The Fall of Terrassia (ME 2880-2884)

While Kaelariel and the people of Askies Island were caught up in the Fifth Demon War, the continent of Terrassia was invaded by the demon king Celigus Chinchala.  It was this unexpected invasion by a demon king regarded as somewhat of a “stepfather” to Kaelariel that long caused some of the pantheon – most notably Zalkar the Unyielding – to remain suspicious of both.

The Fall of Terrassia was perhaps one of the greatest examples of tactical expertise ever witnessed upon Citaria.  Setting up his base of operations in the southeastern badlands, Chinchala was able to create a perimeter defense to ward off any foolish attacks by the nomadic kwarrasti or luranar from his rear flank.  With no established cities behind him, Chinchala struck first into the heart of the shakna-rir empire to the west.

The counterattack from the collective city-states of Terrassia was quick but predictable, and the first bands of resistance from Flora and Solaris found they were not equipped or prepared for fighting an entrenched enemy in the badlands.  Chinchala was no fool, leaving the Third Column of his considerable forces behind to safeguard his fortress and the portal from which he was able to draw reinforcements.  The contingents from Flora and Solaris found themselves easily rebuffed, and driven back north out of the badlands.

The First and Second Columns, meanwhile, caught the shakna-rir completely unawares, and secured the eastern cities of Silturus and Culler’s Reach within days.  With these two cities under control, the First and Second Columns dug in, preparing for the expected counterattack.  It took the shakna-rir only days to organize the first waves of resistance, and the massive garrison of the port city of Awlsabre followed quickly behind.  Finally, the capital city of Aurun Ch’Gurra sent its own legions forth to drive the invaders from the empire.

Satisfied that their mighty military could handle even an army of underworld demons, the shakna-rir nonetheless sent forth emissaries to the city-states of Flora and Solaris, and even as far north as Silverius and the Emerald City to try to triangulate an attack upon the invaders.  Even with an entrenched army of mallasti, elestram, and even some erestram warriors, the size of the resistance’s army seemed sure to crush Chinchala’s invasion force.  And then the order to withdraw reached the shakna-rir front lines, leaving the First and Second Columns not only unmolested, but free to turn and rebuff the coming armies of the northern city-states.

The reason for the retreat became clear in missives sent out in the wake of the defeat: With the bulk of the army sent out from Aurun Ch’Gurra, the demon king had entered the city and the palace, and single-handedly took the entire royal family hostage.  Curiously, the demon king offered to let Queen Gwendolyn Tumureldi keep her throne so long as she swore fealty to him.  In return, her people would remain unharmed, and the occupation of their cities would be light and as non-intrusive as possible.  Intrigued by the hesitance of the demon king to slaughter her people, the queen accepted his terms, and even agreed to try to convince the other kingdoms to accept the same.

The northern kingdoms made no such concessions, determined to drive the invaders from their island.  Flora, the closest city-state to the demon king’s stronghold, was captured easily, and its own defenses against water-borne attacks made efforts by the northern kingdoms to liberate the city virtually impossible.  With the entire southern third of Terrassia under his command, Chinchala moved on to Solaris, and then curiously skirted the edge of the elven kingdom of Laeranore to attack Dira Ch’Tori, capturing the entire east side of the continent as well in short order.

The fures-rir of the Tenari Kingdom of the northern tundra continued to hold out for some years.  When it became apparent to the other city-states that Chinchala wasn’t interested in killing their people, though, many of them surrendered rather than risk any of their people resisting his unstoppable advance.  With nearly the entirety of Terrassia under his control, the Tenari Kingdom had little choice but to surrender to the demon king, as reluctant as Queen Tenari was to do so.

The ensuing five years were among the most profitable and prosperous for all of the kingdoms of Terrassia.  Continuing to rule from his fortress in the southeast badlands, Chinchala improved infrastructure, trade routes, trade regulations, and the overall bounties of the continent’s resources.

At the end of the fifth year, Chinchala called a conference of the many leaders of the kingdoms and city-states of Terrassia.  There, he relinquished total control of each of their holdings back to the leaders, stating only that a time would come when he would once again claim dominion over the continent, and that he expected there would be no resistance when he did.  The demon king then withdrew the vast majority of his military to his underworld realm, dismantled his fortress and its portal, and left Terrassia for an unknown destination.

