|Event Name||Sariyd History|
|Dates and Times||8,000 BC to 101 BC|
|People Involved||Sariyd Civilization, Qadir|
This page is supplementary information to the Qadir Ailor Race, as Sariyd is the name that defines the pre-Great Storm civilization of the Qadir in their homeland Ard-al Nur, which occurred some millennia after the foundation of the Allorn Empire. This information is not readily accessible to characters who are not Qadir themselves, have not studied history in high-learning schools, or are Ordial cultists familiar with the dogma of the Machinist. There is no way a Character would have access to this information without being told by one of these types of people, and implying an NPC backstory Character who told the story, is considered metagaming. Please do not rob Qadir (or historian/Ordial) players of the opportunity of telling a good story. A lot of this history is presented through the same scope we modern humans would talk about Roman Empire period civilizations, as Sariyd and Qadir history is vast.
Sariyd history starts roughly 8,000 years BC in the written record, though it is hard to pinpoint earlier information, as the Qadir Ailor did not have a form of writing that could be cited as primary sources about their past. The majority of early Sariyd history comes through the scope of Elven Allorn exploration journeys to Ard-al Nur, the vast desert continent between Regalia and the Sihai lands, where the Elves made several early outposts for resupply on their way to the Sihai lands, as well as slave-raiding on Ceardia, which lay just further south of Ard-al Nur. Early Elven Records indicate that the Sariyd people were already vastly different from their more colder climate Ceardian Ailor cousins, having already adapted to the much warmer climate, though the Elves never investigated how the Sariyd came here, as Ailor lacked ocean-crossing naval capacity at the time. The Sariyd were described as a pre-eminent civilization in technology, having just invented bronze and iron casting, yet lacking centralized nation-states, as well as a cohesive form of writing. The land of Ard-al Nur features over 30 individual microstates, usually city states, which were heavily in conflict with one another over scraps of technology left in the desert sands, the Elves presumed from the Meraic History era, but were unsure. The Elves had contact with a particular subgroup of sariyd called the Qiyād al-Mutamassikīn al-Samt (Assembly of the silent machine makers), sometimes also just referred to as the Qiyād or "Group". This group already had the familiar Qadiric skin pigmentations, though the Elves observed that they were in fact Death-script, a form of Ordial writing they had become familiar with in their dealings with the Charnel, an Ordial entity of Ordial Cultism.
How deep understanding of the Charnel goes in the Allorn Empire remains somewhat of a mystery, there are no primary sources which clearly state that there was widespread knowledge of the Charnel among the Empire's upper classes, but some allusion to this has been made by the idea that the Charnel usually covers her tracks by having her followers remove any mention of her from historical records on purpose. Regardless of how well known the Charnel was, the fact that Deathscript was written on these Sariyd, gave the Elves enough pause to not consider them suitable for slavery, and they were left well alone so long as they did not interfere with the Elven outposts on Ard-al Nur. As time passed, the Elves would occasionally send emissaries to investigate their state of technology and advancement, after all, the Elven Empire would not tolerate upstart civilizations in their backyard, and already had a history of erasing several races off the planet who had come close. To their delight, the Sariyd never unified, and their advancement was never so great that they would start reverse engineering or deeply understanding the Meraic finds they would uncover in the deserts, content to use them to fight each other over scraps of resources in the wasteland. When the sudden change came around 7,000 BC however, after a thousand years of division, it took the Elves by such storm that they lost contact with nearly all Ard-al Nur outposts and designated this continent forbidden to enter, with the same distinction as Sendras.
Tawajjuh or "The Emergence" is a period in which the Sariyd violently and rapidly unified into a single centralized and autocratic state under the guidance of a theocratic leader. How this leader came to power is unclear, as Elven records do not speculate on the inner power struggles of the Qiyād people, though one among them rose up to gain the title Al-Muqallid (meaning "He who turns"). Al-Muqallid is commonly understood today to have been a very powerful Ordial Mage who followed the Machinist, and first conquered the surrounding Sariyd city states, before suddenly exploding in power when he subjugated all other city-states when he wiped out the Elven outposts. It is important to note that while to some Races the Elves were usually a nuisance, for example to Ceardian Ailor who were enslaved by Elves, or the Sendrassian Allar who considered them an annoying snack, the Elves had a more venerable status among the Sariyd who considered them a powerful people from a large country in the west. The Elves were always able to defend their outposts while being terribly outnumbered, and used their wild magics to wipe out whole Sariyd warbands that had been sent to steal their wealth. With Al-Muqallid wiping out every Elven outpost in a matter of days, so quickly that the Elves could not even send word, and leaving no survivors, his infamy among the Sariyd was boundless, and whole city states would subjugate to his will out of fear of being similarly destroyed. How he achieved this level of widespread destruction is unclear from the historical narrative (as Elves did not live to tell the tale), though it is assumed in modern history that he gained some help from an Ordial entity, especially since the outposts were further apart from each other than the entire Allorn Empire's landmass longest distance.
