So, sure, it's just an old volcano. It's not very tall, it's mostly full of water, and not many people live near it.Prelt is a presumed-extinct volcano off the west coast of Skarhu. Its caldera has been a large lake for centuries, and while sparsely populated, has intense meaning for the people of the Republic of Skarhu.
But it has a lot of symbolic meaning. For us Skarhans, it was the last holdout of our culture before the Vosti took it away. It's where it all began, and where it ended.
HistoryThe ancient Skarhan tribes, spread throughout western Abravost, believed that Prelt was the birthplace of humanity. Upon the formation of the world at the hands of The Divinities, the gods took the lava from the erupting island volcano and molded it into people. The creation of life drained the volcano, making it extinct. As a result the volcano has not erupted in eras, and its caldera has since been flooded and become the large Prelt Lake. The dead volcano and its waters have since gained new meaning for the Skarhan people, as the small towns on the island were the last bastions of Skarhan culture. This is because of the Vosti Conquest, in which the The Vosti Empire spread across the continent and forcibly assimilated all the people and tribes they encountered. Prelt was one of the final places that fell to the Vosti, as they are notoriously poor sailors and had difficulty breaching the mountainside defences of the volcano. The first efforts to take the island were made as early as 534 BC, with it only finally falling in 475 under the reign of Daleon I. This did not smother the Skarhan spirit, and many attempts were made to establish Skarhan independence from Prelt throughout the years. The most famous attempt was made during the War of Vosti Succession, as the squabbles of the various imperial factions prevented them from doing anything about the rebellions in the west. A so-called 'Prelt Republic' existed on the island and the surrounding coastline for a short period between 333-315, before being completely devastated by the recently ascendant Empress Askila I. Prelt didn't regain the population or prominence of the republic during the next 300 years, but its chance came during The Collision, which separated Skarhu from the rest of Abravost and especially from Imperial control. When discussions among local leaders and the newly arrived Lialpumpámtii made it clear that there was a desire for cooperative self governance, a Republic of Skarhu was formed. Though Prelt does not serve as the new republic's capital, it is the capital of the county of the same name, which is considered one of the 4 founding counties of the republic.
Volcano of Creation, Forge of Humanity (Skarhan poetic terms)
Cultural CacheAs one of the last holdouts against the Vosti Conquest, Prelt holds many rare treasures from a culture long gone, and has kept many hidden for centuries. One such store of knowledge has only been discovered in the last few decades in the ruins of a town buried during the Collision. Within the destroyed houses were carvings of cultural symbols, old weapons, and most importantly to the Skarhans - intact books written in the old Skarhan languages. The Skarhan languages, having been extinct for nearly 700 years, have previously only remained in the form of words loaned into the Skarhan Vostan dialect of the common tongue, and in the form of place names with lost meaning. The books remain mostly untranslated, though efforts continue into deciphering the script based off of proper nouns.
Old Open Book by congerdesign