Excerpt from "An Account on the Final Days of Khorvaire"
Summary of the Destruction of Khorvaire
Almost 200 years ago a second Cataclysm shook the continent of Khorvaire. In what would become known to the inhabitants of Xen’drik as the year 0 P.E. (Post Exodus) there was an eruption of power across Khorvaire. The survivors of this eruption and the events thereafter spoke of twin explosions of light that split the sky and shattered the night. One of these explosions originated from the glowing chasm within the Mournland and the other originated somewhere within the depths of the Demon Wastes; the few survivors who were near enough to see the Demon Wastes spoke as if the light came from beneath the land itself and had no specific point of origin. Although, those who witnessed this event were often driven mad by the sight and were no longer coherent enough to explain what exactly it was that they saw.
The light that masked the sky was not light in the sense that we know on a day to day basis. It rippled and moved like ocean waves in a storm as it cast its light down upon the land. For two full days these explosions continued upward in such a bright and massive manner that one or both explosions were visible to every creature on Khorvaire. On the second day the oceans of light ceased their celestial climb, and came crashing down upon the land in waves of power that none but the final Survivors of Sharn witnessed and lived to speak about. These waves washed over the land in a slow but merciless fashion as they proceeded inland from their points of origin, beginning in the Demon Wastes and the Mournland and moving inland from the northern coast to the southern coast destroying, or corrupting, everything in between.
With very little information available on these frontal waves, word of mouth must be relied upon. The most commonly told tale is that as these waves swept over villages, towns, cities, and nations, it drove out the good within the hearts of people. Most people were killed instantly, perhaps as an effect of the immense power trying to shred their essence of humanity. Some were doomed to a slow and piteous death as they were weakened and corrupted. Those who died were typically those who would have been considered “good” people. However, those with evil in their hearts were more susceptible to the power’s corruption. These people became twisted and deformed half-demons who, reduced to mindless beasts of untold power, ripped the land apart as they fought each other in bestial territorial disputes. Sailors who dare to sail near the shores say they can sometimes hear the thunderous clash of battle between the half-demons who were left alive by the cataclysm. Alas, what is truth and what is a sailor’s myth is still a mystery.
What is known is that it took almost two full weeks for the fronts to work their ways fully inland. Thrane and the Eldeen Reaches were the first to be destroyed followed by Droaam, Aundair, and eventually Breland and Zilargo. As nations were destroyed, every person able fled to the coasts; the majority made their way to the city of Sharn which was believed to be the city that would be the last to fall as the waves washed inland and finally met.
Sharn became a crowded mass of people, each begging and bartering for boat passage off of Khorvaire. The docks became so packed with boats that more than a few sank within the harbor as they were overrun by the mobs and unable to maneuver due to the close proximity of surrounding ships. In this way, Sharn became a city of death and panic long before the destructive waves reached its walls. In the end, an estimated 500 ships of varying sizes set sail from the docks of Sharn. Those who left on the final day, who saw from their ships as the power was washing over the walls of the city and those on the shore of the docks were dying or screaming in agony as their bodies were twisted, became known as the Last Survivors of Sharn. Needless to say, they hardly ever spoke of those final moments off the shores of Sharn and any academic inquiries into the events were met with hostility by the Last Survivors.
Of the 500 ships that set sail, it is estimated that only 300 or so survived. Some set sail around the continent of Khorvaire, hoping to find an area that was not tainted by the waves. These ships often ended up dying of starvation at sea, or setting to shore in search of supplies and were likely destroyed by any demons who still lingered in the area. A rare few made it to the eastern side of the Mournlands, a land that was temporarily unaffected by the waves that washed over the rest of Khorvaire. However, not long after the waves completed their corruption of the areas between the Mournlands and the Demon Wastes, half-demons began pouring out of the Mournlands and the lands to the west. Within two years, ninety percent of the population east of the Mournlands was destroyed. The rest either fled the continent or found ways to hide from the half-demons who destroyed the lands they came to. Perhaps there are still some small civilizations on Khorvaire that remain hidden in caves or dense forests but the likelihood of surviving for so long on Khorvaire is believed to be slim.
Of the remaining ships who left the continent of Khorvaire behind, a very few set sail for Argonessen or Sarlona. These were usually the grander ships that set sail early in the days of corruption fully laden with supplies. Most of the ships that set sail out of Sharn had too many passengers and too few supplies to make the long journey to Argonessen or Sarlona. So it came to be that almost 250 ships set sail for the magic-torn land of Xen’drik or the island continent of Aerenal. It would be here that new civilizations would begin and new lands would be discovered. Or so the survivors had hoped.
“An Account on the Final Days of Khorvaire”
- Cial Garvves -Head Researcher for the Library of Stormreach – 187 P.E.