The dramatically-named Isle of Terror lies in the middle of Lake Encarthan in central Avistan. In ancient times, it was known as Inteper Isle before it was conquered and renamed by the wizard-king Tar-Baphon, who makes his headquarters in the underground city of Xin-Grafar (formerly Kestrillon).
Inteper Isle was first settled in -3840 AR by Kellids from Druma seeking to escape famine and rule under the dwarves of Tar Taargadth. Under the rule of charismatic leaders and the Speakers of the Pale, by -2301 AR, the various fishing villages on Inteper Isle united into a kingdom with its capital at the city of Kestrillon. In -355 AR, Kestrillon ceded its autonomy to Sarkoris, after generations of threats and skirmishes.
Kestrillon later became the refuge of the Golden Solidarity, a fringe sect of the Prophecies of Kalistrade. Their wealth attracted the attention of Tar-Baphon, who, in 861 AR, invaded Inteper Isle with an undead army, slaughtered Kestrillon's people, turned them into undead, and renamed Kestrillon to Xin-Grafar, after the Thassilonian style.
In 872 AR, Tar-Baphon discovered a strange thinness between the planes in the Isle of Terror. After taking over the whole island from the black dragon Karamorros in 881 AR, he exploited it to dig the Wizard-King's Pit, a portal to the Negative Energy Plane. With the island secure, he stored his wealth in Xin-Grafar, filling it with deadly traps and guardians. His ultimate plan was to entrap Aroden within his new city and destroy him utterly.
In 896 AR, Aroden confronted Tar-Baphon on the Isle of Terror. The necromancer had created a magical trap there for the Last Azlanti, located in an immense shaft known as the Well of Sorrows within the Wizard-King's Pit. Tar-Baphon lost the fight, and his corpse was buried by Aroden on the Isle of Terror, until his followers reburied him in his homeland of Ustalav a year later.
The Isle of Terror Today
Today, the isle is racked by continuous storms (natural and otherwise) and is evaded by all but the most foolhardy of travelers. Monsters and undead roam the island and the seas churn constantly around it, driven by powerful winds and pounding rain. Stories persist of especially brave or foolhardy pirates who brave the elements and the Isle of Terror's shore in order to hurriedly hide treasure somewhere on the land before quickly escaping. Some sailors have reported sightings of a rotten ship with tattered black sails, the Nixie's Pride, near the blighted island during a new moon.
The Isle of Terror's rocky shore provides few berths for ships to land. Perhaps the safest place to make landing is a small half-moon bay known as Fort Landing, which stands at the mouth of the Whispering River and marks the road to Xin-Grafar, although only a fool would consider any location truly safe. The Whispering River flows from the Three Furies at the island's heart, under which are the Wizard-King's Pit and the Well of Sorrows, which have remained active since Tar-Baphon created them to trap Aroden.
Since Tar-Baphon's return, storms of negative energy constantly roil around the Isle of Terror, and many of his most powerful undead lieutenants have followed him, serving in his courts and aiding in his plots to eradicate the living. Flying and swimming undead can be found as far as the settlements on the coast of Lake Encarthan.
Entire sections of the Isle of Terror sometimes become overwhelmed by energies from the Negative Energy Plane, due to the thinness of the barrier between planes. During these periods, creatures from the Negative Energy Plane can slip into the Isle of Terror and enter Tar-Baphon's service. Affected areas might take decades to recover.
Not all of the Isle of Terror's inhabitants are beholden to Tar-Baphon: the animals warped by negative energy (most commonly terror wolves) are a threat to everyone, as are the living trees in the Shadow's Heart. Karamorros, now a ravener, still hides on the island, having been forced into hiding after a hasty attack on her old foe. Other unnatural creatures exist also, such as evil shadow demons and reports of dark folk persist, although have not been confirmed.
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