8/5-The southern provinces of the Crowndonian Empire, including the major trading centers of Walsh and Toring, are preparing for an invasion. Not from any human army, but from the hordes of Albino Locusts that descend upon the area every four years.
“They come up here, over the Demon’s Eye from Monteddor,” said Razule Gracia, the owner of one of the largest granaries in the Empire. “They come up here, and they lay their eggs in our grain,* and then they eat the grain. Entire crops are lost. Millions of pounds of gold, lost!”
Not to mention millions of lives. Southern Crowndon has a problem with poverty, and they rely on the surplus grain from farms like Gracia’s to survive.
“It’s always bad,” said a local homeless man who only goes by ‘John’. “Especially for the oldest among us. Every four years, the street population here in Walsh drops. People I’ve known my entire life, just gone. Never sure when it’s going to be my turn.”
Crowndon scientists are unsure what causes the quadrennial influx of the insects, but entomologists and climatologists in the Nor Eastern Empire share a theory.
“It has to do with air currents over the Demon’s Eye Cove,” said Jaques Dullane, one such climatologist from the Empress University. “The locusts reproduce by laying their eggs in the dirt along Monteddor’s northern ridge. These eggs get picked up by the wind. Normally, the currents above the cove intercept these eggs and blow them out to sea. But every two years there’s an event in the Barricade Ocean that causes this current to either shift or disappear altogether, and the eggs are carried into the southern Crowney Provinces, where they lay dormant in the nutrient rich soil. Two years later, there is typically another event that causes warmer than average summers. The eggs hatch, giving birth to millions of the locusts. We’re not sure what causes either event.”
This year marks the end of the four year cycle. So when can Crowndon expect to be covered in locusts?
“Within the next couple of months,” said Dullane.
*Editor’s note: Quotes are printed as spoken…any scientific inaccuracies are the fault of interviewee, not the Blackwood Gazette.