by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.2
Once Imarel’s night time sky shined with two moons, not one. Vocoria, the red moon and Ishaela the blue moon traveled together across the black sea of night, like a pair of watchful guardians over Imarel below. Vocoria, known also as Kaal’s Moon was said to be the home of the very forge that created the Asyndi Runeblades. The Asyndi Master Smith, K`Syr lived deep within the fiery volcanic surface of the moon, with his apprentice, Euroyn. It is here, along with the awe-inspiring Asyndi Runeblades, that other great weapons and armor were forged in the name of the Old Gods. These included Narseeya, Zorah’s fierce lightning spear as well as Kaal’s own World-Stone Armor and his fiery blade, Mirastheyr. The forge itself was known as Nethyien and was guarded by great giants of molten metal and stone, simply referred to as Vocorians in ancient texts and lore.
While the Vocorians were brought to life for the specific purpose of protecting Nethyien from intrusion or capture from the forces of the Nine Lords of Chaos, they had a will of their own and lived in relative peace on their ever-burning world. While they never created cities, or homes. The entirety of the moon was theirs to roam and live upon as they like. It is said that the need for such structures was unnecessary really, since the Vocorians merged with the molten, smoldering ground whenever they rested. Throughout the Age of Twilight, this was the order of things on Vocoria and all was seemingly well.
With the conclusion of the War of Twilight however, many manner of things changed not only on Imarel, but upon Vocoria as well. With the fall of the Champion, Hazaad and the malcontent of the Asyndi and Prismatic Wyrms that fell from grace, came two significant events that would lead to the destruction of Vocoria. The first was K`Syr’s petition to Kaal to re-forge the Champion’s blade, Rizmyra in order to select a new champion out of the Asyndi that remained true to the Old Gods’ edicts. Kaal declined this request, explaining that the sword shattering was symbolic; since Hazaad’s faith shattered, so too did the blade that represented that fate. K`Syr, who considered the weapon his masterwork, was infuriated by this, but said nothing to the great bearded god and seemed to accept his judgment. But like many other Asyndi who had grown arrogant and brazen, K`Syr had kept the shards of the sword and planned on entering Nethyien to re-forge the blade in secret.
This was not to be however, as Euroyn learned of this plot and prepared to repel the master from his own forge. With the help of the Vocorians, K`Syr and his small band of rogue Asyndi were defeated and K`Syr, still in possession of the shattered Asyndi Runeblade, fled the battle and went into exile somewhere on Imarel to consider his next course of action, now that the powerful forge, Nethyien was no longer accessible to him. Euroyn, who feared another and more potent assault from K`Syr sent word to his lord, Kaal so that more defenders could be placed at the Forge to keep it from being taken in another raid. Asyndi, loyal to the Old Gods descended upon Vocoria to bolster the giant guardians that protected Nethyien. Now, a veritable impenetrable defense, Euroyn waited for the next, inevitable confrontation.
The next significant event was Tashalasheeri’s exile from Indaris, the Bright Heavens, thereby condemning the Astral Wyrms to the same fate as the Asyndi. Tasha went before Kaal and Zorah, to ask that Hazaad at least be honored for his service to them, despite his shameful fall. Grief-stricken and sad beyond sane comprehension, her plea was emotional and moving, but after three days of deliberation on the matter, it was Kaal that denied her. It was the position of both Old Gods that honoring an Asyndi that betrayed their ideals at the end, regardless of his heroics before that time, would set a poor example for other Asyndi. Tasha, fueled by unimaginable rage turned upon Kaal and unleashed her fearsome breath weapon upon him with all the power at her command. So great was this blast of Frostfire, that it cracked the thought-unbreakable World-Stone Armor that Kaal wore. Kaal was stunned by this and Tashalasheeri pushed her advantage by driving a claw into the crack and yanked away a piece of the armor along with a hunk of the Old God’s flesh.
