The Ruins of the Reckoning

Credits to Veli Nyström from Artstation for the grim cover art!
Of anywhere in Emaxus, the Ruins of the Reckoning were the areas that faced the single most devastation in the God-Wars. Fires burned here for centuries after the wars ended. The ground heaved and quaked, empires fell and gods bled. Mountains cracked and splintered, valleys shuddered and sank. Nothing survived, be it god, man, or beast. This region earned its name. Here, planes bleed into Emaxus, divine blood soaks the soil, and the bones of countless thousands dot the landscape.   When the gods slew one another and the rage of the Reckoning fell silent, it was here.
The Ruins of the Reckoning is the name given to three large regions along the "handle of Drumis" that were met with utter devastation in the God-Wars. The northern region, and one of the most central regions of Drumis, is a blasted landscape of broken mountains and jagged rock formations thrust up from the ground known as the Graveyard of the Gods -- though how literal that name is is unknown.   South of the Graveyard is a realm known as the Pocked Plains: once fertile fields and open plains belonging to a powerful pre-Reckoning empire, this land was corrupted by the Obsidian Lords and then annihilated by the Children of Yamma. Now, great craters dot the landscape, and numerous unnatural geographical formations remain haunting its vistas.   And finally, the southernmost area of the Ruins of the Reckoning is the peninsula known as the Tooth of Drumis. Much of this region has been broken, with great shelves of land falling into the sea and forming the archipelagos known as the Jagged Maw and the Broken Heel. The mainland portion of the Tooth didn't fair any better: great sinkholes plummet deep into the surface of Emaxus, many of which are believed to form planar rifts to Xaecreotis or even Accorion.  

Graveyard of the Gods

One of the most central regions of Drumis, the Graveyard of the Gods is the moniker given to the vast expanse of devastated and alien landscape created in the final battles of the Reckoning. The entire area is blasted red and black, scorched stone laid bare and stained with the blood of gods and men. It is also one of the most dangerous places in Drumis. Horrible monstrosities left from the God-Wars walk these broken crags and haunt the shadows cast by the towering monoliths of sundered stone.   Wild magic runs rampant, and attempts to study the region magically have all failed. Explorers who go to the Graveyard join its countless denizens in death, and so legends and rumors are the only things available to those seeking to understand this area, and those tales are varied and at times seemingly impossible -- but what even is impossible in the gravesite of the Pantheon?  

The Dead Bay

Intruding into the Graveyard from the Shattered Bay, the Dead Bay is a relatively small inlet believed to have been created like its larger sibling -- the sundering of previous land that sank into the sea. It has a few barren isles within it, their cliffed and irregular shores hinting at their calamitous history, and the river known as Narvox's Blood empties into it. Aside from those features, little is known of the Dead Bay; however, seafaring explorers claim that this inlet earned its name due to some mysterious corruption hidden in its depths. A corruption which, so they claim, gives the entire bay the scent of rotting flesh, and some have even gone so far as to say that chunks of decay dot the Bay, innumerable and unknown.  

Narvox's Blood

Believed by some to simply be a river that formed with the overnight changing of the Graveyard's geography during the Reckoning and by others to be the literal flow of divine blood from the Graveyard, Narvox's Blood flows from several unknown springs hidden within the sky-scraping crags of the Graveyard and empties into the Dead Bay. Rumors claim that it sometimes flows backwards, and further legends say that when Lysithea is full, Narvox's Blood becomes some thick liquid that is black as pitch and kills those who smell it or taste it.  

Pocked Plains

Better understood than the Graveyard and with more records than the Tooth of Drumis, the Pocked Plains is the central portion of the Ruins of the Reckoning. It is believed that the longest battles of the Drumian portion of the God-Wars were fought here, which is the reason behind the craters and the ashen dust that covers much of this region. With the unnatural, bone-like spires of Nilion's Ribs visible from anywhere in the plains, those few people who have set foot here have only described the overwhelming sense of foreboding anxiety that fills the soul here. Terrible mutants and survivors of the Reckoning walk this ashen expanse -- some malicious, some benevolent, and some simply lost.  

Bay of Black

Believed to have been created by whichever Obsidian Lord's followers that called the Hollow Summit their home, the Bay of Black is the body of water that the Obsidian River empties into, and it itself feeds into the Obsidian Ocean. A single, large island known as the Ruined Isle sits upon these rugged waters. Rumors regarding it vary, but some believe that it has become home to an ancient sect of Obsidian Lord followers or even creations, perhaps even those who once called the Hollow Summit their home. Whatever the truth, explorers give this Isle a very wide berth when traversing the Bay of Black.  

The Bone Forest

Surrounding the obsidian spire of the Hollow Summit is a forest of bone. Laid upon a ground of sinew and desiccated flesh, the aptly named Bone Forest is a complete mystery. Whether it was intentionally created or an unforeseen consequence of the Reckoning is up for debate, but today it simply stands as a several-hundred square mile field of trees of bone, with skin and dry muscle stretched thin like canopies over their peaks, through which wind howls and moans and hides the noises of the forest itself -- quiet groans of pain and, some say, even ecstasy.  

