The War of Magi Ascension Military Conflict in Nora | World Anvil

The War of Magi Ascension

Rise of The Fourth Grand Archmagi
"From this point forward, his name shall be nothing. It shall be stricken from every record, it shall not be uttered by a single tongue, it shall be forgotten in time. We shall give no power or history to his name, all divinity and purpose reclaimed from it. Never again will we turn a blind eye to the dangers that collected Magick is capable of. We shall remain ever vigilant, and strike with a firm hand at any transgression. This hour marks the end of the darkest part of Risen history so far - let us keep it that way." - Lady Luthien, Queen of the Ehlen and Ruler of Amaranthine
  His name was not the only record of his character stricken from every record. No written record remains of his size, his family, his origin, et cetera. They state that he was a Human male and nothing more. His humanity was often blamed for the immense greed he possessed as it is in their nature. Those alive today that were still alive and bore witness to him during the war were sworn to never utter his name or speak of who he was outside of the monster that he became.   As set by the founding rules of The Collective, the position of Grand Archmagi can only be achieved through the death or failure of the predecessor to uphold the Creed. The Third Grand Archmagi was an Ehlen like the founder - full of pride and power, yet strict on peace and restriction of The Collective's power. Opinions of him were divided as to those who believed he upheld the Creed well versus those who believed he was working to actually lessen the value and standing of The Collective. The Fourth Grand Archmagi, an Archmagi at the time, deemed it to be in the best interest of The Collective to challenge, eliminate, and replace The Third. Their battle was decidedly one sided, and he became the new Grand Archmagi.   After reaching the position of Grand Archmagi, he began immediate and radical reforms for The Collective and their missions. He recalled all field agents that were currently active, elected a new Council of Archmagi, and began preparing the Grand Tower for a grand venture. All funds and resources were devoted into research on divinity and the elusive Realm of the Fae. After he had heard of the few Risen having Ascended to godhood, he became obsessed with the idea. The Magick it would take was beyond the possibilities of their original comprehension, and he was firm in his resolve to acquire that power for The Collective.  
Attack on the Ehlen
  Amaranthine is the only city said the be blessed with visits of the Fae Queen. It is commonly believed that there are places in the world that act as a nexus where the Mortal Realm and the Fae Realm connect and begin to overlap with each other - and that Amaranthine and it's forest lies on the greatest of these. Thanking the Founder Larael for founding the Grand Tower so close to his native homeland, The Fourth took advantage of their location and began launching raids on the forest of the Ehlen. The Magi that decided to follow him used their arcane prowess to launch fast skirmishes with Archmagi capable of teleportation magicks to pull them out of any danger. Their attack was two-pronged; first they would focus on diverting the Ehlen forces and weakening their army, secondly they would capture and claim any Magickal Apparatus or Fae related objects. Fae creatures that happened to be visiting from their realm were especially targeted; the Magi trapped them in iron cages and brought them back to the Grand Tower for study.   The Ehlen of the Amaranthine and the surrounding forests caught on quickly as they were no stranger to the arcane. Yet, even they could not stand up to the might of The Collective themselves. The Grand Archmagi was a title befit of the most gifted Arcane Magick user in all of Nora, and with a horde of gifted Magi at his disposal he could rival any nation's forces; or worse, surpass them entirely. The Ehlen defended themselves against the raids as best they could, but their military was spread too thin and unable to cover the are properly for defense. The Collective had started to prove too much for them, and they believed that their forces would launch a full attack on the city itself, despite the bulk of the military being located there.   Seeking help from neighboring nations was the only option they saw available to them to avoid being run. Lady Luthien, Ruler of Amaranthine sent petitions to all nations, including rival Nioyaathep. Many of them sent responses swiftly, but almost all of the responses were calling for a summit of leaders to discuss the war before they chose a method of intervening. There was one swift reply, however; close neighbor and long time ally La Patria put forth an immediate call to arms and rushed to mobilize their army in defense of Amaranthine. The Collective took quick notice of this action and targeted them for a counter attack.  
Razing of Sicerrone
  With their military on the move to aid their allies, La Patria was left nearly defenseless. Sicerrone, the capital and economic center of the nation, had only it's standing guard left for the city. This made them a prime target for the attention of The Fourth and The Collective. The teleportation magicks of the Archmagi worked to an even greater effect outside of the muddled forests surrounding Amaranthine. In an instant, a large contingent of High Magi supported by The Fourth himself appeared within the city walls. What followed was a massacre.   Firestorms, acid rain, conjured spirits and more filled the confines of Sicerrone. The civilians and the simple structures of the city stood no chance of defense. The Men-At-Arms, the elite standing guard of Sicerrone, fought back as best they could alongside whatever adventurers and mercenaries they could gather within the city. The Magi only suffered a handful of losses; nothing compared to the immeasurable number of casualties dealt to the city's population. The blood was not enough to this radical sect of The Collective. The Fourth Grand Archmagi declared that this city would be the first symbol in a long chain of military conquests and ordered his followers to destroy the city entirely.   Sicerrone was burned to the ground following the attack on it's people. The few who managed to survive the initial attacks by hiding underneath their shelters were almost entirely snuffed out by the collapsing buildings or the fires that followed. The Collective were then pulled back out via the same Magick they arrived with, gone in a single instant. This was a decisive blow by The Collective and proved their military might and abilities. Where they thought this would prove to the world to sit back and respect their power, the attack on Sicerrone was the rallying cry to motivate the rest of the nations into action.  