Having not seen his own blood since the creation of the universe, Kaal threw himself into wild blood-lust and drove his mighty sword Mirastheyr into the Astral Wyrm’s long neck. The wound was a mortal one and with the flames of the blade searing away scales, flesh and skin, it would be only a matter of moments before Tasha would be snuffed from existence. Yet, in these last moments it was Zorah that interceded on Tasha’s behalf by begging her husband to spare the dragon and exile her instead, pointing out that killing one of his own children would make him no better than the Lords of Chaos. Reminded of his own edict that Death is not Justice, Kaal sheathed his blade and stood aside while Zorah healed the worst of Tasha’s wound. It is here that Zorah, upon touching Tasha realized that the Astral Wyrm had somehow become pregnant with Hazaad’s child and knew immediately that the birth of the hybrid that would be later known as Aryxiar would be the undoing of more things yet to come…even perhaps the Old Gods themselves.
Her exile effected the moment her wound ceased to bleed from the Moon Huntress’ divine touch, Tasha was cast out of the Bright Heavens and left in the cold void where Imarel and her two moons spun slowly around below her. Her rage had turned into a madness that did not care who it hurt for the possibility to strike upon the very ones who, in her mind disgraced and dishonored her beloved Hazaad. In that single moment of unquenchable anger, there was a moment of clarity that gave her a path of immediate revenge. Her drifting became a focused motion and the focused motion became a charge towards the first thing that was in Tashalasheeri’s way…Vocoria. She would destroy Vocoria, Kaal’s moon and watch its ruin sunder Ishaela, the Mother’s moon and their precious Imarel.
As she bared down on Vocoria, the sound of her tremendous roar could be heard across the lava, molten metal and stone of the moon’s surface. Vocorians began moving into position to protect Nethyien’s entrance but neither they, or its new master and guardian, Euroyn had any clue to what was to come, thinking this to be the beginning of K`Syr’s new offensive to take the forge for himself. K`Syr, who had been preparing to march on Nethyien, looked up at the sky as well, some several leagues off and heard the roar and knew his opportunity to retake Nethyien was about to be taken from him. With all due haste, K`Syr and his troops used arcane power to transport themselves immediately to the gates of the forge to engage the Vocorians head on, thinking Tasha might wish to destroy Nethyien, to spite the Old Gods.
The scope of her designs was not realized until she came within but one hundred feet of the ground and began channeling mana. The very air drew cold and still, as the ground under the immense, one thousand foot long dragon began to cool and darken. The ambient magical energy she drew within herself was used in a highly destructive spell that effected the strength of her all ready devastating breath weapon, effectively amplifying it hundreds of times over its usual power. All the rage, all the anger and all the sadness in Tashalasheeri’s heart detonated in a single blue-white burst of Frostflame that it blasted a hole into the very crust of the moon itself and continued to incinerate metal and stone alike, until the cold flame of her breath weapon reached the very core of Vocoria.
As the ground quaked and the moon shook with the blasting of its layers, in an attempt to reach the core, Euroyn knew that Nethyien would not survive the destruction of the moon, much less himself. The choice was made then to attempt using his own arcane powers and teleport both himself and the entire forge to Imarel. There, he was sure Kaal could retrieve it at his lie sure and make safe the cosmic powers it contained to create the weapons and armor of gods and their servants. The Vocorians, seeing the very destruction of their world before their eyes, began hurling great blasts of molten metal and fire at Tasha, but she was too far up and was easily able to evade the throws, while maintaining her sorcerously aided onslaught.
K`Syr, finding his primary problem of the Vocorians solved with their preoccupation with Tashalasheeri, began a rapid advance on the passage to Nethyien, despite the crumbling rock and the oozing magma spewing up in spots in the cavernous path to the forge of the Old Gods. There were a few Vocorians inside that fought K`Syr and his army with unwavering resistance, but in the end these few remaining molten giants were not enough to withstand K`Syr’s forces. However, as he barged through the great doors of the legendary Nethyien, he was bathed in a blinding green-white light. In the haze of smoke and light, K`Syr could make out the outline of his old apprentice, who looked to be channeling mana to cast the very spell that caused the light before him. Without thinking, K`Syr hefted a war-spear he had taken from one his soldiers and lobbed it at the outline.
The spear had struck Euroyn, just as he completed the spell, landing deep within his shoulder with a savage bite, but this was not enough to stop the Asyndi from completing the spell. With more rocks crumbling and lava seeping in around them, K`Syr was left with the shattered sword of Hazaad and an empty cavern to be his tomb if he didn’t act quickly. Wishing his soldiers well, K`Syr cast an arcane traveling spell of his own and left his troops in to face the lava that just burst through the door behind them. Anybody standing near the entrance to the passage down, could hear the horrified screams of male and female Asyndi, as they were burned alive in the final moments of Vocoria’s existence.
