|Event Name||Vampire Insurrection|
|Dates and Times||August 19th - October 15th 309 AC|
|Location||Crown Isle, Regalian Archipelago|
|People Involved||Various Aberrant factions, Regalian Empire|
As summer turned to fall in the capital city of the Regalian Empire, a new event in the latest series of crises raised its head, as Vampires surged to huge numbers and overwhelmed the city’s defenders. For over a month, the City of Regalia was at the mercy of a Void-aligned horde while nobles helped to lead a resistance effort, and powers of both the Exist and Primal sought to chip at the Void’s power through cutting off their own slice of the pie. Unlike many past events, the Vampire Insurrection’s end was empowering to many of the average citizens, and the effects of such arcane-fueled chaos are still widely unknown.
There was very little warning about the arrival of the Vampire Insurrection in the capital of the Regalian Empire. Nobles were preparing for the fall season of events and fashion, just as those in the fields around the city and dotting the Crown Isle were preparing for the incoming harvest of many crops. Within the government, concerns were directed north toward the continued conflict between the Urlan-bolstered forces of the Empire and the Isldar, while the recent abolishment of the Noble Assembly had seen many private meetings to forge political parties for involvement in matters of governance set to be put on the State Council table. Vampires, meanwhile, were not publicly seen, and overall, there had been limited issues with Aberrants in recent months as instead, an uptick in the creation of Court Mages and government approval for Magic users and similar entertainers was underway.
It thus came with a shock when, for seemingly no reason, a vision came to those afflicted or tainted by the Void one August night. It revealed to them a creature later known as the Brass Whisperer, enacting a ritual that suddenly supercharged the abilities of Vampires within the capital. Now, their bite guaranteed infection, resulting in instant Vampirism. Chaos soon erupted in Crookback, the capital’s slum and Aberrant hotbed, as Vampires and Kathar began to plot, attack, and infect aggressively. At the same time, the Unionist method of curing Vampirism, and the most effective, an Arch-Temple dedicated to God Empress Ness, suddenly collapsed of unknown causes. The collapse had the side effect of unleashing a swarm of Undead lurking in the catacombs beneath the structure, which were dealt with. Now sensing weakness, the Vampires pushed their advantage. Within a day, the Violet Order was evacuating those innocent citizens who sought shelter from Crookback, but another arcane entity intervened. It said by those present that the forces seeking to contain the Vampire blight were attacked by the Arken, Pride, who with a wave of his hand suddenly infected a score of guards, and aided the Vampires in breaking out of Crookback with their malevolent allies. A full-scale assault of the City of Regalia broke out with Greygate Prison falling in a matter of hours, while the ministries of government worked desperately to destroy their own records to prevent any knowledge falling into the hands of the new menace. Meanwhile, nobles and their retinues tried to flee to their estates in the countryside but found themselves attacked, their estates burned or looted, and so sought refuge wherever they could from the emerging threat. Aiding in all of this chaos was the arrival of the imposing Dreadfort called Demetrius, a powerful structure of the ancient Vampires commanded by a creature soon known to many, the Lich Lord. Alongside this castle, multiple Void Arken, not to mention Pride, were seen active in the streets and by the end of the 21st of August, the city had fallen. However, hope lived on. The Imperial Palace was a place of respite for nobles who were able to reach its premises, as a strange purple dome encompassed the structure, preventing the nefarious Vampires or their allies from gaining access. In addition, the Emperor himself was recovering, and whispers of this, along with those of safe-houses across the city and in the countryside led by remnants of the guards and military-focused nobles also gave people refuge. Finally, there were the tales of Unionist Godsparks appearing and defending the public, or curing individuals. God Emperor Vess was supposedly witnessed doing this, an extreme rarity, and so the fight went on.
A Ceaseless Tide
A few days later, on the 25th, new factions entered the fray. A Black Dragon of unknown origin suddenly descended on the capital, attempting to attack the Dreadfort. However, while taken by surprise, the structure was saved by the unlikely help of the Imperial Dragon, who tackled the Black Dragon off course and began a war in the air. But rather than a winner emerging, a standoff began as the Black Dragon landed in Crookback and the Imperial Dragon in Newtown, entering a staring match while hundreds watched on confused. However, this Black Dragon brought with it a boon to the Rokhaal Vampires of the city, who grew in strength with an expectation that the dictates of their creator, Draga Ifrit, be followed. Meanwhile, outside the capital, the remnants of the nobility and guards gathered with the citizenry who followed them in a castle-estate called Calvonth. But they were pursued by Vampiric forces, and ultimately, were forced to suffer through four separate attacks, the Vampire enemies resorting to launching themselves into the fortress with catapults in a macabre if not ingenious way of weakening the defenders. However, these defenders remained strong, primarily thanks to a miraculous event when God Empress Ness appeared to various members within the structure, and aided in the creation of a giant, blazing Unionist eye above the fortress which temporarily weakened the Vampiric hordes around them.
