Legends and Myths
Legends say that elves and dwarves inhabited the continent of Ivern longer than the other races, and were indeed friends and allies for much of their history. A war broke out among the elves, and some of their people were exiled beneath the world’s surface.
This angered the dwarves, who considered the underworld their domain. A second war started, and eventually the outcast elves sought peace with the dwarves, establishing their own underground empire. While peace held, enmity still grew between the dwarves and both societies of elves.
Hundreds of years passed before another war began; it enveloped every cave and crevasse of the underworld, and much of the surface of the continent. At it’s conclusion, the dark elves were driven into hiding and the permanent severing of diplomatic ties between the surface elves and the dwarves occurred.
Ye olden days
Humans (and halflings) landed on Ivern a few thousand years ago, and established their own surface kingdoms. Slowly and surely driving back the elves through expansion, a peace was eventually established wherein certain areas were deemed off limits to development.
Other monstrous humanoids were present when humans arrived, and multiplied as quickly as ever, causing unceasing problems for civilization.
At some point, a powerful sorcerer-king of a great southern human empire beseeched the dwarves for help – he claimed he had discovered a powerful magical nexus deep beneath the earth through divinations. He asked their help in uncovering and accessing this power for the good of all.
The dwarves agreed, for a hefty sum of course, and began to dig ever deeper for this source of power. Once discovered, the sorcerer-king betrayed the trust of the dwarves; he seized control of the nexus and slew the dwarf-king in a rage, declaring himself the Ruler of Earth Above and Below.
History has lost how he was defeated… but the result of his defeat is still present; at his death he cast a terrible curse on the world – a rift to the plane of negative energy was opened, and it split the earth, destroyed cities, and worst of all brought those who died back to an undeath to torment and devour the living.
The Blasted Lands slowly spread each year, all who fall within it’s borders joining the ranks of the undying; the empire of the north, Ivernesse, once proud and strong is now prey to corruption and greed. Mysterious forces make their moves against a world unprepared, and it is up to those few who are brave (or foolish) enough to do something that empires and nations cannot.