The Cult of The Minotaur Mage
Hundred of years ago the area around what is now the Cursed Lake was the domain of the dwarven kingdom of Illfern and a loosely organized Elven kingdom that occupied what used to be large forests between the mountains and the Cold Marshes. The two realms lived in peace and traded with the fledgling human kingdom starting to develop to the north. Then came the creature known as the Minotaur Mage. A powerful Minotaur sorcerer named Alaxus began gathering evil creatures and carving out a territory for himself, enslaving or slaughtering everyone in his way. The Kingdom of Illfern fought him throughout the mountains and the elves gathered their scattered people to join them. The powerful clerics of Illfern and the elven wizards combined to finally defeat Alaxus in a huge cataclysmic battle that reshaped land around it. In the final exchange of deadly spells a giant crater formed out of the battlefields and water from the swamp rushed in to fill the space in what is now the Cursed Lake. The elven nomads were devastated and the only known survivors live in Laughing Hollow, while the dwarven kingdom was crushed and overwhelmed. Eventually, humans moved in to begin to settle the land.
The Cult of the Minotaur Mage believes there is more to the story. They believe that Alaxus was not destroyed in the final battle, but that he teleported or used some other magic means to escape. They believe that he is waiting to be restored to power and they are to be his chosen when he returns to conquer the lands. They seek out any objects connected to the Minotaur Mage, as well as seeking to ransack any old holdings of either the dwarves of Illfern or the scattered elves. The Cult has been linked to the Lizardfolk War in the Cold Marshes as well as several assassination attempts of the dwarven leaders in Illfern. Above all, they seek the Staff of the Minotaur, which they allege will provide the key to reviving their fallen master.