Pillars of Nobility
The Queensland’s first experience with the Harrowing was dealing with a double refugee crisis as people fled from both Talos and the southern forests. Queen Merida IV’s husband, Crown Prince Rorod, led a coalition of Renfyrians, Talosians, and Eladrin to the Talosian border where they defeated a large Orcish horde. Days after the battle, however, a courier from Renfyr City reported to Rorod that great chasms in the earth had begun opening within the Renfyrian homeland, and that devils had poured out and were pillaging the countryside.
As the Coalition army hastened back to Renfyr City, a rain of fire and inferno engulfed the countryside, bringing with it more devils. It took Rorod over three weeks to march from Talos to the capital due to the frequent battles with infernals, as well as the return of the orcs from the west. By that time, a nation that had numbered more than 2 million citizens had been reduced to fewer than 200,000.
In the meantime, a smalltime lord named Alamar of Thornbrook had gathered his followers from the eastern edge of the Queensland and had begun to journey towards Renfyr City. His band swelled with refugees and soldiers from other parts of the countryside, and though many were lost along the way, Alamar and his convoy eventually reached the Sunblessed Fields on the outskirts of Renfyr City.
There Alamar found the capital under siege from infernals surrounding the city. With a mishmash of battlecries, the refugee army descended upon the backs of the devils outside the main city gates and, with the help of the soldiers within the city, managed to cut a path through into Renfyr City. Queen Merida and her people began to flee the city and gather upon the plains. An infernal counterattack nearly spelled the end of the Queen and her retinue, but the timely arrival of Rorod and his army’s advance units forced the devils to briefly retreat.
Following orders memorialized by the patriotic drama The Breaking of the Crown, Alamar, along with Rodrick, Patriarch of the Talosian House Tiger, led the noncombatants and a small detachment of soldiers north away from the battle site towards the Spine. Merida IV, Rorod, and Duvnik, Patriarch of the Talosian House Fox, led the remnants of humanity’s army in a charge against the devils in and around Renfyr City. No survivors were ever found.
Southeastern Forests (Eladrin Glades)
Northwestern Forests (Wood Elves)
Northeast (Dwarven lands)
Western Mountains (Goliaths)
Early orcish attacks on Talos cut off communication lines between the Houses and their holding at Spikepine Fortress. The western crags and foothills, which had been a home to the hardy Goliath clans and a source of fine furs and timber for the rest of the continent, were quickly abandoned to the Darkness.
Early on, the island of Autun did not suffer any direct attacks. The only sign of evil was a dense, dark fog that would roll onto the oceans and linger well into the daylight hours. Within months of the Harrowing, however, the Princes of Autun resolved to evacuate the entire island and join those refugees seeking shelter above the cloudlayer. They decided that staying isolated on the island would only leave them cut off from help and escape should the Darkness find them too.
The Princes gathered all of their ships and planned to sail their people onto the mainland, mostly through Ylsauro Harbor. During the first voyage, however, the dark fog swept into the channel between Jana and Autun, and each ship lost contact with the rest of the fleet. Only a handful of ships ever made it to the mainland, and those ships that tried to make the return voyage to Autun to retrieve more refugees were never seen again. Stories from survivors hint at what was in the fog, though – strange sea creatures with tentacles for mouths and eyeballs for hands and a hundred other nightmares, all intent on devouring the living alive. These rumors are, as of yet, unconfirmed.
Because people so rarely ventured into the deserts north of the Spine, little is known about what evils befell the dusty dunes. Scholars assume that those nomadic tribes that eked out a living in the desert were wiped out.