The ruins of the once great town of Tanlur, or "House of Rexilar" (as it is often called), consists of a great central building, which is squat and built of three tiers. This gives it the impression of a pyramid, though it has many balconies and towers that break from that geometric design. Surrounding the great central fortress are several dozen smaller buildings, built of the same dark grey stone and in various states of disrepair. A number of walls, tiled roads and plazas weave their way about the buildings. A once great city wall encircled the town, but less than half of that wall still stands.
The ancient town sits on the banks of a dried up river bed. This was once where the Everclear River flowed, but the quakes of old shifted the landscape and the river took to another course. On a hill over looking the town is a graveyard upon whose stones are inscribed many names who fought and died in ancient battles for this land.
The ruins of Rexilar are located deep in the heart of Talis near the western coast.
In the Age of Dreams, there lived a powerful sorcerer named Rexilar who ruled over a small section of southwestern Ithria. He was the lord protector of a town named Tanlur and the region about the town was called Tanluris. The people here were descended from nine clans and these nine clans were united under Rexilar.
Rexilar was a master of herbalism, healing and what he called "life magic". He crossbred animals and plants and used his magic to create whole new species. He himself could shapeshift and enjoyed taking the form of a tiger. He was fascinated with all types of cats. Rexilar was also a master oracle, able to peer into the future, divine the true nature of things and see into the hearts of men.
Eventually, his small realm came into conflict with Bathyn, another small realm to the northeast which was ruled over by a rival arch mage named Threll. Threll was a specialist in rune magic and glyph stones. He ruled over the town of Kultec and many small villages. In 464 TIC, Rexilar traveled to Kultec and came to Threll with gifts and friendship, but Threll struck aside such peaceful offerings and demanded submission from Rexilar. Rexilar refused and again attempted civil discourse. In a fury, Threll cut the throat of one of Rexilar's entourage and attempted to imprison the rest. Rexilar and his entourage fled and were hounded all the way back to Tanluris.
This event sowed the seeds of resentment. Several times Rexilar offered peace but each time Threll retaliated with violence. As Threll sought to amass greater magical power, Rexilar was forced to do likewise. He feared a day would come when he alone would stand between Threll's ambition and many peaceful towns. Rexilar sought to increase his spells and extend his life with magic in order to one day protect the innocent from Threll.
Threll invaded Tanlur's borders repeatedly. Minor offenses gave way to assaults and raids which soon lead to the brink of war. Rexilar made one final attempt at peace. Threll would have none of it. Threll amassed an army and declared war upon Tanlur in 468 TIC.
The war was well fought on both side and Rexilar's brave soldier, though outnumbered, held their ground. In order to end the war as quickly as possible, Rexilar created a race of warriors that bore distinctively feline features. These warriors moved with the grace, swiftness and agility of a cat. They also had the stealth, senses and night time vision of a feline predator. In 469 TIC, Rexilar unleashed this new breed of feline humanoid warriors upon the battle field. These feline warriors helped turn the tide of the war and push Threll's brutes back.
As this tiny war was being raged, the Alliance Mages, on the far side of the continent, were laboring on the Focusing and slowly drawing the world toward the greatest disaster. Rexilar, a sensitive mage much in tune with the field of magic, sensed the troubles brewing in the magic of the world and the instability in the heavens above. A master of divination, he foresaw the great tragedy that was at hand. He foresaw the Sundering and the chaos it would bring. Such things were lost on Threll, who was bent on destruction and not skilled enough to notice such subtle disturbances in the magic of the world.
Although the future become unclear after the Sundering, Rexilar knew what he must do. To protect himself, his magic and all he had built, Rexilar began to work upon the creation of his greatest magical treasure in early 470 TIC. Even while his armies fought in the battle field, he labored in his laboratory. He labored in secret for his ambitious plan would be spoiled if it were known by too many. Only a handful of his most trusted apprentices aided him. After six months of research and enchantment, his work was done. His hard work had produced an enchanted talisman in the shape of stone statuette that bore the likeness of a cat sitting in quiet repose.
Such was the enchanted of this Talisman that he would be able to store himself, his magic and much treasure. He planned to use this "Stone Phellysian" statuette to wait out the great storm that was coming. Rexilar would let the Sundering and World Storm destroy his enemy. Only then would he re-emerge, claim both realms and begin to rebuild. With his most trusted apprentices, Rexilar completed the ritual. Rexilar, along with huge amounts of treasure, magical lore, his most valuable possessions and arcana, were whisked into the Stone Phellysian.
Threll and his armies soon swept through Tanlur and routed what was left of Rexilar's people. Most fled to the hills and woods for safety. Threll took Tanluris. The true events that followed are obscured in the eddies of history. It is said by some historians that Threll claimed the Stone Phellysian and took it back to Kultec. It is not known why Rexilar would allow this. Perhaps Rexilar so an opportunity to use his guise to spring a trap upon Threll from within the walls of his own home.
In any case, it does not matter anymore. Mere weeks after this, the Sundering occurred and the World Storm swept over the world. The land shook, the sky rained fire and the doom of man had come. In the aftermath, Threll was killed by his own people who fell to bickering amongst themselves. The lands of Bathyn fell into civil war while Tanlur began to slowly reunite and rebuild itself. The Stone Phellysian, however, had vanished.
Rexilar's magic no doubt had a great influence on the people. Many of the feline warriors lived on and led the people. The people of Tanlur began to take on feline attributes as well. Perhaps, to strengthen his people, the magic that changed them was his parting gift. Or perhaps his magic was twisted by the World Storm. In any case, the people of Tanluris slowly, over the course of many centuries, grew to look more and more like the feline warriors that led them. No one knew what had happened to Rexilar. Most assumed he had been killed by Threll, but there were rumors that he lived on and would one day return.
Over the years, the people of the Tanlur began to band together along the traditional clan lines of old... the Nine Clans. The Nine Clans lived peacefully together. To the northeast, the barbaric Bathyn clans fought bloody wars with each other. When the Bathyn Clan Wars finally ended and the Bathyn clans came together in peace in 457 CY, the Nine Clans of the phellysians watched patiently. Although they had lived in cooperation peacefully for many years, they formalized their relationship in 621 CY with the first Verral. From this year on, the lands were known as Talis.
Because their great leader, Rexilar, had met his fate in Tanlur and it had been befouled by the armies of Threll, it became taboo to venture there. The Nine Clans agreed that no phellysian would ever set foot in that sacred place. And so, the once great town of Tanlur, home of Rexilar, is left in peace. The stone ruins are the final resting place of Rexilar. It is said that lights and strange apparitions are sometimes seen there from a great distance. It is believe that the restless spirits of those who died in the final battle linger there.
The ruin of Tanlur is a quiet place, left to the beasts and the weeds. The phellysians do not come here, never setting foot within a mile of it. Even being within sight of the great ruin makes phellysians uncomfortable.
Unknown to the general population, the secretive order of the Vermillion Shroud meet in the ruins regularly. These mages form a tightly knit brotherhood that share magical teachings, arcana and lore. They are devoted to a single cause - they seek the lost artifact known as the Stone Phellysian.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.