(( 10/10/2010: Note to the reader:
I realize that I have commited a small mistake when re-typing the dates listed on the annals. Please understand "Moon" where you read "Sun", and vice-versa, for this is something that I have overlooked when reviewing the text. This is merely for the reader who wants to better understand the annals, and is not supposed to affect your ratings on this work. Modifying the work after its submission is against the rules of the contest, that is something I am aware of, and for that reason I have not fixed my mistake. Below is the original text which I submitted yesterday. I apologize for any confusion I might have caused. ))
The Isle of Man yet today remains a very mysterious place. It was first mentioned on the historiography as the vilest lair of the Dubhaimid, and it is most known for being the location where lies the Dubhaim Castle. However, how much do we know about this area prior to the arrival of darkness? With this work I seek to clarify this period of the history which led to the construction of the fortress of darkness, based mostly on a few documents which I have discovered on my most recent expedition to the wild areas of the isle. I will also make use of citations to past works on the region and the time being questioned, all of which can still be found in Loures’ Library.
My discovery consists of a considerable amount of scrolls of parchment which are surprisingly well-conserved. The parchment is of great quality, being thin and showing little flaws as well as being of a very bright color. It is certain that they were made with expensive, quality skin. Upon the scrolls lie the scriptures of a secluded priest, whose name remains a mystery. He recorded the events of the island from Danaan 2415 to Danaan 2464 in the form of annals, describing the situation of the isle prior to the construction of the Dubhaim fortress. Such recordings spark enlightenment as to the moment in which darkness befell upon the isle, as well as the understanding of how darkness acts upon the minds of living beings.
The writings of this priest shall now be written in italics, and the commentaries and my own interpretations will be presented below.
“The age of Danaan 2415, 1th Sun, 20th Moon
The sky is bright and the fog weakened in the past days. Beautiful flowers are blooming everywhere, and crops are growing well. This shall be a beautiful year, and I shall pray to thank Danaan for all of the joy she has brought to my heart.
The age of Danaan 2415, 6th Sun, 3rd Moon
Geardul, the local smith from the village of Farashyid has gifted me with farming tools. I shall pray for his protection and the harmony of the village.
The age of Danaan 2416, 12th Sun, 5th Moon
Great snow has fallen from the skies today.
The age of Danaan 2417, 4th Sun, 20th Moon
The people of Farashyid have once again been kind to me. They now frequently visit my small home to pray with me. It is good to see that such good and humble people have so much faith in their hearts.
The age of Danaan 2418, 1st Sun, 2nd Moon
We all mourn Geardul’s death, may Danaan bless his soul. His apprentice shall now take his job as the local blacksmith, yet I don’t believe him to be nearly as skilled as his master was.
The age of Danaan 2418, 6th Sun, 4th Moon
A young boy named Tuathal came to me from the village willing to live a monastic life of devotion to Danaan. Such people’s faith truly is a joy.
The age of Danaan 2419, 2th Sun, 20th Moon
War has arrived to our lands. The people of Farashyid will aid their families in Rucesion against the forces of Piet. May Danaan protect them.
The age of Danaan 2419, 3rd Sun, 9th Moon
A wild howl echoed through the trees of the isle last night. I shall pray to Danaan for protection to those who are in battle right now.
The age of Danaan 2419, 4th Sun, 25th Moon
We mourn the death of those who fought in Piet. Many of the young men of Farashyid perished in the violent battle. We shall pray to Danaan to aid the broken hearts of the people from the isle. News have arrived that Rucesion is no longer at war with Ardmagh, the kingdoms were brought together in peace.
The age of Danaan 2419, 9th Sun, 21st Moon
War, once more. The new leader of Ardmagh has declared war on the Earth-sea. The fog is dense now, I have a terrible feeling about all of this.
The age of Danaan 2421, 6th Sun, 1st Moon
These are dark ages. Rucesion has allied itself to foul creatures of darkness, they ravage the Earth-sea. The pointless war shall not bring back the days of Hy-Brasyl, it will bring us destruction. Tuathal will pray with me today for the protection of our Isle.
The age of Danaan 2423, 12th Sun, 3rd Moon
This winter is cold, and sad. We have little news of what is happening to the lands far away. I am afraid many are dying every day. Yesterday a mysterious man arrived in the Isle of Fog, dressed all in black. The people of Farashyid are suspicious of his nature.
The age of Danaan 2423, 12th Sun, 20th Moon
The snow is getting thicker. The mysterious man left our isle.”
It is clear from the initial fragment of the scriptures that while much of what the priest wrote may not be much relevant to historians, a few of his reports are very insightful. From such reports we can conclude that the Isle of Man was previously sparsely inhabited by mundanes, although they were still heavily tied to Rucesion.
It is also important to emphasize that many of his dates may be different from the ones we have on the historiography of world events. I believe that due to his secluded life along with his apprentice, Tuathal, news took a few suns to reach his ears so that he could write about them. We shall now proceed to the second part of the scriptures.
For the following years the priest continues to write on the weather and the mundane life in the Isle of Man. Whilst those writings may be very useful on several studies on the life and society of this population, I find that it is not as useful for the purposes of this work, and hence I shall not include his writings until the date of Danaan 2460.
“The age of Danaan 2460, 12th Sun, 20th Moon
I feel sick. My head aches. Tuathal has told me that a mysterious dark hooded man arrived in our Isle, as it happened years ago. He told me he shall pray for my health, as well as for the safety of the people of Farashyid.
The age of Danaan 2461, 1st Sun, 10th Moon
I am healthy again, although I am aware that being old as I am I don’t have much time left. The dark man left the Isle. Tuathal has told me that the people of Farashyid are calm again.
