Ashes of the Betrayer
The demonic possession of an ancient Ice Lizard by an unnamable horror unleashes a world-spanning cloud of evil and death, resulting in the total collapse of civilization. The Death, as the apocalpse became known transformed the very fabric of magic and nature, poisoning the Astral Sea and corrupting the nature of the magical races. Goblin-kind, Giants, and countless other races of evil and chaos have become blessed with a dark might that feeds off of their inherent evil and destructive natures. Meanwhile the once peaceful races of the land have become victims of horror.
The once jovial and outgoing halflings were responsible for discovering the cause of the Death. And their swift and courageous theft of the Dark Lord’s black heartstone made survival possible for the world at large. However, the stone that saved the world laid it’s mark upon the pure-hearted race, staining them with a devouring madness that left their nomadic tribes in the grip of blood-thirsty canabalistic depravity.
The tieflings fell prey to their racial weaknesses. Blessed with growing power the race spiralled into a monomaniacal frenzy of power-hunger and evil. They have made themselves demi-gods and petty kings over the empowered forces of darkness and evil that reign over the world. But their power is impure and leads ultimately to dependency and servitude to those who command the ebb and flow of magic itself – the Dragons.
The dragonblooded have all but dissappeared as they were hunted out of fear and hatred. Their race now holds the undeserved blame for the end of the world. But they are not without fault. Within their veins flows the blood of draconic evil, the poisoned residue of the Great Betrayer’s sin. This blood gives them strength and power as it does to their more powerful and ancient brethren, the dragons, but at the terrible price of their sanity.
The wood elves, once beautiful and graceful creatures now suffer from a wasting disease that consumes the magical forces that sustain their extended lives, leaving their bodies mangled and deformed. To survive the elves now have to feed off of the magical energies of the world around them. Some are lucky enough to have built small enclaves around caerns of ancient power, rationing out the welling up power to keep them healthy and sane, while most have degenerated into barbaric practices of sacrifice and murder.
The eladran have become the servants of the power they once commanded. Their magic is corrupted and distorted and most of all – dangerous. It is strong enough to protect them from the elven wasting disease, but that very magic also devours their souls, ultimately entombing them in the soulless corpse of the Undead.
Only the dwarves, in their stout-heartedness were untainted by the Ash. Sealed away in their fortresses they fought back against the darkness. But they too have fallen prey to the shadow cast by the new world. The goblin and giant races, engorged with their new found might, wage an undying war of genocide upon the dwarves. Many great cavern cities have fallen to the hordes. They lie wasted and filled only with death and madness. The few cities that still survive do so based on a policy of strict isolationism and paranoia. Going so far as to deny access even to their surface bound brethren.
Mankind did not suffer the same magical poisonibg as the magical races, but they continue to pay a devastating price. Where once children ran through the streets, huddled before teachers and pestered their parents for treats and tales, now there is only emptiness and loss. The women of the human race are losing the ability to give birth. Children are being born less often every year. And of those few who are born, many die prematurely. Unless the humans can find some way to undo the damage done to them by the Betrayer’s Sin, they will not survive another 200 years.