Some say it was sight of the three greater planets joining together in the sky the heralded the downfall of Man in the Lands.
Some say that the great silver sphere that plunged through the sky, bringing fire and destruction in its wake delivered the retribution for our sins.
Some say that the plagues that stalked the towns and keeps of our frontiers were the final stroke before the bestial beasts ravenged our farms and villages and drove the decimated Legions from the Far Reaches.
Whatever they say, it could not possibly fully account and list all of the calamities and travails that Man has suffered since the Darkest Hours. Our Doom has been multiple and ceaseless in its entirety. Its effects are long lasting, as we sit huddled in our small cities and fortified keeps. Slowly, we learn to adapt and we learn to live in this new Age – the Dark Age.
And yet, there are those who will seek out the frontier again, who will seek to advance their station and plumb the secrets of the ancients, beat back the hordes of beasts and maybe perhaps cleanse our old lands of the Damned… those rare few who have decided to step forth. The so-called Kings will not. The few armies that remain will not. But someone will…
— Ta-Shanarbiya, Priest of Yallowforth Keep, Year 52 of the Darkness
It is a dark time. Much has changed in the world that your forefathers and granddams knew. It was almost an entire generation ago that the skies lit in flames, the world cracked open, the beasts and bestials poured from the dark and civilization retreated.
Man, Elf, Dwarf and Littlelings have retreated to the safety of numbers, abandoning much that they had gained in many generations. Kingdoms fell, fortresses crumbled and the tramp of foul feet was heard across many leagues.
Man has survived in the face of Chaos and Doom, but much has been lost. Now, the Kingdoms bicker amongst each other while holding the line against the ever-present Darkness. Survival is never certain, especially on the now sparsely populated frontiers. Once, these were well-known lands, but since the Doom of Man, they have fallen into darkness, now the story of legends and whispered myths. The other races, Dwarf, Elf and Littleling, they sit in their lands and hold their own, both cursing Man for the Doom of the lands and reaching out in the hopes that all may join to regain what was lost.