( First attempt at writing input and comments welcome ) *will be updated and refined * Edited 7/8/17
The vessel, "pride of Chir'tiris", was nearing port. But the crew only knew this from long experience. The crew was mostly Skitrtich, rat-like creatures that had taken well to the sea trade, a well seasoned crew who made up for their relatively small stature with bravery and experience.
All of their experience was shouting at them that something was wrong. The lights of the city should have been visible long ago, there was no mist obscuring the port, the sky was clear and the stars shining unhindered. The light of the city weren't shining. The light house on cliff-side of the rock outcropping to starboard should have been shining valiantly. It had been switched from flame to the new electric light filaments before the ship had left the port 9 months ago to trade with the nearby lands. The lighthouse should have been visible for miles. Now it stood dark. Any stories the sailors told themselves about malfunctions with the new technology was quietly driven from their minds by the fact that it would do nothing to explain the darkness in the rest of the city. Chir'tiris was a large city housing thousands of citizens and had stood the challenges of a century or so as a trading port near hostile Lutrond waters.Never had the city be dark like this.
" We are on course to the docks" said a young navigators apprentice quietly. Several crewman jumped as if a bottle had been smashed instead of a whispered report given.
One of the older crewmen, sun-bleached fur and a scarred face turned to snap at the young man but the captain's hand on his shoulder kept him silent. The Captain whose normal state was lighthearted cheer and bluster was utterly silent, a state which was as disturbing to the crew as the lack of so much as an oil lamp shining from the city. Soon the ship's own spot-lights, large polished bronze directed lamps picked out the dock. No one was manning it, so the captain whispered orders for boats to launch and for the crew to take up docking stations on the pier. With swift professionalism the " pride of Chir'tiris " was pulled in and tied to the docks. " Keep the boilers runin' and be prepared to shove off fast" the captain whispered. Then slightly louder but still in a frightened hushed tone " This be abnormal to be sure, i am askin for volunteers to go ashore." The crew looked about, the normally brave sailors were all in the grips of a gnawing dread they could not explain and none knew how to cope with it.
" I will go sir" The young navigator's apprentice said quietly. The captain looked at him puzzled, this scrawny young whelp who joined the crew a mere 3 weeks ago, did not seem cowed by the oppressive gnawing dread that had made all the veterans so oddly skittish. Before the captain could say anything the young man spoke up, " yes I feel it as you all do, but not the first time i have felt this it is, and my need to know why i feel it in waking life compels me to seek answers" he said in a refined articulate manner of speech that stood out from the rougher trade dialect that most others on the ship spoke.
" Felt this before have ye?" one of the crew a, stout seaman, with black fur asked , " perhap it was, in a dream that be like nails inside yer skull?" the seaman asked as with hard look as if he knew the answer.
" Yes, precisely." the young navigator said calmly " You a guildman?" the young rat asked referring to the mages guild that spanned more than half the globe.
" no, never joined, though they be askin when i be young" This revelation was met by mutters among the crew, magical talents were still rare and looked on with suspicion despite the long history of the guild. The fact that 2 of the crew suddenly suggest they have such talents didn't do much to alleviate the dread that was inexplicably running through their minds.
" I may be more able to deal with whatever we find should this be a not wholly natural predicament" The young rat said
" I be goin too," the stout seamen said abruptly, then he turned and walked toward the armory.
A few other crewman silently went to the armory to gear up.
" You should get summit as well lad" the captain suggested. The young Navigator shook his head " I can call on forces far more dangerous than a pistol or cutlass" he gave a wry grin "besides i am more likely to cut my own head off with a sword than anyone else's" The self deprecating joke made no impact on the scarred crew.
In minutes the crew that had volunteered were back with weapons, cutlasses and magazine fed pistols that fired slugs of copper with a burning phosphorous tip and core. The had also brought a bottle of rum and were passing it around. When it came to the young Navigator a mere mouthful remaining, he waved it off, " fire balls and rum mix poorly" This produced a nervous titter from the man with the bottle, an short sharp anxious sound that should not have come from one who had survived cannon battles and otter raids.
They left the ship quietly, the young Navigator leading the way his hands raises in a posture that vaguely resembled some forms of unarmed combat. Everyone else followed lanterns in hand scanning the environment. The docks were empty as if no one felt like manning them, ships were moored and looked as if they were abandoned, not a light or plume of steam from the boilers to show a hint of life. Cargo was stacked in crates ready to load.
