Pelghast and Pelghan
Though the Legion
from Ezreich was on its way, it would not intercept the Horde in time to save the city of Pelghast, nor its neighboring village, Pelghan. The city was well fortified, but the defenders were just too few. They held out for nearly a fortnight,
but the enemy force was merely too strong. The walls came crashing down after the repeated, endless assault of massive siege beasts. Demon after demon perished, but the onslaught was not stemmed. The city had heard reports of the Horde coming, and had attempted to send its families into the deep caves of the mountain. Though most of it was a mine, special tunnels had been dug long ago to facilitate faster travel between Rinas
and Pelghast. The remaining survivors of the city – mostly the wounded, elderly, women, and children – fled through this path.
In that moment, I was certain it was the end. Something must've gone wrong, Marlock must have misjudged the mountains, hell I even thought the gods may be punishing us. There was a great thunderous sound, as if the gods had torn open the very world. The mountains appeared to take a deep breath in, and they shook very violently. I swear, part of the range must've fallen right off, there's no way those demon bastards could've damaged the city that much...is there?
After the complete devastation of both the village and the vast majority of the city, the Horde took notice of people fleeing through the tunnels. Led by the dreaded fire demon
, the Horde pursued the helpless citizens, descending into the dark tunnels. This had been taken into account by Marlock Giantkin
, the Shire Reeve of Ezreich
, and in Rinas the Legionnaires
stationed there watched and waited. They were ordered by their captains to "Wait until you can look the bastards in the eyes!"
before taking action. Once the last of the citizens appeared to come out of the mine, and the Horde was very near the entrance, the gargantuan tunnel was forcibly collapsed. The few demons that made it out before the collapse were no match for the disciplined Legionnaires. It is said the Balor never made it out of the tunnel; this was highly celebrated among the Legion.
Elsewhere, the Legion was on the move, marching full speed to Pelghast. The Legion slammed into the remaining attacking force and dispatched them quickly, aiding the few surviving men.
A thunderous roar,
a column of ash,
the fiends were no more,
the Legion must dash!
Beyond the land of constant rain and splash,
To the – now wasteland – they once called Fraore.
The loud reciting of ancient scrolls;
The eternal damnation of a thousand souls.
The eventual victory at Pelghast was celebrated, though not for long. The Legion began their longest march yet, into the Stormlands. The inhospitable lands proved very difficult to cross on their own, but before the first man had even set foot within the land the Legion was set upon by more attacking forces of the Horde. Giants and various elementals were spotted, but they took neither side in the battles. They only attacked when provoked, which led to the downfall of many demons.
Progression through the Stormlands is certainly what took up the vast majority of the war, as there were nearly constant skirmishes all along the way. The Legion lost many good men, but for each Legionnaire there was easily at least 10 lesser demons felled. It was at this juncture the Mage's Guild intervened, calling it's graduates as well as top students and sending them to war. With the assistance of greater magics, as well as the Grand Wizard of Ezreich, the Legion slammed through the Stormlands and into Rumrlond. It was a great shock to many, as the lush rain forests seemed poisoned in a way. The decision was made to cut a path large enough for a battalion to walk through shoulder to shoulder, and thus they made their way towards the Blood Gate.
The Battle of the Blood Gate
It stood towering above us, even from a great distance. We had no choice but to ride into that valley of death; the mountains were impassible for a force such as ours. Into the valley we rode, with the goal of decimating that gate. The countless lives lost would surely be made up for when we made it through and ended the war. Wouldn't they?
The Blood Gate was all that stood between the Legion and the dreaded Demon Lord once they successfully fought their way through Rumrlond. Rows of Legionnaires spearheaded a charge into the valley. Upon reaching the actual gate, numerous siege engines were deployed, and many of the mages begun attempting to bring the structure down via magical means. The Grand Wizard approached, his arms outstretched. He he muttered the incantations of a spell aloud, then commanded the Blood Gate to open. The towering structure violently shook for a moment, and the very gate within flew open, allowing the Legion to flood inward.