The age of Danaan 2461, 1st Sun, 20th Moon
Death! A good fisherman was found murdered in his house in the very village of Farashyid! The people are restless; they believe that there is a murderer amongst them. The fog is thick. Something is terribly wrong, I can sense it.
The age of Danaan 2461, 1st Sun, 25th Moon
An old woman has been executed today. The people of Farashyid accused her of being a witch and murdering the fisherman. I can only hope that she really was the criminal.
The age of Danaan 2461, 2nd Sun, 20th Moon
The fog is thick as never before. A young girl was murdered yesterday, the people of Farashyid are restless once again. Tuathal has told me that they are all mad, accusing each other. May Danaan help us in such difficult times.
The age of Danaan 2461, 4th Sun, 10th Moon
They have lost all of their sanity. Many people are being executed by the villagers themselves for murder. The dark man has returned to the Isle, along with many other mysterious men and women. Where is Danaan?
The age of Danaan 2462, 5th Sun, 16th Moon
The island is a dangerous place. Only madness remained in Farashyid, along with the dark ones. Tuathal has disappeared. I am losing faith. The dark ones seem to be priests of Chadul, for they bring curses instead of blessings, and darkness seems to follow them wherever they go.
The age of Danaan 2462, 5th Sun, 16th Moon
They are constructing something. A fortress, I believe. This can’t be good, I am sure I have seen creatures of evil wandering around the isle yesterday.
The age of Danaan 2464, 3rd Sun, 4th Moon
I no longer know of what is happening to the world. Darkness befell to us. It seems that no sane person ever crosses the bridge to this isle anymore. I have been to the village last moon, and it is gone. The mundanes there allowed darkness to take over their minds, they allowed fear and madness dictate their actions. They became animals and razed everything.”
Interpreting the Annals:
There are no more reports from the priest. Whether he died, ran away or simply stopped writing by will remains a mystery. However, he speaks of dark-clothed men who arrived in the isle and supposedly brought chaos with them. Would those be ancient Sgrios’ followers who were building their temple and the fortress of the Dubhaimid in the Isle of Man?
Dryst’s “Farashyid: The Isle of Fog” brings much enlightenment on this matter. On the writings discovered by Dryst, according to his translation, a Sgrios’ priest speaks of the construction of the Dubhaim Castle during the times of Tenes and Lady Dubhreal, and such writings are contemporary to the recently discovered annals. It would make perfect sense for the outsiders to be followers of the dark God Sgrios. It is curious, however, that their presence on the isle was already registered by the time of Danaan 2423. Yet their early interest on the isle can be explained.
Dryst’s translation mentions a void, a possible passage to the realm of Chadul, which would be located somewhere in the Isle. It is possible that the followers of Sgrios already had this information by Danaan 2423, which would explain their presence in the Isle, but only around 2460, much after the rise of Tenes and Lady Dubhreal, they received gold and investments to build the temple. It is no coincidence that the Dubhaim Castle and the void are located on the same place, they have since decades prior intended to build their fortress on the isle. And even if Rucesion initially disapproved the fate of the isle after the constructions began, it could not resist the persuasive powers of Lady Dubhreal, and it did not take long for its lord to join the Pact of Anaman.
We may also question the reason for which the Sgrios’ followers built not only a temple, but a fortress on the isle. We cannot ignore the fact that the isle is a strategic war location. This fortress coincidentally served as the one of the last strongholds of darkness for moments during the following wars and today it is one of the few places which are still inhabited by the Dubhaimid. Perhaps they knew of a coming war and were already preparing themselves for battle? Would Lady Dubhreal be not only supporting the construction of a temple, but a whole force of destruction to fight Danaan? These are mere possibilities on which we can speculate.
As for the destruction of the village, it would seem that its inhabitants were influenced by the power of the fifth element, which led them to madness. It is not such a rare phenomenon for darkness to cause such adverse effects, as it has already been mentioned by several other historical accounts, madness, suspicion and fear are common consequences from strong exposure to the power of this element. It was likely necessary for the village to be destroyed for the expanding of the castle as well as to warn the people from Rucesion not to visit the isle anymore. This, however, remains uncertain, as the exact location of the village on the isle still remains unknown, and there is still much to be explored outside of Castle Dubhaim’s walls.
The annals suggest that the isle has not always been a place of darkness, and it was inhabited by mundanes prior to the construction of Castle Dubhaim and the arrival of Sgrios’ followers. Little evidence remains of this occupation, however, since darkness led the inhabitants of the Isle of Man to madness, and consequently to their very destruction. It is also clear that Sgrios’ followers always intended the isle to be the location of their shrine, and for very long, have they strived to take over the location to build a new fortress for the Dubhaimid. They possibly intended it to be not only a place to pray and unite in the name of their lord, but also a strategic location to fight Danaan and the forces of light.
It is clear that much about the past of the Isle of Man remains unknown, but these annals have finally lightened a shadowed part of its history, and hopefully this work will serve as a new incentive to bring archaeological expeditions to the isle, as well as to bring more attention and interest of historians to this dark area of Temuair. There are still many unexplored regions surrounding Castle Dubhaim, and much about the past of our lands could be discovered by studying such dark places.
Eochaidh mac Adomnáin
Dryst, “Farashyid: The Isle of Fog” (( http://www.darkages.com/community/his/Dryst_Farashyid.html ))
Rookerin, “The League and its Pact of Anaman” (( http://www.darkages.com/community/his/Rookerin_Lodana.html ))
Cronus, “Before the Shadows Dance” ((http://www.darkages.com/community/his/Cronus_Shadowswar.html ))