"The War that led to the Cataclysm"
Known as The Sundering, the war was waged for over 100 years.Many of the greatest war clerics and blood magicians fell, with certain lines, orders, and devotions essentially wiped from the earth. Towards the closing of the war, it seemed that those of faith were winning. Their enemies became desperate and mounted a last great attack on the Celene herself. The most powerful and immoral of the Blood Mages pulled the very life-force from their many prisoners to channel an eldritch blast so powerful, it ripped an enormous rent in the side of Celene. And from its newly formed maw sprang a mighty host of Goblinkind, flowing like an endless sea, carried on a wave of raw entropy. Wild Magic rushed forth, forming a mile-wide “moat” around Celene, swirling against the laws of nature. It is known as The Churn, and it still swirls today. The Blood Mages attempted to tame the Wild Magic. They were quick to learn the hubris behind this fatal mistake.
Even the very elements attack!An uncontrolled storm of the elements (fire, water, wind of rotating extremes in temperature, even flying boulders) pelted the region, felling even the mightiest trees at the northern edge of the Dullwood. It is said that a great City of the Gods, could briefly be seen within the jagged rip marring Celene’s side. The city, shaken by the elemental storm, collapsed under its own weight. As the structure of Celene remained intact, it’s interior instantly became an inaccessible ruin. Some say the Gods died that day. Others, feeling the loss of their personal connection to their deities (yet still able to discern their presence), feared the entire pantheon had fallen into a communal coma of sorts. Those followers most "in touch" with their deities describe bizarre spiritual communications, most resembling nothing more than illogical fever dreams. Prayers were still answered, but not in any consistent or ordered form. Thus, to this day, clerics of all devotions must be extremely careful when they commune with their deities, for they cannot always be certain of the outcome.
The Magical ExodusIn response to the Sundering, the persecution of all magic wielding peoples began in earnest. Before it could reach true genocide, the remaining alliance of mages cast out the evil Blood Mages (who crossed the World Sea to Golthien) and made their great exodus south, eventually settling in Hariel Minuta. Here they founded the magical kingdom of Varuum (and its neighboring freeholds). The magical death pogroms, though a thing of the past, left a lasting bias in Hariel Majour (particularly in the North). Gothens of a magical bent are wise to show a level of caution when displaying their abilities, as prejudice still abides. As for The Churn, it is mostly now avoided, serving as a guardian to the ruins of Celene. But it continues to corrupt and distort a vast array of creatures living in the Dullwood. Even the denizens of the Blight itself have been “touched” by its mutating energies. Even now, The Dwarves of the Blight push deeper and deeper beneath the rock, out of fear. Fear of both the twisted creatures that represent the legacy of Celene, and the far more existential dread of having their bloodlines corrupted forever (like that of the mutated dragons that roost in the highest reaches of The Blight).
The many pilgrimages to Celene brought various peoples and worshippers of vastly different creeds and ideals together. It was only a matter of time before the situation exploded.
The battle that culminated in The Sundering was fought on the very slopes of Mount Celene.
The entire battle lasted nearly 100 years, with both sides coming at each other in skirmishes that eventually ended in short retreats. The combined faithful took shelter in the elven woods of the Feywood, while the Sanguine Order and its disciples made a temporary home in the Blight. Both sides found allies in strange places. The Sanguine Order was able to mass the disgruntled northern barbarians of the Blight, while those associated with Wyeth and the Faith Zenithal found help amongst the Solti and Kelti of the Feywood.
Almost immediately following the Sundering, The Sanguine Order of blood mages and, in fact, all arcane casters, were persecuted and driven out of the lands. The purges were largely conducted by a united Wyeth (the crown plus all its vassal states) and the Faith Zenithal.
A great percentage of arcane casters and students of magic were relocated south and even across The World Sea. The magic footprint in the north has been greatly reduced, and many remain suspicious of the magical forces they don't understand. Further, after the arcane exodus, the crown commenced The Reformation, where the Faith Zenithal was removed from direct political interference in the affairs of the crown.
No historical event in the history of Gothenya has been the subject of more documentation and art than the Sundering. Possibly because it is the most misunderstood event as well.
It is said that the great treasures of Celene, mystical and arcane devices that were the property of the gods themselves, were scattered to the winds in the explosive cataclysm of The Sundering. It's even thought that prior to this, the Sanguine Order managed to get its hands on several god-made devices, including weapons, and these aided in the events that brought about the Sundering proper.
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