At last, on the 31st of the month, the Vampires broke through in their fourth, final assault. Yet even this was beaten back, though with the walls broken and a tower toppled. In the ruins of their fortress, however, word from the Emperor reached the tattered defenders, and a tactical retreat saw the structure abandoned in favor of assaulting and taking the Northlake Estate, a large, expansive palace complex lightly occupied by Vampires. In a two-pronged attack on the 2nd of September, the takeover was successful, and the resistance against the Vampire Insurrection now had a new, and much more secure base of operation. Meanwhile, in the City of Regalia, the Mercenary Keep was also holding off the Vampire menace from breaching its walls. Constantly running interference, the two groups were soon linked together in a common cause, with the Keep a foothold deep in the urban center, causing problems for many of the dark forces. It was also around this time that rumors leaked into the city from the outside world, for the Crown Isle was an island in these events, and the surrounding Regalian Archipelago could only watch as the heart of the Empire again descended into an occupation scenario. However, this time it was different. A blockade around the Isle was established, alongside large armies waiting on surrounding landmasses, and overall, it was clear that events would remain enclosed to the capital.
But there was trouble in the Vampire ranks, as well as with their allies. The Exist Arken had joined their dark siblings in the city, but had instead called up the Cahal to rally against the dark forces surging in the area. Additionally, Vampire cohesion was breaking down as new factions within the Lich Lord’s forces broke off, or distracted themselves in adventures or enterprises such as running a macabre carnival. But there were also issues among the allies of the Vampires. The Manathar firmly turned away from the affairs happening around them, while infighting between other groups of Vampires but also defections to the resistance groups, as well as captures and imprisonment of multiple members of the dark leadership, took their toll. Then, there was the case of Vampire curing. While the Arch-Temple dedicated to Ness remained lost, alchemical creations produced by two resourceful resistance alchemists, helped by scholars in the Imperial Palace, allowed for a smattering of cures to resistance prisoners.
But the high beings of the city were disquieted. First, the sheer number of Rokhaal weakened the Bloodline’s connection to their powers, and the Draga was displeased that frivolous conversions to its power had taken place. Those that remained loyal thus retained their powers with the role of Prefect, to try and lead their people. Among the Cahal, control had been lost and the Colossi along with the Exist Arken sent an emissary to rouse their people and give individuals the power of two Soul Lines. Finally, the Void Arken and the Void Ancients were unhappy at the defections from the Lich Lord’s cause, empowering him to also give the abilities of two Bloodlines to infected individuals. The Dreadfort was then turned on the Daenlock district, shelling the area as it had been a minor area of resistance to Vampiric control since the city had been taken over, killing hundreds in the process in a show of force that unfortunately, did not have the effect of galvanizing on the dark powers across the Isle. However, it did impact others. The Imperial Dragon had to command those capable of hearing Dragons to stop attacking the Vampire-held Greygate while in the district of Petal Court, a massive, Exist-powered tree sprung up, deadening the connection of any Void-tied being under its branches.
Over the coming weeks, little changed within the capital, though minor skirmishes and missions were undertaken by various parties. A captured Kade princess, Noor Kade, changed hands from the Vampires to the clandestine organization known as the Hexenbloods, while visions heralded the arrival of a Silven Desprince of Dorkarth, alongside a horde of giant carnivorous bats which caused havoc for all parties upon the Desprince’s arrival and Dreadfort Cornelius, who disrupted the blockade around the Isle in the escort of its charge. Meanwhile, a Suvial Princess was escorted to safety by those resisting the Vampires, guaranteeing a political mission for the Regalian Empire once the crisis had abated. However, a break finally came for those resisting the Aberrant factions, in that the Unionist temple dedicated to God Empress Ness had been magically restored. The curing of many prisoners, from nobles to warriors to commoners, be they Vampires or Cahal, surged the ranks of the resistance. With October now beginning, end-game motions started to be enacted by the major parties.