The Fall of Terrassia, as the tumultuous period of history has been called, has long confused scholars.  The exact intentions of Chinchala remain unknown, though his work in improving the nations themselves and relations between them have led to this “conflict” being viewed as much more favorable than any conquest even the humans could remember.  To this day, scholars ponder what event might cause Chinchala to reclaim the collective thrones of Terrassia; they expected him to do so during the Apocalypse, but such never came to pass.  As it stands, his promise has remained unfulfilled.

The Fifth Demon War (ME 2880-2882)

With the bah’qitur armies in full retreat, the guardian demon Serenjols took decisive action.  Sensing the opportunity to strike a crushing blow against the Devil Queen and her forces, he engaged Seril’s son, Urukh, in single combat.  Though Urukh was a formidable foe, well versed in his mother’s black magic as well as hand-to-hand combat, his mother had invested a significant amount of strength into the first of her guardian demons.  Serenjols killed Urukh in a vicious battle that scattered the remnants of Seril’s army.

Enraged at the death of her son, Seril called forth the entirety of her armies and declared war upon the mortals once again.  The full might of her army was never brought to bear, however, torn asunder by a split in loyalties between the Devil Queen and the recently appointed lord of the serilian demons, Kaelariel.  In truth, Seril expected her new lord of demons to turn traitor after defeating and killing his predecessor, Gaelix the Shadowborn, but Seril never expected that a good portion of her army would turn against her as well.  Kaelariel not only swore brotherhood with the twenty-one guardian demons, but drew the vast majority of the elite demons, several thousand brys, and hundreds of corlypsi to his service as well.

The initial efforts of the Devil Queen’s army were aimed at keeping hold of the destroyed port of Ceritopolonis, which had little armed resistance remaining, and to use it to crush her enemies between Ceritopolonis and her home city-state of Oge.  The first year of the war went fairly well for her, and only then did the mortals realize her reasoning for taking Oge as her base of operations.  With the Barrier Mountains separating the heartlands from the more populous regions of the west coast, Seril was effectively able to keep the bulk of her enemies before her, lined up along the east coast.

Seril’s forces were able to stonewall reinforcements from Gnarr and the other cities of the southern heartlands, using the Great Divide river to hold their enemies at bay.  This allowed her to concentrate on the larger cities of Petersburg and DarkWind from Oge, and Nassau, San Miguel, and the Bay Cities from Ceritopolonis.

The mortals, now tentatively allied with Kaelariel and his loyal serilian demons, began a two-pronged attack against the entrenched forces at Ceritopolonis.  The Royal Navy gathered for a concentrated assault on the Great Bay, and attacked by sea when Kaelariel arrived by land, having marched his combined forces from the city of Latalex.  Hit from both sides, and exposed along the coast while they fought the other bay cities, Seril’s army – now lacking its best general, Urukh – fell to disarray quickly, and fled south through the Ceritan Mountains to rejoin the main force from Oge.

Seril’s final push was aimed at obliterating DarkWind, the greatest bastion of defense on the east coast.  Ferried to DarkWind by the Royal Navy, much of Kaelariel’s army was able to arrive in time to help fortify and defend DarkWind, even through a lengthy siege.  The losses on both sides were staggering, but the stoicism of Kaelariel’s loyal demons and their mortal allies allowed them to weather the storm until reinforcements finally arrived from the west.  Now flanked by two superior forces, Seril had to pull back her perimeter defense along the Great Divide, which then added a third sizable force to triangulate the attack against her siege.

Seril was able to salvage a portion of her army and retreat to Oge with them.  Kaelariel gave chase as far as Oge’s city walls, but withdrew without sieging the Devil Queen’s home city.  Primarily concerned by the expected additional loss of life, Kaelariel was also concerned that with Oge being the Devil Queen’s home city, there could be portals to the underworld, from which she could call reinforcements or even allies among the demon kings.  Instead, Kaelariel declared that he was satisfied that her army had been rendered inert for the time being, and he withdrew his forces carefully and safely back to DarkWind.

