The Nowhere Stairs sit alone on a cracked and crumbling foundation on Mpira Utapotea, the southernmost island in the rugged Kupotea Archipelago. The Mpotevus, the people native to the archipelago, believe Mpira Utapotea to be hallowed ground sacred to the Bahari, their pantheon of mercurial sea deities. When conquerors from the Pơtao Imperium invaded Kupotea in search of gold and silver, the Mpotevus were quickly subjugated due to the Imperium’s technological superiority and the destructive magic of the Gămƀhet, the Mages of the Seven Fires.
Imperial Administrator Gai Gat was installed to oversee the subjugated Mpotevus. He defied the ancient taboos about building on Mpira Utapotea. He forced Mpotevu slaves to build a formidable fort overlooking the sea. From the beginning, the construction was fraught with difficulties. The Mpotevus sabotaged the work when they could. Strange accidents claimed many lives. Ships bearing construction materials were lost at sea. Gai Gat ignored these omens, and, in the eleventh year of his reign, his fort was nearly completed. Gai Gat and his family, along with a garrison of Imperium marines, moved to the fort in a show of force calculated to impress upon the locals how total was Pơtao mastery over the region.
In the dead of night, a fearsome storm rose from the sea and swept over Mpira Utapotea. Hours later, when the roiling clouds cleared and calm returned to the sea, nothing remained of Gai Gat’s fort except for its foundation and a set of seven stone steps leading up to nowhere. No sign of Gai Gat, his family, or the garrison was ever found.
Word of the storm and the fort’s destruction swept through the Kupotea Archipelago. Emboldened, the Mpotevus rebelled. Pwezas, great tentacled beasts, surged from the depths to aid the Mpotevus, and not even the Gămƀhet could burn away these monsters faster than the monsters tore apart the Imperium’s port towns.
Today, the Kupotea Archipelago remains free of Pơtao control. The natives remain hostile toward outsiders, and monstrous pwezas still lurk in the deep coastal waters. Adventurers sometimes brave the dangers of the archipelago in hopes finding lost Pơtao riches in the ruined port towns. Rumor also has it that, when the stars align properly, the Nowhere Stairs on Mpira Utapotea lead to and from the domain of the Bahari. This vast, watery realm reportedly contains enormous riches, for the Bahari consider all ships lost at sea to be sacrifices to their glory.