Of the Pool Temple and the Fall of Anath

In the years after the Rending, the people of Teretz slowly moved across the continent of Teragen and established towns, cities, and kingdoms. As they did, they discovered many natural landmarks, such as rivers, lakes, and mountains. One of these in particular came to play a very important part in history.

On the island of Yaralassa, later called Anath, a small clan discovered the first known of the seven pools. The elves who accompanied them built a temple there and set guards around it, saying that Eleos had decreed the pool forbidden. The Temple became the center of a new city, Polibrek. This city became the center of the civilization on Yaralassa,  the nation of Mamnes, and it thrived under the wise leadership of the elves.

In time, as they developed better sailing technology and made use of the island’s resources, Mamnes became the most prominent and powerful of all the nations of Teragen. They maintained trade and contact with all the coastal lands surrounding the sea, thus gaining great economic and political influence. Yet with her prosperity came the usual ills of human life. In time there were villages of poverty and violence, and in one of these villages lived a man named Anath.

Anath was the son of a poor farmer, and in TY (Temple Year) 338 a brief but painfully timed drought devastated the family’s income and food supply. Anath, at the time a youth, was convinced that it could have been prevented through magic. Moreover, he became convinced that the elves were holding back access to magic from men. So the young Anath fled his home and went into unknown places where he studied magic for 12 years.

Anath had told his family and village that he would acquire magic which would prevent droughts, increase crops, make animals more fertile, and give his people the power to stand up by themselves without elvish help. When he returned to his people in 350, however, he did not have any such magic. Instead, Anath had been consumed with his hatred for the elves. He came home immensely powerful, but more like a god of war than a god of harvest. With one curse he slew all of the elves in his village and declared it independent of elvish rule.

Anath’s people feared him, and when they saw his violence toward both elves and men who loved elves, they expelled him from their region. The tale says that he nearly killed them all, but his hand was stayed by the pleas of his mother. So Anath became a wanderer, entering towns and cities where he preached opposition to the elves. He warned that they were conspiring to keep mankind subjected to their magic, and that the only way to resist was by greater magic. Most did not listen to him, recognizing the goodness and fairness of the elves, but still his following grew quite large.

Anath built his movement for 6 years, and in 356 he marched with 3,000 followers to Polibrek. He told his followers, who had become known as the Anathim, that the pool in the Temple contained more magic than anyone had ever known, which the elves guarded in order to maintain their power. So the Anathim swept over Polibrek like a great wave, killing every nearly all of the elves and most men who defended them. They marched into the Temple and killed everyone serving in it.

Having accomplished his victory, Anath and his men approached the forbidden pool. Most of the men drank from it and did indeed find their magic strengthened, but Anath was not content. He alone entered the pool, and after he did he was never seen again.

In the aftermath, the Anathim took control of Polibrek and eventually conquered all of Mamnes. The nation and the island were renamed Anath after their leader, and the nation of Anath used its economic and political clout to sway all of the coastal nations to worship magicians, rebel against the elves, and abandon Eleos, who, they claimed, had clearly been an elvish invention. Over the years, rumor began circulating that at the end of time Anath would reappear from the pool and bring the whole world under the dominion of the Anathim, achieving what even the Great Magician failed to do.

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