War of the Mark
The War of the Mark, a terrible and bloody conflict, changed the face of Zarmina. It firmly establishing the dragonmarked families that hold power to this day. The war began about five hundred years before the establishment of Galifar, when the dragonmarked houses launched a sort of inquisition to put an end to the proliferation of aberrant and mixed marks. The houses had the advantage of greater numbers, but the aberrant marks of the time carried tremendous destructive power.
In the third year of the war, Lord Halas Tarkanan began organizing his aberrant kindred into a proper military force to oppose the dragonmarked houses. Tarkanan, known as “The Earthshaker,” carried an aberrant mark that gave him great influence over the elemental forces of earth and fire, but his strategic brilliance was even more important to the course of the war. His consort was an enigmatic woman called the Lady of Plague. Though she is commonly seen as a monster, the records of the war suggest that she was loath to use her power unless forced to, and might even have despised the aberrant mark she carried.
Though Tarkanan’s efforts extended the conflict, the aberrants fell in the end. Tarkanan himself was trapped in the siege of Sharn, which he had made his stronghold and base of operations. When it became clear that he and his followers were doomed, he and the Lady of Plague unleashed the full power of their marks – power sufficient to destroy the city. Terrible quakes caused parts of the city to collapse and rivers of lava flowed up from the fiery lake deep below. Swarms of vermin and deadly plagues ravaged the invaders and defenders alike. Some claim that the Lady of Plague’s death-curse still lingers in the depths of Sharn.
The War of the Mark ultimately solidified the position of the dragonmarked houses in Zarmina, and it laid the foundation for the prominent place of both House Cannith and House Deneith, which played central roles in the war. It led to the foundation of the Twelve as an avenue for the houses to cooperate toward common aims.