A Bishop’s Memoir
The earliest written history of Cairnspeak can be read in Bishop Aerrous Carvour’s personal diaries. Prior to the development of Old Cairnspeak (“the old city“) by Carvour and his disciples-year zero in the new calendar-the entire continent was settled with barbarian tribes of humans, elves, and dwarves, who battled constantly with each other and against the hordes of orcs and ogres from the unsettlable wilds deep in the forests and steep hills of the North.
Carvour’s understanding of the peoples’ history-gleaned from his talks with the few who remained when the priests’ expedition arrived-indicates that the humanoid tribes had banded together not long ago, out of necessity, after the roving bands of orcs and ogres were united by an unusually ambitious and wily group of giants, from the land beyond the northern Mirrous Mountains. Battles raged through the decades with plentiful and bloody losses to both sides; however, over time, the humanoid side began to wear thin.
Here Carvour’s writings become vague, lacking depth and detail. The barbarians described to him a pagan god of the earth that came to their aid after years of devotion and sacrifice (of a most dubious distinction, he notes,) just in time to beat back the surging armies of evil. In this tenuous time of peace, the humans, elves, and dwarves renewed their old, familial feuds, with a vigour surpassing anything known before. Bishop Aerrous-at that time only the shepherd of twenty priests and fifty settlers from the far eastern land of Garamonde-landed amidst the chaos and established an abbey high on the ocean cliffs and began to spread the word of the one god of the civilized East.
Although the esteemed Bishop succumbed to madness in his middle years, the seed of his mission eventually took root. By year twenty, Cairnspeak had grown into a thriving village of fishermen, farmers, and builders: devoted residents of the seaside haven below the watchful eye of the great stone abbey from which the settlement earned its name. Carvour’s tomb beneath the Abbey took occupancy only days before the lighthouse, a magical blessing of the true god and a wonder of the world not long after, blazed to life and shone over the bay without fail for the next two hundred years.