Tag Archives: Historian Reaf Cobham III

The History of Sheol: Part IV – The Drums of War

“Nevertheless, to this day, the threat of Achra’s return remains, and the possibility of a Third War lingers. Recent reports suggest that Achra is mustering an army of unprecedented force far to the West, prepping to sweep into Araboth and claim it in his name. Rumors tell of legions of black ships, massing in the western Herman sea, preparing to besiege Araboth. This leaves many questions: will Achra and his new army vanquish Araboth? Will Araboth destroy Achra, defending its faithful citizens? Or will Araboth pick up and leave altogether, determined to reclaim the Land of the Living, thereby forsaking Sheol to an eternity without salvation?”


Historian Reaf Cobham III’s published account of Araboth ends here. Undoubtedly, his personal journals contain troves of additional information, but according to Cobham III himself, these writings will remain unpublished. “As of yet, speculation,” he huffs. “I publish only Truth.” 

(Lost? Read “SHEOL“).

The History of Sheol: Part III – The Second War

“Meanwhile, in Araboth, unhappy rumblings filled the streets and rippled throughout the woods, as people continued to question the way of life they had once held so dear. Maybe Achra had been right!, they thought. It took the Second War to address such suspicion. Yerik, a humble and charismatic woodsman, championed Araboth’s traditional way of life, defending the peace. He preached tranquility and servanthood, warning against the dangers of complacency, a disease to which Araboth’s government had fallen prey. Naturally, those in power did not appreciate Yerik’s outspoken criticism. They declared the woodsman an outlaw and enemy of the very peace he worked to defend. 

“Misunderstanding his message of peace, Yerik’s supporters declared war on the government that had saved them during the First War. The political leaders were toppled, and a new regime was established in the woodsman’s name. But much to his militant supporters’ chagrin, Yerik did not endorse their efforts. Instead, he decried their violent actions, insisting that they had undermined his message. Disillusioned and drunk on their newfound power, they condemned the woodsman to death. True to his word, Yerik did not resort to violence in defense of his life. Instead, he turned himself in, and in sacrificing his life, gave testament to the truth and power of his peaceful message. So moved were the members of the new regime that they stepped down, and for years thereafter, Araboth thrived, living out Yerik’s prophesied peace.”

(Lost? Read “SHEOL“).

The History of Sheol: Part II – The Origin of the Wastes

Peace returned to Araboth, although the memory of the War left deep scars. The Great Bridge, which once connected Araboth to the rest of the Land of Sheol, was destroyed. Consequently, the two realms were severed, and Araboth closed its doors to free passage, inducting an era of separation. For years, Araboth was forgotten; the once-inhabited territories between Araboth and Erebu West no longer applicable, and ultimately abandoned. Over time, they became the Wastes, a desolate stretch of desert and tundra between Erebu West in the East, and the End of the Line in the West. Only the faithful – that is, those who believed enough in the so-called “legend” of Araboth to risk getting off the Sheol Express before its final destination – found their way to the crescent valley, with everyone else settling in dismal frontier towns.

(Lost? Read “The History of Sheol: Part I”)

The History of Sheol: Part I – the Status Quo, the First War, & the Fall of Achra

Araboth is (assuming it exists, according to Reaf Cobham III, of Brouwerij) a forested paradise. It is hidden in the crescent valley on the other side of the mountains that crown the Herman Sea, far to the West of the Land of the Living. Araboth has always existed, just as the End of the Line has always existed; therefore, its history is rich and varied, involved enough to fill sixty-six windows aboard the Sheol Express.

Prior to the First War, Araboth was a land of virtually uninterrupted peace. Those who found it settled gladly, and no one questioned the way of life. Most citizens live in the capital, but the city’s walls are by no means intended to limit. In fact, people live throughout the valley, with rugged individualists and simple rural folk choosing to make the woods their home. Everyone can come and go as they please.

Long ago, Achra, a prominent citizen of Araboth – if Araboth had had a government at the time, he would have ranked among its political leaders – began to question his restful way of life. To put it simply: he was bored. There was no conflict, no challenge; only an easy-going existence with no end in sight. Deeming Araboth an unsustainable utopia, its citizens lazy elitists, Achra rallied a formidable force of supporters, all of whom shared his disillusion. Together, they endeavored to plunge Araboth into conflict, and thereby awaken all those who had “fallen asleep”; that is, turned a blind eye to something as natural as human conflict. The citizens of Araboth were forced to oppose his efforts, in order to protect their way of life. So the Army of the Light (the name of Araboth’s military) came into existence, and Araboth assembled its first governmental system, heretofore unnecessary, because there had never been any miscreants to govern. Walls were erected around the City to protect against Achra’s rebellion. The War was swift: ultimately, Achra and his force were cast out of Araboth, forbidden to return.

Reaf Cobham III, of Brouwerij

A lover of history and a brewer of fine ales.

As captured by concept artist Jordan Hassay.

The History of Sheol: An Introduction

“The Sheol Express” is set in the drought-stricken land of Sheol – a world unto itself, as unique as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Lewis’ Narnia, and Martin’s Westeros. In the present era, Sheol can be divided geographically into three distinct areas: the Bordertowns in the East, with the forsaken Wastes stretching far West, to the End of the Line. Whispers of a fourth location spread throughout the land – a second-to-last stop called Araboth, before the End of the Line – green, teeming with life and flowing with water.

Does it exist? Some say.

Look for posts over the next couple of weeks detailing the History of Sheol, as recounted by Historian Reaf Cobham III, of Brouwerij, a believer in Araboth and first-class brewer of fine ales.