The mortals had won yet another great victory and, more importantly, found a new source of allies and leadership.  One of the most inspiring and well-remembered events of the Fifth Demon War was the speech Kaelariel gave on the plains before the City of DarkWind, wherein he proclaimed that he cared little for what color skin or blood his followers had, as long as they were willing to lay down both for the greater good.  He further pledged to bring peace between “his people” – his loyal serilian demons – and the mortals of Citaria.  Though trust between the mortals and Kaelariel’s loyal serilian demons would not come to fruition until the Apocalypse, some serilian demons were able to integrate into normal mortal society, most notably the guardian demons.

Serenjols, credited with the first victory of the war, became a local hero around the city of Latalex, and settled down there to become the city’s premier blacksmith.  Several other cities “adopted” guardian demons to both protect them and act as mediators between the cities and any resident or nearby serilian demons.

Kaelariel, meanwhile, was made god of freedom and death, and his lineage as the son of Gori Sensullu was finally revealed.

Only when the dust settled from the Fifth Demon War did people begin to realize what was happening on Terrassia at the same time…

The Bah’Qitur Invasion (ME 2879-2880)

With the seterra-rir nearly wiped out and driven into hiding, things on Askies returned to normal for a short while.  However, scant months after the end of the so-called War of Purity, massive warships appeared off the northeast coast of Askies.  Diplomatic envoys were sent out to make contact with the people manning these never-before-seen ships, but the envoys were summarily destroyed.

After a short but fierce naval battle, the warships entered the harbor of the largest port on the east coast: the city of Ceritopolonis.  This was the first time the people of Askies had encountered the towering, semi-reptilian people called the bah’qitur.  The bah’qitur took the city by storm, and within a few days, they had captured a strategic port in which to land a sizable invasion force.  Fortunately for the people of Ceritopolonis, once armed resistance was neutralized, the bah’qitur occupied the city rather than destroying it and wiping out its people.

More warships came from the east, carrying tens of thousands of bah’qitur soldiers.  Initial attempts to intercept the bah’qitur reinforcements were utterly unsuccessful; the bah’qitur ships were larger, sturdier, and carried more firepower and soldiers than any of the Askies Royal Navy ships.  With no hope of cutting off the line of supplies and reinforcements coming in by sea, priority was put on halting the bah’qitur advance on land.

History took a strange turn when additional ships began landing on Askies and the full extent of the bah’qitur army’s capabilities became clear: Seril sent her own soldiers to drive these foreign invaders from “her” island.  Many of her winged corlypsi, brys, and elite soldiers attacked the bah’qitur fleet from the air, quickly discovering that the bah’qitur were completely unprepared for, and all but defenseless against, an air assault.  Shredding their sails and setting the ships ablaze from above, Seril’s forces, under the command of her son, Urukh, destroyed nearly half of the bah’qitur fleet in a matter of days.

Unsatisfied with the work of his soldiers from the air, Urukh further ordered his infantry to set the city itself ablaze, to give the bah’qitur no quarter from which to resist.  Some of their ships were left intact, all the better to round them up into confined spaces and then slaughter them by fiery aerial assault.  Thousands of rir and humans were also killed in the flaming purge of Ceritopolonis, and though both the mortal and serilis-rir forces had enjoyed a temporary truce to drive out the bah’qitur, it quickly dissolved under Urukh’s ruthless tactics.

The Bah’Qitur Invasion came to an end thanks to two simultaneous events: the first was the complete withdrawal of all surviving bah’qitur soldiers.  While many bah’qitur warships retreated without ever reaching Askies, the vast majority of soldiers who made it to Askies never returned home, killed by the flaming aerial assaults of Seril’s forces.

The second event that brought the Bah’Qitur Invasion to an end was the killing of Urukh at the hands of the guardian demon Serenjols, which started the Fifth Demon War.

The War of Purity (ME 2878)

This short, six-month conflict represents one of the lowest points in the history of Citaria.

