The Pox Nora Story
The Forglar Swamp came into existence after the Separation when deep hidden springs within the Shattered Peaks were exposed to the surface flooding the plains to the south. Once thought to be devoid of sentient life, it was later discovered that the inhabitants of the Swamp preferred to keep themselves isolated from the world outside their home. However, the swamp has always allowed outsiders to live in it, so long as they did so with respect. This mostly meant adopting a philosophy of shared existence: one does not live in the swamp but rather with it. Their solitude was initially shaken when the Underdepths' invasion of K'thir spread over their shared border and into the Swamp. Their tradition of peaceful coexistence was destroyed however, when the Shattered Peaks began their direct attacks on the Swamp and everything within it.
Inhabitants of the Forglar Swamp are myriad. The Boghoppers appeared after the Separation as one of the many races people consider to be the "new protectors" of the Nora. They are very tranquil and sage-like in nature, developing a wealth of knowledge of both healing and water magic. The harshness of the swamp has also led the Boghoppers to become great hunters. Additionally, their deep connection with the Swamp has allowed them to acquire greater control of flow of Nora. In the coasts to the south of the swamp proper lie the great technological cities of the the Salaman. Originally enslaved by the now lost Cyclops Empire, the Salaman retreated to their current after the cataclysmic Separation. In addition, the region is protected by powerful Spirits and various aquatic wildlife. All currently fight to defend their beloved Swamp from aggressors that wish to do it harm, with the hope that one day they can return to their old ways.
The Forsaken Wastes originated within the ruins of the once great human nation of Elsarin and have come to occupy much of the southwestern region of the continent. The wastes were formed when Elsarin's rival, the nation of Valdec, developed a weapon that would trigger a violent chain reaction within the Elsarin Capital destroying the entirety of their Nora reserves, the city, and all around it. This event would come to be known as the Catastrophe and would change the very course of history. The destruction of the region came with many unintended consequences though, including the appearance of a massive army of the dead, led by the immensely powerful Lich King Serkan, who would begin launching an assault against all the living nations in the world.
Within Serkan's army there are many kinds of undead warriors; The "risen dead" consist of re-animated corpses of those who died in the Catastrophe or in the battles that have followed. They have little control over their actions, but serve as a great replenishable source of power under the direct control Serkan and his inner circle. The "willed dead" consist of creatures that have been brought into existence by the magic of Serkan. They are abnormally powerful and include Vampyres, Vengeful Spirits, Liches, and all manner of terrible creatures. Lastly, a significantly smaller sect of Serkan's army consists of creatures and people who are still very much alive, but have become corrupted with the power of Serkan. While the Lich King's vast army has so far focused its efforts on the nations of Ironfist and the Jakei, it seems that no living creature is safe so long as Serkan's army roams the land.
The Ironfist Stronghold is located within the mountainous region that was once the birthplace of the Dwarves. The stronghold is led by Rugolth, a dwarven ex-general of the Valdeci army. Promptly following the Catastrophe, Rugolth had been ordered to scout the ruins of the Kingdom of Elsarin, and rout the remnants of the Elsarin army. It was during this tour of duty, that Rugolth came to see the extent of the devastation caused by Valdec's super-weapon. Upon fighting a great battle against an endless undead army, Rugolth ordered his soldiers to give up their assigned task and flee north with him. As he travelled back through Valdec, he discovered that the Catastrophe was having consequences within Valdec itself, and ultimately resolved to return to his ancestral homeland. During his journey north, Rugolth would gather a great following of people who would make their exodus from Valdec, to build what would become the great Stronghold of Ironfirst.
Since the Catastrophe, the Stronghold has become the most diverse region in the land due to the incredible influx of refugees arriving to escape the horrors outside. Most prevalent are the Dwarves; they are a strong people that are known greatly for their architectural ingenuity and their ability to create powerful elemental constructs. Humans also live within the Stronghold. Though most are refugees from the wars in the land there is a group of humans, the Barbarians, who are native to the mountains. The Barbarians are distinct from their Valdeci cousins due to their tribal society, and a strong distaste for meddling in the affairs of others. They were initially wary of the sudden arrival of Rugolth and his refugees, but have come to accept that they must work together to defend against the rallying armies of Draksar and Undead. Presently, the citizens of the Stronghold work tirelessly improving their defenses in preparation for the inevitable siege of their new home.
