“Weep, oh nations of Khorvaire, for the Jewel of Galifar is no more. You have finally completed what you started when you rejected the true and proper right of Mishann to ascend the throne of Galifar. With your jealousy and petty ambitions, you have brought this disaster on us all!
“Weep, my brothers and sisters, for our homes and our families have been eliminated in a foul and cowardly way. Do not let Cyre be forgotten! Do not let the Day of Mourning end! Not until we have discovered the villain. Not until we have made the villain face justice for this heinous crime. Not until Cyre’s children are once more safe and content within their homeland.
“Weep this day, my fellow Cyrans, and never forget. But tomorrow… tomorrow we begin to hunt down this villain, to demand justice, and to rebuild beloved, cherished Cyre. Tomorrow! Tomorrow we shall go home!”
— Prince Oargev, Address to the Cyran Refugees at the Brelish Camp (which would become New Cyre), 994 YK
Cyre was the future. At the height of the Kingdom of Galifar, Cyre was a land of arcane dreams made manifest. It came to be known as Beautiful Cyre, the Purple Jewel in Galifar’s Crown, and Wondrous Cyre. To some, it was considered a land of decadence and arrogance, but to the rest of the kingdom, it was paradise.
When King Jarot attained the throne of Galifar, none of his children were yet of an age to take over the administration of the Five Nations. Regents and the existing governor-princes (Jarot’s younger brothers and sisters) continued to govern and served as mentors and teachers for Jarot’s scions. Princess Mishann, the oldest of Jarot’s children, was sent to Cyre to learn at the knee of her uncle and prepare for her role as governor-prince and, eventually, monarch of Galifar. Just as it was since Galifar united the kingdom, just as it would be forever.
However, Mishann and the rest of the kingdom would discover that nothing remains the same forever. When King Jarot died, Mishann prepared for the journey to Thronehold to attend her father’s funeral and to take the crown that was her birthright as the eldest scion of House Wynarn. Her siblings each brought armed troops to the funeral, and before Mishann could be coronated, Prince Thalin challenged the right of eldest succession. With loyal knights of the Silver Flame at his side, Thalin asserted that he was the better choice to be King of Galifar. Prince Kaius and Princess Wroann supported Thalin, in so far as they wanted a different method of selection to be put in place. “Why should the oldest and weakest automatically gain the crown?” Wroann asked. Prince Wrogar supported Mishann’s claim, but the other three rejected her. Wrogar was able to stop the scions from spilling royal blood at Thronehold, but the five siblings and their followers departed the island without reaching any resolution to the question of succession.
Before the year was out, the first battles of the Last War erupted, and each royal sibling eventually declared his or her own ambition to take the Galifaran crown. As the kingdom collapsed and the Five Nations became five distinct and separate states once more, war spread throughout Khorvaire. Beautiful Cyre, of all the nations, wound up as the battleground on which much of the Last War was fought. In addition to the troops from Karrnath, Thrane, and Breland clashing with each other and Cyran forces in this region, Cyre also became the place where Darguun, Valenar, Talentan tribes, and Lhazaarite pirates came to loot, plunder, or seek land to expand into.
And so it went, with the great wonders of Cyre falling bit by bit with every battle, until the terrible cataclysm of the Day of Mourning finished the sad destruction of the once-shining nation in one fell swoop. No one has claimed credit for the massive release of arcane energy that obliterated the nation, and no one seems to know exactly what happened on the Day of Mourning. What is known is that something terrible occurred in or around the city of Making, located at about the center of what is now the Glass Plateau, and slowly spread out to destroy the whole kingdom. Those living closer to the borders, as well as those outside the nation on this fateful day, were able to survive the disaster.
Today, Cyre is no more. In its place is the Mournland, a blasted, mutated land surrounded by a dense wall of dead-gray mist. Cyran refugees have migrated to New Cyre and Sharn in Breland, Dragonroost and Zolanberg in Zilargo, and, in smaller numbers, to communities in Thrane, Karrnath, and Q’barra. Many Cyrans, still reeling from the terrible destruction, find it hard to forgive the Five Nations that have refused to provide them with help. Worse, the Valenar elves slaughtered Cyran refugees fleeing from southeastern Cyre by the thousands as they tried to escape the spreading mist.
