Chapter 31: Fane and the Destruction of the South

Tower of Fane

The First Chaos of the South had long since passed into history, and the wars of Amman had gone unnoticed there. Great cities had appeared along the coast - Ferrak, Held, Hendby, Iriyath, Kerras, Korom, Sarond and Urtmon being the greatest amongst them - and there was trade and the people were more content than elsewhere. Arguments were few and settled without war and the cities worked together to improve their lot and to defend themselves from the menace of those that dwelt deep within Aeronauth Ineth Edowyn, who came to disturb the peace of that region.

And it was in the great port of Kerras that Fane was born, who would grow into a wizard of rare ability. And Kerras became strong through him and was immersed in his magic and to each of the southern cities was there placed a portal, for Fane had learnt of the secrets of the fabric of the world, and travel between the cities was now safe for those that would use it, for it were a costly venture, and the south seemed impregnable to the enemies of the world and the power of Fane was great indeed.

So it was that with great fame came also great enemies and they plotted against Fane in the dark corners of the cities that he had helped to build and defend and he was accused of a great conspiracy to control all of the south and that his doings were only in that direction and if left unchecked he would come to dominate them all. So came the fall of Fane, who was driven from Kerras and given no refuge in any of the dwellings of men and he was driven from their lands. And in Aeronauth Ineth Edowyn did he come and there lay down to die, for his will was broken.

So it was that a dream came to him on his deathbed and he saw Zykerathox and spoke with him and Zykerathox spoke of betrayal and of revenge and Fane felt his heart lifted. And to Zykerathox did Fane give over his loyalty and he survived and disappeared from the minds of men for a time. And he built for himself a dark tower high in the mountains and to him came a great army of infernal creatures and goblins and monsters horrific, tens of thousands strong, who had heeded the call of Zykerathox, and whom they would make great in Arrasia.

Fane thus created a great portal which connected with all the portals that he had made and would take his armies into the hearts of the cities themselves and destroy them, for Fane alone knew the secrets of the portals. And so it was that his great army was unleashed and they poured through the portal of Kerras and there surprised everyone and the city was sacked and burnt to the ground and the people murdered and forced to flee. And his armies moved forward, using the portals to enter the cities. And so Ferrak and Hendby also fell in this manner, and they were laid to waste and did burn. So the portals that yet remained were destroyed and the southern cities isolated and to them marched the infernal armies of Zykerathox, with Fane at their front, and yet more cities were laid to waste, including amongst them Held and Iriyath - and the south was ravaged and the green turned to black.

Finally did the lords of the south muster their forces and under the great King of Sarond, Fenamir II, did they march against Fane's army and finally meet him in war. And so the armies of men and the infernal creatures of Zykerathox met in the Battle of Rakk Gorge and the fighting was fierce, for Fane used all his skills against them, but the men of the south would not be swayed and they stood firm against him and their armies smashed through the ranks of his armies, who were no match for them, until Fane knew it was lost and fled and returned to his tower. So Fenamir II took a contingent of his men and made chase and they followed Fane there and were afraid, for it was a dark place indeed.

But Fane had closed the doors and they could not be opened, until the most powerful minds were brought to bear against it and their power smashed the doors of the tower. Yet behind these were yet another set of doors and these would not be breached. So a curse was put upon that tower and a great magic circle placed between the doors, that none who enter the tower shall ever again leave it, and thus was Fane locked in his tower and not even his great power could break the curse.

And so the armies of Fane, which had scattered, hid in the mountains and hills and those that were found were killed and a keep was built near to the tower, should any further armies come from him that way. But Fane was never seen again, for he escaped the tower through the dark art of his profession, and came to Zykerathox, whom he now serves, though his body long since passed away.

And the cities of the south once again gathered themselves and some of what had been destroyed was rebuilt, though the damage done was great and recovery was slow and no more would they allow the use of portals, for their danger was clear and none could be sure of them. But the peace of the south was ended and the Second Chaos of the South begun. And the cities now did argue often and there were great wars between them and those that ruled sought power and dominion over the others and the days of peace were soon but a faded memory.

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