The Vocorians meanwhile, realizing that their fate was also sealed, began merging with the very rock before their feet, in effect making the section of rock a massive life-boat of a sort for them as they prepared for the inevitable. Then, there was a great and terrible cracking sound as Tashalasheeri’s continual blasting of Vocoria had finally reached the center and extinguished the core of the moon. The change in pressure and the slowing of its spinning center began pulling the molten world apart, sending small chunks drifting into the void at first, but soon more and large slabs of Vocoria began breaking away. Tasha, finally unable to maintain her breath weapon any longer, howled in anguished, berserk rage and launched herself at the unraveling Vocoria and despite being burned by lava, sheered and cut by jagged rocks and scalded by liquid metal. Even as the great cracking and splintering continued, Tashalasheeri forced the moon’s wound wide open, until the fierce cracking sound became a cacophony of splitting, cracking and sundering that completely shattered Vocoria and cast its burning ruin across the void.
The splitting of Vocoria caused two significant chunks of the moon to break away and drift in different directions; one towards Imarel and one towards Ishaela. The Old Gods knew if they did not act swiftly, Imarel would likely be destroyed and Ishaela would most certainly be destroyed between the change in gravitational pulls and the sheer force of impact of these sizable masses. In an extremely rare display of his divine power, Kaal himself came down from the Bright Heavens and caught the great chunk of Vocoria plummeting towards Imarel. With fire streaming and lava spurting from the mass of destroyed moon, Kaal slowed its descent and guided its impact into the Great Sea of Imarel. The force of the impact was still a great burden to bear for the world, causing great earthquakes and storms that would eventually split the super-continent known as Imra, into the two main continents, Tal`Rah and Shalzaar and the smaller sub-continents of Zoda, Irys, Miroa and Tirania.
As Imarel shuddered because of her own narrowly avoided destruction, she had gained the gift of a new continent, that would be called Vocor in honor of the moon from whence it came. While storms brewed and the earth rumbled its pain at this unexpected birth, the lava and molten metal of Vocor cooled, which urged forth the giant Vocorians from their hiding place, merged within the rock. As the rock had changed, they too changed, matching the conditions they were now in. Once made of magma and liquid metal, they were now formed of solid rock and metal cooled. Not all of their kin survived as those that had been on this particular chunk of great rock had and it is for that all Vocorians despise dragons of any kind vowed to kill them on sight, should another dare to show themselves before them.
Ishaela’s destruction was averted by Zorah, who stood aloft in the skies of her moon and called forth fierce and powerful winds to catch the tumbling piece of Vocoria. As on Imarel, the buffeting winds cooled the rock and metal, which was further cooled by the frigid sea that the landmass was settled upon. The temperature difference was still great and caused the single chunk of Vocoria to crack apart further, birthing what would be later known as Mirislyr, Quivyin and Tyris. Zorah lingered as she watched this shattered piece of the dead moon settle upon the eternal sea of her living one and decided at once that life should be given to it. With her touch, grass and trees began to blossom and the beginnings of new animal life began to fill these new continents.
Kaal, sensing what his wife was doing, joined her once matters on Imarel had been settled. With the failure of the Asyndi and the Dragons, he was apprehensive about bringing new races into existence. So it was agreed that each would create one race and one they would create together, to balance the other two. Zorah created the Sivanoshei, Kaal created the Kaal`Kor and through their combined efforts, Humans were later brought into existence. All life was not preserved however as these new continents were born. The indigenous race of crustacean-like beings, known only as the Yirok, had their once vast numbers cut in half with the heat of the moon mass scalding a vast number of their people. Scattering, what remained of the Yirok disappeared into obscurity.
What remained of Vocoria aside of the two great masses that split apart, eventually formed a ring around Imarel, giving a spectacular view on very clear nights for those who live in the right places on the world. This ring, was called the Ring of Falling, to commemorate the violent fall of Tashalasheeri and with her, all of Dragonkind. Of Tasha, it is known she wandered Imarel in her exile, driven mad with grief and unending need for the blood of the Old Gods. K`Syr’s fate would forever be bound to the broken sword of the Champion, with his evil soul being consumed by the very weapon he remade, at the hands of the Lords of Chaos.