A large continent a few hundred miles off the coast of the northern continent has been the source of legends for centuries. To the sailors in the Veparan trader fleet, the reef off the coast is the place where ships go to die, and its skies are filled with monsters. To the fishing villages along the channel between the continents, it is inhabited by a mysterious civilization, from long before the rise of both humans and elves. To the Shodid fleet, it’s a land flowing with fresh water and fruit, which are always gathered exactly where the pirate ships land, as if their presence was expected, and in return, the pirates leave the occasional chest of treasure.
Despite all of the rumors and legends, little is actually known about the continent known as Ajnata. Vepara has sent missions to start trading posts, all of which were found deserted within months. Llynges has sent expeditions to go to the heart of Ajnata, none of which were ever heard from again. All that is definitely known by the world at large is that its forests are dense with rare trees and its coasts are deadly to so many vessels, for reasons that are impossible to determine.
The closer to the heart of the continent one travels, the more the legends make sense, although none who have done so have ever returned. The truth that a successful traveler would learn is that Ajnata is home to a massive, ancient civilization, which calls itself Se Pahale. Se Pahale has kept its existence a secret for fear of what would happen to them if they were ever discovered, a fear that has been with them for millenia.
Thousands of years ago, before the gnomes had even discovered their Portal, Se Pahale sent out an expedition of their most skilled sailors in their best seafaring vessel to explore the world and bring back tales of the world outside their forest. Unfortunately, the expedition never returned, it was assumed that they were all killed by some unspeakable horror from beyond the edge of the world – in fact, the expedition had merely landed on an island that they named after their ship: Vepara. Dismayed by the loss of their finest sailors, Se Pahale decided as a whole that it was best for them to remain in the land they knew. Over time, the society recovered what they lost in resources and skill, but their isolation led them to progress in a different direction from the sailors who were “lost.” Instead of discovering the secrets of magic, the scholars of Se Pahale learned to harness the power of their minds to alter reality. It was not long until they began to apply this knowledge to the boat making that they were so grateful to have remastered – soon, ships were seen sailing above the trees. The great speeds of the skyships enabled Se Pahale to settle more of their homeland than they had thought to attempt before, but they still never left their country.
In the first city, there was established a place of learning, teaching any who wanted how to use the so-called “psionic” power. Soon, it became an art form, and after that, a means of defense against a threat that never came. They organized their ships into a navy, they trained young elves to pilot them, and sent them to patrol the coasts, to prepare the rest of the country in case the unearthly horrors came to threaten their shores. As time moved on, the directive of secrecy became almost dogmatic, and even though the alien destruction never came, they were ware of the ships of strange design that were seen to come to their shores carrying pale-skinned elves and odd creatures that looked like elves but were a head shorter and a foot wider. When the newcomers began to set up villages and cut down the trees, it was known that they were invaders and must be repelled. The only ones who were allowed to stay were the dark skinned giants who only picked fruits and left after a short rest. Though never interacting, the elves of Se Pahale and the escaped orcs, on the way to joining the Shodid pirates, formed an understanding between the two nations.
Even now, after a thousand years of pale-skinned invaders and orcish refugees, none from the outside world have seen an elf of Se Pahale. However, the prospect of sending a new expedition to the outside world has been gaining ground. Most think it unreasonable, but many have proposed sending a small group, perhaps even one, into the seas to see what has become of the world.