" 'tain't Lutrond pirates not' has been taken" the stout black rat pointed out.
"They also would have sank the ships" the young Navigator remarked. " I counted two heavy combat frigates that no pirate would have left to hassle them"
" iffin it ain't pirates, what got the city so spooked they put the lights out"
The young navigtor stared off into the distance a moment. " I Don't think anyone is hiding here" The small party shot him a look as if they wished he had not put voice to what they were all thinking.
"tavern" one of the crewmen said. They turned to look at him " Thar be a tavern at the end of the docks, run by this big human named Jenkins, nice bloke, keeps his ears open an knows all the doins of the port, lets check wit him" the speaker Elaborated quickly. At the mention of humans some of the crew grimaced. Human weren't well thought of in these part. They proceeded to the dark building hustling slightly as the sense of being observed suddenly joined the unknown dread that plagued them. They entered the tavern's main entrance with pistols drawn, lanterns playing of the lined racks of colorful bottles, behind the bar. The cheerful liqueur bottles stood in contrast to the barren lifelessness of establishment. There were dishes left out on the tables and glasses that had once been full of liquid but now was only various residues of long evaporated liquid. There was no smell of rot though as if time had taken care of any left over food long ago. The sense of ill ease did not diminish inside. In fact the the sense of interrupted life with no struggle was more disquieting.
Finding nothing in the tavern they walked further up the wide main road that was normally bustling with traffic and cargo even in the late hours. The Streets were empty but this was the first sign of something truly wrong. Vehicles, animal driven or spring driven clockwork cars were overturned and pushed to the side of the road. Some looked as if they had been pulled in front of entrances as a barricade though it could have been just a coincidence. The only thing that stood out was in the middle of the road lay a pistol of the kind popular with rich merchants, an electron thrower that could stun an attacker and leave them alive to face justice. The handle was covered in blood and non of the crew felt like touching it.
" Well t'looks like the been a struggle after all." One of the crew said sounding relieved to have discovered something.
" Smell the air, the blood is fresh, perhaps hours old, the tavern has been empty longer than that months perhaps, we aren't the first to come here since whatever it is first happened"
Before they could comment on that the wind shifted and the smell of putrescence and death hit them. None of them gagged but they all came to alert at the smell. After quick discussion they decided that instead of going to see what in that direction produced the smell that they would take to the roof tops and have a look though the dark would hinder them they felt they would be safer out of the streets. They pushed their way past the debris, and into one of the multi level buildings, the door to it unlocked and ajar. they climbed the stairway tot he top floor then made their way into an apartment that should have access to the roof.
Inside they found their first body. It Looked to have been a human woman in a servant's dress. She had been ripped in half at the waist, each half on opposite sides of the room. In Her hand on the top half of the body was gripped an ornamental sword of the type given at fancy academic establishments. The Body was desiccated and stiff but looked as if it had not rotted at all, what ever skin color she had was obscured by blood loss and desiccation. In fact there was very little blood, there should have been buckets of it all over the floor, there was only one small stain in the middle of the floor. One of the Skitrtich sailors spat on her and received a strong slap to the back of the head by the stout seamen.
" No need fer that, she be dead, so keep whatever racial disrespect to yerself" the Stout Seaman scolded.
" She died afighten," another pointed out, " Deserves some respec fer that." Properly scolded the disrespectful crewmen shuffled uncomfortably.
"This is a study, there might be useful information" The Young navigator pointed out. Holding up his left hand his fingers twitched and a small light appeared above his palm. Everyone started at that. They knew that magic existed and that people used it but it was still unsettling to see it used so casually. Ignoring them the Young mage poured over the desk and found a letter half written. " Dated 6 months ago." He points out. " At a glance nothing relevant is said, just a letter to the author's brother."
"lets get going" one of the crewmen says as he bends down and wipes the spit his disrespectful comrade left on the dead human woman.
" what if it is a disease?" one squeaks nervously. The one wiping the spit away from the woman's forehead looks up and say "Disease don't rip people in half"
The young wizard extinguishes his small light then opens window to a balcony. " There is a roof access ladder here" The apprehensive sailors followed onto the balcony and up onto the rooftops.
