(“On the Blüdhafen Anomaly” a study by arcanist Trivus Arwan, written in the year 142 of the Blessed Age)
It has been almost twenty years since the great tragedy that is laconically known as the Blüdhafen Massacre, but its enigma has been haunting the scholarly community to this very day.
It was an incident without precedent, and the deeper we investigate it, the less we understand.
In general, there are only very few accounts of what really happened, but trying to get to the core of the problem is practically impossible, as only two individuals survived and witnessed the climax in the paladin cathedral; Duke Viezmar of Blüdhafen and Knight Commander Dietrich Menge, both of whom remain adamant about remaining silent on the matter.
Most of the scholarly community, me included, reached the conclusion that due to many factors, the mystery is so obfuscated that trying to elucidate it would be a waste of precious time.
Up until recently, that was the consensus, but a few months ago I noticed that strange rumours began circulating among my colleagues.
Apparently, the huge crater that now embellishes the area where the grand paladin cathedral and its surroundings used to stand, is now the source of a very eerie phenomenon.
I, as one of the few in our empire who, on a theoretical level, understands magic and arcane, thought that such a rumour is worth investigating and I made my way to the port city of Blüdhafen.
Even though I knew what to expect, the black crater in the centre of the city and the black ominous remains of the cathedral and the surrounding houses took me by surprise.
I always assumed that it was something akin to a giant explosion that destroyed the cathedral, but this didn’t look like any explosion I have ever seen. The edges and walls of the crater were perfectly smooth and even, and even more intriguing were the houses. They were not destroyed by the explosion as I thought originally, but instead they looked like something took a great even bite out of them. The edges of the houses were black as if from fire, that’s true, but they weren’t charred or burned; it was more like they changed into obsidian. Without a single dent and imperfection.
Even here on the edges of the crater I could feel something strange emanating from the middle, and something being wrong with my senses.
I for the love of Zuthar couldn’t grasp what was wrong, but then it hit me…it was the silence. I couldn’t hear a single sound from the outside while I was here. No birds, no murmur, no sounds of the city, only me and my heartbeat. And every sound I made only sounded like a distant echo.
My eyesight was playing tricks as well, always seeing something in the corner of my eye, but nothing was ever there when I turned my head. I also looked like I was seeing double, for whenever I moved my hand, I could see the blur of my movement, an effect similar to the ones caused by various fungi and herbs.
I decided to place my apparatus for arcane research here, so I could find if there is any magical residue here, or perhaps if some spell is still in effect.
Everything was negative, even things that weren’t meant to be. This entire place was devoid of magic, and not just of the synthetic magic left by spells, but the small traces of natural flowing magic that should be found everywhere were not here either. It was like this place didn’t exist. Devoid of sound, devoid of life, devoid of magic. For all intents and purposes, this place was dead.
I thought about the events of the Massacre and tried to find some conclusion as to why this places is how it is, but I can only theorize.
Considering that out of the powerful attack force that attacked the cathedral and destroyed the source of the evil, only two survived the events, it can be assumed that some kind of battle took place here. Normally I would assume that this was the result of a powerful life-destroying spell, but that would not explain the other abnormalities. Perhaps the paladins used their powers and lives to create a colossal magic dispel, but again, something didn’t compute.
My last theory is the most implausible one, but also one I personally find most likely; as is known, the city was overrun by so many monsters, that no one had any idea where they came from, it was only known that they came from the cathedral. This could mean that they came here from a different plane of existence or reality, one that works differently that the ones we know of. What if either due to sheer number of summons, or due to deliberate effort by some higher entity, this entire area was supposed to became a permanent gateway into that plane of existence, but the process was stopped before it could finish, and so this place remains only a closed doorway that is neither here nor there. What if those shapes I see through the corner of my eye are the creatures on the other side, waiting for the doorway to open. Would that mean that the source of this corruption wasn’t defeated, but only sealed away. And would that mean that if I can see these shapes on the other side, they can see and observe us. But what if they could see us the entire time, what if the wall between our realities isn’t a wall, but a one way mirror, a mirror imperfectly sealed, so that it may still be possibly penetrable by sounds and whispers.