OF THE SARVONIAN DAWN
BY ARTIMIDOR FEDERKIEL



In the Third Sarvonian War (298-203 b.S.) many battles were fought. Already at the beginning of this very long war when the orcs from the North of Sarvonia stormed the lands of the south, a lot of destruction was done and many people died in these early fights. Then sun already seemed to descend forever for the civilized people of Sarvonia...
 

nd they finally came down from the dark, inhospitable North. Their eyes flashed, filled with eagerness by the element from which they drew their power, Caoía'Eferís all of them, the Children of the Flame. But they came down for this reason: For it had been prophesied to them that they would have to return to the place of their origin before the nightfall of Mélor'terquán, the Night of all Nights, in order for the salvation of the world to come to pass through their deeds; and thus they came in droves. But in their hearts burned no longer the fire of passion and love that Eu'reóll, the Tree of Life, had sown into them, but the desire of cruel destruction and blind hate. The unrestrained blaze of the fire, however, terrible though it might have raged, was to consume itself in the end, and thus to fulfill the prophecy."

(Ethelim Herengwar, "Of the Orcish Host", Chapter II)


Many years had already passed since the Great War. Nothing and nobody had been able to make the people forget the rancorous battles of the centuries past, not even the wise Thar, successor of Ortenimm and the mightiest regent of the Erpheronians. Under his rule the northern families of the Erpheronians, the Kyranians and the Caltharians had united with the Erpheronians to form the combined kingdom of Tharania, but the races - the humans, elves and dwarves - stayed wary of each other, and as hostile as they had always been. For it was the very union of the so long separated human tribes, which disquieted most of the elves. The dwarves, too, listened carefully for every rumor for a new feud between men and elves promised them the possibility of making a great profit by selling their weapons and trust And still: The weapons rested for a long time. Thus the centuries after the end of the Second Sarvonian War were permeated with further suspicion, but never did the Avá'ránn of the Elves, or Thar, King of the humans, allow that one of the frequent arguments over territory or an inadvertent spoken word at the wrong time broke the sacred law of the Tethías'quarón.

However, the Goddess of Fate, Seyella, soon was to sorely test the peace the Tethías'quarón granted and threaten it with a new challenge. A challenge it was to be, verily far more than a mere touchstone for the newly won peace. Indeed the songs of the poets say that even the Twelve Gods then looked down upon the mortals with an unusual interest. They say that the Gods watched amusedly as the mortals took the fate and future of their races into their own hands, so that they might fulfill the ancient prophecy, which was hidden to the Gods themselves. Even the Guardian of Fate, Seyella the Mysterious, did not know the prophecy, which has its origin in the inexplicable Dream of Dreams and will wind its conclusion there.

The Ashmari

View picture in full size Image description: Ashmari, barbarians from the Northlands, approaching the Calmarian woods. Image drawn by Dramads.

For this is what happened then, more than one thousand and three hundred and fifty years after the Cournanian Calendar (298 b.S.). At dawn of the third day of the month of Awakening Earth, thus say the chronicles, a mob of black furred Orcs had reached the Calmarios. The forest had of old been home to the seclusively residing elven tribe of the Cyrathrhim, who had stayed altogether neutral in the first Great War. In any case, it was their inexperience with all war-like matters that left the elves without protection against their foes. And so it happened that the disaster started.

