Skara Brae (City of Spirituality, Home of Rangers)

The town of Skara Brae is located on an island along the western reaches of Britannia. Misty Channel, known for the frequent morning fog that settles over the area, separates the island of Skara Brae from the Mainland. To the north west across the Seaward Channel is a small island known as the Druid Camp. On the mainland is the vast forest known as the Spiritwoods. The forest is feared by many of the townsfolk. Many are the tales of wisps leading children deep into the forest and of spirits calling the unwary to a horrible death. Clearings have been hewn from the Spiritwoods to hold the farms, homes and workshops of many of the residents.

Close to two hundred years ago the region was uninhabited and the islands were still connected to the mainland. Despite the dangers the Spiritwoods held a great bounty of game. This drew hearty rangers and mysterious druids from Yew into the area. As time passed these rangers built an outpost near the head of what would become known as Sheep's Bay. This outpost acted as a way station for the rangers and woodsmen that roamed the Spiritwoods. Eventually a small village was founded and named Skara Brae.

It was in 101 A.C. that a series of tremendous earthquakes shattered the landscape. The force of movement sheared a portion of the mainland away and created the two islands. It was not long after the tremors had subsided that attacks by orcs and other creatures began. Seeking a safer haven the residents moved to the island for protection. The Misty Channel kept the enemy at bay and the citizens felt secure within the island's confines.

Although protected from raids, a far more insidious enemy struck Skara Brae in 132 A.C.. A plague took hold of the island bringing illness and death to the children first. Many Skara Braens tried to flee the island to escape the plague, but the city council, hoping to contain it, ordered the docks burned. The rangers whom had been upon the mainland were given their grievous orders, to prevent any resident from escaping the island by any means. The quarantine endured for four long years, during which the city shriveled and nearly died. Trade was non-existent, only relief supplies sent one way across the channel by the Rangers kept the people alive. Then, a monk of Yew by the name of Aegis discovered a potential cure and inoculation for the plague. She swore a personal quest to end the plague and with the aid of Shamino the Ranger, traveled to Skara Brae and violated the quarantine to reach the island. Her work was a success, and by 140 A.C. every trace of the plague had been eradicated. Aegis herself, though, died tragically only a few years later, poisoned through exposure to the plague beyond any hope of a cure.
The town had much rebuilding to do following the plague. It was Shamino, fully recovered, who aided the town in this. The grime and filth of the city was cleaned, and the streets kept dry. Cats and dogs were brought to the island in great numbers to rid themselves of the rats and vermin. By the time of Shamino's departure in 150 A.C., the town was fully recovered and growing again.

It wasn't until the appearance of the druidess, Sarina and the formation of the Fellowship in 162 A.C., that Skara Brae began to attract visitors looking for a place of spiritual learning and contemplation. For twelve years she stayed in Skara Brae. Under her tutelage, many learned of "The Truth" and discovered a calm spirituality during troubled times. One day Sarina walking into the forest and was never heard from again. Lord British knowing of the work done by the Fellowship gave Skara Brae the honor of becoming the City of Spirituality.
Like the rest of the world, Skara Brae had its share of sufferings in the Dark Years. As piracy grew upon the seas and many ships feared to leave port. In 181 A.C. a pirate force invaded the island, seeking loot, but were driven back by the angered populace. The rangers used ships to follow the pirates, using great bows to pick off the men upon the ships from great distances, until no pirate set foot upon the island for many decades. When the embargo was lifted in 189 A.C. the shipping industry recovered and Skara Brae became the shipwright capital of the world. Although Skara Brae did not join in the military alliance against the pirates in 211 A.C., many of the ships sailed by Britain and Trinsic were purchased from Skara Brae.

In 238 A.C. a flight of five dragons came forth from the Fire Mountains and ravaged the farms and ranches near Skara Brae. There was a great loss of livestock and many homes were destroyed before the dragons flew back south. A large bounty was placed upon dragon teeth and claws during that era and many Jhelomite mercenaries took up the challenge, some never returning from the depths of Destard.
Skara Brae was a long time supporter of Lord British, and when sent word of the gathering in Paws, they did not hesitate, and became a Charter signer of the Treaty of Unification in 250 A.C. This was a tremendous boon for the city, as it became the chief supplier of ships to the Royal Navy, centered in Serpent's Hold.

In 253 A.C. the orc hordes under the control of Orc Lord Akaz swept north and into the Spiritwoods. Led by a clan of ogres, half of Akaz's army moved around the headwaters of the Ghost River and into the farmlands of Skara Brae. They quickly drove off the defense of the Rangers as the Skara Braeans retreated to their island. The farms and buildings on the mainland were put to the torch by the advancing army. The orc army was ultimately routed but it would be another 16 months before the remains of his army would be hunted down or driven from the Spiritwoods. Despite the damage suffered, the Skara Brae council voted against a permanent garrison force in the region, not wishing to disrupt the tranquillity of their lives.

In recent years, Skara Brae has seen a curious and worrisome increase in piracy and attacks by hostile creatures at sea. Jhelom mercenaries have been a frequent sight in the city, as bounties on pirates grow. The pirates may never plunder the city but even today they still claim an occasional ship off the coast of Skara Brae.

So recorded is the history as I know it in the 289th year after the cataclysm.

Velos Brenden