In the Tawajjuh, all Sariyd societies quickly melded together over the following 100 years while Al-Muqallid became the supreme ruler, supported by an aristocracy of Ordial priests, while the Machinist of Ordial Worship was declared the one true god of the people. The Machinist was called Rabb al-Makina (Lord of the Machine) by the Sariyd, a term that would last into the modern era as a curse word (the equivalent of "god damn it"), why this became a curse word will become clear further on. Under the guidance of the Machinist and Al-Muqallid, Sariyd technology rapidly advanced over the following 3,000 years, though the Sariyd had no dreams of expansion beyond Ard-al Nur, their homeland. The Sariyd did not invent sea-faring vessels, though defended their coastlines viciously against any Elven or Velheim interlopers who would start colonizing some millennia later. In this period, the Sariyd also developed their language Zahram, their form of writing called Tafathul al-Qalam (Blossoming of the Pen), which involved a machine recording syllables with punctures in solid sheets of thin flexible metal, creating an equivalent of braille script in the canon universe that could be read also by blind people. Tafathul al-Qalam scriptures are generally considered reliable sources of information because primary prints remain largely safe from post-publication editing. If such a script is edited, this becomes very obvious, as part of the metal plate has to be removed and welded back in, always leaving behind scarring from the process. This is often why in the modern era, some historical records are checked through what is called the Allorn-Sariyd comparable metric. Elves had a habit of changing their historical records to fit their ego, while Sariyd recorded everything very matter of fact. This means that if a statement made by Allorn records is backed by Sariyd verification, it is considered of the highest historical accuracy.
Al-Balagh or "The Message" is a period in which the Sariyd people reached out to the world, tentatively, though not for the people, but for the treasures left in the ground. The Sariyd had no interest in establishing foreign relations, trade, or migration. Ard-al Nur, despite its inhospitable environs, was their homeland and afforded them enough space to expand while they could also master the wasteland through technology. During the Al-Balagh period, the Sariyd had since developed Clockwork, and most of their old Ordial-styled technological devices had long since been replaced with Clockwork which was more reliable, and did not need to be wholly powered by Ordial Shades to function (though in some part still did). At the beginning of the Al-Balagh period, Al-Muqallid (who was at this point at least 3000 years old and the world's first chassis user who had replaced all of his organic parts save for his mind with machine) decreed that the world was a treasure waiting to be cracked open. He had learned of the Dewamenet Empire, and the Meraic Empire, whose lost technologies still lay waiting to be found, ignored by the Elves who were far too busy with magic and global expansion, and reaching a state of over-extension. From Ard-al Nur, airships powered by clockwork propellors no larger than a modern day hot air balloon traveled the high wind currents to far away lands, establishing Sariyd outposts called Qasr Al-Muneer (Illuminated Castle), though sometimes also just called Qasr. These Qasr Al-Muneer were fortified equivalents of castles, with a population of about 300 that would curate a vault of technological scrap and scavenge from the surrounding lands, effectively dotting the land with small colonies all over. The Sariyd took effort not to be detected by outsiders by building high in the mountains or even deep inside caves, but eventually they would run into conflict with a variety of people like the Velheim and the Allorn Elves who did not take kindly to forts being established on their land without approval.
Several micro-wars were fought by the Sariyd and the locals, though because the Sariyd had no way of properly defending their outposts over such long distances with reinforcements and supplies, they more often struck deals to exchange valuable technological services in exchange for being allowed to remain. For example, a Qasr in the south of Ellador was allowed to remain, because the Sariyd agreed to use their basement cooling units to store excess meat brought in by the Velheim tribe that lived there, in exchange for peace. The Sariyd would always be very careful not to release any technology to the locals, knowing full well that they too were once an ignorant tribe of people that stumbled on a cache of tech by happenstance that propelled them into an age of innovation. The Sariyd were not conquest-minded, but hated the idea of missing out on finding some good technology because another people or society had been emboldened to dream of innovation due to their technology being released to the masses. The most important aspect of this period, is that Al-Muqallid's lifespan was coming to an end, or so he said, and the Al-Balagh had begun for very secretive reasons. While the majority of the Sariyd population was not aware, Al-Muqallid and his closest circle had been working against the Machinist, their one true god and source of power, for nearly a thousand years, and Al-Muqallid had a plan that would still take 2000 years more before it could come to fruition. This plan was to bring about what he called Munsarif 'an al-Alihat (Turned away from Gods). The exact motivations for Al-Muqallid's hatred for Gods is unclear. Perhaps he hated the Machinist from the beginning and only used the entity as a means to an end, or perhaps Al-Muqallid learned something as time passed that would turn him on his previous master, or perhaps he was simply beset with greed and ego that eventually comes for all highly advanced civilizations. At this point the Sariyd had equaled if not surpassed the Dewamenet technological standard, and were dangerously close to reaching the Meraic civilization's technological capacity. With such lordship over nature and nurture, a certain sense of invincibility and overlordship over the more unintelligent Races had set in among the Sariyd.
