Bone Horror Crisis
|Bone Horror Crisis|
|Event Name||Bone Horror Crisis|
|Dates and Times||July 25th - November 12th 304 AC|
|People Involved||Regalian Empire, Various Major and Minor States, Bone Horrors, Estel|
The Bone Horror Crisis was a large-scale invasion on the living prompted by unknown magic. Who caused it, however, is undoubtedly known as, at the end of the brief Regalian-Arloran War, as Estel, and her new servants, the Midnight Court, triggered the event. Millions died, and the resulting crisis has severely depopulated several areas of Aloria, but has left others alone entirely to continue growing in power. Despite no new Bone Horrors being able to form, those that remain still slip in and out of shadows, skies and waters, ready to attack the unprepared.
The Crisis came without any warning, and even today it remains a mystery as to just what happened, at least from a certain perspective. At the end of the Regalian-Arloran War, King Gulbrand I and his Royal Guards, were being escorted to the Regalian Base Camp, having lost the Battle of Adelaar Cliffs, his levies that survived also being organized for capture. The quiet was broken as Frost Wyvern-riding Isldar came out of the clouds and tried to attack him, shouting in their native tongue. Regalian cannon fire from nearby ships and the top of the cliff easily shot them all down, but in the confusion, the King said something under his breath. Suddenly, the colossal statue that had appeared at the Battle of Curag Fields, claiming itself to be Estel, appeared before him. The statue then used her magic to transform and warp Gulbrand I and his companions, raising them up into the air while simultaneously vaporizing anyone who dared attack or got too close to the proceedings.
Her willing victims became Nelfin-looking creatures with pale skin, long ears, and bald heads, landing on their feet and proclaiming themselves the Midnight Court. With this declaration complete, Estel sent a massive beam of energy into the sky that filled the clouds with lightning, the bright beams of crackling energy shooting away across the sky in the direction of several of major continents. Estel and the Midnight Court then vanished, a silence echoing as everyone paused. Unfortunately, elsewhere in the world, there was no such pause. Out of the sky in Farah’deen, several areas of Daen, Nordskag, Hadaria, Fendarfelle, and Etosil, came meteorite-like lights falling to earth. When these lights made contact with the earth, all bones, and flesh, from creatures long dead to recently descended people in graveyards, rose and formed into hideous bone and flesh amalgamations, beginning their attack on the world of the living.
In Arlora, the Regalians and surviving Arlora army found itself suddenly attacked by its own recently deceased fellow soldiers as well as undead Frost Wyverns and their riders. Ultimately, the Regalians and with them over a hundred new Arloran refugees managed to get away from these monstrosities. At the same time across the world, multiple regions were plunging into chaos as Bone Horrors attacked from the land, sea, and sky. In Ithania, things dead from the time of the Varran Empire crawled from the deserts and the earth to attack the cities of the Ithanian Sovereignty and rotting monkeys flew down upon screaming victims. In The North Belt, snow plains, forests, and mountains grew alive with Bone Horrors from battles and Velheim burial sites. In Farah’deen, monstrous and titanic beasts rose out of the cracked earth and shifting sands, attacking the Songaskian Pearl Cities while also devastating many desert caravans. In Hadaria, the bones of Deep Sea Serpents combined with others to form massive creatures that moved to attack the Altalar states of Teled Methen while also devastating whatever settlements in Hadaria they encountered in their path.
However, throughout all of this, the Regalian Archipelago stood safe. The meteorite light that had fallen for them had smashed into a faint, barely visible purple dome that had formed mere moments before the strike. Much of the Imperial Navy recalled itself to the Archipelago, as did the army from Arlora. It was determined that the Bone Horrors were not normal Undead as if they were struck down, they merely coalesced into another form and attacked again. Almost overnight, all Regalian coastal ports found themselves with some form of refugee group from nations across the world whether they were in the Empire or not. However, this sudden surge soon died as networks of communication broke down, and Regalia was left in an ocean of its own with a protective barrier around them.
Innovation and Agreements
The Empire’s think tank, the Scholar’s Court, was kicked into overdrive, taking in multiple experts from a large variety of races in an unprecedented move as the Regalian Government desperately tried to find a way to kill the Bone Horrors. Soon afterward, recently arrived Qadir scholars demonstrated that their unique form of technological magic, Construct Magic, could produce devices the Qadir stated had helped them reach Regalia. Eventually, after a brief period of experimentation, one of them called Addir crafted a prototype weapon with a Qatil clip that helped fire Soul Essence, provided precise aiming mechanisms and most importantly, the ability for the weapon to be used by non-Construct Mages. Named the Alaru Addir after him, the weapon dispersed whatever magic was holding the Bone Horrors together and also denied them the ability to reform. After this success was proven on a tiny island just outside of Regalia’s purple shield, the state sent out schematics for parts, and cogs of the weapon to government-approved forges across the Archipelago to help begin their construction. At the same time, a Calemberg Third Line vessel named the l'Oiseau was selected to test the efficiency of the weapon on the Bone Horror infested seas and they soon launched themselves to nearby Etosil, not too far away but still far enough to prove the effectiveness of the new tools at the disposal of the Empire.
On August 10th they returned with surprising news. The Etosians had formed a pact with the Undead of their land to fight against the Bone Horrors as traditional Undead seemed to be unaffected by the Bone Horror affliction which also made them a target for their distant cousins. Soon afterward, a sudden beam of purple light exploded from the earth in the Regalian Noble District up into the sky before it’s lightly raced across the world in a similar way to how Estel’s had. Almost immediately there was a noticed change by those desperately fighting for survival as those who fell to the Bone Horrors did not rise to join their ranks and new Bone Horrors did not form once destroyed. Very slowly, the barrier began to dissolve as well, but due to their new weapons and the level of dispersal many sea-born Bone Horrors had achieved, the Regalian Empire was not harmed by this. The development of the weapon, contact with the outside and even the change in the Bone Horrors resulted in great victory being declared by the Empire. However, there were still untold thousands of Bone Horrors outside Regalia and across their Empire.
