And so it was that the grubby freebooters, thieves, heretics and hedge wizards of the Widdershin Islands, both native and Imperial expatriates, were swept aside by the shinning scions of the Imperial Court: the Thousand Sons. Their slender ships sailed from island to island, always surveying for the white stones of the old Fir Bolg ruins, grim caverns along the coast, or the splintered timber that marks some large monster's hunting grounds. There, with their footmen in splendid ranks around them, did the Sons sally forth into the darkness in pursuit of glory. In dim halls the shining horde slew demons and fearies, abdead and monster; out of darkness they carried scrolls and swords and rings. The Sons wore the rainments of ancient chieftains.
The hysteria of spelunking and dungeoneering rose to such fevered pitch, that secondary and tertiary professions sprung up in its wake. There were hunters and tamers who captured trolls and serpents, and sold them to young bravos for the honor of the kill. Hospitalier and Collegiate Wizards found their services in such great need as had never been seen among the colonies. Sellswords and Cutthroats to join the host. Gemsmiths to tend their souls. Appraisers. Taxidermists. Torchbearers. Curse Eaters. Guides. Miners.
Architects and Scholars were brought in to design new mazes and labyrinths, and Engineers and Golematrists to stock them. Many lost keeps, once cleared, were restocked and reset by clever men. Booby traps were set into stonework. Fierce creatures were herded into the tunnels, or replaced with constructs. It has been recorded that the indigenous elf tribes were sometimes press-ganged into fighting to the death. Whole new structures were hastily constructed to continue the sport, like the Glass Underhall at the town of Benábins, and the Gauntlet at Mulloughbrack. Some of these structures still exist today in various uses, but the majority were long since abandoned to the elements and the kudzu vines.
This practice only fell into disfavor, and the Thousands Sons returned to the Empire, after the death of the Nephew of the King, and son of the Lord of the Pepperfields, at the hands of Thousand Demon March under Benábins.
|Mulloughbrack's infamous Gauntlet|