Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Narrative Historical Recounting of the Fall of Cyre

         History is always written by the victor. The question becomes, when there is no clear and decisive victory, who writes the history then? Sages have an answer: Everyone but the loser. And on 20 Olarune, 994 YK, Cyre lost more than a few battles, more than the war, more than some dots on a map. On that date four years ago, Cyre lost everything. Its land, i’s people, but most importantly, its spirit.
         Nearly a thousand years ago, a human named Galifar ir’Wynarn I conquered the last remnants of the goblinoid nations and united the continent of Khorvaire under one banner: His. The reign of Galifar is long considered a golden age of progress and prosperity, but again: History is written by those who have hanged heroes.
         During the first year of his reign, King Galifar appointed his five children, Auindair, Brey, Cyre, Karrn, and Thrane, governorship over large swaths of land, covering the entirety of Khorvaire. In 32 YK, those regions took the names of their rulers, and on King Galifar’s death in 53 YK, he was succeeded by King Cyre. King Galifar was 98 at the time of his death.
         Years passed, bloodlines mingled, politicians lied and the only things that remained constant were death and taxes. For eight hundred years, the Kingdom of Galifar lived in peace, exchanging sovereignty peaceably through that time. Until the death of King Jarot in 894 YK. At that time, Governor-Princess Mishann of Cyre was to take the throne, but Governor-Sovereigns Thalin of Thrane, Kaius I of Karrnath, and Wroann of Breland opposed her. Only Governor-Prince Wrogar of Auindair supported Mishann’s right to the throne, but this was not sufficient to stem the tide of war.
         This became the hundred-years long conflict known as the Last War, at the end of which there was no decisive victor: Only one clear loser. Cyre, geographically located at the center of the Five Nations, was pounded on all fronts by her neighbors as treaties and alliances were created, broken, and reformed dozens of times throughout the course of the long conflict. If not for the unofficial support of the dragonmarked House Cannith and their invention of the metal-and-magic warriors called the warforged, Cyre would have fallen a score of times, but as of 20 Olarune, 994 YK, Cyre was still holding, if only by the skin of her proverbial teeth.
         And then Mourning came. A maelstrom of magic, fire, and death rained from the heavens, extending to the very borders of Cyre, killing anything and everything in its path without discrimination or mercy. There are no words.
         Nobody outside of Cyran patriotism knows what happened. Every Cyran who survived knows exactly what happened. The trouble is, none of them agree. This brought the war machine to a screeching halt the way no political machinations or diplomatic means could ever hope to have done.
         Two years later, a treaty was signed… one that did not include the displaced Cyrans. The King of the Valenar elves moved that they be disinvited to the talks as they did not possess any sovereign land, and the movement was seconded by Queen Aurala ir’Wynarn of Auindair. Obviously this did not sit well with the existing Cyran population, but to make matters worse, lands that had once been former Cyran territory were granted to their current occupants: Valenar was granted to the elves, and Darguun was granted to the goblinoids. And warforged, arguably the children of Cyre, were granted sovereignty and amnesty in whichever country to which they were loyal. This was an affront that the Cyran people cannot bear.
         The Cyran refugees are a broken people, but still proud. Every Cyran knows precisely where they were and what they were doing when the first heard about the Mourning. “Tomorrow in Cyre” has become an expression of bittersweet hope for the Cyran people.
         But what is left? Very little. With their nation destroyed and their countrymen scattered, Cyrans tend to be uniquely aware of their treacherous position in what remains of the Five Nations. They have no status, save the gift of a ruin granted to them by Brelish King Boranel ir’Wynarn. They are a dour lot, full of piss and vinegar as the old-timers would say. Some have tried to blend in with whatever country they happened to be in at the time of Mourning, but none of the have ever forgotten their heritage. Blood is thicker than water, and while a country’s spirit can be crushed, its memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those who survive it.

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