Mpe-ar Settlement in Salan | World Anvil
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Mpe-ar (Ngad i zerib: 'At the Foot of the Mountain'), or Empear in its farenized form, was the capital city of Old Moon, an important early Zeribian island state. It was located in Crescent Island, before it was destroyed by the catastrophic Crescent Eruption of 420 AFS.  


Main article Black Years - Crescent Eruption

The Great Eruption that was about to destroy Mpe-ar began in the early spring of 420 AFS. The current king, Ustetur-Sahar Šamžan, had fallen in the disgrace of his Lord Sahar. The great Plague had hit the city earlier in the winter, and dispite his offerings and prayers the anger of the volcano was not calmed.

Some weeks before the eruption, the king himself had fallen ill. This is probably the reason why the majority of the city's residents never fled the city, before the morning of the eruption. The court was woken up in the early hours of the morning by a great earth quake, and a heavy pillar of smoke rising from the mountain.
by Pierre-Jacques Volaire
It was quickly announced, that the king had just passed away due to his illness, and the prince Šamžan Senet had ordered everyone to evacuate immediately. The court left hastily for the harbour, with only light belongings, leaving the most of their valuables behind.

The smoke clouds descended on the island on the way, and the court barely reached the coast safely. When the common people saw their nobles, whom they had trusted to keep them safe, fleeing, the whole lower city started to flee in a general chaos, everyone leaving to the sea in their canoes and small boats. Most fled for Mulengder, the nearest smaller island of the chain just a small distance away.

by Tuisku
The eruption left beind the crescent shape that the island was later known for
At the midday the main eruption struck. According to the eye-witness testimonies, it was as if a great fiery chasm had opened, and the whole mid-section of the island collapsed to the sea in one huge explosion. The refugees were saved by hiding higher in the hills away from the expected tsunami that struck the island shortly after.

In the following days rescue parties were send to the main island. According to the survived descriptions, the lower city was completely covered in a thick layer of ash, but a couple dozen people had survived by hiding in the ruins. Few people were also saved from the other villages of the island. The upper city, however, was completely destroyed. The palace had collapsed down in a chasm, as if being ripped apart by the Gods themselves, and the rest was covered by firestone and nothing living or worth the rescue was found there.


The court and other inhabitants fled for the other Zeribian island states, but most of them were turned away because they were thought to be cursed and plagued. Many of them, including the prince Šamžan Senet were killed by the plague, famine, and infighting during the couple years that followed. However, some accounts of the great destruction survive (as expanded upon here ) although they differ in the details.

420 AFS

Location under
Owning Organization

Districts and architecture

The city was located near the foot of the large volcano in the center of the island. The lower city was on the coast, and had the great harbor surrounded by the dwellings of the merchants, craftsmen and commoners, and inns and other facilities for entertaining the travellers.   The upper city, with the palace, was higher up the hills, overlooking the lower city. The nobles there enjoyed the great views, fresh air, and safety from te raids.   Upwards from the upper city was the paths leading up the mountain, towards the holy crater of the God of the Mountain Sahar. Many grim rituals were performed there, to please the dangerous life-giver of the island.  


The Moons were ruled by a king, known as the King of the Moons. This title is probably anachronistic, because the island chain was not known as the Moons before the eruption left behind the main island's characteristic crescent moon shape.   The king had a large court of Zeribian nobles around him.  


After the island was finally settled again, the ruins of the city became a holy site, drawing visitors from all over the islands. The ruins of the lower city were explored first, but later the ruins of the upper city were discovered too. Excavations that were done there revealed many ancient artifacts of great value that had been left behind, and these the visitors would buy for amulets of protection.


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