The fall of Shallam

Date: 12/05/2012 at 05:56
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The fall of Shallam

For days the ormyrr massed their forces under stormy skies, building a
thickening perimeter around Shallam. Citizens of the Jewel watched with
growing concern as the legions of Krenindala camped in the Pash Valley
and invaded the village of Jaru. Day by day the ranks of the ormyrr
swelled and skirmishes between the reptilian invaders and the soldiers
of Shallam grew more frequent and bloody. The build-up seemed a prelude
to an all but certain invasion.

The tension broke at last on the 6th of Phaestian, as blood-red fog
twisted and roiled in the skies above Mhaldor, shaping into the cruel
visage of Sartan, the Malevolent. Fixing his gaze upon the East, Lord
Sartan addressed the besieged Jewel, roaring, "Your Gods are dead and
gone, Shallam. The Jade Empress has shown Her true colour. Whose creed
will you blindly recite now?"

In response, the clear, strong voices of Shallam's citizens rang out,
defying Sartan and affirming their oaths to Good and Light. "Predictable
as always, you spout hollow drivel, even with no patron to protect you,"
Sartan snarled. "Now begins your instruction in the Seven Truths."

Echoing the bold declaration, the baleful chuckle of the god Bal'met
rumbled from someplace unseen, but it was soon cut off by the ferocious
roar of the undead dragon Sycaerunax, who descended from the stormy
skies to sweep over the continent of Sapience. Long shadows darkened the
central continent as the Father of Dragons glided upon his enormous
wings, trailed by a trio of colossal Dala'myrr. The ancient wyrms moved
with haste across the skies, the bright domes of Shallam gleaming in
their eyes.

The waiting ranks of the ormyrr began to move with silent footfalls down
the Raphaelan Highway, following the shadows of Sycaerunax and the
Dala'myrr as they glided over the Jewel. Simultaneously, the ground
trembled, and more of the enormous Dala'myrr broke through the earth's
crust at the foothills of the Siroccian Mountains, unleashing a keening
cry before diving back into the ground. As the cacophonic wails faded
away, a cold pall fell across the city of Shallam, and the Father of
Dragons circled silently overhead. The siege of Shallam had begun.

~ ~ ~

The Dala'myrr burrowed beneath Shallam, undermining its foundations,
while the Father of Dragons rained fiery death from the skies. With a
brassy roar, Sycaerunax unleashed a massive blast of flame into the
heart of the city. The raging inferno struck the Shallamese University,
and the massive domed amphitheatre exploded, sending a shockwave of
power rippling outward from the blast. Taking the brunt of the
explosion, the gilded alchemy tower quickly succumbed. As the gold and
silver orrery within was crushed, a wave of etheric energy joined the
dust and debris choking the air, momentarily drowning out all sound and
causing the city to waver like a distant mirage.

Reveling in the carnage, the Dala'myrr and Sycaerunax pressed their
assault, destroying one by one the Jewel's centres of culture and
learning. The museum collapsed in a shower of precious metals and
stained glass, burying the priceless artefacts within. The Father of
Dragons dismantled the Silverdrop Inn, peeling back stone and wood like
foil to dine upon the terrified citizens who had taken shelter within
its walls. Not to be outdone, shrieking Dala'myrr careened into
Sahart's, sending a plume of debris skyward.

The great Houses, too, fell prey to the depravations of the city's
attackers. The lakeside of the Crystalline Circle collapsed, the
protective enchantments laid upon its walls withering like parchment
held to a flame. Neither sword nor shield in Templars' hands could
prevent the Dala'myrr from ripping apart their hallowed hall. The
Citadel of Light itself, resplendent even after the loss of the
Te'Serra, cracked and fell as Sycaerunax squeezed the magnificent
edifice into rubble.

Terrified screams rent the air as citizens fled for their lives amid the
burning debris. The clamour sent a flock of paradise birds to the skies,
their wings carrying them swiftly away from the devastation. Ships
moored in the harbour quickly became laden with fleeing refugees. Those
who were able to keep calm fanned out across the streets, patrolling for
panicked citizens and providing them escorts to the docks. Their calm
under fire saved countless lives that might have otherwise been lost. As
the destruction continued, it became clear that the city would fall. The
question was, could the defenders hold long enough for the refugees to

~ ~ ~

Fatigue began to set in as the siege began to take its toll. The streets
of Jaru and the fertile Pash soil were soaked with blood where ormyrr
barred the exits from the city, slaughtering all citizens who tried to
escape on foot. With each act of devastation Sycaerunax and the
Dala'myrr pushed forward with dauntless savagery, and the spirits of the
Royal Guard and their allies faltered. Boulders soared through the air
from catapults on the ramparts, but the projectiles were launched with
desperation rather than precision, and flew wildly, only adding to the
chaos on the battlefield. Corpses piled high as the combat raged on,
each minute to evacuate paid for in blood.

The earth itself would announce the end of the battle. The continent
groaned and shuddered, the earth protesting down to its very bedrock as
the enormous strain building underneath the Jewel of the East reached a
tipping point. Chewed away by the burrowing Dala'myrr, the foundations
of the city collapsed, and with an enormous crash, the few shining domes
that remained above Shallam disappeared from the horizon as the city
abruptly dropped ten feet or more.

The sound of stone grating against stone cried out, loud and hideous,
and the last of Shallam's war-torn buildings began to crumble. As the
structures fell, the panicked cries of citizens trapped within the
growing rubble mixed in with the geological cacophony. The sea joined in
the clamour of destruction, its rushing tides sweeping over the sinking
city. The salty waters of the ocean rushed over the Peshwar Delta,
reaching the walls of the Jewel of the East with startling speed.
Ravaged by wyrms of sky and stone, the once-radiant domes of the Jewel
sank into the watery embrace of the sea, and the City of Shallam passed
into history.

Penned by My hand on the 23rd of Chronos, in the year 612 AF.