Destruction of Ceardia
|Destruction of Ceardia|
|Event Name||Destruction of Ceardia|
|Dates and Times||268 AC|
|People Involved||Ceardians, Regalian Empire|
The Destruction of Ceardia is the most recent example of the series of large-scale magical events that occurred since the Cataclysm which have damaged a major area of the world. In this case, the event rendered the ancient suspected homeland of the Ailor Race uninhabitable, with vast black Tendrils of a Void origin exploding from the earth and covering the continent. The chaos that followed was enormous and hundreds died, though thousands of animals and people escaped to new lives in lands beyond Ceardia. Today, efforts are underway to peel back the hostile Void-based growth which now masks the continent to high success, and those who know of the project are optimistic of one day completely reversing the effects of the Destruction.
The Destruction of Ceardia, as a world event, was not unprecedented. During and following the Cataclysm, the Wildering and the Great Storm took place, both being magical events that fundamentally changed the lands they took place in. Additionally, an event devastating Ceardia was not something new either. For decades, the Ceardian Ailor fought bitterly, first under the leadership of powerful Warlords, but later under petty tyrants and kings seeking to legitimize their rule. As a result, swathes of the continent had been ravaged by rampaging armies and bands of marauders, but with time such wounds always eventually healed. What can be said of the Destruction is that it was unexpected. Ceardia, since the Cataclysm, had been generally insular, lacking much interest from the outside world save for trade and the odd slavery mission sent by the Songaskian Masaya during their prime. Generally though, the use of Magic in the region was low, and its population lacked significance for most of the outside world, bar maybe for Ailor scholars who were for the first time beginning to consider where the Ailor people had first emerged from.
In the years leading up to the Destruction, a number of strange and unfortunate events took place. First, there was a massacre at the humble town of Berewinn, likely around the date of a festival honoring the fall season. What happened is still unknown today, with no witnesses of the event coming forward and unlikely to ever emerge given that the humble village was wiped out. It appears that the citizens were savagely cut down, but the perpetrators are unknown. Additionally, more and more signs of worship to the Void emerged in ruins, abandoned houses, and sewers across the limited urban cities of the continent. Blaming outsiders, especially Elves, the Ceardians watched the minimal Nelfin population living in the region migrate out rapidly, save for some traders and craftsmen living in Silveredge. Then came the rumors of strange creatures in the forests and mountains. Beasts never before known to Ceardia, nor familiar creatures, but ones horrifically mutated came into contact with hunters and rural centers alike, causing widespread omens of death and chaos. Things got worse as the new year folded over, as stories of ghostly lights carried by no one and mysterious people lurking in the shadows came in from across the continent. By the end of winter in 268 AC, people were frightened.
The Tendrils Emerge
As February folded over into March, it seemed their problems were at an end. Sightings stopped across almost the entire continent and a calm filled the coastline. However, the mountain and deep interior villages still reported strange sightings, creatures and lights across their lands, and many thought it better to move in with relatives and clump together in whatever settlements existed. But eventually, these sightings also came to an end, and things appeared to return to normal as summer came around. But then, on a day in early June, the air grew still. No wind blew, mammals stopped barking, mooing, and bleating, becoming stiff while birds took off in silent droves. Then with a massive shaking of the ground, great and hideous black Tendrils exploded from the ground near the center of the continent. They arched high into the sky before they slowly started to arc their bodies, laying flat, then began to slither outward and grow in size. Everywhere they went, Void Essence poured, warping the sky, plants, animals, and all it touched and darkening the sky as a Void Storm gripped the continent and only grew in size. The Tendrils appeared somewhat like plant vines, but they were also clearly alive, made of a substance like flesh that bled purple ooze whenever damage was done to them. However, their thick layer of black skin largely prevented this, and so they spread for weeks, eventually stopping short of the coastline across the whole of Ceardia.
