7/26/2022 at 8:39
The Second War of Night, Part V: The End of the Beginning
Within days of Damariel's meeting beside the Shrine of Bells, the creeping rot, which by now had swallowed over a full half of Sterion, at last began to near the arch. While crazed preachers and adventurers traded proclamations of doom and despair, and others celebrated with drink and revelry in anticipation of their final days, others still yet clung to hope, the vigil at Sterion unerring in its determination.
Come the midnight hour did, and with it a black wave of darkness sweeping over the iron gate. Where once only a pinprick glimmered in that bleak night, now thousands more shimmered in the empty firmament, violet specks aglow with the influence of Ohlsana. A shriek resounded across the world as shadow met metal, a wail of entropy unleashed quashing all and sundry beneath its outpouring of wrath.
As the last echoes faded, only gloam remained behind, a lightless sense of something insatiable falling with malice upon the Prime Plane. Within moments, the outpouring of shadow wreaked its terrible toll upon the former village of Sterion, twisting it, warping it, corrupting it, and transforming the very land on which it stood into something utterly else. Gone was Sterion, and in its place exists now the Primal Eye of Czjetija -- Ohlsana's first foothold in the Prime Material Plane.
In the wake of this transformation, shadowspawn swarmed through in the hundreds, ruthlessly murdering everything in their path. Tenebrous horrors, monstrous shadow beasts, spinners, and many-winged ghasts joined the familiar creepers and wisps that had been seen before. Dozens of adventurers fell in the hordes' opening onslaught, each one they felled replaced with two more in short order.
Chaos reigned throughout the village, the combination of rot and seemingly endless monstrosities overwhelming in their assault. Kagura of Spinesreach, founder of the Shadowguard, rallied the collective forces of Sapience together to retaliate, doggedly attempting to push back the oncoming tide. Though they cleared themselves a path, losing many in the process including a brush with horror itself as Orhm was swallowed up by the rot and swiftly recovered, whole divisions of shadowbound soldiers had now begun to assemble at the breach.
Unable to repel the soldiers without troops of their own, the matter of Bloodloch's blockade resurfaced, arguments breaking out on the best course forward. Then, the voice of Shadow Lord Murgraxis rippled through the arch, booming out for all to hear as he declared the inevitable victory of Shadow and predicted Severn's imminent fall.
As the swarms of soldiers continued to multiply and hundreds more shadowspawn poured out through the Primal Eye, the adventurers of Sapience were forced to accept the truth: Sterion was lost, and Ohlsana's invasion had barely even begun...
Penned by my hand on Closday, the 13th of Variach, in the year 504 MA.