The Cities of the Plain (The legend)
According to ancient tales known right across the continent of Ethryn there were seven Cities of the Plain. These were according to legend the oldest human settlements on the continent. Where these cities are or were is not known. Various scholars have placed them within what is now called the Singing Desert, others on the great grass covered plain called the Greening. Most however place them in the barren area to the east of the Greening, in the desolate region called the Lands of Detestation.
The cities names according to legend were;
Of these Yses was the eldest. The fall of Yses is one of the great bardic tales. The tale tells initially of the growing power of Yses under the rulership of Estarth kalRion and the jealously and hatred this provoked in the ruler of Gresiya, Sharaka kalKhor.
War finally erupted between Yses and Gresiya, a war that lasted for three years and which dragged the other cities into the conflict. A war in which great magics were wielded which changed the face of the continent.
It is not the great magics that most of the bardic tales touch on, but rather the fates of the various members of the house of kalRion. The ruler of Yses, Estarth kalRion, wielder of the sword of the moon, could not prevent the tragedy which overtook his city, his family and himself.
His eldest daughter, Hellerina, both beautiful and a budding spell caster of great promise had attracted the attentions of Sharaka kalKhor. Unable to possess her himself, Sharaka determined that if he could not have Hellerina no man would, summoned the demon Sirshar. Sirshar by threatening Hellerina's younger sister Sharilla, managed to force itself upon Hellerina as her price in a bargain to save Sharilla. As the demon consummated its lust it took possession of Hellerina, body and mind.
Over the next few years, as war began to loom between Yses and Gresiya, the demon Sirshar, acting through the body of Hellerina destabilised Yses. Then the war erupted. Sirshar, still possessing Hellerina left the city having discovered all its secret ways and presented them to Sharaka kalKhor. The demon then left for unknown parts taking Hellerina's body and her trapped soul with it.
Estarth kalRion went in search of his missing daughter and thus was away from Yses when Gresiya struck. Using the secrets obtained by the deom Sirshar the city collapsed. Estarth returned in time to see his city burning. Worse was in store however. Estarth coming across the body of his wife Valara of Diz and his eldest son Arethon kalRion pinned to a stellae by a single pike. His youngest daughter Sharilla could not be found and Estarth believed she too had perished.
Estarth kalRion was a broken man and wandered around the ruins of Yses until he died. It was left to his youngest son Kharalath who had been in the city of Diz at the time of the attack, to lead the remnants of his people to new homes.
Gresiya did not long survive the destruction she had wrought on Yses, the other cities joined forces and sacked Gresiya, but in so doing the land was changed and the remaining cities became uninhabitable.
The Cities of the Plain (The Truth)
In actual fact the entire tale is true. Though Sharilla did not perish in the destruction of Yses. Instead she was rescured by the minions of the moon goddess Desiran, who was the favoured deity of Yses. Her eventual fate is unknown,m but it is believed that the powers of the goddess protected Sharilla by transporting her to a later time. Kharalath kalRion eventually led the few remaining Ysesans west and founded a new realm far from the Plain. There they were later joined by the refugees from the remaining cities. The war having so changed the land that the cities populations could no longer be sustained.
Occassional travellers have over the centuries claim to have come across the ruins of Yses. They claim that the city is inhabited with the shades and spirits of those who died there. The Travellers claim also that some at least of the cities inhabitants are not in truth dead, but instead are caught in a state of undeath. They also tell that they have spoken to a tall man in burnt armour who claims to be Arethon kalRion, who has bid them to spread a brief message to all they meet.
One man shall come to
restore the line