Ere the Sun had dawned on this momentous day, the orcs had penetrated deeply into the wood and had proceeded to slaughter the inhabitants. Thus it came that the horde, outnumbering the elves, almost completely obliterated them before these could put up even a flimsy defense. That the elves turned out to be completely ignorant of the ways of war, and felt secure in their dwellings, was not without reason: The Calmarios lies south of the great mountain range, the famous Tandala Mountains, and is thus nearest to the northern lands of the barbarians. Orcish attacks had been very rare before this day: This was due to both the dangers and hardships involved with crossing the mountains, and also the differences among the orcs themselves. Mélor'Terquán, the Night of the Turning Shadow, among the races of southern Sarvonia no longer handled as a dark prophecy of the Ancients, had thrust out its shadows already and captured the Caoía'Eferís, uniting them in bloody anticipation. Also, so it is told, in those days had the orcs first found their way through the Tandala Mountains by subterranean tunnels. As chance would have it - or heavenly decree, who could know except the Dreamer? - the orcs had found the entrance to the mines of the once Aephesvil-serving, but now long forgotten Ylossian Dwarves, and had used it to their advantage. Indeed, the destruction they wreaked in the Calmarian Forest was devastating and scorns at description. The fires of the ignited woods spread quickly and the grisly tale told by the smoke could be seen in the South from afar, even as far as from the slopes of the Warnaka Mountains. Few of the Calmarian elves survived the attack unscathed. Most of those who had escaped the flames fell victim to the waiting orcs or died of their wounds during their flight. Nevertheless a handful of survivors reached Voldar, residence of the Erpheronian tribe chief and Tharian king, in whose territory lay also the Calmarios. The few elves reported the attack and requested aid against the intruders, not least in the interest of the kingdom itself.

However, Maecriliom, the regent then, was from the first moment hardly impressed by the request of the elves, when he heard their disastrous tidings. Years before, the orcs had already traversed the Tandala Mountains and crossed the Wynva River. But the intruders had been weak in number, and had been fended off by a small host from Astran, and thus Maecriliom spoke scornfully to the elves: "Very strange indeed does your appeal appear to me! What concerns the Erpheronians a small grove full of pointy eared clowns?", his sarcastic words are quoted. And: "Why can such an intelligent creature as an elf not grasp how to build dwellings from stone and mortar, like ourselves? Who should wonder when the orcs burn your homes to the ground if you are dim-witted enough to build them out of wood? Ha! The elven archers might, at their best, dare to withstand the Erpheronians? But against the orcs they claim to be weak and helpless? And now they think that their formerly most bitter enemy can save them from their dilemma? Neither Karthach nor anyone else, however, has ever vowed to do thus - Etherus beware us of that! - namely to fend for the elves when these suddenly feel the urge to call for aid... - So be off with you, elf pack! Be off, you who have never honored the ways and customs of the humans, and who will probably neither learn it from the lessons the orcs will teach you!" Quoth he, and gave the command that all Calmarian elves should be expelled from Voldar, so that they might try their luck elsewhere. This was a decision that Maecriliom was to regret bitterly very soon indeed...

The Battle at Astran

View picture in full size Image description: Scenes of one of the most ferocious battles at the beginning of the Third Sarvonian War: The Battle at Astran. Image drawn by Dramads.

For thus was announced a little while later at the royal court of Voldar: The orcs had not nearly been satisfied with the devastation they had wreaked upon the elven grove, as the elves had feared. The king got new tidings shortly after his rejection of the Cyrathrhim, by messengers and eyewitnesses of his own race, saying that the orcs had left their bloody trail already in the wide lands of the Ashmari, unknown in Southern Sarvonia. Indeed, what was worse: Many of the Ashmari, the feared barbarians of the northern lands, had sided with the attackers to march with the orcs, being themselves a war-like people through and through, and hoping to win a share of the fame and riches. The desire to conquer other lands, to subdue the civilized humans, to gain treasures and power, turned out to be stronger than the usual strife and differences between the two very alien races.

