The devastation is the Nigh-Apocalyptic event that reshaped the world to the state that it is in today. It is generally regarded that if not for the actions of the Six Saviors, the entire world would have been destroyed.
The Leviathan was, and is, the primordial serpent of Chaos. Literally the excess waste of creation, the Leviathan awaits in its eternal slumber to slowly discorporate as its primordial chaos seeps back into the multiverse that spawned it. Unimaginable large, the Leviathan encircles the entire globe several times over and is the basis for several lakes, mountain ranges, and undersea formations.
500 Years ago an aquatic cultist of Demogorgon began his plot to awaken the beast. Planning to use the creature's vast power to eradicate the surface world, the manta man conducted a dark ritual and extracted some of the primordial chaos from the heart of the Leviathan. This ritual began the slow process of awakening the beast, a risky proposition but one that offered unimaginable power to the wielder of the Abyssal Shard.
The Storms of Chaos
Over the period of 10 years the power's of chaos and evil began to place a stranglehold on the coast. Cultists and Demonworshipers began to place the seeds of corruption amongst the leaders of communities, using the corrupted village of Ashenport as a key point. As the time of the awakening came closer the sign of the Leviathan began to appear. Horrible storms wrecked vast distances all over the world. Unnatural weather was reported by Mages across all the known continents of the world. Frogs and Blood rained from the sky. Snow fell in Summer followed by unnatural heat. The storms, slow and contained at first, quickly grew to uncontrollable sizes of terrifying power.
The Diamond Hail was first reported out at sea, tiny flaming spheres of hardened crystal came crashing from the sky, accompanied by gigantic bursts of fire. Thankfully the only sightings of this phenomenon occurred at sea, damaging little. Several ships were lost over the course of the storms, a few fires in the country side, but casualties were no worse than the typhoons and hurricanes that swept other parts of the world.
The Days of Destruction
Over the course of one week the world was completly reshaped. The first of these days saw the destruction of the continent to the West as a contenant wide storm struck. For over 11 hours flaming crystal hail fell from the sky, destroying villages, towns, and cities. Crops burned, livestock was pummeled to death, people immolated, and civilization ruined. Vast stores of knowledge were lost, entire races driven to extinction, cultures eradicated in the course of a single day.
Those on the middle kingdoms counted their blessings, for the storm that struck the next day covered the entire world with snow… as the worst blizzard any had ever seen struck at every corner of their world. Their crops ruined and livelyhoods frozen the people looked forward to a slow death by starvation, but the worst had only begun. Fever and plague struck soon after making life difficult for those who had survived the cold, and many realized that human lives were far less valuable than that of the remaining livestock.
The kingdom of the Elves was also struck by the horrifying fire hail, but their magical wards deflected most of the damage. Vast tracks of lands were destroyed, ancient forests burned, but the graceful spires and arcane laboratories were unphased. Yet the eastern lands were silent. No reports escaped from them, and no communications were returned. Divinations revealed the elves were still alive… but nothing more.
In the final days of the Leviathan's awakening the entire world was covered in violent storms and tempests. Earthquakes shattered mountain ranges and made new lakes and oceans. The Leviathan's uneasy dreams caused it to thrash about, reshaping the world. Its uneasy slumber destroying and slaying the tattered and corrupted lands and all those within them. Until finally it stopped. The beast had been returned to its slumber by the Six Saviors, and the sacrifice of the Cloaked Lady had promised salvation to those who still lived upon the fragile plane.
Times after the Devistation, a letter from Emperor Gwideon III
-As dictated by his High Imperial Majesty Gwideon III
- Notes by Warren Wayne, Scribe Courtier and Historian in the Reign of Gwideon IX
My father used to speak to me of the early days of the empire, when he had just become the lord of all civilization, with the exception of the underground, and was forced to deal with many of the problems that had never plagued his father. In those days the most important thing to realize was that there were very few people left, only 1500 of the original 2000 to descend during the days of the devistation returned to the surface world. And of those 2000 not everyone was capable of carrying on their lineages.
