(A/N): Again, this is not the actual history of the Payon Caves as found in the game. This is the history I'm using for my fanfic's growing world.
The Payon Caves
The caves of Payon have long been a main attraction in the mountain town's region. Filled with a variety of monsters and tantalizing clues to the town's elven past, it attracts adventurers willing to face the undead and worse things for battle experience, treasure and a chance to prove one's self against the mighty Moonlight Flower.
In the past
During the ancient days of Payon, the elves used the first few floors of the Payon caves as a maze of tombs where they buried their dead. They clothed the bodies in ceremonial clothes and laid them in stone "shelves", grouping them by clan and status in life. The elves buried their dead with their possesions as part of their customs but when humans finally settled in Payon after the elves' extinction, what treasures that had not rotted away were quickly looted and sold as either cheap baubles or historical artifacts.
During the final battle for Payon, the elves had retreated to the caves for shelter against the powerful human army. Using the small entrances and their familiarity with the twisting passages of the caves, over two hundred thousand elves held the caves for months against a human siege. However, the resistance crumbled when Abraxil Sovivor unleased Sangius Magnus Exorcismus on the defenses. A lone spell quickly eradicated the elves within the settlement they created deep within the lowest recesses of the caves, adding a horrific twist and, ironically, securing the caves' status as an elven necropolis.
By 160 AG, settlers from Morroc made their way to Payon and built over the ruins of the elven town. Rather than discarding the elven architecture, the morrocans tried to recreate them. The caves of Payon quickly became an attraction for explorers, treasure hunters and for people interested in the elven way of life. Knights, priests and, later on, crusaders were sent to clear the place of the rampant undead but their numbers could only be checked, never completely eradicated. Many blamed Abraxil Sovivor's powerful magic for the strong undead presence in the cave as well as the unending hatred of the murdered elves within.
The Payonese rebellion
During 548 AG, the payonese rebelled against the moroccan empire in an attempt to break away from it and form an independent nation. During the battles that took place, most of the dead had to be rid of so fast that they were simply dumped inside the caves. As a result countless bodies added to the bulk of the undead; making the dark magic even stronger. When the rebellion was supressed, the bodies were gone. They were said to have been absorbed by the caves to constantly create more zombies and skeletons.
By 943 PT, the appeal of the Payon caves had long since disappeared. Adventurers still come to challenge Moonlight, volunteer for checking the undead population and train. Rumors have been spreading that a cult of Abraxil Sovivor's followers have made their lair within the caves as it is in the cave that the Dark Lord's magic had shown its strongest form. Within the darker recesses of the caves, they practice their arts in hopes of reviving their master and preparing a kingdom for him.
The first few "floors" of the cave were where the elves buried commoners in their society. From these corpses rise the weaker zombies and skeletons. The bodies of those who died exploring the cave also mingle with the elven dead. The first few floors are also still lit by a few rays of sunlight, providing the right atmosphere for spores to thrive in. Farmilars also lurk the upper floors. While they would prefer the darker lower floors, they had to make do due to competition from stronger drainliars.
The third "floor" is a complicated maze of tombs where the noble dead were buried. Clad in red, female corpses were called "Munak" by the elves while the male ones were clad in blue and called "Bongun". These carefully-preserved corpses hop about stiffly, trying to beat any living thing they encounter to death. The dark magic permeating the caves also animate the age-old skeletons of human and elf warriors into skeletal soldiers and archers; undead beings common in the lower "floors".
The fourth "floor" contains the ruins of the settlements made by the elves when they retreated for their last stand. The elven style is apparent on the ancient, petrified wood and the crumbling stones. A few surviving artifacts may still remain in unlooted places. The sohee tribes have patrols in the fourth floor; ready to scout out any human raiding party. Most human raids end on the fourth "floor" as the sohee defend the place viciously. The wandering bonguns and munaks do not attack the sohees as they share the same taint of the Dark Lord's magic. This is the floor where most humans capture sohee slaves with enchanted silver knives of chastity aside from the bamboo forest to the east. The drainliars make their homes hear as there is a greater abundance of the vermin they normally feed on.
