The Old One, the Gruul “Queen” or Mother, was an ingenious creature whose prolific creations extended its mental and physical awareness throughout its growing territory. When the Goa attacked, the old one was not without contingencies. Using an impossible combination of Earth Marcry and the ancestry of transmutation, known as Simicry, a replicant host was created and linked to the Old One’s essence. Via ritual, a vital portion of the Old Ones essence was to be transferred in an act of desperation. But the Mystrisen, what the Arkey named the Goa, were unlike anything the Old One had ever known. They descended upon her so instantaneously, the Old One could not react quickly enough, and when the Mystrisen took her it deviously reversed the transference, but not fully. With an act of desperation within desperation, she severed her own ritual, allowing only a fraction of the her genius to survive within the new host. Its reach had vastly diminished, yet her mind had still enough strength to instill a stability throughout her suffering Gruul children. Calling out to her closest, she was able to flee and be nursed. Ultimately she is believed to be the critical reason the Goa stopped pressing outward. The hive consciousness had become tenuous at best, and through this inherent vulnerability, the Gruul divided into three factions. The details of Gruush, Mrorsa, and Rnark and their levels of independence are details for a different story.

In taking back their territories from the Volkrans, the Gruul now fought very differently, employing new, subversive tactics. Strategic cave-ins were utilized to isolate pockets of Volkrans from their kin, to then use a biochemarcitic warfare, marcry infused insects, to quietly poison and weaken the tribal hoards. The Shamans of the Blazing Hand gave ground to regroup behind home territory, they too now schemed on a new level. The fighting did continue, though slower in momentum and fervor, with much defensive posturing.

The continental paradise of Vahalzaar was a lush tropic landscape of long dormant and overgrown volcanoes, only the great Zhor Mountain, at its center, was active. With a religious curiosity the Blazing Hand followers probed into Zhor, demystifying many of the deific connotations it once held. Deep within Zhor was Kalzamaath’s fire, yet the Volkrans only saw it for the elemental power it promised. Aradosh, the Clan Chief of the Blazing Hand, would not leave the Gruul unpunished, yet the Volkrans above ground and to the south wouldn’t assist. Their Volkraft was all they cared for and Aradosh was heartbroken, their flames grew dim and controlled, like that of a candle.

Reaching out to the tribes he’d fought alongside and retained faith in, several smaller tribes united into the Ashes of the Hand. Aradosh, and several of his most devout followers found Kalzamaath’s godly flames churning below Mount Zhor’s deepest pool, out of reach. Carefully, they embraced the flames in dedicated worship, their body’s hardening as their souls longed to be reforged in fire. Others saw their metamorphosis, how the fires had granted them strength and power, and their numbers swelled. This new faith fostered in them a culture of war and domination, the Way of the Blazing Hand.

The schism between the Volkrans now began unfolding, their identities shifting into an alignment with their ideals. Those who still believed in the Volkraft way were thus named the Volkran’Dir, those following the Blazing Hand came to be known as the Volkran’Dur. With the newfound might or his followers and principles, Aradosh challenge the surface clans authority, seeking to force the Way of the Blazing Hand upon all Volkran kind. The Volkran’Dir knew not what their kin had become, the challenge was accepted. In single combat Aradosh swiftly incinerated his opponent, the Krafter Chief, and proclaimed himself the one and only Fireking of Vahalzaar. Aradosh returned to Zhor and awaited the inferior Volkran’Dir to commit their oaths to him as Fireking, to the Way of the Blazing Hand, and the total conquest of the Unborn Path.

The Oaths did not come, in fact no one came, so Aradosh needed to show them the power and reach of his might. Drawing upon their control of fire marcry, the pious Volkran’Dur pulled the god essence of fire within reach for Aradosh to claim. Giving into the flames, he and his devout were truly blessed. Aradosh had been reborn as a blazing avatar of fire. All of Vahalzaar literally quaked upon his actions, Zhor itself roared out in a cacophony of objection and for hours Vahalzaar burned and rolled.

From anywhere on Vahalzaar’s surface, Dir and Dur alike watched as Zhor mountain exploded into a black cloud spreading and obscuring the shattered light above. This part of the story gets very fantastic, as many survivors claim to have witnessed the mountain itself gaining limbs and autonomy. Thereby blaming the destruction upon an enormous unstoppable force. Across the landscape, dormant volcanoes added to the chaos, spewing magma across the land and black dust into the skies. The land itself buckled and broke as magma repainted the paradise, as earthquakes dropped whole sections into the Lethassa, drowning just as many as were burned. Tidal swells seen and felt by every nation echoed across Aesor.

Vahalzaar had become a lifeless husk of a place, the ground had become so hard and scarred, vegetation struggled to survive. From then on it is known as the Vahalzaar Outlands, its people unspeakably divided into the Dir and Dur. Neither can even agree what had happened that day, Zhor Mountain, also reshaped, still sat where it always had. The Dir believe the sundering to be a punishment from Kalzamaath for overstepping their fiery birthright. In contrast, the Dur believe it is a lesson of strength, perseverance, and faith. The most zealous of which see their world was burning as an example of what must be done, what happened was an inescapable call to action.

Aradosh survived the sundering, and set upon a warpath amongst the Volkran’Dir. So powerful he’d insist on fighting alone to fully embrace the destruction he could cause without holding himself back. While he may have believed himself a god, he’d only usurped a portion of Kalzamaaths true power, and his hubris would come to end him on an outnumbered battlefield of his own design.

Throne of the Inheritors
Vahalzaar Outlands and the Realm of Zhor