Original Link (now dead) -http://www.zone.com/asheronscall/ASHEfestival.asp
The Festival Stones
Before her mysterious disappearance, Elysa Strathelar would share her knowledge of the ancient Empyrean ways. Two millennia ago, Dereth had been a peaceful outpost dedicated to the study of magic. The Empyrean Empire of Yalain owned the island then, and the royal family would vacation there, refreshing themselves with its beauty and tranquility and taking interest in the scholarship of the mages, who constantly discovered new magical phenomena. In tribute to their rulers and to display their own power, the mages fashioned great beacons that tapped a perpetual source of magic flame. These they placed at sites the nobles used for contests and celebrations. Years upon years followed with the beacons presiding over Empyrean festivals, so many good years, in fact, that the eternal fire came to symbolize eternal prosperity. But then the portals opened, the monsters came, and the beacons gleamed alone in the darkness.
Yalain and its potentates are no more -- the very location of that once-happy land is lost to humanity -- but the Festival Stones burn on. What fuels these great monuments no one knows. Some sorcerers guess at an affinity between the beacon fire and portal magic, which would be ironic indeed -- that the Empyrean's symbol for eternal prosperity was actually a harbinger of their doom.