As the world recovered from the Schism of Corellion’s Court and Parting of Elvenkind, a vast Host of Undead arose. Led by the Lich Lord Nieracros, whose vast magics, it is said, were fueled by a mantle made from a fallen god’s blood.
The war that followed was a terrible, protracted battle. The living were slow to unite. The Elves, who had rallied the Host that defeated the Orcs at the dawn of history, were still recovering from the shock of the Schism – the betrayal of their gods and their people. The Lich Lord appeared to know his enemies very well and had struck with surprise at several key locations, destroying the great Seat of Wizardry and sending the foremost magical organization into disarray. With the ranks of the undead renewed endlessly by the fallen, there seemed no way to stop them.
An unlikely band of heroes brought unity to the disorganized factions, giving the living races a chance to come together against this nearly unstoppable foe. Slowly and with a dire cost, the Undead were pushed back. The repeated defeat of his lieutenants, who had been so close to victory, worked to draw the Lich directly into the conflict.
In order to destroy these undead leaders, a ritual was performed as each was defeated. The ritual stripped true name from the Lieutenant, sundering the spells linking them to the Lich Lord. Cut off from his power, The Unnamed as they came to be called, did not return.
The last hope for the Army of the Living was Slorin Skytear of the House of Sil’vornell, an Elven Wizard, and the last member of the Seat of Wizardry’s inner council. He confronted the Lich, but the Blood of the Fallen God made the Lich a foe of unparalleled power. Slorin had no choice but to invoke an enchantment that tapped into the mystical lines of magical energy that formed the Land itself.
Slorin’s new magical might, combined with the prayer’s of assembled priests, overwhelmed the Lich Lord’s defenses, destroying him utterly. However, the Blood of the Fallen God, contained in the Lich Lord’s mantle, interacted with Solrin’s magic with devastating results.
The mystical backlash of the Lich Lord’s destruction sundered the lines of energy that crisscrossed the land, causing massive upheavals and destruction. Earthquakes shook for hours, dropping lands into the sea and raising parts of the sea floor to the surface. The energies that discharged into the sky brought down violent storms that raged for months. Untold numbers died as the Land itself plunged into the troughs of a mortal wounding.
No people were left untouched by the cataclysm that followed the death of the Lich Lord but the most dearly hit were the Elves and their homeland. The verdant wood was the nexus of the mystical energy lines that crossed the land. When the backlash of negative energy reached this focal point and combined with the Elven magic already present, the resulting destruction was absolute. The land buckled and broke, then was consumed by the tumultuous sea.
The energies released by the destruction reinforced the very barriers between the world and the higher planes. Magic itself seems drained and listless, its vitality gone. Many magical items became mundane and practitioners of magic found their spells failing. Even clerics discovered that the connection to their gods seemed tenuous at best. Magic had suffered a blow much as the Land had.
For the years that followed, the struggle for survival became paramount. The living races retreated to the ruins of their cities to rebuild. The decades that followed the Shattering of the Land were a daily struggle for survival. In time most of the cities were rebuilt and their people were once again able to settle back into their lives. For the Elves, their homeland was lost to them. Many settled in the lands of the Humans and Centaurs while others headed into the wilds to find new homes. There was no word of the Exiles for many years following the disaster, later it was learned that they discovered a portion of the Elven capitol deep in the earth and have claimed it for their own.
Human skill and ambition led to the rise of the first attempt to unite all of the Human lands into one Kingdom. Using a combination of conquest and diplomacy, Thenollax Goldrun ruled over more than half of the human population with the formation of the Golden Empire. But even as the empire was formed troubles within and without threatened to tear it apart.
While the barriers between the World and the Higher Planes had been reinforced by the mystical energy release that caused the Sundering, it also created vulnerabilities to the Lower Planes. Demonic and diabolic forces found purchase to enter the world and wreak havoc through ruptured nexus points. The incursions were chaotic at first, with little purpose other than violence and mayhem, but when a demon lord found his way into the world, a true menace had arrived.
The Demon’s manipulations threatened the peace between the human empire and the other races. He pitted one against the other, using his demonic minions to strike at one side and blame the other for the violence.
It was the Centaur heroine, Melania Silvertail who uncovered the Fiend’s plot. Accompanied by a band of adventurers, she discovered the orchestrator of the attacks and deceptions as well as the means by which the demons entered the world. They discovered a means to release the energy, and return it to its proper place in the ley lines of Land. With that accomplished, the barrier to the Higher Plane returned to normal as the vulnerabilities in the Nexus points were sealed. With the pathway to the Lower Planes closed, the demon lord was ripped from the world and cast back into his own. The menace was gone from the Land.
It was the Land itself that began to show the first signs of recovery. The dreaded Banelands began to fade, returning to more natural settings with the aid of dedicated druids. The world now had a chance to heal from the wounds of the Sundering.
The appearance of a luminescent ring around the moon Lunaris coincided with restoration of the Land. There is some debate among scholars as to its origin; some say it’s the left over energy that rose into the sky in a pillar of light when it was released. Others say that it was a sign from the Gods, either as proof of their power, or in recognition of the efforts of the mortals who brought the restoration about.