War of the Burning Sky
History and Myths
History and Myths
We stand at a crossroad of destiny. Our future is defined by the lessons of the past and the course of our present. Two nations stand ready to take our hope from us and battle to this very minute with us — even though we are not at war. Scoff if you will, but we are in a battle. It’s not fought with sword and bow, but with ideas; the idea that we are only happy when we are equal; the idea that we must be neighborly to those in need at the expense of our own; the idea that the needs of the many outweigh the one. What good is a collective destiny if yours is destroyed? What benefit does giving one penny to the poor give? What peace do we secure if we trade and barter with the Shahalesti and the Ragesians… None! Remember! Remember the lessons of forty years ago. Strength is saintly! Resist and thrive!
- Helda Claearcall
Sermon to the faithful in Stronghold, temple to the god of Strength
Gate Pass has the distinction of being the only city to successfully drive out occupation by the Ragesian Empire. Forty years ago, Emperor Coaltongue defeated the city’s army, set up a military government, and erected a 90-foot-tall statue of himself in the grand square on Summer’s Bluff before moving on to his next conquest. For two years, citizens waged an insurgency against the occupying army, until finally Coaltongue decided the city wasn’t worth the loss of men.
Shahalesti and Ragesia, once allies, were approaching open war, and Coaltongue declared that he would withdraw from Gate Pass if the Lord of Shahalesti agreed to leave the city as a neutral buffer between their two nations. The elves agreed, the city celebrated its victory, and profit from trade between the two nations began to flow.
The city still sports numerous indications of the occupation, and many citizens purchase busts or paintings of the aged emperor, as if both to mock the Ragesians for their failure and to respect Coaltongue’s wisdom in deciding to leave their city alone. Even the emperor’s statue remains; it is decorated and painted gaudily on various holidays.
Because of his name, Drakus Coaltongue is often associated with a myth that is native to Gate Pass and Ragesia, that of the Dragon and the Eagle. A series of myths tell of an ancient time when the lands that are now Ragesia and its neighbors were the domain of four elemental spirits — the Tidereaver Kraken, the Worldshaper Worm, the Flamebringer Dragon, and the Stormchaser Eagle, and these four beings are common motifs in the art and architecture of Gate Pass (as well as in Ragesia).