The Inferno of Caelon and the Crime of Poaching

Prior to the Inferno of Caelon in 938 A4 that permanently destroyed much of the lush forests that covered the land, the concept of poaching was not a major offense throughout the land. While specific sections of the forests near each keep were off-limits for commoners, poaching on the land was not considered a critical issue that required punishment.

The Inferno changed all of that for centuries to come.

Because, in particular, the lush landscape of the eastern half of Caelon was hit the hardest, the woods near each hold suddenly became scarce resources needing to be protected. All throughout Caelon, it became imperative for lords to protect their hunting grounds or risk losing the delicate balance of the wildlife altogether.

In the North, the kingdom of Vestilla saw an important influx of immigrants due to the fact that the woods in the mountain region surrounding Vestilla remained largely intact after the Inferno. Because of this, and mounting tremendous pressure from the commoners, Vestilla eventually declared a large portion of their forest to be forever free for hunting, so long as the hunters carried a permit from the royal authority. The action was hailed as a tremendous showing of generosity, and secured Vestilla’s influence on the North.

In many of the other holds, the need to protect the woods caused enhanced laws to be placed. Not only did poaching on lords’ lands become punishable by years of servitude or, in extreme or repeated cases, execution, it caused serious changes to the diets of the common man. Where meat once was abundant, now commoners were lucky to get meat a few times a year, usually in the form of cured meats from merchants from the north.

The Inferno that saw white and blue flames ravage the land for three months still existed for many years afterward, in a now desolate and forbidden area of Caelon west of the Kingdom of Becio and Northeast of Alestino called Tierra de Fuego Blanco, the land of the White Flame. While the flames are contained in just that area now, they have not been able to be dispersed, even many years later. Because of this, conservation efforts have been made to ensure that no growth returns to the surrounding area, lest they spread to the lands farther out which are taking a very long time to regrow.

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