Huriyya or "Liberty" in its most conceptual form, is a period in which Al-Muqallid's plan would come to fruition, and Munsarif 'an al-Alihat would be reached. Al-Muqallid had already been dead for over a thousand years when this process sped into action, as he and his close followers had agreed that while he was still Soulchained to the Machinist, his plan could not come to fruition, as the Machinist would discover his plan as soon as it would be set in motion, and then dissolve it by controlling his body and mind against his followers. Al-Muqallid had his memories systematically fragmented into tens of thousands of pieces, stored on memkeys, and these memkeys spread far and wide in black-lead codexes that were hidden around the world. With his mind empty and his soul devoid of content, the priests finally disconnected his life support systems, and his soul was allowed to pass on, or what little was left of it, into the Beyond. The plan now entirely relied on the priesthood to continue Al-Muqallid's design, and continue it they did, even if liberty would not come in the lifetime of many of the priests themselves who pulled the plug on their former leader. Sariyd society was still led by the priests at this time, and entirely oblivious to Al-Muqallid's grand design. The Machinist meanwhile was none the wiser, as Al-Muqallid's soul had been emptied, and many of his memories would serve to further guide the outlying Qasr to assisting from afar.
It should be noted that at this point in time, Sariyd society was not entirely of one mind in following the Machinist. While the vast vast majority of people were faithful to the Machinist's dogma and Ordial Cultism (sometimes even flirting with the idea of worshiping other Ordial entities), there was a notable population referred to as the Kutub (the Scribes) who objected to the vile nature of Ordial worship, and their hostile relations to all other peoples of the world. While it was true that they weren't outright genocidal like the Allorn Empire, the Sariyd were little better in how they treated accidental shipwrecks on their shores, or how little they cared about the suffering of other people. Many of these Kutub would hide their identity (as Kutub was considered a slur back then), and take the first opportunity to travel to faraway lands on the small airships, to be deployed far away from Sariyd society and have some sense of being able to help locals with their technology, even if it also meant stealing all technology away from them. This meant that over time, most of the Qasr had a very large Kutub population who just pretended to worship the Machinist, versus actual loyalists. Some Qasr in fact had exclusive Kutub populations, as they worked together with secret signals to ensure other Kutub would be sent to their Qasr as relief staff, or reinforcements. The Kutub still worked with the designs of Al-Muqallid however, because despite their distaste for Al-Muqallid's apathy to outsiders and technomania in service to the Machinistm, they too could see the benefit of working with his designs to bring about the end of Machinist dependence and worship in the Sariyd Empire. The Kutub become very important later on in the Deathstroke era as well as The End, and the years beyond.
The priesthood activated the signal to start the final act of the plan to bring about freedom from the Machinist, and as they put it "To kill God". On the day commemorating Al-Muqallid's death, which would be celebrated every year with public worship and manifestation of the Machinist in the Sariyd capital, the priests rung the sirens from the highest towers in all the cities all at once. This high frequency signal sent a hidden code to all Sariyd machinery across the Sariyd Empire, instantly overloading or burning out control chips through a backdoor that had been intentionally installed in every single technological device from a lowly vacuum to a massive military artillery walker. While normally this would utterly cripple a technological people so dependent on the basic function of terraforming and farming to sustain their society, this plan had been so long in the making that these backdoor systems were so precise that they would only burn out the actual part that housed the Ordial Shade or power core that allowed it to connect to the Machinist, while leaving the rest of the machine completely unharmed. This signal would jump from city to city and even to the far away Qasr on relay towers, which would equally signal backup Automata that had been hidden in supply caches all over the Empire to open the doors and start unpacking reboot modules that had been stored for centuries to quickly replace all machines.
The Machinist was very slow to react, which was by design. The instantaneous burn-out of millions of technological devices, the wiping of nearly the entire Machinist's collection of Shades caused mind-paralysis in the Machinist. While it was a god of immense power, it could not react or register the sudden rupture of every single tendril it had placed in the world, of which there were millions at this point. It was as if every single hair on a person's head, including all over their body would be violently pulled out all at once, causing such overriding pain and sensations, that the Machinist was too stunned to react. At the same time, the priests activated the containment towers, which vibrated with strong purple light, chaining and imprisoning the Machinist in Aloria to delay his capacity to respond even further. There has been a lot of modern speculation about whether the priests and Al-Muqallid were assisted by the Dragons for this particular reason, but the fact that Dragons were barely aware of the Beyond or Ordial Entities, and started actively fighting the Sariyd after Huriyya, means that the priest more likely plugged into the Leysystem and hijacked the power sources, using one type of divine god magic against another to trap the Machinist, after all, Gods were just tools to the Sariyd at this point in time. Moments later, a massive gateway at the bottom of the ocean opened into the Beyond, sending forth thousands of aquatic automata into the Beyond through the torrents of water.
