Turtle Portal, Tortoise Islands
Beyond the savage northern jungles, overlooking the raging river, at the very beginning of the first line of colossal mountains that above all distinguish Fear Island from any piece of land on earth – sits Turtle Portal.
An arch of stone, not much taller than a mammoth, is the only witness of the blood-curdling scenes that altered the course of history. Beneath that arch, and on the eerie mountain pinnacles, and on the rain-soaked animal tracks, and on the volcanic rock of Dead Man's Causeway, and in the valleys steeped in danger – furious battles shattered the usual balance of calm that envelops the implacable boundary between the jungle’s edge and the peaks of the ghostly mountain behemoths.
At that memorable time, more than 400 years ago, the Indians of the Tortoise Islands fought the battle of battles and succeeded in turning back the ill-fated explorers and buccaneers from across the sea. Evidence suggests terrible casualties on both sides in the fearsome conflict that ensued for fifty days and ten. A defining yet heart-breaking moment in the extraordinary, chaotic history of the country of the Tortoise Islands.
We will never know the full story. What is known, however, is that the explorers (or invaders as some call them) retreated back to their ships of wood, never to visit again. Several of these mighty hulks were lost in the Strait of No Return, no match for the furious currents. Treacherous currents that claimed the lives of many, but provided sanctuary to the most wily and hardened pirates and buccaneers. The lucky few succeeded in making it to Greater Tortoise Island and they fulfilled their role in history – a new nation was born.
Today, Turtle Portal remains. The lonely arch is still there, an open doorway for wild animals but one that is closed to all but the most tough and desperate of human adventurers. The 2,000 foot precipice of Dead Man's Causeway forming an impossible barrier. Only a handful of souls are able to boast of having walked beneath the arch and returned to homes across the seven seas. The summit's deceptive open space, one of the remotest in the world, marks an invisible boundary as powerful as a wall of stone. A boundary that almost no man or woman has crossed for 500 years – and beyond, the Valley of the Velociraptors – the last place in existence where dinosaurs still walk upon the earth.