They had little difficult navigating the slopped and tiled roofs, Skitrtich were agile climbers of lighter bodies then other races and so were at home on the rooftops which this city used for foot traffic when the streets were jammed with throngs of out-landers. Even up here there were signs of horror, and the first signs that the populace had tried to resist. Piles of furnishings had been made into barricades outside of windows. The bare ropes that Skitrtich often used to clime from one building to the other without going to the streets were cut and piled up messily on the roof. Some lines looked messily hacked at or burned through. Some of the long ropes were in burned crescent shaped piles as if they had been doused in kerosene and set ablaze to form small barriers of fire. There were crates of ammunition for various types of weapons, set in small caches so they could be easily reached by defenders forming a circle to fight in every direction. There was even the wand half of a flame sprayer, the flexible rubber tube expertly wrapped in brass segments ended in a ragged tear of frayed metal.
"where be the shells?" the Stout black-furred sailor looked about. " iffin they be fightin then shells should litter th' ground"
" That is a good question" The young navigator acknowledged. He looked around. There were no shells of discharged firearms despite the nearly empty ammo boxes. There were only 10 rounds left in a case that held hundreds no one would have brought the whole case for 10 rounds that would have fit in a pocket. After some more exploration one of the crewmen found some of the empty shells. They were neatly lined in up standing on end in front of doors or ladders so anyone using them would set off a clatter. They found the rest of them put out in circular patterns of intricate design and careful assembly. They seemed to serve no purpose but were extremely unsettling. No one would just set such a thing up to amuse themselves after a fight.
" wind blew the smell from thata way" the stout rat pointed. " Thar be a park over yonder, perhap that be where it was coming from" They all looked the direction he pointed. There was a gap in the buildings that would indicate a park. The ropes that would have gotten them there quickly were cut down so they would have to traverse the rooftops to get to a building on which they could peer into the park from.
The journey took twenty minutes and they saw more of the same, indications that the rooftops had seen a lot of action, discarded and broken weapons, small patches of dried blood. revealed in the lantern light. Without saying anything they all again dismissed the idea of pirates, the weapons lay strewn around were all too valuable to just leave. One item in particular would not have been left by anyone, a sturdy rod made of black steel and copper with a wrapped hand grip. There was inlays of faintly glowing blue stone. It was a wizard's tool that much they knew and that it was valuable. One of the sailor's the one who ha wiped the forehead of the dead human, picked it up and examined it. The others assorted crewmen shrank back from him.
" What this be?" he asks the young navigator who had shown himself experienced in magic.
" They are usually just called rods, they focus raw magical energy more effectively then mind or hand alone, They are also durable enough to be used as a bludgeoning weapon should they user feel like getting physical."
" Like a wand you can drubb someone wit?" The stout black-furred rat asked.
"Yes." the Navigator replies.
The crewman holding the object made to give it to the navigator, but the young apprentice waved it away. " i am no good with them." The crewman holding it looked reluctant to put it down but was also not thrilled with the idea of holding it much longer.
" Give it ter me," the stout rat said. The crewman that was holding it handed it over nervously. then open and closed his hands. "me hands feel strange" he commented. " Guessin cause i be touching magic things" The stout crewmen wasn't paying attention he was lost in thought staring at the rod in his hand. The inlays were glowing slightly brighter.
" Light blessed, but i don't feel as scerrred anymore" The young Navigator lays his hand on the stout rat's wrist. " Careful magic can go to your head if you aren't mindful."
" Corruptin?" the stout rat asks, " No you just get carried away being able to set everything on fire, at least i did as a kid." The young apprentice replies.
" A comfort it be, that a firefiend be servin on a wooden vessel wit me." The stout rat says sarcastically. Everyone else looked to apprehensive to find anything funny.
They continued along the rooftop to the building that overlooked the park. They looked down into what should have been lush lawns and gardens lit by gas lamps. Where couples could sit on benches or lay on the grass. But now it was shrouded in darkness. A darkness heavier than it should be. The Half full moon was casting plenty of light, but oddly the park was shrouded with a shadow that seemed to pulse if you stared at it too long.
" The lamps'er dark, someone must've shut off the gas" one of the crewmen commented.
" what the moon-burned fuck is going on here?" The you apprentice said confused. They assembled crew looked at him surprised that for the first time in all the week since they picked him up at port 3 weeks ago he uttered a course word. " Look at the street, the one we would have walked." They tore their nervous eyes from the park's throbbing darkness and looked to the rode. there part way up the moonlit street was a sharp cut off of light, as if the shadow of something had cast a sharp line of darkness. A shadow without a source i was certainly worth the oath and they began to muter.