The perspective on the side of the Beyond is often recorded by other entities in the Beyond who were witness to it, as water in its base form is an unknown substance in this realm. Gushing everywhere and filling everything, Shades and other Ordial entities had no idea or ability to react and were stunned by this unfamiliar concept invading their realm. Even the greatest of Ordial Entities who were present or came to investigate were swept away by the tsunami engulfing this particular area of the Beyond, as all the pressure of the deep-sea came rushing through at once, pulling with it ocean-life and debris, but most importantly, the autonomous drones. The Sariyd drones that were powered by Clock-Steam-Cores as opposed to Shades, sped along the currents into the Beyond, and descended on the Machinist's vault in mere seconds, ripping their way inside through the twisted and charred metal and wood surrounding it, while others acted as sentries to eviscerate the Ordial Shades that came to the defense of the vault. With Al-Muqallid's perfect knowledge of the Vault and surrounding areas that he had witnessed in his dreams and Soulchained wanderings in the Beyond, the machines were acting on a strongly rehearsed plan, stealing and grabbing whatever technology, blueprints, and plans they could grab their hold on in the Machinist's vault, while destroying the rest that could not be taken. It is recorded in Allorn history that the ocean mysteriously dropped by three meters during this event over the span of less than a minute, indicating the insane quantity of ocean water that flushed into the Beyond. A mere one minute and seventeen seconds later, the second signal was sent through relay stations, instructing all drones to store their loot in anti-magi containers, and go dormant. The Sariyd had timed exactly how long it would take for a Dragon to react to calamity, having had time to orchestrate false-flag calamities across Aloria for the past 1000 years and timing their arrival and action to rectify the problem. Entirely as planned, the time-Dragon Palatino appeared in the rapidly forming ocean in the Beyond, and cast his potent time-Magic to reverse time on the portal. The water rush reversed, sucking up all the deep ocean debris, fish, whales, and autonomous drones that had come with it. The waters rose again on Aloria in a matter seconds, and the portal was forcibly closed on the Beyond side by Palatino and the voluntary termination order by the priests.
It is important to highlight the insane planning and foreknowledge that the Sariyd had with fooling not only the Beyond, but also the Dragons, and be three steps ahead of everyone involved. Not only did the Sariyd know that Palatino was in the Beyond, they banked on him trying to protect the Beyond as his safe space away from the corruption of the Void and Exist. They fooled the Ordial Gods for thousands of years, and then also puppeteered the Dragons into acting exactly how they wanted them to act, while they were none the wiser and thought they were acting entirely independently. In essence, the plan was rigged from the start to always favor the Sariyd. The autonomous drones, having stored their designs and blueprints and technology in anti-magi containers, were forced to surface and travel to the nearest Sariyd outposts to deposit the technology they had stolen from the Machinist's vault. While the drones had been reverted back in time, their anti-magi containers had prevented Palatino's time magic from affecting what was inside, thus not being able to physically return each piece to its original place in time, in the Beyond. The heist was a massive success, with the entire Vault having been raided empty or destroyed, and the Sariyd having made off with the entire trove of technological information, designs, and blueprints, that the Machinist had been hoarding since the Seraph era. It is perhaps important to stress that in one stroke, the Sariyd had become the most well-informed people and Empire in the world. perhaps having clarity of information about civilizations well into the mythical Seraph era, rivaling even the Dragon Codexes in terms of pure information.
The end of the Machinist in all of this, could have been thought of as sad, if it wasn't for the fact he was a murderous machine death-god. The rapid emptying of the vault in the Beyond acted in part on its mind. The Machinist's mind was in essence the vault itself, as if every electron and connection of its brain had been ripped out all at once, in essence leaving the Machinist in a state of brain-death. How the remains of the Machinist were destroyed beyond this point is unclear, because it wasn't recorded. Given the power of the Leysystem however, it is entirely feasible that the priests had the obelisks disintegrate the very last remains of the Machinist's physical body, even if it was just a mindless husk at this point. The Huriyyah would come to an end, with the death of the Machinist, and the realization of Munsarif 'an al-Alihat. This event is still reviewed with awe by scholars who are read up on it millennia later, because there simply is no precedent nor has anything like it ever happened since, such a vast orchestrated event in which a society not only killed off their own god that they had followed for so long, but utterly drained that god of all value that it ever had to them, and then just discarded it like a piece of trash. This event showcased the extremely transactional nature of the Sariyd people (and subsequent Qadir) towards religiosity and faith, but also the extreme heights of self-confidence that the Sariyd had in their mastership over creation itself, by mocking the Dragons like a useful and predictable tool.