When the king finally paid heed to the invasion of the orcs, it was too late in many respects: Thirsty for blood, the hordes crept from their holes like the blood worms of the Raház-Dáth in their mating season, driven by their desire to obliterate their foes. And thus the masses of orcs crossed the Teiphra River both at Ishmarin and at Thevelin, and, yea, even more: The former Ylossian dwarven mines stretched far below the Tandala, enabling the brutes to penetrate unchallenged even to the east coast of the southern Sarvonian continent through these tunnels. The hordes were capable, as several similar reports confirmed, to strike almost simultaneously at different places for this reason, although the troop leaders were uncoordinated in their moves. In the West they assaulted the fertile lands at the foot of the Warnaka Mountains, in the East Astran, and in the middle lands the tightly settled Thevelin, which since the Second Sarvonian War is also named Nyermersys, City of Two Battles. The king eventually got news of all these developments. He soon had to admit that it wasn't a feeble, quickly forgotten skirmish of the Caoía'Eferís. This was the work of a veritable army, against which the kingdom must set all its strength to fend it off.

A veritable ocean of black-furred Orcs, bloodthirsty Ashmari, wolf-riding trolls and towering ogres, accompanied by many other foul beasts, soon flooded all the Erpheronian lands. The orcs marched mainly by night, for they cherish the darkness and are burnt by the sun. They would approach a city bawling and shouting, marching to some cruel song of battle in which the beasts would join. In their paws they held sooty torches, with which they would light anything they came across on their bloodtrenched path, dwellings and had no defense against the fire. And yet their fighting gear was rather humble: Wooden clubs and long stakes were all they carried, and an occasional pilfered axe or sword, the latter being very rare. For protection the orcs possessed only a crude wooden shield and their own skin, which they almost never clad in clothes. But though the orcish equipment was sparse, their great strength, devotion and their exceedingly great numbers more than made up for it. The orcs stormed the Erpheronian strongholds as if life held no value to them - neither their own nor that of the defenders. The few Erpheronians who stood in their way were killed in most abominable manners: With sheer violence the orcs would disembowel the soldiers and rip their entrails from their living bodies with brute force. They would then carry off their wives and rape them like beasts would before proceeding to impale them like meat, roast them and devour them on their way. The most horrible orcish atrocities have been told of, from which the beholders themselves had to turn away, for they were revolted in their innermost nature by the hideousness.

Zocharras, the Breaker of the North

View picture in full size Picture description: Zocharras, the Breaker of the North. Image drawn by Dramads.

The invasion of the orcs came almost concurrently at the most different places. However, still it must be emphasized that their assaults were for the most part unordered and based on blind lust for destruction. In a few fortifications the Erpheronians had time enough to prepare their defense, and beat back many an attack ere great damage could be done. Especially Zocharras, the captain of the fourth Erpheronian division, distinguished himself in the battles. Likewise the names of the captains of the other victorious divisions - Eyell, Lision and Tergelin - must be mentioned here. Zocharras, named after his achievements the "Crusher of the North", and his men, fought bravely for the city of Nyermersys. They were able to hold back the orcs for a long time, before Zocharras himself fell in the front rank and died a hero's death. His division was utterly obliterated in a bloody fight. Others of the commanders here named suffered the same tragic fate of a swift death. Tergelin alone, a grim, grey-bearded veteran bursting with devotion, who was worshipped almost like a war-god by his men, was to die many years later of a wound he had suffered then.

As luck would have it, the Erpheronians were not alone in their resistance: Even the little people, the halflings, who had settled in the valleys around the Silvermarshes, gave their support. Under the leadership of the bold Palvin Nhadle, they entered the melee wherever they could. However, with prolonged fights, the certainty grew that - like the elves of the Calmarios woods - none of the northern cities of the Erpheronian kingdom would withstand the tide. The superiority of the orcish numbers soon made itself tragically noticeable. The battle for Ishmarin in the West, a city judged by royal strategists to be hard to take, lasted but a few days before it was lost to the rage of the orcs. Astran and especially Nyermersys desperately needed reinforcements to their defending troops.

