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Death from the Seas

Except for the Third War of the Ûr Lords in 1222, life in southwestern Eirethune had been relatively quiet.  There were a fair number of orc-kind in the hills who were still clan-based and committed to raiding, but life was relatively peaceful for most that chose to live in the and the Southland.  This would all change when the Marches were set ablaze by invaders from the .

1304-1305 Invasion of the Ssu’den

At the start of the fourteenth century, tales of sailing vessels in Regent Sound disappearing became commonplace.  At first it was only some smaller fishing vessels, but then came word that a pirate ship and its crew had been destroyed by a group of sentient lizards off the coast of .  Many of the merchants were happy about the destruction of the pirate ship, but still it caused people to start wondering what could have happened.[1]  Two months later, they would find out when the Ssu’den came ashore.

The Ssu’den are a race of multi-armed and legged sentient amphibious lizards capable of breathing in both air and water, although the transition to their respiratory system to do so does take some adjustment.  Although the Ssu’den do have some magical powers, but have an even stronger ability with psionics.  This ability coupled with their very formidable physical strength, the Ssu’den are dangerous opponents to anyone who defy them.  The Ssu’den are carnivores capable of eating most any living creature, but their body will shut down severely if they over-consume.  The Ssu’den can move and attack quite quickly, but they slow down drastically if forced to fight for too long.

The Ssu’den first landed on the continent around the mouth of the .  Almost immediately, they began to invade the farms of the southern marches and consume every domesticated animal or farmer they could find.  As news of the invasion spread across the marches, farmers fled the plains for both the towns and the hills surrounding the plains.  The Ssu’den spread further into the marches, following the and the River Cyrfrinach to the east.  The many of the lords of the southern marches met together in Dobrize to force back the invaders, but they did not realize the number or strength of the Ssu’den who were coming ashore. 

The Ssu’den invasion was the result of a split in their society concerning a religious difference.  The Ssu’den deity, Dzoadkor the Great Serpent Mother, is worshipped by all Ssu’den, but in the middle of the eleventh century, a schism in the manner in which she is to be worshipped wracked the generally monolithic hierarchical clerical society in which the Ssu’den live.  The entire society was divided into two and a bloody civil war began between the Ssu’kutah and the La’da’dat.  At the end of a century of fighting, the La’da’dat began to dominate and subsequently purge the Ssu’den society of their rival order.  The Ssu’kutah left their ancestral nests and caves and sought a new home closer to the shores of Eirethune. 

When the lords met the Ssu’den in battle, they were completely unprepared.  Only a few warriors had ever fought creatures of such great strength and ferocity, and even fewer were ready for the tremendous psionics onslaught which the Ssu’den brought to bear upon them.  At the of the Red Fork, the western army was broken up and routed through the overwhelming strength of their foes.  Much to the western lords’ surprise, however, the Ssu’den did not pursue and destroy their enemy.  Instead, they just continued to populate and settle the Gwaith and Cyrfrinach river valleys.

1305-1318 Ssu’den Occupation of the Southern March

For the next couple years, the Ssu’den would continue their colonization of the Southern March near the valley.  The lords of the Southern March would continue their raids against the Ssu’den, but never with any success.  Nor could the lords of the Southern March get any support from the lords of the Northern March, the Southland, the Mote, or anywhere else nearby.  The Ssu’den were not posing a great threat to the land owners in other regions, except in the destruction of merchant trains and merchant vessels who happened to pass near the areas occupied by the Ssu’den. 

In 1307, the Ssu’den began to expand out of their river valleys and head both north and south into the plains.  More farmers and small settlements were being devoured by the invaders so finally the lords of the Southern March were beginning to receive support.  The Ssu’den also were digging out ponds and depressions as they expanded from the river valleys, and began filling these depressions with water and vegetation.  The farmlands were being destroyed and repurposed by the Ssu’den for their own expansive needs. 

The lords of the were now becoming desperate and their pleas for assistance were becoming more urgent.  Finally, a few lords of the Southland and the decided to join them and form an army to see what they could do against the growing Ssu’den.  At the Battle of Tasker Field, the lords again were routed.  The bravest of knights at the battle were able to cut some of the Ssu’den down, but the less experienced warriors almost immediately routed upon contact with the formidable lizard folk.

