The Fallen City
Cendrillon’s sacrifice destroyed Gehara’s enemy, but it did not destroy the danger to Gehara itself. The Living Wall of Flame could not keep the pseudodeities out of Rerum Calna and the monsters levelled the city. Very few survived the onslaught. Some hid themselves with magic and fled south and west. The east held no sanctuary for them – Sunara was embroiled in civil war. Rerum Calna fell, and its name was soon lost to history. It became Rerum Gillum, the Fallen City.
The pseudodeities rampaged, reducing the proud civilization of Gehara to rubble, and then they sought out the vestiges of the chaos that swept over the country.
Cendrillon’s last act quelled both the darkness and the flame, and the monsters sought in vain.
Calyndel, the Last Geharan
As Geharans fled their nation, a few of the nomadic Gen-har chose to remain behind in their lands, seeking the issue of the Royal Flame, believing that it might be the answer to saving their homeland. They ventured deep into monster-infested territory and managed to battle one of the pseudodeities into a stalemate. Inspired by this show of strength, the Gen-har pressed on, believing that the Royal Flame would provide the answer they needed. They lamented the loss of Cendrillon, believing that the Princess of Fire might have been able to drive off the monsters and save their people.
Searching for clues, they decided to go to the place where Cendrillon was lost, and crossed the Vikaran Desert to do so.
At the border of the Vikaran Desert, they set camp, in sight of the ruins of the old capital where Cendrillon fell.
It was their last camp.
When morning came, the Gen-har discovered that the pseudodeities had also converged on the old capital, and they were surrounded. The monsters, drawn by the scent of life and the magic of the Gen-har, awakened and attacked them, resulting in a near-total massacre.
Only two survived that attack that fateful morning.
Calyndel, and her son Valt. Wielding a bow of arcane whitewood, Calyndel took her son and fled the battlefield, managing to wound one of the pseudodeities in the process.
With her tribe dead, Calyndel had nothing to keep her in Gehara any longer, and she fled west to Valharrow. But she never made it that far.
Realizing that the world she had known was gone, but not willing to surrender the memory of Gehara’s greatness, Calyndel sought out a powerful witch, infamous as the legendary Soulhunter, named Suchin.
Suchin stated that the world had entered a period of dormancy after Sedrafax’s foolish search for the Primeval Flame, and that only a power on par with what the Twisted Moth desired would be enough to destroy the entities that had taken control of Gehara. Understanding that there was no option for that in the era they lived in, Suchin predicted a disaster would come that provide one of Geharan blood to rise again.
Suchin therefore bound Calyndel’s soul to a cave, there to wait out the eons until Gehara was safe again, and to wait until someone came with the strength to rebuild Gehara and take it back from the monsters that raged within it. Valt, as he always had, followed his mother, but Suchin asked him to act as a guide, telling him that the harbinger of disaster would come from Valharrow.
Calyndel disappeared from the mortal world that day, and entered the dreams of those with Geharan ancestry. She watched and waited from the shadows of reality, and it was there that she thought she caught a glimpse of Cendrillon, hooded and cloaked, walking the darkness of the abyss. But where the Princess of Fire had gone was beyond even her, and she was helpless to aid her.
Calyndel waited, and in time, all the pure-blooded Geharans faded away.
All except one.
To discover the end of Calyndel’s journey, read ‘Where the Gods Lie Dreaming’ and its sequel ‘Chained Gods’.