From World of Charun

Zrilanduzarm confronts Aetheas
Zrilanduzarm confronts Aetheas

Greater Sauroid

Zrilanduzarm, a Greater Sauroid, is believed to have claimed the entire Southern Reaches as it's territory in the Second Age. As she tended to be reclusive and the Niematharin had generally shown little interest in the Southern Reaches, her existence had generally escaped previous notice. In 5962 II she decided to expand her territory. It is assumed that she acted pre-emptively on the assumption that the Niemathar, having entirely secured the Old Land, would again look for avenues for expansion, and of the frigid wastes of the North, the dangerous volcanic Mogaroth, or the desert-and-jungle Southern Reaches, it is guessed that she considered her own territory to be the next target for Niematharin expansion.

Zrilanduzarm herself appears to have been a relative non-combatant, and she also lacked for Urman allies. The offensive consisted of Zrilanduzarm sending a host of dragons north across the Sea of Sharks to destroy the first coastal cities they came upon. Presumably this was an attempt to stifle any ship-building, but represented a massive miscalculation on the Greater Sauroid's part. Rather than quail at the sudden appearance of strings of dragons falling out of the sky to wreak death and destruction along the coast, the entire Niematharin nation, at this point having considered itself the unquestioned victor of the Sauroid Wars ending two-hundred years ago, was galvanized into immediate action.

An army was gathered quickly by Aetheas, their greatest champion. They set out southward upon a fleet of great many ships in an attempt to locate the Greater Sauroid - an endeavour that took them to the centre of the lethally inhospitable desert of Cadumbu, where the creature laired in a mile-long tunnel system beneath the sands. The entire search was accomplished by gauging the surviving dragons' reactions, pressing up against resistance and using the dragons' actions as a guide to Zrilanduzarm's location. The dragons were potent, but unable to prevail against the combined archery and spellcraft of the Niematharin wizards, particularly once they were forced to fight in relatively confined spaces underground.

The Niematharin army fought their way to the deepest hole where they came upon Zrilanduzarm. The battle was fierce and lasted 5 days, after which the Niematharin emerged as victors. It is said that at the end, Aetheas confronted Zrilanduzarm directly, the entire fight reaching a lull as the two of them came face to face and each attempted to stare the other down. To the pride of the Niematharin, it is Zrilanduzarm who is said to have blinked first, attacking Aetheas, who held the creature off long enough for warriors and wizards to find a way in at its flank, at which point she was doomed.

The Niematharin expedition, being assembled for combat rather than colonization or conquest, appears to have returned home immediately after the battle, not lingering in the inhospitable deserts, or stopping to investigate the coastal jungles to any great extent. The Southern Reaches thus became a power vacuum in which humans were to eventually develop and flourish.

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