Multiple battles raged, on the grandest scale the land had ever seen. No matter the progress the Legion made, the endless Horde came forth from various portals of the Abyss. Marlock spoke with the Grand Wizard while in the midst of battle, and gathered his squad of Inquisitors
. According to their plan, the Legion would be ordered to retreat, while the sole squad of Inquisitors and the Grand Wizard remained fighting. It is at this time Marlock turned to the trainee of his Head Squad, Ragnis Anflame
"Ragnis, you must lead the retreat. The Legion will follow you to the end of the world, but I'm afraid today you must lead them away from it. Something big is going to happen, and I will not allow the entire military of honest, working men to suffer for it. My first standing order is as follows; from here on out, Ragnis Anflame, you are promoted to the position of Head Squad Member, of the Inquisitors. Should we perish in battle, command of the squad falls upon you. My final order to you is as follows: Sound the retreat. Lead the Legion and all its followers back through the Blood Gate at sprinting pace, and do not let up until you have reached the Stormlands. Set up fortifications on the border between the Stormlands and Rumrlond. You will know when the war has finished. Be gone! Protect the Legion!"
The retreat was sounded by Ragnis, and the Legion began to withdraw. However, many men remained on the battlefield, refusing to run. These men weren't just Legion; it is known a few of them were actually surviving men who had been at the Battle of Pelghast. They knew the Legion needed as much time as possible, and were willing to lay down their lives if it meant the protection of the Legion. Marlock Giantkin gave one final speech, and his final words are as follows.
"Brothers and sisters, today we stand together as countrymen. As family. Before us lies the most unstoppable force I've ever seen. The most incessant, unrelenting group of beasts and monstrosities. I intend to face them. I cannot guarantee the safety of any one of you. I daresay, those of you who do not go now with General Anflame will perish. As will I. I stand here, not as your commander. Not as a shire reeve, or a general. Hell, I'd hardly say I stand here as a Goliath or Giantkin. I stand here, not as an Inquisitor, but as Legion. It is not our words, but our actions, that define who we are. We are Legion, and may our deeds here forever echo in eternity!
The Great Cataclysm
"Bright it did shine, just like a blazin' beacon from afar. We pulled our unit out and had begun to retreat. That blazin' hell began right after, but just as quick it was over, with nothin' left behind in its stead."
The Great Cataclysm, known by various names including the Cataclysm Event, was the most influential event in the history of Eunia. Records are unsure as to what exactly caused it, since no one survived the Cataclysm firsthand, but the most prominent theory is as follows; Marlock spoke with the Grand Wizard, Gar, and they formulated a plan. Their plan involved drawing out the Demon Lord, and Gar would engage him in Single Combat. After this, Gar would use an Ancient Scroll., which had not fully been deciphered. The University maintains it was unaware the scroll existed, but scholars in the upper levels of research have been known to gossip. Rumor has it the only deciphered part of the scroll mentions it affecting an extremely large area, and being the most unstable creation of the Ancient Kingdom. Gar utilized this scroll against the Demon Lord, which caused a rip in the very fabric of Magic.
It is said Cas Stormwind
, of the Inquisitor Head Squad, attempted to shield the Blood Gate, which would stop the destruction from spreading further. The Blood Gate itself was unharmed, but the rainforests of Rumrlond were turned to dust, and Rumrlond became a vast desert. The Legion was hit with a giant shock-wave of sorts, which led to some strange side effects,
but they were otherwise unharmed thanks to the magic of the Inquisitor.
"All right Cas, you know what you've gotta do. You know, it's only the entirety of the Legion depending on you right now, surely nothing could go wrong. Umm...to any of those Divination wizards who are able to see me right now...I want my family to know I love them dearly. I have saved up a very large sum of gold for them in the event that I would be...gone...there are also letters in my office about the others. Parting words and that kind of thing, in case the worst were to happen. By the way, the worst will happen...It's time. Farewell to you all. Be prepared for the best damn shield spell the world has ever seen.
The Cataclysm appears to have vaporized everything in its near vicinity, including the Demon Lord. Countless demons perished, but from this Cataclysm they did not reform once more in the Abyss; they were truly wiped from existence. The portals to the Abyss closed after the explosion surged through them, yet Gormul remained. To this day, Gormul is still neither completely on the Material Plane, nor completely in the Abyss.
Any attempts by divination wizards to see what exactly happened during the blast were met with a blinding white scene that forever stayed in their vision. Researchers in Ezreich claim many of their studies are yielding strange results, and that Magic itself seems to be easier flowing into the world, and more and more individuals seemed to have magical talent. Miners report discovering a strange, glowing blue material deep within the earth. It is unknown what every one of the long-term effects of the Cataclysm are, but it was immediately clear what was in store for some of the short term.
This Great Cataclysm had such a heavy impact that the year it occurred, 4,000, was referred to as "year 0", and the following year became "Year 1 After the Great Cataclysm (AGC)." This became the new convention for the following years, and years prior to year 4,000 were given the suffix Before the Great Cataclysm (BGC).