The Fall of Nazerull
Ages ago there was a great battle in heaven. Lightning and thunder filled the sky even though the clouds were not dark. When the battle was over the rebellious angel Nazerull was cast to earth. His massive body smashed into the side of Darkstone Mountain and sent a hail of stone and debris for miles around. The people prayed to the heavens that Nazerull would not come for them and he never has. It is said that he waits inside Darkstone Mountain plotting his revenge on those that wronged him.
The Faithful of Al-Nazul
There were some who saw Nazerull as a true living god on earth and dedicated themselves to him in hopes of gaining power on his re-ascent. Led by the high priest Al-Nazul they built a temple at the base of Darkstone Mountain, hidden in the Shroudwood. Nazerull did indeed make them powerful and for many years their Avengers were a constant raiding threat. Eventually a band of heroes went and crushed the cult. The Shroudwood remains tainted with evil, though. It is said the souls of the faithful live on in the spiders that dwell there.
Lim-dul the Necromancer (I know, I know...)
As if drawn by these evil events a necromancer by the name of Lim-dul moved into Varness Marsh. His tower was well Hidden and from this secret base he began sending raiding parties of undead servants to collect more corpses. Worshiping Nazerull as a god of death a priesthood of unliving horrors arose around him. Fearing his growing power the Brotherhood of Cloud raided the Marsh, scattering his minions and ending Lim-dul's life. It is said his last words were,
"Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back." "Fools! Nazerull has seen to it I will live forever!".
The Fallen Cloister
The Brotherhood of Cloud was not the only order committed to good in the region. Once there were the Followers of Wind, a meditative order that specialized in harnessing the body's power. One night there was a fire at the cloister and the surviving Followers arrived in town, minus the abbot, saying that the cloister was now off limits. From that point on they took on a mentor-pupil organization while always watching the hill where the cloister had been.
The Fall of Valen Thundercall
One of the heroes who defeated Al-Nazul, Tarren Thundercall, had sword named for him. It was created by the While Mage Belegast specifically for that purpose. Tarren never returned from that raid. He was survived by a son named Valen. When he was old enough, Valen sought his father's resting place. It's not known what happened there but Valen returned with his father's sword. Slowly, though, he sank into a depression and then madness. After a horrible killing spree he fled into the countryside. There are still reports of him here and there committing atrocities. The Knights of the Cloud are actively chasing him.
Situated in the northeast corner of the Empire of Ranke, many consider Illen Shore to be a cursed, backward place that no one wants anything to do with. This is far from true. Illen Shore is located in the middle of a wealth of natural resources that Ranke needs badly. Additionally, what many consider to innumerable curses are actually seen as prime training ground by others. While the War Priests of Ranke don't approve of Illen Shore's odd religious traditions the Emperor has deemed the stability of the area to be more important than his priest's pride. None the less the War Priests keep a temple garrison in town to keep an eye on things.
Illen Shore is located in a fertile river valley that is perfect for farming. The Cruth river flows southwest from the Cloudview Mountains, through the Shroudwood, into the open plains where it eventually empties into Lake Gostel. The nearest city, Ul, is located along the lake. North and northeast of Illen Shore are rocky hills that build into the Seamist Cliffs, an outcropping of the Cloudviews. The Cloudviews and adjacent Shroudwood block passage northwest and west.
Illen Shore has a population of about X, not counting the farmers in the outlying areas. There is some industry centered around mining and smelting, though not much since most people go to the dwarves for that. There is quite a bit of logging from the Shroudwood and Illen Shore is famous for its carpenters. Additionally Illen Shore is a religious and cultural center as it is home to several "enlightened" religions that are found nowhere else in the Empire. A good number of mages have settled here far from the Guild's eyes as have many other people not wanting to be found.
Services in the town cater to almost every need. Aside from the common general stores and other tradesmen, businesses have arisen to take advantage of some of Illen Shore's unique attributes. For example a good sized weapon and armor trade has opened up on account of all the Knights and armed guards. Esoteric herbalists, alchemists and charlatans have formed in the wizards' shadows (and away from the Guild). All sorts of religious knick knaks are sold everywhere, too. This is a prime spot for adventurers who want to avoid getting involved in the Empire's wars.
The town is governed by a council and a mayor. The council is composed of representatives from the following factions: Brotherhood of the Cloud, the War Priests, the White Mage, the farmers, the miners, the loggers, the merchants and the "voice of the voiceless" represents the poor (usually a Follower of Wind).
A lot of names are stolen from other places, here. It looks like I was trying to fix that as the next page has the following listed: Empire of Zîr, City of Arant, town of Rânas, Haba River, Khadûl Mountains, Carraine Woods, Lake Tûca, Kerador Cliffs, Pharûs the Fallen, Mergãnan Mountain, High Priest Molalan. Looking back, I understand the first set of names I used were a bit more generic fantasy but they certainly were more evocative.
The next page lists - Taco sub, turkey bacon club, 2 orders of round bread, 2 steak sub w/A-1, 13" pizza - bacon and sausage. Apparently it was game night.