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A to Z Challenge 2019: C is for the Cataclysm

Welcome to my A to Z Challenge 2019 posts. This year I’ll be writing about the world of Kinyal which is the setting of my epic fantasy novels and short stories. These posts offer insights into the world’s history, locations, and factions, but do not spoil any of the events or secrets from the novel.

You don’t need to read them in order, and as the challenge progresses, I’ll do my best to add links to related topics for each post.

The Cataclysm

The Cataclysm is a destructive event that took place on Kinyal four hundred years earlier. This powerful magic occurrence destroyed a good portion of the continent of Tyorane, almost entirely destroying the kingdom of Zemarion.

Not much is known about the Cataclysm, but the common lore ties it to the arcanists’ attempt to the first ever attempt of bringing a higher demon to Kinyal. It was not only a way to test the limits of pacts, but also means of bringing the two worlds together. Veranesh, the demon invited to participate in the summoning, counted among the most powerful ones, and all the arcanists to perform it were experienced archmages.

Yet, something went wrong on that day.

The destruction left little evidence and no witnesses to the actual summoning, but high mages of that time gave an account of the event. According to them, the summoning was a success, but the seemingly amiable higher demon turned on those who brought him to Kinyal. As he unleashed powerful magic, destroying not only the arcanists involved, but also their surroundings, high mages engaged in a battle with him. Before they could stop him, Veranesh’s magic wiped out the whole kingdom, changing the once prosperous land into a desert.

The battle and its aftermath

As the lore would have it, the high mages managed to win the battle of magic against Veranesh, in the end killing the treacherous demon, and the destruction stopped short of Zemarion’s northernmost city, Kaighal which soon became the seat of the high mages school, the High Towers, and the heart of Tyorane’s trade.

Needless to say, such even didn’t scar only the continent, but also the people. Soon after the persecution of arcanists started, and the once secondary name for them, the demonologists, became prevalent as the commoners, riled by high mages, began to see the source of evil and maliciousness in them.

Because of that, the arcane school of magic dwindled with its practitioners often watched closely and keeping away from mage-ruled Kaighal.

The true reasons of the Cataclysm remain unknown. In the past, some doubted the high mages’ ability to defeat a powerful yalari while others questioned the sudden raise to power of a school that prior to the Cataclysm had nothing to show for, inferior in any way to the arcane magic, but high mages were quick to hush those voices. After all, the victors write the history as they see fit.

If you’d like a taste of the world, my free collection contains two of the stories from my free short story collection are set in Kinyal. The Arcanist and the Mage Killer and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades tell of the early adventures of Kamira and Veelk, the main protagonists of the upcoming novel.

You can get the collection by signing up to my newsletter.

All posts in this year’s challenge (links updated with new posts):

Arcane Magic || Barriers and Circles || The Cataclysm || Devanshari  || Essence || Free City of Kaighal || Gildya Magna || High Magic || Imbued Stones || Juamha || Kamira Altrainne || Languages || Mage Killers ||

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Jackie

    Hello I’m stopping in to say hello from the AtoZchallenge. Firstly, thank you for visiting my blog but I almost couldn’t find you. Sometimes it is really hard to find people you know? Also, the link to your short story collection is broken. You need to insert a colon like this : after the http Idk I could be wrong but that is what I noticed. Sorry I can’t say I am a fan of this sort of Fantasy. It sounds too complicated to me. Happy AtoZ’ing

    Jackie’s Bookbytes Letter c

    1. Melfka

      Hello Jackie! Thank you for stopping by and letting me know about the broken link. It used to work, so I’m guessing some website update affected it. Either way, I fixed it now thanks to you :).
      As for not being a fan – I understand. There are certain types of fantasy I’m not fond of myself (like portal fantasies).
      Happy AtoZ’ing to you too!

      1. Jackie

        Ok well I am happy to be of service 🙂 and I wish you lots of success in your writing career. I don’t mind portals.

  2. oh dear, and I write portal fantasies lol, but I am loving this lore behind your stories, I can see how they would inform what you would be writing.

    1. Melfka

      Hey, if you love portal fantasies, this is what you have to write and you’ll make a lot of readers happy. 🙂
      And yes, the novels set in this world are about an arcanist who discovers the high mages’ greatest secret and the truth behind the Cataclysm, so I had to figure out all the bits beforehand. 🙂

  3. Sue Bursztynski

    Sounds like quite a task is waiting for your heroes! I am looking forward to hearing who those are!

    1. Melfka

      Uh-oh! I’m was the fence about introducing them here: it felt like I’d spoil too much and they are, in a way, introduced in my short story collection. (At least the two main ones, because the novel is multi-POV, and even the antagonists have their scenes.

    1. Melfka

      Thank you :). The truth about the Cataclysm is an important bit in the plot of my novel, so it’s good that it’s working as it should. 🙂

  4. J.R.Bee

    I love how you’ve mingled lore and facts that have lead to current day superstitions, you’ve created such a rich world here, be proud!

    1. Melfka

      Thank you :). I really feel like it’s my most original and complex world. Sure, things were inspired by other things, but the way I weaved them together is all mine, right? 🙂

      1. J.R.Bee

        Absolutely, that’s how it works 🙂

  5. sjhigbee

    Ah… and of course those involved in such a destructive event would be wiped out, which would only leave a jumbled set of theories and stories about the causes of what went wrong… Love that there isn’t a unifying anything – it’s exactly how history operates:))

    1. Melfka

      Indeed. I tried to draw similarities from the processes we’ve seen in our own world.

      1. sjhigbee

        And of course those similarities will chime with your readers…

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