The situation was growing dire, when first signs seemed to indicate that the tide might yet turn at the last moment. Ishmarin was long reduced to rubble, and hundreds of inhabitants of the villages around the Ishmarin Lake had fled to the South. The most strongly fortified city in the North, Nyermersys, was bound to fall soon after the death of Zocharras. The leaderless divisions were scattered to the winds in the battles, and it seemed to be a question of time before the orcs would thrust out farther to the South once more. It was verily at the last minute that the dwarves of the Waecherinn clan finally responded to the increasingly desperate pleas by Maecriliom. They sent military help from the mines of the Troll Mountains, in the southeast, in the direction of Astran and the Allsiscaey Mountains. In the most favorable case the troops were to break through to Nyermersys and free the city. Both the sovereign of the Centoraurians and of the Caltherians had so far refused to send aid to their neighbors in the North, however, more dwarven contingents from the Thrumgolz and Monteronn clans followed the example of the Waecherinn. There was more to come: Even the so rudely rejected Cyrathrhim elves had warned their tribe in the Bolder Forest of the orcs, and when the orcish menace spread further and further to the South, the elves of the Bolder took up their weapons as well. They joined the human host traveling towards the North, to stop the advance of the orcs before they could cross the Warnaka Mountains and cause further disaster.

The leaders of the once hostile races met in a little vale east of the hamlet of Geffold, at a distinctive point: a many centuries old oak, which was to stand there and remind people of the momentous event for many years. For the fusion of the armies was unique in the history of Sarvonia: Never before had an elven and a human host joined forces to face a common foe. Likewise, the dwarves had never before dared to take sides in a matter where humans and elves stood together. But the screams of the souls foully tortured to death by the orcs preceded the brutes on their way. It left the races no choice but to ally against the Caoía'eferís and to share equipment, will and determination. The handshake of the two leaders was a short, but memorable moment and was decisive for the future fate of the continent. Pherán’ephtaerín, leader of the Aellenrhim archer-contingent, and Kayretan, captain of the royal Erpheronian troops, greeted each other in the original spirit of the Tethías'quarón, in friendship and trust. They say that Pherán’ephtaerín - also named "Tree Whispers" by the humans - presented Kayretan a wreath of flowers of the Heath of Jernais. In return Kayretan, a nobleman, had responded by unexpectedly kneeling in front of Pherán’ephtaerín and his troops and asking forgiveness for their rude treatment by his king. Pherán’ephtaerín granted that, and as a sign of repentance Kayretan offered to undertake - as was done at that most memorable oath - the ceremony of Quaelhoi, the Marking: the Aellenrhim banner, showing the Eu’reóll, the Tree of Life, was burned into his chest. And as Eu’reóll, on the eldest day, gave life to all, likewise the relation of the two races was to flourish again when Kayretan renewed the Tethías’quarón.

Strengthened, the united hosts moved towards the North, where decisive battles ensued first in the numerous vales of the Warnaka Mountains near to the Orril Pass, then in Orril itself, on the east side of the Warnaka. The battle of Orril was long and wearing, seeming more like a siege than a direct fight. For the orcs had long learned of the approach of their foes through their scouts, and had, under the leadership of their captain Og’gehem Ug’ged’don prepared for the battle ahead, in order to prevent a conquest of Orril and the strategically important Ishmarin. After several small skirmishes on the open plains a merciless battle for the castle of the fallen Lord Gaelethrond began: The battle for the citadel which was later to enter the chronicles under the name of Orcenhold. It destroyed all hopes of the elven-human alliance to win a swift victory, and the intention to free Ishmarin and Nyermersys as well as Orril quickly turned out to be an impossible feat.

For while the rescuing troops were still preparing their siege gear in Orril, Nyermersys had already fallen. The desperate defense, which had been held up as long as possible by the humans, finally collapsed. Tearing great breaches into the city wall, the bestial raiders moved into the once flourishing city like a pack of berserking wolves, and not one brick remained on another The Erpheronian king had paid a ghastly price for his ignorance.