The Counterattack
  Motivated by the destruction of Sicerrone, the national leaders who had abstained from the conflict now rushed to convene their council and vote on a plan for the war effort. Armies and Heroes from all corners of the world were summoned to Amaranthine to defend the city from The Collective's attack. Emboldened by their recent victory, the Magi assaulted hastily, underestimating the forces that had now gathered in anticipation for that very attack. The battle for Amaranthine lasted for weeks, with massive losses on both sides of the conflict. The Magick possessed by The Collective wreaked a major toll on the defensive lines, sweeping areas clean with minimal efforts. The defenders struck back as well, having the benefit of numbers and a prepared defensive on their side. After The Collective had lost half of their High Magi and a majority of their Magi on the field, The Fourth finally called a retreat back to the Grand Tower.   The Council of Nations convened again, declaring the defense a success, yet struggling to call it a true victory after the serious losses they had faced. Many called for a ceasefire to be requested in an attempt to cease hostilities from The Collective. Das Konigreich and Vasileio retired from the conflict entirely, feeling their losses here would leave them to vulnerable at home. The council was of mixed opinions on how to continue until Lucius Besson, Prince of the now destroyed Sicerrone, volunteered to lead a vanguard of soldiers into the Grand Tower itself. The Ohrlen of Tamaha volunteered immediately, with the remaining countries relenting and agreeing to the assault after pressure from the volunteers.   Lucius Besson, seeking vengeance for his destroyed home, led the volunteer spearhead into the Grand Tower, while The Council of Nations set up a siege offensive surrounding the tower. The Grand Tower was notorious for the numerous enchantments that it's founder Larael Silverweave had placed upon it. The exterior of the tower was immune to any attacks they possessed. The advance party in the tower was now subject to the arcane trickery and machinations of the Magi within.    The obscene enchantments inside the Grand Tower made advancement to The Fourth nearly impossible. The Magi of the tower foresaw the counterattack and invasion and immediately began laying out magickal traps and defenses on each floor. They took advantage of their home defense and the shifting layout of the tower, allowing them to alter whatever floor the attackers would come out of. They were able to manipulate who would come out on what floor, separating the assaulters amongst the many floors and working to pick them off in smaller groups with concentrated fire.    The assault on the Grand Tower lasted for three weeks. The Council of Nations was reigning in beliefs that the vanguard had been utterly wiped out; the only thing holding them from pulling back the operation entirely was the occasional group of Magi and Initiates emerging from the tower and surrendering to the siege group.    In the end, there were four survivors that made it to the chambers of The Fourth Grand Archmagi. Lucius Besson the Prince of Sicerrone, Talako Morhen the Ohrlen Warlord of Tamaha, Boris Ledyanoy the son of the Pirate Lord Vsevolod, and Naunet Balket the Dahlen Priest of the Oasis. The four of them found The Grand Archmagi as he was nearing the end of a Ritual of Ascension - discovering his purpose for the war by using a combination of Divine and Fae Magick to become a god. The four attackers emerged victorious after long battle, finally breaking free of the Tower's Magick and getting the chance to leave.   
The Aftermath
  Whereas The Collective was once seen as the fundamental governing force on the arcane, they lost all of the political sway they once had. Their power and numbers were completely diminished from the conflict. While they remain a powerful organization in their own right, they are a shadow of their former selves. The Collective had a Fifth Grand Archmagi chosen, a unique Dwehrlen with an aptitude for the arcane, and he has put all of his time and energy into fixing the image of The Collective and atoning for the actions of The Fourth.    Sicerrone was rebuilt by the coast, a larger and much more powerful city that became the trade center of Nora. Old Sicerrone was never rebuilt or repurposed, a monument left behind as a warning to the dangers that Magick was capable of. The city of Amaranthine was largely unharmed, though the forests surrounding were decimated and took well over a century of druidic and arcane magick to rebuild. The Ehlen as a whole now feared the dangers of those outside of them - the fair weather allies that took too long to assist them, and the enemies that never came to their aid. Amaranthine and other Ehlen cities now remain heavily prejudiced towards outsiders.    The world as a whole now walked with a different idea of Magick and it's potential. Many grew a deep fear of it, afraid of what would happen should someone else like The Fourth arise and set their sets on their homeland instead of the Ehlen's. Many others doubled down on their greed and pursuit of Magick - they would become as powerful as they could muster in their lives in order to not be threatened by the potential power of others.    The War of Magi Ascension devastated the armies of multiple nations, and forever changed the Risen's perception on Magick as a whole. It's dangers still echo through society to this day.
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