Fifth Void Invasion
|Fifth Void Invasion|
|Event Name||Fifth Void Invasion|
|Dates and Times||1 BC - 0 AC|
The fifth and final Void Invasion is considered the final stage in a cycle of apocalypses which took place throughout the history of Aloria. Unlike all of the others, which altered Aloria in various, unknown ways before ending and starting the Cycle over again, this Void Invasion eternally changed it. From it, the Altalar goddess of Estel was lost, the Veil was ripped open allowing Essences from other dimensions to corrupt Drowda and seep into other lands, and the Cataclysm which spawned from this forever altered Geography and the politics of Aloria. Despite the clear end to the cycle of Void Invasions as a result of these events, many Alorians live in fear of a second set of cycles beginning; one which will lead to perpetual suffering and damnation on Aloria itself.
For millennia, the Void Cycle played its role as the cleanser of the world. The Seraph's remarkable civilization was annihilated in the First Void Invasion, which was caused by their experimentation with Magic and Planar Essences.The Void would continue to do this each time Aloria reached a certain threshold of Magic use and knowledge. The Nelfin, successors to the slumbering Meraic (or Fourth Civilization), originally believed in the Cycle fervently; as such, the use of Magic was kept to the priesthood, which communed with nature and Estel. But as time went on, they deeply invested themselves in the use of Magic and some Altalar ultimately plunged into communion with the Void. The power originally sought to use them as tools but ended up simply furthering their mortal agendas as a source of power when Altalar freed themselves from the Void’s control. However, these Altalar came to see the Cycle as a necessary event, only this time they and their allies would survive because of their pacts and abilities with the Void to create a new and glorious Dread Empire. As a result, in the lead up to the Invasion, they aided in decentralizing the Allorn Empire and destroying heralds of Estel, who could sense what was to come. The worst case of this was the Night of the Fallen Star when hundreds of leaders in the Faith of Estel died, the vast majority of Nenya were destroyed or killed as they tried to flee, and Yanar were slaughtered by what were now formally the Kathar. But the Empress was more concerned about the harm this did to her power and political standing and not about the world, buildings, or families who were decimated by these events. Thus, the Empire was simply not prepared for what was to come and would soon fall because of this.
The Great March
When the Void Invasion first began, it was contained. The Drovv, who were devoted to fighting the Void, managed to hold off long enough to send a distress message to the distant northern coastline of Ithania through ancient signal towers. But by the time the news reached the Empress, the Void was already rapidly establishing a foothold in the far north of Aloria. In response, the Empress called on her nobility to raise armies and join her in a march north to defend the Empire. The Great March, as the Altalar call it, was massive; 300,000 troops of multiple servant Races, alongside ceremonial orders of Imperial Lancers and even some troops from populations later known as the Avanthar, Sihndar, and Cielothar all marched against the Void. The Great March, however, quickly devolved into sixteen separate marches; the forces were close together for their vast size but ununited due to political infighting within the Altalar nobility. When the forces got to Daendroc, two of the marching armies attacked each other, followed by a third attempting to keep the peace. The March then began again, but when trying to pass through what is now L’Elvellen, the Empress herself got into a vicious fight with one of her daughters which wounded them both and forced a halt for several weeks.wo armies went on ahead, during which the surrounding countryside was largely destroyed by looting in an attempt to feed the March’s forces. Finally, near the end of the year, the March came to an end at a great and open plain in Ithania’s north. The local Yarran Varran retreated into hiding from this massive force. Within a few days, the Void’s army reached the March.
The Great Battle
The Void, a speedy and largely noncorporeal force, had infected dozens of animal and plant species on its way to face the forces of the Allorn Empire. What happened next is unknown. While the Altalar possess a supposed account of this battle, Ithanian, Daendroque and ignored Altalar sources allege not a single person returned from the north. The Yarran Varran go on to further claim in their oral stories the Altalar lost horrifically to the “Darkness” and the Void’s army continued to advance before the “Thunderclap” made them all disappear. Many ignore these tales though as “Varran propaganda.” In contrast to this, here is the Altalar account of the event:
- "And thus the Lancers were the first into the fray, their great and glorious shining shields of ancients metals endowed with remarkable properties, protecting them while their lances speared through the corrupted creatures the dark forces of the Void had taken for their very own. Behind them came the innumerable members of our most lesser workforces, serving for the glory of our great Empire, the glorious Empress, and the lands that they did harvest. Their great but unschooled combat was a great blunting force. Finally, there came the most illustrious Empress Yevethala VI with her great and powerful family at her heels. They all wielded magics awesome and devastating which ripped the demonic beings from this world, returning them to the Void that they came from. But oh how vile were those forces and soon, their dark tricks and schemes and allies did help to fell this grand, powerful army, in jealousy at which powers we the Altalar wielded. The Archdemon itself did face our Empress in battle, and when she finally fell from that beast’s vile tricks, she expended all of her last strength to remove a host of Demons ten-score the population of Jenra Lealla from the earth."::
The Cataclysm and the Wildering
While all of this was occurring in distant Ithania, the statue of Estel within the Altalar capital vanished. Within mere hours, the Cataclysm suddenly burst across the world in what most Altalar describe to be the Scream of Estel. The actual sound was the remaining resonance from a magical shockwave originating in distant Drowda, the result of the Veil tearing. Unlike in previous Invasions, where the Void forces found themselves sucked back into their realm to wait again for the portals to reopen, now they were sent into a realm with shattered fragmentary portals while many Demons were themselves outright destroyed. The Veil was now forever damaged, leaking both Exist and Void power into the world. This event also served to trap the Archdemon in our world; unable to sustain his form, he entered into the body of an Ailor woman. Some Altalar associate this woman with the Kathar, Void Worship and the supposed treachery on the battlefield. In fact, she was merely a servant. As the sound of the Scream was finishing to echo across Aloria, two things occurred simultaneously. First, the world’s continents and landmasses quaked as tectonic plates, disturbed by magical forces, and rubbed, smashed, and ground against each. This drove the seas to become turbulent, landmasses to sink into the sea, new ones to rise up, and menacing weather patterns to explode across the world. The major area this did not affect was the center of Corontium around the Regalian Archipelago, which had long benefited from a lack of major regional fault lines or magical disturbances.