The Deathstroke Era is the period directly after the Munsarif 'an al-Alihat's success, a period in which Sariyd society in essence became atheist. The event was a huge shock to Sariyd society, as the common people were not aware at all of the plan, and just watched their god die on one of their most important holidays. All across the Empire, memkey recordings of Al-Muqallid were forcibly played in every Sariyd's membank (each born child was equipped with one, harboring a secret frequency from which the government could broadcast specific memories), explaining the whole plan in detail to the Sariyd people. While they went into a catatonic state and Al-Muqallid took them through the passage of time, his plan, his actions, and the final design, automata across the Empire went underway to replace the burnt out machine cores and chips with replacements that had been provided. Walkers were quickly re-activated, fridges were only interrupted for several hours, while life support systems in hospitals were re-activated in mere seconds of going offline. By the time the common people awoke from their catatonic state, the whole Empire had been refurbished to run on new motherboards, and the priests cast off their robes and faith to become the new ruling elites of the Sariyd Empire.
The sheer bounty of technology that they stole from the Machinist took almost 300 years to fully investigate and disseminate across the ruling castes, there was a period of elation among the upper classes of the Sariyd Empire that their long designed plan had come to fruition, but more importantly, that they were the ones to yield the benefit of countless generations that had gone before them, born in slavery, and dying without ever seeing the light of freedom from the Machinist. This sense of destiny and fate, caused a level of ego enlargement that Al-Muqallid had not anticipated or planned for at all. Almost immediately, the Sariyd Empire cracked under the weight of all these ex-priests now-nobles declaring some kind of personal fief, and trying to hoard technology for themselves. Additionally, while they had originally been accurate in predicting the actions of the Dragons, they had no point of reference for something they would eventually call Intiqam al-Tannanin (Dragon Vengeance). The irony of stealing all this technology from the Machinist, was that while they originally switched all of their technology to different machine cores, they in essence were re-introducing Machinist designed Death Machines into their society after getting rid of it. Worse yet, there was often a reason why the Machinist kept these machines away from mortals, in that they were immensely destructive, and above all: Caused Death Rot to the world itself.
The height of Sariyd pride and greed would become the Mamlakat al-Tayaran (Airborne Kingdom), sometimes also just called Mamlakat in short (because the term Kingdom does not truly exist in the Sariyd language). The Mamlakat were massive floating cities, never quite the size of Regalia, but certainly six times larger than modern day Crookback, fueled by the Machinist's darkest designs and powered by weapons that could destroy whole cities. Each Mamlakat would be ruled by one ex-priest family, descendants from those priests who had pulled the lever of freedom, still beset by an obsession of destiny and having deserved this level of power. These flying kingdoms would threaten freedom in the Sariyd Empire at wide, as well as outsiders. While it is barely recorded in historical narrative (because Ceardian Ailor lacked a form of writing), these Mamlakat often stole resources and forced labor from Ceardia at the threat of wiping out an entire tribe if they did not comply. Bombs rained down from the skies for all those who refused to yield, and for a time, the Sariyd ruled the skies, but it was not to last. The Dragons first showcased their displeasure by attacking the Mamlakat. The Bronze Dragons were the most active in this, though records also exist of Red Dragons and Wyverns attacking Mamlakat in large numbers, as well as Archon descending on the streets and attacking the locals. The Mamlakat were heavily armed with Deathrot weapons that were capable of killing Gods, and so the Dragons acted cautiously in their war. However, Dragons had been fighting the Immortal War for over 65,000 years, and had learned a thing or two of military doctrine. It was primarily tribal pre-civilized Ailor from the Archipelago that fought against the Mamlakat, resulting in one Mamlakat traveling to the archipelago with the intention of wiping out Anglia with its considerable weapons, though crashing somewhere on the Regalian Isle as it was overpowered by the combined efforts of the Witches and Red Hunters. One by one, the Mamlakat fell from the sky in a blaze of glory.
This in turn emboldened the Sariyd, who believed that the Dragons were terrified of the Deathrot weapons. These weapons, when fired, would disrupt life itself in the area, meaning if a particularly heavy barrage was shot from a specific area over extended periods of time, life would utterly perish in the plants, the wildlife, and any sentient people nearby, leaving behind a rotten landscape not too dissimilar from the Beyond itself. As the Dragons accelerated their effort to halting the use of such "evil" weaponry, the Sariyd rulers accelerated the deployment of ever-greater super weapons to push back the Dragons. The Intiqam al-Tannanin, or as it would also be called the Dragon War, lasted from about 1,000 BC to 200 BC, in which the frontlines would constantly shift. The Malakat had all been destroyed, torn from the skies, but the Sariyd had developed massive walkers that moved like spiders and beetles across the desert sands, often larger than the Allbeacon Temple in Regalia, and capable of carrying such explosive firepower on their backs that they would create new suns on the horizon seen from far away. This thermo-nuclear-level war that occurred against the Dragons in Ard-al Nur did not help the environment, causing further desertification, and wiping out many small Sariyd communities in the countryside. Civil unrest against the ruling classes increased, but was proving to be difficult, as they were aided by enforcer-drones, large hulking machines that would detect deviant behavior and execute citizens on the spot for treason.
