Breaking of the Thirteen Aspects
The construction of the Monolith continued for two decades, slowly, inexorably exhausting all of Aestaria’s crystals. By the time the Monolith was three-quarters complete, the last Aestari crystal had been consumed.
Wholly dependent on foreign crystals and forced to endure greater austerity than the original Aestari Mandates had ever caused, the people turned against the Monolith, and the Emperor who had envisioned it. Sargos’s inner circle became fractured by factional fights and personal disputes, as even the most privileged Aestari were now forced to chase after an ever-dwindling supply of crystals.
One night, Valknu had a dream in which an inky cloud consumed the Golden Chrysalis and turned Mythron’s continents into crumbling ash. It weighed on him tremendously and after much meditation, Valknu made the decision to disband The Thirteen Aspects, splintering them away from God’s Heel.
Callixylon fled to Southern Aurora; Jhorxia to the Dunes of Ma’or. Kraigon went to Ash Valley; Ishtara to the Azure Mountains. Nharmyth hid in the Emerald Vale; Paarnax to Shim’Zar Jungle. Ka’al went to the Shadowlands; Ragnora to the Obsidian Woods. Taevarth went to the Forbidden Steppes; Yrsada to the Cobalt Isles.
Starhorn travelled to the Fist of the Four Winds, which guarded the secrets of the four elemental spheres, and eventually settled alone in the Whispering Blades.
Vaath returned to Magaari, where he tamed the wild Makantor beasts near Mokvalar and used his magic to evolve creatures in the secluded Beastlands, metamorphosing them into the first Kolossi.
He used Star Crystals to create new types of Golems near the Stormmetal regions and built the Amberhorn Citadel, where he invited all the sentient creatures on Magaari to join him. Valknu remained in the Grand Trianon with Emperor Sargos, awaiting the encroaching darkness.
The Second Vetruvian Wars
Draug established a base on the Ixan peninsula closest to Aestaria, calling it Shar. Bolstered by the crystals from Ixus, the Vermillion Army mushroomed in both number and power. Draug grew stronger, too. Combined with the dark arts of the Crimson Flame, the new supply of crystals rendered him all but immortal. Draug’s forces were eminently prepared for a frontal assault on Vetruvia, and General Ziros, oblivious to their new power, never saw the attack coming. The Vermillion Legion and their Storm Rooks tore through Petra Fortress like dry paper, battering through the ancient walls of the once formidable citadel. Ziros and his army fought valiantly, but they were severely outmatched.
Draug and his army were unstoppable, sweeping virtually unimpeded over Vetruvia. Ziros nobly sacrificed himself, remaining behind to delay Draug’s forces by activating a blockade of protective Obelysks while what was left of the Vetruvian army fled through the plains of El-Gamesh. Draug brought Ziros’ head and shattered Sand Shield back to Aestaria and proclaimed himself Conqueror Draug, ruler of the Eternal Empire, the Second Empire foretold by the Prophecy of Ages. While the other nations kept silent, in awe and in fear, the Lyonar Kingdoms finally took a stand against Draug’s aggression. Alone, they were no match for the Vermillion Army, and in a matter of days both Windcliffe and the longstanding Opaline Gates were toppled by Draug’s superior forces. The Lyonar fell back past the Forbidden Steppes through Agenor’s Pass, where General Trajan from Sunforge took their last stand — but Lyonar itself was no more.
Through military defeat or preemptory surrender, the other continents soon fell to Draug as well, all except Magaari. Vaath led an assembled host of powerful Leviathans, long-range Spirit Harvesters, fearless Phalanxars, and a devoted Veteran Silithar force as it landed in an epic clash that left tens of thousands dead. Known as the Battle of Serpent’s Coil, the battle lines pitched back and forth, at times approaching, but never reaching, the Amberhorn Citadel deep in the continent. Eventually, Vaath’s combined forces pushed the Vermillion Army back to the foothold where they Khahad first landed, a place henceforth known as Draug’s Landing. On a final day of battle as ferocious as the first, Vaath’s forces drove the Vermillion Army back onto their warships — and out of Magaari — for now.