The second event was the Wildering. To the Altalar, the Wildering serves as their great punishment from Estel and is almost all they focus on when discussing the Cataclysm. Unlike most other races of the world, who had to deal with a myriad of disasters, the Altalar largely had to contend with an explosion of nature. Trees erupted from the paved streets of Altalar cities, lashing out with thick roots and branches as, around them, nature reclaimed thousands of miles of urbanized territory. The Altalar capital, Alar Talea, was struck by a sudden earthquake which collapsed hundreds of millennia-old structures on their aristocratic inhabitants before nature engulfed the area. Even living people were not safe from this event, as fleeing individuals reported to see their neighbors, children, friends, turning into plantlife before their very eyes. The only people to not suffer such a fate were the Yanar, who, while lovers of nature and themselves essentially living plants, claim the event came with a horrible and dark sound which terrified even them. The only cities to survive in some way intact were those on the exterior, the coastal trading cities located away from the heartland of what had once been jungles-turned urban cities-returned to jungles. As a result of all of this, the Altalar believe it was punishment for failing Estel and her Pantheon; she unleashed the event to return the world to how she had found it before leaving to one day return when the world was once again worthy to bear her presence.
The full effect of the Fifth Void Invasion is virtually incalculable. The Allorn Empire, and the Altalar people as a whole, were no longer leaders of the world. The collapse of their Empire into squabbling states paved the way for the easy arrival of the Orcs on Daen’s western shore, while also finally removing an oppressive foot from the backs of Ailor populations in the Regalian Archipelago and Ceardia. The collapse of the Empire also saw the freeing of millions of their slaves in the violent uprisings by Daendroque Ailor and Varran which created the dozen or so Daen states which now populate the continent’s east coast. The event also birthed Races like the Sihndar, who went to Drowda to continue the fight against the Void and were mutated by their experiences there. As for Geography, the Wildering had transformed up to 90% of southern Daen, in some recent estimates, into dense forests, jungle, and underbrush which required exploration all over again. Across Aloria, seas would be tumultuous for the next decade, and even once they calmed, currents were often different and required recharting. There was also a great loss of life from the many massive environmental disasters, sections of Farah’deen, Ithania, and Cain falling into the sea, villages swallowed by the earth or buried in volcanic ash, while other areas sometimes rose to replace them or form new islands.
Finally, it is essential to mention how this event changed Magic. Before this time, Altalar Mages and others magical beings could wield massive amounts of power with diverse spells and abilities making all of them masters of the world. But with the Cataclysm, this changed. When Altalar finally started to reconnect with their lost powers, they found themselves much weaker and more easily exhausted by even simple spells. They also couldn’t even access powers which had once been easily produced by them. As a result, today, dozens of ancient spells are lost to the ruins of the Allorn Empire. There are many other effects that are unseen or unknown to most Alorians (due to their intense focus on their own story related to the Invasion), but it is important to note that only recently have people begun to reassess this event as it did not “damage” the entire world. Sendras, for example, was unaffected by the event entirely while the Far East has never even experienced a Void Invasion, leading to many trying to go back and learn just what the Void Cycle was and what happened to the Veil to cause the Cataclysm. But such things will likely take time to learn, and the effects of this Invasion continue to shape the modern Alorian world.
- The regions affected the least by the Fifth Void Invasion are the Great Northern Expanse, Sendrass, Hadaria, Regalian Archieplago, Farah’deen, the Far West, and the Far East.
- There are Altalar still living in the ruins of many Altalar cities hit by the Wildering in a de-evolved and more savage state than traditional Altalar of today, unable to leave their ancient ruins but also unable to understand them properly.
- Estel’s violent return in Essalonia was lauded by the Altalar of Daen, as despite her killing of those who sought to worship her, many of those faithful believe such mercenary Mages were unfit compared to them, back in the homeland with all of their magnificence.