There was nothing remarkable about Harland as a young boy other than his propensity towards magic. It was clear to all that he would be a mage and no surprise to anyone when he took up studies as soon as he was allowed. It was never his intention to have any impact on history, but all of that changed when the skies darkened and strangely opulent and majestic floating islands appeared above Valenthia.
These mysterious islands, with their towers and halls, cast an ominous shadow over Castle Valence, and while they were silent, they made everyone extremely nervous. The king ordered a party be sent up to investigate: Sister Keira, a boon sister, ser Harland the mage, an Ashken swordmaster and a Valenthian knight.
Initially, they found the islands to be almost completely empty. Hall after silent hall greeted them with nothing but shadows and echoes. It was only when they reached the most imposing of towers that they met a small group of sorcerors calling themselves the Magginaos.
Their story was grim: these islands were all that remained of the world from whence they came. Theirs had been a magocracy and magic was a part of every day life for everyone. At the height of their power, something terrible happened: a cataclysm on such a grand scale that it ripped their world apart.
These few Magginaos were the only survivors.
At first, the party was sympathetic, happy to oblige and share whatever hospitality they could offer. What they soon discovered, however, was that the Magginaos were more powerful than anything Valenthia had ever encountered, and they were hungry for more.
Knowing that none could stop them if they so chose to take over Valenthia, the party made the difficult choice of trying to stop them there and then. What followed was a terrible struggle, a battle that took them through all of the islands as the Magginaos tested their wits, their strength, their resolve and their compassion.
It was a difficult battle that drained them mentally and spiritually, but eventually, the party prevailed and the Magginaos were no more.
Harland and the others returned to Valenthia, stating only that the islands were empty, the four of them silently agreeing to keep the events that took place a secret.
In the years that followed, Harland committed himself to his studies. He remained in Valenthia, refusing to join the elite on the islands, all the while wondering if they could have done something different.
He married, had a son and generally tried to live as quiet and normal a life as he could, but never feeling quite completely at peace. Many celebrated the islands of the Magginaos as gift from the gods, but only he and three others saw them for what they truly were: a warning, the dire consequences of power and magic left unchecked.