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The District War

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Occurs during chapters                 16 17 18            30  32   35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45  47   50        

In the year 1098 of the Moonless Age, following the final Council Meeting of Illhar'esses, war erupted in the streets of Chel'el'Sussoloth. Its combatants drew lines between the old order of the Valborn and the new order of the Sarghress-led movement. In fourteen long years of struggle, new allegiances were forged, territories re-drawn, and clans torn apart; The Vel'sharen's --and in a way, Chel itself--political influence across the Underworld was forever changed.

Major Influences

Main article: Zala'ess' Power Play

Main article: Nuqrah'shareh Civil War

(The Skywall Project)

(Sullisin'rune versus Sharen, Sul sponsorship of Sarghress)

Event Timeline

Prelude, 14 Years Prior

The Earth Tribe

(ch 30)

21st day, 6th Moon, Year 1114

With Nuqrah'shareh civil war reaching a peak, Chel's long-simmering conflicts are reignited into open war. While the Jaal'darya had managed to maintain a long-standing neutrality, inner conflict and intrigue leads the young Wafay to take matters into her own hands. Accompanied by her personal bio-golem, Sata, she enters the core of Chel through the Darya Lake. While passing through the Kirin, Plateau, and Gladiator districts on the way to her ultimate destination, she is witness to signs of escalating unrest. However, she encounters a group of Sarghress soldiers and is able to secure an escort to their fortress.

With all other Sarghress Vals occupied elsewhere, only Ariel is present to greet the young Jaal'darya envoy. Initially exasperated and dismissive of the child's claims of Nidraa'chal activity within the Jaal'darya, as well as her requests for Sarghress intervention, Ariel is convinced by Faen to maintain an open mind. Gratefully, Wafay elaborates upon the nature of the corruption: Her own mother, Femi, is heading a research project using a virulent infectious flower from the surface, with the intent of weaponizing it. Though unable to personally authorize a mission, Ariel allows Wafay to stay as a guest until Quain'tana returns.

Shortly afterward, Ariel attempts to take Wafay to Suu'be for an audience. Unsurprisingly, the Commander of the Homeguard is immediately and angrily dismissive of the young heir. However, Faen is able to calm her remotely with emapthy, allowing Wafay and Ariel to make their case. Because of this, Wafay is able to commission a squad of Sarghress soldiers to undertake a mission to Felde to intercept her mother and her work.

22nd day, 6th Moon

The next day, under the newly promoted Sar'nel's command, Ariel and company are witness to concert of Kyo'nne. Using their personal connection with the Illhar'dro pop-star, they are able to secure a private audience. Though the tone is overall light, the group nonetheless interrogates Kyo'nne as to the identity of her sponsor: Snadhya'rune. Despite the unease this revelation causes, Kyo'nne is able to make some headway pleading for Sarghress support of the surface colonies against Hermionne attacks. Wishing each other well, the squad departs to return to their duties.

24th day, 6th Moon - North Cliff Skirmish & the Jaal'darya Investigation

(ch 38) (ch 45 jaal investigation)

26th day, 6th Moon - Sarv'swati's Ploy

(ch 39)

30th day, 6th Moon

Darya Lake Assault

Under Commander Sang's leadership, the Assault Legion moves to take this region north of the Val'Jaal'darya cavern from the Sharen, who had been using this district as a slave training ground. The initial battle was a success, but the Vel'Sharen had Black Sun mercenaries ready to blow up the tower being occupied by Sarghress forces. Many soldiers were captured by Black Sun slavers, among them Ariel who devised a plan of escape by creating a diversion. Ariel is able to kill the district leader Nihi'liir Vel'Sharen as Sarghress forces take advantage of the confusion to liberate the slaves.

The Beldrobbaen Fortress

Sarv'swati made the decision to find a young colonyborn dark elf and install her as a false Empress. This was to uphold the lie that Divaratrika was alive and well, despite growing public chatter that she had died long ago.

This fake Empress was relocated to the Beldrobbaen fortress from her previous previous location as a protective measure against the encroaching Sarghress horde. Her hosts were not happy to be forced into this position, but the Val'Beldrobbaen had an obligation to aid the Vel'Sharen. As is the case, the Beldrobbaen easily repel Koil'dorath's oncoming Assault Legion forces, who were locked in a deadly stalemate with First Landing for several years.

