|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, giving rise to the powerful Songaskian Masaya and produced an entirely new Race into Aloria. The cause of the storm was draconic magic produced by what few surviving Dragons existed from the Qadir’s attempt to purge them from the world. Today, the Qadir remember the Storm as the event which saw their chapter of glory close, at least for now, while the Songaskians praise it as the event which produced them, though at the cost to their Dragon ancestors.
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 seek shelter 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. In addition, some treaties were respected, and Dragon knowledge and magic could be a great force in the world to help the Qadir. But, the crumbling of wider Aloria following the Cataclysm forced the Qadir’s 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 which 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 which had attracted more people than were usually there. The ruler of this city, in particular, 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 the device states it tore the enemy Dragon’s wings apart, while 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. In 110 AC, the Brown Desert Dragons were the first species to be felled followed soon after by the Mountain Rock Drakes of the Banfo Mountain Range. 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. But, as they saw the Dragonkillers closing in, they made their fateful choice. Combining their magics together, 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. At the end of the Storm, as it blustered out to sea, the Sariyd Empire was gone. The Desert Dragons who survived this then produced the Songaskians, birthing them in transformed eggs and helping to lead them into a mysterious, unknown life.
The Great Storm is the single most defining characteristic in all of Farah’deen’s history. For starters, an Empire which had lasted possibly longer than the Allorn Empire was completely devastated, its capital city lost to the sands, and any city which possibly 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, multiple surviving Qadir communities and cities were subjugated by the Songaskians and their Dragon teachers. Many major cities folded immediately, but others were harder to take as Qadir mechanical weapons and machines fought hard to defend their 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 they had been a group obsessed with beautiful if not absurdly complex machines for simple tasks, along with a vast complex polytheistic religion, 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 many Qadir came to see their nation as a failure. They especially had a religious crisis, ultimately feeling their gods had failed, thus resulting in them being cast aside, considered to have died. 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 from what few Sariyd ruins the Songaskians had not occupied. Eventually, their homeland, as the Qadir once knew, 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 which is said to hold the Esrah Alwattah itself, and Hadravia, a nation of Ailor from Ceardia who converted to the Songaskian faith of Shambala in a unique situation which has led to political and military conflict in recent decades.
- Farah’deen was once much more geographically varied. While still dry in many areas, lush jungle valleys, river deltas and other similar regions dotted the continent. Few if any exist today, and those that do are artificial garden sites built at the pleasure of the Songaskia.
- A common misconception in wider Aloria until Qadir Hadrityas rectified it was misconception the Great Storm and the Cataclysm occurred at the same time.
- Some say the great patches of red sand in Farah’deen are the stains caused by the Red Hunt. Other claim it is just mineral deposits rusting in the open and harsh desert air.