"Silence" The apprentice navigator ordered. Even though the was the least senor member of the crew there they all deferred to his judgment because he had shown confidence in the face of the gnawing fear that seem to permeate the city. Staying low the Apprentice scurried to an ammo box and pick up a handful of unspent shells. Returning to the edge he took a single round and then laid it in his open palm. The round then floated up then catapulted by unseen forces into the main street that they would have taken if they had not used the rooftops. it clattered to the ground 15 feet from the odd shadow.
The sharp edge of darkness softened then slithered forward in a fluid motion that was like a mass of tendrils of liquid. they flowed toward the noise and then continued up the street, only to break up and shoot down side alleys as if looking to close off possible escape. The mass of the darkness ebbed away, Finally revealing the park in the moon light. There they saw glistening smears and mounds. Around the lamp posts there seemed to be the remains of people arranged in patterns. All present were glad that the moonlight was not bright enough for a better look.
" I think we should leave and report this to the guild, This is obviously supernatural but way beyond anything i have read about." the Young Navigator said. This got no objections everyone was ready to make this someone Else's problem. As they all turned hurriedly to go, one of their tails collided with an ammo box knocking it over the side of the building to hit the ground with a crash and a clatter. They all froze, and looked down into the park. Some of the indistinct glistening piles began to move and crawl toward the noise. But even worse then that one of the larger piles reared up and unfurled. It was composed of a mass of flesh with one big flexing mass that rose into the air like a long necked animal. On it were skulls of multiple sapient species, but despite the skin stripped from them they all had their eyes intact. the shocked crew starred down in horror as the mass looked up at them and they were transfixed by twenty pairs of eye's.
" I think running would be wise" the young navigator suggests.
Before they could turn to run one of the sailors let out a shriek at the sight of the monstrosity before them and began firing his pistol. Everyone was half blinded by the the muzzle flash and white streaks of burning phosphorous. Only a few rounds hit the beast the shots had been wild and panicked most flew past into the park, casting light on horrible things. The lamps must not have been turned off because the park went up in flames. The natural propane that the city had tapped into must have still been flowing for it had pooled in places and now ignited. The crew had brief but terrible flashes of what the park had become. They saw the paved walk way streaked with dried blood. The more observant saw that it was not a random smear but comprised of patterns. The trees had been broken and their branches replaced with severed limbs of the residents of the city. And they were still moving.
The assorted sailors did not stay to look at the horrors in the park. They bolted back across the roof tops. Scrabbling on all fours across the roofs of slopped tile. dashing full out on the flat rooftops on which the remains the the city's last stand had perplexed them earlier. They ran until they reached the flat roof before the apartment building. From one of the drains that prevented rain water from pooling on the flat rooftop, slithered the thick black viscous mist that they saw flowing down the streets.
A little over half of the crew noticed and skidded to a half the others kept running and their ankles were brushed by the black mist. They cried out in pain and made to clutch at their ankles but fell flat when their legs seemed to give way. The mist wrapped around their fallen forms and all strength that was left their limbs died away as the black mist touched them. Over the side of the building came a form made from desiccated cracked flesh. From it's size and shape it was once an Otter-kin species slightly larger that the rat-kined Skitrtich the fur had long ago fallen away and the flesh had cracks that seemed to seep the dark mist. It made for the fallen sailors.
The creature's lurching was halted by a flash and a boom as its top half disintegrated when a bolt of flame from the young navigator's hand struck it in the chest. It spewed the mist from the lower half then fell. The apprentice navigator right hand still wreathed in flame flicked his left hand and a ray of light. The dark mist shrank away and evaporated under the light. The once incapacitated sailors struggled to their feet. There was no time for discussion as more of the desiccated remains of the former citizenry. started to appear over the walls. No one considered standing and fighting. They ran. They bypassed the balconyed apartment building they came up to get out of the street and made their way toward the docks over the rooftops. They only fought when they needed to, preferring to use agility to bypass the horrors that climbed onto the rooftops after them. Not that fighting did much good. No one wanted to get close enough for knife or sword and the copper and phosphorus bullets didn't do much but slow them.
One did get to close to the stout rat with the black fur, and still having the rod they had found earlier used it as a cudgel. Each blow sent out a loud crack and sparks of electricity and the the horrors would stumble back.