The K'thir Forest is all that remains of the Great Forest that was split during the Seperation. It is located in the eastern expanses of the continent, north of Forglar Swamp. The forest has traditionally been governed by the elves, under a ruling body they established known as the Eternal Circle. This organization was established to determine the allotment and degree of control the citizens of the forest had over the Nora. In the last century however, many began question the necessity of the Eternal Circle. The most notable faction of these dissenters were the Nefari, who in an effort to avoid a civil war between elves, moved into a series of tunnels deep beneath the forest. All was well until the Catastrophe when the tunnels leading to the Nefari city were inexplicably sealed. Recently the tunnels have reopened when the Underdepths began their assault on the forest.
Within K'thir the elves are by far the most populous of the races. They hold themselves to be the first of the Nora-born, and take their self-proclaimed roles of protectors of the Nora very seriously. Apart from their arrogance, the elves are also known for their knack for literature, their swiftness in battle, and their great magical aptitude. Far younger than the elves, having only come to existence immediately following the Separation are the race of bear-men, the Garu. It is often whispered that the Garu were created to be the true protectors of the forest once the elves revealed they cared more for their politics than the forest's well being. On the western outskirts of the Forest, in the rolling plains before the Ironfist Mountains, live the noble Centaur. Originally nomadic traders, they have been forced to take up arms against the invading Draksar who threaten the safety of K'thir.
The frozen expanses of the Savage Tundra were once the elven nation of J'thir. During the Separation, the northern half of the Great Forest was jutted high into the atmosphere freezing most all that could not adapt quickly enough to survive the vastly different climate. Isolated from the rest of the world, the survivors of the first harsh winter slowly gave up on ever returning to the world below, as they began to attempt to rebuild a life for themselves. Though separated from the rest of the world for millennia, in the last decade, a group of explorers from the Ironfist Expeditionary Forces discovered that all were not destroyed during the Separation. The survivors would not have long to reflect over their new role in the world though, as they were soon forced into battle against the invading Forsaken army.
The Tundra is perhaps the sparsest populated of all the regions in the land, consisting predominantly of the descendants from those who survived the Separation. The most plentiful of survivors is the monarchal civilization of the Jakei. Originally elves, they are far more durable than their ancestors. They are excellent hunters and gatherers, and have learned to manipulate the ice as if it were a metal. Joining the Jakei in the Tundra are the Lonx. They are a slightly more primitive species that tend to live in nomadic tribal packs in the wilderness. Many consider the Lonx to have been descended by from the Garu who had come to live in the Great Forest before the Separation. Despite their differences in culture, the Jakei and Lonx get along far better than the elves and Garu, and both work together defend the Tundra from the undead invaders.
The Shattered Peaks were once known as the Eternal Spire Mountains, a mostly uninhabited mountain range near the eastern coast of the continent notable for its massive columnar mountains. However, during the Separation, the once pristine spires broke apart falling into the sea. The sinking of the spires combined with the seismic activity from the Separation itself, led to cataclysmic flooding of the peninsula that bore the entirety of the Cyclops Empire. This flooding forced the Cyclops along with the various races it had enslaved to flee into the valleys, canyons and coasts to the west. While the Salaman had escaped to the newly created Forglar Swamp, the rest took up home in the now Shattered Peaks. The Cyclops hid themselves within caves in the cliffs overlooking their sunken homeland; their number too small to keep power. The G'hern, following the lead from their previous captors, began to enslave the Moga, who were too weak to fight back. For a long time this remained the order of things, until the Voil emerged from their home deep within the Peaks. Not long after, the creatures of the Peaks began a full assault upon the Forglar Swamp.
The creatures of the Peaks are quite diverse, as they consist of various enslaved races from around the world. The once mighty Cyclops are a physically strong race, but lack much of the speed or intelligence necessary to regain their Empire. In the lower regions of the Peaks live the G'hern and the Moga. The G'hern possess great strength but are quite prone to mimic those above them. The Moga are a race of small, energetic creatures that tend to travel in packs. Though technically enslaved by the G'hern, they have adapted to find this arrangement almost beneficial to their existence. Lastly are the bat-like race of creatures known as the Voil, who are the oldest creatures of the Peaks having resided there long before the Separation. They are fast, strong, and intelligent, putting them in an excellent position of power among the Peaks. Though it is unknown why, it is clear that they have used this leverage to command the other creatures of the Peaks to attack the regions around them.
