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Qiblat Al'ard Al'umu (Holy Kiss of Mother Earth)by Robin
Source; Egyptian legends used as Nithian Legends, combined with the Mystara history and tales.
This location is in one perspective highly magical, in others not at all. It is THE location where the first Nithians discovered meteoric iron, enabling to start the (second) Iron age of Mystara. This metal was deposited here in 3150BC when a meteor fell in this region.
The old Blackmoorians had created a small village with adequate dwarven smithies, to mine the meteor, yet both races eventually succumbed to the dust (thought to be responsible for the inability to use any magic or electrical powered technology) which still lingered in 3050BC. The village was abandoned after the non-stopping cases of lung diseases, and forgotten up to the Great Rain of Fire.
The early Nithians found some damaged annals of Ancient Blackmoor documents describing the event and the description of a metal stronger than bronze. Scouts were sent to find this gift from the gods and retrieve it.
In fact Immortals had nothing to do with this. It was just one of the natural meteors impacting on Mystara, so often through time. The steel, however, was a spark of growing steel, probably (unknown) originating from a far planet or the Plane of Earth. When it hit the Skyshield of Mystara it was seriously slowed down, yet still enough to cause a 3 by 4 mile crater on impact. The dust of the impact did not settle for ages in the immediate vicinity, yet did spread over the old Traladaran lands. Some sages describe this dust being responsible for the high amount of metals in the Traladaran hills, yet this is seriously debated by Dwarven and Gnome researchers saying metal is a natural part of the world.
The early Nithians succeeded to locate the spot around 2650BC. In the mean time, Stone Giants (unaffected by the continuous cloud of dust) had found the area and used the stone parts of the meteor to create surface settlements within the crater. When the early Nithians came they were repelled by the peaceful, yet suspicious Stone Giants. It took the early Nithians several years to enable a peaceful trade and this enabled them to build a small town, named Al’Umuniza, at the edge of the area. The Stone Giants created a set of four henges to suppress the dust enabling others to be active there. They were however unable to suppress the overall anti-magical effect of the meteor itself, buried deep under the ground.
It was this period it was discovered that just outside the edge of the area steel crystal slowly but unstoppable spawned from the ground, like sword blades. Trade was prosperous for the Stone Giants and the early Nithians and seriously attributed the growth of the Nithians.
Plants started to grow in the area, being a normal invasion of the indigenous flora and fauna. However, due the high amount of metal in the ground the plants are from species rarer in the local ecology, growing here in abundance now, like Nettles, Brambles, Roses, Robinia, Devil’s Walking Stick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aralia_elata), and within these often pricly plants, many small animals find a safe place to hide and forage.
Slowly Nithia rose to power and spread its influence far and wide. Within this economic (and magical/social) growth, the Stone Giants were forced to work for them. Being initially peaceful, they did comply, and over time the Stone Giant villages felk to ruins, while being forced to work elsewhere. Two Nithian Shrines and a Nithian Temple, and even two tombs the Nithians did create on the crater’s rim, yet they were not used more than a century. The steel crystals continued to grow from dagger to short sword size on several locations just outside this rim.
In 500BC the Nithian Empire ‘fell away’ from the world and the area here was forgotten. The roads/trails to the area dissapeared completely and all who knew about it perished overtime, making this a forgotten area. Within the shrines, tombs and temple unknown Nithian treasures might be hidden, (mostly on metallurgy, creating magical weapons and some on the weird antimagical effects and crystal growth on the world).
In 125AC a Hsiaou settled in the Robinia forest around the crater, studying what had happened. They stayed here until they were forced away due the activities of the Beast of Radlebb and encoroaching humanoids. The steel crystals still continued to grow, albeit at a much reduced pace. They were short sword to normal sword blade size now. Some Traladarans discovered the area and regularly stole some of these crystals, to make new and strong metal weapons from it. The Shield and Sword of Halav, the Shield of Petra are definetly made of these metals.
Today 1000AC, the anti-magical effect still exists, and the relocated Hsiaou deduced it was generated by the meteor instead the dust, as was suggested over ages. Beside some looting humans and humanoids, and the studious Hsiaou this region has become one of the obscure areas of Karameikos, hidden in the woodlands of the Radlebb Plains. The thorny vegetation keeps most visitors away from the center where the past is hidden, and those looting metals (mostly in order of some mage) remain on the outer edge where the crystals grow. Due this the whole area is forgotten and actually may hold a lot of treasures and/or knowledge to behold. Only a herdflock of Pegasus and the Hsiaou know of the inner areas, and only go there to feed on the fruits of the thorny plants or some study. The metal crystals are now two-handed swords in size or smaller.
Recently a Dwarf reached the town of Sisak bearing terrible wounds by thorns and cutting blades. Recently a Dwarf reached the small town of Sisak on the Westron Raod bearing terrible wounds by thorns and cutting blades. All, he could say; "The Goblins want the growing metal", before he perished from his ordeal. Maybe your character will be able to find out what he meant.
A DM can make several adventures with ease here. keep in mind though the ruins of the villages, temple, shrines and tombs may have undergound areas, they are still within the antimagical perimeter and only in the crater's ledge. Use above information to fill in details.