There is an island that legend holds to be cursed. The island is a secluded island that is about a week’s sail west of the the Thornshire Province in the Northern Realms. The island is rich with resources and soon became an outpost for the province. A few generations ago, small contingent of settlers was sent there to settle the land and start harvesting the resources. It quickly became a boom town of lumber, quarried stone, and iron. The island is faily large in size, so it easily accommodated the settlers, the quarry and the iron mine.
A consortium was established to ensure the balance of resources for the island. They decreed a replanting of trees needed to happen when harvesting. Soon there was a system in place so that they had a steady supply of harvested lumber. Within 50 years, the island became a self sustaining and bustling port town. Ships from across the Northern Realms and Southern Kingdoms came to Menhauten for trade, which was renowned to have some of the highest quality iron around.
As time went on, the inevitable happened. The quarry and mines started to run dry and they abandoned the tree harvesting system that ensured constant harvest. Ships stopped coming in and trade has all but ceased. People started leaving the island and it appeared that the island would be abandoned. The Consortium struggled to regain its foothold on the island, but was fighting a losing battle.
It was then, that a strange figure appeared before the Consortium. Only known as “The Tradesman,” he promised to return the the island to its former glory, for a price. The Consortium agreed to his price, payable upon completion, and he went to work. The Tradesman first went into the mines and spent 3 months in its depth. Fearing the Tradesman has died, a scouting parting was sent to find him. The found the Tradesman with a cart load of iron ore and newly found healthy veins to mine. Before long, the mine buzzed back to life with a higher quality of iron than before.
The Tradesman took a team of 4 people into the quarry and taught them new ways to find and harvest the stone. After about 6 months, the team of four was able to revive the quarried stone mine. They were even able to find two other locations that were suitable to provide huge quantities of stone and marble. As with the mines, the word spread that the island was trading again. Within a few weeks, the trade has exceeded previous levels and the island was flourishing again.
Reviving the lumber trade was going to be a bit more difficult. However, with a few rituals and magic granted by Faunus, he was able to get the harvesting system that was in place operating again withing a month! The Tradesman warned the Consortium that the system need to be followed in order to have a constant supply of harvested lumber.
Within a year, the Tradesman was able to revive the island back to its former glory and beyond. Trade was flourishing, people were returning and everyone was happy. The Tradesman appeared before the Consortium to collect his payment. The Consortium refused. Instead of rewarding the Tradesman with the agreed payment, they imprisoned and sentenced him to death. When it came time for his execution, the Tradesman sat quietly on the gallows. His head was placed in the noose and the platform released. Instead of swinging, his body dispersed in a multitude of snakes. The snakes started attacking those around, but were killed by the Consortium’s guard.
The Consortium took pride in betraying the Tradesman. However, this did not last long. After 4 days, a huge storm beset the island. Lightning strikes burned the forests, a tidal wave destroyed the harbor and all the ships docked there. Reports started coming in that there were enormous snakes attacking the mine and quarry workers. Even the villagers and farmers were not safe. It seemed as though the ground itself swelled up and released hordes of snakes upon all that lived on the island. In one night, every villager, worker and trader that was on the island was killed, except for the members of the Consortium. They were spared to witness the destruction of what the Tradesman has built. They watched in horror as they seen every man, woman and child fell prey to the giant snakes.
The next morning, they walked about the village to bear witness to the devastation. Strangely enough, they were not attacked or even harassed by the giant snakes. They searched and searched, but was unable to find any survivors of the island. Of the six Consortium members, one was driven mad at the scene and ran out into the ocean to drown that day. Another took his own life with his sword over the following night. A few nights later, the remaining four were asleep in their beds. Each were awakened to a strange sound, only to find a tiny snake on the bed with them. Not thinking it would attack, since none of the larger ones had, they picked them up to throw them off the bed. Only, once they reached for the tiny viper, they were bitten.
Each of them succumbed the the poisonous bite. Over the next year, each one wasted away from the poison. Unable to eat, drink or move, they were only able to lay there in their opulent beds and let the poison eat at them. One year to the date of the execution of the Tradesman, the remaining four Consortium members died from the wasting poison.
Legends and tales of the island say that it is still overrun with massive snakes. It has now been dubbed the “Isle of Serpents” by sailors and even the heartiest of adventurers stay away from its shores.