of Forgetting - Nearly three years ago everybody on the Ôlfindarâ Islands lost their memory. Everyone awoke in a malaise, many in the middle of activities that they could not remember. For many, even their names were a mystery for several days after, while for others it was only a matter of a few hours before they began to remember such basic snippets of their lives.

Their name and the names of their closest loved ones, this is all the memory of the past that they have, and even that may be incomplete. The rest is feeling and deduction from the few facts they can piece together: what languages do they speak, how are they dressed, what race are they being amongst many of the most common pieces of evidence. The most important pieces of knowledge one could have after the Day of Forgetting, was the use of the weapon in your hand and the tongue in your mouth. Either or both were quite often necessary to stay alive.

Blood and chaos ran deep across the islands as there were multiple claimants to the Darâ throne, but the violence wasn’t reserved for the Darâ alone. Many peoples from the world were here in small numbers, and they rapidly found themselves unwelcome on islands dominated by the dark-skinned men who called themselves the Darâ. No matter who you were, if you were not Darâ, you were considered a foreigner and outsider, you were driven from the city of Lindî and forced to live in the wild jungles, or in one of the many shanty camps that cropped up around the islands. Foreigners were not even allowed to fight in the Darâ battles of ascension, and any Darâ who openly considered the notion was seen as weak.

Within nine months after the battles had begun, it was clear that the Yuvên Faction of the Darâ was destined to rule the islands, with the head of that family, Ûbonu Yuvên, as the King of the Darâ. This was actually promising news for the foreigners on the islands, as Ûbonu spoke often of tolerance of outsiders. Ûbonu was crowned King one year and one week after the Day of Forgetting, but change for the foreigners was slow in coming, as he had to appease those he now ruled.

The city of Lindî is fairly large, and structured so that walls split the city in to five areas: The Green (a central gathering area), the Quarter of Faiths (temples and shrines to a multitude of gods), the Noble’s Quarter  (the palace and manors of the ruling Darâ), The Darâ Quarter (where the bulk of the people live) and the Foreigner’s Quarter (where non-Darâ are allowed without special permission). The Foreigner’s Quarter is a maze of buildings and hovels, and the quarter where most trade takes place. Despite its name, the only legal residents of this quarter are Darâ (the impoverished), and all foreigners are expected to follow a strict curfew of dawn to dusk to do their business within the city walls. Any outsider found within the walls after dark is subject to punitive fines, beatings, imprisonment, and in cases of repeat offenders, death. Because of this, a small tent city has developed outside the gate that leads into the Foreigner’s Quarter, a place that tends to be unruly and violent, and which maintains a law of its own.

The Darâ King may rule the city and scattered towns upon the island, but his claim to the entirety of the islands is a claim made in ink and paper, but not fact. In the mountains and jungles of Ôlfindarâ there is no law accept survival by any means. Dangerous beasts roam in large numbers, and the powerful and intelligent Fwôd are a constant threat to any traveler. Bandit camps also hide throughout the wilds, some representing a Darâ resistance to the current crown, while others are alienated foreigners and outsiders. 

Wealth, danger and prestige lie in the wild jungles, but so few ever achieve anything more than a soon forgotten death, that most bands who set forth for the many scattered ruins around the isles are considered fools. The lure is strong, however, and the Darâ pay well those who show skill and bravery, so the foolhardy continue to battle the odds.

All the while, as the island peoples live, struggle and die, the volcano Ôlfin (located on the western most island of the chain) smokes and occasionally rumbles, spewing lava slowly into the sea. 

Background Art by Jon Gibbons

© 2018 L. James Rice