The Goëtic Trail was the 3,500 mile (5,630 km) route from eastern Cibola to Caplona that Goëtic refugees travelled from 1701 to 1702. The Goëtic Trail extends from Gathering Place, Goetia, southwest to Southcape peninsula, across the frozen southern ocean to the Stonewall peninsula on Sypyr, and southeast to the south pole. The final crossing was at the narrow strip of permanent ice separating Sypyr from Caplona at the geographic south pole, known as Revolutionary Point by the Beaugians. The trail was entirely through The Green which proved especially dangerous for the refugees who had just been massacred in the Crusade of Saint Lazaros. Of the 1,900 Goetics who made it to the Southcape ruins in 1702, only 1,140 set foot on Caplona in 1702.
Siege of Gathering Place
The Holy Order of the Armored Goats laid siege to the Goetic capital in late 1699. The population of Gathering Place was estimated to be around 19,000 when the siege began. A contingent of Gorillas NF veterans stayed behind in the hastily fortified town to give most of the Goetics time to escape.
Massacre at the Ruins of Dbiyyah
The fleeing Goetics made camp in the ruins of Dbiyyah until hunted down and massacred by the Athlonic crusaders. About 15,000 Goetics were killed in the camp, trying to flee, or found in satellite camps in the area. Exact estimates vary due to the prolonged nature of the massacre, lasting several weeks. The crusaders did not bury or collect the dead.
Winter Camp at Leichenberg
In late 1700 about 3,800 of the surviving Goetics made winter camp near the ruins of Leichenberg. Etzeland was on the cusp of being re-established at the time and the Athlonic crusaders were warned to wrap up the campaign so as to not suddenly find themselves in foreign territory. The encamped Goetics were warned (by a demon?) to flee and about half escaped before the pursuing Athlonics circled the camp and murdered those left behind.
Arrival at Southcape Ruins
1,900 Goetics survived and made it to Southcape, which was still in the Green. Facing the choice between waiting to be murdered or forced to convert to Bovinism, the Goetics decided to travel nearly 500 miles from Southcape to the Stonewall peninsula across the permanent ice of the southern ocean. They hunted and gathered for weeks to collect the necessary supplied to last the weeks-long journey. It took over a month and dozens died.
Several more months to cross Sypyr by foot. Wintered at Stonewall. They survived by hunting beaver and bear along the Yulia river, collecting their pelts to protect against the harsh cold. In the spring they set out toward the south pole. In the summer, they crossed the 14 mile (24km) strip of frozen ocean that separates Sypyr and Caplona. Hundreds die at this final crossing.
The Promised Land
1,140 Goetics arrived on Caplona in 1702. They erected a simple memorial at Revolutionary Point in honor of the nearly 18,000 Goetics who died along the Trail. They wandered in the frozen wasteland towards the north-east, as they noticed a cloud-covered mountain range. Clouds meant rain, and rain meant possible vegetation. What they found inside the circular mountain range was a hidden paradise, a temperate ecosystem heated by volcanic steam vents. They could settle here, remain hidden, and practice their demon worship ways unbothered, unnoticed, and unseen. They could no longer be nomadic, or rely on trade or barter. They would become agrarian and entirely self-sufficient. Once established, they would send out missionaries again to tell the Goetics that fled in the 1696 Great Scattering to return to New Goëtia. From 1702 to 1709 thousands more Goetics would arrive on Caplona via private chartered boats leaving ports in Nandaton, and Estatia.