|Event Name||Great Storm|
|Dates and Times||121 AC|
|People Involved||Sariyd Empire, Desert Dragons|
The Great Storm changed the face of Aloria, even if most Regalian scholars will never admit its importance to the modern Regalian Empire. It destroyed the Sariyd Empire, most likely killed all the Desert Dragons, and gave rise to the powerful Songaskian Masaya. What caused the Storm is unknown until this day, explanations ranging from a freak but natural event, to insane sounding theories about Dragons and their natural abilities. Today, the Qadir remember it, if at all, as the event that saw their chapter of glory close, at least for now, while the Songaskians dismiss it in favor to telling everyone the greatness of their conquest of the abject ruins the Storm reduced the Sariyd Empire to.
For decades before the Great Storm, even the Red Hunt, the aristocracy, and the leadership of the Sariyd Empire were growing tired of the increased encounters with the often destructive and murderous Dragons of their arid landscape. Spoken treaties between the two groups were routinely violated, entire small towns vanished overnight, and burn victims began to appear in vast numbers across the many temples to the many Qadir gods. However, the Empire was unwilling to go to war with the Dragons, or directly support a larger movement against them, as several religious groups worshipped them, and the crumbling of wider Aloria, following the Cataclysm, forced their attention to the coastline and their battered foreign ties to nations and colonies. Ultimately, it came down to one man and one city to begin the chain of events that collapsed the Empire.
The Red Hunt
In 81 AC, the Black Desert Dragon, Great Mother Zlvak-Wamar, with her personal hunting force, descended on and destroyed the township of Baldal-Shams on the edge of her territory. While not an uncommon event, it was deemed particularly horrific by the nearby city of Madinatal due to a festival being held in the area that had attracted more people than were usually there. The ruler of this city, however, was wrecked inside with grief and anger. His wife and daughter had both been in the town for the festival, and with their brutal deaths, he swore vengeance on the Dragons. In the following years, he helped form a secret research group of Qadir mages and technologists, seeking a method to end the Dragons’ reign. In that time, attacks increased as the Sariyd Empire weakened and the Black Desert Dragons saw it as the beginning of a new age of domination for themselves. Unfortunately, none of their kind were aware of what was to come. In 101 AC, when Great Mother Zlvak-Wamar attempted an attack on Madinatal, the ruler unveiled his ultimate weapon. None today know what it exactly was. Many Qadir theorize it was some form of protected ballista whose projectiles shredded Dragons wings, (as the single surviving account of such a device states it tore the enemy Dragon’s wings apart), which some even more radially claim it was a huge Golem or Clocktil of sorts. Regardless of what it was, its name forever more in Qadir was Dragonkiller or “Altinialqat” in Faraddi. This weapon killed the Great Mother in a great spurt of dark red blood, thus giving the name to the event of the next two decades, the Red Hunt.
Despite attempts by her nest to halt the weapon and the city, Madinatal made the technology Imperial knowledge, and the Sariyd Empire fervently adopted it. Within a few years, every major city was said to have a Dragonkiller, and once this protection was in place, the Empire went on the offensive. The Dragonkillers moved out of the cities, and with the aid of the more rural Qadir and scholars, tracked Dragons to their nests or across the open sands. The Red Desert Dragons were the first to be targeted despite their pacifist nature and lack of involvement. Soon was the Sun Desert Dragon and the Rock Desert Dragon, and by 114 AC, the weapons turned to the Black and Brown Desert Dragons. The Empire celebrated, and those Dragon worshipping cults in their cities were swiftly pushed out into the desert as the ultimate ironic punishment. If any Dragon found them, it was unlikely they would have any compassion for these worshippers and would kill them. By 120 AC, the Qadir estimated barely a thousand Desert Dragons remained, and the Dragonkillers began to close in.
The Great Storm Hits
By 120 AC, the Dragons were desperate. They sought shelter in the deep interior of Farah’deen, in what was then called the Dakn Desert, and hoped for safety. However, the Red Desert Dragons that remained did not join them and instead moved closer toward the coastline. This separation is most likely due to their pacifist tendencies as opposed to all of the other Desert Dragons who could be described as “savage” at the very least. What happened next is barely understood even by scholars today and especially those of the Qadir people themselves. An enormous sandstorm suddenly erupted outward from the center of Farah’deen, and in the blink of an eye, millions were dead. Qadir cities were ravaged, the sands said to have cut people apart in the street, smoothed every single rough edge in the whole Empire, and dozens of animal species died as their homes became hell for several days. What happened to the Dragons is not known, but it is assumed they died along with the Sariyd Empire in a single, gigantic, and efficient cleaning of the slate. At the end of the Storm, as it blustered out to sea before fading away a few days later, the Sariyd Empire was gone.
The Great Storm is the single most defining characteristic in all of Farah’deen’s history. For starters, an Empire that had lasted possibly longer than the Elven Empire, was completely devastated, its capital city reduced to a crater, though no one is sure how this happened, and any city that remained was now without lines of communication and trade. The Qadir’s time of greatness, in short, was finished. From this collapse, however, came a new people and a new empire. Almost immediately, Qadir communities and cities were subjugated by the Songaskians who proudly proclaimed their divine power as dictated by the Sun. Most scholars today believe the Songaskians were always in Farah’deen and had watched from the shadows, plotting the downfall of the Sariyd Empire. Given how similar the Jenne Songaskians appear to Qadir, this theory is plausible, but a minority feels it is an oversimplification and too easy a mirror to the modern Regalian idea that the Slizzar plotted for decades to destroy the Regalian Empire. Regardless of where they came from, the Storm was certainly the greatest softening up strike an invader could ask for. Many major cities folded immediately, but others were harder to take as Qadir mechanical weapons and machines fought hard to defend the master’s home. But in the end, these cities fell and whatever vestiges of the Sariyd Empire were conquered, save for Mooriye.
The Great Storm also radically altered Qadir society. Where before there had been time to focus on beautiful if not absurdly complex machines for simple tasks, now the Qadir were refocused to serving a purpose in the Songaskian Masaya. Many took to the task begrudgingly at first, but many grew happy in this work. The Songaskians were benevolent overlords, and while they did suppress old ideas and discussion about most aspects of the Sariyd Empire, many Qadir came to see that nation as a failure. They especially had a religious crisis, ultimately feeling their gods had failed thus resulting in them being cast aside. The Qadir turned vehemently to machines and grew the ideas of the Esrah Alwattah. Hadrityas, fortresses built to hold technology of the Qadir, were constructed across Farah’deen and eventually, the world as the Qadir once again sought the outside world as a way to advance their technological knowledge. The final effect of the Great Storm was the foundation of new nations across Farahdeen and nearby southern Essalonia which the Sariyd Empire had began to colonize. Chief among these are Mooriye, a city-state alone in an arid, cracked earth plane that is said to hold the Esrah Alwattah itself, and Hadravia, a nation of Ailor who made their way to Northern Farah'deen before the Storm who have since converted to Shambala in a unique situation that has led to political and military conflict in recent decades.
- Only Experts in the School of History, Discipline of Post-Cataclysm would have any hope of learning the information provided if they were not Qadir or Songaskian. Even then, racial and cultural biases heavily play into interpretation of what little exists and the Masaya does not actively seek to teach people about the Storm.
- A common misconception in wider Aloria until Qadir Hadrityas rectified it was that the Great Storm and the Cataclysm occurred at the same time.
- Some say that the great patches of red sand in Farah’deen are the stains caused by the Red Hunt.