Sarv'swati's plans would soon fall through, as it is Kiel who uses Nidraa'chal connections to infiltrate and assassinate the false Empress. In response, Illhar'ess Waes'soloth Val'Beldrobbaen jumps on the opportunity to officially declare Divaratrika dead and the withdrawal of the Beldrobbaen from the war.

Kyorl'solenurn Schism

It is during this time that the Val'Kyorl'solenurn make the move to build a new section of their wall in the old Dutan'vir districts. However, a Nidraa'chal operative assassinates Shimi'lande Val'Kyorl'solenurn, creating a power vacuum in the clan. The Judicators use this opportunity to install Valla'drielle Val'Kyorl'solenurn as their Holy Mother choice, and a conflict insues within the clan.

Many former Kyorl flee to the Sarghress territories to seek shelter.

1st day, 7th Moon - Capture of Dariya'ko & First Landing

Shortly after the events of the Kyorl'solenurn schism, the long-lasting stalemate between the Sarghress and Sharen is broken. The penal colony Dariya'ko is taken by Sarghress Highland Raiders, and the Black Sun mercenaries are routed. This gives the Sarghress a much needed footing to stage their next attack.

Unwilling to continue serving under Sarv'swati, Nishi'kanta's children sabotage the defenses of the First Landing and allow Quain'tana to lead entire legion in an attack through the back entrance tunnel. Caught off-guard, and with their golems inactive, the Sharen forces are unable to repel the assault and the gate is taken. Coupled with the withdrawal of Beldrobbaen support from the war following Kiel's assassination of the false empress, the Sharen begin to quickly lose ground as their defenses falter before the relentless assault.

6th day, 7th Moon - Assault on the Val'Sharess Tower

Within five days, the Sharen enter a full-scale retreat from their holdings as they are forced back to the very Council Dome itself. With nowhere left to retreat, and pushed to the very seat of traditional Vel'Sharen might, Sarv'swati stubbornly entrenchs her remaining forces for one final stand. Though they inflict horrific losses upon the Sarghress, the Sharen are unable to stem the ever-growing tide of Sarghress reinforcements and are gradually overwhelmed. Sarv'swati is herself nearly slain in battle with Kyne, who challenges her to battle from the seat of a personal golem and crushes Sarvi'swati against a wall in her death throes.

Battered and bloodied, Sarv'swati falls back to the council dome as her forces collapse around her. Disoriented from blood loss and despairing at events, she has a mental breakdown before the throne room of her mother. With Sharen forces closing in, she ultimately escapes with Nir'naya as the remaining Sharen forces are slain or captured.

6-7th Day, 7th Moon - Feldian Affairs

Main article: Felde Gathering

The Fall of Vloz'ress and End of the District War

The Parley Meeting

Following the defeat of Sarv'swati and her forces and the loss of the Council Dome, Zala'ess' remaining forces retreat through Vloz'ress territory and begin entrenching themselves. The positions of both Alliances are tenuous, with the Sharen Alliance boxed in with little hope of escape, while the Sarghress Alliance is strained for food and supplies and ill-prepared for an extended siege. Recognizing this fact and seeking to buy time, Sabbror volunteers to go alone as an envoy. Heavily tainted and finally losing control of his seed, Sabrror offers the Sharen holdings to Quain'tana, in exchange that the remaining Sharen might go free to hunt down those that betrayed them. Though this offer is rejected, he is able to convince Quain'tana to parley with Zala'ess.

Before the meeting, Zala'ess refers to her advisors as to the state of the Alliance. While Sonor adamantly refuses to admit any weakness in the face of overwhelming Sarghress might, Harci and Ayana'sima both admit to the tenuous position of the Alliance. When Quain'tana enters and bluntly addresses Zala'ess as motherkiller, tensions rise. The negotiations quickly falter and a large Balvhakara wargolem breaks the roof of the meeting room, directly threatening Quain'tana and her escort.

To prevent further escalation, Zala'ess simply apologizes to Quain'tana, which only serves to further infuriate the Sarghress leader. As Zala begins to spin Ash'waren's motives, Quain'tana finally loses all patience, grasping Zala'ess tightly by the jaw and forcing her to order everyone else out of the room. Alone at last, the pair cease their posturing and begin negotiating in ernest. With both agreeing that further conflict is disadvantageous to both factions, Zala'ess proposes a union of the two alliances; the Sharen forces would retain control of the civil administration, while the Sarghress would gain exclusive command over the military forces. Though wary, Quain'tana departs to consider the proposal.

