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Copper Graveyard

Excerpts taken from 'Investigating Sea Hags', 'The Great Hunt, a History vol.4: Sea Giants', and 'The Mages of the North'

Written by David_Ulph

"Hmm aye I ken the place you mean. Just off the ol' Grey Point, aye? Nah I'm no tellin' ye anythin' lest it gives you a curiosity worth quenching an' ye go lookin' yerself. There's a reason Clan Oliphant haven't bothered ther backsides to rebuild that dock, there's no point. If ye go fishin' in those waters near the graveyard ye'll be lucky if ye catch nothin' an' luckier still if the haar permits ye back ashore. Things live oot ther.. Things driven mad by a mighty starvation. Enough talkin', back tae the game at hand.... Eh.. Four two's?"
Karthald local Seumas Farmer during a game of Deceitstones shortly before loosing and becoming drunk enough to escort me to Grey Point itself, Authors Note 'Investigating Sea Hags'

Introduction

There's a reason the region of Karthald in Wallatoria doesn't actively take part in trading via the Copper Sea they border, despite the eastern region of Yorgrim becoming fat in riches in comparison. The poor and meek Karthald sends out small fishing boats never too far off-shore, and never sees any merchant ships within human eyesight from their beautiful beaches. This, dear readers, is all because of the Copper Graveyard
Introductory paragraph to the section about the Copper Sea in 'The Mages of the North', a descriptive book on the Karthald region
 
The Copper Graveyard, as the region has come to be commonly known as, is a collection of ancient shipwrecks below the surface of the water on the Copper Sea over much of the Karthald coast, though closest to shore near the ruined port settlement of Grey Point. This non-natural barrier has caused a significant problem to any aspirations of Clan Oliphant who rule from the settlement of Karthald have had into gaining access into the Copper Sea trade routes, being unmapped and therefore extremely hazardous to sinking larger ships, as well as being a lair to a coven of Sea Hags and their spawn to thrive in.

History

Invasion of Mortis Realm

The Great Hunt was an event which occurred directly after the failure of the Invasion of Mortis Realm, where the Celestial Gods and the Dragons united with armies from the Mortal Realm to descend into the underworld in an attempt to defeat Throff and her growing number of Fiends transformed from Souls. The Dragons and the Giants are both attributed to be children of Throff, though it was the Dragons who betrayed their blood influenced by the Blue Dragon Mercphobia and her relationship with the Forge God Fourga.
 
When both Mercphobia and the Dragon-Mother Vair were captured and slain in Mortis Realm by Fooar (the first Giants) who had stayed loyal to Throff, a mass retreat took place back to the Mortal Realm. While the Goddess Sindla stayed to lay siege on Mortis, the remaining Dragons convened in a council on what to do next. The vote was split between two outcomes, one from the Red Dragon Igneel and the other from the Black Dragon Acnologia.
 
Acnologia sought for the Dragons to concede defeat and retreat back into the shadows to protect the remainders of their species in solitary isolation. Igneel, however, who had to be dragged from the fighting spitting bile and fire, sought revenge against all Giant-kin and declared that a Great Hunt should be enacted. All those who would join the Great Hunt would scour the Mortal Realm for these Giant-kin and eradicate them from existence in vendetta.

The Great Hunt

The humans and dwarves of the Karthald and Yorgrim regions of Wallatoria bordering the Copper Sea were known for their acceptance of Giants sharing their land and society, with some of the first Goliaths (half-human, half-Giant) appearing in settlements across the region including Grey Point. The Giants which lived in this region were known as Sea Giants, and taught the smaller mortals the secrets of boatbuilding and fishing, and influenced their very culture for generations by introducing skills such as whisky-making.
 
When the Great Hunt was called, the noble Fire Giants spread throughout the Mortal Realm with their militaristic warbands in hopes to block the advance of the Dragons and their legions of dragonborn and kobolds, and give the other species of Giant-kin enough time to flee to a safe space. This was true even for the Sea Giants, who Igneel and the White Dragon Weisslogia hunted after.
 
Quickly, the Fire Giant defences erected across Wallatoria were singled out and destroyed by the might of not one but two Dragons and the Sea Giants were only half out to the Copper Sea on a makeshift armada of ships to escape north in and hope to loose the legions at sea. The rest were congregating around the fortified port of Grey Point, where the Fire Giants took no heed from the Frostwind Hegemony that technically owned the settlement as the survival of their very race was at stake.
 
Hundreds of shoddy ships packed full of Sea Giants, ogres and goliaths swarmed the cold northern sea, Grey Point ready to burst from defences. When only the coastline remained, Igneel turned away to pursue personal goals and allowed Weisslogia to feast on the destruction to come.
 
The Copper Sea must've been completely hidden by the amount of refugee ships that still lay near the coast and were being boarded by Giant-kin at Grey Point when the White Dragon and her legion came into view. The remaining Fire Giants sent to assist the Sea Giants were few in number and tried their best to repel the hunters, and by all archaeological accounts are believed to have succeeded in the siege against Grey Point itself. But none of their defences felled the Dragon, who made swoop after swoop against the clogged mass of ships, breathing ice upon them and cold-burning their flesh from bone.   Ships sunk all over the Copper Sea, and none tried boarding anymore. The remaining Sea Giants on land knew they were trapped by legions behind them and a Dragon revelling in the slaughter in front of them. Side-by-side, the Sea and Frost Giants sallied out against the hunters in a final push, hoping to reach some other safe place anywhere else on the Mortal Realm or die trying. This is believed to have distracted Weisslogia just for a moment from sinking all the refugee armada, as she flew back to land attracted by the new development.   Some ships, believed to be at maximum one eighth of the prior Sea Giant population, escaped Grey Point and sailed north-west. At some point, one among their ranks found a magical Ring of Winter and created a new icy land on the water for themselves. This is known as the Northern Limit, a barrier to the west of the Copper Sea, and this Sea Giant - Viraxis - became the first of the new sub-race the survivors would become; Frost Giants.
'The Great Hunt, a History vol.4: Sea Giants'

Aftermath

After the flight of the Sea Giants, Grey Point was destroyed and brought to ruin by Weisslogia and her legion. Karthald since have not been rich enough to rebuild the port, nor seen any point to access it with the Copper Graveyard now existing along their coastline.
 
