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Alternate fate for Alphatia at end of WotI

by redking

I'm not a fan of Alphatia sinking beneath the waves and ending up in the Hollow World. Here's an alternative.

The doomsday device is activated and a magical attack is centered on Sundsvall (effectively a magical nuke). This attack burns down half the city and creates a magic dead zone comprising all of mainland Alphatia.

At this moment there is no magic in Alphatia whatsoever. After about a month it appears that magic will never return and the wizard and cleric rulers of Alphatia are suddenly vulnerable to the non-magical masses. With Eriadna dead and clear authority undetermined, an Alphatian general named Cromveil takes this opportunity to lead a coup against the magical rulers of Alphatia.

Unbeknownst to mortals, the losing side in the Wrath of the Immortals (the entropics) has been required to fix the magic dead zone within a year. The entropics work out a way to fix the magic dead zone within six months but stick to the letter of the ruling against them and only restore magic to Alphatia exactly a year after magic was lost.

Before a year is out, Cromveil is in control of 2/3rd of mainland Alphatia. Then magic is suddenly restored and Cromveil begins to lose battles everywhere. Two months after magic is restored Cromveil is in chains.

These events are a huge shock to the ruling establishment of Alphatia who have felt vulnerability for the very first time. With about half of their number dead the wizard rulers become more insular and conservative. Alphatia goes through a period of isolationism and self-reflection.

I assume that Alphatia already has much on its hands. Norwold and the other colonies (except for Bellisaria), far from being profitable, are actually a drain on the treasury. They are backwards lands, undeveloped, and of little interest to the spellcasters of Alphatia. Alphatia itself is a wondrous place. There are conveniences in Alphatia unknown anywhere in the world. These conveniences mean it is very difficult to get Alphatians to go and colonize other lands. Adding more territories is not what the Alphatians want.

My hypothesis is that Alphatia could have quickly won the war with Glantri/Thyatis, but the authorities just couldn't get the most powerful wizards interested in fighting the war. In their minds there was no existential threat to Alphatia, just a war with no real consequences. Until the winter of 1009 AC, that is. The Glantrian doomsday weapon is activated, destroys the Alphatian captial city, Sundsvall, and kills many of the 'Thousand Wizards' rulers of Alphatia. What followed was a week without magic, which united the Alphatians against a concrete threat. It was then that the Thousand Wizards were convened to end the war with a devastating strike against Glantri.

Obviously the Thousand Wizards could have been convened at the beginning of the war and ended the war instantly. The problem is that these are very individualistic wizards, with individual agendas, many of whom do not necessarily approve of genocide. Unleashing the Thousand Wizards in all their might is like using nuclear weapons - only an equivalent attack, like the attack on Sundsvall by the doomsday weapon, would warrant a response from the Thousand Wizards.