The Hollow Summit

Looming over the mouth of the Shattered Bay like a horrible watchtower, the Hollow Summit is a single mountain of dark rock that becomes obsidian towards its dozen-mile-high peak. The Hollow Summit was once a bastion of the power of the Obsidian Lords -- and some even believe it was the home of Laeelum's Veil -- and was morphed and corrupted to become the gargantuan monolith it is today. Whatever battles occurred at it during the Reckoning left it hollow and broken, though still standing, and now the visibly-porous surface of the mountain stands as a grim reminder of the reign of the Obsidian Lords and the sacrifices the Children of Yamma and the people of Emaxus made to stop them. A reminder made vocal by the deafening howling of wind through the Summit's tunnels, which some say can even be heard across the Shattered Bay, like a pained whimper on the wind.  

Nilion's Ribs

What exactly transpired in this mountain range is unknown, but whatever preceded it is lost to time. Now, the aptly named range is noted for its eighteen jagged, elongated peaks, running parallel in pairs from the southwest to the northeast, sprawling nearly eight hundred miles and reaching well over ten thousand feet into the skies. The curved, bowl-like valley between these pairs (aptly named Nilion's Ribcage) is a barren, rocky geothermal hotspot. What little life that can eke out an existence here are either mutated monstrosities or horrid magical fungi that subsist off the geothermal activity of the region and each other. Survival of the fittest is an understatement, considering most things natural and good avoid Nilion's Ribs like the plague, and what few creatures that do live within the vast, barren range are alien and unknowable.   Also, a rare flower known as Nilion's Heart grows here, which is one of the most potent healing herbs in Yophas. Nilion's Heart, Ribs, and Ribcage are all named after the elven explorer Nilion, who first scouted Drumis from the sea in the early 300s AT.   

Obsidian River

Though not treated with such trepidation as Narvox's Blood to the north, the Obsidian River flows through much of the northern half of the Pocked Plains before emptying into the Bay of Black. Its water is often cited as ranging from a deep red -- like blood -- to an obsidian black. Some explorers have even gone so far as to say it sometimes resembles sheets of volcanic rock flowing like liquid yet still being solid, though these are unconfirmed.  

Tooth of Drumis

Forming the southern tip of the peninsula that is the Ruins of the Reckoning, the Tooth of Drumis is named for the fang-like shape it acquired with the destruction of the land that would become the Broken Heel and the Jagged Maw. Of the three portions of the Ruins, it is the most understood and the "safest," but it also seems to be the most barren of notable features. Other than the countless sinkholes that dot the landscape, the Tooth of Drumis is simply lightly-grassed plains or barren fields of stone as far as anyone knows; however, the sinkholes of the Tooth are very dangerous and almost entirely unexplored.   Sometimes jokingly referred to as the Cavities of Drumis, these sinkholes number in the dozens, dot the entirety of the Tooth, and range from a few hundred feet across to being several miles wide. And, all of these sinkholes reach impossible depths, and have thus far defied any attempts at exploring or understanding. It is believed that many form planar rifts at some point in their depths or the cavern systems that are posited to form off of them, and that these rifts could range from Xaecreotis or Accorion to Gliziarial or Nathrivox.  

The Broken Heel

Technically shared between the Pocked Plains and the Tooth of Drumis, the Broken Heel is the term given to the (believed-to-be) naturally-formed archipelago on the eastern shores of the Ruins of the Reckoning. The Broken Heel's islands are surprisingly similar to the isles of Aasveig in geography and climate, which is strange considering they are more than a thousand miles further south, by most accounts. Some believe that they were made unnaturally cold by Xael, or perhaps even by Isael or Laianath, during the battles of the Reckoning. Whatever the case may be, these relatively normal islands are largely unexplored and completely unsettled, so who knows what rests on their shores?  

The Jagged Maw

The much larger and almost certainly unnatural archipelago along the Tooth, the Jagged Maw is believed to have been created by some great arcane fallout that caused a great portion of Drumis to collapse and buckle into the sea, leaving behind the archipelago and Tooth as they are seen today. This theory is reinforced by the chaotic variation among the different isles of the Maw -- a frozen wasteland will be across a small channel from a blistering hellscape. The climates, inhabitants, and arcane atmospheres of the islands vary almost as much as their size, and unimaginable challenges, secrets, and maybe even riches await the intrepid, seafaring adventurer.
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Comments

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27 Jan, 2022 09:37

Oooh yeah, "the graveyard of the gods", sign me up for that! Godly battles and divine devastations are just my cup of tea :D Do you have dedicated article or timeline published yet for the Reckoning?

Grandmaster Eraellas
Brian Nicholson
28 Jan, 2022 06:03

I do not! I have a lot of ideas on private notes and such, and I've spent a long time wondering if I should publish them. On the one hand, I love the secrecy and the mystery of what actually happened, but on the other, writing all that stuff out would be so cool!

28 Jan, 2022 07:02

I feel ya. I have similar thoughts about writing out my version of Ragnarok as well as another world-ending clash of the gods. On the one hand I really want to "know" how exactly they end up happening but on the other I feel like I don't want to take away too much mystery. And writing a detailed narrative about gods, I feel, is an effective way to make the divine seem mundane : / It's a tricky thing.

Grandmaster Eraellas
Brian Nicholson
28 Jan, 2022 19:26

Couldn't have said it better myself, honestly.