A second injustice heaped upon the survivors of Cyre occurred during the Treaty of Thronehold negotiations. Though the Day of Mourning was crucial in getting the Five Nations together to end the Last War, no Cyran representation was permitted. “Cyre no longer exists,” Queen Aurala of Aundair argued. “The refugees have no voice in these proceedings,” High King Vadallia of Valenar agreed. And so Cyre did not participate in the accords that redefined the continent and ended the Last War.
Cyre’s last century featured an incredible series of highs and lows. Led by the legitimate heir to the throne of Galifar, Mishann ir’Wynarn, the country first appeared to be ready to fall to the combined might of Breland, Karrnath, and Thrane. But an inspired bit of negotiation brought the warbands of the Valaes Tairn elves to Khorvaire to fight for Cyre (or at least Cyran gold), and the other nations’ leaders quickly turned on each other as each decided to take the crown of the kingdom. For six decades Cyre enjoyed success out of all proportion with its size and might. When the Valaes Tairn’s War Leader Shaeras Vadallia declared himself High King of Valenar, carving out a new elven empire on Cyre’s territory, it seemed Cyre was once again doomed. Then came the warforged, bolstering Cyre’s forces and giving it the strength to survive despite the toll constant warfare was taking on the countryside. Still, the Cyrans’ fortunes were waning, and many parts of northern and western Cyre became battlefields. Step by bloody step, the fighting wound toward Metrol and the few pristine Cyran cites left in the south. Rumors abounded that Queen Dannel and her advisers had plans for a major new offensive that would throw back the invaders. Dannel’s uncanny charisma inspired a nation and, despite the losses, spirits were high. Cyre’s martial academies and arcane colleges continued to attract students eager to learn the skills necessary to defend the nation.
Until the Day of Mourning.
Cyre’s complete destruction in a day by an explosive wave of arcane energy is undoubtedly the single most important moment in the last hundred years. Major battles were being fought all across Cyre, with each of the Five Nations losing thousands if not tens of thousands of soldiers as the dead-gray wall of mist swept outward from the interior. While refugees have gathered in Breland under the graces of King Boranel’s mercy, Cyre as a nation is simply gone, lost behind a wall that follows Cyre’s borders with eerie precision. In its place a strangely tranquil wasteland taunts treasure seekers with tantalizing hints of the greatest mystery of the modern age… What was the Mourning? Will it happen again?
Today there are two Cyres — the citizens who survived, and the blasted wasteland where the kingdom once stood. Within the Mournland, the Lord of Blades is the closest thing the inhabitants have to a king. Outside the Mournland, for the people of Cyre who survived the Day of Mourning, Prince Oargev ir’Wynarn is the rightful leader. While the Cyran people remain scattered across the surviving Five Nations and beyond, the city of New Cyre in eastern Breland is growing, and every day sees a reunion as divided families rejoice in the return of lost kin. Oargev is determined to see the Mournland recovered, its plains purified, its waters cleansed of taint.
While he governs New Cyre, Oargev dreams of rebuilding Cyre the nation. If he cannot do this in the Mournland, he will carve a permanent nation from King Boranel’s flank. The Brelish king was the first to reach out to the Cyrans as their lands died, and Oargev hesitates to betray such kindness. To this end, Prince Oargev sponsors expeditions into the Mournland and offers rich rewards for relics and natural specimens brought out of the mists. The young prince has become something of a naturalist, knowledgeable about all the native species of plants and animals, and an expert on the strange mutations found around the Great Chasm. Oargev is particularly eager to
recover Cyran royal regalia from Metrol.
None of the provinces of Galifar was as ill-suited to the rigors and violence of the Last War as was Cyre, the Purple Jewel in Galifar’s Crown. This crossroads of culture, the heart of the Galifaran empire’s artisan soul, fielded a military that was only a pale shadow of its neighbors. Further, it was Cyre’s own Queen Mishann who was due to ascend the Galifaran throne after the death of King Jarot, and thus the Cyrans were the last to know of the usurpers’ intentions. Had it not been for mercenaries — including the Valenar elves, the goblins of Darguun, and warforged purchased from House Cannith Cyre could never have survived even until the Day of Mourning. As is so often the case in war, the noncombatants and the innocents suffer most, and Cyre was no exception.
Locations in the Mournland