The Kutub were the most vocal and active in their resistance, perhaps emboldened by the safety of their distance to the Sariyd Empire, and the absense of enforcer-drones in their territories. The Kutub inhabited Qasr all made a public declaration of I'lān al-Istibdād (declaration of oppression), seceding from the Sariyd Empire and threatening to open fire against the Sariyd ruling classes if they dared to retake the Qasr into their hands. Because many of the Qasr held caches of information and technology, this is exactly what the Sariyd would attempt to do as they sent death-squads to purge the Qasr. Many of the Qasr fell, with many Kutub dying in the process. This collective trauma emboldened them to unify under a unified banner, named Al-Qadiriyyin (the collective of the capable). They armed themselves, and as time passed, more and more Qasr resisted the sieges against them, often aided by the other Races that they lived next to and had previously made deals with. There are even historic records of Qasr's in the Allorn Empire being assisted by Allorn Mages against the machines of the Sariyd when they came to destroy the disloyal Qasr. These events are commonly sourced as the first historical founding of the "Qadir" as a society, though the actual identity of the Qadir cannot wholly be ascribed to the Kutub. Qadir society is both informed by the fierce dismissal of the oppression of the Sariyd ruling class, but also by the societal sentiments that created the actions of the Sariyd ruling classes to begin with.
Before the final chapter is read, it begs the question, was the Sariyd Empire evil? Was Al-Muqallid evil? The morality of the circumstances of the Sariyd in the period are, as ever, nuanced. Al-Muqallid was absolutely a vile person who cared not for other Races and was likely very bigoted against outsiders, and also worshiped a Death God that encouraged him to kill for its satisfaction. Similarly however, there is evidence to imply that Al-Muqallid was an unfortunate man trapped in a bargain that proved to get the better of him, but did not give up, and managed to outsmart a death-god in the end even if this victory would come a thousand years after his death. He dearly loved his people and the history of his nation, but similarly was obsessed with overlordship and greedy for power. Many of the modern Qadir despise him as the megalomaniac who robbed them of a natural progression of a peaceful Race, while other Qadir have the more nuanced stance of admitting that every Empire is a road built on corpses, if not outright praising him for being the most famous and most powerful among them that ever lived. Equally, there is some nuance in the general Sariyd population. While there were absolutely loyalists who were fiercely loyal to the nobles for their own benefit, many of the Sariyd simply did what they were told, as their society was uniquely gripped by a fascist autocratic regime that would summarily execute deviants, and was also subject to heavy propaganda. Of course the vile nobles would hide the Death Rot caused by their machines from the common people, but the common people would also turn a blind eye and not be inquisitive whenever they were exposed to the "sudden" disappearance of a whole town in the desert and a hellish landscape being left in its place. Morality in Sariyd society remains a historical reflection both for the Qadir, but also for other Races, as their ethical balance is never quite as simple to determine given the complicated circumstances, information, and options the people back then had available to them.
The End defines a period covering the final 100 years or so of the Sariyd Empire, leading up to the Great Storm that wiped out their civilization, and the storm of events occurring in the final 100 years. In the final century, the Sariyd were actually pushing the Bronze Dragons back towards the center of their Dragon Temples in the heart of Ard al-Nub, the Jarf al-Tanin (Dragon Cliff). This vast mountain piercing the clouds was home to the Bronze Dragon Junction, and the seat of their power. The Sariyd had harnessed deadly Deathrot weapons to such an extent that the Dragons had actually fled from direct engagement, and mostly sent Archon to fight in their stead. While the Archon were also assisted by Ley constructs, the frontline was repeatedly pushed back. Meanwhile, the Al-Qadiriyyin gathered in councils to attempt to figure out how to deal with this predicament. While the Sariyd attacks on their Qasr had ended, they were very alarmed by the idea that the Sariyd would actually kill Dragons, and wanted to act. It is in this final council, called the Council of Eyes, that the Al-Qadiriyyin were visited by a divine entity which they would later claim was the Everwatcher, though it might also have been a premonition of Theomar, theologians are undecided on this in the modern era. All the Councillors present purposefully had their mem-banks stored and hidden to avoid anyone being able to witness the events first hand on a replaying device, though they did leave records claiming what happened.
