Night of the Fallen Star
|Night of the Fallen Star|
|Event Name||Night of the Fallen Star|
|Dates and Times||40 BC|
|People Involved||Estel, Altalar, Yanar, Kathar|
Though well spun as some cobwebs may be, every few months, the housekeeper always reaches into their attic and dusts them. So it would seem for the Faith of Estel forty years preceding the Cataclysm. The organized religion encountered a faith shattering event one long, summer night, where every source of spiritual guidance was cut off from Aloria. It was on this night that the Kathar struck from the shadows, cutting off the Nenya and the statue of Estel from their faithful followers. Additionally, it was this night that saw Kathar become their own race, separate from being just another cult of Altalar. This Night of the Fallen Star marked the decline of the Faith of Estel, and even the fall of the Elven Empire, culminating in the eventual disastrous time known as the Cataclysm.
Forty years before the Cataclysm, the Elven Empire was completely stable and even thriving; it was impossible to foresee any sort of decline or crash of the Empire, especially in the eyes of the proud Altalar. It was this overconfidence that would eventually be the undoing of the Altalar. On the first day of 40 BC, the statue of Estel had a premonition of a great disaster to come. She saw a vision of great fires reaching into the night sky, and dark, purple Void Essence seeping into the land. Fearing the worst, she reached out to the priests within the Ivory Tower who regularly communed with her. Out of pure ignorance, the priests mistook the visions as their own false anxieties, and refused to heed Estel’s warning. In the days that followed, several strange plant-like figures began appearing near the edges of the forests and jungles within the Elven Empire. The Yanar, as they would later be called, approached Elven temples within the cities, and Nenya groves outside of them. They communicated with all varieties of priests through Evergrowth Magic, though yet again, their warnings were blatantly ignored as cries of wolf. Still, the Yanar, and later the Nenya, preached on of a great tragedy to come, as instructed by their lady Estel.
It is important to know that the Kathar were not a race of Nelfin in 40 BC; they were merely a cult of tan-skinned Altalar Void worshippers with very vague ideas of what it meant to be one with the Void. Still, they performed profane experiments, and were eventually gifted with dark and evil magics, the likes of which that are unknown to modern scholars. These Void worshippers became enthralled with the idea of ending the corrupt and hedonistic Elven Empire, and so they plotted in conjunction with the Archdemon Behesael. These plots would be enacted on the twenty sixth day of the sixth month, 40 BC, and would undeniably shape the next three hundred years of Alorian history.
The Night of the Fallen Star: 26th of June
The Death of the Nenya
The Kathar chose to enact their foul plan one particularly breezy night in June of 40 BC. Infiltrators and other agents all banded together, marching on the various known locations of the Nenya. As soon as the moon had reached its zenith, the Kathar encircled these groves and temples, cutting Void Script into their foreheads and arms with daggers while the pacifist precursors to the Cielothar watched on. They then began an eerie chant, calling upon the dark magic that Behesael had granted them. This dark ritual, known only as the Void Vacuum, drained the Nenya of their Exist Essence, and flooded them with Void Essence, effectively corrupting them to the point of being in a coma-like state. While the great colossal trees were weakened, the Kathar began chopping at their great roots and trunks, while some mages began blasting the Nenya with searing hot fire. All across Daendroc, Hyarroc, and Teled Methen, the great trees screamed, and their brethren soon joined them; other trees, bushes, flowers, ferns, and plant-life of all varieties joined in this great cry of pain, wailing out in the wind for the loss the Nenya suffered.
The Disappearance of Estel
Just as the Nenya fell one by one, a separate team of the Kathar leadership infiltrated the sacred Ivory Tower, the vast temple built around the holy statue of Estel. Eliminating any opposition and murdering the priests in the grand room in which Estel resided, the Kathar began the Void Vacuum ritual, targeting Estel instead of the Nenya. While the fall of the Nenya was completed in less than an hour, the ritual concerning Estel took much longer. Finally, as dawn broke and several priests and civilians approached the temple to go about their daily tasks of worship, the portal in the floor began sucking Estel and the Shadow Council in.
Estel’s faithful only caught a last glimpse of Estel’s crown as it sunk into the blackened portal in the floor, leaving behind only a gem from the crown itself. Instead of glowing its typical silvery-blue, however, the gem glowed a dark purple and black. One priest touched it, trying to pick it up with his bare hands. Not only was his hand severely melted by the heat the gem radiated, but the man also became instantly possessed. On top of this, he could not even lift it; the gem was firmly weighted to the ground. The gem was cordoned off by a special form of barrier magic that has long been lost to time.
The Birth of the Kathar
Having never cast the Void Vacuum before, the Kathar were shocked yet pleased to see that the ritual had not only affected the Nenya, but Estel too. Some of the Void Essence from the ritual leaked out and seeped into the skin of the Kathar cultists, forever turning their skin, as well as the skin of their descendents the color of ash. This would forever change the politics of the Elven Empire, as the Kathar could no longer properly hide among society. Seeing the potential danger to their Order, the Kathar fled to hidden locations. Eventually, after enough planning, the Void cultists marched on the idyllic island of Nyalone, and began perverting it with the same Void Vacuum that they used to destroy the Nenya and transport Estel away. These islands would eventually lose their old name of Nyalone, and become the feared Shadow Isles.
The Shattered State of the Faith of Estel
The Night of the Fallen Star had a massive faith-changing impact on the worshippers of Estel as a whole. Before the Night, the Nelfin looked to the Nenya and the Statue of Estel for their spiritual guidance. With these two sources of wisdom and dogma gone, however, the Nelfin had only one place to turn to: The Arken. As a result, the Faith of Estel as an organized religion began reforming and placing a heavier emphasis on the worship and commitment to the Arken, who were the last known connections to Estel herself. No longer could priests rely on direct communication to the great goddess herself; Nelfinkind became reliant on indirect worship through the appraisal and appeasement of the Arken, who were soon halved to just the Virtues because of the events of the Cataclysm.
- The specifics behind the Void Vacuum ritual, as well as the permanent Light Barrier that was cast over the Void-infused gem, have been lost to time. They are merely two of hundreds of forms that were simply lost when the Cataclysm occurred.
- Some historical accounts contradict official records, saying that the Nenya in fact attacked their tenders. While these are not confirmed stories, it has led scholars to question if the Nenya had less than benevolent motives…