Chaos and Evacuation
Pure chaos gripped Ceardia in the hours following the emergence of the Tendrils. They were so tall when they had burst from the earth that people from across nearly the entire continent had been able to see them, and especially as they gradually wilted downward. The central areas of Ceardia were quick to flee, with thousands heading for the coastline. When the scope of the Tendrils became known to the various petty kingdoms of Ceardia, their conflicts came to an end. The simple states that formed the kingdoms couldn’t stand up to the desperate will of the people to live, and several of the monarchs died trying to selfishly escape through private means. Instead, a call went out across the sea, messengers reaching out to every nearby friendly landmass for assistance. In the Regalian Empire, even though the Regalian Pessimism was gripping the nation, the state still acted with extreme speed. All southern flotillas of the Regalian Navy were immediately diverted to helping in the evacuation effort, while commercial and personal vessels from several nearby Ailor nations such as the Yervonth Tribedom and the Kingdom of Arlora also streamed toward the continent. As the summer wore on, more and more people were safe, even as the chaos in the port cities resulted in riots and deaths as the Tendrils continued their growth, slowly seeking out the edges of the continent. Though as September came to Aloria, the last of the rescue vessels left Ceardia, leaving behind barren and empty ports to crumble soon after their departure. The ancient homeland of Ailorkind was now lost to a threat unforeseen by any.
The Destruction of Ceardia had the immediate effect of altering the Culture and population makeup of several dozen regions across Aloria. Most prominently, Essalonia was flooded by Ceardians, while areas of the Regalian Archipelago like Dragenthal rapidly also gained new populations as the Heartland Ceardians of that region opened themselves fully to these brothers in society. The next most immediate effect was the death of baseline Ceardian Culture. Alive for centuries on Ceardia, the savage and brutal ways of Ceardian life no longer made any sense to carry out in the new worlds and surroundings so many refugees found. A large portion of them applied themselves to and converted into other Cultures, most commonly joining their two offshoot Cultures found in the Regalian Archipelago, while Colonial Culture was born soon afterward in Essalonia due to the influx of Ceardians meeting with pious Unionist preachers. Effects beyond those that affected the Ceardian population had been a bit harder to determine. Certainly, the massive burden of many thousands of refugees did not help the Regalian Pessimism resolve itself any faster, but most today state that without the raw labor so many migrant Ceardians brought to the war machine of the Regalian Empire, especially in the area of the Navy, the Chrysant War perhaps might have lasted far longer, or not been enough to drag the Empire out of its rut. Additionally, the Destruction led to a diaspora of Ceardian animals across Aloria, most of them into Essalonia, but others largely went to Dragenthal and nearby Carrhen.
As for Ceardia itself, a permanent blockade was established around the region after it became clear that the Void had been the catalyst for this event. Seeking to prevent Void worshipers from landing on the continent, the blockade has existed ever since and has been successful in its goal, turning back what appeared to be several Kathar vessels from the Dread Empire as recently as 306 AC. Additional developments with the region have emerged very rapidly. The death of the Archdemon’s physical form in Aloria in 302 AC weakened if not dispelled Void Storms across the world. The massive purple and black nightmare vortex above Ceardia vanished as a result, and in the wake of this, the Regalian Empire has started to slowly peel back the layers of corrupted nature. Aided by brave Velheim, returning Ceardians and with an outpost on nearby Zemlith, these efforts continued quietly for years, before the Anglian Mist Crisis ruined the operation. Despite this failure, the Tendrils have seemingly begin to rapidly decay in recent years, now covered in healthy vegetation and the darkness of the land receding rapidly. It may be that, within a few decades, Ceardia will be inhabited in large numbers again but the Destruction still rears tall in many memories.
- The Reclamation Project documented a number of exotic and mutant creatures on the Ceardian mainland before it fell apart. Most have compared the creatures to the sorts of horrors that exist on distant Drowda, another land saturated with magical energies.
- Some of the most notable creatures seen include Elds, a form of monstrous mutant deer; Canters, a species of dark mutant songbird; and Flasmann, a hideous horse-like creature with a humanoid cry. These creatures seem to have retreated with the continued decay of the Tendrils.