" I be thinkin they do be weak ter magic" The stout rat observed. They had after all been easily dispatched by the young apprentice's fire bolts and they fell easily when struck with this rod. This revelation did not help much as there was nothing more magical they could bring to bear. They were reaching the end of the high building before the docks.
" we got to stop the dark from reaching the ship." The young apprentice panted. " I will clear a patch on the ground then everyone run for the docks and get the ship moving."
They didn't argue. When they came the end of the high buildings they peered down, the mass of darkness was just catching up and slithering to cut off their escape. The apprentice raise both hands above his head and made a double handed hurling motion. what can only be described as a blob of light flew from his hands and landed in the middle of the main street leading to the docks. The blob landed and stuck to the ground in a glowing heap. The Dark mist shrank away but the light was pulsing and sputtering. It would only last a few minutes. They found and escape ladder and slid down it and made for the ship jumping over any stray tendrils of the dark that got passed the light blob. Most of the crew pelted down the docks toward the ship. most had lost their lanterns and following closely those that hadn't.
Behind them the light blob failed. The apprentice turned and began thrusting his hands forward as if punching the air, bursts of flame fire from his fists like cannon fire. " GO GO GO" he shouted. two of the fleeing crew the stout one and the one who had wiped spit of the human woman's fore head turned and went to the apprentices side. " What about go did you not get??" the apprentice petulantly admonishes,
" Ye can't do this yerself" the stout crewman retorts. After a moment's concentration little bolts of lightning spark out toward the dark mass. The mist recoiled from both gouts of flame and the bolts of lighting. The non magic crewman drew his pistol and began firing toward the heart of the mass. It didn't do much but the crewman could do nothing else so he fired till his magazine was empty. After futilely firing his 15 rounds into the blackness. he looks back. " The rest hav reached de ship and are undoing the lines, lets be backin toward them."
They began to back toward the ship. The apprentice was still firing firebolts with one hand and spraying the wooden docks with gouts of sticky flame with the other. The stout sailor was getting the hang of using the rod and was lobbing balls of electricity that burst into sparks when they hit anything. The last crewmen threw rude hand gestures at the approaching cloud because what else could he do. The docks began to reverberate with the sound of something large stomping rapidly toward them. Through the flames and smoke of the burning dock they saw the bleeding mass of skulls and eye that made up the head of the thing they saw in the park. it was running up down the pier at them. they began backing toward the gang Planck even faster. The non magic crewmen reached it and ran up it onto the ship, then reappeared later hauling a light thermal falconet from the ship's defenses. struggling with the heavy brass contraption he fired it at the beast but was too low and the dock at the things feet burned through. The next step sent one of the thing's many legs through the planking of the dock slowing it. As it stumbled it lashed out with a before unseen tentacle or tendril shot out. It struck the apprentice and must have been sharp as a cutlass cause it went right through his left most ribs and continued on to completely sever his left arm. Despite this blow he kept his feet and kept shooting little arrow like bursts of flame from his right hand. when he did stumble the shock final catching up to him the stout sailor caught him and then hauled him backwards up the gang plank and onto the ship. Without needing orders the ship cast of quickly leaving the gang plank to pull from the dock and flop into the water. Their course was not a careful one and they drove forward and turned wide to port away for the thing on the docks. Which watched them balefully with the twenty pairs of eyes that had one belonged to the citizenry of Chir'tiris.
On deck the crew tried to render aid to the apprentice navigator, but all knew it was too late. " I think i will have that rum now..." he gasped out. This drew a laugh bordering on hysteria from a few of the shore party before they clamped down. " sig...signal the guild with a green an orange and two red flares...." he gasped out. The apprentice took his remaining hand and press it between his eyes were a odd feint light appeared. " tell them....show them..." he began to cough and blood erupted from his mouth. " this is rather fucking unpleasant he says mildly..." then he died.
They just stared, some still panting in shock at what just happened.
" bring th' flares" the captain suddenly snapped. "Shore party form up and compose ye'selves and report" While the crew reported all they saw the master navigator fired off flares that his dying apprentice had specified. Then on his own volition fired off the Red Orange Red the signal for hazardous conditions ahead. The magically modified flare hung in the air and when he looked around he saw a ship that was headed toward the port turn away and head toward them. Before the sea vessel drew near a light from above heralded and airship descending. The airship was fast soon it had drawn along side the Pride of Chir'tiris, and extended an plank, Off it stepped a large well muscled Canid, a Hesken most likely, he stood a few heads taller then the Skitrtich crew, was dressed in robes of fine red cloth embroidered with white and gold, and would have been intimidating if it weren't for the the species usual friendly demeanor.
