23.10 The Doom of Pagea.
"Pagea was one of the two original cities colonised by humankind migrating westward from the islands. Until its downfall it was the epitome of peaceful co-operation - learning and diplomacy had taken the place of war and strife. The lands about Pagea were fertile and the river Callieton carried supplies to and from Ilmarael to the west. For three centuries Pageans lived without discord. It was not until the emergence of the nameless Grey Sorcerer that frost began to tinge the edges of Pagea's summer.
Tutored in the famed academies, the Grey one learnt arrogance and unbridled desire during his long and lonely meditations in a nearby forest. Pagea's defences against malice and enemies within had long since lapsed into complacency and the Grey Sorcerer did not waste long before asserting himself in a short battle with the Pagean council. The council's leader, one Timmin the Mystic, was absent from the conflict and without him the council could not contain their young enemy. The Grey one seized control of the council chambers and proclaimed himself leader of Pagea in brilliantine white letters across the night sky.
Timmin saw the Grey Sorcerer's challenge while picking berries in the Northwood forest. He sped back across the plains towards Pagea to confront an enemy he had long expected to meet. The Grey one watched Timmin's approach from afar through the Pagean seeing stone and, upon his arrival, stepped forth from the council chambers and stood to greet the elder at the town gate. The battle of wills which ensued was visually unspectacular - the conflict was fought within the mind. It was dawn before the result was known - Timmin remained at the gate of Pagea and the Grey Sorcerer had vanished into the night.
Pagea waited warily for revenge. Timmin counselled vigilance since he knew better than any that the Grey one had not been destroyed in their conflict. His revenge, though, was more than the council could have imagined. Rather than attacking in person again, the Grey Sorcerer used elementalism to raise the waters of the Callieton into a frenzy. Waves lashed and broke the walls of Pagea as the Grey one channelled the energies of the Forest of Bedillam into an almighty assault against his foes. Neither Timmin, nor the other Pageans could bring themselves to match their enemy's disregard for the elements and could do little more than flee Pagea as it sunk beneath the waters.
Thus rose the Lake Thrullmere out of the River Callieton - water borne of earth perverted by the Grey Sorcerer. Upon the banks of the lake grew up the settlements of Ariadne and Krempton, but of Pagea only the barest trace remained. At low tide at the centre of the Thrullmere the turret of a few ghostly steeples poke up above the surface of the water... What became of the Grey one is unknown, but to this day the forest of Bedillam retains its greyish hue from being sapped of life by long-forgotten sorcery."
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