Likewise in the northeast of the Erpheronian kingdom, a battle for re-conquering Astran was raging, when Gaumon, leader of the Waecherinn dwarves, reached the Allsiscaey. He hit upon a few orcish troops who had just come from the rediscovered mines of Aephesvil. The majority of this pack was quickly dispatched by the dwarven warriors before they could form an organized host. However, the leader of the Waecherinn and his troops were only a vanguard of the dwarven contingent, whereas the main host advanced North but slowly circumventing the Silvermarshes. Sudden, heavy rainfalls which were frequent in the northern regions in the Month of the Changing Winds prevented the dwarves from reaching Gaumon in time before he met his fate. The leader and his vanguard were lured into an ambush while approaching Astran, and were exterminated to the last dwarf. It was hours later that the dwarven main host reached the same spot at the foot of the Allsiscaey and were, though they represented a group of approximately hundred fighters, outnumbered by the orcish forces. Soon the leaderless dwarven army, planned as a rescue force, was forced into the defense and had to hope for reinforcements from the South, namely the hosts of the Thrumgolz and Monteronn clans.

Then a wondrous story happened at the western end of the Orril pass. The tidings of the fall of Nyermersys and the desperate situation at Astran had not yet reached the troops of the alliance, when a human woman visited the camp of the elven leader Pherán’ephtaerín, and asked that he should listen to her story. Pherán’ephtaerín, who was known among elves and humans as a kind and noble leader, did not reject her wish and asked her to tell him her request.

"I am but a poor countrywoman", she is said to have spoken. It is told that her hair was grey and disheveled, and she stammered when she spoke. "Not a queen or lady, but just a poor farmer's wife, who the black-furs have chased from her home. And still I have the courage to approach you, noble elf. Some would say that I am foolish and simple-minded to do so, but that is the way the Gods made me. And thus I approach you, for but if not for the help from the Gods I would not have survived on the way."

Pherán’ephtaerín was pleased by both the modesty and courage of the woman. He nodded and gestured for her to continue.

"I was sent a message, honorable elf. Three nights ago, in my dream I saw my firstborn son, who was young but clad in armor, being freed from the jaws of the orcs. The rescuer wore a necklace of sharp beast fangs around his neck and in his silver hair was plaited a wreath of blooming mandrake flowers. He was young and strong, but there was one extraordinary thing about him, for the color of his eyes was nearly white. He was of your race and your tribe, for on his chest I saw the banner of the Great White Tree. However, it was only when today I saw one of your kind and recognized the same banner on your shield, that I perceived the nature of my dream. I resolved to try my luck and tell you my dream. All the Twelve be praised that you granted my plea! Noble Elf! Strange though my wish might seem - have sympathy for a troubled mother, whose only wealth in this world is her child. For the Goddess of Fate has robbed me of my husband and daughter many moons ago, so I have no one else that I can confide in!"

"Where is your son?" Pherán’ephtaerín asked immediately, who knew the elf she had spoken of better than any other. For the wife had been accurately describing the son of the elven captain, Querín'Phár, who she had seen as the rescuer of her own son. Also, not only Pherán’ephtaerín had noted that the tale of the poor countrywoman had depicted the elf with the unmistakable insignia of a tribe leader.

"My son is not here, in Orril, and he is not anywhere near the Warnaka Mountains, your honor! Nay, he is away, far away. That is it which makes me worry," the woman answered. "Years ago he has gone, with all his possessions, to Jernais in the South. But I know that he still lives there, for in my dream I saw the long grass of the heath and a rock that looks like a dragon's head."

"In your dream may lie the truth, woman!" the elven captain is said to have spoken. "Therefore be blessed for your courage! But give us time to contemplate these signs and decide over it with the men of your own race. If the orcs, as you have said, have broken through as far as Jernais, our future may be dire. In any case, when we mortals reach a common conclusion, the will of the One shall have to be honored."