They say that the Everwatcher appeared to them (either in person or in some kind of vision), telling them of the calamity to be inflicted on the world, in a tipping point that even the highest powers that be could not tolerate in creation, implying that the Everwatcher claimed superiority over the Dragons, and was concerned for their wellbeing. This aspect is disputed in the modern era, because by this time (102 BC), many of the Dragons were already in the process of entering their voluntary death-state, and surrendering the Mantle of Creation (duty to protect the world) to the Ailor Race as a whole in Regalia. Yet, other theories posit that the death-state was not actual death, but that being killed by Deathrot weapons would have actually destroyed the Dragons permanently, or caused such disruptions that the cycle of life on Aloria would be so permanently damaged that it would leave a Void Invasion to appear like a silly pub brawl in comparison of collateral damage. The Everwatcher claimed that godlessness and a revolt against the world's natural state of being was a crime committed by the Sariyd, and that the Al-Qadiriyyin by association were also part guilty, but were given a divinely ordained opportunity to correct this flaw in Sariyd society, and guide them in capacity under a new gospel. The Everwatcher then tasked the council with raising an infant that appeared through immaculate creation before them which the Everwatcher referred to as Al-Asir, in who the Al-Qadiriyyin had to "instill all that is good and benign in life and machine, to shield a lord from the vices of engineered supremacy, and to forgive the deaths of the past". The Council here accepted the Everwatcher's task and took in Al-Asir as an infant wrapped in azure blue cloth, his Qadiriq skin pigmentations glittering in gold on the backs of his hands and his forehead. They brought forth the words of the Everwatcher, and emboldened by a greater power caring for their success, went about converting the Al-Qadiriyyin into proto-Unionists. It's important to note here that proto-Unionist does not mean that they were somehow more aware of Theomar's impending birth or the gospel. In many ways, they did not actually worship the Everwatcher, but were presented with the unique opportunity of raising their own God, Al-Asir. It also took a considerable amount of time before Al-Asir merged into Unionism long after Theomar uttered the first words of the Everwatcher. Perhaps this mission even tickled part of the Al-Qadiriyyin mind that they did not even knew they possessed: an ego that considered itself above Gods. If a God could be raised by the people, then surely they would not need to kill this God, if he was made in their image, instead of them subjected to his wills? Regardless, the Al-Qadiriyyin took Al-Asir, and gathered a large baggage train with the intent of traveling to the Sariyd homeland to spread the gospel, believing in divine protection.
The Sariyd meanwhile, were preparing to lay siege to Jarf al-Tanin over the span of several weeks, having gathered the largest mechanized horde ever assembled on Aloria, rivaling even the fleets of autonomous attack drones used by the Meraic during the Void Invasion. The final battle was colossal, not only taking place between Bronze Dragon aligned forces, but also a White Dragon from the Sihai lands showed up, along with many Sihai Archon to assist. The Bronze Dragons themselves remained atop the highest mountain, some have speculated in fear or conclave, there are no surviving historical records of the exact events at the top of the mountain. The Sariyd onslaught seemed unstoppable, with many of the walkers starting the climb of the mountain, and ripping Archon out of the skies with their weapons. Even the Sihai Dragon's intervention was not sufficient, despite the many walkers it destroyed. In a sudden moment then, a blast of energy erupted from the top of the mountain that sent all dials and measurement equipment into a state of chaos. The Sihai Dragon shrieked in grief and rage, but was forced to retreat with the Sihai Archon as the eruption expanded from the mountain above, causing a huge shockwave that showed no signs of stopping as it was engulfing all of Ard-al Nur. This event would come to be called the Great Storm, in which a sandstorm so massive that it blocked out the sky and the sun enveloped most of the Ard-al Nur landmass. Millions of Sariyd citizens choked out in the sands that crept into every opening. Every door, shelter, and protective barrier was overwhelmed by the unending torrent, plants withered and died as their greenery was torn to shreds, and machinery ground to a halt as their inner mechanisms were ground to dust. Some records from trade caravans survived as membanks were downloaded long after the event, showing glimpses of Dragon-shaped masses of sand expanding in all directions covering everything in sand and killing all that it touched. The vast machine walker army at Jarf al-Tanin was buried in endless drifting sands, their operators killed and complex circuitry ripped apart.
It is difficult to estimate how many Sariyd died in this event, likely millions, perhaps as close as 30 million. There has been a lot of controversial debate about whether this event constituted Dragon genocide, and while the Qadir long held the belief that the Dragons were responsible, recent events have revealed that it was in fact the Machinist's insidious influences that caused the Great Storm. The Machinist was formally killed, yes, but one cannot truly kill a Death-God, especially when said Death-God's technology was then re-incorporated into weapon systems after his death. The ex-tech priests did not consider that while emptying the Machinist's "brain" (its vault) would turn it braindead, re-incorporating the individual technologies that constituted its mind, would in essence slowly revive it. The more the Sariyd incorporated Deathrot weaponry into their systems, the more the Machinist's consciousness returned to life. It had gained such power that it was able to whisper anxiety and fear to the Bronze Dragons, and finally strike its penultimate revenge against the Sariyd who killed it. How this process exactly worked is unclear, but is commonly established nowadays (even among the Qadir who still despise Dragons), that the Machinist hijacked Dragon Magic and the Leysystems in just a split second of weakness in the anxiety of the Bronze Dragons, and caused the Great Storm to happen, which in turn also killed the Bronze Dragons. As a final act, the Bronze Dragons whispered life and creation into the Songaskians, thus birthing the Songaskians from the Great Storm as an attempt to balance the scales of life and death that day, though their effort had minimal impact in the end, as this in turn would just result in a permanent war between the Songaskians and Qadir after the fact.
