Legacy of the Portal War
10.000 years before the Cataclysm:
The Gods appear in the world for the first time, worshipped by the primitive races of humans, elves, dwarves and orcs. The ancient race of eldar, who do not worship any gods, immediately see the threat and decide to destroy the Gods. The God-war starts and lasts for several centuries before the Eldar are finally defeated, and in the process annihilated. At the current date, no records of this race exist in history.
2000 years before the Cataclysm:
All but one of the Gods have been forgotten, only the elven god of war, simply revered as the One God remains. What has happened to the others has been lost to history.
1500 years before the Cataclysm:
The orcs invade the human lands and a new war errupts across the world. The humans, already heavily pressed in the north by invading undead armies, turn for help to an elven wizard named Ishtara. Ishtara agrees to help the humans and opens a portal to the demon realm in the middle of the orc lands. Faced with this new threat, the orcs withdraw and a pact of peace is made.
1000 years before the Cataclysm:
The demon gate has steadily been growing over the years and is threatening to overwhelm the orcs. They turn to the humans for aid and the strongest alliance since the god-war is formed. Human priests and paladins travel south to help fight the demons, while orc warriors travel north to help fight off the undead. The humans realise that the wizard Ishtara has betrayed them and send a group of assassins to her tower. Ishtara however anticipated this and the group is butchered when the teleport into her sanctum.
5 years before the Cataclysm:
The demon gate is threatening to overwhelm the entire world as it is still growing. A party of adventurers led by sir Mordred Fain sets out to close it. They are joined by a mysterious elf named Lydia who seems to know a great deal about what is going on, but is reluctant to freely share her knowledge.
The elves attack the human lands but are driven back.
the year of the Cataclysm:
The end of the Portal War.
Using an ancient artifact of the eldar race, the group led by Mordred closes the gate. They do not know the full potential of the artifact however. A tidal wave of raw magic surges across the land. The demon gate winks out of existance and all magic is scourged from the world. The connection to the outer planes is severed, and as such, the connection of the one God to the world. Paladins and clerics all over the world loose thier powers. Lydia, full well knowing what the artifact is meant to do, shields herself from it’s effects and as such is unaffected.
With the threat from the undead in the north and the demons in the south gone, the combined armies of the orcs and humans turn against the elves, seeking revenge. The war quickly turns into a genocide and only a handful of elven ships manage to escape the slaughter, sailing across the ocean to the west.
Once the elves are finished the armies turn against the dwarves, but find that they have already retreated into their mountain fotresses, having foreseen this turn of events. For a few years the armies lay siege on the dwarves but they realise they cannot get in, so they build strongholds to prevent the dwarves from getting out.
10 years after the Cataclysm:
The end of the elven scourge and dwarven siege.
20 years after the Cataclysm:
The northern watchtowers have been abandonned, and with the threat of the undead gone, the human emperor sends an expedition nortn into the waste. They are never heard of again. When the army that is sent to look for the expedition likewise disappears, the emperor issues a command that no-one is to ever cross the border set by the watchtowers.
60 years after the Cataclysm:
Much of what has happened has been forgotten. The one god is still worshipped in most places, though many clerics have forsaken their believe. With no-one to fight, the armies have been disbanded and the human territory has fallen into a feodal system. The empire is falling apart with no common goal to keep it together.
Reports come from the north of attacks by large bipedal Jackal like creatures, burning villages and pushing south along the entire breath off the continent. War yet again has come to the world.