The Day of Mourning
What happened on 20 Olarune, 994 YK? No one can say for certain—at least no one who survived that day. Some catastrophe, certainly magical in nature, swept through the lands of Cyre, and nothing was left alive.
Though not all its territories were lost, Cyre ceased to exist as a nation on that day. The lands that were not destroyed were incorporated into Darguun, Valenar, and the Talenta Plains. The rest became the Mournland.
The war did not cease on the Day of Mourning, however. Cyran forces in Breland and Karrnath surrendered almost immediately, but battles continued to rage in Thrane, Aundair, and Breland for at least another year. In fact, the war intensified, with no side knowing what had happened and all fearing that another such catastrophe might be unleashed if decisive victory was not quickly achieved.
There are as many theories about the nature of the Day of Mourning as there are people who think about it. Many blame House Cannith, believing that some arcane experiments taking place within its forgeholds caused the catastrophe. Some say that a secretive cabal of Cyran wizards called on the same forces that the giants had used to stop the quori invasion forty thousand years before, accidentally unleashing those forces on their own nation. Still others accuse Cyre’s enemies of unleashing those same forces, but intentionally. Some believe that the Day of Mourning was a natural catastrophe, while others hold that its origin was divine—either a deadly warning or a horrific punishment from the gods.
A few people point to the Day of Mourning as evidence that events long prophesied have begun to take place, signaling the eventual destruction of the whole world in a similar manner. Some of these prophets of doom gather into small communities on the borders of the Mournland, living lives of pious devotion in the hopes of being spared from the coming devastation. Others abandon themselves to lives of hedonistic luxury, making merry before their lives hasten to an end. Still others look for ways to manipulate the uncertainty in the Day of Mourning’s aftermath to achieve their own mysterious goals.
Source: Player's Guide to Eberron
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