Bipedal humanoids, humans in particular and specifically
The attempted genocide of humankind as a whole.
AbstractBetween the years 1238 and 1250, as the invisible moon found her new home orbiting our own beloved Tellus, and the seas roiled with existential confusion, an unknown malevolent force attempted to exterminate every last human, as if they were vermin.
IntroductionThis paper seeks to resolve the mythos and legend/lore matrix surrounding the historical mass extinction event that seems, upon hindsight, to have affected humans only. As gnomes we, or so we thought, were of course immune to whatever malady or affliction affected the oaf-folk. Recent archeological finds, by the Royal Gnomish Exploratory Guild, beg to differ, in that 1)a book bound in human-skin leather; 2)a skull engraved with unknown arcane symbols and text, and 3)a corpse, mummified by indirect dry heat, were the cause of the pogrom. The corpse was human in origin, although some have said perhaps half elf. Really, though, it's only elves that say that.
MethodsAt the outset of this program of research, a concerted effort was made by the Gnomish Scholarly Corps to delve into the mysteries of the artifacts, and the stone room within which they were found. All are covered in the same style of arcane symbols, even the mummified corpse is covered in an extensive and complex web of tattooing that incorporates gemstone dusts of many colors. Ritual scarring seems also to have been a part of this poor oaf-ken's life story. It became apparent very quickly that deciphering the cryptic ideograms were the key to this mystery, yet no one amongst the vast scholarly body of Gnomish Archivists could help. We needed to think outside of the Warrens.
So I departed our beloved Warrens for the upper world, to seek knowledge and advice from the giant 'college' the oaf-ken built after their population recovered enough to recognize the need for such things. As it sits atop an ancient entrance to an old warren called Gnomeport, within the Vestigial Valley. So my porter Gnathan and I made our way through the ancient Gnomeways under the Wyrmspire Mountains, which were in (unsurprisingly) fantastic condition despite three thousand years of abandonment, and this greatly accelerated our travel. We were, therefore, quite ahead of schedule when the goblin tribe calling themselves the Gruelgut clan captured and imprisoned us. It took us nearly two days to escape and carry on our mission, but carry on we did, in proper Gnomish fashion, and we emerged into the root cellar of one of the Bardic College's fraternity houses. This was a trap of an unforeseen nature, as we were immediately tempted into games of chance and the imbibing of harsh human liquors. It took us almost two weeks to escape the debauchery, but we finally emerged blinking into the sunlight, and were ushered into the presence of the Dean of the College of Philology.
We assembled a crack team of researchers and language experts, and over the course of the next two years, we translated the book and the tattoos. It was a process that took effort to complete, as the arcana were all symbols of a black tongue used long ago, and they told the story of the total destruction of the Humans, ending their presence upon Tellus forever. Other strings of symbols told of the methodology; disease, famine, despair. They told of humans locked away in chattel houses to be butchered and eaten by lizard folk calling themselves the Aari. They told of perverse rites that enthralled humans, or broke a human's spirit and mind. And they told of a grand coup d' grâs, an end to the 'infestation' of humans, in a grand and secretive Ritual of Solitude. To be performed in a room of specific dimensions, layout, and covered in the proscribed scripts and verses from the unholy book before us. The book the we can, now, name as The book of Shayna told us everything, including humanity's greatest enemy (other than itself). The Priestess named Shayna Undwyrd, devotee of Red Dragons, and purveyor of chaos. Variously, she was identified as a devil, a demon, a goddess, or a devious walker of the Planes of Existence. As the symbology evolved within the book, specifically, all of these distinctions blurred into a single abhorrent symbol. Throughout the vile verses, Shayna's hatred for the human race grew only stronger, and for a time, she kept them as chattel, feeding her fanatical cultists with their mangled bodies once she was done having her fun.
We set out to prove whether or not a malevolent force afflicted the human population during the twelve Celestial Years outlined above. Our conclusion is, indubitably, that it is true. All of the legends, while exaggerated and misappropriated, unfortunately contain a colonel of truth. The human race was, at that time, under full fledged attack by this perverse, demonic creature. We also know that whatever her final rite was to be, she was foiled by the Sailor Eternal.