Reforms, Rebalancing and Reconquest
As production of the Alaru Addir ramped up and the call went out for a rallying of the troops to reconquer lost Regalian territories, a variety of government reforms and acts were carried out that stirred up various political parties. First, the abolished Arch-Chancellor position was resurrected and became second to the Emperor in power. Shortly afterward, the first woman to hold the position was also appointed much to Calemberg’s horror yet the Ithanian Lobby’s joy. Then the Emperor created “The Grand Commander of the Imperial Seat”, a position to command the Tyrian and White Orders and a role that held protector status over the Sancella of Union. The Commander only had any real power in the capital city, however, but a suitable appointment was made. The final act carried out by the Emperor involved granting further powers to then Prince Marshal Cedric Kade who now took command of the Violet Order, the Regalian Bureaucracy and the Azure Order. Then, with his own power as Prince Mashal, gave himself the overall command of the Grand Marshals and the Grand Admirals as well.
Some more liberal parties found these sweeping actions to be disconcerting but were belittled for their skepticism as what mattered in the moment was the Bone Horrors and the planned Reconquest, not internal squabbling. Shortly after these declarations, a new series of orders emerged but this time from Cedric Kade. The Prince Marshal ordered the deconstruction of various castles from noble lands within a newly defined “non-Military zone or non-strategic value zone”, compensating the nobles who lost their ancient fortresses. He then used those materials to construct and strength fringe and border forts along the edges of the Archipelago. While many families complained and Jingoists found the act regressive, the ordinary people those whose territories were on the borders, the Liberals and the Conservatives found it to be a positive change. Meanwhile, the economy of the Archipelago was suffering as the shock of having lost, so many external resources and investments created uncertainty and cutthroat business practices. Bankers, in particular, were stricken as foreign investments and bank branches were assumably lost almost overnight. There were multiple attempts to steady the supplies of goods such as wood, to contend with discontent labor forces and to help secure the banks but ultimately these matters were a mere trifle to what happened next.
Trouble in the Capital
On November 7th, the vast majority of the Tenpenny Army left the capital city to solemn but also largely attended festivities for the Reconquest. At the same time, retinues and levies from across the Archipelago moved to join with the growing position of the Imperial Navy. Back in the capital city, various key members of the nobility and military were still planning and making final preparations for their own contributions or departures with the Reconquest forces as the final festivities died down. At this time, emerging from the dark of the Regalian Sewers came three of the members of the Midnight Court. They slipped through secret passages and darkness to reach their intended target in the Imperial Crypt, observed only by rodents and insects. Five days later, on November 12th, Freya Lo suddenly emerged from the earth herself with a new contingent of undead troops. These Deathlings then seized control of the Crown Isle and plunged the capital into the Lo Occupation or Deathling Crisis as it is also known. Ironically at the same time, the first Regalian troops were deployed onto Etosian and Nordskagger ground to begin freeing those population centers from their magical attackers. The Crisis is felt to have ended here because of the formal, full-on deployment of weapons that could kill the Horrors and the united actions that freed these lands from their magical enemy beginning on this day.
There is no question in anyone’s mind that the Bone Horror Crisis drastically changed the world at large and the balance of power in the Aloria. While some states and regions were completely untouched by the Crisis such as Sendrass and Yang-Tzu, others were completely wiped out such as Arlora and Torse. Economies, ecosystems, and families were devastated across Aloria regardless of statehood and most estimate it will take perhaps a century to fully recover from the Bone Horrors. However, the Crisis showed the value of Qadir technology as it helped destroy the Bone Horrors. In fact, Qadir Hadrityas across Aloria surviving without any losses due to their own use of Soul Essence based weapons and that is ultimately how the Songaskian Masaya was saved, as their Qadir subjects helped them beat back the monstrosities. With some sense of stability restored to many major centers across the world, the question has now turned to what happened. Necromancy on such a scale is a terrifying threat, to any state living at any time, and this event, in particular, has resulted in harsh bite back against Estel worshippers and Nelfin overall due to their supposed Goddess’s agenda to destroy the world. However, this has only hardened many worshippers as despite the attacks Altalar states suffered by the Bone Horrors, they either see it as a necessary cleansing or the revenge of their long-neglected goddess which more people must follow. Similarly, the mysterious events of the purple dome and purple light resulted in many areas experiencing a Unionist revival, especially to those in the Regalian Archipelago. Their Imperial Spirit protected them, as the religiously related celestial body of Oxoron was far easier to see beneath the dome, lightly glowing in the night sky. Regardless of this, however, the Bone Horrors are still a threat to the world and travelers must now be extra weary when taking rarely-traveled paths.
- For a list of all Nations and States harmed by the Crisis, see: https://forums.massivecraft.com/threads/the-state-of-the-world.52146/
- There were rumors of strange activity in the Regalian Sewers all around this period with golden eyed people and a great machine buried deep in the tunnels.
- Estel has not been seen since her presence on the Arloran battlefield and her Midnight Court is just as elusive. Some feel she has fled back to the Northern Expanse, where she attacked from before, while others note Fendarfelle with its abundance of Bone Horrors might also hide her form.
- The Alaru Addir is a weapon that only the military has access to and its design specifications are a very closely guarded secret of the Regalian Empire. Criminals who attempt to take the weapon apart to learn its secrets will always cause a small explosion of Soul Essence that irreversibly damages the device.