The Enmity of Scolrys, Part XIII: Xaanhal and Xoral

As the War of Six Nations ebbed and flowed, the deaths of five Xorani spellcasters announced the arrival of a new player onto the field. Following a ritual empowered by the irrevocable offering of life, crackling potential raged from within the Shamtota hills, its esoteric power a terrifying union of mastery and sacrifice alike.

Lost to the broader world was Xaanhal, its caverns obscured by an elemental vortex that forbade any incursion. The position thus secured, the High Mage Krisiina announced the territory’s interest in Qor Qogol’s war, awaiting Varach’s delegate. Negotiations carried on for weeks, the Shamtota Hills eerily silent for that time. Then agreement was reached, announced by the deathrattles of both the willing and unwilling as scores of Xaanhal’s inhabitants were sundered as fuel for abominable magics.

As the final gurgles of the sacrifices were silenced, the earth beneath the Shamtota Hills trembled with a massive surge of power unleashed. Something monumental tunnelled west as violent tremours wracked the land from hills to desert. Declaring her disdain for the village that once cast her out, Krisiina guided the workings of Xaanhal and Varach alike. Screams ripped through the realm as a titanic surge of elemental energy erupted out from beneath the Mhojave, its crackling sheath pulsating with veins of necromantic empowerment. Silence reigned then, as energy shaped into a dome that severed the village of Xoral from the outside world; undulating spiderwebs of necromancy that occasionally lanced down from the dome to settle below offered the only hint at the atrocities harboured within.

Its western outpost secured, Xaanhal imposed upon the conflict at hand, declaring war upon Bloodloch, the Empire that had once enslaved the High Mage, and Enorian, the city that had once failed to stop the twisted experiments conducted upon the Raim Vale. Amidst the clamour, the dark, foreboding smog that diffused out of Xaanhal went nigh unnoticed, returning to the depths of Qor Qogol.

As Bloodloch and Enorian mustered their forces in preparation for this new development, the shroud persisted over Xoral for a week. Then the dome of elemental energy flickered wildly as its energies were drawn downwards, necromantic veins peeling away to feast upon the village below. Footfalls thundered across the realm as the armies of Bloodloch and Enorian alike mobilised in response.

Angling from the north were the forces of Dawn, marching with unshakeable discipline and grim resolve alike; in its train was a massive bell, carving through the desert with haste and the merciful lack of ‘accidents.’ Descending upon the south were the forces of midnight, bloodlust driving each ravaging soldier. In the vanguard strode the fiercest warriors, each equipped with a glowing caduceus of chaos. The first clarion peal of the great bell rang glorious throughout the realm. As if in response, sizzles of chaotic energy cut through the sound, discordant, accentuating. Opposing yet harmonious forces clashed against the barrier of abomination with uninhibited force; caught between Hammer and Fist, the dome shattered, revealing the horrors that awaited within.

Genocide stalked the grounds where once a vibrant village of life stood, thousands of bodies basking the desert sands. Yet even that sight paled beneath what came next as the last vestiges of necromancy screamed through the village. Bask no longer did the slain – as one they rose, a reanimated army ready to meet its onrushing foe. The din of war washed out all else as each force hurriedly established their base of operations.

Fierce was the battle, the leaders and armies of both Bloodloch and Enorian assailing the undead horde in an effective pincer attack. As wroth spells of fire, earth, and lightning rained down on them, and as necromantic heresy replenished undead Xorani even as they fell, the two military allies made slow, bloody – yet steady – progress.

The forces of Bloodloch marshalled under the banners of Akarn, Aren, Azvameth, Irra, Kiershu, Knigi, Lysaira, Maeve, Mazzion, Melpo, Myrnma, Neoma, and Paxe.

The soldiers of Enorian marched at the command of Aisling, Ayastia, Benedicto, Eaku, Eoros, Esani, Ilea, Jhura, Mahar, Sryaen, Xavin, and Zinna.

Though without armies of their own, the warriors of Duiran supported the assault upon Xoral; Bhalwyn, Gyrinno, Samiya, Sekeres, Tulle, and Valeria lent their aid.

Left without armies nor home, Boube and Nawan took to the field as well, overcoming initial distrust to assist in the war efforts.

Thousands of soldiers clashed and slew and died; barricades were dismantled; powerful sorcerers were engaged in fierce combat. When the clamour of war died down at last, the village of Xoral was conquered and/or liberated by Fist and Hammer, all opposing forces wiped out.

As the smoke cleared, the drums of Huanazedha continued to boom alongside chanted praise of Faceless Madness…

Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 4th of Omeian, in the year 3 AC.