I’m still plugging away at the hexcrawl adventure for my my Thild map. I hope to have it completed sometime next week. In the meantime, here is the brief history write-up I made for the Islands. Hope you enjoy.
The Isles of Mist were once the northernmost territory of a vast sprawling empire ruled by demons. After suffering centuries of abuse from their masters an alliance of mages arose in the north which overthrew the demons there, and liberated its people. Thus was formed the Mageocracy of Taldir, a loosely knit alliance of city states each ruled by a council of mages. The Isles of Mist were known as the Thildish Isles in those days and several of the great Taldic city states stood upon their rocky shores.
Once the land had recovered from the war the magedom underwent a renaissance in the high arcane arts. The cities flourished as innovations in magic brought improvements to transportation, agriculture and production. The cities were connected by a series of magical portals. Whenever a Mage Lord perished they and their retinue were entombed within vast underground burial mounds.
The Taldic Magedom existed for nearly two millennia. In its later years the city states grew decadent and Mage Lords laid waste to rival cities in pointless contests of arcane power. Barbarian hordes from the south and Orcs dwelling in the western alps descended upon the crumbling city states, plundered their wealth and destroyed what remained of Taldic civilization.
Prior to the barbarian invasion while the Taldic city states were fighting amongst themselves, a group of giant thralls within the isles fled the cities to dwell in the highlands. Their leader, a Hill Giant named Gremfedel, built a keep upon the highest hill and named himself lord of the giants. His descendants dwell there to this day.
Following the barbarian invasion of the mainland gnolls migrated to the Isles and begun constructing shrines and temples to their demon god, Balloziel. In their zeal they ventured into the barrows of the Mage Lords to steal their magic and awoke the wrath of the dead. Many of the gnolls were destroyed by the undead they had unearthed. The rest were slain a century ago when humans began re-colonizing the isles. Those few that survived fled into the fae-haunted forests, where humans feared to tread.
In the millennium following the fall of Taldir humans largely avoided the Isles, which were believed to be cursed. Pirates in the region took advantage of this and built havens there. Only within the last century have humans once more begun to settle upon the isles.