The Maw is an older city, having been founded long before the Great War. It began as a small fishing village, settled up against the mountains at the narrowest part of the trecherous inlet leading East from the Great Mystaran Sea. As the fishermen began to learn to navigate the treacherous passage, often called The Teeth, for it's jutting spires of rock that had dashed many a ship, the slowly growing city began to earn it's name. As more people arrived, and ferrying passengers became a more lucrative option than fishing, the trade was further picked up, with the ferrymen becoming known as Tongues, for their skill at guiding their guests through the Maw unscathed.
As the city grew, a sister city sprang up across the inlet, being called the Spire. The two cities naturally established an early trading relationship, with knowledge and supplies frequently moving between the two rapdily growing keeps. Wealth was amassed, nobility was earned, and even soldiers were trained as they grew larger. However, on the Day of Fallen Sun, when the earth was sundered by a roaring light, and a great wave swept across the lands did everything begin to go wrong. Crops, long maintained by spellcraft, began to die, while injuries usually cured by touch of holy men suddenly resisted all but the greatest of herbal medicines. In the rush of despair did lands and peoples rise up, striking at each other in covetous need for the suddenly scarce resources that had long been taken for granted.
At first, the Maw and the Spire attempted to maintain amicable relations, but as their supplies further dwindled, and less support came from their trading partner did foul suspicion sink in it's fangs, and held tenaciously. Spies were sent to determine if there was truly nothing to be had, and when caught, their origin exposed, did their long treaty come to an end, and battle broke out between the two long-standing allies, parts of both cities being raized, and a good many ships ending their journey at the bottom of the sea, men and cargo alike lost to the depths. Without resources, such action could not be long sustained, and the two sides would attempt to find peace, to ensure their mutual survial.
It was in this moment that a clever advisor suggested that the two wealthiest families marry into one, to ensure that there would be no cause for division in the future. After much deliberation, the Talbereaths of the Spire, and the Manesols of the Maw became one, even joining their names together in that year. And though time may have warped the spelling of their good name, the Talmaines have remained in power, safeguarding both cities from intruders and fostering a grand trade empire from each of their piers.
For almost four hundred years has this peace managed to sustain itself, but with each successive generation, the number of Talmaines has diminished, lost to plague or the call of adventure. Often both, as the world began to recover, magic ever so slowly returning it's embrace to the peoples of the world. Some ills, however, even magic cannot cure, and as the last lord of the cities, Ganforth Talmaine began his inspection to see which of his two children was suited to rule over these cities, tragedy struck. His ship, en route from the Maw towards the Spire, vanished without a trace.
His daughter, Kaepha Talmaine, seeing opportunity in the winds, quickly opened her late father's vault and took possession of his Seal, using the proof of her favorable review combined with the official Seal to declare herself ruler of both cities. Her brother, and current master of the Spire, Balmor Talmaine, swiftly declared her a fraud, having violated their father's trust by so rashly taking action. However, due to her possession of the Seal, most of the guards and captains flocked to her banner. Fearing a reprisal for his words, Balmor allied himself with various brigands and even pirates, seeking to protect himself from being forcibly removed from his rightful place as ruler.
The gates had been closed since the moment of this division, as each side sought to clear the spies and doubters from their camps, a great many dead finding their way into the seas. However, as the siblings came to blows across the sea, and food began to dwindle with the lack of trade, Kaepha has finally seen fit to open her gates once more, desperate that food be acquired, and her leadership safeguarded from the mutterings of mistrust fueled by hunger. It is in this state, that a small group would arrive within the great city, seeking their own fortunes among a rough and recovering land.