While Weisslogia sunk ship after ship in the Copper Sea, a Sea Hag known as Saphiro Molluscmaiden was active with her coven of two other sisters in the area, attracted to the foretelling in their dreams of a great disaster happening on the waters. Saphiro took pity on the countless ogres which were being drowned by falling into the icy sea, seeing them as a simple-minded race forced into a situation because they did not know any better and being driven to extermination for no reason of their own. Instead, the coven enchanted the waters where the Copper Graveyard now is and magically transformed the ogres still alive in the water to suit the environment, becoming Crab Folk.
 

Ecosystem

The Sea Hags of Saphiro Molluscmaiden have since turned the Copper Graveyard into their lair, allowing nature to retake the area with the newly-born Crab Folk. Thick kelp forests grow between the wreckages, as a thick slippery film of slime coats the waters above their direct lair. A thick sea haar is also generated above the water, which the winds of Autumn and Winter often push forward onto land.

Fauna

The main inhabiting fauna of the Copper Graveyard other than standard marine life of the Copper Sea are the Crab Folk, who are ogres whose skin and features grew hard and thick, now resembling hulking bipedal crabs. The crab folk are notorious raiders of the immediately surrounding areas, dragging down merchant vessels too close to the northern stretch of the Graveyard, and sometimes even following the haar when it goes ashore for days on end. A crab folk has never been seen outside the water outside of the haar however.
 
For some odd reason, theorised in the book 'Investigating Sea Hags' to be directly linked to the residual magical energy from the enchantment which transformed the ogres, various species of crabs thrive in the Copper Graveyard as well. Most notably, the Graveyard contains the highest consistency of Hulking Crabs, enormous 20ft-wide hermit crabs which find their homes being entire shipwrecks. In turn, many Hulking Crabs have been domesticated by Crab Folk, who have developed households atop the wreckage a Hulking Crab may wear as its protection.
Prompts Advent Calendar #6

WorldEmber Article #7
Type
Sea
Parent Location
Copper Sea, off the coast of Wallatoria
Alternative Name(s)
Molluscmaiden Trench, The Crablands

Grey Point

Information lifted from 'The Mages of the North'
During the Second and Third Era before the Midlandian Empire reared its head towards the Wallatorian region, the land was split into city-state "Principalities" who were united under more powerful states in a system known as Hegemonies. For the majority of pre-imperial civilised Wallatoria, two Hegemonies always seemed to revolve around Frostwind and Greymoor whose rivalry developed over competing rule over the Grey River. The Grey River started in Greymoor and struck north to the coast with the Copper Sea, but the Treval River which Frostwind lay on joined with the Grey River when it formed the border between the regions of Yorgrim to the east and Karthald to the west.
 
To gain easy access to the lucrative trade the coastal city-state of Yorgrim was developing westward to the Storm Coast and beyond to the Tiefling trade haven of Alca, Frostwind built a fortress with the help of the mages of Karthald under their hegemonic rule on the converging points of the Grey and Treval. Greymoor could not send their ships up to the Copper Sea without any blockages anymore, with heavy fines at the fortress or Frostwind-allied raids cutting serious profits away from using the Grey River. Instead the more dangerous and time-consuming method of overland travel directly to Yorgrim was preferred which then led to the construction of the first efficient trading roads in Wallatoria between the two city-states.
 
With the northern half of the Grey River solidly under Frostwind control and Greymoor forced out of the trade route, construction started at the mouth of the Grey River onto the Copper Sea. This walled port known as Grey Point would act as a minor trading hub, where Yorgrim ships headed west could resupply and trade goods from the west for valuables Frostwind controlled under their Hegemony like Dwarven engineering from the city-state of Mereth or slaves from the city-state of Smokefrost.
 
Greymoor would not have control over the Grey River for centuries until the slaughter of Clan Grey after the fall of the Midlandian Empire in the late Third Era and before the acceptance of the Holy See into Wallatoria in the early Fourth Era in a largely undocumented time known as the warlord period. This event is known as the Skirmish of the Bloody Ford.

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Cover image: by Vertixico

Comments

Author's Notes

Most fantasy universes with dragons, especially in D&D which this universe is supposed to operate out of, have dragons being another animal with countless in their species. Here, however, I chose to only have one dragon per colour found in official sourcebooks. I did this so that I could really explore and flesh out the characters and personalities of each one, as well as still have that sense of wonder whenever someone sees a dragon, they know its an ancient being from the beginning of the Mortal Realm itself. And for the names, my partner at the time of first writing this up was a huge fan of Fairy Tail so I shamelessly plucked the named of dragons from that manga/anime to serve as the names for mine own. I think they work fine regardless!


Destiny is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.


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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
7 Dec, 2020 01:28

You always have so much information and lore packed into your articles - they are a joy to read. I'm really interested in the crabfolk and the hulking crabs, as well as the sea hags. Also the dragons. Basically all the things. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
7 Dec, 2020 01:57

Sometimes I think I'm stuffing too much lore into one article! I guess that's the problem when you mix writing notes and worldbuilding for 6 months with waiting for WorldEmber to come around!

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides - Welcome to Destiny!