The Al-Qadiriyyin who had traveled to Sariyd lands and were on their way to the capital, protected by their own automata, were also caught in the Great Storm, with the vast entourage of all the elders being killed by the suffocating sands. Al-Asir however, survived, along with two of his personal protector automata which held the souls of deceased scholars from an age past, Darraju al-Ilm (nicknamed Dar) and Al-Hakim. With most of the Sariyd Empire wiped out, the entourage dead and their baggage train lost, and the terrain around them radically changed as the sand eroded whole mountains and created new sand dunes, the two protector automata and Al-Asir were lost in the deep deserts. For 8 years, Al-Asir who was still growing up, and Dar, and Al-Hakim would travel the desert attempting to find any survivors, but finding no-one. This small period is considered Al-Tajawul (the Roaming), and many folklore tales exist in Qadir society about the (mis)adventures that Al-Asir, Dar, and Al-Hakim had in the deserts as the two automata tried to raise an infant in such an inhospitable environment with no outside contact, and still tried to teach Al-Asir their language, history, and mission. While Al-Asir was divine and immortal thus not needing food or water, as a child, he still misbehaved, acted erratically, and had a habit of running away trying to find this lost Kingdom that the automata spoke of (players are absolutely recommended to come up with their own wacky timon and pumbaa-esque stories involving Al-Asir, this is considered a fun past time for the Qadir). After eight years wandering, Al-Hakim's power source was giving out, just as an Al-Alus airship flew overhead, one of the few attempts of the only remaining Sariyd province of Al-Alus to find survivors. The peninsula of Al-Alus had been spared the Great Storm which expanded in a radius around Jarf al-Tanin, but did not touch the peninsula because it jutted out of the otherwise round continent of Ard-al Nur. Al-Alus society was a complete mess following the Great Storm, but after a few years they had re-routed their machines to sustaining their civilization, and cautiously tried to venture into the deserts in the north to look for survivors or scraps of scavenge they could use. The trio were insignificantly small against the backdrop of the huge desert dunes, so with his last battery power, Al-Hakim sent a flare up so the airship would notice them, following a much grieved scene between Al-Asir and Al-Hakim as his soul passed on to the embrace of the Everwatcher.
Al-Asir was brought to the capital of Al-Alus by this airship as well as Darraju al-Ilm, whose body was at this point practically falling apart without maintenance. The people of Al-Alus were curious, but suspicious of a single child having been saved from the desert where no other survivors were ever found. Darraju would explain the gospel of the Everwatcher to the people, who at first mocked the idea of this eight year old god before them, until he showcased his divine and unmistakable mastery over machinery, able to lift huge machines with great ease, disassemble, and re-assemble them to function more efficiently, a skill that the Qadir would later learn from him. This proto-Unionist belief in Al-Asir quickly spread through Al-Alus, the people who were immensely traumatized by losing 90% of the population of their great Empire, and being completely aimless as their ruling classes were paralyzed by indecision. Al-Asir acted like a beacon of hope, and ended up stroking that same streak of vanity that the Al-Qadiriyyin were subject to, with the idea that they could raise their own God. This period also explains why many of the Qadir are so casual towards Al-Asir, considering him more of a close friend than an actual God. Al-Asir was always very social and approachable, with Al-Hakim and Darraju al-Ilm teaching him compassion and kindness above all. Al-Asir is a genuinely kind-hearted entity that tries to appear very down to earth, and has none of the trappings of a divine entity. While some of the older Qadir obviously demand a level of respect, his youthful appearance and behavior endears many Qadir in the modern age to him, even if he is almost 400 years old. Darraju al-Ilm survives as well to this day, though by his wishes his body was not repaired, and his mind was interred into a machine fixed into Al-Alus's greatest library where he acts as a repository of Sariyd information. Under Darraju's guidance, bringing the cultural quirks of the Al-Qadiriyyin to the Sariyd, both societies merged when other Al-Qadiriyyin migrated from the Qasr back to Al-Alus to increase the population and provide for stability. They would henceforth be known as the Qadir, taking aspects from both, and remembering the past but looking for a bold future.
The Songaskian conflict will not be referenced on this page, as it mostly covers the period from the Sariyd founding to the end of the Sariyd Empire. The Songaskian conflict is mentioned on the Songaskia page, as well as the Qadir page itself. The Unionism Page may contain additional information on Al-Asir, as well as the Qadir page itself.