Zynyx market was in full swing as midday neared, the sun high overhead. People were smiling, enjoying a day among the merchants. Children were running around in play while their parents watched on happily. Pet dogs were yipping playfully, food vendors were hawking their wares, tourists and native alike were mingling. People had felt safe, for it seemed that the Lightning Knights and other forces had put a sizable dent in the Flameborne forces last cycle. There had not been a single attack since then.
And the Lightning Knights and other defenders had not grown lax. Every village and roadway had been vigilantly guarded and patrolled and manned on a constant basis. Crime across the board was down, deaths and injuries were down. And so, people finally felt that they were in a time of peace. And so, while the military and such did not relax, the citizens took a collective sigh of relief.
Down on the south side of the river, a child was playing near to the clay pits, building a castle from the discarded sticky mud. He smiled his toothless grin, imagining himself as the king. He even made a small flag from a leaf and stick. He stuck it proudly in the tallest spire of his castle.
Then a large, clay hand shot from the mod, snatching the boy by the head, and with a cracking squish, popped his skull between its fingers. At the same time as that, all through the clay pits, along the entire bank of the river, on both sides, arms, tentacles, and other appendages made from clay and mud spawned and snatched every person there. This included those playing in the water, the clay workers, the members of the military standing nearby. None were ignored if they were in reach. Some of these limbs extended as far as ten meters from the river to snatch at people, with hands the size of carriages.
And so, the peace was shattered, and the screams erupted.
Meanwhile, as the panic on the south side of the market erupted, undead of many types were seen emerging from the northeast and western bends in the river. Once each stepped free of the river, their bodies ignited in a flame that burned the very ground they stood upon, billowing smoke all around them. These flames burned as hot as the innards of a large smithing furnace, and yet didn't consume the thralls. The winds on this day seemed to be in their favor, as two separate winds blew the smoke those forces produced into Zynyx market, obscuring everything and making it difficult to breathe as the forces marched on it.
The intent was clear, burn, consume, or kill everyone and everything.