The Cataclysm was brought to the Mountaineers’ attention through their Neithercourier correspondence with “The Searchers,” as a way to illuminate the Mountaineers’ location from behind the “leaden veil” that was obscuring them from the rest of the world.
We believe the dream Martin had was a clue from the Cagliostro that led us to a fraction of a spell that may help “illuminate the door.” We call it a “fraction” because the spell is incomplete, and it’s incomplete because it’s been proven impossible to perform fully. We’re colloquially calling it “the cataclysm.”
From what we’ve learned, centuries ago an unnamed seeker of magic attempted to subvert the currently understood laws by borrowing energy from objects with power, and earmarking them for a central, more powerful spell. Once the connection to the object was established, and its power lent, she would then try to use that collected core of energy to attempt to perform wrought magic, hoping that she could funnel the borrowed energy into a wrought spell and break it, while still honoring the initial mundane tether, and returning the borrowed magic to its source. In effect, the energy would for an instant be both borrowed and wrought, theoretically doubling the energy and creating what she hoped would be eternally sustainable magic.
But she found it to be impossible, and every time the spell was attempted, there was a brief but cataclysmic eruption of energy as the borrowed magic almost broke but instead rebounded, often snapping back to its sources and destroying them in the process. It’s believed that in her final attempt, the rebound destroyed her.
To cast the spell, the Mountaineers had to choose an item of personal significance to them, and cast figuration magic by writing the story of the object. The sanctuary also warned of two potential concerns:
One, given that you are within a near-impenetrable fort of magimystic energy, we don’t know if the eruption will dissipate through the unseen walls, or rebound against them, essentially crushing you in a tsunami of magimystic energy.
Two, the laws of magic as we know them continue to crumble as the last of magic fades from this world. What was once possible may not be for long. In essence, we don’t know how much longer this spell, or any other proven spell, will work the way it once did.
The spell was cast on July 2, 2019. Upon casting, the forum went dark for nearly two and a half hours. The outcome of this spell varied by caster, with some objects destroyed completely, some seemingly untouched, or some undergoing noticeable energetic changes, with multiple Mountaineers experiencing some sort of spell sickness.
Saberlane experienced the worst of the after-effects, describing the office exploding in on him in a flash. Saberlane was never the same after the Cataclysm, which had long-lasting effects on his mind.