And verily, two days later Pherán’ephtaerín set out with a modest fighting force, following the vision of the simple Erpheronian countrywoman. They planned to travel over the east side of the southern foothills of the Warnaka and the Pass of Selidor, past the Silvermarshes, to reach Jernais, the place of the prophecy the woman had seen in her dream. Grumbling, but true to the oath he had sworn to the elves, Kayretan granted the elves permission to leave. He did so under the impression of the siege of the Orcenhold, which had now been protracted for several weeks, and the hope that meanwhile a breakthrough at the east front might succeed. This was not unthinkable because even if the prophecy turned out to be false, the dispatched force would add to the ranks of the rearguard at the Allsiscaey. Rumor has it, though, that the decision of Kayretan was also influenced by a dream of his own, in which the Gryph of Souls had appeared to him, an omen of his imminent death.

Indeed was the consent Kayretan gave one of his last actions in his life, for a few days after the riders had set out under the leadership of Pherán’ephtaerín and Tevot Cyrthaeron - one of the best men among Kayretan's troops -, the orcs and their confederates launched a massive attack against their besiegers. Strengthened by substantial reinforcements from the North, they completely overran the camps of the alliance and gained an overwhelming victory, which - though they bought it with many of their fighters - opened them the way to the lands south of the Warnaka, especially the region around the royal city of Voldar.

In the meantime, Pherán’ephtaerín and his soldiers had passed Selidor. The ride of the pitiful remainder of the alliance had been arduous, for it had led them past numerous orcish camps all around the Ishmarin Lake, and only through divine guidance and stealth they had avoided major confrontations. Southeast of the Silvermarshes, at the twin cities of Holm and Acht in whose vicinity a large number of halflings had settled, the united elven and human host finally found the last scattered remnants of the Thrumgolz and Monteronn army. These had, after a long delay, finally arrived at the Allsiscaey to come to the aid of the last Erpheronian divisions and the Waecherinn dwarves. However, in spite of the spirited aid from the local halflings, they had not been able to win a decisive victory against the black-furs. On the contrary: Heavy losses finally forced these two clans into retreat as well. The moral of the troops ranged from disappointment to the constantly spreading mortal terror, a mood which was largely eradicated by the arrival of the elven and human alliance. New hope and confidence filled the battle-marked faces as four races - men, elves, dwarves and halflings - stood their ground against the onslaught of the Caoía'eferís at the shores of Ephirn’s Lake. The Battle of Four Swords had begun.

Defeated humans

View picture in full size Image description: Defeated humans at the Battle of Four Swords. Image drawn by Dramads.

Strengthened both in numbers and in their hearts by the unexpected support, the troops fought side by side with unbroken will and valor. A first battle against the single-mindedly advancing orcs was swiftly won, and many isolated groups of plundering Ashmari moving south were found, confronted and slain. But the initial enthusiasm faded quickly. After the orcish hordes had fully quenched their thirst for blood in the northern regions, the troops coming from Astran united with the ones who had razed Nyermersys to the ground. Forming a vast army, they advanced towards the plains around Ephirn’s Lake, hungry for vengeance. At the head of the host rode the notorious orc captain, Hourelin the Dreadful. When the army thus gathered was drawing near, the Alliance quickly had to perceive the hopelessness of their efforts: East and west, as far as the eye could see, the horizon was rimmed with orcish warriors; in a line from the Thaelon to the Troll Mountains the Caoía'eferís swept down like an avalanche or a wildfire upon the last remaining defending troops, who acted like startled deer confronted with a raging dragon. The battle was unrelenting. But the Alliance never received any good tidings that the southern kingdoms would finally be mobilizing to intervene. Even the Caltharians, on whose borders the battles were already raging, refused to understand what catastrophe was preparing to befall Sarvonia. They were still waiting in the hopes that the Alliance would withstand the orcish tide in spite of the odds. Merely a lone, wounded messenger reached the battlefield from the west. He brought Pherán’ephtaerín the ill news of the utter defeat of Kayretan's troops in the battle for Orril, before being slain himself by the orcs.

