Cartania, 865 standard years past
This account adds yet another contradiction to the legend of the great ship Spelljammer. The most disturbing aspect of the tale is that it ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Some elves were eye witnesses, and some of them still live. The following account is from the memoirs of a human historian who lived in Farbay at the time:
"The reign of Dark Magic was at last coming to an end, and the cursed Nimar were assumed soon to be gone, but before they left they brought one more moment of fear to the people of the Land.
The last of the Nimar, twelve of them to be exact, came to Farbay in a majestic Sky Galleon. Upon their arrival, the good people of the city descended on the ship and destroyed it, but the Nimar, who escaped the destruction, exhibited no concern. It was as if the loss of the sky ship meant nothing to them. They went to one of the small islands in the bay and created an enormous fire of green flame. The flame formed a pillar, that rose to the height of a small mountain. The people of Farbay were terrified, and many wanted to travel to the island and destroy the Nimar at once. But, since the flame posed no immediate danger to the city, and since most of the people were frightened beyond words, they were left alone. The flame ended most mysteriously. Instead of dying like a normal fire, it formed a long shaft and flew into the clouds like a spear. It was as if the Nimar had been searching for a great game bird, and released an arrow once they had found it.
The flame must have contained a magic too terrible for a simple one like myself to understand. After one phase of the red moon [Irania, the second moon of Cartania - ed], the summons was answered. It was no game bird that answered the Nimar's summons, but a huge flying manta ray, with a long tail like a scorpion, and a small city mounted on its back! It blotted the sky at dawn, and glided above the surface of the ocean without effort, finally coming to rest in the bay, resting peacefully on the calm water.
The people of the city were expecting the great creature to destroy the city, if not the entire world. Yet, the beast just sat quietly. The Nimar, still on the tiny island, itself smaller than the enormous creature, boarded a small boat and paddled toward the beast. One brave soul mounted a griffin and flew above the winged beast. He reported seeing many people within the city, many belonging to races he had never seen. Oddly, they all appeared to be asleep. When he attempted to land on the beast, his griffin was prevented from doing so by two smaller versions of the great beast, who drove him back to the mainland.
The Nimar however, boarded the craft without incident. Just before nightfall, the beast took wing again, with the last of the Nimar on board, travelling into the sky with a speed greater than the finest sky ship. For days the people waited for the beast to return, but it never did."
Commentary and analysis, by Tiegorus of Maplegrove:
Those who have studied the lore of Wildspace know this vessel to be the "Great Wanderer," or The Spelljammer as it is more commonly known. They will also know the two craft that engaged the griffin rider as some type of Smalljammer. I have verified the authenticity of this event through magical spells and speaking with aged elves native to the area. The event has acquired the proportions of an epic myth in the eight centuries since, but the above account can be considered accurate.
One should note that this is the only confirmed instance, in all of the worlds I have visited, of the Spelljammer actually LANDING, in this case on water. The ship does not land because doing so would break the spell it uses to hold its many passengers, which is sent though the ship's atmosphere. The fact that all of the passengers were asleep when the ship landed suggests that the craft must take extreme measures to land (put everyone to sleep!) and therefore avoids it.
Many less informed historians offer this story as proof that the humans of Cartania built the Spelljammer at the onset of the Magic Wars. That is simply not true: Accounts of the Spelljammer in other spheres predate the earliest phases of the Magic Wars (2500 standard years past) by several centuries. Furthermore, though the mages of Cartania eventually harnessed sufficient magic to create such a craft, it was not until the final phases of the Magic Wars that such powers were available, and even then were used only sparingly.
I will accept a different theory, that the Spelljammer was built by a group of humans, sometime in the past, and that some (or even all) of these humans established a settlement on Cartania. These would naturally be the Nimar (on other worlds this ancient order of spellcasters may have different names). The descendants of these humans were the ones who summoned the great ship to Cartania. As for where it was built, I can only make suggestions drawn from Arcane records. The level of magic required to create such a craft has only existed on a few documented worlds, and in each case it is currently lost, the world no longer exists, or the knowledge is otherwise unaccessible.
Be that as it may, the fact that the Spelljammer came to Cartania, landed, and "personally" carried the Nimar away, indicates that the Nimar (by whatever name) had something to do with the creation of the ship, and that the ship was "returning a favor" when it arrived. It is highly unlikely that the Great Wanderer, who does not involve itself with the affairs of groundlings, would respond to any summons, no matter how compelling, unless its "conscience" required it to do so.
Tiegorus of Maplegrove, Incumbent of the Nimar.