Melas was once known as The Crescent Isle, a distinctively shaped island halfway between the western lands of Noriun and the Vori Islands, and the eastern lands of Roumion and Orulon. Melas was home to an ancient and secretive civilization, the Hedran. The Hedran were theocratic, led by an order of monks and holy warriors whose rites and beliefs were shrouded in secrecy to outsiders. The leaders of Melas however were very pragmatic, allowing colonies from Paravo and elsewhere to establish residences on the island.
Melas was a frequent stopping place, on voyages across the ocean. In 12 NDE, it was also discovered to be the home to a vast underground reserve of naturally condensed ether. Soon, colonists from the Great Republic made their residence on the island, and for the next 200 years, the Paravians, Hedran, and Roumali lived in a tenuous peace, constantly plotting and maneuvering for dominance of the island.
All that came to and end during the close of the Accordance War, when the mage armies of the Vori Islands obliterated the island, destroying it entirely in a great blast. This attack soon lead to the Treaty of Paravo and the end of the war. The blast also coincided with one of the worst outbursts of the Cataclysm. There is much debate as to whether or not these to events are related. There is also much debate as to the nature of the attack. Some believe it was a great and terrible doomsday weapon developed by the Vori along with traitors and separatists from the Great Republic and Caslion. Others theorize the attack was a massive elementalist ritual of epic scope. The truth remains unknown.
A number of smaller islands rose up during the destruction of Melas and the violence of the Cataclysm, these are collectively refered to as the Melas Shards. Researchers are most interested in studying the handful of floating islands that rose up at the same time, hanging lifelessly above the region. A similar phenomenon happened in parts of Irone during the Cataclysm, and as of yet the phenomenon has not been thoroughly understood; although the predominant theory is a naturally occurring case of Electromagnetic Gravitational Negativity, the same science that allows airships to fly.
Additionally, due to the etheric deposits beneath Melas and other minerals, the water in the center of the Melas Shards has turned a deep shade of crimson. This water is considered highly unhealthy to drink, and it is forbidden to import it in to the Great Republic.