In the sky above the Dragon Empire floats a magical island known as Darkskye. In times gone by, the crystals mined there were once a mighty source of power, but both their light and potency have diminished in the current age (although it is rumored that the residual dust left by the crystals as a result of the mining operation can fetch a fair price from back alley alchemists in Shadow Port). In recent generations, the island has come to be used to house the most dangerous prisoners of the Dragon Empire, who are sentenced to work in the mines until their final days.
Darkskye is largely self-sufficient, with a lake and several internal reservoirs of water, a small village on the surface, and the prison cells built within the mine itself. Travel to and from the island is normally accomplished via a teleportation circle that shuts down during emergencies.
Although falling within the domain of the Dragon Emperor, the island has naturally drawn the attention of the other Icons. The High Druid is appalled at the use of magic and technology to take something as wondrous as a flying island and subjugating it to be used for something as vulgar as a prison mine. She regularly sends agents to observe the state of affairs and goings-on at Darkskye. One of these agents, the half-elf Ursamir (Zachary), clings to the hope that his time at Darkskye will prove fruitful and provide him with clues about the whereabouts, or fate, of his wife and son.
Another half-elf, this one having seen less than half of the forty-one years that Ursamir has lived, has been sent as an emissary of the priestess to bring the hope of repentance to those who have been condemned to spend the remainder of their lives trapped on the floating rock. Observed from a distance by Ursamir, Kavik (Mark) spends his time aboard Darksye attempting to minister to the prisoners. One of them in particular piques his interest: a brooding, muscular human with intricate tattoos adorning his body, possibly tribal in nature. He projects an aura of savagery, though whether this aspect of his persona existed prior to coming aboard the island or came about as a result of hard time spent in the brutal conditions of the mines Kavik is uncertain.
Kavik reaches out to the man and tries to engage him in conversation but is rewarded for his effort by being sharply rebuked and mocked. After the man turns his back to the young half-elf, Ursamir approaches Kavik and the two introduce themselves, their common heritage a point of interest for them. Shortly after their introduction, the entire island begins to shake, not much unlike a mild earthquake – if such a thing were possible on a floating island. Though the two half-elves had not experienced anything like it during their time on Darkskye thus far, it passes as quickly as it comes, and the two continue about their business, though not quite certain what to make of it.