Time went on and so did the Ssu’den settlement of the .  The land was being reformed to the liking of the invaders, and there was little that the lords of the marches could do. There were continuous raids of the Ssu’den, but they typically ended up very bloody for whoever was raiding.  However, during this period, much was learned about the Ssu’den lifestyle.[2]  The ponds were necessary for all Ssu’den to survive.  They all required contact with water, both on their skin and for their breathing.  If they were unable to breathe in water for a couple days, the Ssu’den would become asthmatic.  If they were unable to breathe in water for a week or two, a weaker Ssu’den could conceivably die.

1315 Visitation of Osahn

As the became more and more populated with the invading Ssu’den, the lords of the marches were given a boon.  The deity most commonly worshipped in this area was Osahn, and he decided to make a visit.  The clergy of the marches had been making many sacrifices and offering to Osahn, even though times were very lean.  Osahn conveyed power to his most loyal which enabled them to drain or flood the depressions the Ssu’den were making at their will.  Osahn also conveyed the power to summon a spirit of force which deflected the terror attacks from the psionic Ssu’den.  In return, the great temple to Osahn in Fathe Nûn was built and the high priest of the southern marches returned with Osahn to the planes of the gods.[3].

1315-1320 Alliance of the Landed and Repulse of the Ssu'den

Now equipped with the secret magic of Osahn, the lords of the marches again bound together to form the Alliance of the Landed.  Lords from the Mote and from Regent, from the Southland and from Coten all joined together to fight back the Ssu’den.  Even with the powers of Osahn, the Ssu’den were very difficult foes.  Slowly, however, the spawning ponds of the Ssu’den were dried and only then would the army of the alliance attack.  Month after month, the alliance forced the Ssu’den back towards the River of Gwaith and out of the plains of the Marches.  Finally, when it came time for the assault on the river, many sacrifices were made and the great power of Osahn was summoned.  The River of Gwaith became a torrent and all of the lairs that the Ssu’den had built along the banks and beneath the waves were destroyed. Thousands of Ssu’den young were destroyed in a single day. 

The Alliance then assaulted the Ssu’den with tremendous vehemence to push them inland away from the sea.  If the Alliance had returned them to the sea, then perhaps the ships and coasts of any part of Eirethune could be endangered.  Instead, however, the Alliance wanted to push them into the drier hills and upper valleys of the River Cyrfrinach.  Once this was accomplished, the greatest powers of Osahn would again be summoned and the River Cyrfrinach itself would be dried up for as long as the clergy could hold it.  When the River Cyrfrinach became earth, the Ssu’den quickly fell weak, offering the Alliance the best potential for attack; and attack they did.  The Ssu’den who had been forced into the upper hills of the River Cyrfrinach basin were completely wiped out, never to spawn again in the Southern Marches. 

Before the push occurred, some of the Ssu’den escaped at the mouth of the River Gwaith, but only in small numbers.  To this day, Ssu’den are only very rarely seen by sailors, but they seem to keep away from the coasts of Eirethune.  The only exception to this is still on Sorden Isle where no sailor dares to tread.

Next, Eastern Dragon Wars

[1] The pirate ship was known as The Death Yawl, captained by Ogdûr Badasian.  Ogdûr had based his pirates out of a small cove off of Sorden Isle which is believed to still be in the hands of a few Ssu’den who still live there.

[2] There was a secret sect in the Southland formed at this time known as the Sadurmei.  This sect, who found members only among the smaller fishing settlements of the Southland, maintained great respect for the Ssu’den and for their prowess.  The Sadurmei respected any great creature from the sea and the Ssu’den were among the greatest.  The Sadurmei remained secret during this entire period, but it is said that the sect has some of the same psionics powers that the Ssu’den were able to manifest.  In addition, it is said that some of the Sadurmei have used this power to control other creatures of the sea.

[3] The High Priest of Osahn at Fathe Nûn, Evanor Katti, was able to imbue his white robe with the power over water.  The Robe of Katti was left behind in Fathe Nûn and was used for some time during periods of flood or drought to help the people and land survive.  The robe was lost during the assault by Kukaluq the Troll King in 3197-3198.  The robe was captured by one of the Troll King’s flagships, but it is believed to have gone down with that ship when it crashed into Regent Sound.  It has not been seen since.