The first to move was the Draga Ifrit, who called those to its banner as the Black Dragon only continued to weaken, ultimately collapsing on October 8th. The Draga then, for the first time in perhaps millennia, showed itself to the world in a humanoid form. What exactly happened to those involved, who chose to follow the Draga, is unknown, but events elsewhere in the world provide the clearest picture. Claims exist that a tear in the Veil took place, but not like that from the end of the Fifth Void Invasion. Instead, in a controlled ritual, the Veil was pierced, allowing Primal forces to invade the Void, and begin crafting a material world from the immaterial plane led by those warriors pledged from the capital of the Regalian Empire. The first sunrise took place in the Void as a result of this, and other arcane events elsewhere continued to impact the world. On October 10th, the Justice Arken sprung into action with their own plan. As evening came, all those who had sworn a pact to aid the being were ripped from their former locations to instead be drawn in around a darkened hill, topped by a blackened pillar writhing with golden energy. The Arken then commanded its forces against a growing surge of Demons, who stood against the oncoming enemy. Along with reinforcements provided by packs of Cahal, the group of warriors, Sorcerers and Aberrants pushed through the horde, some encountering dark dopplegangers of themselves in shape and voice. Finally, they all reached the crown of the hill, defeating the last of the foes guarding the minor pillar. Through unknown but likely vast arcane power, Justice then siphoned energy off of the Red Spire (a Void construct that sat near the Crookback section of Regalia) to form a Silver Spire, one for the Exist-aligned people of the City of Regalia to use in opposition to the Conduit, a strange machine tied to Primal power, and the aforementioned Red Spire. With thanks, the Justice Arken then snapped everyone who had aided it back into their bodies where they had been previously, as if the whole event had been a dream. But instead, it was not, as the Silver Spire could be seen in the distance, radiating Soul Essence.
Several days later, on October 15th, the resistance to the Vampire horde launched their final attack. From multiple quarters, over a hundred unique citizens of the Empire led the charge across the city. A large group assaulted the Dreadfort in the air through the use of a mysterious airship, while on the ground, attacks were aimed at Greygate. Other groups went to secure and defend sites across the city, from the religious to the mundane. All were ultimately victorious, but sadly, so too were the Vampires. Even as the Dreadfort fought back one final time, and was destroyed for the effort, the Lichlord and those most loyal or close to him annihilated the hidden base of the Black Order, the secret intelligence arm of the Regalian Empire. Within mere hours, Demetrius was gone, thousands on both sides lay dead as the Tenpennies and other levies from the Regalian Archipelago had poured in to help in the assault, and the Lich Lord still lived. Additionally, the former wealth of arcane powers walking through the streets had vanished, the Arken retreating while other similar beings also did not show themselves. The day was won, but at a terrible, terrible cost to many.
While the City of Regalia had faced conquest and take-over before, the Vampire Insurrection was perhaps the worst and most destructive of all these events. Unlike the Songaskians who conquered and ruled, unlike the Deathlings who emerged, and ruled, the Vampires looted, burned, killed, turned, and enslaved thousands alongside their allies, actively rejecting rule. Once the initial chaos had subsided, the Dreadfort and its handful of bombardments over the Insurrection killed thousands. While many escaped or eked out a living in the chaos, many more starved, fell to disease, were drained to death of their blood, or were sacrificed in dark rituals carried out for beings from beyond this world. Some grimly state that the City of Regalia fell from a jewel of four million inhabitants to three million. This is, however, false, as even the most generous estimates of the death toll put the city at having lost roughly some 10,000 to 30,000 people. Regardless, that impact is considerable, and many suspect Knight’s Syndrome and other mental defects will echo for years onward from this crisis as well given the sheer horror encountered by some.
The other major damage to the Regalian Empire was more bureaucratic and state-side than personal. For yet another time, the capital’s facilities, its bureaucracy, paperwork and more had been interrupted, looted, and razed by unscrupulous members of the world’s dark underground. At the same time, enormous financial loss was again the norm as the Regalian Bank was plundered of the savings of thousands, while the intelligence arm of the Empire was absolutely obliterated alongside all of their accumulated years of knowledge. The future of Aloria would likely see both a much more cautious, but also much more desperate Regalian Empire hurting for resources both material and not.
- A new theory has emerged among Regalian scholarship within the past few years, which has especially been amplified after this event: the Regalia Cycle. The theory postulates that approximately every year, the Regalian Empire, if not the capital itself will face a great calamity. So far, these theorists aren’t wrong, as the past near-decade of world events have shown something to be afoot in this, the fourth century after the Cataclysm.
- The arrival and involvement of Pride for perhaps the third or fourth time in the last decade of events across Aloria has caused great focus on why this particular being has so concentrated himself on the Regalian Empire, and its modern affairs.
- A highly diverse number of Arken showed themselves during this event, more than the eight of each Dimension many scholars have previously speculated to exist.