When survivors were discovered my father and grandfather were ecstatic, the means of survival were always sketchy… the people no longer trusted those that they had once depended on for things like safety and leadership. I think they feared that at any moment the storms might return and the world would be torn asunder. So they kept their means of survival, their hidey holes and cave dwellings, a secret from all but their closest friends and families. Of course soon those families grew far too large and they either came back to us in the city (Whiteport) or joined Boss Lutin and her Free Nations. I only met Lutin once, she was a wonderful old woman at that point… in many ways she was still a young girl. Her singing voice was… well despite what the legends say it wasn’t enough to move mountains. But it was pretty and uplifting, inspirational at times.
At the start of the empire, my fathers empire really, was when the people began to call out for a return to their old ways. They wanted to rebuild their old cities, to reclaim lost farms and homes, castles and keeps. The elves wanted a return to the Old Forrest and their own sovereign nation, and soon many of the races were asking for that as well… or threatening to take it back by force. It was as if they didn’t realize that independent nations weren’t an option anymore, War wasn’t an option anymore! We didn’t have the men! We didn’t have the armies! Who would fight? 500 able bodied men? The 40 elves that had survived the devastation? Who needed a kingdom for 40 people? My father put them down with words and promises, positions in government and alliances, as was his way. The few elf children that were born during my reign were a joy, as were the many half elven children, but the terminal sadness of obedience affects the elves to this day.
I think that was the hardest part for many of the races, to accept that as long lived and powerful as they were… their days were well and truly numbered. The gnomes had done better than most, but I had only met 3 Halflings in my entire life… those nomadic wanderer’s had literally no place to hide during the worst days of the Devastation. Orfan managed to solve the problem for his people at least. He had apparently pacified the Drow and made a strange alliance with them. Unlike the surface elves the drow had no problem conceiving children, and as a long lived race were capable of granting their Underfolk allies many new generations. Those first Drome children I met… the first of many such generations really did spark the hope that my kind wouldn’t be the last on Otep.
When I speak of man I of course include my gentle cousin’s the heaven touched (Aasimar). Many of the noble families had interbred with the celestials during their short stay, and those half-celestial children in turn bred with many more survivors. I joke that I can hold court in the dead of night these days, after all I can simply ask any of my courtiers to provide illumination. I think the real problem would be choosing which to bestow the honor of being my own personal lantern too…
And when I speak of man I only speak of those of us who still retain our souls. The Mobb… we do not know what sort of genealogy or species make it up though we have of course seen samples of all races including those I had thought completely wiped out. Amend that, those races are wiped out for the soulless shells of madness and evil are no more alive than the lands to our west or east. (It would be another hundred years before the empire could send representatives to the east to be repulsed by the Gral, and another hundred and fifty until the Sol appeared on our borders with their exotic wares)
Where was I? Oh yes the reclaiming of civilization at the beginning of the empire. We of course respected the wishes of the Free Nations, supported as they were by two of the Six, and granted them citizenship within the empire if they choose to claim it. We were hoping that they would build a city of their own in that area, but such is not their way. Instead we make due with White Port and the Platinum City though I hear of my son’s desire to reclaim Ladd and Ember from the Mobb. That will be his war, not my own. (Gwideon IV would fail to reclaim either of these two cities, dying early in his reign combating the Mobb. His sister Deafa, the Regent until such time as his Daughter would claim the throne as Gwidia V, was instead responsible for retaking not only Ember and Ladd but also Murkeye.)
The Sea Bulls, as they call themselves, they are possibly my grandfathers greatest mistake. Rather than forcing their allegiance to the empire he allowed them to remain independent. The sea needs Imperial guardians and watchers on them so that the devastation can never occur again, leaving that job to ruffians and scoundrels… I wish not to speak of this any further.
Indeed I grow tired. We shall continue this conversation another time I think.
(Taken from the Imperial Record, interviews between Gwideon III and his imperial historian, a member of the Ruby Servants of Elora)