The Fall of Cities

The Fall of Cities



With the death of Sondehna, the Korith Zadakal approached the other powers of the world, the Korith Ial and the Korith Zinu: “Help us,” they implored, “for this evil will swallow the whole world unless we contain it.” If not for the miracle of Karmaraa, it is doubtful that the south and the east would have relented, but relent they did, and so began one of the greatest works of the age. A wall was built to cage sorcery in the north, a line drawn across the world and a place from which to launch the offensive.

With the coming together of all the powers of the world Karmaraa began to believe that the vision was true – that of a world united and war a distant memory. Karmaraa sought a bride to seal the alliance, and he found in the south Zorvu of the line of the princes of Badagar. And with their joining another great work was begun, namely the raising of the great city of Emethgis Vaniad, built in the very place that had once been forbidden to the Ell, the Rolnir, for the storms of the Rolnir had ceased entirely and it had become a place of calm and silence. Here Karmaraa and his heirs would dwell until the Creator said otherwise, a symbol of unity for the entire world.

For many long years the Iabeiorith did not stir, the loss of Sondehna and the defeat of their armies having broken their spirit, but the hatred within them began to grow again until it could no longer be denied. They would have vengeance for the death of their prince and the ending of his house, for they had come to believe that Soivar was a traitor deliberately planted amongst them by the Korith Zadakal. “Look at what she did,” they said. “She slew her own children, the children of Sondehna, and that, surely, was the most heinous betrayal of all.” The story grew that it had all been a plot by the west, that Soivar had seduced Sondehna and that she had been sent by Karmaraa for just such a purpose. So the hatred and the tales swelled like a poison in the breasts of the Iabeiorith until they were ready once more to march south and burn the Korith Zadakal from the world.

So it happened. The Iabeiorith marched south at last, but now they were met with overwhelming force, as the armies of the south and the east were there to meet them, alongside the west, and the land north of the great wall was covered in blood and burnt by fire.

On and on it went, year after year, and the land beyond the ever-growing wall became strewn with death. Eventually, after many years of holding the north in check, and after many battles and many deaths, Karmaraa entered the river at last. At the moment of his death he was proclaimed Velukor of all the Ell, as he had been touched by the Creator and had changed the purpose of stone. To him had been given the Creator’s grace, and all acknowledged it. So passed the first Velukor of all, and at his side was Zorvu, his consort for more than a hundred years, and Efaeis, his son.

Efaeis was a fierce Velukor, and some even said he was forged of war. He was tall and strong, and few could withstand his glance or the force of his will. Wherever he went he set his fire in the hearts of others, and even the great powers of the south and the east would not gainsay him. He it was who decided that the time to end the war was at hand, for he would march north with a great army and seize the black city of the Iabeiorith.

The march to Veludrax Mikaolazith took many years, and the forces of the Velukor had to battle their way through demon horde after demon horde, but eventually they arrived at the southern walls of the black city, and there they laid siege.

The siege was interminable. All the forces of the west, the south and the east could do was dash themselves against the black walls like a failing sea. Finally, weary of battle and with his death approaching, Efaeis set in motion a new strategy. He created a new order, one dedicated to subterfuge and cunning, and they came to be known as the Balt Kaalith. It was never revealed how it was achieved, but soon after the Balt Kaalith infiltrated the southern quarters of the city, it began to fall. Efaeis, though, did not live to see it, for he died even as the first blow was struck, and his son, Azmeloh, was the one to ride through the broken gates with fire in his hand.

The black city was utterly undone. The forces of the west dismantled its stone even as they went, and by the time it was over not a tower was left standing and even the foundations were overturned. In its place they built a new city, Othil Zilodar, and the stain of Veludrax Mikaolazith was removed for all time and its name was never spoken again.

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