The War of the Shadow
History of Cerilia » The War of the Shadow
Nations united and kings set aside their petty differences to face the threat of the Shadow. Priests in their temple ceased their squabbles, and raised their voices not in heated argument, but in supplication to their gods. Rogues and merchants brought their resources to the war, setting aside personal rivalries to combat the evil of Azrai. Even the dwarves came into the war, for though many of the dwarves did not care about the human presence on the continent, they most certainly cared about the power the humanoids stood to gain.
The armies of the Shadow raged throughout Cerilia as the Vos, goblins, gnolls, elves, and renegades forged of the bitter, greedy of the tribes (of whom Raesene Andu and the Serpent are the most famous) swept across the land dominating and destroying everything they came across. The armies of the Cerilians were hard-pressed by the forces marching under the serpent banner, at first some amongst the human tribes thought they would in time beat back the forces against them, but then word came of the vast armies raised by Azrai in Aduria.
The gods of the tribes understood that this army could not be allowed to cross the land bridge into Cerilia,as if it did so it would crush the tribes one by one until all the Cerilians were crushed beneath the heel of the Shadow. In a desperate attempt to prevent him from realizing goal of annihilating the Cerilians, they gathered their people's armies at the land bridge to Cerilia. Each god chose a champion or two from among their tribes, a champion that exemplified what the god loved best in humanity. All of them withdrew to wait on the slopes of Mount Deismaar. The armies of the Shadow followed, with Azrai himself at their head.
The clash on the slopes of Deismaar was an epic battle, man and monster struggling against each other in the vain attempt to triumph. Nonetheless, despite the bravery and skill of the Cerilian warriors, it seemed certain that the humans would end the day by lying dead on the slopes of Deismaar.
It was then that the elves came across to the human side of the battlefield, slaughtering the Vos and southern warriors as they came. The elven generals had seen Azrai for what he was, and realized they had been deceived the Shadow had no interest in returning the world to the way it had been, in a sudden clear flash of insight Tuar, queen of the elves saw that Azrai intended quite the opposite, rejoining Aebrynis to the Spirit World that he might shape it to his will. A few elves didn't care about Azrai's evil and sought only to rid their land of the humans, and these elves remained with the Shadow, of which Rhuobhe Manslayer is the most well known. The majority of the elves however cast aside the blindness of hatred, and their abrupt switch of sides helped even the odds considerably.
It was then that Haelyn, champion of Anduiras and the Anuireans, stepped forward to do battle with the most powerful of Azrai's champions -- Haelyn's half-brother, Raesene the Black Prince, a man who had sold himself to the god of evil. All across the Mount, the gods' champions squared off against Azrai's henchmen. On the slopes of Deismaar above, the gods took physical form to try to defeat Azrai once and for all. They poured everything they had into the effort to destroy the shadow that had fallen across Cerilia.
All around was chaos as the ensuing explosion destroyed the landscape, leveling Deismaar and the lands around the mighty mountain. Yet despite the force of the explosion, there were still a few who had survived. Most, however, had been scattered to the four winds, including nearly all the Masetians and good-aligned Vos. In a final bid for freedom from Azrai, the deities had given their very existences. Their essences dissipated and the old gods died in the smoking crater of the mountain.
- See Also: The Shadow's Arrival