Ni'bai's Gamble

Following the retrieval of Discordia, a fragment of a Demon God, Ni'bai temporarily locates her group in the ruins of the Chai'tioc. Umpus assures her that, while public and near the Vloz'ress, it has many hidden depths and flexible neighbors. It serves her well as a refuge while she awaits her opportunity to fulfill Sene'kha's vision. An opportunity soon granted in the chaos of the District War.

With Kiel, Kharla, and Larvova attending Snadhya'rune's meeting in Felde, Ni'bai seizes her chance to sneak Discordia into the Vloz'ress fortress. Her plans are unexpectedly aided by Nyo'ka, who allows the Sharen Alliance back into Chel through the Vloz'ress district. Baliir is soon occupied attempting to organize the Vloz'ress during the chaos. With all five major clan leaders otherwise occupied, Ni'bai is able to infiltrate the fortress with ease.

Demon God Incident

When Kiel returns with Kharla and Larvova, Ni'bai and her followers spring into action. As Kiel and Larvova move to assess the new developments at home, Kharla is left relatively unprotected. Umpus and Be'tor dispose of Kharla's attendents, while Cac'bolg and Ni'bai prepare both Discordia and the gate. With the ritual prepared, Ni'bai opens an enormous and uncontrolled nether gate, allowing hundreds of demons to flood into Chel, finally alerting Kiel and Baliir of the plot.

With Discordia as a lure, the Demon God is summoned forth and promptly devours the shard's aura. Moving quickly, Penri brings Kharla into the room to fulfill her role as a vessel. Baliir and Sara arrive in an attempt to disrupt the ritual, but only succeed in furthering Ni'bai's plans by destroying the gate and trapping the Demon God. Kharla soon takes an interest in the Demon God, and unwittingly initiates a partial merge of their auras. Confused, in pain, and barely containing the beast, the newly empowered Kharla is manipulated by Ni'bai into enacting a mass control of the populace in what would later be termed the Puppeteer Incident.

Sharen and Sarghress forces engage the massive beast.

Ultimately, Kharla's control is broken when she is caught off guard and attacked by Naal's Demon, allowing both the Sharen and Sarghress alliances to launch a major counter-attack against the Vloz'ress fortress. Bearing the brunt of the two larges forces in Chel proves too much for the unstable fortress, and it collapses into the ravine below, killing Kharla and releasing the Demon God. Though it attempts to fight back briefly against the assembled forces, it ultimately retreats in the face of overwhelming firepower, leaving it's current status unknown.

As would later be seen, the aftermath of the control is devastating and has far-reaching consequences. The Beldrobbaen take substantial casualties, Ill'haress Rel'lumia is slain, the Vloz'ress clan is essentially disbanded, and numerous clan leaders are attacked. There are also staggering civilian casualties, resulting in a surge of prejudice against empaths and wide-spread fear and mistrust. Trade routes essentially freeze, and supplies begin to dwindle, further sowing chaos. However, it does result in the declaration of peace between the Sarghress and Sharen forces.

The Duel of the Century

Sarv'swati's death at the hands of Quain'tana.

Following Kharla's death and the defeat of the Demon God, Zala'ess and Quain'tana shake hands and tenative truce between the two alliances is born. However, at Nir'naya's urging, Sarv'swati arrives and challenges Quain'tana to an honor duel. Not wishing to risk this newfound peace, Zala'ess orders her forces to apprehend her sister. Many soldiers attempt to subdue the rogue Sharen, but are forced back by Sarv'swati's potent earth sorcery. Before they can regroup for a further attempt, Quain'tana accepts the challenge and orders all other combatants to fall back and allow the duel to take place.

After a short exchange of blows, during which Quain'tana is grazed by her opponent's poisoned blade, Sarv'swati brings forth a platform of earth and the pair briefly exchange insults. Sarv'swati's following attempt to crush Quain'tana with sorcery fails, and the battle beings anew. Though the pair are evenly matched, an observing Zala'ess discreetly interferes in the duel by trapping Sarv'swati's foot with earth sorcery. Caught off guard and recognizing the threat far too late, Sarv'swati is unable to dodge a fatal overhead blow from Quain'tana, putting an end to both the District War and her life.

This article reflects events up to Chapter 47.