The Dissipatria: Being an Account of the Purging of the Mists, or the War Against the Lightless
Umbraelis—a world of magical wonders, where towers soar miles into the air and even the basest commoner can light the darkness of their hovels with simple glowstones. A world where marvels of metal-fused magic can provide endless amounts of water, heat and light and the specter of famine has been banished forever for most. A world of glittering glass and cold-forged steel. Umbraelis—a world consumed by shadows and teetering on the brink of utter destruction.
When the Mists rose centuries ago and began claiming their first victims, the heroes of the scattered kingdoms of the Free Folk rode bravely into the darkness to combat this vile foe of smoke and shadows, their raiment and magic glowing brightly in the gathering gloom; most were never seen again. Those that returned were…changed…and something else, dark and cold and hungry, looked from their empty eyes as they slew those whom they had once called friend. The cities and strongholds of the Free Folk fell one after the other, consumed by flames and the relentless assault of the Changes Ones until only 10 mighty cities remained. It is from the mightiest of these Redoubt Cities, Ul-Solaria, that the salvation of the remaining Free Folks came. An elf, scion of a long line of scholars stretching back to the days of the ancient Aelfini Regnum, found the answer that the sages of his day had been frantically searching for: a way to repel the Mists that rose each night to devour the unlucky. It seems the First Ones—the Elder Powers from the earliest days of the earth—had runes of great power that if inscribed could stop the devil mists from entering. Once this knowledge was found on ancient glyph-etchings taken from one of the abandoned ruins of the First Ones and stored in the Great Library at Ul-Solaria for centuries, the remaining cities quickly constructed Warding Walls and huddled behind them in safety, but a safety purchased at great price: only 1-in-5 survived long enough to reach the security of the Redoubt Cities. And that is where the Free Folk have been ever since, hiding from the Great Devouring and the horrors it brings. They fear the night, and the empty lands between their cities are home to nothing but bones and the Changed. But their safety is an illusion, as the shadows constantly test and gnaw at the wards, and sooner or later one fails and more are taken.
Most of the Free Folk are never-the-less content. ‘How can we fight shadows and the Lightless Ones that It creates?’, they ask. ‘Better to stay here, safe, and pray to the gods for salvation.’ But there are some who are not content to wait like cattle for the slaughter. These souls rage against the shadows, and have looked unflinchingly into the horrors that it holds. They will not be content to wait, they will not be content at all until the foul Mists have been banished back to whatever hell vomited them forth and justice has been done on those who summoned them. This is the story of those that refused to bow to the inevitable. This is their triumph. This is their tragedy.
Enter and hear their tale.