The War of Purity began when a new species, the seterra-rir, came to inhabit the Isle of Morikk.  The island had long been considered holy ground, as nestled in its central mountain range was the Temple of Archons, the mystical sealed temple that had stood there since the foundation of the world.  Further complicating matters was the biological makeup of this new species of rir, which seemed to be some hybrid of human and rir.

Initial suspicions were that it was the latest of Seril’s endless attempts to usurp Citaria, and that this time, she had done so in a way that would directly invade the bloodlines of the rir.  Strangely, Gori Sensullu gave no indication that he had created the seterra-rir, and made no move to stop his own people when they rose up against this new creation.

The invasion of Morikk was spearheaded by the Demonhunter Order, but the invasion force was made up entirely of rir; no humans took part in the invasion.  Many accounts of this short war point to the humans warning off the rir from attempting genocide without being absolutely sure what they were doing, but the warnings were ignored.  Consequently, the humans as a whole refused to take part in the so-called “War of Purity.”  In fact, it is widely believed that the humans aided many of the seterra-rir in escaping the genocidal attacks.

The end result of the war was that the seterra-rir were driven from their home on the Isle of Morikk, and the survivors, if any, were driven into hiding.  Though there have been many conflicts amongst the mortals of Citaria, the War of Purity marks the most brutal war in which Seril played no role whatsoever.

It has long been speculated that the Bah’Qitur Invasion of ME 2879 was Gori Sensullu’s punishment of the rir for their actions.

The False Apocalypse (ME 2452-2453)

The creation of the guardian demons was a calculated risk for Seril.  Endowed with incredible power, her final serilis-rir creations were also ingrained with a protective nature to prevent them from slaughtering the lesser serilis-rir for fun.  However, this protective nature also caused them to, at times, disobey their creator, seeing her attempts at conquering Citaria as too great a danger to their kin.  Seril took this disobedience in stride, knowing that it would, at the least, help keep her from making any of the same foolhardy mistakes that cost her the first four demon wars.

The disobedience of the guardian demons came to a head in the year ME 2452, when Seril decided to take one of them as a mate and give birth to an heir that would help her conquer Citaria.  The guardian demon chosen was the Bladed Demon Erijinkor, and though he acquiesced to his creator’s wishes, when he saw the horrifying results and witnessed what the child was going to become, he turned on Seril completely.

Rir scholars who became aware of Erijinkor’s defection quickly linked him to an obscure, ancient prophecy that said that a blue-eyed serilian demon would bring about the Devil Queen’s end.  Erijinkor was created with blue eyes – many believe as a taunt by the Devil Queen against Gori Sensullu that backfired – and the scholars of that day believed his defection would mean he would lead the rir people to victory over the Devil Queen and her demons.

Thinking the Apocalypse was upon them, the nobility of Askies Island began fortifying their cities and towns, preparing for a cataclysmic war the likes of which the four previous demon wars couldn’t compare to.  However, the war never came.  Only one city was attacked, and with all of the other towns, cities, and counties so intent on defending themselves, the city of Oge fell in hours to the concentrated assault of Seril’s entire army.

Surprisingly, Seril did not destroy the city or annihilate its population.  Instead, she made it her seat of power on Citaria, expanding its walls and territory and garrisoning many of her strongest soldiers within.  Though her rule was strict and unforgiving, the city of Oge had long been a haven for scoundrels and the evil, and its residents quickly came to accept the rule of the Devil Queen over that of the Duke of Brunswick.

Though many attempts were made to recapture Oge, all efforts were put to an immediate end when the Devil Queen personally slaughtered the Duke of Brunswick’s entire household, leaving him as the sole survivor.  Not even the Avenger Order of Gnarr or the Demonhunter Order itself were willing to continue the fight after that, and against better judgment, many reasoned that as long as Seril was contained to Oge, she was best left alone.

The most important other note about the False Apocalypse is that once the city of Oge came under Seril’s control, one of her lieutenants – Olgaryn, Lord of the Brys – took control of the many fractured assassins’ guilds and merged them into one.  This brought the combined might of the Five Clans under the Devil Queen’s control, allowing her to strike at her enemies without the use of her demons.  The Five Clans consequently became the most feared espionage guild in the world until its fall in the Apocalypse.  But that is a tale for another time.