Before the Darkest Hour
Halruaa, 1374 DR
It was noon on the 3rd of Ches, in the year of Lightning storms when tragedy struck Halarahh, the capital of Halruaa.
Onlookers on the Promenade and Arbor square stared in disbelief as the magnificent floating netyarch`s palace crashed onto itself. The sight was sudden, fluid and almost graceful in its horror, as the unseen force consumed the great edifice – shattering its towers, parapets and the Council dome where the king himself held his moot. In that terrible moment of its unrelenting toil, the force fed on neighboring towers and the structures below – indiscriminately uprooting roof tiles, statues, skyship docks, steel railings and even a skyship, until it suddenly stopped to settle in midair, forming a rough sphere of marble and glass that glinted like a ball of light under the noon sun. No one actually heard the sound of crushing stone and marble, or the shattering of glass – for no sound could escape the force of the implosion. It all happened in perfect silence.
The people of Halarahh stood transfixed as if waiting for the trick to unfold. What else could this be, they thought – but a tasteless trick? So they waited, with hundreds of eyes lingering on the gleaming sphere of light that floated where the palace once stood. Their eyes still followed the sphere in disbelief when it started its descent, unbound – their illusions finally shattered as the hail of rubble crashed with a thundering sound into the great nave of Mystra`s temple below.