The Dead Wastes: History II

The Long Night

The nearest planets to Valtuus, Kulpator and Asceros, had began a month long process of converging in an extended solar eclipse, and the twin moons of Valtuus had begun to appear during the day, and their lunar cycles were affected by strange gravitation anomalies caused by the conjunction of planets.  Doomsayers had taken to the streets of Sidarius en masse, preaching about the end-times and souls doomed to the burning conflagrations of the Infernal Dominions.

The doomsayers were not far off; the Long Night had begun and once all the planets and the moons were in conjunction, the sun was blotted out of the day sky and an unnatural night fell across the land.  But instead of fire and brimstone, the people of Sidarius were to be drowned in Darkness and Blood.  When the Darkness came, a twisting vortex of sickly green energy formed in the black skies above Sidarius, poised above the Sunstar Cathedral, as if it were going to descend to swallow the steeple whole.  And so, all the might of Aurincia that could be assembled in the hours that passed shortly after the appearance of the vortex, arrayed themselves for battle around the exterior of the cathedral.  But instead of descending to engulf the cathedral, the gaping green maw belched forth a flood of dark crimson.  The vile ichor had the copper-tinged smell of blood, yet burned flesh like acid.

Unfortunately, the Shining Host of Sidarius, as their army was called, was unprepared for such an event, expecting a horde of demons to fight in battle.  So it was that much of the Shining Host was destroyed in the tidal wave of acidic blood, as were many of the remaining clergy and even more citizens.  It was only after the corrosive rivers of blood subsided that the enemy horde the Shining Host had expected to fly through the ghastly vortex materialized.  But it was not an army of demons, it was something worse.

Dead, rotting corpses began pouring forth from vortex.  A few became impaled upon the steeple of the Sunstar Cathedral while the others began to cascade down the roof and pile up upon the ground.  Their body tossed and bounced like rag dolls.

This continued for some time, nearly burying the Sunstar Cathedral with rotting flesh.  Then they came.  The Vampiric Legion marched slowly down the hill of corpses, weapons drawn and at the ready, with the Blood Tyrant at the lead.  Everyone that survived that day would have his name burned into their memory.  Karthisis.  Karthisis was the lord of the vampires, their Blood Tyrant.

He marched his legion into the main boulevard of the city, and then called his men up short.  The ranks of the vampire host was slavering and biting at their bits to sink their teeth into the Shining.  With a blood curdling scream and a wave of his arm, his Black Calvary came in full charge through the vortex, streaking through the darkened sky upon bat winged steeds.

Then the real terror began as a pulse of eldritch energy reverberated through the city, bringing the mountain of corpses to lurching life.  And so the Shining Host nearly fled in terror, but instead gave their lives so the remaining Priests of Sidar could work their final miracle.

Just as Shambling Horde formed with deathly purpose within Sidarius, the Last Bishop of the Sunstar Cathedral gathered his priests to him to begin closing the gate that had spelled their doom, for what had crossed over was merely the vanguard of a much larger army, and they could be seen and heard marching towards the vortex.

The bishop called forth a powerful prayer with his final breath, supplementing its strength with his life, and one by one his priests dropped as they too contributed their life to the spell, and when the last fell, the bishop fell to his knees and the vortex collapsed.

The Shining Host was quickly routed with their commander now dead.  Many made their final stand in the streets, allowing some of the populace to escape.

The siege lasted for three days, as the Vampiric Legion squashed the remnants resistance, captured and executed political and religious leaders, and made their dominion over the city known.  However, the planetary convergence was beginning to end, and the vampires were running out of night.

And so Karthisis found the corrupt officials who had been promised immortal power.  The dark god, Tenebrous, had delivered on his promise, but they were eternally bound to serve the ruler of Sidarius.  He found them, deep below the city, in the Necrotek Temple they would forever call home with their new stations as the Undying Magisters.

The Blood Tyrant put the Magisters’ newfound arcane might to use.  Karthisis sent his best necromancers and sorcerers to help the Magisters work a spell that would protect the vampires in their new home.

The sorcerers conjured a monolithic obsidian obelisk in the shadow of the ruined Sunstar Cathedral, and etched dark runes upon its surface with their claws.  When the Magisters finally unleashed their spell, the obelisk bulged and crackled with black magic, and then let forth a stream of dark energy into the sky.  The energy reached its zenith about a mile above the city and began pouring down, forming a giant dome.

When the dark energy reach the ground, a shockwave of epic proportions radiating out from the city, killing every living creature in a two hundred and fifty mile radius.  Many of the slain rose as zombies or worse, and joined the discarded zombie army of the vampires in the Shambling Horde.

And so the Dead Wastes were created, and the Barrier Dome was erected, hiding the vampires from the baleful glare of the sun, yet imprisoning them within its embrace.  Sidarius was re-dedicated in blood as Stragus, the City of Eternal Night.  This was not what the Blood Tyrant had in mind when he wanted arcane protection from the sun.  And he was not happy.

Present Day

The Long Night was two hundred and twenty-five years ago.  Since that day, the exiled Sidarans founded the Sidaran Theocracy in the south, and have grown stronger than they were before the Long Night.  They wait for the sign to march to war against Stragus.

The rest of Lyrdonia waits and bides their time, waiting for the tension to break into open war.  They are debating the best course of action, remain neutral and hope the war passes them by or join the Sidaran Theocracy and make a stand.  Not a few people have considered an allegiance with Stragus.

Listening to: Stabbing Westward – Darkest Days – Haunting Me

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