Okay, this one’s tricky to write. The BUN (Battle of Unending Night) isn’t all that complicated to explain, but I don’t want to give the whole store all away since I plan on getting back to The Sword is Forged someday. When I do, you’ll hear the full tale of the BUN and until then, this should tide you over. .
Let’s see … Lillandra planted the seeds for it at the First Congress of the Gods when she made it clear that the Elder Races had to keep away from each other, in the biblical sense. Zero tolerance, no exceptions. One misstep, she warned, and Sorrow would enter the world. From the tone she took, the Firstborn were pretty sure this was a bad thing.
Fast forward a couple thousand years. The world has already had one close call with respect to love gone wrong. The Elven sorceress Embyrl and Prince Sunome of the Dolforro came oh so close to making little fishy-Fair Folk hybrids but the Lady of Esel caught them before they could consummate the dirty deed and slapped a curse on them right out of Ladyhawke. Eventually, they earned forgiveness, but not until they’d learned remorse and that lesson was a long time coming!
Jump ahead another three hundred years. By now, the man (not literally, Mankind would not awaken for a long time) who would be Traitor was under the spell of a seductress sent from the Darkhold. When someone discovers them, she convinces him to kill the witness and blame it on Dark Ones. To his slight credit, he refused when first asked, but she changed his mind the old-fashioned way – with a hummer.
After she swallowed his sword, there was nothing the Traitor wouldn’t do for her. They lived in sin secretly for another thousand years, enjoying every nook, cranny and crevice of love gone wrong, until the time was finally ripe for Sorrow to enter the world.
The Traitor went to Leyrantha to help his true love, but the whole story she’d handed him was a crock designed to set the Dark Lord free and it worked just the way she’d hoped. The Traitor broke the center Stone at Leyrantha, unraveling the entire web of Spirit’s magik. All across Sangrar, the Stones cracked, breaking the wards turning the Darkhold into a prison. One-Eye escaped, defeated the Earth Mother (she retreated to Ardilun, and brought Andis and the Ravirs along for the ride) and then flicked the switch on the three Suns.
The world, which had known only eternal sunshine, went dark, terrifying the Elder Races. Dark Ones poured out of the ground by the thousands and made for the big cities of the Elder Days. Erlik’s godlings – Cthar, Morkanis and Zara – led the charge, along with the Dark Lord himself.
For seven days, the world was plunged into Unending Night. Thousands died. Death entered the idyllic world of the Elder Days a millennia earlier when Elras met the Grim Reaper and was reborn in the Heavens, and since then others had followed, but never on such a scale. Never before had the Elder Races experienced so much death, all at once. Many leaders were lost.
In Caradar, Dark Ones swelled up from the Darkhold and overran the tunnels. Many clan halls were lost – Redhaven, Aurvald, Silverstone and Irondeep all fell – and those still standing sustained heavy damage. The greatest loss of the BUN for the Forge Folk was the fall of Dar Highfather, who stood up to the Stealer of Souls. Highfather gave a valiant effort and almost smote Cthar a deathblow with his hammer, Earthbiter, but the god recovered before Dar could finish the job. Valiant Valdarag tried to save him, but his efforts were too little too late and before the Suns shone again, Highfather was watching from the VIP section in the Heavens.
Ylindelay the Queen sacrified herself to save her grandson. Elveros and Viranor, kings the both of them, gave their lives that others would live. Elnos, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen, died and went to the Heavens to reunite with his father, but not before providing hope in his clash with the Dark Lord. Armed with Caerycal, the Sword of Heaven, the very blade prophecized to kill One-Eye, it seemed he had a chance, but the BUN wasn’t the time foretold and Elnos proved no match for him. Some named his actions hubris, to think he could slay a god, but I called it wishful thinking coupled with the wrong place/wrong time.
Elnos wasn’t the only hero of Elrasirre to fall in the BUN. His wife Tildienne, his father-in-law King Haleya and his brother-in-law Tyrin, and his best friend Lindal all spent their lives in defense of the Living City, but by the end, no trees witnessing Elras’s ancient covenant remained. The fires left only ash to carpet the ground where Elrasirre had once grown. Across the world at Indalle Cove, Indallar’s terraced kingdom fared little better. The temptress Zara set her sights on the city of the grotto after her Ulgarja destroyed the two underwater Dolforro kingdoms of Calisende and Dellavenda. Indalle might have been destroyed toohad it not been for Embryl, who was once again a formidable sorceress after the Lady of Esel restored her connection to Harnor’s Spires of Thought. Heavy damage was sustained and many lives lost in Indalle. Indallar and his wife, Selenna, were among the survivors but sadly, their son Indis, didn’t make it. He died at sea, battling Ulgarja with Prince Sunome. Nammvalle wasn’t safe either. Morkanis the God-Brute led Dark Ones through the forest and besieged the obsidian towers.
Ultimately, quick thinking by Kandol Elf Lord and Numra the Great Explorer saved the day. Kandol brought the Harnae to Nammovalle to break the siege and Numra, well, he explored more than he ever had before and went into the Void. He came back with a spark from the Flame of Creation in his staff Beleos, a spark used to Rekindle the Suns.
When it was over, the Stones were gone forever and the channelers, who had kept the Dark Ones imprisoned for centuries, were powerless. Many other things had changed. After losing the Dolforro, their patron Rabyn went mad with grief. The Full Radiance shone no more. Darkness still lived in Edda, Imma and Olla, returning at every dusk to haunt the night. Numra and Ollare had a falling out, turning her into the mad psycho-bitch from planet Zeta. Worse, though defeated, the Dark Lord yet lived. He hunkered down in the Darkhold, now more palace than prison, and began planning anew.
That’s it, in a nutshell. Obviously, there’s a lot more to it, but to say more might take away the suspense when you finally get around to reading The Sword is Forged. I’ll leave you with one more tidbit. Not everything that came out of the BUN was bad. The Harnae put on a good show and Lillandra rewarded them with Tarik. I know some people might hold a different opinion (Tarik could be a tough pill to swallow sometimes), but trust me, the world was a better place with Tarik in it. You just had to know how to deal with him, like I did.