The Sea of the Thousand Isles was once a large and fertile continent called Caldea. It was home to all manner of races and creatures and these were ruled over by the High Council of the Caldean Empire.
The time of peace that had spread over the land allowed the peoples of Caldea to focus on less militant activities, advancing their knowledge and culture. Those who were interested in the arcane delved into the building blocks of the universe. Others bent their martial ability towards performance, testing the limits of their physical bodies in ever more dangerous and impressive sports. A close communion with the gods had always been a part of Caldean life and this was only strengthened by the peace. Many pilgrimages were made, monasteries founded, and vows taken.
It was from the gods that the people of Caldean would receive their first warning. A silence fell upon the faithful and they could no longer feel the presence of their patrons. Not long after, arcanists began to detect a strange object in the sky; a cluster of bright stars had appeared out of nowhere. In a matter of days they were identified as meteors, and they were headed for Caldea.
The cataclysm was complete. Entire chunks of land crumbled into the ocean as the skies burned and fell. The meteor shower pummeled the continent for seven days and the churning seas didn’t calm for seven weeks. It seemed the end of the world.
But it wasn’t.
Pockets of civilization survived. With what little warning they had the Caldean dwarves took refuge in their underground strongholds taking in all the people they could. Those strongholds that didn’t fall to the earthquakes, floods, or starvation sheltered their people until it was safe once more.
When they emerged they found their beautiful continent had been torn asunder, creating a ring of a thousand islands. At the center of this ring sat a dark, rolling storm over a swirling maelstrom. A remnant of the cataclysm.
Slowly, life spread out once more and one by one the islands were reclaimed by various strongholds. Five of the larger dwarven clans staked their claim on the new lands and had soon formed five distinct nations. Clan Dumoin, to the north, became known as a nation of cunning warriors. Their favoured weapon became their namesake and most people now know them as the Frostspears. The north-eastern part of the ring, made up of hundreds of smaller islands became home to the trappers of Clan Throm. Their ability as scouts and hunters sprang from living in thick woods and forests. The south-eastern island, the largest land mass left in Varran, was claimed by Clan Khartok. Their rigid militant society gave rise to the Hearthguard, a force of heavily armoured soldiers, which is arguably the only standing army in the Thousand Isles. The collection of islands to the south-west became home to Clan Thazar, a sea-obsessed people. Their merchant ships ply trade lanes all around the Thousand Isles and their captains can always be recognised by the blue ribbons they tie through their beards. The fifth largest family of dwarves to survive was Clan Bale, who have made their home in the western isles. This clan’s members, sometimes called Stormweavers, are known for their dedication to arcane study and the advancement of all magical crafts.
Priests and Paladins who had once enjoyed the gifts of their gods found themselves unable to perform the simplest of miracles. It seemed that the Gods had abandoned their people. In it’s place however, a new kind of power arose. Items with close connections to the gods, or their champions, began to radiate with their essence and in time the faithful learned to channel divine strength from these relics. But these objects are rare, and varied in power. Large churches and temples have been able to procure the more powerful of the relics, leaving small town priests and healers to get by with what’s left over.