" I saw the emergency signal what can the guild do to help?" these word seemed to break the quiet tension that had been holding them together. Some of the shore party began babbeling one began frightened weeping and the other stood silently staring into space.
" hold on, one at a time" he said gently in the more refined dialect of the common trade language, one very much like the Apprentice navigator had spoke but more casual of vocabulary. They all fell silent again. Then the stout sailor who still held the rod spoke " Summit foul has brought Chir'tiris to ruin. There should be lights fer miles from it but it is snuffed oot "
" i would be happy to investigate the..." the hesken started looking a little confused " WE DID YE FOOL SEVEN WENT ASHORE AND ONLY SIX MADE IT ALIVE" one of the shore party burst out before descending into raving of eyes and darkness and the wracking dread. He is soon silence by someone sticking a bottle of rum in his mouth.
" You have had a fatality?" the Large mage says not put off by the outburst.
" Yar, our apprentice nav'gator, he be one of yer guildmen, we be all alive because o him" said the stout Sailor who was now nervously fondling the rod.
" show me if you please " The crewman around the young navigator's body parted." oh dear" the mage said solemnly " I knew this lad, he was a bright one. Had no family and only went by Skalven instead of taking a surname" The mage looks at the feint misty light between his eyes " i see he left his own report" he touched the misty light then went vacant eyed for a while. He suddenly snapped out of it and his face was stern. and sad. " How many people lived in the city?" The ship captain respond " maybe 30,000 souls, if i count low"
" i am hoping we can still find some alive despite when Skalven's thoughts predict" The mage turned toward his ship and spoke to an aloof looking woman of one of the vulpid races " Send a class red alert and have as many guild ships here as soon as possible." " Yes Magister, but i warn you they won't arrive till morning" She turned and went in the airship to send the alert. " my airship will stay on station to keep other vessels from landing, we need no more causalities " The Hesken stated. he took something out of his robes " Show this to the port master of the trading city up the coast. he will care for your crew while we figure this out."
The other trading vessel that had turned away from the port because of the flares pulled along side. Some shouted explanations of danger ashore and to move to next safe port to resupply and offload.
The Hesken mage went up to the stout black-furred sailor " Was that rod your navigators, seems a little big for him" the sailor responds " No found it ashore, seems i have the ken to us it, thought that would take more training" he paused " that thing thar, seemed weak to magic an nottin else, the city ain't be havin a guild hall, they didn't stand a chance" The stout rat made to hand it over.
" Keep it and practice, besides i am not about to strip this ship of anything that would protect is should that mist be able to come over the sea."
" Aye we need more magic devices anyone can use." the Stout rat says to himself.
In the morning Guild ships converged on the dead city. They sent out search parties of mages. Not much information got out as to what they found but descriptions of bodies laid out in patterns and unknown writing in blood were abound. The guild ships loaded up as many books from the libraries and all the journals they could find as well as citizen registries. Art and valuables were collected and returned to living relatives when applicable, the rest was housed in a collection for the public to view a guild hall for all to see. A memorial collection. This Move has forever ingratiated the Skitritch to the mage's guild causing the Skit'ritch to be the first race to abandon their fear of magic and the guild as a whole, others followed suit.
The Stout Black furred Sailor left his crew and started a new branch of the mages guild that put all of its focus on creating magically imbued weapons that could be used by anyone. This was later called the Artificers guild. This practice went from an informal task that some wizards did for the wealthy to a focused readily available service. This has sparked a revolution in the technical development of all societies, magitech replaced fossil fuels and whale oil.
Ships would occasional still dock to plunder what remained in the city for a year after the event. Most didn't stay long and only visited once. Many never came back. After the country of Lutrond found that their rival trading port had gone silent pirate and military vessels were sent in to investigate despite warning from the mages guild. when all but one of those ships failed to return and that one was down to a handful of gibbering madmen all traffic to Chir'tiris stopped and it was erased from navigation charts. after a few decades it faded into legend and was regarded by the Lutrond monarchy to be a myth to scare sailors.
Chir'tiris which was considered the Skit'ritch homeland despite its small size faded from the public conscience except as a scary story told by sailors of all species. Only one took it seriously.