The Wars of Above and Below at Merrill City’s Doorstep
By Toodla Oblodt, Naldrin City News
Naldrin City, Kalkix 6, SP~5,016
New evidence suggests that the continuing conflict known as the Wars of Above and Below is heating up.
Merrill City, located in the northern part of the Frestehal Plateau at the base of the Rimmel Mountains, is under a concerted attack from a force that has emerged out of the Merrill Gorge, just miles to its west.
For several years the Merrill Gorge has been the center of hostilities in the Wars of Above and Below. The Gorge runs slightly more than 400 miles east-west along the northern edge of the Frestehal Plateau, where the desert lands of Frestehal meet the Rimmel Mountain range. Until a few years ago, the Merrill Gorge was a ravine that varied in width from between half a mile to ten miles, with a depth of as much as one mile. It was one of the great splendors of the northern half of the continent and a frequent stop for tourists from all across Tamarra. Eleven years ago, in the year of the Great Earthshake, SP~5,005, the base of the gorge was shattered to depths that have still not been completely explored. This deepening of the Gorge opened up a path to kingdoms and peoples who had been living beneath the surface of our Ethem.
The Wars of Above and Below, which began after the Earthshake, continue today, although the battles had been relatively isolated up to this point. The first battles occurred when Tamarran forces, primarily dwarves from several dwarven cities on the Frestehal Plateau, were exploring the deep underworld. Confronted by what they interpreted as belligerent creatures, they chose to fight. Some say that the people from Below took these “explorations” as aggressive incursions and are now retaliating.
This current assault on Merrill City suggests that we may be entering a new phase of the Wars. Reports are spotty and infrequent, due in part to the strange disruption in blink bat communication within the city and the surrounding regions. The dimensional gates that the blink bats can naturally travel may have been disrupted by some kind of Shadow Energy. Because of this, much of the contact with Merrill City has been by courier using the Great Road through Jal’s Pass, which cuts north-south through the Rimmel Mountains.
The reports that we do have confirm several facts. First, the force attacking Merrill City is quite substantial: there are somewhere between eight and twelve thousand fighters. They are a well-trained military force from a race of creatures known as the Mannahassay. In addition, the Below army is compensating for their limited ability to see in sunlight by using some kind of head covering. Although most of the creatures from the Below regions are either sightless or have sight that is accustomed to little or no light, these head covers make them much more capable, and therefore more lethal. Finally, these creatures seem to have the ability to communicate with each other without words. GERC experts here in Naldrin City are saying this is probably due to the use of Mental Energy, and that these creatures may be akin to Mentarchs.
Our sources elsewhere on the Plateau have indicated that the neighboring dwarf cities of Addakk and Kakktika are sending trained forces to the aid of their (mostly) human neighbors in Merrill City.
We will continue to update you, the citizens of Naldrin City and the North, as further news becomes available.