Located north of the now fallen kingdom of Elsarin, the Sundered Lands are the region that was once the nation of Valdec. Since the dawn of its existence Valdec was a very religiously driven nation, who placed great emphasis on the powers and blessings gained through worship of the ancient Dragon Gods. For ages Valdec had been locked in bloody conflict with its rival nation of Elsarin, always at a stalemate. Eventually with the aid of Nora scientists from around the continent, Valdac developed a great weapon that it would unleash upon the Elsarin capitol in an event that would come to be known as the Catastrophe. This event came to have many unintended consequences; most notably, the lands of Valdac were struck by a series of plagues, with disease and famine quickly afflicting the once glorious nation of Valdec. Soon after, those who survived the initial wave of death began to find that they were beginning to "change" from what they were before the Catastrophe. This mutation caused people's skin to scale, their strength to grow, and their bodies to gain the ability to regenerate switfly. This process killed those who were too physically weak to endure it. Those it did not kill though, it made significantly stronger. Those who had changed, while initially outcast for their differences, eventually came to believe that their new form was a gift from the Dragon Gods to help them take their place as rulers of the world.
The races of the Sundered Lands are mostly a product of the diseases and plagues that affected Valdec after the Catastrophe. The race of dragon-men, the Draksar were once human, but are now almost entirely reptilian in nature. They possess great strength, and are capable of breeding new combatants rapidly. As a consequence in the half-century that has followed the Catastrophe the Draksar have more than made up for the loss of life following the Catastrophe, allowing them to assemble the largest living army in the land.
Living among the Draksar is another Changed race known as the Skeezick, the twisted and gnarled descendants of those who were Dwarves in the times before the Catastrophe. Their inferior physical abilities to the extremely powerful Draksar have forced the Skeezick into more submissive roles, typically holding positions as slavers, trappers, and shock-troops. The Sundered Lands are also populated by various animals, many of which have also undergone a mutation following the Catastrophe. The armies of the region fight primarily against the Ironfist Stronghold, who they hold as traitors of the true nation of Valdec for fleeing from the Change. Recently in an effort to cut off the Stronghold's supply line to K'thir, the armies have also been assaulting the Centaur Plains.
Long ago, a group of demons deep from the underground land of Sheoul made its way to the surface of the Forest, seeking to gain an edge in a war that was happening deep beneath the world. Once above the surface, they harnessed the power of the sun causing a cataclysmic shift in the planet that would change the surface of the world forever. This event would be known as the "Separation". Afterwards, the demons dissapeared from the world for thousands of years.
Feeling the Seperation had been caused in punishment for their mis-use of the Nora, the elves formed a political body called "The Eternal Circle" to prevent such a situation from happening again. As time went on, it became clear that not all of the elves agreed with the heavy-handed approach of the Eternal Circle, and soon a splinter faction known as the Nefari came into existence. The Nefari advocated that the Nora of the region belonged to everyone, and that the Eternal Circle was placing unjust restrictions on its use. A non-violent struggle of ideals was waged for quite some time, leading the Nefari to take up home in a series of tunnels that had been discovered following the Seperation (unknowingly, these were the same that the Demons had used to gain access to the surface). Unfortunately, the Catastrophe would seal the entrance to these tunnels, trapping the Nefari in the tunnels. Over time, the surviving Nefari gave up on the idea of being rescued by the Eternal Circle, and began to explore deeper into the caves of the Underdepths hoping to find some means of escape. It would be over 50 years before they would emerge back on the surface with an army of demons to strike down the elves that had abandoned them for dead.
The creatures of the Underdepths are many, and unlike anything found on the surface. The most powerful inhabitants are the exiled demons from the land of Sheoul, who rule over their remaining minions through their powerful ability of mind control. The Bok are a vicious group of lesser demons that once were used to protect the deeper regions of the Underdepths from the surface world, but now have also come to be primary rulers of the Nefari. The Underdepths is additionally inhabited by a great variety of creatures that can only be described as terrible horrors and monsters. Lastly, the Nefari are the newest race to call the Underdepths home. Their years of being trapped in the caves, made the Nefari very susceptible to the Demon's influence, who were quite content with fanning the flames of their hatred for the surface elves. They are now corrupt versions of elves who have filled their heads with hatred and revenge. They wish to annihilate the Forest, and the Demons have been more than content to help.