Greetings Stranger.

The coloured gates you have come through open one way. Regardless of where you started or where you wanted to be, you are now here, as both prisoner and freeman. If interested, know that this domain be called Nyssaria. Outside this desolate tower, a never-ending winter rages. Life is short, brutal and unforgiving. Sanctuaries are few, and are hidden, nigh impossible to reach or flooded with stranger and friend alike.

Ask not how or why, it simply is. Let that be your solace.

Nevertheless, you are here now, and best you be learning about yer new home. Ask your questions, and I will provide the best answers that I can. I may be old, and walked many paths, but I know not all about this land.

Most stories start at the beginning. Alas, ours does not. There are no scrolls from the earliest days of the domain. Scholars say that the gods have long visited this domain both as a place for primitive pleasures but also as a battleground for their ideas. Powers call this land the Lower Realm, not to denote a lowly bestial place where emotion and raw instincts rule. Time is not reckoned from these ages long ago. Those ages are gone.

Time is reckoned from one event – the Fall of Hembria. This was not the beginning of our civilization merely it’s apex. It reigned more than three thousand years rules and no other nation can match its size, power, or dominance. Humans were the rulers of the magical nation. They ruled, as a divided people without a king, fighting more among themselves than with any outside threat. Travel gates scattered throughout the domain provided efficient travel. They had allies with planar trading races, and they sought knowledge from other cultures to both add to and protect their ways. Fantastic animals, dragons as ye know them, were their war beasts. Yet, they thought themselves superior to all others, even the Infernals.

They began to summon these infernals unknowing the dangers. It began as a trickle, and it ended in a flood of creatures that their wizards could not handle. It lasted more than three lifetimes, cities fell, their dragon war beasts revolted: the nation was crumbling. Realizing they were losing the battle, they seized a desperate plan: opening a portal to the plane of cold. It worked, the demons were weakened, but so too were the wizards, allowing an old nemesis to step in.

The priests, so long divided by cults of philosophy united with the wizards and dragons to defeat the demons. The combined forces defeated their common foe, but at too great a price. Their numbers dwindling, their capital destroyed the counsel disbanded, the remaining wizards faced exile or revolution from their former subjects as their arts were scorned, and their towers destroyed. The priests called out to their powers to help rid the world of the cold, but none could help. The godly servants used divine power to grow crops and provide some protection from the cold. Life was hard, but relatively safe.

Then the dragons returned. Having faced millennia of abuse by their former masters, the great beasts came to exterminate these tiny fleas. A period of five hundred years of slaughter came, destroying virtually every hint of civilization: races vanished, nations disappeared. Most races scattered becoming refugees, searching for any sanctuary from the cold and the tyrants.

They found them, on high plateaus, isolated from the cold and the rest of the domain. On the other hand, by using pieces of the cracked sun, they built huge sollus towers than enabled them to temper the cold. However, the sollus was a finite solution, cursing the inhabitants to constantly search for more. There are many who wander the cold as nomads, stopping for days at a time at oasis until ready to travel again. There are a few places untouched by the cold, such as the Phastian Desert, but this is just as deadly as the cold wastes. Perhaps the only place truly free of such hostile climates is the sea of stones to the far west of the domain. It too is cursed, as the wizard survivors from Hembria came here, and they fight among themselves as they have always done. The weak and innocent are obliterated in the wizard’s personal quest for power.

And always the dragons will come. Genocide seems less likely now. As the years have softened some of their attitudes. Some tyrants acted as monarchs, wishing fealty and adoration by the people. Others allowed civilization to rebuild, then to obliterate it again, almost in a binge and purge cycle just to add to their horde of wealth. Others, tired by the bloodshed of weak-willed creatures sought escape and isolation from all others even their own kind. And a minority, sought to re-establish links with their former masters and became allies with them instead. Always they are fantastic creatures, dominating all other species around them.

Our records do not show how long ago the fall of Hembria happened. Some say 5000 most reckon it over 15000. For far too long people have cared only about survival not history or philosophy.

Is this the entire history? No. Each region has their own, stories of survival and loss. Each able to tell when they found sollus, or when they reached a spire or found another way to survive the cold. Glossing over a ten millennia if it were a week or hour does not honour those who lived. However, you would need more than a lifetime to hear all the stories from all the people all over the realm.

Know the cold is entropic, seeking to destroy all. Nysians whether directly fighting her or not, fear her power.

However, life is more than history, what else do you wish to know?

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Nyssaria