The fifth "floor" holds the majority of the sohee dwellings as well as an old ruined structure that once held the immortal, Moonlight Flower sealed with elven magic. Only the bravest and strongest humans manage to slip past the patrols and into the structure to confront the immortal. Many of them die in the attempt. A few survive to tell the tale of demonic nine-tailed foxes and a cat monster carrying an enormous bell chained to a stick for a weapon. The fifth "floor" is bigger than the other floors and serves as the location of a group of villages for the three sohee tribes living within the cave. The horong tribe also make their home here, away from the sohees but ready to defend from human incursions.
A sixth floor is said to exist. This floor holds the sacred pools of water where new sohees emerge as well as the sacred fires where horongs spring forth. The sohee keep the entrance to the place carefully hidden and defend it to the death. So far, no one has ever seen the place and it is quickly becoming a mere myth. The idea of a sacred pool and a sacred fire would explain how an all-female race and a sexless one could continue to propagate itself. History confirms their existence, though, and explains that the Dark Lord's Sangius Magnus Exorcismus polluted both sacred elements with dark magic-infested blood from the slaughtered elves, cursing the water and fire spirits that the sohees and horongs once were into demonic creatures.
Three sohee tribes exist within the Payon caves; Seihamenys (Miststream) , Kuramylas (Stillbreath) and Rasvryls (Redlily). While the tribes unite whenever there are humans to be dealt with, their own inner politics tell a different tale.
Miststream's sohees compose the majority of the patrols in the fourth floor and most slaves that are captured belong to their tribe. As a result, they are the weakest tribe in the cave and have little say in important matters. To further their difficulties, it is commonly believed that Aescar'nae Khaesilya (Khaesilya the slave) once belonged to Miststream before her voluntary enslavement. This earned the tribe further emnity from the other two.
Stillbreath, led by its chieftain, Aiselha, is the most traditionalist tribe among the three. They are fervent followers of Moonlight and believe that, one day, their master will awaken from "the sleep" to lead the sohees in a conquest of humanity. Stillbreath has been known to kill sohees on the verge of being enslaved rather than let the humans get away. They also attempt to kill themselves when faced with such a fate. A majority of the sohees defending the ruined fortress where Moonlight are from Stillbreath.
Redlily keeps to itself most of the time. The worst of the infection of Sangius Magnus Exorcismus can be seen in Redlily's sohees. Their eyes are a darker red and they seem more malicious than other sohees. They make no attempt to defend either the fortress or the sacred pools from intrusion. Redlily sohees are more affiliated with the Dark Lord and actually welcome like-minded humans by sneaking them into their village where they gather and plan crimes.
There is a fourth tribe of sohees outside the caves known as Neinvaas (Moonwander). These sohees do not interact with their cave-dwelling sisters. Most moonwander sohees are escaped slaves who fear going back into the cave and face the wrath of Stillbreath for being enslaved in the first place. A few sohees who tire of life underground also make the transition to this tribe.
The tale of Khaesilya the slave
Almost every sohee knows the story of Aescar'nae Khaesilya by heart. It is unclear how truthful or how distorted the tale is among them from the real life of Khaesilya. However, it is clear that she is reviled by most of her race, especially in the Stillbreath tribe. Her voluntary service to a hated human is so humiliating to other sohees that it is said that even the Moonwander tribe would refuse her should she decide to return to her race.
The horongs are fortunate enough not to be splintered into differing tribes. However, they have their own misfortune of being unable to choose a leader among them. All horongs are difficult to distinguish from one another and do not come as one horong being stronger or smarter than the other. As a result, they simply wander about the fifth floor, helping whenever they can.
The dreaded Moonlight Flower roams within the fortress it was once sealed. It does not seem to attack the guarding sohees but neither does it seem to care for them. It is a dangerous fighter and an even more dangerous spell-caster. Commanding a large pack of nine-tailed foxes, it slaughters intruders with impunity. Even when killed, Moonlight Flower simply becomes dormant for a while and then returns to life in less than a week. Stillbreath sohees maintain that Moonlight Flower rules all sohees and horongs. Perhaps, before the elven extermination war, it was so...