The Fall of Arendur
by Silvanus Andrellus
Time passes so differently for me now. Years used to pass as minutes, centuries as days. Now each passing moment seems an eternity. I sleep, more often than not, dreaming of what once was, wishing, praying for it to return. All I have are my memories. And memories could never do it justice.
for what was and no more is,
change as the things that I cherish,
I will make the city live on, even if only as a memory.
Tolumvire was fond of that saying, using it to illustrate his vision. "Arendur can be whatever we want it to be...there is no limit. The only limits are those we make for ourselves."
By this time Tolumvire had attracted the greatest minds the multiverse had to offer. It was an exciting time, where nothing, no problem, no issue was too grand for these great thinkers to solve.
the best of the best were working on a problem of cosmic significance.
Historians, theologians, arcanists and even oracles had all come to the
same frightening realization. Arendur, which was perhaps the pinnacle
of civilization to this point, was destined to be destroyed, like every
city before it.
the sage, the warrior-poet, the arch-mage, the inventor, the dreamer,
refused to accept that 'fate' left no other options for him, or for the
city he called home. He created a plan, one that would cheat fate of its
spoils, a plan that would allow Arendur and all its citizens to continue
Cycles and cycles ago, during the first Great War of the gods, the universe had been sundered, creating the Outer planes, the Outlands, the Elemental, the Astral, the Ethereal, and the Prime Material. The only place where the planes were still united was the very place where they had been sundered all those ages ago--Raak-po, the first city. What most people fail to realize is that remnants of even the first city exist today, if you know where to look.
Arendur, like Raak-po before it, was based upon the most ancient magicks and technologies known to mankind. The core of the city predated even the first gods! He had discovered and learned how to use these ancient secrets; something no man and maybe no god had ever fully done before. Arendur was the nexus of the multiverse--with the proper understanding you can do with it what you please. Tolumvire had that understanding and he planned to use it.
break the cycle, Tolumvire believed you must first undo that which had
been done years ago. You must unite the
planes--create a universe from a multiverse.
As it was became more evident that Arendur's time was coming close to an end, A ritual was prepared at the Gatehouse. All the greatest Thaumaturgists in the realms were present. Slayers were on hand to witness (and to handle any unexpected events). The key elements had been assembled. The Gates to the Infernus, for better or for worse, would swing wide.
rest of Arendur stood by, expectant, awaiting the dawning of a new age.
Fathers stood proud, only seeming relaxed and strong for their families.
Mothers watched, anxious, praying that their children would live to have
families of their own. Hopeful children lined the rooftops, curious
but confident that Tolumvire would set things right.
Tolumvire fought his way through the the demon masses into the Gatehouse. A handful of Slayers followed, willing to sacrifice themselves for their people and their leader. They realized the gates had to be shut quickly to end the destruction. Unfortunately, the only way to do this was shutting them from the inside. When the time came, Tolumvire sacrificed himself to close the Gates.
Though Tolumvire's selfless sacrifice forever closed the Infernus, the damage had already been done. Arendur lay in ruins. The prophecies had been fulfilled, the cataclysm had occurred, and another age, the Age of Legends, had come to a violent end.
Tolumvire died so that others may live. In his mind, his sacrifice was penance--the least he could do for his failure. There is one consolation to this sad tale. Though the demons of the Infernus may have ravaged his physical form, they did not claim his soul. His essence was consumed by the ritual. His soul will remain part of the city, part of Arendur, and now part of Sigil, until it can merge with the incarnation of Tolumvire in the next cycle.