Pherán’ephtaerín, a thoughtful and wise leader seeking to avoid further casualties, commanded the immediate retreat of all contingents. Thus the pathetic remnants of the once proud Alliance fled southward, towards the east coast of the Caltharian kingdom - or rather, they were forced in that direction, for from a strategic viewpoint the troops were pushed further and further into a corner. The host moved along the Delvin River making for Carmalad, which was the greatest fortified city in the vicinity. It must also be mentioned that many soldiers died of exhaustion already in this hard challenge, and that only the men having the most endurance of all were to arrive at their destination. Nevertheless, even in their flight, it is said, the allied fighters were capable of preventing many an atrocity while passing villages already taken by the orcs. Whether the vision of the countrywoman, according to which the captain's son Querín'phár freed her youngest son, came to pass, is not known until this day. However, this much is certain: Querín'phár survived the Battle of Four Swords, and he was indeed to fulfill the second part the prophecy held in store for him, years later: For he was to be, as his father was to his troops, a wise and honored regent of his people in the remote future.

The majority of the host that had gathered at Ephirn's lake finally reached Carmalad. There the army united with the sparse Caltharian troops stationed in the city, and entrenched themselves before the onslaught, ready for the last and decisivee battle for the fate of Sarvonia. But the omens were worse than ever. Still hoping desperately for support, the united Sarvonian troops defended the seaport with their last strength. The battle raged uncompromisingly for days. The trenches dug around the city as well as the most massive walls in the whole Caltharian kingdom could not resist the orcish lust for destruction. The names of the most deserving men who fought for Sarvonia in Carmalad shall therefore be recalled at this point: The Aellenrhim Pherán’ephtaerín as the commander of the elves, the Erpheronian Tevot Cyrthaeron as the leader of the human hosts, the Waecherinn Gonthrum Axewielder commanding the dwarven contingent, and last but not least Palvin Nhadle as captain of the hobbits. All of them, to name just a few, fought - expecting death themselves - for the life of uncounted others who had so far been spared by fate from the orcs.

The casualties at all fronts of the city swiftly rose to significant numbers. When the leader of the aforementioned halflings, Palvin Nhadle, succumbed to his grievous wounds on the battlefield after a valiant and selfless fight, Pherán’ephtaerín summoned the remaining leaders of the contingents for a last time. With a heavy heart, and disappointed by the lack of reinforcements and additional contingents, he unclosed to them his plan to give up Carmalad and with it their last hope of saving Sarvonia, and instead set out on the only remaining escape route, namely the wide Adanian Sea. Verily the port contained a great number of ships, and although not all of them would manage a journey to far-off, unknown lands, still it seemed the only possibility. Therefore the leaders of all races consented - Boe Starlinggale having taken up the position of Palvin Nhadle as captain of the hobbits - and gave orders to have all vessels prepared for the journey. Only a few of the most daring refused to turn their backs on their homes and families for good, and planned to escape to the south from Carmalad using the diversion of the departure of the ships.

Carmalad fell. In the same night as Pherán’ephtaerín had submitted his suggestion, dozens of ships, filled with the troops of the Alliance and the remaining population of the once flourishing port city, left the shores of the continent to leave Sarvonia to its fate. Behind them, thousands upon thousands of black-furs took the city in storm, just to fall victim to a multitude of hastily constructed traps, which Carmalad held in store for the conquerors. Fires raged through the city and devoured everything. When the sun rose again, the ships were already on the high seas. In the crews blossomed the hope to reach the island which had been praised in song by so many bards, the island which would grant peace, freedom and wealth, the land where hate and war were no more.

At the place which the ships had left, desolation, devastation and suffering stayed behind. The Sarvonian continent was dying. The Sarvonian Dawn had begun.

Story written by Artimidor View Profile, translated by Arancaytar Ilyaran View Profile