The Storm of Erasure

  • Baron

    Something changed. Coghan wasn’t always a desolate, snow-choked wasteland, where the dead rise and roam and storms claim the bold or unwary. Back then, ages ago, things were...nicer.

    The Ancient Coga Empire was the precursor civilization to the modern Coghanese. The Coga thrived on an island of tropical paradise. Volcanism kept the lands fresh and fertile with raw igneous, rain fell daily, and the jungles and forests were lush, vibrant, reeling with sheer biomass. By all accounts, it was paradise. Splendid fortresses lay nestled in the mountains and dormant volcanoes, and the fragrant mists rolled over a teeming sea—over splendid glistening cities of bronze and gold and prosperity.

    Something changed. Malcontent spread like pestilence, and from where there was peace, less than a year later Coga would be burning and blistered by the sieges of warlords and their mercenary armies. The jungles were razed in parts, cityscapes scattered into ashes, and the people inside either perished, fled, or joined the warlords—sequestered in their vile fortresses, during what would become The Age of Tyrants. The island itself was sundered by battle and anger targeted at one another simply for revenge, until nobody could remember what started this war—only that it must continue until its end.

    A scant miserable decade under mercenary rule would pass before a nameless comet trailed in the heavens, a portent for change. Many cried tears of joy, that the isle should be changed for the better, that the war would end, that no more men and women and children should die in a conflict void of meaning and sense. The realistic few knew it to be an omen of desolation.

    Something changed. Where once the ruin wrought upon the land was done so by the hands of man, the world itself took its vengeance this time.

    A nameless mote would grow into a storm, a blizzard, a gale of absolute zero that spread like heavy fog across the landscape, and just as quietly. The storm’s center grew monstrous, and so did the gale. Darkness took root, plunging the island into a deadly chill that blotted out the sun and refused the charity of fire itself. Those exposed to this storm died of exposure in seconds. Those who were sheltered fared only slightly better, sealing themselves in their prisons that would be sapped of their warmth until the hearths had not the energy to fight on. Colder, colder, the storm grew. Fire simply refused to burn. The oceans froze solid. Blood turned to ice if even a window were cracked for a moment. The air itself was treated as deadly vapor, so cold was the outside. To this day, some ruined places see the remains of humans hidden under beds or with their frozen hands pulverized by sand and rock as the forsaken tried with futility to dig to escape the deathly cold.

    With this storm, Coga was erased. The land was transformed into a waste of cold, ice, and misery. The oceans turned rotten with dead fish, before the milky-eyed corpses were cleared by eternal tide. The storm raged and snuffed out every light brought to it, brought to the island, for an entire millennia. Only those on the far north shore would survive the cataclysm, and the society of Coga would die with time.

    Though the Storm of Erasure killed beings of light, it birthed from its damned core beings of darkness. Those that fell to its cold rose again to bear it as a weapon. Wights, as they are called, or “Stray.” Even the snowstorm itself took a mindless shape, one of seduction and allure sufficient to addle the minds of even the soberest of men. These so-called Rimelings are known to lead forsaken men and women to their deaths, but not before seducing these frail souls, unclothing them to die even faster in the cold.

    The storm, of course, would leave the continent a shell of its former self. The darkness that had taken root would only subside with the defeat of a King of the Darkness to the north. Only then would Ighodia, the remnant city of Coga—now the Coghanese— experience a population boom, and begin to uncover the secrets contained in its difficult past. Secrets of the storm, the effects on the landscape. Secrets of desolated tyrants holes in vengeful ruins, some of which stand still today in defiance. Secrets of a storm so deadly, it destroyed even its own name, and birthed thrall that ravage and roam the landscape to this day.

    The Storm of Erasure, it would be called. The Storm, The Great Gale. The Dying.

    Now, liberated from the cold fist of darkness itself, Ighodia and its people venture out to reclaim and rediscover the relics of its past adversity, to relearn and restore the landscape it now claims, and to remember and recount a storm so violent it erased history itself.

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